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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 30, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Cotmty Public Library Sports Pistons Even NBA Series le A Quick Read Wooden Bridges Making Comeback NORWICH Vt AP Wooden bridges long ago relegated to pic ture postcard status are making a comeback as engineers merge to days technologies with the material of yesteryear Wood is so commonplace says John Crist director of the US For est Service Timber Bridge Program It just hasnt been sexy like steel and concrete With deteriorating bridges on the increase and state and federal high way funds being squeezed timber is getting a new look from engineers and government planners who for years have favored concrete and steel Crist and others say new designs for wood allow timber bridges to sup port the same 40000ton trucks as concrete and steel They also claim wood will last longer and is cheaper to build and maintain DC Tourism Sags Weather Or Crime WASHINGTON AP The years seem to run together for Sara Keren a vendor who for eight years has made a living snapping pictures of tourists who pose on Pennsylvania Avenue next to a cutout of the president Keren sitting on a chair next to a cardboard of President Bush said she sells about 10 photos a day a figure that has remained constant for years So when told official sta tistics show tourism in the nations capital is sagging she added with a hint of surprise I had no idea I really havent noticed any difference from last year to this year But I hardly ever do Figures compiled by the Smithso nian Institution and the National Park Service indicate that tourism is down in Washington during the first four months of 1989 compared with that period last year Officials put the blame on everything from the weather to the rise in crime The homicide toll stands at a re cord 189 so far this year compared with 122 at this time last year Weather Sunny Skies Fair skies are forecast tonight with a low in the 60s Mostly sunny skies are forecast Wednesday with a high in the 90s Please see details on Page 11A Deaths Diane Booker Trenton Virginia F Corder Wagener Nancy L Cousart Aiken Fred R Good Evans Ga Charles Alba Hiers Springfield William D Smith Graniteville Please see details on Page 11 A Inside Today Bridge5B Calendar7B Classifieds3B Comics2B Crossword6B Cryptoquote48 DearAbby28 Lewis Grizzard5A Local Front1B Obituaries11A Opinions4A Sports8A Television28 Weather11A Page2A Argentina Declares State Of Siege Page IB Lawmakers Hope To Avoid Tax Hike Tuesday May 30 1989 Aiken South Carolina Du Pont Awaits DOE Answer On Pay Court May Settle Severance Dispute By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer Du Pont Co officials expect to learn today or Wednesday whether theyll have to sue the Department of Energy to deter mine which one pays the tab for million in Savannah River Site severance pay Du Pont distributed the pay to about 6500 site employees before it withdrew April 1 as contractor at the nuclear weap ons plant The company sent the bill to local DOE officials for reimbursement and the de partments 60day response period will expire Wednesday said Albert H Peters manager of Du Fonts Aiken office Department officials previously had re fused to advance Du Pont the amount If they also reject the bill as expected it will clear the way for Du Pont to file its threatened lawsuit seeking reimbursement I assume well hear something from DOE today or tomorrow Peters said Du Fonts next step would be to file suit in federal claims court in Washington DC he said but declined to speculate when that would occur The Delawarebased company de signed and built the plant then operated it for nearly 39 years before turning the reins over to Westinghouse Savannah River Co on April 1 DOE officials have previously said SRS severance pay isnt appropriate at least not at taxpayers expense because virtu ally all of the sites employees were guar anteed comparable jobs and benefits un der Westinghouse But Du Pont officials say severance is an agreedto reimbursable benefit under the companys nonprofit contract with the DOE to operate the plant They say its been company policy to pay severance any time one of its facili ties changes hands regardless of wheth er jobs are lost Despite the brewing legal dispute the severance pay provided the Aiken area with an economic windfall Financial in stitutions offered special interest rates as they competed for new investment dol lars in the days following Du Fonts with drawal and automobile dealers realtors and retailers braced for new business as well Proposed Forces Reductions in Europe Proposals by President Bush at the NATO summit US D Warsaw Pact Combat Forces 600000 Combat Aircraft Helicopters Bush proposal to include artillery in talks Sales Tax May Be Decided By Voters Source Press Association R Dominguez Summit Ends On Note Of Unity Pledge ForNew Political Order By The Associated Press BRUSSELS Belgium President Bush and the Western allies hammered out a lastminute compromise over nucle ar missiles today and ended unitymind ed NATO summit talks pledging to shape a new political order of peace in Europe Bush urged Soviet President Mikhail S Gorbachev to accept his challenge to in tensify negotiations on reducing conven tional NATO and Warsaw Pact forces I have reason