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72 No. 28
Tuesday, October 10, 1978
College Station, Texas
News Dept. 845-2611
Business Dept. 845-2611
Motorists may be out to get
bicycle riders in Washington,
D.C., but legislation pending in
Congress would make sharing
the road with traffic at least $25
million easier. See page 7.
nmate kept alive
Jespite will to die
United Press International
HUNTSVILLE — Texas prison officials
b Monday convicted murderer David
l Powell would be force-fed or fed in-
venously if necessary to keep him alive
3 owell, 27, a former University of Texas
ior student, entered his 13th day of a
iger strike in an attempt to die of mal-
He hasn’t taken any nourishment,
as Department of Corrections spokes-
n Ron Taylor said. “His food is on a
te before his cell on death row.
He is being seen by medical personnel.
ien they decide something must be
,ie, it will be done. We will either force
dhim or feed him intravenously, what-
>r the medical personnel suggest,” he
Jpowell’s mother has confirmed that the
Id fast was initiated because her son
Ints to die
[And Powell’s deathwish has placed the
DC in the strange position of keeping a
Jin alive so that he can be killed,
i'l would say it’s ironic, ” said Taylor.
In Austin on Sept. 28, Powell was sen
tenced to die by lethal injection for the
May 18 shooting of officer Ralph Albenado
with a Russian-made machine gun. No
execution date was set.
Powell, who had pleaded innocent by
reason of insanity, had asked his attorneys
not to oppose the death penalty if he was
convicted of the murder. The attorneys
disregarded Powell’s request, however,
and argued unsuccessfully for their client
to be sentenced to life in prison rather
than to death.
During his trial, psychiatrists testified
Powell had tried to portray himself as a
Charles Manson-style leader and delved
deeply into drugs.
Powell was transfered Friday from Au
stin to the Texas Department of Correc
tions to await execution. Travis County
Sheriff Raymond Frank said Powell had
not eaten any solid food during the five
days prior to his transfer to Huntsville.
He still refuses to eat,” Taylor said.
He has had nothing at all. It’s been quite
PVo gravity in Columbus' day'
iMan claims earth is flat
« of 20 yard
United Press International
JlANCASTER, Calif. — Charles K.
■hnson swears he is on the level.
The president of the 1,500 member In-
fcmational Flat Earth Society spends his
ne trying to prove the world is “flat as a
One of the society’s super-heroes is
“Contrary to the history books, we claim
ilumbus proved the world flat,” said
At the time Columbus made his voyage
eryone believed the world was a ball —
Jjxcept for Columbus. He was not one of
)em. They were afraid they would fall off
edge of the earth because it was round.
I Columbus is one of our heroes because
ledidn t fall off— gravity wasn’t invented
pt Gravity was invented by a priest in
ngland, Johnson said. “There was no
avity in Columbus’ day.
Every year around Columbus day,”
hnson said, “there is a great con-
jyersy about the earth’s shape.
The average person believes the world
round because modem science says so,”
hnson said. ' But it’s just not true. Col
umbus did not fall off'so that proves it.”
Johnson’s Flat Earth Society boasts
1,500 members worldwide.
"Most live in the United States, but we
have many others in 167 countries. We
publish the Flat Earth Quarterly with the
objective to restore the world’s sanity,”
“We consider this the world’s most
superstitious age,” he said. “From integra
tion to going to the moon, the world is a
vast and complex place. We try to get
people to use their minds logically.”
But what about the space shots? Mil
lions remember live pictures from space
showing Earth spinning in the distance.
“The whole thing was a science fiction
TV movie, Johnson said. “We aren’t ac
cusing the government of anything. The
whole thing is a plot by Nazi-German sci
entists. They are the nucleus of the U.S.
Surprisingly, the flat earth concept is
usually met with polite interest, rather
than rudeness or hysteria.
"There is a lurking sanity in the Ameri
can public’s mind, no matter what the
American space program claims,” Johnson
said. “People don’t condemn us.”
Battalion photo by Lee Roy Leschper Jr.
These rolls of tar were sitting out by Heaton Hall. They will be melted
for the roof of Legett Hall, now being renovated.
Energy problems bug A&M, computer
By MARILYN FAULKENBERRY
As energy costs continue to climb
and availability dwindles, the Texas
A&M University System has been
forced to become more energy con
scious and has purchased a compu
ter to help.
The University’s goal for this year
is *° knock 10 percent from the
energy budget — about $1 million.
So the system is centralizing temp
erature control, removing light
nibs and trying to build new build
ings with more energy-efficient de
Many of the buildings on campus
were built when there was little
concern for saving energy and a lot
0 work is required to make them
ni° re e fficient. University Physical
Plant officials said.
Logan B. Council, director of the
ysical Plant Division of the Uni-
Ve *, s *y System Facilities Planning
30 Construction Department, said
io^ erVation e ff°ris were begun in
Most of the University’s efficiency
P r o lems are with air conditioning
l n an effort to consume less
e ’ iLe University bought a com-
P u erized control and management
ys er n in 1975. It is designed to
urn off cooling and heating systems
W Th are n °l needed.
ne system was “substantially
completed in 1978, but many prob-
e ms have kept the system from
ei ng put into full use, said Gerald
Scott, manager of engineering and
desgn for facilities. Problems in
clude equipment malfunctions and
difficulties in running programs,
Scott said. He said the system will
be in full use after the first of 1979,
and about 42 or 43 buildings will be
controlled by it.
