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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - March 7, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Vol 143 No 183 Kokomo Ind KOKOMO lTRIBUNE Monday March 50 cents Susan Conner resigns By TRISHA TURNER Tribune staff writer Susan Conner former secretary of KokomoCenter administrator Larry Foster has resigned from the school corporation Foster was recently found of misappropriating federal grant funds in 1992 Conner was his sec retary at that time KokomoCenter School Board will consider the resignation of Conner who most recently was a secretary at Elwood Haynes School during its Monday public meeting That session will begin at at the KokomoCenter administration building David Barnes corporation com munity relations officer said the date her resignation letter was submitted to administrators and the reason she gave for leaving will not be released until that meeting But he did say Thursday she is no longer working for the corporation In Howard Circuit Court in Jan uary Foster KokomoCenters former director of vocational and adult education was found guilty of two counts of theft one count of theftreceiving stolen property one count of aiding inducing or causing theft and one count of ghost employment all Class D felonies He was also convicted of one count of Class A misde meanor official misconduct but was acquitted on a count of theft Fosters counts charge in part that in 1992 he authorized Con ners receipt of and a two week vacation that she was not entitled to receive under grant guidelines While testifying at iposters trial Conner was accused of giving inconsistent testimony and she alleged being threatened by the county prosecutors staff She was granted immunity from prosecution as a witness Former superintendent Larry W Horners resignation also will be considered Monday Homer last month pleaded guilty to one Count of Class D felony conflict of interest That charge stems from his 1990 purchase of a boat with school officials and representa tives of Jostens Learning Corp 16 days after the school board approved a million purchase from that company resignation as alterna tive school principal is part of his plea agreement The board will also vote Monday on naming Bill Keaffaber as Homers replace ment in that position Other agenda items include a ypte on an interim ethics policy last month proposed by Superin tendent Roger W Thornton and consideration of proposed changes to KokomoCenters elected school board policy Chrysler hikes spending plans million more will be used to increase transmission output By DAVE PHILLIPS Tribune staff writer Chrysler Corp plans to spend another million on new equipment machinery and tool ing to expand production by near ly 40 percent at its Kokomo trans mission and casting plants Last week the automaker said it would increase spending from billion to billion to increase capacity by onethird to mil lion vehicles worldwide and add up to jobs In 1993 Chrysler built mil lion vehicles Boosted by strongselling cars trucks and sport utility vehicles including the Jeep Grand Chero kee and restyled Dodge Ram pick up Chryslers share of the vehicle market is rising It climbed from 15 percent to percent in February the most recent survey period The latest investment comes on top of million Chrysler said last fall it planned to spend on new machining and equipment at the companys casting and trans missions plants Under the plan production of frontwheel drive transmissions would increase by units a year while rearwheel automatic transmission output would jump by a projected units The Kokomo complex assem bled nearly million automatic transmissions last year and is on target to build million gear boxes in 1994 But with vehicle sales continu ing to climb that is a moving num said Ron Lasecki director of personnel for the two plants Company officials say the plants payrolls will be likely be increased but couldn t project any specific numbers under the latest plan You have to assume well be looking at more employment if were going to hike production as much as we are said Lasecki Chryslers Kokomo cast ing and transmission plant com plex employs about work ers with nearly employees added over the last 20 months Most of the retooling and expan sion is expected to come in machining operations at the trans mission plant The plant is operat ing on two assembly shifts to1 build threespeed and fourspeed transmissions It often takes three shifts of machining to support two shifts of said Lasecki The transmission plant will be affected by virtually all of the automakers expansion goals Among Chryslers specific plans A St Louis North Assembly Plant in Fenton which was sched uled to close in January 1995 would reopen in the third quarter of 1995 to build the Dodge Ram A third shift would be added later this year in Detroit to expand production of Jeep Grand Cnero kees Production of the Dodge and Plymouth Neon will be increased at Belvidere 111 Production of Dodge Dakota midsize pickups will be consoli dated in Warren for the 1997 model year to create addi tional capacity for building Jeep Cherokee and Wrangler models at Toledo Ohio Dakotas now are made in both plants Mini van production capacity will be boosted by vehicles at Windsor Ontario and a second plant in Fenton Mo Increasing production of Dodge Intrepid and Chrysler Con corde sedans at the Newark assembly plant by a year Plenty for everyone Joe the Golden Retriever decided not to wait many Kokomo residents headed outside to his turn as Claudia Frank gets a drink of play The weather will be taking a decidedly water at Highland Park