to believe that he knows weve been serious Bush said NATO Warm To CutsPage 12A The president said he hoped Gorbachev will be persuaded by the unity of the alliance behind Bushs proposals for lowering troop levels to 275000 on each side and negotiating new ceilings for tanks aircraft and other conventional weapons on the European continent I think its a good thing its good for NATO I happen to think its good for the entire free world Bush told a televised Please See SUMMIT Page 12A By The Associated Press COLUMBIA State voters may soon be able to decide if they want to pay a 1 cent sales tax in return for a reduction in property taxes The state Senate agreed to the socalled local option sales tax Monday giving lo cal governments a major victory A similar measure has already passed the House and Gov Carroll Campbell has said he endorses the concept As a result local governments seem certain to win adoption of some new law this year that will end their dependence on property taxes for revenue Its been a long time coming How ard Duvall of the Municipal Association of South Carolina said after the 2715 vote City and county officials failed in a bid for the local option sales tax last year when they couldnt agree on a common position Opponents tried to delay the bill with a minifilibuster that lasted until 2 am Friday when the bill received tentative approval Any similar attempts were blocked Monday afternoon when the Sen ate agreed to limit debate Still the Sen ate waded through 25 amendments be fore passing a bill that left many still dissatisfied The bill that passed is not a property tax reform bill said Sen Glenn McCon nell RCharleston It is a vehicle for a backdoor tax increase McConnell had sought to have property taxes capped after the sales tax money was used for rollbacks and he favored 100 percent use of the money raised for property tax rollbacks As passed by the House the bill al lowed counties to increase the sales tax from 5 percent to 6 percent if voters ap prove At least half the new money would go to property tax rollbacks and the re mainder to cities and counties for general revenue The Senate adopted several changes including f Exempting groceries s Requiring that 75 percent of the mon ey raised must be applied to property tax rollbacks v Weighting property tax rollbacks to Rate Burden Shifted To Bad Drivers By The Associated Press COLUMBIA State lawmakers have approved a package of automo bile insurance reforms that could save good drivers up to if the savings arent nullified by expected rate increases The proposal which now must be approved by both chambers before going to Gov Carroll Campbell for his approval was adopted by a legis lative conference committee on Mon day It shifts more cost of insurance onto the backs of bad drivers from good drivers Good drivers are identified as those who have either no traffic pen alties or no more than one ticket for going less than 10 mph over the speed limit But state Insurance Commissioner John Richards said rate increases will almost certainly be approved this summer to become effective in the fall Rates have not increased since the fall of 1987 he said and he would not Please See RATE Page 12A give homeowners more tax relief than manufacturers Requiring counties that collect more than million annually in new tax reve nues believed to number about 13 to distribute up to 5 percent of their total to counties that collected less than mil lion estimated to total around 20 Please See SALES Page 12A Students Defy Police In Protest Of Arrests AP Laserphoto GODDESS UNVEILED Beijing university students unveil their Goddess of Democracy in Tiananman Square An estimated 100000 were on hand for the unveiling By The Associated Press BEIJING About 1000 students and workers today rallied outside police headquarters to protest the reported arrests of leaders of a new independent labor union aligned with the student prode mocracy movement The protesters refused police or ders to disperse while thousands of their colleagues continued to oc cupy nearby Tiananmen Square af ter protest leaders failed to resolve a dispute over whether to end the threeweek sitin The reported arrest of three leaders of the Beijing Independent Workers Union was just the latest indication that Communist authori ties are getting tough with nonstu dent participants in the movement The Beijing Daily reported today that police detained 11 leaders of the Flying Tiger Brigade a band of 400 motorcyclists that has roared through the city in support of the student protesters Zhao Pinglu head of the inde pendent union said one of its lead ers a 27yearold official with the national airlines was grabbed by police Monday Two other union leaders both employees of the Ministry of Railways disappeared and were assumed arrested Zhao said Li Zhihuang wife of railway em ployee Qian Yiming said her hus bands work unit claimed he was arrested by police to find out about the situation at Tiananmen Square which students took over to press their sixweekold cam paign for a freer society and an end to official corruption Outside police headquarters a man who identified himself as chief of Beijing Public Security told a US television crew there that no students had been arrested He refused comment on whether Please See STUDENTS Page 12A
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