Aiken Standard, May 17, 1989

Aiken Standard

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Location: Aiken, South Carolina

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 17, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports Page 2A Clemson Wins ACC Baseball Title Page 7A A Quick Read 7-Year-Old Assists Mom Through Birth ATLANTA (AP) - A childbirth film and a little coaching from a 911 operator was all 7-year-old Amanda Lawrence needed to help her mother, who went into labor and gave birth at home minutes later. “I think I did a great job, and it was a good idea I helped little Zachary be bom,” Amanda said after her baby brother’s arrival. Amanda’s mother, Teri Lawrence, and William Zachery Lawrence were doing very well Tuesday night at Northside Hospital, said spokeswoman Carol King. Amanda was about to leave for school Tuesday morning when her mother went into labor. She helped her mother to a sofa and dialed the operator for help, said her father, Edwin. The operator connected Amanda with 911 operators, who instructed the little girl how to help her mother while an ambulance was heading to their home in suburban Acworth. The impound, 9-ounce boy was bom three minutes later. Banned Sweetener May Return In '90 WASHINGTON (AP) — The artificial sweetener cyclamate may find its way back on the market after being banned for 20 years as a suspected carcinogen, but probably not before next year, the Food and Drug Administration says. The FDA said Tuesday it is continuing a review of the sweetener, commenting in response to a Washington Post story that quoted an FDA official as saying the agency “made a mistake” in banning cyclamate. The agency has been considering lifting the cyclamate ban since 1982, and though studies have challenged initial claims that the sweetener causes bladder cancer, other safety concerns remain. “The final studies aren’t expected until summer and fall, and then the FDA would have to review that data and there would have to be some time for public comment, so it may be hard to get all that completed this year, and that’s assuming the studies are favorable,” said FDA spokesman Bill Grigg. Weather Mostly Sunny Again Fair skies are forecast tonight with a low in the upper 50s. Mostly sunny skies are forecast Thursday with a high in the upper 80s. Please see details on Page 12A. Deaths Epps J. Adams Jr., North Augusta Wyman P. Blackwell, Augusta Charles A. Bradley, Norfolk, Va. Mary Ella Hardy, North Augusta Violet L. Harris, North Augusta Please see details on Page 12A. Inside Today Bridge..............................................9B Calendar...........................................3B Classifieds........................................SB Comics.............................................6B Crossword......................................11B Cryptoquote......................................9B Dear Abby........................  6B Local Front.......................................1B Obituaries.......................................12A Opinions...........................................4A Sports...............................................7A Television.........................................6B Weather..........................................12A Cf J ggnamq Evacuees Now In Charleston &ilc*tt Wednesday, May 17, 1989 Aiken, South Carolina Vol. 122 No. 118 Realtors Say School Image Hurts Sales Newcomers Believe N.A., Augusta Better By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer Aiken realtors trying to sell homes to an influx of new area residents say they’re fighting inaccurate perceptions that the city’s schools are inferior to North Augusta’s. But Aiken home sales have still taken an upward trend in recent months — one realtor says they’re selling “like crazy” — and for reasons besides the hundreds of new Westinghouse and Bechtel em ployees at the Savannah River Site, several realtors say. Retirement pensions and severance pay income from the Du Pont Co., which recently withdrew as SRS contractor, have also helped boost real estate sales. Some Aiken realtors concede they’ll lose some newcomers to Augusta because those people simply prefer a larger city. But when prospective homebuyers with children question the quality of Aiken’s schools, agents have been pulling out sta tistics that show Aiken to be competitive with North Augusta and neighboring Georgia counties in Scholastic Aptitude Test scores. - SATs, given to college-bound high school students, are a commonly used barometer of a school system’s quality. Paula Blessing, an agent with Aiken Properties Ltd., was concerned when a client wanted to avoid certain schools in Aiken, apparently for fear of academic deficiencies. “The schools are good here, but apparently there has been some feedback on the schools,” Ms. Blessing said. “We have good schools and good teach ers and I don’t think it’s warranted.” “The perception is that the schools are not as good as North Augusta,” said Leon S. Yergin, general manager of Caldwell Banker Houndslake Realty. But Aiken County PubUc Schools provided realtors with help in setting the record straight in regard to SAT scores. In a Nov. 14 letter headed “To Whom It May Concern,” an administrator reported that Aiken County at large had an average 1988 score of 876, placing it midway between Richmond and Columbia counties (with scores of 807 and 900, (Please See REALTORS, Page 15A) U.S. Pressures OAS For Panama Action AP Laserphoto LEAVES HOSPITAL: Opposition leader Guillermo Endara leaves a hospital in Panama City where he was treated for injuries suffered May 10 when he was beaten by armed men. By The Associated Press WASHINGTON — Organization of American States foreign ministers assembled here today for a historic debate on the Panama crisis, with the United States prepared to ask for a resolution demanding that Gen. Manuel Antonio Noreiga step aside. As the delegates prepared for their opening session in mid-afternoon, the United States was emerging as perhaps the most militant of the 31 nations represented here for the first special OAS foreign ministers meeting in seven years. U.S. officials said Tuesday the Bush administration was ready to ask the OAS to demand that Noriega 3tep down following an election IO day ago that the State Department claimed was rigged initially and then voided when the fraud could not be concealed. But the preliminary signs for the administration were not encouraging because two of the countries thought to be most sympathetic to the U.S. view, Venezuela and Peru, were proposing resolutions that fell far short of U.S. objectives. Neither mentions Noriega by name nor recommends that he step down. The session evoked memories of one IO years ago when OAS foreign ministers, including then-U.S. