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Kingsport News (Newspaper) - January 7, 1977, Kingsport, Tennessee Blanton For Billion Budget NASHVILLE (UPI) Gov. Kay Blan- lon asked the Tennessee legislature Thursday night to approve a record billion budget for state government and a stale income tax that could put an addi- tional million bite on taxpayers within the next few years. The governor proposed million in additional spending, including million to provide teachers and state employees with a 7 per cent pay raise and a million construction program for high- ways, bridges and buildings. Blanlon asked for a increase in drivers license fees, a million increase in state funding for the mushrooming mcdicaid program, and money to hire 425 additional teachers to lower pupil-teacher ratios in the lower grades of public schools. Other budget highlights included funds for three additional regional prisons, including one previously announced, a million bridge building program, and million to increase by per student appropriations for textbooks and materials. Blanton told the lawmakers that either the present tax base or a graduated in- come tax would support the budget and endorsed a revamped income tax bill designed to draw support from local governments by providing them with an additional million. Although the budget is based on a projected 8.2 per cent revenue growth and maintaining the 4.5 per cent stale sales lax rale, Blanlon said stale governmenl could quickly adjust if his lax reform package were adoplcd inslead. The lax reform package would roll the sales tax rale back lo 3 per cent and im- pose a graduated income tax effective Jan. Blanton's money advisors said Ihe presenl lax base and the governor's tax reform package would produce the same amounl of money the first year. But they acknowledged the switch could increase the tax bite by million to million within the next two or three years. The alternative, they said, is a 12 to IS per cent increase in the sales tax. Blanlon, who failed lo gel anywhere with his income lax proposal lasl year, again mainlained lhal his lax reform package would in facl lower Ihe amounl of slale laxes paid by Ihe majorily of Tcn- nesscans. "Once again I am going to fight hammer and tongs and anvil lo see thai Ihe wcallhicr people in Ihis state pay a just share of the Blanlon saiu. "The lax modernization and reform commission has shown us lhal in 1974 a person wilh an income of a year paid an overall lax of 13 per cenl while a person wilh an annual income of paid an overall rale. That is not fair." In addition lo rolling Ihe sales lax rale back lo 3 per cenl, Ihe reform package would give a credit for the sales lax paid on food, exempl ulility bill from the in- come tax, and repeal the stale lax on stocks and bonds. "I realize it takes lime and much dis- cussion and much informalion for Ihe public to understand that my tax reform proposal is not a plan lo dig deeper in the pockets of the working Blanton said. "On the contrary, il would reduce Ihe taxes of the majority of our citizens and it would reduce the slale sales lax rale lo 3 per cenl. "I sincerely believe we are going lo have to go the lax reform roule if we're lo mcel Ihe need for essential stale services and keep our budgel balanced. We cannol possibly go on relying on addilional sales laxes year afler year." The budgel is based on (B) in slale approprialions for Ihe fiscal year beginning July 1, up from billion for Ihe currenl fiscal year. The million highway program includes million for bridge conslruc- tion, million for interstate highways, and million for the Appalachia highway system. An addilional million for construc- tion of buildings at instilutions includes million for education, million for conservation, million for regional prisons and to build stale safely deparlmenl facilities at Nashville, Kings- port and Memphis. Blanton proposed raising the drivers license fee from to to raise More On Page 1UA, Col. 1 Friday January 7, 1977 34th Year No.4 Kingsport, Tennessee 37662 Phone 246-8121 36 Pages 15 Cents AREA LAWMAKERS PUSH FOR NEW TV STATION NASHVILLE The Tri-Cities may have a new educational television station before long if two Upper Easl Tennessee legislators have their way wilh Ihe state's new budget. Rep. Clarence Blackburn, D-Blounlville, and Hep. Bob Good, R-Johnson City, said Thursday they are drafting legislation thai would amend the general appropriations bill to finance a free-standing educa- tional television slation in Johnson Cily lhal would operale in addilion lo WSJK, Ihe area's only other educational sUilion. The new slation would be able lo produce local programming, in addilion lo carrying nalional Public Broadcasling Syslem programs already seen on WSJK (Channel The newslalion would broadcasl on Channel 41. WSJK originally was founded with two sister studios one in Johnson City, on the East Tennessee State University