Cedar Rapids Gazette, September 6, 1974

Cedar Rapids Gazette

September 06, 1974

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Issue date: Friday, September 6, 1974

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Publication name: Cedar Rapids Gazette

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Cedar Rapids Gazette (Newspaper) - September 6, 1974, Cedar Rapids, Iowa Weather- Partly cloudy Saturday. Chance ot occasional s li (i w e r s. Lows, 50 (o 55. Saturday, 75 lo 80. VOLUME 92 NUMlJEK CEDAR RAPIDS, IOWA, FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1974 ASSOCIATED PRESS, DPI, NEW YORK TIMES State Okays IE Rate Increase The_ Iowa Slate commerce commission has approved a re- quest of Iowa Electric Light and Power Co. to increase electrical rates, under bond, for the sec- ond time this year. The commission approved the increase, effective Sept. 27, which will boost electric reve- nues 9.66 percent over the rate schedule now in effect. Iowa Electric officials filed the application for collecting an addilional 57 million annually U. S. Reports North Viet Air Threat WASHINGTON (AP) North Vietnam reportedly has moved Mig jet fighters close to the South Vitnamese border in what U. S. intelligence calls the most active air threat so far. Meanwhile, reports to the Pentagon indicate South Viet- nam's air defenses are in poor shape. U. S. officers say one of the basic problems is that the South Vietnamese air force was de- sjgned by the U. S. mostly to bomb and strafe ground targets in support of South Vietnamese troops. Its pilots have virtually no ex- perience in air-to-air combat, while North Vietnam's ah- force has seen action against U. S. bombers and fighters during the years of American strikes into the North. To make Hie air defense sit- uation worse, South Vietnam- ese radar at Hie key Da Nang base often is not in working order, Pentagon sources say. Some U. S. experts estimate lhat Migs could reach to within a few miles of Da Nang without being spotted. At the same time, North Viet- nam has extended its surface-to- air missile coverage across a belt of territory its troops con- trol inside South Vietnam below the old demilitarized zone, in- telligence men say. This means any South Viet- namese jets that flew up there to contest Mig intrusions would have to worry about being knocked down by ground fire. Amid these developments, the South Vietnamese command has ordered a limitation-on its air force's [lights to reduce fuel consumption. A spokesman in Saigon said the cutback was prompted by U. S. congressional action to slash military aid to South Vietnam. Aug. 26, and the commission's approval is dated four days later. Interim Hate Maurice Van Nostrand, chair- man of the commerce commis- sion, said while Iowa Electric was notified of the approval ac- tion Aug. 30, public notification was delayed by the Labor Day holiday. Van Nostrand said while the commisson's action was "proba- bly earlier than it held no significance since the rate increase cannot go into effect until 30 days after the public is first notified. An initial interim rate in: crease amounting to million a year was approved by the com- mission May 17. As of Sept. 27, the utility will be collecting million under bond and subject to refund. The commerce commission said any refund that may be or- dered on final determination of the reasonableness of the rate increase "should be made at the maximum nine percent (in- terest) allowed by statute." Also approved by the commis- sion was a request by Iowa Electric to modify its order by eliminating its limitation. on rate of return on common equi- ty capital. "The commission finds, that in view Of today's economic conditions, a company should not be bound by a finding of fair rate of return based upon a 1972 test year." Also granted was a company request lo file updated statis- tical and financial data for the period ending June 30. Pending Cases Commerce commission of- ficials said it has rate cases pending from every electric util- ity in the state. Iowa Electric and Iowa Power and Light Co. of Des Moines have asked for two rate increases this year. IE officials last month said they were asking for another rate increase but were forced to do so by econom- ic conditions. "This request was filed so that we can meet the continu- ing, unprecedented increases in costs of all kinds that are plagu- ing the utility said Duane Arnold, president and board chairman of IE. "The soaring costs include labor, materials, services, and in particular, interest. The enor- mous increase in the interest cost for borrowed money must be paid to attract investment in the Arnold said. Gunnar Olsen Drops Suit Against KCRG Following three hours of pre- hearing conferences Friday in the judge's chambers of the Cedar Rapids federal court, a