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View Sample Pages : Kokomo Tribune, January 25, 1994

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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - January 25, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana Vol 143 Nb 142 Kokomo hid TRIBUNE Tuesday Jan SO cents Teachers testify in Foster trial By MIKE PALUCK Tribune staff writer Teachers and administrators of the KokomoCenter School Corp praised the work of Larry Foster Monday during the sixth day of his theft trial 13ut during cross examination two teachers con firmed that they were seeking monetary damages related to a press release purportedly issued by Foster about their alleged over payment in a summer 1992 teach ing program KokomoCenter teachers Mike Shipley and Dennis were among seven witnesses who were called to testify on Fosters behalf in Howard Circuit Court The white collar theft case that opened Jan 12 was expected to go to the jury today Shipley Younts and other school officials had high regard for Fosters teaching and adminis trative abilities during his tenure with the school corporation Sev eral of the witnesses said they were close friends of Fosters and noted that KokomoCenter School Corp had received recognition and awards for programs he had been associated with Shipley and Younts had been called to testify earlier in the trial as Howard County Prosecutor James D Andrews worked to build his case against Foster who faces a total of six felony Charges arid one misdemeanor count Under questioning by Andrews Shipley and Younts confirmed that they were among teachers who worked in the summer 1992 Job Training Partnership Act pro gram They also said they were among rsix KokomoCenter employees who had been accused by the school corporation of being overpaid in a Sept 29 1992 press release The press release that was attributed to Foster said the six had been overpaid a total of Last Friday Foster said he made a statement related to the alleged overpayment but not the pne that was published in the Kokomo Tribune He also said he should have been more careful he signed timesheets prepared by a former secretary that reflected incorrect hours for the teachers On the witness stand Shipley arid Younts confirmed that they were involved in a tort claim issued to KokomoCenter that contains a claim for in alleged damages Shipley said two school board members were mentioned in the story along with Foster Younts said he did not know who gener ated the Investigators have alleged that the press release claiming the overpayment of JTPA funds to the six teachers was a ruse to satisfy a complaint that had been filed with the prosecutors office by for mer board member Craig Dunn They have also alleged that the release was designed to satisfy the investigators who were looking into the alleged misappropriation of funds at the school corporation When Andrews announced the indictment of seven KokomoCen ter school officials Jan 6 1993 he cleared the six teachers of wrong doing KokomoCenter Superintendent Roger W Thornton mentioned the tort claim last Thursday while testifying as a states witness Thornton said through his investi gation he learned that the six teachers had been underpaid for two years and that the school cor poration is attempting to reach a settlement with the group He believes KokomoCenter will end up paying the Foster who has been reassigned to the position of special popula tion coordinator has admitted mistakes in his former job but has said he did not intentionally take money from the school corpora tion Friday he said he didnt want to jeopardize 38 years of During questioning by defense attorney William E Beck II Foster has said that he did what the school corporation asked him to do Prosecutors have alleged that Foster illegally traded days out side of his teaching contract in order to receive extra pay Foster has testified that he received per mission from former superinten dent Larry Horner to trade days in his contract The jury of three men and three women with one male and one female alternate has heaird vary ing opinions about trading days as prosecution and defense attor neys havecalled their experts to testify on the subject Please see Teachers Page 10 1st year Rep Steve Buyer returns to Washington today to begin his second year of repre senting the 5th which includes Kokomo The Kokomo Tribunes Wash ington Bureau has compiled a page of Buyers first year high lights set backs assign ments campaign positions and their status a year later and and Inside today voting record sonal finances political finances praise criticism For the pununary see Page 4 Style Learn the graceful art of tai chi Page 11 Also inside Business Classified Dear Local News of Buyer PRINTED WITH SOVINK If a bill becomes law Corey Dickey 17 left and Bobbi Wise 18 wont be able to smoke at Kokomo High School Tribune photo by Brian Reynolds Habit could be history at schools House bill would prohibit all smoking on school property ByTERRI HUGHESLAZZELL Tribune staff writer The Indiana House of Repre sentatives will start thinking about banning smoking from school property Wednesday House Bill 1030 authored by Rep Earle Howard DKokomo calls for banning smoking on public school property for all fac ulty students and visitors The bill passed committee last week 80 and goes to the full House Wednesday where it could be reviewed passed or amended Howard is considering an amendment to exempt teach ers under contracts designating a smoking area until those con tracts run out But nothing has been done on this yet As the bill stands all smoking would be prohibited on school property even during athletic or Legislature special events Schools would also have to post signs indicating a smokefree environment Ive never understood why students were allowed to smoke at school anyway since most arent old enough to legally buy Howard said in an earlier telephone interview Dave Barnes community rela tions officer at KokomoCenter Schools said students at Kokomo High School South Campus have been allowed to smoke in a des ignated outside area because its the lesser of many evils The biggest fear we have is that theyll burn down the Barnes said indicat ing thats where students try to smoke if theres no smoking area However he said school offi cials would love a no smoking policy but they want something that can be enforced Under Indiana