Sunday afternoon colder turn beginning Tuesday Snow flurries Jessica Frank was pumping the water for the are a possibility in the forecast two Sundays high temperature reached 62 degrees and despite the muddy conditions Tribune photo by Anne Farrar Wilhelm era ends at UPI Group blasts United Way donation this is how homosexual groups tap into your money I WASHINGTON AP United Way of America is chafing under criticism by the conservative Christian Action Network that it donated money to an organization that conservatives say distributes gay and lesbian textbooks to public schools United Way says the organiza tion is misrepresenting the situa tion knows it and yet continues to generate a controversy to line Us own In a fourpage fundraising let ter CAN President Martin Mawyer says United Way gave an unspecified amount of money to the Bay Area Network of Gay and Lesbian Educators in San Francis co whose goal is to distribute homosexual textbooks into all public schools including your hometown schools within six He also says United Way has given an unspecified amount of money to a group called Project 21 which he says has distrib uted homosexual textbooks in a number of states A United Way of America official said no chapter has donated money to Project 21 The San Francisco chapter of United Way says it made a grant to the local gay educators organization to provide materials training and library books to fac ulty staff and high school stu dents in order to help prevent discrimination and to stem the growing problem of hate The chapter also donated to the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation spokesman Hosea Martin said The grants were given based on recommendations by our coun ty leadership boards and we have no problem with the he said Martin said that the conserv ative Christian organization was distorting the truth and has never attempted to contact the Bay Area chapter about the dona tions This is how homosexual groups tap into your money Mawyer says in the fundraising letter He charges that United Way is lending its good name to the agenda of these militant He asks recipients to sign a petition asking the presi dent of United Way of America to disavow the financing or public promotion of the homosexual political agenda through its mem ber He also asks for a generous donation of or But United Way of America has told Mawyer and CANs general counsel repeatedly that we cant do what they a United Way official said speaking on condition of anonymity United Way of America is a national training center which provides support to the local United Ways around the coun the official said As a matter oflaw we cant dictate allocation policies Those decisions are made Don L Wilhelm chairman of United Presidential Life Insurance has retired from the company he founded nearly 29 years ago James N Plato president and chief operating officer since Jan 1 1993 has been named chairman of the board of the insurance compa ny When he stepped down as presi dent and chief operating officer in December 1992 Wilhelm 62 stat ed he planned to remain chairman for a year to ease the transition to a new management team Plato a native of Connecticut joined the company in April 1990 as senior vice president and chief marketing officer He was named executive vice president in March 1992 before becoming president and chief operating officer A native of Wabash county and 1958 graduate of Manchester Col lege Wilhelm started UPI in 1965 with six employees The insurer was capitalized in 1965 with million at the time the largest capitalization ever by a Indiana based life insurance company Today UPI boasts a payroll of 155 fulltime and parttime employ ees producers nationwide and billion of life insurance in force The companys assets reached the billion mark in 1992 and stands at billion today Wilhelm also oversaw the com panys move in August 1991 to a new head quarters on South Dixon Road Wilhelm In 1986 the company was sold and became a wholly owned sub sidiary of Lin colnshire Washington National Corp Wil helm also has retired as a member of Washington Nationals board of directors With Wil helms retire ment several management appointments and promo tions have been made at UPI Edward J Ledford Dennis A Taylor James A Murphy and F Peter Huse have been named senior vice presidents Taylor also has become chief financial officer and treasurer and Huse was named general counsel Taylor joined UPI in November 1992 as a senior vice president for finance Ledford joined the com pany in June 1990 as a regional vice president Huse joined in 1981 as legal counsel Plato Teachers returning to classrooms SOUTH BEND Ind AP A union chief credits the perseverance of striking teachers and the support they received in the community for the contract offer that ended an 11day walkout today Teachers who had stayed away from classrooms since Feb 24 were back in front of their students today after the South Bend Community Schools Corp and the National Educational Association Sputh Bend agreed Sunday on a threeyear pact that gives teachers a 3 percent pay raise by the third year but requires them to pay 20 percent of their health and dental care premiums beginning next school year said Anna Pappas president of the NBASB Superintendent Virginia Calvin said some of the money for pay raises will come from hiring nine fewer social workers There also will be some layoffs this spring but the number of those let go is not expected to be significant Inside todays Kokomo Tribune Style Denver exhibit is cool Page 9 Also inside Business Classified Dear Local News of
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