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View Sample Pages : Kokomo Tribune, April 07, 1994

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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - April 7, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana KOKOMO Vol 143 No 214 Kokomo Ind Thursday April 7 1994 50 cents Strong economy fuels auto sales boom DETROIT AP A strong national economy and Americans hunger to replace their jalopies may combine to help carry the current auto sales boom into next year industry officials say I think weve got a while left before its Tom Webb chief economist for the National Association of Automobile Deal ers said Wednesday after domestic and foreign automakers reported strong sales gains for March This is a normal cyclical upturn that should last longer than Webb said General Motors Chrysler Corp and Ford Motor Co released sales figures that showed each selling more light trucks in March than in any month ever That category includes the minivans pickup trucks and sportutility vehicles that seem to be driving the auto industrys resurgence We estimate that in terms of total vehi cle volume this was the industrys best March since the peak year of said Robert L Rewey Ford vice president for North American marketing and sales Chrysler reported the best total vehicle sales month in its 69year history Industrywide vehicle sales were up more than 20 percent This market is very said J Michael Losh GM vice president for sales service and marketing What youre seeing is reflecting the strength of the Webb said another important element in the strength of new car sales is a good market for used cars New car prices can be lower attracting buyers because many dealers are making good profits on used cars Theres a shortage of good used cars now because of past poor newcar Webb said With confidence in the economy many people who had delayed buying are now cruising showrooms The cars on the street are running 7 years old and people are going to have to trade said Don Brocious general manager of John Grappone Ford in Con cord He said demand is steady and strong especially for minivans and sportutility vehicles We still cant get enough of Brocious said Rewey said demand outran supply Ford couldnt supply the Explorers Rangers Windstars Mercury Villagers or extendedcab Fseries pickup trucks for all the shoppers who wanted them Chryslers executive vice president for sales and marketing Theodor R Cun ningham said a strengthening economy and consumer confidence combined with great product to produce the sales records The unsettled stock market could dent consumers confidence But it might also encourage car buyers in the short haul said Michael D Johnson associate profes sor of marketing in the school of business administration at the University of Michi gan Its going to affect consumer confi dence perhaps Johnson said At the same time you may get some for ward buying from all the that inter est rates are going to go up If I were to make a prediction I think youd see a surge followed by some deci sions to do more he said I wish I had a crystal ball to see whats going to happen a year from said Ford dealer Brocious Jeff Heath left Tim Carter and Brandon Shupe work in the snow at the Sycamore StreetWestern Avenue railroad tracks which were closed for revamping Wednesday Tribune photo by Tim Bath Snow pulls the covers over Kokomo area More than 5 inches of snow blanketed the Kokomo area Wednesday said local weather observer Robert Wise Driving city streets was a bit tricky this morning Kokomo Street Superintendent Bob Guge said the road crews began salting the streets at 7 today when they reported for work We dont work through the night unless the Kokomo Police Department contacts us and tells us the streets are icy or Guge said When we came in this morning we saw that there were some icy patches so weve been out The citys salt supply is low at 500 tons of 1 salt just sufficient to cover a couple more snow storms Guge said He expects the new supplies to be available now that winter sea son is over and with it the demand from the East Coast which suffered a severe winter Wise predicted the white stuff will disap pear by Friday The inches of snow received locally brought the amount of snow fall for the season in Kokomo to 48 inches 11 inches over the amount of snow received in an average winter here Wise said But a warmup was to begin today with tempera tures expected to near 70 by Sunday Tonights low under clear skies will be 28 Wise said But Friday will be sunny and warmer with a high of 55 Clouds are expected to increase Friday night and theres a slight chance of a shower Friday nights low wilfbe 38 Saturday will be partly cloudy and warmer still with a high of 65 4 teachers sue board Hordes of people storm though library Books pages fly after Dallas radio stations hidden money promotion Four KokomoCenter School Corp teachers who last year alert ed the corporation of their intent to sue over statements which accused them of being overpaid have followed through by filing a civil lawsuit against the school board The complaint for damages was recently filed in Howard Circuit Court on behalf of Susan Baker Michael Shipley Bonita Snell and Dennis Younts Sharon Rusk who is identified as the widow of Fred Rusk and the administratrix of his estate is also a plaintiff according to the fourpage document It alleges mat as a result of actions of the school board indi vidual members and its employ ees the teachers were and nave been made subjects of ridicule and humiliation and were and have been held up to public scorn by members of the Kokomo commu nity including but not limited to the broadcast media friends fel low teachers and Those allegations refer to two news stories that were published in the Kokomo Tribune on Sept and Oct The sto ries related to the alleged over payment of six teachers who worked in the Job Training Part nership Act program during the summer of 1992 The Sept 30 1992 story that appeared on the front page of the Tribune carried the headline School corp overpaid six JTPA The complaint alleges that the story stated implied the general reading public inferred from it that the teachers named therein had falsified time records and had caused them selves to be overpaid for the 1992 summer school employment asso ciated