The Battalion. (College Station, Tex.) 1893-current, November 17, 1987, Image 3

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    Tuesday, November 17, 1987/The Battalion/Page 3
State and Local
. \
Heavy storms add to damage
in East Texas, Gulf Coast areas
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PALESTINE (AP) — Heavy rains
land more storms hit East Texas and
jthe Gulf Coast Monday, stalling
Idean-up efforts and causing more
damage in the aftermath of more
^^than a dozen tornadoes that killed
10 people and injured more than
Brutal thunderstorms pounded
coastal areas Monday, killing a Tex
aco Inc. worker in Bay City, who fell
from a drilling rig when high winds
toppled it, Mike Cox of the Depart
ment of Public Safety said.
The National Weather Service’s
UHiSFort Worth office tracked the storm
r fn Sunday.
Buddy McIntyre of that office
ividt sa ‘d’ “Most of the time you see se
vere weather during the spring
months, April, May and June. But
there is a second peak in the fall.”
Damage from Sunday’s tornadoes
ate IT
was estimated in the millions of dol
lars, with Palestine City Manager
Warren Driver reporting damage of
$8 million to $12 million in that city
alone. “It could go as high as $15
million,” Driver said.
More than 200 residences in Pal
estine suffered tornado damage,
Driver said.
Gov. Bill Clements will visit Pales
tine and Jacksonville Tuesday, said
Reggie Bashur, the governor’s press
DPS spokesman David Wells said
at least 16 counties reported damage
from an estimated 20 tornadoes over
a two-day period.
In southeast Texas Monday
morning, winds ripped the roofs off
an elementary school in Santa Fe
and a Wal-Mart in Dickinson, but
authorities reported no injuries.
More than 80,000 Houston Lieht-
ing & Power Co. customers were
without service, mostly in an area be
tween Houston and Galveston,
spokesman Geri Konigsberg said.
At the utility’s South Texas Nu
clear Plant near Bay City, a guard’s
shack was blown over, and the guard
was checked at a hospital but was not
injured, Konigsberg said.
About 90 miles south of San Anto
nio, a twister cut a mile-long swath
through the western side of Beeville,
and an elderly woman was slightly
injured when her mobile home was
hit, Bee County Sheriffs Deputy
Ronnie Olivares said.
On Sunday, the storms killed nine
people in towns across East Texas
and injured more than 160.
In Palestine, a city of about
16,000, officials said 86 businesses
and at least 128 homes were dam
One person there was killed Sun
day and police estimated 59 were in
jured, with about 32 of those seeking
treatment at the local hospital, offi
cials said.
Mayor Jack Selden estimated a
few dozen people were homeless
“We’re looking for temporary
shelters,” he said. “They’ll find it
with relatives. Most people stayed at
their house. We saw them out there,
and there’d be plastic over the open
areas, but for some I don’t know
how much good it would do.”
Of the damaged businesses, he
said, “I’m not sure they’re going to
With about 50 national
guardsmen standing by, some busi
nesses reopened Monday despite
heavy damage.
Gov, Clements
appoints five
to judicial panel
AUSTIN (AP) — Gov. Bill
Clements has appointed five of
the 15 members of the Joint
Select Committee on the Judi
The governor’s appointees are
attorneys W. Mike Baggett, who
is from Dallas; Carol Dinkins and
Albert Ebert Jr., who are both
from Houston; Dixon Holman
who is from Arlington; and
Dee Kelly who is from Fort
The panel was created by the
1987 Legislature to review the
state’s judicial system.
“Texans have lost faith in their
judicial system,” Clements said.
“We must correct that.
“A review of the entire process
is in order.”
Professor: Election of board
won’t affect quality, duties
By Todd Riemenschneider
Even though the failure of Propo
sition 1 in the Nov. 3 general elec
tion will allow the state board of edu
cation to be elected rather than
appointed, the change probably
won’t affect the workings of the
board, said Dr. Harvey Tucker, a
Texas A&M political science profes
Tucker said he is not sure the
quality of the board will improve if
the mertibers are elected instead of
Because of the nature of the
board’s job, it usually isn’t in the
public eye, he said, and this situation
will not change.
“They are still going to be invisi
ble, even after they are elected,”
Tucker said.
He said that since the board is not
a full-time job, the members act
more like a board of directors for a
“In theory they (the board of edu
cation members) have the ultimate
power, but in reality they choose
who the top managers will be and
they review the performance of
these managers,” he said.
Tucker said people want to have
an elected board because they have
been taught the virtues of democ
“Americans, all their lives, have
been taught democracy is good, vot
ing is good and what is bad is when
interest groups make decisions,”
Tucker said.
However, Tucker pointed out, re
leased voting figures were for peo
ple who are registered to vote, not
who are eligible to vote.
