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Vol. LXXXVIII, No. 124 Ann Arbor, Michigan-Tuesday, February 28, 1978 Ten Cents 8 Pages Plus Supplement
Local volunteers witness Plymouth Center abuses
By MICHAEL ARKUSH
Several Ann Arbor volunteers at the Ply-
mouth Center for Human Development, a state
institution housing more than 800 mentally re-
tarded children and adults, said yesterday they
believe recent accusations charging the institu-
tion's attendants with abusing children are prob-
EDITOR'S NOTE: Plymouth Center
volunteers agreed to talk to Daily reporter
Michael Arkush about abuses at that facility
on the grounds that their real names not be
In light of last week's Detroit Free Press'
series which accused Plymouth attendants of
torturing, beating and neglecting children, the
volunteers admitted they have witnessed certain
cases of abuse and been informed of others.
"ONE GIRL, a fellow volunteer who works in
my building, told me she saw a boy beaten up by
an attendant for absolutely no reason," said
volunteer Beth D. (not her real name.) "The at-
tendants often ignore the children and instead
watch television. They yell at them whenever
they feel like it."
Other volunteers indicated the attendants
also interfere with the volunteers' attempts to
aid the children. Sam K. claimed the attendants
"deliberately try to make it hard for us."
"In one case they neglected to tell us that one
boy had a serious heart condition. We didn't
realize till later that any great amount of exer-
tioh could have killed him," he said.
SOME VOLUNTEERS said while they have
not seen or been told of attendants' abuses, they
believe the possibility is very high that such
abuses do occur.
"All I know is from the Free Press articles,
but I wouldn't be surprised if they happen be-
cause of the way I wee the staff treating some
children," Robert R. said.
Alice M., another volunteer, said besides wit-
nessing abuses directly or being informed by
other workers, abuses are sometimes detected
from children's comments.
"THE RESIDENTS will not come right out,
and say it, but sometimes they say things which
imply that they've been beaten or punished:
They'll tell you they've been prevented from
eating dinner and you just know they've been
abused," said Susan G.
Some volunteers refused to speculate about
the charges of abuse, admitting only to having
seen several residents inflicting punishment
"I've seen several children purposely hurting
themselves at different times," one volunteer
said. See LOCAL, Page 8
'Ote girl, a fellow roin i leer
Who works in mv building, t1(1
me site sau a ioy beaten tip
bi analtetnd(ant. for absolutelv
-A PI1vmnoith (;enter
r olin Leer
Union heads argue
over new coal pact
Daily Photo by BRAD BENJAMIN
Tom Moran, one of four igloo inhabitants, spent the night in the cold yesterday. The four rose from the icy abode this morning
to register Ann Arbor voters for the April 3 city election.
WASHINGTON (AP)-United Mine
Workers (UMW) officials explained a
tentative contract agreement to a
group of dubious district represen-
tatives yesterday as the coal strike
dragged through its 84th day.
More than 250 district represen-
tatives--the people who will have to
sell the proposal to the rank and file
later this week-were told to "go out
and push this contract for the good of
SOME REPRESENTATIVES pre-
dicted the proposal would be rejected,
although others felt the union's "silent
majority" would approve the three-
year pact, which provides a 37 per cent
hike in pay and fringe benefits plus
guaranteed heath and pension benefits.
Meanwhile, UMW President Arnold
Miller met with representatives of the
Association of Biuminous Contractors
in an effort to reach a contract for
30,000 mine construction workers.
Harrison Combs, the UMW's general
counsel, said an agreement with the
association "posibly could come this
week. Only two or three items separate
THE UMW contract-briefing came on
the heels of a similar meeting conduc-
ted by the BCOA, the association which
represented the coal operators in the
negotiations. Both groups met in the
same room at the Capital Hilton,
where they negotiated last Friday's
BCOA members refused to talk about
the contract, but their president,
Joseph Brennan, said the members
were receptive to its terms if not en-
Brennan said the operators, expected
to approve the proposla, would vote
later this week. He added that their one-
hour meeting featured brief discussions
of several issues.
MILLER LASHED out at members of
his union who have criticized the
proposed three-year pact.
"I think the comments of this vocal
minority are totally unwarranted," he
said. "How they can criticize the con-
tract before they've even seen it."
