The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, December 11, 1978, Image 1

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    The Battalion
Vol. 72 No. 69
12 Pages
Monday, December 11, 1978
College Station, Texas
News Dept. 845-2611
Business Dept. 845-2611
:Governor orders investigation
United Press International
ELLISVILLE, Miss. — An angry Gov.
Biff Finch ordering his own investigation
»to the deaths of 15 women at a state-
perated school for the mentally retarded
owed Sunday to “get to the bottom of this
This is not going to happen again,” said
inch, who toured the burned-out dormi-
or y at Ellisville State Sehool Saturday.
Night light at Texas A&M
With Aggieland weather turning colder, condensation forms over the
utilities plant and forms what appear to he low hanging clouds. I he
smokestack in the picture is a piece of Aggie lore. Close observers can see
the “hidden college” of Texas A&M. When Texas A&M became a univer
sity in 1967, the “college” was painted over, but it is still faintly visible.
Battalion photo by Pat O’Malley
The governor said he had ordered top
Highway Patrol investigators to enter the
case and “get a report back immediately.
Dr. Paul Gotten, the school’s adminis
trator, said state fire marshals had not yet
determined the cause of the fire. The
blaze was confined to a closet area of the
dormitory but the victims died from inhal
ing heavy smoke that engulfed the build
Praise but no pact
at Nobel ceremony
United Press International
OSLO, Norway — Israeli Prime Minis
ter Menachem Begin and an emissary of
Egyptian President Anwar Sadat Sunday
WUected Nobel Peace Prizes — the most
controversial ever awarded — for trying to
en d three decades of Middle East conflict.
But it was President Carter both men
Pjuised as the architect of peace in the
‘ladle East — an unfulfilled goal that
lr ed the Egyptian president and kept him
away from the ceremonies scarred by
ousands of pro-Palenstinian demon
Begin, who was hosting a luncheon
, lay before flying home for funeral serv-
l ^ es * or former Prime Minister Golda
‘ eir , said in his acceptance speech he will
exist 6 ^ arn P David peace treaty as it
Such a treaty can serve as the first in-
s pensible step toward a comprehensive
saief 6 ' n ° Ur re £i°n” the Israeli premier
Sa * n rernar ks read by assistant
truth” ^ lmec ^ Marei, said “a moment of
w 1 J las arrived in the negotiations and
^ le accor ds as they now stand
ou d crumble at the first blow” unless
e y provide for the security of Palesti-
j” 8 , ^ Israeli-occupied territory,
ha ^ een hoped the two nations, who
ou sht four wars since Israel’s birth in
j'. > could sign a pact in Oslo. But the
J> u f e over Palestinian security has
f a ed the talks and so angered Sadat he
Gained in Cairo to confer Sunday with
ecretary of State Cyrus Vance.
r o-Palesti nian protesters demon-
a cd against the decision to jointly
oevciai thousand demonstrators
marched in torchlight processions through
I 1 1 ID — 1 o P T'XV/A —
award Begin and Sadat the $163,000 prize.
Police arrested 10 persons who daubed
their faces with red paint and chained
themselves across a road leading to the
Akerhus Castle that overlooks the icy Oslo
marched in c
Oslo and nearby Bergen, the largest pro
tests ever massed against Nobel winners.
Sadat’s and Begin’s speeches warmly
praised Carter’s efforts to bring about a
settlement. ,, _, ,
“A man of the highest integrity, Sadat
called him. , , •
Begin said Carter “unforgettably in
vested unsparing efforts untiring energy
and great devotion in the peace-making
P 'Carter was not eligible for the 1978
prize because he was not nominated be
fore the Feb. 1 deadline. Begin and Sadat
were nominated after the Egyptian presi
dent visited Jerusalem last year and Begin
reciprocated with a visit to Ismaiha.
Other Nobel laureates — dominated by
Americans — were presented their dip
lomas in Stockholm, Sweden by King Call
Gustaf at a glittering ceremony
The included Isaac Bashevis Singer, the
American Yiddish-language author for lit
erature; Americans Daniel Nathans and
Hamilton O. Smith of Johns Hopkins Uni
versity and Swiss Dr. Werner Arber for
the trio’s discoveries in genetic medicine.
Others were economics laureate Her
bert A. Simon of Cargenie-Mellon Univer
sity; Soviet physics winner Piotr Kapitsa
and Americans Arno Penzias and Rob 61 ,!
Wilson of Bell Laboratories, and British
chemistry winner Peter Mitchell.
As the investigators examined the death
scene, patients and staff workers at the
school went ahead with their annual
Christmas program Sunday. Gotten said
about 50 patients and an estimated 300-
400 staff members and visitors took part in
the program which lasted several hours.
“I think you have to always consider the
living,” Gotten said. “They were looking
forward to giving the Chritmas program
and the other activities so there was no
reason not to. I think you can show respect
by continuing to live.