“It’s like a shake-down cruise for a
ship,” Scott said. “There’s no doubt
it will save energy.” The computer
cost about $1.2 million and Scott es
timated it will take about three
years to pay for itself once it is in full
Scott said the computer cannot
control thermostats in individual
buildings. But it can monitor the
temperature in individual class
rooms in programmed buildings,
he said, to discover if complaints
that classrooms are too warm or too
cold are valid. Its main function,
however, is to start and stop sys
Physical Plant officials have faith
that their computer will increase ef
ficiency. But they say the real prob
lems lie in the invidual systems on
“Before we can have effective
energy control, we must improve
the systems themselves,” Scott said.
He cited the Oceanography and
Meteorology Building, Rudder
Tower and Zachry Engineering
Center as great energy users. He
said work will soon begin to rework
the cooling and heating systems in
those buildings to make them as
energy-efficient as their designs al
He said there are problems with
systems all over campus.
“We ll just have to take them one
at a time,” he said.
Council said since 1973 a consid
erable number of lights have been
disconnected in classrooms and
“People don’t realize the differ
ence,” he said. No areas are left
dark, he said, but “extra” lights have
been removed. He said fluorescent
lights and incandescent lights have
been repalced with multi-vapor
lights where they are “practical and
Multi-vapor lights are more effi
cient and emit a yellowish light that
is “kinder to the eye,” Council said.
The Physical Plant is also pushing
for more energy efficient designs in
new buildings. Skylights save light
and openable windows allow fresh
air to enter a building, a nice feature
if the days ever come when energy
is expensive enough to warrant
opening windows certain times of
the year, plant officials and ar
chitects on campus said.
But the Board of Regents and the
administration do not necessarily
follow the plant’s recommendations
and many of their decisions are
made contrary to opinions of ar
chitects and engineers, plant offi
Even if the University sends its
power to inefficient buildings, the
plant that generates that power is
quite efficient. A utilities official,
who prefers not to be identified,
said the University plant is about 43
percent efficient, compared to the
national average of 35 percent.
The University Utilities Plant
generates all of the power used on
campus. A 20-megawatt tie-in with
Brazos Electric Power Cooperative
prevents a major power outage in
case one of the generators on cam
pus goes out, he said.
The University plant bums only
natural gas and recycles waste heat
to increase efficiency, the official
said. He said in a few years the Uni
versity must decide whether to get a
new generator or buy some power
from outside sources.
“We’ve had more natural gas
available in the last few years than
we’ve ever had,” the official said.
He said as many consumers con
serve and move to cheaper fuel
sources gas becomes more abun
dant, even if at a higher price.
Physical Plant officials say they
don’t worry about a shortage of
natural gas in the near or even dis
tant future. He predicts that Texas
A&M will not convert to any other
fuel source for at least 20 years “and
probably longer than that.”
Scott said if conversion to any fuel
other than gas and oil ever does
happen, it will involve mass conver
sions all over campus and the
purchase of much new equipment.
Nor do Physical Plant officials say
Texas A&M will go back to the days
of open windows and classes
scheduled during the cool times of
“We don’t feel like we ll be faced
with such a shortage of primary fuels
that we’ll go back to the days of
pre-air conditioning,” Scott said.
“The new buildings just aren’t made
for it and again massive and costly
renovations would be involved to
open the windows.”
H e said that would be a step
backward and he thinks better al
ternatives will be available.
“Who can really say what will be
discovered or what technology will
come up with?” Scott asked.
But the University outlook for a
long time to come is to conserve —
and to be prepared to pay a pre
mium price for the convenience of
Land tax proposal
tabled by Bryan
By LYLE LOVETT
The Bryan City Council tabled a pro
posal from the city’s Board of Equalization
Monday that unsold developed lots be
taxed on raw land values rather than actual
Developers contend that improvements
are a service to the city and should not be
subjected to increased taxes.
Mayor Richard Smith said that under
present policy, land valuation goes up as
developers improve lots and pointed out
that land is to be taxed at fair market value
according to the state constitution.
Smith said the Internal Revenue Ser
vice considers unsold developed lots as in
ventory of developers. He suggested that
this inventory be taxed on the market
value of the land as a unit rather than on
the value of individual lots, as is the pre
sent system. Smith said his plan would re
sult in slightly lower property taxes for de
velopers, perhaps encouraging develop
ment within the city.
Council members said the Board of
Equalization’s plan also would encourage
development within Bryan. Smith agreed,
but spoke against the idea.
“H ow far do you go to encourage
growth?” he said. “What about the people
who are already here and didn't get that
deal? They (the tax office) should appraise
lots according to the state constitution.”
City Secretary Joe Evans said the ideas
discussed in Monday’s council meeting
would be presented to the tax office.
