Long-distance phone service for customers of MCI Communications Corp. was disrupted in Florida and other Southern states Monday afternoon when a fiber-optic transmission cable was cut near a railway in Jessup, Ga. The 180-strand cable was sliced at 2:37 p.m. Monday, blocking about 200,000 calls in and out of the Southeast, said Steve Fox, regional public relations manager for MCI in Atlanta. "It was a cut along our backbone cable carrying traffic from Florida up to cities along the Eastern Seaboard," Fox said early Monday evening. He said that by 6:30 p.m. Monday, workers had restored service in 24 of the damaged cable's 180 lines and expected to complete repairs within a few hours.
Nearly drowned child
still in critical condition
ST. PETERSBURG _ Patricia Sullivan, the 18-month-old child who almost drowned in the family pool over the weekend, was still in critical condition Monday night at All Children's Hospital. Patricia, who lives in the 300 block of Eighth Avenue on Tierra Verde, was found in the pool Sunday morning by Ben Giles, who was looking at houses in the neighborhood. He used cardiopulmonary resuscitation to revive the child.
Motive cited in 4th killing
as call goes out for prayer
TAMPA _ Tampa Police say robbery was the likely motive in the murder of a West Tampa woman, killed last Thursday as she left her Grace Street home for work. A purse, belonging to Lilly Franklin, was found Monday and turned over to police, spokesman Steve Cole said. He would not say who discovered the purse or where it was found. Police say someone confronted Franklin, stabbed her and stole her bag. The attacker left several pieces of her jewelry behind. Franklin, killed next to a weed-infested lot at 6 a.m., was the fourth woman to be stabbed to death in West Tampa since September. Police say they still do not know if the killings are related. A prayer vigil has been scheduled Sunday in Tampa in response to the series of killings. The vigil is scheduled for 7 p.m. at Mount Tabor Missionary Baptist Church, 2606 W Grace St. "Who knows where (the killer) will concentrate next? We need to stop him here, and we're turning to the church people and the Lord for answers," said Bob Gilder, former president of the Tampa NAACP and a vigil organize. The lead minister will be the Rev. Bernard K. Jackson Sr., pastor of Mount Tabor. For information, call Gilder at 251-0228 in Tampa.
sentenced to life terms
TAMPA _ A Tampa man who stormed his boss' home and murdered him in a dispute over work was sentenced Monday to two consecutive life terms in prison. John Henry Williams, 39, was found guilty of breaking into Nelson McLoughlin's north Tampa townhouse and stabbing and slashing McLoughlin, who bled to death. Williams worked for McLoughlin at a landscaping and mowing business and was angry over money he thought he was owed.
Children can testify
in sex video case, says judge
TAMPA _ A defense attorney in the notorious case of a couple allegedly videotaped by a neighbor while having sex in their apartment will be allowed to take sworn, pre-trial depositions from two children who are witnesses, a judge said Monday. The couple, Janet Paddock and Alfred Stephens, originally were charged with a felony after neighbors say the couple had sex in view of children outside at the condominium complex. That charge was later dropped, and they were charged with misdemeanor disorderly conduct, accused of having sex in their condominium hot tub, swimming semi-naked in the pool and having sex in a pub's bathroom. At issue Monday was whether the 6-year-old girl and the 8-year-old boy who investigators say glimpsed the couple in the hot tub should have to give pre-trial, sworn statements to defense attorneys. Hillsborough County Judge Cynthia Holloway said she was inclined to allow defense attorney Ted Panaretos to take statements from the brother and sister. Prosecutor Hank Lavandera said he will discuss the issue with the children's parents and a child psychologist before deciding whether to appeal the decision.