New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 23, 1983, New Braunfels, Texas
Wednesday, March 23,1983 BA
Radioactive spill not reported to state
WEBSTER (AP) — An industrial accident that contaminated at least two workers with radiation at a plant here was revealed by an employee but not reported by the company, a state health official says.
The Texas Bureau of Radiation Control Monday suspended the license of Gulf Nuclear Inc. for its plant about 30 miles southeast of Houston, according to Richard Ratliff, director of the bureau's compliance and inspection division.
Ratliff said Gulf Nuclear, which manufactures radioactive substances used primarily by the oil industry, did not notify the state agency about the spill, as is required by state regulation.
A Gulf Nuclear official denied the accusation.
"We feel this is serious due to the fact we were not notified of the accident when it happened and the fact that employees were not analyzed to determine if they had been exposed to radioactive materials," Ratliff said.
Ratliff said Tuesday the license will remain suspended pending an investigation of the plant's operations.
Ratliff said two Gulf employees were injured when a stainless-steel capsule containing Americium 241 was ruptured by a lathe, exposing its radioactive contents. The Feb. 8 accident was reported three weeks later, he said.
Jay Banks, assistant to the president of Gulf Nuclear, said that the company’s safety procedures were adequate and that employees reacted properly. Banks would
not say whether the company will challenge the suspension.
Banks denied that the company failed to report the accident, and said the agency’s report of the incident's seriousness was "inaccurate."
“Gulf Nuclear believes its operating procedures to be adequate to safeguard the public and its employees from potentially dangerous levels of exposure to radioactive materials," the firm said in a statement.
Five people were in the room at the time of the accident, Ratliff said, and two were later sent in to cleanup the spill.
Banks said Americium 241 is a low-level radioactive material that, when encased in capsules, is used to determine the characteristics of oil wells.
SEDCO, gulf businesses settle for fraction of spill damage
HOUSTON (AP) - SEDCO Inc., manufacturer of the offshore drilling rig that blew out in the Gulf of Mexico in 1979, will pay Texas coastal businesses less than I percent of the damages they had sought to recover from history’s worst oil spill.
U.S. District Judge Robert O'Conor gave preliminary approval Tuesday to a settlement under which SEDCO, the Dallas drilling company founded by former Gov. Bill Clements, would pay businesses more than $2.1 million for damages stemming from the Ixtoc I oil spill.
Shrimpers, fishermen, motel and hotel owners and holders of other private interests had asked for $350 million in four class action suits arising from the 1979 spill that fouled Texas beaches, said Theodore Dimitry, attorney for SEDCO.
‘‘When a publically held company has $350 million in claims against it, there is some in
clination to get rid of those claims," Dimitry said in explaining why SEDCO settled out of court with the businesses.
Sidney Ravkind, a Houston attorney who represented a group of South Padre Island tourist businesses, had admitted "the actual damages of our clients would be very difficult to prove.”
The claims alleged lost revenues from tourist income and from harm done to the fishing industry.
O’Conor set a June 9 hearing to determine how to divide the settlement.
SEDCO’s written statement said the company denies fault and legal liability.
SEDCO settled with the federal government March 2, agreeing to pay $2 million to settle all claims. The government had asked for $12.5 million for the cleanup and an unspecified amount for damage to natural resources.
Volunteers patrol county after deputies fired
COLDSPRING (AP) The San Jacinto County sheriff's office has been run almost exclusively by volunteers since the former sheriff resigned last week, admitting he tortured prisoners and searched passersby for drugs without cause, officials said.
County Judge Kent Morrison said Tuesday he had sworn in 12 reserve officers Monday night to take the place of the previous staff, which new Sheriff Robert E Brumley fired Friday.
Morrison said Brumley asked for the resignations of the previous staff immediately after being appointed to fill out the term of James C. Humpy" Parker. Parker pleaded guilty to two counts of federal civil rights violations and one count of extortion Friday.
Brumley, 50, said his house cleaning was aimed at
removing "all shadow of doubt that has hung over this office" during the investigation of Parker.
