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   Gaston Gazette (Newspaper) - March 3, 1995, Gastonia, North Carolina                                 ■ Hornets top Blazers, even road trip record, Page 1C  Witness can't pinpoint time  Huffstetler  Rosa Lopez faces questions on claim she saw Bronco  LOS ANGELES (AP) - Calm and unwavering under relentless cross-examination, a Salvadoran housekeeper stuck to her story about seeing O.J. Simpson's Bronco the night of two murders but admitted she can't pinpoint the exact time and never sought out police to teli them what she had seen.  In a courtroom packed with Simpson's family and supporters, Rosa  Killer wages 2 battles  Illness could claim death row inmate before execution  By Nancy Moore  "■Gazette Staff Reporter  KINGS MOUNTAIN - David Earl Huffstetler is waging two battles with death — execution as punishment for killing his mother-in-law and liver failure resulting from years of alcoholism.  Huffstetler's attorney, Kenneth Rose of Durham, said time may be running out for his client. But he said it's uncertain whether death will come from natural causes before the state can take Huffstetler's life.  Rose described Huffstetler as living "with the specter of being executed while on his death bed."  The U.S. Supreme Court this week refused to hear an appeal from Huffstetler, moving him one step closer to the death penalty imposed 12 years ago.  Huffstetler, 49, got word of the latest development after spending two weeks in the prison hospital.  According to prison records, Huffstetler has left Death Row for medical reasons eight times in the past three years. Five times, Huffstetler went to Central Prison Hospital.  But three times he was sent to non-prison hospitals, twice to Wake Medical Center and most recently to  Please see BATTLES/2A  Man pleads guilty to raiding 257 pairs of panties  CEDARVILLE, Ohio (AP) - Underwear? Over there.  Police have finally figured out what happened to all the underwear that has been disappearing since last spring from the laundry room at a Cedarville College dormitory and the town's only coin-operated laundry.  Acting on a tip, police searched the apartment of Daniel Richard Meeder and found 257 pairs of panties, three bras and three slips.  Meeder, a former Cedarville College student, pleaded guilty Wednesday to misdemeanor theft.  "He admitted right off the bat to stealing the underwear," Police Chief Keith Stigers said. Meeder told police he did it for "kicks."  Meeder, 25, was referred to the probation department for a presentence investigation. The maximum penalty is six months in jail and a $1,000 fine.  Lopez insisted she was telling the truth.  Asked why she didn't give the important information to anyone until a defense investigator approached her weeks after the former football star was charged with the slayings of  his ex-wife and her friend, Ms.  Darden  Lopez said: "No one ever came to ask me about it."  In contrast to her demeanor last week, when she was tearful and distraught under intense prosecution questioning, Ms. Lopez was confident and forthright. She was clearly concentrating on giving brief, often one-word answers of "yes" or "no."  She also often said, "I don't remember," and when Deputy District Attorney Christopher Darden pressed her, she sometimes replied, "If you say so, sir."  Darden, his questioning more re  strained than in the attack he launched on Ms. Lopez last week, picked up on her familiar use of the term "Mr. Johnnie" to describe defense attorney Johnnie Cochran Jr.  She, in contrast, referred to him Thursday as "Mr. Cochran."  Darden repeatedly suggested that  Please see BRONCO/5A  ■ MORE COVERAGE: Prosecutor Marcia Clark's estranged husband has filed for primary custody of their two young sons, saying she [is rarely home because of the O.J. Simpson case, a report said. /4A  Associated Press  Rosa Lopez testifies Thursday.  ■;>PT¡íiil : ¡'¡!¡¡'jj¡' "" •• •• • Ij-' ir :fPJf ! 'T 7/""ft/"" 1 -'' ' f-;' âj/V-: ' ,  VOTE FALLS SHORT  Senate narrowly defeats plan to balance budget  WASHINGTON (AP) - The Senate solemnly dealt defeat Thursday to the balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution, cornerstone of a broader Republican drive to cut spending and shrink government. Both sides sought political advantage in the residue of battle.  The 65-35 vote left the amendment just shy of the needed two-Jthirds majority, and followed Democratic accusations th^t the Republicans were threatening Social Security, a charge Majority Leader Bob Dole sharply denied.  At the White House, President Clinton challenged GOP leaders in Congress to detail "how they are going to keep the promises of their 'Contract (With America)' on balancing the budget and paying for their tax cuts."  Fifty one Republicans and 14 Democrats voted for the amendment, while 33 Democrats and two Republicans — Mark Hatfield of Oregon and Dole — voted no.  Dole is a firm supporter. His vote — which left the amendment's supporters two votes short of victory — was cast solely to place him on the prevailing side, a parlia-  Please see DEFEAT/2A  Staff/The Gazette  THE VOTE  The proposed amendment drew the support ol 66 senators. But that was one shy of the two-thirds majority required for approval of a constitutional amendment.  Support for amendment: ■Fifty-two of 53 Republican senators and 14 Democrats supported the amendment. Sens. Jesse Helms and Lauch Faircloth, both from North  Carolina, voted for the amendment.  ■¡Thirty-three Democrats and Sen. Mark Hatfield, R-Ore., voted against the proposal. ■The final vote was 65-35 after Senate Republican leader Robert Dole of Kansas switched his vote from "yes" to "no," enabling him under Senate rules to bring the amendment back up for a vote at a later date.  Associated Press  Sens. Orrin Hatch and Bob Dole talk about defeat of balanced-budget amendment.  QUOTES:  'The American people lost today,but1 can promise them there will be other opportunities."  S8IUkt8M8iorityLeaderBobDol8   "... a seductive but false and dangerous promise, nothing more."  Sen. Robert Byrd, O-W.Va.  N.C. LEADERS REACT TO VOTE. PAGE 2A  INDEX  Abby/9A  Bulletin Board/ 9A Business/ 4-6B Classified/ 9C-8D Comics/ 6-7C Crossword/ 7C  Family/ 8-9A  • • •  4 sections/ 36 pages  Call us  Gastonia/864-3291 Lincolnton/735-4616 Charlotte/825-5158 Fax/867-6988  Hometown/1B Horoscope/ 6C Movies/ 8C Opinion/ 2B Obituaries/ 7B Sports/ 1-9C  Television/ 6C • •  r  The Gazette is a recyclable product.  Chance of rain  High 47 Low 35 / Details/ 2A  Museum tries to restore train 'ghostyard'  By Stephen Harris  Gazette Staff Reporter  SPENCER - Today, only rusted steel girders and decaying brick shells of buildings stand in the center of this Rowan County town, a historical relic that some might see as an eyesore.  But generations ago, the Spencer Shops were one of this state's major transportation hubs.  Southern Railway built its largest steam train repair and maintenance yard here.  At the peak of the Spencer Shops, as the yard was called, 2,500 workers worked on steam locomotives and railroad cars in massive warehouses spread over 57 acres.  The ghostyard has fallen silent for more than a decade. But a group of railroad enthusiasts is trying to bring memories of the era of the iron horse back to life. Please see TRAINS/2A  ^ H  V  A restored steam locomotive  Stephen Harris/The Gazette  Coming Saturday: Duke and Carolina prepare for another classic  j   

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