After the second and final reading of an
ordinance making appropriations for fiscal
year 1978-79, the council passed the $32.9
million budget. Last year’s budget totalled
$29.2 million. The council again held a
public hearing on the budget but, like the
Sept. 25 hearing, there was no comment
from the handful of residents present.
The council also voted to keep last year’s
property tax rate for the upcoming fiscal
year — 62 cents per $100 valuation at 80
percent appraised value.
In other action, the council adopted a
resolution to help pay for a railroad plan
ning study in conjunction with the City of
College Station and Brazos County.
The council also agreed to extend a con
tract with the Brazos Valley Community
Action Agency, providing the Neal Child
Development Center with appropriations
of $11,000 for next year. The building used
by the center is owned by the city. The
center pays $500 rent each month, leaving
it a net $5,000 for operation costs.
Bryan schools lose
$700,000 in taxes
By ROY BRAGG
In the last 40 years, the Bryan Indepen
dent School District has lost nearly
$700,000 in delinquent taxes and recent
figures show the amount of 1978 unpaid
taxes up from last year.
Glen Brewer, tax assessor-collector for
the district, told the school board Monday
night that uncollected taxes date back to
1939 and if records had been kept prior to
that year the figure probably would be
In 1939 the Texas Legislature negated
all delinquent taxes up to that time.
Brewer said that as of Aug. 31, delin
quent taxes for 1978 constitute 13.2 per
cent of the total taxes collected this year.
He said delinquent taxes equalled 10 per
cent of the total tax revenues in 1977.
He advised the board to adopt a definite
plan for collection of delinquent taxes be
fore the district begins its independent
collection program in mid-1979.
In past years, the City of Bryan has col
lected school taxes for the district.
School Board President Woody Hum
phries explained that the district’s method
of collection would be “fair, reasonable
The board also authorized Superinten
dent Wesley Summers to negotiate two
contracts concerning the leasing of two
The first contract is an extension of a
lease for part of Neal School with The
Brazos Valley Community Action Agency.
The BVCAA currently runs a day care
The other contract is a lease with the
Brazos Valley Development Council for
use of one classroom and two offices. The
rooms will be used by the Comprehensive
Employment and Training Act programs
of the BVDC. The CETA programs consist
of job training and instruction for the un
The board also registered its concern
over a proposed reclassification of member
schools by the University Interscholastic
League — the governing body for high
school arts and athletic competition. The
re-alignment would place Bryan High
School in a district with schools in Tyler,
Richardson, Temple, Killeen and Texar
kana. Another proposal the UIL is consid
ering would create a 5A conference with
Summers said that either district would
place Bryan at a disadvantage competi
tively because of the distance involved in
traveling. Summers also said students in
volved in district competition would have
to miss two days of class whenever travel
to Texarkana would be involved.
Board member Travis Bryan Jr., chair
man of the building committee, reported
that construction on additions to Bryan
High athletic and choir facilities are 90
The board authorized payment of
$55,000 to Jordan and Wood, contractors
for the additions. The board also au
thorized payment of $740 to architect
M.O. Lawrence for the project.
Davis murder trial
begins in Houston
United Press International
HOUSTON — Attorneys for T. Cullen
Davis attempted Monday to link his es
tranged wife through a series of loans and
financial transactions to a possible murder
plot aimed at the Fort Worth industrialist.
Davis faces trial on solicitation of capital
murder charges resulting from an alleged
conspiracy aimed at killing the judge pre
siding over his stormy divorce proceedings
with his wife, Priscilla.
The pre-trial action began developing
on a defense motion aimed at finding out
particulars in Mrs. Davis’ financial deal
ings during the last two years.
Richard “Racehorse” Haynes, one of the
Davis defense team lawyers, hammered
away at possible links Mrs. Davis might
have to FBI informant David McCrory.
The prosecution alleged in an earlier
hearing in Fort Worth — before the trial
was moved to Houston — that Davis paid
McCrory $25,000 to relay to a professional
killer for the death of Judge Joe Eidson.
The defense move was designed to dis
cover what possible evidence prosecutor
Jack Strickland of Fort Worth might have
to use in the trial which begins Oct. 16.
Strickland objected repeatedly to
Haynes’ approach and pleaded with State
District Judge Wallace “Pete” Moore to
curb the line of questioning.
“I don’t have a cast of characters in this
play. There’s no way I can pass judgment,”
the perplexed Moore said, as name after
name was brought up in the questioning.
“I have no basis for assumption. I don’t
know what he’s after. But this is the place
to do it in pre-trial,” Moore said.
The defense claimed the questions were
sparked by the Fort Worth testimony of
Pat Burleson, a man to whom Mrs. Davis
had loaned money on several occasions.
Before concluding his examination of
Mrs. Davis, Haynes asked her point-blank
if she had ever plotted to have her hus
“No, sir,” she replied.
Davis, who has been held in the Harris
County jail since late last month, con
ferred from time to time with defense
lawyer Phil Burleson of Dallas. His current
girlfriend, Karen Master, sat in the small
courtroom during the proceedings.
The pre-trial hearing began shortly be
fore 11 a.m. with a reading of the indict
ment against Davis and a question of
pleading from Moore.
“I plead not guilty,” Davis responded,
then returned to his seat.