New York engineering firm dropped ils suit against the owners of the KCRG-TV tower. A hearing had been scheduled mi the Gunnar Olscn Corp.'s pe- tition for an injunction to slop Ihe Cedar Rapids Television Co. from erecting a new lower at the site on which the old tower collapsed Ocl. 3, 1973. Gunnar Olscn, which is faced with a lawsuit filed by the widow of one of five men killed in the accidenl, was modi- fying Ihe tower at the lime il fell. Court Order Last week Ihe firm requested a court order lo allow il lo ex- cavate around :lhc fallen lower before Ihe new .slruclure was built. Erection of Ihe 2.0110-foot tower was begun Thursday morning. The engineering firm with- drew ils request lo exeavale on Experience helps, bill some- how you never have, il unlil just after you need it. the condition that the television company supply it with any available tests of the foundation made by current contractors for the lower. Suit Filed In its original petition, Gun- nar Olsen argued that it needed such information for its defense in the suit filed by Lillian G re i n e r of Independence, whose husband, Elmer, was killed. 11 was further claimed that an agreement was made permit- ting these tests. In counter petitions filed Thursday by lawyers for KCRG, it was staled that no such agreement had been made, and thai such a claim was "inac- curate, misleading and in bad faith." II was argued that Gunnar Olscn had known for some lime ial the new tower was to be erected Ibis fall, and lhat it had shown no previous interest in excavation. 'Severe Hardship' The television firm contended lhat Ihcse lesls would cause "severe hardship and excessive damages" lo ils company and to contractors. In addition, it was staled Ilial (Conlinucd: Page .1, Col. Canyon Jump Test? Tclcphoto Although it may look like an Evel Knievel test, it isn't. It's the first high-speed test of the crew es- cape system for the new air force B-l bomber Thursday at Hollomas Air Force Base, N.M. The crew compartment and escape capsule separate from the rocket sled at approximately 355 miles per hour. The parachutes deploy -automatically and lower the capsule to a soft landing. It is estimated that Knievel will be traveling 300 to 400 m.p.h. on his jump across the Snake river canyon Sunday. Big Weapon Robbery at U.S. Armory FRESNO, Calif. (AP) A large supply of arms and am- munition has vanished from an unguarded California national guard armory here, a spokes- man said Thursday. The llieft marks the second time in two months a California national guard armory has been the target of arms thieves. A sophisticated anti-burglar device was undisturbed and ap- peared to be in operating order, said Lt. Col. Frank Salcedo, a guard information officer. "Guards Redundant" "Due to the burglar alarms, we felt it was redundant to have guards he added. Missing from the San Joaquin Valley weapons dump were 58 automatic M16 rifles, two .45- caliber pistols, four .38-caliber revolvers, two M60 machine guns and three 40mm grenade launchers. In addition, thieves stole al- most rounds of ammuni- tion for the weapons, along with 40 riot-control chemical gre- nades. Salcedo said he didn't know if the weapons were in working order but noted automatic rifle parts can be legally purchased on the open market. No Forced Entry The weapons disappeared from an armory storage vault at the 217th transportation bat- lalion between Tuesday after- noon and Wednesday morning. There was no indication of a forced entry, an FBI agent in Sacramento said. To gel into the storage area without breaking in and trigger- ing the alarm, at least two keys would be needed. "They would need one for the door and one for the alarm he said. But he said the theft was not. necessarily an inside "Most burglars have access to the keys Ihcy need to a particular job. "No Connection" "As you know, we have had other burglaries in the stale, but there appears to be no tic be- tween this theft and any earlier theft. At this time we have no idea where the weapons arc, Ihe agent snid. On July ,11, 1972, thieves in- varied Ihe armory here and es- caped will) 87 MM rifles and a largo, quantity of military sup- plies, including a three-quarter- Ion Iruck which was apparently used lo haul Ihe arms away. Gazette Leased Wires WASHINGTON Unless checked, inflation will add more than billion to the price American consumers pay for medical care over the next two years, says Health, Education and Welfare Secretary Caspai Weinberger. Weinberger said on, Thursday that skyrocketing medical costs are increasing 50 percent faster than prices in the rest of the economy and are fueling infla- tion. "Even during Ihe medical cost inflation which followed the in- troduction of Medicare and Med- icaid, increase in doctor bills came nowhere near the record- breaking rises we see