Gotten said three of the 15 women
killed in the predawn fire would be buried
on the school grounds Tuesday. A memo
rial service for all 15 victims is planned for
2 p.m. Tuesday.
He said many of the patients at the
school which houses many mentally re
tarded persons were uanware of or unable
to comprehend the tragedy, some believ
ing those who were killed had simply
“gone home for a visit.”
Gotten said there was no way to deter
mine if smoke detection devices and fire
alarms could have prevented the tragedy
at the dormitory which was scheduled for
renovation early next year.
He said plans included the installation
of fire and smoke detectors as part of a
900,000 repair program for several build
ings on the sprawling 2,500-acre campus.
I have been trying to improve the safety
standards of the dormitory and the other
buildings,” he said. “We feel we have
done well. We were doing the best we
could. I have no way of determining if the
patients could have been saved with the
detectors or alarms.”
The blaze was discovered by a nurses’
aide at the mental health facility about 2
a.m. Saturday. All of the victims of the fire
died from smoke inhalation and another 15
patients were hospitalized at nearby
Laurel for treatment of smoke inhalation.
New women s housing,
to he ready hy fall ’79
Battalion Beporter
Construction has begun on the new women’s residence hall across Houston
Street from Sbisa Dining Hall.
The dormitory will be built as two buildings and house 508 people, said Ron E.
Sasse, associate director of student affairs.
The building is of modular construction with individual rooms manufactured in
San Antonio by H.B. Zachry Co. The modules will be shipped to the campus,
where they will be placed in a steel superstructure like building blocks.
Each building will have a study lounge on the second, third and fourth floors,
and the first floor will have a television room, Sasse said. Each building will also
have a room with laundry facilities and vending machines, he said.
The dormitory is supposed to be completed for the fall semester. Sasse said, “It
seems to be on schedule.”
He said the renovation of Legett Hall will be finished for the fall semester. It
will house 192 women.
Howard L. Vestal, vice president for business affairs, said the only other dor
mitory the University is planning is a women’s athletic dormitory. He said it will
house 120 women and be built across from Sbisa next to the new women’s dorm.
Vestal said a housing feasibility study is being conducted at this time to deter
mine if more residence halls are needed and if funds can be raised to construct
Because no state money can be used to build dormitories. Vestal said revenue
bonds for construction must be paid by the rent students pay.
“Funding will be critical,” Vestal said, because the University must have suffi
cient money to support the bonds.
Just horsin’ around
Polo has had a checkered
career at Texas A&M Univer
sity. First played on campus
about 60 years ago, it died out
when the military horses were
taken away in 1943. See page 7.
More protests
expected in Iran
United Press International
TEHRAN, Iran — Shouting “victory is
close” thousands of Moslem demonstrators
spilled into Tehran’s streets today to turn a
centuries-old religious holiday into a mass
protest against the shah.
When the overnight curfew ended at
dawn, the demonstrators began to emerge
from side streets and marched toward
downtown Tehran where millions
gathered Sunday in a highly successful and
non-violent march.
Young girls in ankle-length black veils
and youths with dust in their hair — a sign
of deep mourning — carried flowing trian
gular flags in green, the Islamic color, in
red for the Moslem martyrs and in black
for general mourning for ancient Shiite
saints and anti-shah demonstrators killed
in recent clashes with the army.
“Victory is close,” many shouted. “We
have Allah’s blessings.”
Today’s activities include self-
flagellation rites climaxing Mohrram Shiite
Islam’s holiest time of mourning.
A Tehran clergy spokesman said tens of
thousands of devotees would gather at the
downtown residence of Ayatollah Sayed
Mahmoud Taleghani. “No one knows what
will happen after the protest,” he said.
The self-flagellation rites, although al
lowed by the military in a last-minute re
versal, “have been overshadowed by
people’s preoccupation with the political
fight,” the spokesman said, referring to
the year-old campaign to topple Shah
Mohammed Reza Pahlavi.
The violence resulting from that cam-
paign has meant hundreds of deaths and
paralysis of the economy and Iran’s vital oil
Sunday was the first full-scale public
denunciation of the United States and
Iran’s other western allies, carrying a har
rowing spell of anti-foreign feeling that
triggered the evacuation of Americans,
Europeans and other foreigners this week.
“Criminal Americans get lost,” read one
banner in English. “The American presi
dent should understand from this demon
stration that he is the most hated of all,”
said one slogan.
Placards said, “U.S. imperialists pull
out of Iran.”
The well-organized procession lasted
eight hours. Thousands of volunteers
wearing white armbands controlled the
flow of traffic greatly thinned as the entire
city shut down.
Troops maintained a low profile and
only a few kept vigil on rooftops of some
buildings. Army helicopters buzzed over
the heads of the demonstrators, who re
sponded by shaking their fists into the sky.
Military authorities blocked all access to
the shah’s palace and the capital’s post
northern quarter, which houses most
foreign residents, as a precaution against a
repetition of November attacks on foreig
ners and international hotels.
