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Names In The Game

February 18, 1996

SIERRA NEVADA, Spain (AP) _ Austrian coach Werner Margreiter was quoted Saturday in the Austrian newspapers Der Standard and Die Presse saying that Spanish workers grooming the slopes at the World Alpine Skiing Championships would rather take a siesta than work.

Jeronimo Paez, head of the organizing committee, said during a news conference Sunday he will file a protest with Austria’s ambassador in Spain.

``The comments are an insult to Spain and Japan,″ Paez said. ``We don’t think we’re perfect, but we’re trying to correct our errors.″

FIS president Marc Hodler said all large events are a test of nerves.

``Don’t take the comments too much to heart,″ he told Paez.

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ENUMCLAW, Wash. (AP) _ A member of a McChord Air Fore Base crew that was disciplined for allegedly misusing government aircraft to attend a Seattle SuperSonics games is taking his defense into the court of public opinion.

Maj. Alan C. Kifer of Enumclaw placed an ad in The News Tribune of Tacoma on Saturday, seeking support for an Air Force investigation into the treatment of him and his crew. It was the first in a $10,000 series of ads he plans to place in newspapers across the nation.

``When you don’t do anything wrong, then I have nothing to hide,″ Kifer told KIRO Television in Seattle. ``I’d step up and do it again, and I would.″

Kifer says it was a coincidence that the McChord crew’s overnight stays in Charlotte, N.C., and Indiana coincided with Seattle road trips.

``During our off-duty time and at our own expense, we attended NBA Sonics basketball games,″ the ad reads

After a two-month investigation, nine C-141 crew members and the two highest-ranking officers in the reserve unit were given administrative punishments for misusing government equipment.

The discipline ranged from letters of admonishment to reductions in grade and pay.

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FREMONT, Neb. (AP) _ Zach Wiegert and Brad Ottis were back at Fremont Bergan High School last week, not only as alumni, but as members of the St. Louis Rams.

Wiegert and Ottis, who were graduated together in 1990, were honored at halftime of a varsity basketball game Friday after signing autographs through most of the junior varsity contest.

Wiegert, who is building a home a few miles west of Fremont, said he enjoyed coming back.

``I was born here and I like this town,″ Wiegert said. ``Just because you go play pro football doesn’t mean you forget stuff like this and the people who helped you get there.″

Ottis said it was an unexpected experience to return to his high school as a NFL player.

``A lot of people move away and don’t really get a chance to come back,″ Ottis said. ``But in St. Louis, we’re a lot closer to home. The weather isn’t as nice as Los Angeles, but the other things make up for it.″

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