Madison Wisconsin State Journal (Newspaper) - September 11, 1997, Madison, Wisconsin
Thursday, September 11,1997
Medical journal urges reporting of HIV
The distinguished New England Journal of Medicine is urging mandatory reporting of HIV infections to state health departments to increase the chances people will get early treatment.
More than half of all states now require that the names of infected people be reported to confidential registries. However, New York and California, the two with the most cases by far, do not require this.
Early in the epidemic, the need to keep AIDS infections private was often considered to be more important than any public health benefits of turning names over to health agencies.
However, opinion has shifted, and mandatory reporting has grown less controversial in recent years, especially with the advent of treatments for people who are infected but not yet sick.
pending crime legislation. Over the next few weeks, Congress will consider two measures that deal with juvenile crime. In one, President Clinton proposed $63 million for after-school programs, but House and Senate legislators want to cut that.
Another Senate bill would spend $868 million over five years on juvenile justice. But a big chunk of that — $500 million — would be a block grant in which after-school programs would compete with juvenile facilities, drug testing, juvenile records and truancy programs for a share of new funding. Youth advocates believe that only $76 million in new funding would go for prevention.
“There is no doubt that prevention is important, but throwing more money at these programs is not necessarily the answer,” Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., chairman of the Senate’s youth crime subcommittee, said in a statement. “The federal government already spends over $4 billion a year on at-risk programs. Do all of these programs reduce juvenile crime? Before spending more money on prevention we need to first take a close look at the programs currently in place.”
The study was compiled from FBI reports by the National Center on Juvenile Justice and the Office for Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention. It is based on information for eight states — Alabama, Colorado, Iowa, Idaho, Illinois, North Dakota, South Carolina and Utah.
Study finds that only one-seventh of offenses committed after 11 p.m
After school is crime time
A new study documents what time of day children under 18 commit violent crime on school days. Some highlights:
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Percent of violent juvenile crimes by hour:
While the report says that nearly half of violent juvenile crime —- murders, rapes, robberies and aggravated assaults — occur from 2 to 8 p.m., it found that just one-seventh occurs from ll p.m. to 7 a.m., when curfews typically are in effect. “What a curfew does is tell kids you should not commit crimes when you are asleep,” Fox said.
The report was released by Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, a youth-advocacy group made up of police chiefs, prosecutors and crime survivors.
The study, billed as the most comprehensive on the relation of crime by people under 18 and the time of day, details how crime tracks kids’ movements.
Violent juvenile crime triples from 3 to 4 p.m., the hour immediately after school, compared with I to 2 p.m., when school is still in session. It dips around dinner time, rises slightly, then declines in the later evening as most parents want their children home for bed.
In contrast, Fox said, adult crime rises all through the day and evening and peaks at ll p.m. The new report focuses on school days, when 57 percent of violent juvenile crime is committed. Fox said that juvenile crime on weekends
By Angie Cannon
WASHINGTON - Violent juvenile crime on school days occurs much more frequently between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. than late at night, says a report released Wednesday.
With violent juvenile crime rising, the Justice Department is promoting the report in an attempt to persuade the Republican-controlled Congress to spend more money on after-school youth programs. Several bills are pending in Congress and may be taken up this week.
“In the afternoons, we used to have sports, drama and music. We had violins, and now it’s violence,” said James Alan Fox, dean of Northeastern University’s College of Criminal Justice in Boston and an author of the report. “We’ve closed down ball fields. We’ve closed down community centers. We have disinvested in childhood, and kids literally have too much time to kill.”
The report also raises questions about the need for curfews, a popular but controversial crime-control measure. Although many civil rights groups and individuals challenge the constitutionality of curfews, about three-fourths of the nation's 200 biggest cities have them.
11 people killed in head-on accident
SOURCES: Justice Dept,, Fight Crime: Invest in Kids, National Center for Juvenile Justice
Knight-Ridder Tribune/KERRY G. JOHNSON
LOS ANGELES — Eleven people — most of them returning to Los Angeles after a day of selling corn — were killed in the fiery head-on crash of a packed van and a pickup on a scenic California highway.
Tuesday night’s collision left wreckage burning for hours and victims and ears of corn strewn across Highway I between Lompoc and Santa Barbara, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles.
Eight people died who were in a Chevrolet van carrying a dozen people and three died from a Ford pickup truck. Four people survived.
According to a preliminary investigation, the pickup went over the double yellow line and hit the van. Witnesses said the pickup had been passing vehicles on the twisted highway.
■ WASHINGTON, D.C.