But Brumley said he did not mean to imply that the former staff was involved in criminal activity. He said he just wanted to hire “all my own officers."
Brumley retained one deputy in the warrant division and hired a full-time secretary, Morrison said. Otherwise, the department will be staffed by the reserve deputies, who volunteer 16 hours a month as patrol officers.
Brumley, a former Houston police detective and two-term mayor of this community, took over the post after Parker, 47, admitted operating a • marijuana trap” on heavily traveled U.S. Highwa> 59, as well as subjecting jail inmates to water torture to gain confessions and testimony.
Criminal charges said Parker’s deputies were ordered to stop “hippies," blacks, and people whose cars bore bumper stickers advertising a rock radio station in Houston.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Thomas Scott Woodward said sheriff’s officers believed there was ‘‘some connection between people traveling to those points and people carrying drugs.”
The charges also said deputies often strip-searched men and women stopped in the trap on U.S. 59. about 70 miles northeast of Houston.
Figures from the Texas Department of Public Safety showed 1,124 drug-related arrests were made in 1981 in San Jacinto County, which has a population of about 10,000.
'Bathtub' suspect has alibi for Miami rapes
HOUSTON (APi — Florida police have determined that a man charged in the murder of Elizabeth Faubus, the estranged wife of former Arkansas Gov. Orval Faubus, could not have committed six 1981 rapes rn Miami because he was in jail
Metro-Dade County Detective Jim Baab said investigators from his office questioned David Scott Helfond March IO, the day after he was arrested in Mrs. Faubus’ slaying. He said Helfond was jailed in
Medical people face grand jury in S.A. deaths
SAN ANTONIO iAPi — Two "medical people" have testified more than 34 hours before a grand jury investigating a string of infant deaths at a San Antonio hospital, but a prosecutor refused to divulge any more information about the men.
"I won’t comment on where they work or where they’re from, but they’re not physicians," said Nick Rothc of the district attorney’s office, who is heading the investigation.
"They are medical people," he said.
The special Bexar County grand jury is investigating infant deaths at the pediatric intensive care unit of Medical Center Hospital from 1978 to early 1982.
Both men met with the panel behind closed doors Tuesday, but declined any comment.
District Attorney Sam Millsap will not say how many infant deaths are considered "suspicious.”
Rothe also remained tight-lipped, but said the two witnesses had "more details" Tuesday than investigators had expected.
He would not confirm if the witnesses were in a position to observe any possible wrongdoing at the pediatric intensive care unit.
"They have asked that I not say anything about them," he said.
A medical investigator from the Centers for Disease Control has started examining scores of infant medical records and interviewing some hospital personnel.
Dr. Greg Istre, who works rn the Oklahoma City office of the Atlanta-based federal agency, said his investigation will not be over "for several weeks.”
Millsap has declined to speculate how long his office’s probe might last. Rothe said the grand jury probably would not meet again for two weeks.
"I would rather wait and amass a significant amount of information,” he said. "The two-week cycle seems to be working.”
The district attorney’s office began its investigation Feb. 2.
A Kerr County grand jury, 50 miles to the northwest, is investigating the deaths of one infant and the serious illness of several others. The district attorneys in each county have signed a mutual assistance pact to share information about the investigations.
lake in . stock America.
Florida between May and October 1981, when the rapes occurred.
All of the six victims were single professional women who lived alone in the same Miami apartment complex. The similarities between the crimes and Mrs. Faubus’ slaying piqued their interest, detectives said.
Helfond, who lived in Miami before moving to Houston three months ago, is charged with capital murder in the March 3 strangulation of Mrs. Faubus,
one of three wealthy women found dead in bathtubs at their homes within a three-day period.
Helfond has pleaded innocent to the charge, and a pre-trial hearing has been set for April 15.
Mrs. Faubus, 44, had lived alone since her husband moved back to Arkansas a year ago and had filed for divorce.
