Aiken Standard, March 14, 1989

Aiken Standard

March 14, 1989

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Issue date: Tuesday, March 14, 1989

Pages available: 40

Previous edition: Monday, March 13, 1989

Next edition: Wednesday, March 15, 1989

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Publication name: Aiken Standard

Location: Aiken, South Carolina

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All text in the Aiken Standard March 14, 1989, Page 1.

Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - March 14, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports USCs Hinfon Arrested Page 7A A Quick Read Trade Deficit Dipped Last Year WASHINGTON AP The deficit in the broadest measure of US trade narrowed to billion last year for the best showing since 1985 de spite a steep deterioration in the bal ance on investment earnings the government reported today The Commerce Department said the deficit in the current account also known as the balance of pay ments shrank 121 percent from the record imbalance of billion set in 1987 The current account is the most important trade statistic because it measures not only trade in merchan dise but also transactions in invest ments and other services The big improvement last year came entirely from merchandise trade where the deficit shrank by 211 percent to billion This re flected a 28 percent surge in Ameri can export sales which was enough to offset a 9 percent rise i merchan dise imports However in an ominous sign for the future the nations surplus in the investment category shrank by 76 percent last year to a slight bil lion down from billion in 1987 This decline reflected the fact that foreign holdings in the United States have increased to such an extent that foreign investment earnings now ri val and economists say will soon surpass American investment earn ings overseas As recently as 1981 the United States ran surpluses in its current ac count because the nations cushion in overseas investment earnings was enough to offset perennial deficits the country ran in merchandise trade Eastern Increases Flights 9 Aiken Trials Fast Approaching Weather Fair skies are forecast tonight with a low in the mid 50s Partly cloudy skies are forecast Wednesday with a 20 percent chance of showers The high will be near 80 Please see details on Page 11A Deaths William C Burch Graniteville Rachel A Cothram Langley Mrs Jessie Mae Easier Augusta InaT Gunter Gilbert Odus Kincaid Wallace WVa Andrew L Murphy Jackson Please see details on Page 11 A Inside Today Bridge5B Calendar7B Classifieds3B Comics6A Crossword6B Cryptoquote4B DearAbby6A Local Front1B Obituaries11A Opinions4A Sports7A Television6A Weather11A Special Edition Coming The Aiken Standard will publish its 19th annual Triple Crown edition in Fridays newspaper The special section will include in formation on the three jewels of the Triple Crown the Aiken Trials Ai ken Hunt Meet and Aiken Sulky Races as well as other aspects of Aikens horse industry South Carolina 122 Comprehensive Plan Returned For Changes Planning Commission To Make Revisions By JAMES PATRICK Staff Writer The Aiken City Council last night voted to return the draft Comprehensive Plan to the Planning Commission to recom mend more changes The Commission has already recom mended approval of the plan following a series of revisions The plan written by Wilbur Smith and Associates is designed as a longterm plan for the citys growth tak Alcohol ControversyPage 18 ing into account growth from the expan sion at the Savannah River Plant The city which accepted delivery of the plan in 1988 still has not adopted it Work to smooth out problems the Council had with the plan was to have been done at the Aikens Horizons meeting last month but the group did not have enough time City Manager Roland H Windham said At last nights meeting the city attor ney suggested to council that it take some action on revising sections on land use which call for broad areas restricted to singlefamily residential use Council vot ed to send it back to the Planning Com mission for such suggestions The Council also passed on second reading an ordinance increasing the re quirements for sprinkler systems in new buildings The new ordinance requires that new buildings over two stories tall 20000 square feet or with more than four dwell ing units be equipped with a sprinkler system It also provides that variances allowing excess heights of buildings not be granted unless the structure is fitted with a sprin kler system The cost to new apartment buildings is estimated at to per sprinkler head but will result in substantial insur ance premium reductions The law does not apply to existing structures The ordinance came through a request from the Public Safety Depart ment and has been endorsed by archi tects developers and insurers The Council also voted on second read ing to annex and zone 7215 acres located at the rear of Aiken Mall and north of Brookhaven Estates The land is owned by D and W a partnership The Council also adopted an ordinance setting the schedule for the November council and mayoral elections Deadline for nominations by parties would be the first Monday in August The Council also passed an ordinance providing for minimum attendance stan dards for members of appointed boards and commissions voted to annex 2198 acres known as Woodside Plantation Sec tion 17B and voted to add East to the name of the eastern portion of Pine Log Road to facilitate 911 implementation Busy Administrator Shuttle Mission May End Early Hydrogen Tank Causes Problem Staff Photo By Ginny Southworth ON THE JOB Bamberg County Administrator Garry R Smith has a full desk and a full schedule every week Please see story on Page 1B By The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL Fla A puzzling pressure reading on a hy drogen tank forced Discoverys five astronauts to turn off comput ers and other systems to conserve power today and raised the possi bility of an early return to Earth Mission Control emphasized the trouble posed no threat to the crew or its mission but could cut the flight from five to four days forcing a return on Friday The crew members went about their scientific experiments as usual after the poweringdown taking pictures of environmental ly damaged areas of the Earth such as the rain forests of Brazil and the Mexico coastline The hydrogen tank one of three feeds the