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Kokomo Tribune (Newspaper) - March 20, 1994, Kokomo, Indiana High school f i naif our set mi KOKOMO Vol 143 No 196 Kokomo Ind Sunday March Spring So long winter ByJEFFPARROTT Tribune staff writer and The Associated Press Area residents can take comfort in knowing theyve weathered one of the most severe winters on record and can look forward to a balmy spring and summer according to local weather observ er Robert Wise Average Kokomo temperatures for the winter that ended today were the fourthcoldest on record at degrees Fahrenheit The coldest winter was in 1984 when temperatures averaged degrees Wise said Other frigid years were in 1936 average 1950 average degrees and 1963 average More of the white stuff blanket ed Kokomo this year than usual also Total accumulation sits at 43 inches so far considerably higher than the average Wise said Nationally it was a little drier than normal and temperatures were a bit below average accord ing to the National Climatic Data Center in Asheville Com pared with records dating back 99 years the winter just ended was the ninthdriest on record and 39th coldest Grizzards Although springs flowers including tulips and freesia arent blooming outdoors yet they were inside Carriage Manor Flowers and Gifts this past week Tribune photo by Brian Reynolds Wise said average temperatures every seven this spring and summer should be above normal with possible highs near 70 degrees by the end of this week More sunshine should emerge with the dormancy of El Nino die warm Pacific Ocean cur rent that brews up storm fronts to 10 years Also atmospheric haziness caused by drifting volcanic ash from Mount Pinatubo in the Philippines will dissipate Wise predicted That is not to say there wont be an occasional pesky cold front to keep things this spring Wise noted The pocket of cold air above the Hudson Bay in northeastern Canada which low ered temperatures here this win ter shows no sign of disappear ing Wise said These fronts could result in frost in April or early May Despite these sporadic fronts summer could see some record high temperatures with 90s in May and 100s in June Wise pre dicted calling for the hottest sum mer since 1988 Average precipita tion should be on the dry he said listed as grave ATLANTA AP Syndicated humor columnist Lewis Grizzard experienced extensive brain dam age after heart surgery and his chances of recovery were very small hospital officials said Satur day night Grizzard was in critical but sta ble condition at Emory University Hospital after his fourth major heart operation in 12 years The doctors have determined that the chance of any meaningful recovery of Mr Grizzards brain function is very the hospi tal said in a news release Grizzard 47 writes for The Atlanta JournalConstitution and his column is syndicated to 450 newspapers nationwide includ ing the Kokomo Tribune Grizzards living will requests that his life not be prolonged in the event of massive brain dam age the hospital said His condi tion was to be monitored closely for any changes Our foremost concern right now is Mr Grizzards physical condition and the wellbeing of his said Dr Randy Mar tin his cardiologist Grizzard married his fourth wife Dedra Kyle in the hospital on Wednesday His heart problems stem from a congenital defect that damaged his aortic valve Inside todays Tribune Business Classified Local News of 30 Opinion Science McClurg in 500 court INDIANAPOLIS Judges named Kokomos Mary Ashley McClurg to the Indianapolis 500 Festival queens court She is among four in the court The announcement was made Saturday night at the Convention Center according to Robert McClurg the womans father McClurg 20 is a sophomore at Indiana University in Blooming ton and is majoring in telecom munications After she was named to the queens court she won a scholarship and several prizes including jewelry and a camera She also won a wardrobe from a popular retailer for the Indi anapolis 500 race her father said Although the other Kokomo contestant Victoria Benckenstein did not place in the top five she will take part in the Indianapolis 500 festivities in May She will be among the 33 princesses in the Indianapolis 500 parade and other events Benckenstein also a sopho more at Indiana University is the daughter of George and Vicki Benckenstein Kokomo Hbomb cleanup not over for Kokomo man Sciaraffa reports radiationailments seeks millions By KEVIN MARONEY Tribune assistant local area editor Kokomos Richard Sciaraffa lost his life serving his country 26 years ago and lived to tell about it While serving in the Air Force Sciaraffa helped clean up the radioactive debris of four hydrogen bombs blown to bits by accident Since then he has learned tp his chagrin