New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 31, 1985, New Braunfels, Texas
8A New Braunfels \\eia\6-Zeitung Sunday March 31,1985Texas guardsmen hit Honduras for training
AUSTIN (AP) — About 280 Texas National Guard troops safely arrived in Honduras Saturday to find peaceful conditions but scorching temperatures for their planned training exercise, an official said.
Another 170 guard members were scheduled to leave Kelly Air Force Base shortly before 6 a.m. Sunday and join the first group at a base camp near Choluteca, Honduras, about 55 miles south of the capital, guard spokesman Maj. David Cottom said Saturday.
“All troops arrived safely. There are no security or safety problems,” Cottom said. The troops departed Kelly AFB before dawn Saturday and arrived in Honduras about 8 a.m., he said.
They transferred to C-130 transport planes after landing northwest of the capital, Tegucigalpa, and flew to San Lorenzo, where they traveled overland in trucks to the base camp, Cottom said.
The report of their arrival came from Lt. Col. Frederico Lopez of Harlingen, commander of the Texas Task Force for the exercise, Cottom said from his Austin office.
The Big Pine III war exercises, conducted by U.S. Army and Honduran troops, are scheduled to begin April 8 and last about a week.
Meanwhile, Gov. Mark White’s office has refused to confirm or deny a report that the governor will be traveling to that Central American nation.
Ann Arnold, White’s spokeswoman, said Friday that White “has asked for a full briefing on the situation from the adjutant general and federal officials about whether there is any reason to suspend the National Guard’s participation in the exercises.”
State officials contacted the U.S. Embassy in Tegucigalpa on Friday and were told “there is no security problem” in the country at this time, Ms. Arnold said.
But on Saturday, government prosecutors filed treason charges against the five new Supreme Court judges installed by Congress in its political dispute with Honduras President Roberto Suazo Cordova.
The legislature Friday dismissed five of the nine Supreme Court judges for alleged
corruption and appointed replacements. It named Ramon Valladares Soto, a former interior minister, to head the new court.
Hours later, police arrested Valladares Soto and jailed him. They also tried to arrest the four other new justices, but relatives said the men had fled into hiding.
A military spokesman told The Associated Press on Friday that Suazo Cordova had ordered the arrests. The presidential press office denied that report Saturday.
The power struggle over control of the high court, which had been solidly behind Suazo Cordova, is the latest in a growing confrontation between the president and Congress.
A military spokesman, who spoke with the
condition he not be identified, said the president ordered all military leaves canceled and soldiers to remain in their barracks. The armed forces appear to have remained neutral in the rift, although Suazo Cordova has publicly claimed their support.
When the Texas guard earlier this year announced its Honduran mission, White said he wouldn’t allow the guardsmen to go unless he was confident they would be safe.
“Col. Ixipez reports that the civilian populace (in the area) is very calm,” Cottom said Saturday. “All of the internal political squabbling is confined to the capital.”
The capital is a three-and-a-half hour trip by land from the base camp, Cottom said.
Wrong man serving time for robbery
DALLAS (AP) — A man has testified that he held up a suburban fast food restaurant in 1979 — a crime for which another man is now serving a 50-year prison term.
Robert Earl Wilkie, who told a special magistrate Friday that he robbed the restaurant, said he kept silent about his involvement until recently because he was afraid he would be prosecuted.
Wilkie’s attorney, Robert Boyd-ston, noted that the five-year statute of limitations on the robbery has expired.
Stephen Lynn Russell, 32, was convicted of robbing a Long John
Silver’s restaurant in suburban Garland on Sept. 20, 1979 despite testimony that he was with his mother applying for a bank loan when the robbery took place.
Russell has served two other prison terms for burglary and possession of marijuana.
Chris Reeves, who was the restaurant’s manager at the time of the robbery, testified that four eyewitnesses were led to believe that “we were there to do the police department a favor and get rid of this person” at Russell’s trial in March 1980.
Reeves told special magistrate
Fred McDaniel that his now “99 percent” certain that Earl Wilkie was the bandit.
The hearing concerned an application by Russell’s attorneys to grant a new trial on grounds that prosecutors violated Russell’s constitutional rights by suppressing evidence that might have acquitted him.
But the former lead prosecutor in the case, Brad I/ollar, testified that he did not withhold any information from Russell’s defense.
Reeves said he picked a picture of Wilkie from a photograph lineup but changed his identification because he
believed Garland police were dissatisfied with his choice.
The former manager also said he identified Russell during the trial after a man whom he thought was a Dallas County district attorney’s investigator told him Russell had an extensive criminal history and had attempted to enter into a plea bargain on the robbery charge.
McDaniel said he will make recommendations to State District Judge Gary Stephens about the request for a new trial. Stephens will then refer the request to the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals, McDaniel said.
Jurors apologize for lenient sentence
DALLAS (AP) — Eleven of the 12 jurors who convicted parolee Kevin Donald Long of a misdemeanor homicide have apologized to the victim’s family for being too lenient and compromising on a sentence that carries no prison sentence.
“We are insulted, we feel violated, and we are very humiliated and emotionally and mentally exhausted,” the ll jurors said in a statement released Friday during an
unusual meeting with state District Judge I^arry Baraka.
