The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, October 23, 1987, Image 3
Friday, October 23, 1987/The Battalion/Page 3
State and Local
ari-mutuel betting generates
Opposition from Brazos group
By Lee Schexnaider
he race to the betting windows
mal' begin if Texans approve refer-
cnaum No. 2 on Nov. 3 that will al
low! ihem to vote on local pari-mu-
But in a press conference Thurs-
i| the Brazos County chapter of
‘elans Who Care voiced its opposi
te the referendum.
(ari-mutuel is a system of betting
reby the winning money is di-
d proportionally according to
;ers minus percentages for track
Rations and taxes. The referen-
i, if passed, will give counties the
ion of approving pari-mutuel
bling within their jurisdictions.
,e 58 of Texas’ 254 counties will
Is that additional option already
in [their ballots, but Brazos county
Ir a prepared statement Merrill
'NCrjen, co-chairman of the organiza-
on and head football coach at
D It 1 Han High School, voiced his oppo-
r OYTETS Act tion to the referendum.
me believe pari-mutuel gambling
is not good for our families, our cit
ies, our county and our state,” he
said.“Texas does not need to go into
the gambling business.
“For the state to receive any reve
nue, the citizens must lose.”
He noted several reasons against
gambling in Texas. He said it is the
role of government to protect its
people, not fleece them. He also said
gambling would increase crime in
the state and would not produce any
sizeable state revenues.
Ken Campbell, information direc
tor for the Texas Horseracing Asso
ciation, said his organization sees
definite advantages of pari-mutuel
gambling to the state. He said in a
telephone interview that his associa
tion supports the referendum for
the horse industry.
Campbell said horse racing would
create a new industry in Texas, pro
ducing employment and tax reve
nues. He said if there was a problem
with revenues from racing, states
that have pari-mutuel gambling
would be trying to repeal it.
He also said he believes moral rea
sons are primarily behind efforts
against the referendum.
Richard Blankenship, northeast
Texas coordinator for Texans Who
Care, said in a telephone interview
that a large amount of the group’s
support comes from churches.
Green said religous organizations
are important in the cause.
“Major portions of it will be done
through our local churches and we
hope also to promote as much as
possible through our civic associa
tions,” Green said.
Dick Maples, pastor of the First
Baptist Church of Bryan, said a low
voter turnout would have an effect
on the election.
“I think it would be in our favor
or advantage to have a low turnout,”
Blankenship said that he agrees
that low voter turnout could help the
organization’s cause. Campbell said
that a low or high voter turnout
would not hurt his organization’s ef
Both Blankenship and Campbell
said their organizations will promote
their individual causes through tele
vision, newspaper ads and telephone
Green said he was worried that
the state’s financial condition might
have an effect on the vote.
“My concern, and I think it is the
concern of many people, is that dur
ing down times, economically, peo
ple tend to be more susceptible to
the quick fix,” Green said. “I have a
great concern that people who
otherwise would not be at all recep
tive to this may find this might be
some kind of answer.
“I think there are many better
ways we can solve our economic
ird Austin EMS employee arrested
n drug charges; testing considered
10I on campus
iis point. Wehad
Fhey had theirs
n their affairs.
but its timing an!
to be desired I t
sentatives of the
iding up for
JUSTIN (AP) — A third Austin Emergency
jelical Services employee has been arrested this
eek on drug charges, and the city’s EMS direc-
irlsaid he will look into whether mandatory
rug testing should be implemented at the
■ he latest arrest means EMS workers must “go
ujjand win back the trust and confidence” of the
tiblic, EMS Director Bill Stockton said.
■oliceon Wednesday said they had arrested an
MS supervisor and his wife after seizing 3
ounds of marijuana from their home near Lake
ravis.The arrests came a day after two EMS
pnicians were charged with selling drugs to an
undercover police officer.
Ifolice said the arrests culminated a six-week
investigation by narcotics officers into allegations
of drug abuse among EMS employees.