IO on Helms’ panel ask for Weld hearing
A majority of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee appealed Wednesday to Chairman Jesse Helms to hold a hearing on President Clinton's nomination of William Weld to be ambassador to Mexico.
In a letter Wednesday to Helms, all eight Democrats and two Republicans on the committee urged Helms, R-N.C., to reconsider his decision to keep Weld off the agenda during a “special meeting” he has scheduled for Friday.
The letter was circulated by Indiana Sen. Richard Lugar, the No. 2 Republican on the panel. The only other Republican committee member who signed it was Sen. Gordon Smith of Oregon.
and during the summer is also higher in the afternoon and evening than the morning or late night, but without the 3 p.m. peak.
“Prime time for juvenile crime,” Fox said, is when parents are working and kids are hanging out on street corners with little to
do. He thinks the problem has increased as more families have both parents working and more households are headed by single parents.
Attorney General Janet Reno and leaders of the youth-advocacy group use these figures to criticize
By Ken Foskett
Cox News Service
WASHINGTON - White House documents released in the Senate campaign finance probe raised new questions Wednesday about Vice President Al Gore’s reckoning of fund-raising calls made from his executive branch office in late 1995 and early 1996.
The memos to Gore from a senior White House staff member indicate that the Democratic Party treated the first $20,000 of every large donation solicited from a donor as “hard money” subject to federal election limits.
Republicans on the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee Wednesday sought to show that the memos were proof that Gore must have known that any money he raised for the party would include so-called hard money.
What Gore knew about the type of money he was raising is significant because federal law appears to prohibit the solicitation of hard money on government property — although the law hasn’t been tested. White House lawyers argue that it doesn’t apply to the president and vice president.
Attorney General Janet Reno said last week that she is reviewing recent disclosures that up to $120,000 raised by Gore in telephone calls to donors from his office was deposited in hard money accounts at the Democratic National Committee.
“Those memos do not contradict what the vice president logically understood.”
The questions about Gore surfaced as the committee questioned Joseph Sandler, the DNC’s chief counsel, and the man ultimately responsible for deciding the propriety of accepting questionable donations.
In contrast to former DNC chairman Donald Fowler, who testified Tuesday that the party “made mistakes,” Sandler vigorously defended the DNC against charges of sloppy or deliberately illegal political campaign fund-raising.
“It is preposterous ... to suggest that the DNC was negligent or turned a blind eye to unlawful or inappropriate contributions, let alone to infer that there was any deliberate effort or plan by the DNC to solicit or accept (illegal) contributions,” Sandler said.
Republican senators questioned Sandler almost exclusively about three 1996 memos addressed to the president and vice president from Harold Ickes, then-deputy chief of staff at the White House, summarizing the DNC’s television media campaign.
All three memos, two of which were written months after Gore made telephone solicitations to 46 donors, define hard money as “the first $20,000 given by an individual.”
There was no evidence that Gore actually read the memos.
“My inference would be, absent his explanation to the contrary, that he knew that... a solicitation for $20,000 would be a solicitation for hard money and a violation of the federal statute,” said Sen. Arlen Specter, R-Pa.
White House and Democratic Party officials appeared outside the hearing room in droves Wednesday to defend Gore, and insist that he believed that he was soliciting so-called “soft money” for the DNC’s television advertising campaign.
Soft money, which can be given in unlimited amounts but which must be used for generic party building, does not fall under the prohibition against soliciting contributions from government offices, Reno has said.
“Vice President Gore understood his calls were about raising soft money,” said White House special counsel Lanny Davis.
By David Hess
WASHINGTON — A chastened Senate voted emphatically Wednesday to undo a $50 billion tobacco-industry break thai had been slipped into the tax-cut bill signed into law just last month.
Voting 95-3 to repeal the provision, senators rather contritely agreed to an amendment that unraveled what sponsor Richard Durbin, D-Ill., called “a sweetheart deal” for the industry.
But the repeal was nearly derailed by an amendment from Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., who tried — and nearly succeeded — in limiting the fees that can be collected by attorneys hired by the states to press damage claims against the tobacco industry.
Sessions argued that the legal fees could amount to billions of dollars and are “too generous, too much of a windfall, and cannot be defended.”
Durbin and his allies defeated the Sessions amendment on a 50-48 vote by arguing that it would put states at a big financial disadvantage in their long and expensive legal jousting with the tobacco industry.