Miller reiterated his prediction that
the contract would be ratified during
balloting at more than k800 UMW local
halls this weekend. UMW official John
By BETH ROSENBERG
No, your glasses weren't fogged up
yesterday - there was, indeed, an igloo
on the Diag. The Antarctic abode was
built as part of a voter registration
drive sponsored by the Public Interest
Research Group in Michigan
(PIRGIM) and the Coalition for Better
The two organizations are trying to
gain support for two housing proposals
which will appear on the city's April 3
* President Carter's proposed
student financial aid subsidy
could increase funds available to
University students by more than
50 per cent. See story, Page 2.
+ A series on the Detroit Tigers'
spring training begins on Page 7,
direct from Lakeland, Fla.
Williams said the outcome of a vote
porobably would be known late Sunday
or early Monday.
THE UMW'S 160,000 miners have
been striking since Dec. 6.
The section of the contract dealing
with health care would phase out, for all
practical purposes, the union's 1974
benefit fund which has been used to
subsidize dozens of clinics for miners.
The fund would be replaced by a plan
under which the companies would con-
tract with independent health carriers
and the miners would pay health care
ACCORDING TO PIRGIM
spokesman Tom Moran, the theme of
the igloo is "Don't get left out in the
cold." The icy dwelling, which took four
hours to perfect, was built by digging
directly into one of the mammoth hills
left by snowplows after the blizzard.
Sporting the blue and white flag of the
Tenants' Union, the inside was covered
with sleeping bags and blankets. "I've
got my long, underwear and sleeping
bag, so I'm all ready," said Moran, who
spent the night in the igloo along with
Tim Kunin, Sally Greiner, and Art
Hanel. The four registered voters
yesterday and will continue this mor-
Tables are set up at the igloo, the
UGLI and the Fishbowl as part of Voter
Registration Week. Students must
register before spring break to be
eligible to vote. Door-to-door cam-
paigns in Ann Arbor and the dorms
have registered 2,500 dorm residents,
according to Moran.
THE FIRST housing referendum
See REGISTRARS, Page 8
Council debates human rights
..KU'?7 g h tsIKT i ~I
Daily Photo by BRAD BENJAMIN
A workman hammers a bit while breaking grounld for -a new underground
addition to the la w library. The addition is slated for 1980 completion.
Gas leaks from train
wreck; town evacuated
dinthveeupen edd o h
By KEITH 11IC.URG
Ann Arbor City Council last night began the meticulous
task of hammering out a workable human rights ordinance,
and if the lengthy working session was any indication, a
suitable compromise proposal may be a long time coming.
At one point in the debate, a heated exchange ensued
during which Mayor Albert Wheeler tried to eject Coun-
cilman Wendell Allen (R-First Ward) from the meeting.
THAT VERBAL sparring match came when Allen was
questioning the logic of the Wheeler-proposed human rights
ordinance, since the city once had a human rights office
Wheeler interrupted Allen for "not addressing the issue,
which is this ordinance.",
"We are dealing with a working session and we've got to
work out the knots in this ordinance," Allen replied.
WHEELER, WHO sat only a few feet from Allen, told the
councilman to "get to the point," and then the raised voices
turned to shouts:
"I am getting to the point," Allen said. "You are not going
to coerce me to the point. I am the representative of 30,000
Wheeler replied, "I run this meeting and I'm asking you to
"YOU RUN THIS meeting," Allen said. "Be fair with it.
Wheeler then said "I'm going to have a recess to read the
council rules and ask to have you removed."
Councilman Ken Latta (D-First Ward), who sat next to
Allen, was overheard to say "Amen."
THE MAYOR LEFT the council chambers to retrieve City
Attorney Bruce Laidlaw from the workroom. "This person is
disrupting the meeting," Wheeler shouted to the attorney.
"What are the rules on throwing people out? I don't care if
he's a member of Council or in the audience."
Allen meanwhile was shouting "Don't I have a right to ask
See HUMAN. Page 8
..G'rr r ;.
For happenings, weather
and local briefs,
see TODAY, page 3.
YOUNGSTOWN, Fla. (AP) - The
deadly chlorine gas that escaped from a
ruptured railway car and brought quick
but tortured deaths to eight persons
'headed toward another small town
yesterday, forcing all 250 residents
from their homes.
Officials said the residents of Foun-
tain, about 20 miles north of Youn-
stown in the Florida Panhandle, were
a.,rlatriatnh i t nm ftr min -
dint have equipment needed for the
delicate operation, said Dan Tullis, who
heads the private Jacksonville-based
IT ALSO WAS discovered yesterday
that the ruptured tank car contains
about twice as much chlorine as had
been estimated. Tullis said they had
believed the car contained only about
one-third of its 30-ton capacity, but
discovered that about 20 tons of, the