Weinberger said. Controls Warning In a speech before the Ameri- can Association of Medical Clin- ics, he urged the health care in- dustry to cool down its infla- tionary spiral or face the pros- peel of an outraged public de- manding federal intervenlion. He said that if voluntary coop- eration fails, "the American people are in real trouble on the tiealth care front." Rising health care costs now threaten to add another billion dollars to the federal budget, Medical Inflation Rapped doubling the estimate for this increase that he delivered to congress this spring, he said. At that time he argued unsuc- cessfully for extension of feder- al wage-price controls on health care, which expired April .30. "Expected Bulge" The American Medical Assn. and the American Hospital Assn. have said Iheir price in- creases were an expected bulge after nearly three years of prof- it limitations. However, a congressional study released this week showed that office-based doctors had a median income of over )er year, almost double the earned by lawyers, the second-best-paid group. "Since price controls were lifted, the cost of medical care las increased 50 percent faster than the economy as a whole and this we must and will mod- Weinberger said. U.S. Gulf Coast Put On Hurricane Watch MIAMI (UPI) Hurricane Carmen, packing 110 mph winds and growing stronger, headed for the U. S. gulf coast Fri- day, spurring forecasters to post a hurricane watch from a poinl near the mouth of Ihe Mississip- pi river lo Cedar Key, Fla. Forecasters was expected strength and forward speed dur- ing the next 24 hours. The area for which the hurri- cane watch was poslcd was from Grand Isle, La., due south of New Orleans, through the Florida panhandle lo Cedar Key. said the storm lo gain in size, Today's Index Comics .....................21 Crossword ..................21 Dally Record................3 Deaths ......................3 1'Milnrial Features.......... li Farm......................12 Financial................. .22 Society Sports ...................I7-tfl Stan-.....................4.5 Television................. 20 Want He said physician fees hav jumped al an annual rate of 19. percenl and hospital charges a an annual rate ot 17.7 percent compared with an over-all infla lion rale of 12.5 percent. "Doctor bills and hospital charges are a prominent fuel in tlie acceleration of the nation's he said. "Up 25 Percent" The charge for a semi-private hospital room has gone up at an average annual rate of almost 25 percent, he added. "With such skyrocketing infla- tion, the costs for health care in this fiscal year will increase an additional billion and, in the next year, an extra billion on top of the 'normal' growth n health care spending each he said. More than 70 percent of those nighcr costs will be paid out of consumer pockets, the secretary laid. Gazette Wins Award for Jail Series DES MOINES (AP) The edar Rapids Gazette has won he Community Service award nd first in the editorial page onlest among larger newspa- ers in the annual Iowa Daily Dress Assn. competition. For the first time in ten two newspapers tied for D P A s general excellence .ward. The Dubuque Telegraph- Herald and Sioux City Journal ioth were awarded top honors in ie and over circulation ategory. The IDPA's 16th annual Com- lunity Service honor came to 'he Gazette for its seven-parl eries, written by Dale Kueter, ast January on conditions a: tic Linn county jail. Examined Process Prompted by several suicide: at the jail, smuggling of drugs o inmates, and escapes, The gazette decided to examine the 'ull process of prisoner handling n Linn county. While the series pictured the decrepit condition of the Linn ail, it also revealed unsanitary conditions of cell areas, the pre- sence of bugs and rats and low morale of jailers. Steps Taken The series prompted the Linn ward of supervisors to take several steps aimed at improv- ing general cleanliness of the jail, including closer inspection of work by a pesticide control firm. The supervisors also ordered that public health nurses return on a regular basis to care for health problems of inmates Several civic groups began pro viding reading material for in mates. While The Gazette was ad- judged as having the best edito- rial page for large papers, the Ames Daily Tribune won that award for small newspapers in the state. Third First In the editorial page competi- tion, this was The Gazette's third first-place award in the last four years, its fifth in the contest's 10-year history and the Gazette ranking among the top-rated three each year. The editorial page staff consists, of Jerry Elsea, editorial writer; Art Heusinkveld, editorial page (Continued: Page 3, Col. 5.) WASHINGTON (AP) The nation's unemployment rate in August continued its slow up- ward climb, rising by 0.1 per- cent