Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (Sulphur Springs, Tex.), Vol. 102, No. 117, Ed. 1 Friday, May 16, 1980 Page: 1 of 24
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VOL. 102-NO, 117.
MAY 16, 1980.
Center improvements delayed
In a continuation of a Monday session,
Hopkins County Commissioners put on
hold plans for the work at the Civic Center
Friday morning — a move observers say
will probably make the project even more
Had the commissioners approved the
issuance of up to $250,000 in certificates of
obligation with the banks buying them at 8
percent, the county would have been owing
a total of $604,868 for the period of 1981
Millard Bennett appeared before the
court and told commissioners that the bids
received Monday did not include bids on at
least one item.
That missing bid was for steel to be
installed on the stage for curtains.
Bennett said the Civic Center Board had
reviewed the bids and “we did delete
He said that the deletions included using
three sets of curtains — instead of the five
bid — and some of the lighting equipment.
Among the bids for the auditorium was
one of almost $5,000 for a projection screen
for showing movies and one of over $5,000
for an intercom system.
County Judge Joe R. Pogue said after
the meeting that the intercom system was
one using equipment similar to walkie-
That system would allow the lighting
operators to give instructions to one
another through headsets, much like what
is seen on national televsion.
Bennett said that the electrical bids
were not comprehensive, as one con-
tractor’s bid used 230-volt equipment while
another bid 480-volt, which the Civic
An amended bid was received Friday
morning but the court would not allow its
inclusion. Under law, the late bid could not
be considered as it was past the advertised
Bennett said the Civic Center Board had
no recommendations on what to accept in
the bids and asked that the court delay the
letting of bids so that more time would be
available to study them.
Commissioner L.T. (Son) Martin
suggested putting the awarding of the bids
off until May 27. “That’s when we meet
again,” he said.
However, Dan Almon, who is handling
the certificate of obligation issue for the
county said he believed that to delay the
bids would require the county “to start all
“Next time, you might restructure the
request of wh it to do,” he said, indicating
that the procedure would bring the request
for bids more in line with what was
originally meant to be spent on the project.
Bennett said that “80 to 90 percent of
what we want can be obtained for the
He said the project needed to be com-
pleted in time for the Fall Festival and the
first Community Concert. “The steel,
we’ve just got to have,” he said, “it’s a
Pogue suggested that the bids be
awarded on June 9 and Almon said that he
suggested that the whole procedure be
delayed until sometime next week when he
could confer with his firm’s attorney to see
what the correct legal procedure should
Almon said that it might be necessary to
completely re-bid the entire project.
The bonding agent told the com-
missioners that regardless, the cer-
tificates of obligation could not be issued
until a purchasing agreement had been
made with the banks.
The final result was that the bids
received are to be held until Almon can
consult with an attorney and he will advise
the court of what procedure will be
He said that he had gone to City National
Bank and discussed the matter Friday
morning. He said personnel there had
reported there had been no talk of the
matter “in the last few days” but that the
interest rate of 8 percent for certificates of
obligation not to exceed $250,000 had been
Martin commented that he thought that
the interest rate had been agreed upon at
7Mi percent and Judge Pogue agreed,
stating that he would be negotiating with
the banks concerning that matter.
Pogue said the agreement with the
banks, would be placed on the agenda for
the May 27 meeting.
After those matters were taken care of,
commissioners were sworn in as the Board
of Equalization by County Clerk Mary
Attlesey and then set the dates of July 8-10
for public meetings with taxpayers and
July 16 for the final meeting of the board.
Pogue said the court will set a date for
industries and utilities after conferring
with the firm that normally handles those
tax levies for the county.
After the meeting was adjourned, Judge
Pogue was asked about the statement that
money had been pledged to pay off the
Strikers picket phone firm
No service disruptions seen
By JOHN GORE
Picket lines appeared before the
General Telephone Company offices here
Friday morning as a system-wide strike
went into effect against the San Angelo-
GTE employees declared a strike and
walked off their jobs at 12:01 a.m. today,
but company officials said management
personnel took over immediately to keep
“We’re officially on strike,” said Judith
Lanig, a Communications Workers of
America spokesman, after the midnight
strike deadline passed.