that he is sterile He has a rash on his scalp lesions on his elbows and ankle blurred vision and kidney prob lems Moreover the veteran contends his ailments were caused by radia tion invisible particles or waves which can damage or kill body cells and can result in cancers genetic damage or death And to right what he says is a wrong Sciaraffa 48 has outlined his allegations in a complaint filed with the Department of Veterans Affairs On Thursday he also filed with the Department of Defense a million personal injury claim which cites similar allegations In his multimilliondollar claim Sciaraffa adds that neither the Air Force nor the Defense Depart ment tested monitored or contact ed Sciaraffa about the possible effects of radiation to his body Filing these complaints helps clear the way for Sciaraffa to sue the government for damages his attorneys tell him He has vowed to continue with his case until hes satisfied They never told us how dan gerous it would be I may end up with cancer I dont Scia raffa said I think they owe me something because they took a lot away from me having my own biological child I want them to make restitu tion for what they did to Sciaraffas ailments plagued him after he and hundreds of other military personnel picked up radioactive fragments of plutom um and tritium The elements are used to set off nuclear explosions in hydrogen bombs His reported radioactive expo sure was near the air base at Thule Greenland after four unarmed Hbombs exploded in a B52 crash on Jan 21 1968 The Thule base makes up part of Americas earlywarning system Radar on the base can detect Sovi et nuclear missiles 10 minutes after theyre launched The Strategic Air Command bomber which crashed 26 years ago was airborne as part of a con stant air alert during the Cold War So if a nuclear enemy launched a surprise attack the B 52 bomber would be in the air to deliver a retaliatory strike with its four Hbombs Events leading to nuclear cleanup According to published reports the following events occurred before Sciaraffa and others cleaned up the debris in Green land which is a former province of Denmark Just before the crash a fire broke out on board the B52 bomber that was carrying four unarmed nuclear bombs over the Arctic area The fire forced the pilot to ask for an emergency landing at Thule Air Base But the pilot lost control of the eightengine air craft Consequently the bomber crashed into the ice of North Star Bay never reaching the landing strip Six crew members parachut ed to safety and were rescued The copilot was found dead in the snow still strapped to his para chute All of the warheads in the four megaton bombs were blown into radioactive chunks Pieces of the wreckage were about as big as a can of soda and formed a black radioactive blemish across the ice Called Project Crested Ice and Dr Freezelove by Thule work ers the cleanup venture involved scientists and hundreds of civilian workers and servicemen including some from Grissom Air Force Base near Peru technicians found traces of radiation but scientists said it was The Danish government nowever took no Please see Hbomb P3 Project Crested Ice 1968 B52 cleanup site The cleanup crew involved people from 70 government agencies military servicemen and Danish civilian workers to remove debris from the USAF B52 and four megaton hydrogen bombs Grissom AFB Thule I Greenland Richard Sciaraffa a civil engineer at Grissom Air Force base in 1968 was dispatched with other Air Force personnel to Thule Greenland to remove nuclear debris from the crash site of a B52 which had been on routine Arctic patrol Four thermonuclear bombs were lost in the Jan crash SOURCE Richard SciaraHa Green Peace World Combat Aircraft Directory Kt graphic by J David McChesrwy Greenland important to defense Technical name Kalaallit Nunaat Capital Nuuk Government Former province of Denmark Danish par liament 1978 approved home rule for Greenland Islanders elected Socialistdominated legis lature Population Most of the people have Eskimo and Danish ancestors Languages Danish Green landic which is a form of Eski moan language Size Three times as large as Texas Thick ice covers about 85 percent of the island Climate Very cold Only 440 miles from the North Pole The center of the icecap has averaged minus 53 in February Along the southwestern coast the warmest region in Greenland temperatures have averaged 50 in July Principal export Fish One of the worlds best fishing grounds off Greenland coast Other military bases on the island form major part of North American defense system In 1961 worlds most powerful radar station was built at the air base near Thule to warn of missile attacks on North America Sources The World Almanac and Book of Facts 1994 World Book Encyclopedia ;