Charged in the latest arrest with felony posses
sion of marijuana were Robert T. Hardy, 31, and
Carol Williams Hardy, 25, police said. Hardy has
been an employee of Travis County for 13 years,
and for the past nine years has served as an EMS
supervisor. His wife is a clerk in City Manager
Jorge Carrasco’s office.
At present, EMS employees can be tested for
drug use if supervisors or administrators notice a
decline in job performance or an excessive use of
sick time, Stockton said.
The employees who were arrested never
showed any signs of diminished job performance
or missed an unusual amount of work, he said.
“There is no change in our policy being con
templated, but this gives me pause to review the
need” for such a change, Stockton said.
Stockton said he still has reservations about the
accuracy of drug testing and concerns about indi
vidual privacy rights. He said the validity and
costs of mandatory drug tests must be weighed
against a person’s right to privacy before he will
consider implementing such a step.
“I’m saddened for the (other) employees who
are clean as a hound’s tooth,” Stockton said.
“They are now burdened somewhat with a tar
nished image, which they did nothing to bring
Senator says youths
get lax punishment
for their criminal acts
AUSTIN (AP) —- Texas juve
nile delinquents are not held ac
countable for their violent crimes,
said state Sen. Bill Sarpalius, who
Thursday touted a conference to
examine the issue.
“In Texas, a kid who commits
rape or murder or beats up a se
nior citizen . . . their average stay
in (a Texas Youth Commission
facility) is 7 months,” Sarpalius,
D-Amarillo, said at a news confer
ence to announce the agenda of
the 1987 Southern Legislators
Conference on Children and
Sarpalius is chairman of the
conference, which is scheduled
Nov. 15-18 in San Antonio.
Juveniles commit about one-
third of all serious crimes, Sarpa
He said 16-year-old boys com
mit more crimes at a higher rate
than any other single age.
“Kids are not stupid,” Sarpa
lius said. “They know that if they
commit murder or rape or some
thing like that, the punishment is
very lax as compared to an adult.”
The sealing of juveniles’ crimi
nal records also makes them less
accountable, he said.
Besides making juveniles ac
countable for their crimes, Sarpa
lius said, it is important for Texas
to focus on students to prevent
them f rom dropping out and per
haps turning to crime.
“It’s a whole lot cheaper to the
taxpayers to invest your money in
that kid in the second and third
grade, and make sure they stay in
school . . . than it is to build more
prisons,” he said.
The Texas high school drop
out rate is reported at 33 percent,
Sweeping state education re
forms enacted in 1984 are not ad
dressing the whole problem, he
“I told (lawmakers in 1984) this
was a great bill for preparing kids
for college, but I said we failed on
addressing the borderline stu
dent,” he said.
Rep. Anne Cooper, a San Mar
cos Republican who is on the
Texas advisory committee for the
conference, said the state partic
ularly needs to address the 50
percent Hispanic dropout rate.
“We are predicting that in the
year 2010 or 2015, the majority
of Texans will be from the mi
nority,” Cooper said.
“Somebody’s going to have to
take care of this state in the 21st
century, and it’s our responsibil-
“Kids are not stupid.
They know that if they
commit murder or rape
or something like that,
the punishment is very
lax as compared to an
— Sen. Bill Sarpalius,
ity to provide the opportunities
for them so they have the capabil
ity of doing it,” she said.
Sarpalius said the legislators’
conference “gives Texas the op
portunity, the members of the
Legislature, to finally address
many of these problems that we
face in our state of dealing with
After last year’s conference in
Tennessee, the legislature there
passed more than 20 juvenile-re
lated bills, compared to three that
were passed in the session before
the conference, he said.
Topics to be discussed at con
ference workshops include juve
nile justice, education reform, in
fants with acquired immune
deficiency syndrome, child sup
port collection, Medicaid en
hancements, substance abuse and
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