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, demanded the resignation of Nicaraguan President Anastasio So-moza. He fled less than a month later. This year, the delegates seem somewhat reluctant to interfere in Panama’s internal affairs to the degree that they did a decade ago in Nicaragua. The Venezuelan draft calls for the “immediate recognition” of the May 7 electoral returns in Panama while asserting that the solution to Panama’s crisis rests exclusively with the Panamanian people. A U.S. official said the Venezuelan proposal is not plausible because no accurate count of the election returns is possible since most of the ballots have been destroyed. The Peruvian draft calls on the OAS secretary general to facilitate a dialogue between the Panamanian government and opposition, leading to the election of new authorities. Alternatively, other mechanisms would be agreed to that would ensure “the transfer of power” in Panama. While Bush administration officials consider both drafts to be tepid, the decision to raise the events surrounding the Panamanian election to the highest hemispheric tribunal is seen as a plus for U.S. policy. The United States has been attempting to topple Noriega for more than a year, a policy that Panamanian delegates at today’s meeting are expected to seize on. (Please See U.S., Page 15A) Gorbachev Calls For border Of Peace' By The Associated Press BEIJING — Mikhail S. Gorbachev today promised more troop reductions in the Far East, saying the Sino-Soviet frontier should become a “border of peace,” and urged Washington to pull its troops out of South Korea. The Soviet leader, in Beijing to normalize relations after a 39-year chill, was later forced to cancel a visit to the Forbidden City because pro-democracy demonstrators filled all the streets sur rounding the former Imperial Palace. Throughout Gorbachev’s historic visit, Chinese officials have been forced to constantly adjust his schedule to divert him from the demonstrators, more than I million of whom today packed central Tiananmen Square. Tnis afternoon, hundreds of students marched past the state guesthouse where Gorbachev was staying, turning their banners toward its gate. Gorbachev gave an interview this afternoon to the state Chinese Central Tele vision and Radio Beijing at the guesthouse, saying “seeds of (Sino-Soviet) friendship” had grown into a “deep-rooted tree,” and that reforms in the two countries would now bring them closer. The Soviet leader is scheduled to go to Shanghai on Thursday. But demonstrations and fasting for democracy were occurring there too, putting the status of the trip in jeopardy. In a speech earlier today to academics in the Great Hall of the People, Gorba- cnev urged Asian nations to work together to solve regional security problems and called on Washington to withdraw its troops from South Korea. He promised Soviet troop reductions in the Far East, urged that the tense Chinese-Soviet frontier be turned into a “border of peace,” and called for a collective security network in Asia. Gorbachev said an “all-Asia process” was needed for solving regional conflicts. (Please See GORBACHEV, Page 10A) Increased Property Values Fund $2IM County Budget By CAROL WOODWARD Staff Writer Aiken County Council, working on a 1989-90 budget helped by increases in property values, Tuesday night tentatively approved a spending ordinance amounting to slighty more than $20.9 million. The prospect of increased valuations not only provides a balanced budget, but allows for an ll percent cut in the millage needed to fund county government operations. The county is projecting that the value of one mill in taxes will increase from $165,915 to $215,990 in the coming year, leading to the cut in the millage base. The millage for general county operations was set at 49.5, a reduction of 6.3 mills from fiscal 1989. The millage rate to fund general obligation bonds was set at 11.9, an increase of 3.9 over fiscal 1989. Barnes said the bond millage increase was made to provide necessary funds to pay off bond anticipation notes issued in October 1988 for construction of the Department of Social Services building, the Aiken County Public Library renovations, the construction of the Nancy Carson Library in North Augusta and to support a county road improvement program. The balanced budget, which should go into effect July I, shows revenues at $20,925,875 and expenditures in a like amount, according to W. Scott Barnes, county administrator. The spending ordinance calls for 11.5 new jobs in various county offices and the elimination of three positions, meaning a total of 8.5 new jobs would be created. Council Chairman Carrol H. Warner stressed that Tuesday night’s action was a “technical reading” or first reading, and that the budget won’t be fully approved until a third reading. Council members did not receive copies of the budget until Tuesday night, during the meeting. Second and third (Please See INCREASED, Page 15A) Record Exports Offset U.S. Trade Deficit During March By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - The U.S. trade deficit narrowed to $8.86 billion in March as a record level of export sales helped to offset rising oil imports, the government said today. The Commerce Department said the improvement in the country’s trade balance came from a 7.4 percent rise in exports, which hit a record $30.78 billion. Imports were up as well, climbing by 3 percent to $39.64 billion. The March deficit represented a 9.9 percent improvement from a revised February imbalance of $9.82 billion. The March deficit was the lowest since January, when the deficit fell to $8.68 billion. For the first three months of the year, tile deficit has been running at an annual rate of $109.4 billion, an improvement from last year’s deficit of $119.76 billion. The size of the March tirade improvement was a surprise to many economists. Analysts continue to insist, how- ever, that the country’s trade performance will show little, if any, improvement for the whole year as U.S. exports fall victim to recent increases in the value of the dollar, which make American products more expensive on overseas markets. Such an outcome would represent a blow to the Bush administration, which is counting on continued trade improvement this year to fuel overall economic growth. Last year’s dramatic 21 percent drop in the trade deficit from an all-time high of $152.1 billion in 1987 accounted for almost half of all U.S. economic growth. The trade improvement last year came from a sharp jump in export sales. The administration is hoping to push exports evMi higher in 1989. The March improvement came despite the fact that the bill for foreign oil climbed to $3.69 billion, up 13.6 percent from the February level, reflecting high, erprices. ;

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