Sulphur Springs GTE employees began
manning picket lines about 6 a.m. Friday
at both GTE offices in town. A spokesman
for the local strikers said Friday morning
that workers plan to stay on the picket
lines 24-hours a day until a new contract is
A company spokesman said early today
that GTE did not expect any disruption of
According to Rad Richardson, general
manager of the Sulphur Springs facilities,
all services were still being performed by
management personnel Friday morning.
“Under the circumstances everything is
going as well as can be expected,”
“We have about 20 percent staffing this
morning, counting management per-
sonnel, craft workers who are not mem-
bers of the union and some management
personnel have been brought in from other
areas,” Richardson added.
The general manager said that most
people will not notice any change in the
phone service. “About the only thing we
aren’t doing is routine installation of
phones, or making any routine changes in
already-installed phones. We are installing
phones and changing service, but only on
an emergency Bjasis.”
One of the problems facing management
personel is answering the phone at the
business office, Richardson said. “We are
having some difficulty answering phone
calls from our customers who want to
know what is going on with the strike, and
whether their service is going to suffer
because of the strike. All I can say is that
right now we aren’t having any major
difficulties and phone service will con-
Clovis McCallister of General Telephone
said management personnel were filling in
for operations and technicians throughout
the GTE system. He said they had been
trained in handling the jobs normally
handled by union members.
McCallister also claimed that not all
union members walked off their jobs when
the strike started.
However, a spokesman for the Sulphur
Springs union members said that there
was nearly 100 percent strike participation
on the local level.
Union officials had said earlier they
were not optimistic about avoiding a
“We’ve taken a look at the new offer and
it stinks,” said CWA spokesman Dave
Kent Thursday afternoon.
The company made a final offer of a
wage and benefit package totaling
$38,386,000 after the union annnounced at a
press conference the old agreement would
not be extended.
“Besides wages, a whole raft of other
issues would need to be resolved...," Kent
The union represents 8,000 General
Telephone employees in Texas, Arkansas,
Oklahoma and southeastern New Mexico.
More than half work in Texas.
The company said the new contract offer
represented an increase of $1.8 million
over the original proposal.
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Velanderous Bell, a switching 1«chnician
with General Telephone, was one of the
striking Communications Workers of
America Local 12171 walking the picket
line Friday morning in front of the
switching station on Oak Ave. Other
union members manned picked lines at
the GTE business office on Shannon
Road as CWA members went on ctrike.
certificates of obligation.
“There is no money pledged,” Pogue
said, “all of the money will come from
Pogue was asked by one of the com-
missioners if the school or city was going
to be helping to pay off the certificates ahd
Pogue said possibly the school, but that no
one had contacted them about that
Bruce Fielden, a member of the Civic
Center Board, said after the meeting that
there were no formal agreements signed
on pledges to pay off the certificates but
that approximately $10,000 to $12,000 per
year had been pledged.
lx>cal backyard boat builders can
slow down their pace now, according,
to National Weather Service
forecasters who say the heavy rains of
the last few days may be over.
During the 24-hour period ending at
8 a.m. Friday, the official observation
station in Sulphur Springs recorded
nearly three inches of rain. The of-
ficial total for the period — 2.94 inches
— is the heaviest rainfall this year.
The Thursday downpour brought the
yearly total to 24.03 inches of moisture
for the first four and a half months of
Although the rain continued most of
the day Thursday, no damage was
reported. But city streets frequently
were flooded thoughout the day as the
rain continued to fall.