campus, and the olher in Knoxville al Ihe Universily of Tennessee. Since the mid-1960's, the Knpxville studio has been given total control of the station's Sneedville trans- miller, and has limited the Johnson City studio to producing a maximum of three half-hour public ser- vice programs per month. Last year, the Deparlmenl of Educalion, under which Ihe slalion operales, attempted to eliminate the Johnson City operation by cutting it out of the state budget. Through the efforts of Blackburn, Good, and other legislators, a appropriation was added to the budgel al the last minute, giving the Johnson City studio funds to operate for another year. Under Ihe legislators' proposal, the Johnson City stalion would become a full sisler to Knoxville's WSJK, ralher than its step-child. More On Page IDA, Col. 4 Only the beginning It was only an indication of more to come as snow outlined the branches of this tree Thursday evening, highlighting them against the facade of St. Luke's Methodist Church on Center St. Times-News photo Charges Dropped Against 3 As Ex-Agent Fails To Show By DAVID OSTERHOUT Times-News Staff Writer Several "bootleg" cases were dismissed Thursday in Kingsport General Sessions Court because the undercover officer who put the evidence together failed to show up. Auhtorites believe the agent, former Sullivan County Sheriff's Department narcotics investigator Mike Davis, has left the state and is somewhere in Virginia. They say they don't know why he left nor whether he'll return to prosecute the defendants al the grand jury level. The state still has that option. Even though it chose not to prosecute the cases in sessions court Thursday, the same charges could still be filed by a grand jury. If Davis ever reappears. So, for the moment at least, the threat of fines and jail terms has dissipated for three men: Fred Roberts, 1731 Warrick Dn; Cecil Ward, 516 Burleson St., and Benny Frazier, 1756 Jared Dr. Roberts was charged with selling beer without a license on Sept. 24. The same charge was filed against Frazier. Ward's charges were: possession of beer for resale, carrying arms, posses- sion of a controlled drug, selling beer without a license and two counts of selling liquor without a license on Sept. 25. In each case, Davis allegedly made the alcohol buys with money from the prior sheriffs drug fund. Under that administration (John Bishop's) untruthful, uncooperative and apparently inefficient undercover agents cost the taxpayers thousands of dollars with little results. Early last year, 10 drug cases were dis- missed when an agent failed to show up to prosecute them and then later admitted he had lied to a grand jury. In December, 1975, 25 drug sale cases were dismissed because of untruthful evidence another narc allegedly gave. And Davis, who worked five months drawing a salary of plus about for expenses each week, only made six minor drug buys. Davis is the same narcotics agent who was arrested in September at King's Department Store where he worked part- time as a security guard on two charges: possession of marijuana and carrying arms. A spokesman for the sheriff's depart- ment told the court that Davis had both items in his possession as a result of his undercover duties. He had picked up the pot from a person he was investigating in connection with drug sales, the spokesman The marijuana charge was dismissed, hut since the sheriffs department said it inadvertently let his bond elapse, the gun charge stuck. He was given a suspended jail term on that. In late November, Davis filed a lawsuit against King's for: "damages inflicted as the result of false arrest, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution and slander." A trial date on the suit has not been set. Carter Ponders Tax Cut 'Both Ways' PLAINS, Ga. (UPI) .Jimmy Carter said Thursday ho is considering both a permanent and temporary tax reduction in the first stages of his economic recovery program. lie and his budget chief also said there would be a deficit of up lo billion, inherited from President Ford's budget, but little could he done about it. Carter, certified by Congress Thursday as the president-elect, talked with reporters after meeting with his economic advisers. He said he would announce the outlines of the package Friday after meeting in Plains with Democratic congressional leaders. The president-elect said he was con- sidering "a permanent tax reduction which would be compatible with long- range reform, plus the possibility of tem- porary tax stimulus for only one year." He also said that although comprehen- sive tax reform would take until at leasl next fall, ho was considering including one to two "small elements" for his initial package. Only Carter talked to reporters outside his mother's Pond House where the three-hour meeting took place. Remaining Indoors were Treasury Secretary-designate W. Michael Blumenthal, Commerce Secretary-desig- nate Juanita