The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, March 18, 1985, Image 8

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Funky Winkerbean
by Tom Batiuk Druse leader
prepares for
new fighting
byJeff MacNelly
how exacts
Damage in the millions
Twister causes fatalities
Associated Press
VENICE, Fla. — A tornado
roared through a residential area be
fore dawn Sunday, causing millions
of dollars in damage to dozens of
homes and businesses and killing at
least two people and injuring about
40 others, authorities said.
“We heard people screaming less
than a block away,” said resident
Russell Leblanc, 59.” “The devasta
tion is about total. It’s unbelievable.”
Damage is going to be in the mil
lions, Sarasota County Sheriffs Lt.
Bill Stookey told Associated Press
Radio. “We have approximately 24
homes totally destroyed, an additio
nal 85 to 90 homes affected, not to
mention businesses,” he said.
Authorities conducted house-to-
house and helicopter searches in the
area south of Venice, in southwes
tern Florida south of St. Petersburg,
for more possible victims, said Terry
Garrett, a Sarasota County sheriffs
An aerial view showed the tor
nado cut a narrow seven-block-long
swath, downing trees and power
lines and splintering houses.
Some houses had no walls left
standing. Debris floated in swim
ming pools and a nearby canal and
uprooted pine trees were scattered
like discarded Christmas trees.
Hardest hit was the Jacaranda
Shopping Plaza, where the roof
caved in, said Stookey.
He said two deaths had been con
firmed, including a man in a home
and a woman sleeping in a camper in
the shopping center parking lot. He
said 41 people had been injured.
Dozens of people in a half-mile
area around the shopping plaza
where the twister touched down at
about 4:30 a.m. were evacuated in
school buses and emeT gency vehicles
to a Red Cross shelter, Stookey said.
Bob Anderson, assistant director
of the Sarasota County Disaster Pre
paredness, said the twister was
spotted in two areas — the Venice
airport and the intracoastal water
way — before touching down at the
shopping center.
The area was cordoned off except
for recovery and rescue workers,
Stookey said.
The severe weather was part of a
series of strong thunderstorms that
developed along a cold front moving
across central and southern Florida,
said forecaster Paul Fike at the Na
tional Severe Storms Center in Kan
sas City, Mo.
Forecaster Chuck Eggleton in
Tampa said the tornado also was re
ported to have touched down in Fort
Ogden, about 30 miles east of Ven
In Fort Ogden the tornado caused
some damage to trees and power
lines, Fike said. “Damage was also re
ported to the roofs of three homes
with some windows blown out, but
no injuries are reported,” he said.
Stookey identified one of the dead
people as Jaqub Sieniawski, 66.
“His house was destroyed. The
roof caved in,” he said.
The name of the second victim, a
65-year-old Ohio woman, was being
withheld until relatives could be no
tified, Stookey said. He said the
woman’s husband suffered head
cuts and was taken to Venice Hospi
Close Senate vote predicted
on $1.5 billion MX missile plan
Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Both sides are predicting ex
tremely close votes this week when the Senate decides
whether to approve $1.5 billion to build and install 21
additional MX missiles that supporters say are needed
to strengthen the U.S. bargaining position in the arms
control talks in Geneva.
In the midst of heavy lobbying by opponents and
proponents, an Associated Press count shows 42 defi
nite or leaning votes both for and against the MX,
whose critics say it would never survive a first strike by
the Soviet intercontinental missile force. The House
also is scheduled for a similar vote.
One key indicator is to come today w hen the Repub
lican-controlled Senate Armed Services Committee
votes on the MX.
Committee chairman Barry Goldwater of Arizorta
said earlier this year that he has decided the flaws built
into the MX could never be corrected; and so he would
vote to kill it.
More recently, Goldwater has been echoing the ar
gument of the Reagan administration that denying
funding for the missile as the arms talks get under way
would encourage the Soviet Union to refuse any se
rious proposals for mutual reduction of the nuclear ar
senals held by both countries.
Goldwater’s final decision could influence several
wavering Republicans, including Daniel Evans of
Washington, Paula Hawkins of Florida and Gordon
Humphrey of New Hampshire, who is a member of the
armed services panel.
Les Aspin, chairman of the House Armed Services
Committee and a supporter of the plan to build 21 new
MX’s, estimated that the pro-MX forces are ahead in
the House, but that the undecided vote is so large “the
MX could lose.”
On NBC’s “Meet The Press,” Aspin said that even if
Reagan gets his new batch of missiles this time, Con
gress is unlikely to be so generous with a request for ad
ditional MX missiles expected later this year.
Associated Press
BEIRUT, Lebanon — Druse war
lord Walid Jumblatt vowed Sunday
to “wring the necks” of Christian mi
litia mutineers within President
Amin Cemayel’s Phalange Party and
urged his followers to rearm for a
possible new round in Lebanon’s
civil war.
State-run Beirut radio said Israeli
warplanes flew reconnaissance runs
over the northern fringes of Leb
anon’s Christian heartland, where
Syria moved troops and armor to
support Gemayel against insurgents
within his own community.
Police said government troops
fought a 15-minute shootout with
rebel Christian militiamen manning
a checkpoint at the mid-city museum
crossing between Beirut’s Moslem
and Christian sectors Sunday eve
ning. No casualties were reported.
Police said they had no word on
what set off the clash on the sixth
day of the rebellion led by Samir
Geagea, a pro-Israel militant whose
militiamen seized control of most of
the Christian hinterland north of
Beirut on Tuesday.
The rebels have complained that
Gemayel was giving too many con
cessions to the Moslems in Syrian-
mediated negotiations on political
reforms aimed at ending Lebanon’s
nearly lO-yetir civil war. They de
manded a militant stance and a rep
resentation in future talks.
Israeli officials in Jerusalem sig
naled that despite a longtime alli
ance with Lebanon’s Christians, Is
rael will not intervene to protect the
anti-Gemayel rebels against any Syr
ian crackdown.
The rebel command later said it
has no links with Israel, does not in
tend to overthrow Gemayel and
wants direct negotiations for a char
ter of Moslem-Christian “peaceful
coexistence” with Jumblatt and Na-
bih Berri, his Shiite Moslem ally.
Both Jumblatt and Berri, head of
Amal, the Shiite militia, are mem
bers of Lebanon’s national coalition
The announcement was made at a
news conference by Karim Pakra-
douni, one of eight “emergency
committee” members who serve as
the collective leadership of the rebel
Pakradouni said he was in tele
phone contact with Syrian Vice Pres
ident Abdul-Halim Khaddam and
that “the outcome of our talks is
In response to a question, he said
he did not expect Syrian troops to at
tack rebel-held areas.
Pakradouni said the rebellion’s
“uppermost objective” was the
speedy election of a “National Chris
tian Council” to serve as a parlia
ment for the Christian zone.
Earlier, Jumblatt accused the
Christian rebels of planning to parti
tion Lebanon into sectarian min
“We shall wring the necks of those
Christian pretenders,” he vowed at a
rally in his Chouf Mountain home
town of Moukhtara, southeast of
Beirut. “This is the only answer to
the new conspiracy. We shall rearm,
refortify and achieve victory.”
Jumblatt has accused Gemeyal of
reneging on pledges to introduce re
forms giving Moslems an equal share
of power with the Christians.
The Syrians reconciled the two
leaders four days before Geagea’s
revolt, which undercut Cemayel’s
image as the Christian side’s rep
resentative and imperiled Syria’s
peacemaking efforts.
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