The forecast calls for partly cloudy
skies and warmer temperatures
through Saturday, There is still a
chance of showers for the Sulphur
Springs area, but most forecasters
are betting that the rain is over for a
Rain is not even mentioned in the
extended forecast for the Sunday
through Tuesday period. By Sunday
skies should be partly cloudy to
mostly fair with temperatures in the
upper 70s to lower 80s.
The mercury rose to only 73 degrees
Thursday and dropped to 56 degrees
early Friday morning for an over-
night low. At 8 a.m. Friday the
temperature had risen to 63 and
shortly after noon Friday the mercury
stood at 76 degrees under partly
Ixiss of electric power for short
periods may be just a nuisance to
most people, but to Edgar (Red)
Ponder of Sulphur Springs it can
become a matter of life or death.
Ponder was hooked up to his kidney
machine when the power went out
Thursday morning at his home. But
Texas Power & Light Company
responded quickly to Agnes Ponder’s
emergency call. Within minutes, an
emergency portable generator had
been placed in operation at the
Ponder home and a TP&L crewman
stood by to see that it functioned.
It was only the second time in seven
years that Ponder has been on the
machine when power has been lost.
“We really appreciate the TP&L
people,” Mrs. Ponder declared
A principal hug
Kelly Fletcher, star trumpet player with the Sulphur Springs High Scho< il concert
and stage bands, got a hug from principal John Chubb Thursday night d uring the
annual Spring Concert when she was awarded the highest band honor (liven, the
John Philip Sousa Award for excellence, to the accompanyment of a standing
ovation from fellow band members and the audience. Despite the heavy d ownpours
several hundred parents and music lovers attended the concert in the Civic Center
auditorium. (See story, additonal photo, Page 2).
By GENE SHELTON
Members of the Hopkins County
Hospital District board of directors took
the first step Thursday night on the road to
a much-needed expansion of several
departments at Memorial Hospital.
The board authorized hospital ad-
ministrators to proceed with the paper-
work involved in obtaining permission to
enlarge emergency room, laboratory, X-
ray and inhalation therapy departments.
Cost of the expansion, should approval
be obtained, will not be determined
specifically until directors reach a
decision on which of four submitted plans
would be put into operation. Estimates
are, however, that the cost could go as high
as $1 million.
The district currently has available
$800,000 in bonds approved by voters
several years ago for an expansion
program, Memorial Hospital Ad-
ministrator Glenn Kenley said Friday
“Because those bonds were approved by
voters for additional beds, rather than
improvements in the areas we are now
studying, the board expressed its intention
to go back to voters and request per-
mission for the bond funds to be diverted to
the new program,” Kenley said. “The
board does not want to spend money voted
for one program in another area without
the approval of taxpayers," he added.
“Members of the board were emphatic
they wanted to maintain the trust of the
people who support us.”
Kenley said the expansion program
“could require — or not require — a small
additional bond issue” depending upon the
expansion plan ultimately selected.
Before any figures can be determined,
however, approval for the expansion must
be obtained from the Heath Service
Agency (Area 7) and from the Texas
Health Facility Planning Commission,
Kenley pointed out.
Local school, bank officially on jury subpoena list
Sulphur Springs State Bank and the
Sulphur Springs Independent School
District can now be added to the list of
organizations subpoenaed to meet with the
federal grand jury in Tyler on June 25 at 9
Ed Stevens, superintendent of the
SSISD, confirmed Thursday afternoon that
he had also received one of the subpoenas
for the trip to Tyler as did Gerald Prim,
president of Sulphur Springs State Bank.
Prim said that he does not know what
allegations have been made.
In fact, no one knows exactly what the
allegation is or will admit to having
knowledge of the details surrounding the
grand jury supboenas. Equally evasive at
press time Friday was the answer to the
question of how or by whom the grand jury
probe was initiated.
Attempts to contact any of those in-
volved in the investigation resulted in a
referral to the chief of the bureau jn
Charles R. McConachie, chief of the
Dallas office of the Anti-Trust Division of
the U.S. Justice Department had a stock
five-word answer for any question con-
cerning the investigation — “I can’t
comment on it.”