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by old rules.” A similar repealing provision in the House, sponsored by Rep. Nita Lowey, D-N.Y., faces formidable opposition from House leaders, who view it as a violation of the tax-and-budget agreement reached between congressional Republicans and President Clinton in late July. And it’s not at all clear whether leaders will permit a definitive vote on it in the House. If not, Lowey said she will pursue the issue in a conference committee.
House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., has defended the tax break as fully warranted and insisted that White House negotiators knew it was in the final version of the tax bill before signing off on it.
Since then, however, Clinton has repudiated the tax break.
Under a major settlement forged last June between the industry and 39 states and Puerto Rico, the tobacco companies agreed to pay the states about $368 billion over 25 years to compensate them for the Medicaid money they spend to treat smoking victims.
When the tax-and-budget package emerged for votes in the House and Senate, it contained a provision permitting the tobacco companies to credit the money paid under a new 15-cent hike in federal tobacco taxes against the $368 billion going to the states. That tax break was estimated to reduce the industry’s total liability by about $50 billion. And it was incorporated in the tax bill without notice, hearings, or warning.
Insurer considers not paying Clinton bill
One day after State Farm Insurance told President Clinton it would no longer foot his legal bills in the Paula Jones case, a second insurer was considering whether to follow suit.
A decision by Chubb Group Insurance to withdraw would leave the president personally liable for mounting legal costs in the 3-year-old sexual harassment lawsuit.
The two insurance companies, from whom Clinton bought coverage several years ago, have already paid $1.5 million in legal bills for the president. A source at Chubb told The Associated Press Wednesday that the company was analyzing the president’s indemnity coverage and would decide next week whether it would continue.
Clinton nominee foresees overhaul in Social Security
Jenny McCarthy is beyond Phase I: Sexy Jenny. Phase ll: Gross Out Jenny is winding down. Prepare for Phase III: Forever Jenny. For more on her transformation from MTV to NBC, see SHOWCASE SUNDAY
Homeowners are creating special spaces for their computers. Read more in Sunday’s HOME IMPROVEMENT SECTION
By Alice Ann Love
WASHINGTON - If he gets the job, President Clinton’s choice to head Social Security said he expects to preside over a major overhaul of the nation’s retirement program.
Kenneth S. Apfel, now a White House budget expert, said the president has a “deep desire” to find a solution to the financial crunch Social Security will face when baby boomers retire.
“We are starting a major debate in this country,” said Apfel at his confirmation hearing before the Senate Finance Committee Wednesday.
Apfel said Clinton has not yet worked out how he would fix Social Security, which by 2012 will have to pay out more in retirement, disability and survivor benefits than it collects in payroll taxes.
But he said White House aides, including chief of staff Erskine Bowles, are meeting with key members of Congress about getting started.
“Step one is working with this committee and with the (congressional) leadership on a process,” Apfel said, mentioning as one possibility a bipartisan commission to develop and unveil a plan.
"Really, to do anything significant, it’s going to have to
be on a bipartisan basis,” cautioned Finance Committee Chairman William Roth, R-Del., whose spokeswoman said he has not yet been consulted by the White House.
Sen. Phil Gramm, R-Texas, pressed Apfel to open the process even wider, making Social Security data about American retirement habits available to academics, think tanks, and the general public “so that we can get the best minds working on this.”
Apfel is associate director of human resources at the White House Office of Management and Budget.
He was a key Senate aide the last time Congress tinkered with Social Security, in 1983.
The 48-year-old noted that he and his wife are baby boomers with aging parents and young children.
“I know and understand the importance of Social Security to the fabric of our society,” he said.
Apfel would replace Shirley S. Chafer, who resigned as Social Security commissioner Jan. 31, after complaints from Capitol Hill that she didn’t take impending financial problems seriously enough.
John J. Callahan has been acting commissioner since.
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■ LEXINGTON, Va. - The father of a female cadet suspended from Virginia Military Institute said Wednesday the school was supportive and dealt appropriately with his daughter after she punched an upperclassman.
"They were extremely fair and very professional,” said Pete Garza, an Army Chief Warrant Officer at Fort Belvoir, whose 18-year-old daughter was suspended Tuesday for two semesters.
■ COLUMBUS, Ohio A Georgia-Pacific Corp. plant blew up while chemicals were being mixed to make glue Wednesday. One worker was missing and presumed dead, and nine other people were hurt.
■ WASHINGTON Proclaiming himself eager for trial, former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy pleaded innocent Wednesday to criminal charges of accept ing $35,000 in sports tickets, travel and lodging from companies regulated by the Agriculture Department.
— State Journal wire service
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