Her nude and battered body was found immersed in a bloody bathtub of her fashionable home. I^ess than 72 hours earlier, the bodies of Bertie Eakens, 74, and Ruth Kottler, 61, were found in bathtubs
These Downtown Merchants
The j Cutty Staff
Benne Barb mare
Will be open until 7 PM every Thursday night for your convenience.
Largest Selection in New Braunfels Check over this complete listing of our inventory of great used cars and trucks. You'll find the car you want, at a price you'll find affordable at Krueger Chevrolet/Mazda.
USED CAMI ANO TRUCKS
1979 MAL CLASS 2 DR - BLUE
VS AT A/C PS PB
1982 CHEVY PU S*10 - GOLD $7,250
1980 MAZDA CLC H.B.-SILVER 2 DR. $3,825
1979 BUICK REGAL BEIGE VB - AT - AC
1981 VAN CONVERSION WHITE
1981 FORD SUPERCAB * WHITE $7,075
1980 CHEVY LUV 4 WD - 4 SPD
AC - RED - 18,000 MI
1981 CMC SIERRA GRANDE • GREY $1,950
1979 DIESEL PU BONANZA BROWN & TAN
1978 CHEVETTE 4 DR - BLUE AT - AC
1982 CITATION 4 DR BEIGE $6,795
1977 VW VAN BR0WN-AT
1979 TOYOTA COROLLA SR5
Lid Back 4 Cyl 5 Spd AC AM/FM Radio, Greatly Reduced
1978 CHEVY IMPALA SW MAROON - V8 -AT - AC
1977 OLDS CUTLASS AT & AIR
1981 PONTIAC LE MANS 4 DR $5,900
1980 CHEV. LUV PU 4SPD. AIR $3,950
1981 MAZDA GLO SW - SILVER £3*275 $4,975
1977 MALIBU CLASSIC 2 DR - YELLOW
1980 MONZA CPE 4 SPD - BROWN
1980 DODGE CHALLENGER TAN
1979 MAZDA GLC S.W.-GOLD-5 SPD.
49 972 MILES
1980 DODGE OMNI 4 DR AT
ANNOUNCING NEW LOWER FINANCE RATES FOR USED CARS & TRUCKS - ALL MODELS.
SATISFACTION VALUE SELECTIOI
1981 FORD ESCORT 5 SPD. AIR $4,450
1974 DODGE TRUCK UTILITY BED $1,550
1982 MAZDA PU BROWN - 5 SPD. $5,475
1978 PONTIAC LEMANS 4 DR - MAROON
1978 CHEVY NOVA
4 Door 6 AT. AC PS PB
1978 MAZDA GLC 2 DR * WHITE
1978 FORD FIESTA ORANGE $2,500
1981 CHEVY PU TAN - ‘6’ STAND. $5,950
1981 SUBARU SW WHITE DL
1981 BUICK SKYLARK . 2 DR - TAN N
1979 CHEV IMPALA SW
3 Seat Blue V8 AT AC RS PB Tilt Wh Luqqaqe Rack
SMW $3,950 H * SA,475
1980 CHEVETTE 2 DR - SILVER
1977 MONTE CARLO - BEIGE $2,595
1977 CHEVETTE 2 DR - RED
1979 MAL CLASS SW - BLUE $3,400
1979 CAMARO BERLINETTA BLUE
1977 CHEVY PU BROWN W/CAMPERI
V8 - AT -AC
1978 CHEVY %T. PU * BLUE - 4SPD. AC - PS j
1977 CHEVY P U BLUE W/CAMPER
1978 MONTE CARLO - BLACK $££90 $3,7501
1978 CAPRICE CLASSIC SW ESTATE
1981 MAZQA 626 4 DR AT - BLUE $6,600
1978 MUSTANG MACH I - BLUE $3,575
1982 S-10 TAHOE GOLD & WHITE $7,950
cuff poh ire
HOO W. San Antonio St. 625-3451
PICK OC/IF I AZC
POAT KOF ASKA HAKULY SCHULZ