He laughingly said that the Department
of Justice rules do not allow any comment
whatsoever in such matters.
Stevens said that he was served with the
subpoena shortly after noon Wednesday.
In addition to the school district, the city
and county, three of the city’s banks now
have confirmed being subpoenaed to meet
with the federal grand jury.
City National Bank, Peoples National
Bank and Sulphur Springs State Bank
were served with subpoenas Wednesday
morning as were County Auditor Marvin
Stubbs and Interim City Manager Travis
The subpoenas are believed to be
basically the same according to the
comments of the various recipients.
All appear to request documents that
relate to the bids, basis and terms of those
bids for the depositories of the city, county
The records requested include those
from the present going back to Jan. 1,1970.
Owens said that his subpoena included
balances in various accounts, interest paid
in each account as well as information
' About where federal funds were deposited.
A Hopkins County courthouse source
who asked not to be identified said the
incident is believed to concern alleged
irregularities in bidding procedures for the
various taxing entities’ depositories.
Sulphur Bluff School Superintendent
Bruce Fielden reported that he had not
been served with a subpoena and as far as
he knew, none of the other schools outside
the city had either.
Prim said that the area school districts
and Hopkins County have had their
depositories with Sulphur Springs State
Bank since the bank opened for business
on June 16,1927.
He said the SSISD has its depository at
City National Bank and the city has its
depository at Peoples National Bank.
Rick Palmer reported late Thursday
that First National Bank had not been
subpoenaed “probably because we haven’t
been open too long.” The new bank opened
for business on Jan. 28,1980.
“The board unanimously authorized the
administration to proceed with the first
step in the program, which is to file ap-
plications with the regulatory bodies. If we:
receive approval from those agencies, the
board then will determine which plan to
follow in the expansion,” Kenl ey said.
“We are extremely overcrowded in
certain ancillary facilities, particular ly
the emergency room, laboratory, X-ray
and inhalation therapy departments. It’s a
situation the board has been considering
for many months.”
Kenley said the initial $80C>,000 in bonds
were not used for increasing ( he number of
beds for several reasons;, the most
significant of which are that the length of
stay per patient has been shortened; there
has been a decline in’the number of ^
Medicare patients admitted; and morg
patients are currently being treated on an
out-patient basis than-in previous years.
“With all these factors considered, the
board decided the additional beds were not
sufficiently needed and chose not to ex-
pand simply for the sake of expansion,”
“Now we are faced with an expensive
expansion of our ancillary service
facilities. If we get the go-ahead from the
regulatory agencies and the approval of
the voters, we will be able to upgrade these
departments to adequate levels.”
WASHINGTON (AP) - The 21 million
Americans who rely on food stamps to help
feed themselves can take comfort today,
assured that their subsidies will not be
halted next month.
Congress gave speedy final approval
Thursday to a $2.56 billion appropriation to
keep the program going for at least a few
The emergency appropriation was sent
to President Carter to be signed into law,
along with companion legislation
authorizing continuation of the program
for the remainder of this fiscal year and
for all of fiscal 1981.
The emergency money bill passed the
House, 316-56, and the Senate, 57-17.
But Congress left the future of the food
stamp program in doubt by rejecting
additional funds supporters insist will be
needed to keep the program in business
through Sept. 30, the end of the current
Sponsors of the move to expand and
continue the program said the extra $2.58
billion probably will run out by Sept. 1.
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Keys, Clarke. Sulphur Springs News-Telegram (Sulphur Springs, Tex.), Vol. 102, No. 117, Ed. 1 Friday, May 16, 1980, newspaper, May 16, 1980; Sulphur Springs, Texas. (https://texashistory.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metapth823899/m1/1/: accessed March 28, 2020), University of North Texas Libraries, The Portal to Texas History, https://texashistory.unt.edu; crediting Hopkins County Genealogical Society.