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Altoona Mirror (Newspaper) - January 10, 1980, Altoona, Pennsylvania Ettoona SIRtttot VOL. 15-NO. 177 PHONE 944-7171 Altoona, Pa., Thursday Evening.Jan. 10, 1980 Founded junf 13, 1874 20t a COPY PRICES Food Goes Down in December, 79 Wholesale Gain Set at 12.5% WASHINGTON (DPI) Inflation at (he wholesale level rose 0.8 percent during the final month of Ihe smallest advance since lasi summer, as food prices held steady, the Labor Department reported today. Despite the relatively moderate December rise, wholesale prices for all of last year surged upward by 12.5 percent to register the steepest yearly gain since energy prices tripled in 1974 because of the Arab oil embargo. December's O.S percent increase was con- siderably below November's percent rise and the average 1.1 percent gain during the July- October period. It was also the best performance since last June's 0.5 percent gain, the Labor Department sard in its newest report on flow the nation is taring in the struggle against inflation. Wholesale prices are measured by the Labor Department's Producer Price Index. The index calculates price changes for goods ready for sale to groceries, department stores and other retail outlets, offering an advance look al what con- sumers will be paying in coming months, The best news contained in the Labor mem report involved food prices, which declined in December by 0.1 percent. This was a reversal from November's 2.6 percent increase, the targ- es! gain in five years, when demand was heavy for poultry, beef and veal. In December, prices for processed processed ftouJtry, which had increased 21.5 percent in the 'previous month, declined 0.1 percent. Prices for beef and veal, up 6 percent in November, declined 4.3 percent last month, (he Labor Department said. Prices also turned down for vegetables, rice and roasted coffee. Energy prices, another large problem area throughout 1979, rose 2.4 percent about the same as in November, but Jess than in most other months of last year. Gasoline prices rose 3.4 percent, the same as Ihe previous month. Home healing oil prices, however, were virtually unchanged for the second straight month. Rebel Forces Seize City in Afghanistan Sharon Radcr, 2, KABUL, Afghanistan (UPI) Rebel forces seized a provincial capital in north- eastern Afghanistan and checked the ad- vance of Ihe Soviet army in two other provinces, Western diplomats and guerrilla leaders said today. The diplomats said the city of Faizabad, capital of Badakhshan Province in the northeastern corner of Afghanistan, bordering both the Soviet Union and Chi- na, fell within the past three days. The Jung newspaper in Rawalapindi, Pakistan said 400 Soviet troops died in the heavy fighting for control of Faizabad, and at least two Russian helicopters were shot down over the city's airport. The Soviet Union's Motorized Ri- fle Division, one of seven divisions be- lieved to be in Afghanistan, totaling soldiers, is deployed in the northeast, but apparently was not involved in Ihe fight- ing. Rebel tribesmen, who already con- trolled the province, with the exception of Faizabad, had been besieging the town's Afghan government garrison for months. The end came when the rebels seized the airfield that served as the garrison's supply fine, the diplomats said, The Jung newspaper also said Ihe Soviets were attempting to airlift troops t into the province. Hundreds of homes and of i-onmiquciiessiMg finds out thai farm work never stops, even al the Stale Farm Show (Slory on Page 16) mosques have been destroyed and scores of civilians killed in heavy bombing pre- ceeding tbe buildup for a Soviet counter- attack, it said. "With Fairzabad in their hands, the whole northeastern corner of the country belongs to the one diplomat said The last provincial capital lost to the rebels was Herat near the Iran border last spring, but Soviet forces quickly recap- tured it, be said. Asian diplomats confirmed there was serious fighting in the northeast, particu- larly Badakhshnn and Bagblan Provinces, but could not confirm the fall of Fuizabad. The United News of India reported that. China is arming and training a guerrilla faction in parts of Badakhsban province, but tbe Western diplomats said they could not determine which rebel group (ook Faizabad, or whether it had any Chinese assistance. The Western diplomats said they are skeptical that any significant amount of Chinese aid is reaching the rebels because China shares only a 25-mile border with Afghanistan in some of the world's most rugged terrain, hampering supply lines. Despite the fall of Faizabad, the Sovi- ets are still clearly in control of Kabul, major provincial capitals such as Jalalabad, Kandahar and Herat and the highway that (inks (he cities together. (See AFGHANISTAN, Page 3) Khomeini Meets With American Embassy Captors TEHRAN, Iran (UPf) Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini conferred today with a delegation of Moslem militants holding 50 U.S. hostages in an unprecedented meeting at bis headquarters in the holy city of Qom, a spokesman for Khomeini said. No details of the talks were im- mediately available, The meeting came after Foreign Min- ister Saaegh Ghotzbadeh asked Khomeini to rule on the militants' demand that U.S. Charge d'Affaires Bruce Laingen, now in protective custody at the Iranian Foreign Ministry, be turned over to them at the occupied U.S. Embassy. So far, Ghotbzadeh has acted as the chief negotiator for the ruling Islamic Revolutionary Council but has faced mili- tant opposition in his attempts to ease the Iran-American crisis. There was no immediate bint whether this first meeting between Khomeini and the militants was to be followed up by further contacts between the Islamic lead- er and the captors of the 50 American hostages, held in Tehran for the 68th day. The meeting Khomeini anj the embassy militants took place during an audience Khomeini gave to the represent- atives of Latin American, African and Asian