to 5.4 percent of the work 'orce, the government reported Friday. Although the change from the July rate of 5.3 percent is not considered statistically signifi- cant, the labor department said the increase taken over the past two months represented a break from the 5.2 percent plateau that had prevailed during the first half of the year. To Continue The jobless rate now has risen by 0.8 percent from last Oc- tober's 6 -year low of 4.6 per- cent and is expected lo continue climbing as the economy 'alters. The labor department said 4.9 million Americans were unable o find work last month, an ncrease Of about since July. The Ford administration has jrepared a program of gradual- y rising payments to local gov- ernments .to create additional- public service jobs as unem- iloyment mounts. .If the jobless ate reaches 5.5 percent, Labor Secretary Brennan has said the ;overnment would move to create about more jobs. Unchanged Total employment as mea- sured by the department's sam- ple survey i ol households stood at 86.2 million in August, prac- tically unchanged in the last two months. Nonfarm payroll em- ployment as measured by the survey of business establish- ments was unchanged in August at 77.2 million. Looking at wages, average hourly earnings were reported up three cents in August, lo 54.24, a level 33 cents more than year ago. Weekly earnings 511.10 from last August. However, the Hourly Earnings Index, in dollars of constant pur- chasing power declined three percent over the past year, the jovernmcnt said. The length of the average work week and factory overtime were essentially unchanged last month, both reflections of the sluggish economy. Ford Gets Earful from Economists WASHINGTON (UPI) Econ- omist Waller Heller looked across- the massive table and .old the President his economic were narrow, old fash- ione'd, perhaps naive. Around the table, 48 others looked on. Television cameras caught the scene, photographers ook pictures, reporters look notes. Heller said President Ford was looking only at inflation 'Public Enemy No. I" and not at the simultaneous ache of economic stagnation. Whole Field The government would have to do more than simply cut its budget and tighten its belt, lie said. "We can't let inflation fill he whole field of our vision." He looked Ford in the eye. "This may go against your rce market grain, Mr. Per- he said, and continued he lecture the Wage-Price Stabilization Council "noods Ford must use "Ihe club n the closet" to control bu- siness and labor appetites. Ford could not let the budget the entire burden of coping with an inflation caused by olhcr factors food shortages, inel oil cartel, and two devalua- ions of the dollar. V.'ilhniit Flinching Kord should cut payroll taxes 'or workers, tax anlo horsepow- lo save Rasciiinc, uvi'case axos on the righ, llellor said. "If we just declare a total war on inflation without taking care of the casualties, we're going lo feel a he said. Ford listened without com- ment, and without flinching. He called on George Shultz, former treasury secretary. Shultz disa- greed with most of what Heller had said. He offered' another prescrip- tion. "I'm distressed to see the wage-price controls head stick up he "I thought we learned that lesson." Before Washington starts tell- ing business men when they cannot raise prices and workers when to forego raises, he said, perhaps it should confer with business men and workers. There was no anger in Ihe moment, no tension. It was a frank, open disagreement over what course Ihe government should take lo cope with the worst peacetime rale of infla- tion in U.S. history. No Impatience Ford showed no impatience with the conflicting advice, promising lo read the transcript of that part of the discussions he missed in the daylong meet- ing in the East room. Ford said he wauled results, not just talk. "What we want are some right he said. "We can'l waste time slat- ing and restating the problems. The problems arc obvious, pain- ful and perplexing." Here are some of the econo- mists' suggestions: Thomas Moore, Hoover Insli- lulc. Stanford university: F.nd some of the governmenl regula- tions which keep prices ar- tificially high, often by prohibit- ing price competition. He cited government-fixed freight and passenger rates, quotas on dairy imports and the informal agreement which limits how much low-cost foreign steel can be imported. Norma Pace, American Paper Institute: Part of the problem is "legislated inflation" things government requires industry to do which have Ihe result of driv- ing prices up. She cited anti- pollution requirements. "We should measure Ihe cost of this new legislation and have (Continued: Page 3, Col. R.) An Wtirnlioto President Ford puffs on his pipe as he listens' to economists' views during Thursday's mini-sum- mit on the economy. ;