The peacefulness of Sunday’s march was
a relief to many, but as one political ob
server said, “The point is this peaceful
march contributes nothing to ending the
civil strife. If anything it gave the opposi
tion the chance to prove its organization.”
Evacuees weary.
hut safe in
United Press International
McGUIRE AFB, N.J. — Looking weary
from nearly 14 hours of air travel, the
largest group of American military depen
dents evacuated from Iran because of the
country’s recent unrest arrived back in the
United States Sunday.
The 183 people — mostly women and
children — stepped from a chartered
commercial TWA 707 jet onto the
windswept runway of McGuire Air Force
Base at 12:55 p.m.
Clutching personal belongings they
rushed for the shelter of the passenger
lounge to escape bitter 25 mph winds.
There, speaking to reporters, most said
they did not actually witness much of last
week’s rioting in the capital city of Tehran,
but heard gunshots and the chants of
Moslems at prayer on the city’s rooftops
when the daily 9 p.m. curfew began.
Mike Burkhalter, the 16-year-old son of
a U.S. Army sergeant who moved to Iran
two years ago from El Paso, Tex., said dis
like for Americans could be seen in “very
many ways.”
“We... got a note under our door which
gave us 30 days to get out or they’d kill
us,” he said. “Another time a soldier tried
to arrest me for spitting on the street.”
For Julie Feugate’s 4-year-old son,
Bobby the evacuation was nothing new.
Bobby, an orphan from Bac Lieu in
South Vietnam was one of the lucky chil
dren who escaped from the wreck of a C-5
military transport jet that crashed shortly
after takeoff from Saigon’s Tan Son Nhut
airport as the North Vietnamese closed in
on the city in April 1975.
Bobby, who was six months old at the
time, “doesn’t remember it. He’s doing
real well right now,” said Mrs. Feugate,
who is from Ozark, Mo.
She said her two daughters ages six and
seven were “getting very concerned, but I
don’t think it bothered Bobby as much.”
The group arrived from Athens where
they had been delivered Friday by one of
five C-141 military transport jets that had
been shuttling Americans out of Tehran.
One by one, as they cleared customs,
the dependents picked up their luggage
and boarded buses to take them to spend
the holidays with friends and relatives
around the country. Most wished that
husbands and fathers could have been
there with them..
Air Force officials said the 183 made up
the largest group of military families to re
turn to the United States so far.
Saturday night 70 other dependents ar
rived at Dover Air Force Base in Dela
ware. Three more jet loads were expected
at McGuire Sunday night, officials said.
Charter flight offered
to Aggies bowl-bound
Battalion Reporter
Thanks to the Aggie Club, Texas A&M
University football fans desiring to travel
to Birmingham for the Hall of Fame Bowl
might find their planning a little easier.
The Aggies will meet Iowa State Uni
versity in the bowl game Wednesday,
Dec. 20. The Aggie Club has chartered a
Braniff Airways flight leaving at 7:30 p.m.
Monday, Dec. 18, from Houston Intercon
tinental Airport.
About 1,130 seats are available on the
flight. The round-trip air fare is $180 first
class and $150 tourist. The trip is open to
all Aggie fans and reservations may be
made at the Aggie Club office near G. Rol-
lie White Coliseum. The return flight
leaves at 8 a.m. Thursday, Dec. 21.
Fans who need motel accomodations in
Birmingham may call the Birmingham
Convention and Visitors Center. The
number is (205) 252-9825. Rooms will be
available for fans at the Ramada Inn Medi
cal Center, where the Texas Aggie Band
will stay. The Association of Former Stu
dents will have an information table set up
Dec. 18-20 at the Sheraton Downtown,
where the team will be staying. A hospital
ity room will be open in the Sheraton
Mountain Brook for Aggie Fans 1-6 p.m.
Dec. 19-20.
A party honoring the Aggies and Iowa
State will be Tuesday night in the Birmin
gham Civic Center.
Tickets for the party, $10 each, are
available from the Association of Former
Students, the Aggie Club or at the infor
mation tables of each organization in Bir
mingham .
Tickets for the game will be mailed
Wednesday. Fans may call the Aggie Club
for prices.
The Battalion is 100 years old this
month, and the birthday party is at 2
p.m. Tuesday.
Readers are invited to The Battal
ion offices in Room 216, Reed
McDonald Building, to see how the
newspaper is produced.
The Battalion also will feature a,
special page in Tuesday’s edition
about the campus newspaper’s past
and present. Articles trace The Batt s
history and describe its current
computerized condition. Stories in
other sections of the Tuesday paper
will come from long-yellowed pages
of The Battalion.
Wednesday’s edition is the last
scheduled for this semester, so
Tuesday will be the last day of pro
duction for staffers. The next issues
of The Battalion will appear on Jan. 3
and 10.
Full five-day production will re
sume Monday, Jan. 15, with the be
ginning of spring semester classes.