liberation fronts. The militants in- vited the liberation front leaders recently for an anti-American conference. On the political front, Khomeini's se- curity forces patrolled the city of Qom in continued vigilance after recent rioting. In the northwestern city of Tabriz, a combined force of the army, gen- darmerie, police and Revolutionary Guards manned checkpoints across the shuttered city after clashes Wednesday. Government troops brought armored cars in the city's outskirts and set up sandbagged positions outside the local radio and television station, which has been a frequent target of attacks from rival groups loyal to dissident Ayalollah Kazem Shariat-Madari and Khomeini. In the streets of Tabriz, damaged public service buses stood idle, their glass windows shattered by stoning and tires punctured or deflated. Telephone booths lay askew, -pave- ments pulled up and curbing uprooted during Wednesday's rioting, reporters in the area said. Shops, schools and offices in Tabriz were closed as the combined security force of the army, gendarmerie, police and Khomeini's Revolutionary Guards In the Mirror Waring Sidekick Early Settlement A former Tyrone man who helped form Ihe Fred Waring and His Penn- sylvanians orchestra and who performed as a drummer and come- dian with the orchestra for 63 years is dead..............................Page 4. NFL Assassin Jack Tatum, a defensive back with the Oakland Raiders, admits in his new book that he goes for "knockouts An attorney for a par- alyzed victim of one knockout is demanding Tatum be ejected from the 22. Yesterday's Circulation: Non-professional employees ot the Claysburg-Kimmel School District have accepted a new contract which will give them raises totaling 70 cents an hour over the next two years...............................Page 25. INDEX Accidents........7 Area.............M Classified..W-55 Features.......28 Movies..........1> N.Y. Slocks...15 Obituaries.......4 Opinion...........8 Sports.......22-U TV Listing.....21 WEATHER TONIGHT: Chance of freezing rain and rain, low near 30. TOMORROW: Milder with rain, highs in the upper 30s to mid 40s. Details..............................Page 2. tried to restore calm after daylong tight- ing Wednesday. The state radio said the death toll in the fighting had gone up to "between five and seven The Tehran Times reported 10 people kilted. Nearly 50 banks were set on fire and heavily damaged across the city, press reports said. Rioters set ablaze and wrecked the local office of the newspaper Kayluin published from Tehran. The Kayhan quoted the local Islamic court as saying the rioters 50 of whom were reported seized Wednesday could face up to death sentence in summary revolutionary courts. The radio quoted the local governor- general as saying (he demonstrators had "shouted slogans in favor of the deposed shah and (his last premier) Shall pour thereby inviting retaliation from the loyalists, In the Kurdish region, an Islamic court sent three condemned men before a firing squad early today. They were charged with attacking government posts on the Iraq border, press reports said. H brought to 703 the total death sentences carried out since the shah's regime was overthrown in February 1979. As (he executions were announced, a special government mission destined for Kurdistan postponed its departure for Sanandaj, (he Kurdish provincial capital, for a round of talks with the Kurds, Heavy shooting and street fights (See IRAN, Page 3} VIOLENCE ERUPTS in the Iranian city of Tabriz between members of the Moslem Peoples Republican Party and supporters of Ayatollah Khomeini. Ten people were reported killed and about 100 wounded. (UPI) Wholesale Percentage Tax Studied Gas Sales Drop, PennDOT Needs Money By PHIL RAY Staff Writer HOLL1DAYSBURG PennDOT needs more money in fiscal year 1981 because Ihe 2-cent-a-galfon gasoline tax increase ihis year is falling short of expectations, Secretary Thomas Larson said Wednesday afternoon. "We are going to have to have new Dr. Larson said, explaining that PennDOT's expected income is fall- ing short by million or million because of decreased use of gasoline by motorists. Gov. Dick Thornburgh is in the process of putting together his budget message which will soon go to the legislature, and Dr. Larson pointed out there are several alternatives (hat may be proposed to provide additional revenue for PennDOT. One is a percentage tax on the whole- sale price of gasoline. This was rejected by the legislature this year, but it still represents a way to provide additional income to PennDOT, Dr. Larsons said. Under the percentage tax, PennDOT's revenue would increase each time the price of gasoline goes up. Now, he ex- plained, each time gasoline prices in- crease, consunption dips, PennDOT is basically financed by an tl-cent-a-gallon lax on gasoline. Other alternatives include increases in truck and registration fees. Dr. Larson said. Dr. Larson was in Blair County to attend a meeting of PennDOT district engineers al the Sheraton Altoona, and to meet with the staff ot PennDOT's District 9 oKLce. He described his visit as and did not plan to hold a news conference until reporters learned he was in In the area and got in touch with him at (he District 9 office. Dr. Larson has completed one year as PennDOT secretary under Gov. Thornburgh. He inherited a department in financial trouble. PennDOT was unable to use federal funds available to it, was laced with political scandal, and Pennsylvania's roads were full of potholes. Dr. Larson had said he was going to concentrate on repair and rehabilitation of present roads and institute a pay-as- you-go philosophy. "I'm pleased with, what has hap- he said, Wednesday when asked to assess his first year. He said the PennDOT work force is at Us lowest level in 25 years. All financial obligations are being paid in cash, not with borrowed money, and ihere have been a lot of repairs to roads that will last, he said. PENNDOT, Page 3)
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