shuttles powerproduc ing fuel cells If the second failed the shuttle would have to come back as soon as possible because the spacecraft would no longer have any backup Pierre Thuot capsule commu nicator in the control center told Discovery commander Mike Coats to shut down several sys tems to assure the crew could complete a fourday mission and still have capacity to spend two extra days in orbit in case bad See SHUTTLE Page 12A Retail Sales Decline 04 Percent In February By The Associated Press WASHINGTON Retail sales dropped 04 percent in February the biggest de cline in almost a year as business slowed at car dealerships the government re ported today The Commerce Department said sales fell to a seasonally adjusted billion last month after rising a strong 07 per cent in January when business was aid ed by unusually mild winter weather The overall rate was held back by a 17 percent drop in automotive sales last month the second straight decline in that category Car sales had dropped 17 per cent in January and been virtually un changed in December Excluding autos which account for al most onefourth of the retail total sales edged down 01 percent last month after rising a robust 14 percent in January The size of Februarys overall drop in sales last was matched by a 04 percent drop in April 1988 The last time there was a bigger drop was in October 1987 when sales plunged 09 percent Retail spending which accounts for about onethird of the gross national product is closely watched as a barome ter of economic health Many analysts expect a slowdown in consumer spending this year as rising in terest rates start to take their toll al though few economists had anticipated a drop in sales for February The Federal Reserve Board for a year has been nudg ing interest rates upward in an effort to dampen economic growth and thus re strain inflation In the key category of department and other general merchandise stores sales fell 08 percent to a seasonally adjusted See RETAIL Page 12A Betas Sales Seosonolly adjusted billions of dollars 1 138 136 134 132 130 128 126 Feb 88 Jan 89 Feb 89 California Bill Would Ban Assault Weapons By The Associated Press SACRAMENTO Calif A biU that would make California the first state to ban assault weapons was approved by the Assembly but backers say they face a hurdle in reconciling the measure with one that passed the Senate California has demonstrated that the political power of the National Rifle Asso ciation can be resisted state Attorney General John Van de Kamp said after Mondays Assembly vote The measure approved by 4138 would virtually ban the possession sale and manufacture of more than 40 weapons including the type of semiautomatic rifle used to kill five Stockton elementary school children on Jan 17 Last Thursday the Senate overwhelm ingly approved a broader proposal This is the first step in bringing some sort of sanity back to our communities said Assemblyman Mike Roos who wrote the bill But the Democratic lawmaker cau tioned that supporters still face problems in getting a compromise bill to Gov George Deukmejian The conservative Republican governor has indicated sup port for Roos proposal but not the Senates Its not down hill Roos said Its going to be vote by vote Every time I change a line in the bills language its a reason for people to drop off Roos said he had lost some support for the bill during the weekend because of lastminute pressure from gun groups Pam Pryor a spokeswoman for the NRA acknowledged the bills backers cleared a pretty big hurdle today but she said her group would still fight the measures Both of these things have a long path to travel The two bills were introduced in Janu ary after a deranged drifter Patrick Purdy opened fire at a crowded Stockton schoolyard killing five young pupils and wounding 29 and a teacher Purdy sprayed more than 100 rounds with a semiautomatic version of the AK 47 an assault rifle police say is becoming increasingly popular with gangs before killing himself Roos bill started off identical to the one sponsored by Senate leader David Roberti which includes a general defini tion of assault weapons But Roos bill was restricted in committee to cover about 36 models of rifles eight types of pistols and three types of shotguns The measure with few exceptions would bar the manufacture import sale giving or lending of assault weapons af ter Jan 1 Violations could bring up to three years in prison and a fine Use of the weapons in a felony could lead to an addi tional fiveyear prison term The problem is that Patrick Purdy was allowed on the streets at all said Assemblyman TomMcClintock refer ring to Purdys history of crime and men tal problems SC House To Debate Tax Cuts By The Associated Press state House mem bers are pushing an alternative to Gov Carroll Campbells tax cut plan which they say will help lowerand middlein come groups by offering property and in come tax breaks Rep Tim Rogers DColumbia dis cussed the proposal Monday as the full House began debating the proposed 1989 90 state budget During the fivehour debate the House gave local school districts more authority to choose their own textbooks for sex edu cation courses and rejected a move to prevent premium or deductible increases in the troubled health insurance program for state employees But the biggest issue facing the House is yet to come when the Republican gov ernors plan for tax cuts may face compe tition from Democrats trying to spend surplus money That debate could begin as early as today Campbell has proposed acrossthe board tax reductions And the House Ways and Means Committee proposes us ing surplus money to fund building needs rather than income tax reductions The alternative being pushed by Rog ers Rep Jack Rogers DBennettsville and Rep Harriet Keyserling DBeau fort and others would use million to increase th current Homestead Exemp tion for the blind disabled and elderly use million to establish an earned in come tax credit that would peak at for a taxpayer with child earning an nually fund other programs totalling about million arid use any additional money to fund a rollback in property tax es and school millage rates It would not attempt to lower the capi tal gains ta rate as the other two plans would Its a good proposal Rep Jack Rog ers said It touches more people in a very substantial way See SC HOUSE Page 12A ;

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