with the JTPA The lawsuit says the story car ried the teachers names and the amount of money they were allegedly overpaid It also says the story was attributed to informa tion supplied by Larry Foster who at tne time served as Direc tor of Vocational and Adult Edu cation for the school board and by school board member David Lavengood The complaint alleges that the facts and implications inherent in and inferences arising from the news article concerning Plaintiff Teachers and Rusk were false misleading and defamatory per se for impugning each of the Plaintiffs and Rusk in their profes sional Referring to the Oct Tri bune story the lawsuit says these false and misleading state ments were further reinforced and bolstered by comments attributed to Darlene Poulard the School Board The suit goes on to say that the teachers and Rusk did not fill out timesheets for their summer work in the JTPA program therefore they did not falsify timesheets to cause themselves to be According to the suit the teach ers were underpaid for their employment for summer school 1991 and 1992 not In January during Fosters trial in Circuit Court Baker Snell Shipley Younts and another KokomoCenter teacher testified that they did not fill out their timesheets and they had learned that Foster signed the sheets that were used to calculate their pay x It was also during Fosters trial on charges related to his adminis tration of the summer 1992 JTPA grant that Superintendent Roger W Thornton said that an investi gation he conducted had revealed the teachers had in fact been underpaid for two years Today Thornton said that he was disappointed that it has gone this direction instead of being able to be worked out out side of court We have spent quite a bit of time working towards that end and we just werent success ful in getting it Claims made in filing a suit represent one side and may be contested in later court FORT WORTH Texas AP People stormed the Fort Worth Public Library tearing pages from books and throwing volumes on the floor after a disc jockey hop ing to encourage reading announced that he had hidden money in the stacks Times are tough I dont know if theyre that tough said Marsha Anderson library spokeswoman People were climbing the shelves stepping on each other and elbowing people in the face to get at books Tuesday Ander son said When it was over the library was a shambles with several thousand dollars worth of dam age No one was hurt About 500 people were in the first wave to hit the library Listeners of KYNGFM disc jockey Pantoja told library officials that the country station had hidden up to in the books But program director Dan Pear man said Pantoja had offered only He thought putting a few dol lars here and there might motivate people to go to the Pear man said Wednesday The Dallas station said it will pay for the damage It was never my intent to destroy a Pantoja said About fiction reference philosophy religion and social science books were strewn across the building Pantoja didnt ask the library for permission first It was kind of a lastminute inspiration and typi cally when he does that kind of stuff 30 or 40 people show up and then they Pearman said Librarians thought it was some kind of joke then realized they had a problem as people pushed and shoved frantically through the stacks I made an announcement over the public address system that the contest was Anderson said That worked real well Three hundred people kind of vapor The city said it is looking into possible criminal charges and will complain to the Federal Commu nications Commission Inside todays Tribune Local Police arrest suspect in rape case Page 2 Sports Western should be elite in the Howard County girls softball scene Page 8 Also inside Business Classified Dear Dr Local News of Family Intervention project hits wall By JEFF PARROTT Tribune staff writer The YWCA will have to change its plans if it wants federal help expanding its Family Intervention Center The Indiana Housing Finance Authority which administers the federal funds has postponed its decision on whether to award the YWCA a grant It con tends the facilitys proposal does nt fit the grants specifications for transitional housing Specifically the plan doesnt include a separate bathroom or kitchen for each singleoccupancy unit as is required by federal guidelines according to Carla Fewell IHFA communication director The YWCA has architects redesigning the floor plan to include a bathroom for each sin gleoccupancy unit and must resubmit it by April 22 said YWCA Director Sandy Markert The original proposal had the transitional rooms sharing bathrooms Markert said Transitional housing allows bat tered women often with children to get a job and to save enough money for an apartment or utility deposit while looking for a perma nent place to live These families must be allowed to stay at least four months according to the grant guidelines Fewell said She pointed out that the grant is competitive and resubmission wont guarantee approval The IHFA last week awarded mil lion of the million available in Department of Urban Development grants she said It deferred decisions on 12 applications Markert said denial of the grant would not stop relocation and expansion of the intervention cen ter because it is needed so badly The YWCA would simply have to step up its fundraising efforts if the grant is refused she said The Family Intervention Center is an emergency shelter for bat tered and abused women and children The grant would help finance a upgrade from the present 10bed shelter to a 24bed facility It would move to a nearby house in better condition which would be added on to There would be 12 beds for shortterm crisis use and 12 for those in transition A shortage of lowincome hous ing in Kokomo has prompted the need for more transitional hous ing at the shelter Markert said Its very very difficult for women to find affordable hous she said These women and children now take up space in the shelter that is needed for crisis individuals those who flee an abusive house hold and need an immediate place to stay she said Weve had 100 percent occu pancy over the last five years so theres a definite need for Markert said The shelter has been assisting abused families since it opened in 1980 helping an average of 60 women and 120130 children per year Markert said ;