Kreps, Labor Secretary- designate Hay Marshall, chief economic adviser Charles Schultyc and others. Carter refused to offer specific figures, cither on the total size of the package or on the breakdown between jobs creation which he has said is his first priority and a tax cut. "We tried to make sure in our discus- sions that we make the temporary or per- manent stimulus package, whatever the More On Page IDA, Col. 1 Snowfall Spreads Across South U.S. By United Press International The third snowstorm of the week churned across the nation Thursday, tying traffic into great snarls from Albuquerque to Nashville. Kentucky Sla- tehouse offices closed early and hundreds of schools called off classes in Mississippi, Tennessee, Kentucky and New Mexico. Thunderstorms lashed Southern California. Yet another storm boiled up on the Montana-Canadian border. Nashville police counted 75 separate accidents on the streets during a one-hour period. Eight school buses ran off the road or were stranded. Thirty-seven cars were involved in one pileup on U.S. 31 near Louisville. The storm caught millions of Tennessee residents and the National Wealher Service by surprise. II developed so fasl in Memphis lhal Ihe forecast was changed between the lime some children left home and the time they arrived for school. Some pupils were placed back on their buses as soon as they arrived. Others were left stranded when parents dropped them off for classes wilhoul knowing that classes would be canceled. "Operation Snow" was placed in effecl in Louis- ville and acling Gov. Thelma Slovall senl state workers home in Frankfort. Officials of the Ken- lucky Bureau of Highways ordered in a new sup- ply of salt, sand and other abrasives to prevent a threatened shortage. Motorists in New Mexico slipped and skidded to work in up lo six inches of snow. Their woes were compounded by a fog that cut visibilily sharply on icy highways. Many schools and some businesses in Al- buquerque and olherNew Mexico cilies closed for Ihe day. Albuquerque's freeway system and In- terstate 40 were closed for a lime Wednesday night "The people are just sliding through the inter- a police official said. "They're nol used lo driving Ihrough Ihe ice." Snow hit most of Kansas and Missouri and spread eastward across the Mississippi River inlo Illinois. Kansas City put its emergency snow or- dinance into effect. The snow cover at Salina, Kan., rose to eight inches. Five inches fell at Jetmore in southwest Kansas and one northwest Arkansas community received nearly thai much by mid-morning. Snow, sleel and freezing rain glazed many Oklahoma highways. Some New Mexico ski areas received up lo 25 inches of new snow. Buy Buzz Bainbridge of Ski New Mexico was ecslalic. "Everybody's in greal shape all of a he said. "Everylhing's brighl and shiny." All schools closed in Mississippi's Alcorn, DeSo- More On Page 10A, Col. 4 City Woman Charged In Husband's Death Bound To Grand Jury By DAVID OSTERHOUT Times-News Staff Writer Elmer Rhca, clad only in his underwear, was lying face down on the bathroom floor, his head against the tiled wall. About two feet above the body were three dark spots bullet holes, the officers said. Near his toilet articles were scattered, as if knocked from a shelf. By his hand was a can of shaving cream. The police photograph, introduced Thursday in Kingsport General Sessions Court during the preliminary hearing of his alleged murderer, his wife Pauline, did not show the fatal wounds. Elmer Rhea, 44, a Kingsport firefighter, died at about a.m. Nov. 28, from five shots fired from a 9 nun. automatic pistol, according to a preliminary autopsy report. Police feel he was shot at least twice while sprawled on the floor. His wife, according lo Kingsport Sgl. Melvin Doty, admitted to firing the fatal shots. She was bound lo the grand jury Thursday on a charge of first-degree murder. Mrs. Hhca was released shortly after the fairly brief hearing on a bond. More On Pace 10A, Col. 1 As the thermometer fell, Kingsport's rain turned to snow Thurs- day and continued into the night, covering the area with another blanket of snow. Schools in Sullivan, Scott, Lee and Hawkins Counties were closed for today by p.m. last night. Area sheriff's departments reported slick conditions with several accidents oc- curing in Kingsport. No injuries were reported. City and area road crews were out salting the streets. Friday's Weather Travelers' advisory continuing through early today, with snow ending during the day. Accumulations of one to three Inches may be expected. Mostly cloudy today and tonight, partly cloudy on Saturday. High today In the mid 30s, low tonight In the low 20s. Saturday's high In the upper 30s. Winds today southwesterly, 5 to 10 miles per hour. Possibility of precipitation Is 60 per cent Thursday's high was 39, low Thursday morning was 32. PAULINE RHEA free on bond
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