law only those 18 or older can legally purchase cigarettes However Barnes said theres no enforcement power Harold Canady Kokomo High School South Campus principal agrees saying in a letter to the House of Representatives that he supports Howards bill but only if it some teetn which allow we administrators to enforce such a smoking ban Sim ple student suspensions from school are not the answer because many of our student smokers would welcome time away from school These stu dents also are precisely the ones who most need to be in the class room on a daily In his letter Canady suggested a sixmonth suspension of a stu dents drivers license House Bill 1030 calls for a Class D infraction similar to a traffic violation for a firsttime viola tor with a fine of A second time violator would get a Class C infraction and a fine up to These penalties would be for all violators students or Faculty at all KokomoCenter schools are allowed to smoke in teacher lounges or the custodial locker room Barnes said Under this ban those areas also Would be offlimits Spectators at school activities or athletic events are now allowed to smoke outside the building Under this bill they would have to leave school prop erty to light up If the bill passes the House it will move to the Senate for review and action Antiabortion groups upset WASHINGTON AP Some antiabortion groups see a new Supreme Court ruling as a vul gar betrayal of their right to free speech Legal experts say the rights of most protesters will not suffer but heavy penalties allowed by the decision could stifle minor acts of civil disobedience The Supreme Court has told civil protest to go to Randall Terry of Operation Rescue said after Mondays decision which allows antiabortion protesters to be sued under a federal racketeer ing law I dont think the First Amend ment is a defense to coun tered Patricia Ireland president of the National Organization for Women which sued Operation Rescue and other groups that have led numerous protests at abortion clinics Were not out to stop them from peacefully she added Mondays ruling allowed Oper ation Rescue and other antiabor tion groups to be sued under the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations law If they are sued successfully the laws tripledamages provision could spell financial ruin Terry called the decision a vul gar betrayal of over 200 years of tolerance towards protest and civil Legal experts said the ruling will not harm the freespeech rights of peaceful lawabiding protesters But its effect on those who engage in civil disobedience by breaking the law is open to debate Its true that we are putting a powerful weapon in the hands of people who oppose such protests said Steve Wermiel a law professor at Georgia State University Wermiel and other legal experts said it is possible that penalties allowed by the racketeering law could become so heavy that they stifle protest by groups that engage in minor acts of civil dis obedience The high court declined to answer that question But Justice David H Souter in a separate opinion cautioned judges to be aware that RICO penalties may in some cases be limited by legiti mate First Amendment rights The court may clarify its views on the freespeech rights of abor tion protesters by this summer The justices agreed Friday to decide how far courts and local governments may go in restricting demonstrations outside clinics The RICO law is aimed at peo ple who commit illegal acts not those who stay within the law noted Rodney Smolla a law pro fessor at the College of William and Mary If you conspire to bomb an abortion clinic then there is no conceivable First Amendment Smolla said But he added I do believe Operation Rescue is right in saying at some point the damage award can become so excessive that it can have a chilling effect on free speech One of the tenets of civil disobe dience is a willingness to pay the penalty for violating the law said Wermiel of Georgia State Martin Luther King spent an awful lot of time in jail for unlawful he added But even lawabiding protest is threatened by the new ruling con tended David Wagner of the con servative Family Research Coun cil Down in the street its hard to tell the boundary between peace ful protest and Wagner said Properly tax case goes to court Fair market value could replace current system JNDJANAPOUS AP rr The administration and the top House tax lawmaker say changes in the property tax assessment be workecl put in the Legislature not the courts Indianas assessment laws appear headed for a court teat anyway A easj before the ana Tax Court seeks to throw out the present complex system and substitute fair market value for determining the value of the states homes farms and big nesses for tax collection Indiana is one of the few remaining states that does not use some form of estimated sell ing price in the formula for deter mining property tax bills The challenge was brought by St John a Lake County commu nity and the Indiana Civil Liber ties Union ICLU lawyer Richard A Waples said Tax Court Judge Thomas G Fisher fouW hear the case before the end of the year The state Board of Tax Com missioners appointed by the governor to oversee property tax unsuccessfully fqughi to keep the matter out of court State of Union tonight WASHINGTON AP White House officials hope President Clintons State of the Union address tpnight can help reener gize his presidency and mobilize national support for his most ambitious initiative universal healthcare The speech scheduled for national broadcast at 9 EST to a joint session of Congress comes at a good time for Clinton Both the economy and his own standing in public opinion polls are on the rebound This an opportunity for the president to establish his presence as an articulator of government programs and said Henry Graff a Columbia Univer sity political scientist He hasnt had this kind of forum in a long It was Clintons first official State of the Union address even though his speech on economic policy last Feb 16 had many of the trappings of one Networks covering Clintons speech WASHINGTON AP Tele vision coverage of President Clintons State of the Union address tonight varies from the serious to the satirical The speech beginning at 9 GST is being broadcast five by ABC CBS NBC and Fox and on cables CNN C SPAN CSPAN 2 and Comedy Central This will be Foxs first live presentation of the presi dential address if ;