“Only 15 percent or fewer of the
people eligible to vote chose elected
boards over appointed boards,”
Tucker said. “When we have the
elections in the future for these posi
tions, the turnout rate for those elec
tions will be between 10 and 15 per
cent.” ^
Because of small turnout rates,
Tucker said, the election results may
not reflect how the people actually
“It doesn’t matter how many peo
ple vote,” Tucker said. “The deci
sion is made.”
T ucker also speculates much of
the turnout for this election can be
attributed to the pari-mutuel refer
endum being on the ballot.
“While voters were in the polls,
they decided to vote on some of the
other issues as well,” Tucker said.
Volunteer network rescues animals
found stranded along Texas coast
i wlii
e ao‘
By Tom Eikel
The Texas Marine Mammal
Stranding Network is an organiza
tion of volunteers responsible for
rescuing or salvaging dciphins, por
poises and whales found stranded
along the Texas coast.
The network, formed in 1980 and
headquartered in College Station, is
divided into seven regions, from Sa
bine Pass to South Padre Island.
Each region has a group of volun
teers, headed by an area coordina
tor. The volunteers respond to any
type of marine mammal stranded in
their area, said Greg Schwab, co
coordinator of the network.
Time is crucial when a live animal
is found, Schwab said.
“Once the animal is out of its envi
ronment, factors such as gravity and
heat lessen its chances of survival, so
it’s important that we begin caring
for it as quickly as possible,” he said.
When members of the Network
arrive, they administer first aid and
attempt to transport the animal to
one of two treatment facilities,
Schwab said. Live strandings along
the upper coast are moved to Sea
Arama Marineworld in Galveston,
while those along the lower coast are
taken to the University of Texas Ma
rine Science Institute in Port Aran
sas, he said.
“Caring for live mammals is a very
“Once the animal is out of its environment, factors
such as gravity and heat lessen its chances of survi
val . .
— Greg Schwab, Texas Marine Mammal Stranding
Network co-coordinator
time-consuming process, because
the animal is immediately placed un
der 24-hour medical observation,”
Schwab said.
The animals are given antibiotics
and other medications to fight infec
tion and relieve stress, Schwab said.
Their bodily functions constantly
are monitored and various cultures
and samples are taken to find out
what is ailing the animal, he said.
“If the animal survives the first 24
hours, we offer it food,” Schwab
said. “If it does not respond then we
begin force-feeding.”
Unfortunately, most mammals
found stranded are either dead or
too weak to survive the ordeal. But,
dead or alive, these animals provide
information valuable to both educa
tion and research, Schwab said.
“We look for anything and every
thing,” Schwab said. “Because there
is so little known about marine mam
mals, their habitats and things like
that, any type of data we can get is
If the deceased animal is in fairly
good condition, the body is saved
and transported to a laboratory at
Texas A&M for a necropsy
(autopsy), where a pathologist works
to discern the cause of death,
Schwab said.
A great deal of information is col
lected on all strandings, particularly
on those animals not transported for
necropsy. Besides recording things
such as size, weight, sex and location
of the stranded animal, network vol
unteers pull teeth to determine age
and take over a dozen tissue samples
including muscle, liver, kidney and
lung, Schwab said.
“Right now, we’re storing these in
hopes of getting toxicological analy
ses done on them to use as an indica
tor of pollution in the ocean envi
ronment,” Schwab said.
“The dolphin is one of the highest
marine animals on the food chain,
and basically what a dolphin eats is
what you eat from the sea,” he said.
“So if it’s directly affecting their
health, in theory, it could also be af
fecting us.
“Data collected along the coast
comes here where we process and
store it. We send copies of our data
to the Southeastern Regional
Stranding Network headquarters in
Florida and they in turn send this in
formation to the Smithsonian Insti
tution in Washington, D.G.”
The Smithsonian is the top of the
stranding network hierarchy and is
the collection point for data on
strandings from all over the United
“There are many different rea
sons why these animals strand,”
Schwab said. “Pollution has been a
cause for a few strandings.
“We actually had a mammal (a
pygmy sperm whale calf) that in
gested plastic bags, which plugged
up its stomach causing a peritonitis
infection which killed the animal.”
Various parasites, as well as viral and
bacterial infections also are believed
to weaken mammals, causing them
to become stranded, Schwab said.
Whatever the cause, network vol
unteers are on call 24 hours to deal
with reported strandings, Schwab
said. Since 1980, this non-profit or
ganization, w'hich gets most of its
money in the form of private dona
tions, has responded to 517 strand
ings. Fifty percent of these have oc
curred in the last three years, he
“This can be attributed to greater
public awareness,” Schwab said.
“People now know more about what
to do if they come upon a stranded
Humphrey Bogart, Lauren Bacall
Philip Marlowe (Bogart), Raymond
Chandler's tough, cynical private
eye, is plunged into a world of
blackmail. The Bogart-Bacall
dialogue is bristling with verbal
sparring as the pair match wits in
this classic thriller.
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