“We would like to make public this statement and apologize, from the depths of our being, for our ignorance of the law, especially to Jill (Fisher’s) family.”
Ms. Fisher, a 22-year-old topless dancer and ling's girlfriend, was shot to death at her Dallas apartment last November during what Long said was a struggle for a gun.
I,ong was charged with murder, a felony carrying a maximum sentence of life in prison.
The jurors said they had wanted to convict Long of felony manslaughter but compromised to appease a 12th juror — the wife of a Dallas defense attorney — who insisted that he be acquitted.
The jurors, who all asked not to be identified, said that after almost IO hours of deliberations over two days.
they finally settled on the lesser charge of criminally negligent homicide to satisfy the 12th juror and avoid a mistrial.
But in their statement, the ll said they would not have changed the charge if they had known it was a misdemeanor with a light penalty.
They said the 12th juror had an unfair advantage because she knew more about the law.
One person dies in hovercraft crash
DOVER, England (AP) — A hovercraft carrying nearly 400 people crashed into a Dover pier while trying to dock in rough seas Saturday and one person was killed, three were missing and 32 were injured.
A flotilla of small craft surrounded the damaged vessel. The Princess Margaret, and plucked dozens of survivors from the choppy waters. Others were removed from the hovercraft in lifeboats.
Two of the injured were in critical condition, including a man placed on a life support machine in Dover’s William Harvey Hospital, police said. He suffered water inhalation and hypothermia. Most of the others injured had cuts and bruises and were taken to Buckland Hospital, where a “major alert" had been declared.
Police said two of the missing passengers were French teen-agers — a girl traveling with her family and a boy who was among a group of 40 students from Paris. They said they had no information about the third person missing.
The Princess Margaret, carrying 370 passengers and 17 crewmembers, was maneuvering in gale force winds into Dover harbor at the end of a 40-
minute English Channel crossing from the French port of Calais when the accident happened.
“This giant wave, 20-foot high, crashed against the vessel,” a passenger, Lt. Col. Tom Fraser said in a television interview.
Fraser said most of the passengers swept overboard were in three rows of seats that collapsed from the impact. He and a companion, Maj. John Graziano, hurled lifebelts to the victims, he added. The nationalities of Fraser and Graziano were not immediately known, but it was believed they might be Americans.
It was the first major accident involving a British hovercraft since the vessels began plying the channel 18 years ago, said Peter Yerbury, technical director of Hoverspeed, owner of The Princess Margaret.
Hovercrafts are amphibious vessels that travel on a cushion of air provided by a downward jet. The official name is Air Cushion Vehicle.
The eight-year-old vessel, largest in the Hoverspeed fleet with a capacity of 424 passengers, is named after Queen Elizabeth II’s younger sister. It was towed to the hovercraft pad in Dover harbor. Officials said there was no danger of it sinking.
Investigators probe crash of Canadian planes
EDMONTON, Alberta I AP) - The American and Canadian pilots of two C-130 military transports that collided and crashed in flames, killing all IO men aboard, were “very experienced,” Canadian Forces Col. Peter DeTracey said Satuday.
DeTracey is commander of the Canadian Forces Namao air base on the northern outskirts of Edmonton where the crash occurred Friday as the C-130 Hercules were flying in formation in an anniversary celebration of the Canadian air force.
Witnesses said the four-engme planes were going into a turn and touched wings while flying at an altitude of about 900 feet and crashed onto the air base.
One smashed into a military
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warehouse and exploded into flames, while the other struck the ground at the end of a runway, narrowly missing a fuel storage dump.
“Fortunately, the wind blew the flames away from the fuel storage area,” said DeTracey.
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Aged[ sick attend Lenten mass in Mexico
SAN NICOLAS, Mexico (AP) -They arrived on stretchers, rolled in on wheelchairs or ambled slowly on crutches.
Hundreds of sick and handicapped people — children, young adults, but mostly the aged — came to a small Catholic church in this Monterrey suburb late Friday afternoon for a special lenten Mass.
They sang, prayed and cried.
A teen-age Boy Scout, one of many community servants who came to help, used the green and red kerchief of his uniform to dry his eyes as Archbishop Emeritus Jose de Jesus Tirado y Pedraza, himself suffering, made a slow, painstaking journey up the aisle to present the sermon.
Two dozen nurses and Boy Scouts mingled among the wheelchairs and the cots — where the sickest people layed — serving water and checking blood pressures.
A gold and red banner carrying the message “Fortunate are those
that sutler” hung over the alter. Below it had been placed a pair of crutches, a cane and a leg brace.
The third annual “Journey of Pain," sponsored by the city and local business and social organizations, brought nearly 1,000 people to the Holy Ghost Temple. The healthy listened from outside or stood in the aisles of the crowded church as Tirado y Pedraza delivered his sermon from a chair at the alter.
He spoke of pain and suffering, telling the worshippers that Christ suffered from the first moment in his life to the day he died.
Why accept pain9” he asked. “Because the Lord sent it."
It was a special time for many bedridden worshipers, said the Rev. Jose Angel Blanco. Most, because of severe illnesses, are unable to attend church regularly.
The Faster season is especially important in this country' where more than 92 percent of the population is Catholic.
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