Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - April 30, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
Nostalgia Alive In Beech Island
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A Quick Read
'Jason' Raised, Saves $7 Million Project
BOSTON (AP) — The errant underwater robot Jason was raised from the deep Saturday, breathing new life into a $7 million international satellite science project whose submersible star had unceremoniously sunk.
“The crew had prepared an understudy for the project, but now the show can go on,” said Paul Fontaine of Boston’s Museum of Science. “Jason is back.”
The 7-foot-long, remote-control robot will be on center stage Monday as the first of 250,000 students in 13 cities across the United States and Canada hook up via a two-way satellite with marine explorers in the Mediterranean Sea.
About 2,000 museum officials, teachers and technicians were testing the system last week when Jason, a propeller-driven submersible equipped with video camera and maneuverable arms, disappeared overboard.
Dr. Robert Ballard’s rubber-booted assistants were easing the million-dollar robot overboard off the coast of Italy when the cable snapped and the younger brother of the robot that first nosed among the Titanias ruins sank 2,100 feet to the soft, silty ocean floor.
“Everybody felt very badly about it,” said Fontaine, one of dozens of museums officials nationwide who have worked nearly two years to coordinate the project.
“Jason’s as much a member of the crew as anybody. He was on the frontline, though, and everyone knows it’s the frontline person who takes the biggest risks,” Fontaine said. “It was particularly sad because he hadn’t even had the chance to show off his stuff.”
Mostly cloudy skies are forecasts for today with a 40 percent chance of showers or thunder storms. Today’s high will be in the mid 80s and tonight’s low will be in the mid 50s. Winds will be W at IO mph.Please see details on Page 7A.
Mrs. Lenora Barton Beck, Aiken
Mrs. Maude Hair Hall, Aiken
Lt. Col. William Lamar Johnson, West
Marion W. Mason, Woodbourne, N Y. John H. Smith, Batesburg Please see details on Page 7A.
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Local Front ................*.........9A
Obituaries. .,....,............................... 7A
Sports...,, ............... 1B
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Lexington Earns Southern Cross Title
Sunday, April 30, 1989
Vol. 122 No. 103
Taxpayer Burden Eases Under Local Option Tax
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
Aiken County taxpayers could save more than $3.2 million and the county and its municipal governments could pick up about $3.1 million in new money if a local option sales tax bill is approved this year.
The controversial legislation, hiking the sales tax one cent on the dollar in counties adopting it, passed the House Thursday on a vote of 73-26, beating a May I deadline for it to reach the Senate.
The Senate is expected to take up the bill before the mandatory June I General Assembly adjournment, but it may have
to deal with stalling tactics by a number of senators opposed to the measure.
Opponents say they will try to bottle the bill up if guarantees aren’t written into the legislation that property tax cutbacks will be permanent rather than temporary provisions.
Aiken City Manager Roland H. Windham produced figures showing the county’s property tax rollbacks and surplus monies would be apportioned out of a sales tax kitty that will amount to about $6.3 million.
(Please See TAXPAYER, Page 10A)
Local Option Sales Tax Effects
no property tax now being assessed.
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Staff Photo By Scott Webster
DOMINANT ROLE: U.S. Highway No. 1, more commonly known as the Aiken-Augusta Highway, will play a prominant role in the growth of Horse Creek Valley.
Wind Of The Future Blows Along Highway I
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
Long before there was an incorporated town in Aiken County, settlers in and around Horse Creek Valley after the Revolutionary War carved out narrow wagon trails through thickets and across swamps and creeks to reach a trading post along the Savannah River.
Driving teams of horse and oxen, farmers and trappers living about the state’s midlands hauled cotton and hides to docks in Hamburg, located on North Augusta’s Shultz Hill. The tradesmen loaded their goods on flatboats and sent the cargo downriver to the busy port of Savannah.
Among this spidery network of foot and wagon paths that converged in the Valley was a track that someday would bear the designation of No. I in the vast federal highway system.
But before this thoroughfare on the floor of the Valley became popular, immigrants moving into what later became Aiken County made heavy use of a trail carved out by the British before independence.
The route, which fell out of favor after the settling of Aiken because a more direct road to Augusta was built, became known as the Tory Trail. Now Pine Log Road, it connected the low country with Beech Island and the colonial outpost of Ft. Moore.
Running north-south, the U.S. I corridor in the late 1800s was a sand-clay road that went through eastern North Carolina, then veered southwest to Columbia. From the state capital, it continued southwest and came through Aiken before cutting across Horse Creek Valley and bridging the river at Augusta.
(Please See THE VALLEY, Page 10A)
Editor's Note: The name Horse Creek Valley means different things to many people, but to those who live there it is a story of the human spirit, of winning over sometimes insurmountable odds. The series concludes today with a look at what the future holds in store for the Valley.
SRS Safety Convincing To Worker
Augustan Moses Todd: Son Is living Proof'
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
Moses Todd has worked at the Savannah River Site for less than two years, but Friday he brought a personal exhibit to an Environmental Impact Hearing to show his support for the nuclear reservation.
Todd, of 2533 Friar Lane in Augusta, spoke less than his allotted five minutes, but before leaving the H. Odell Weeks Center he held up a plastic-encased picture of his four-year-old son.
“This is my son. This is Moses Oscar Todd, and he’s four years old. His mother carried him for nine months while she worked at the Savannah River Plant,” the father said.
Todd, who has worked at the SRS for the last 14 months, said his son was “the living proof” that workers at the nuclear facility, even those pregnant, have little to fear about plant safety.
Todd, saying he saw no need for compiling an EIS on a plant that has been operated safely for 38 years, urged the energy department to proceed with its plans to restart the reactors.
The father, whose wife works in a laboratory at the site, was the 10th speaker in the third and final series of scoping hearings called by the Department of
Among nearly 70 speakers sharing Todd’s view were U.S. Rep. Butler C. Derrick, D-S.C., Aiken Mayor H. Odell Weeks, Patricia Kusek from Gov. Carroll A. Campbell’s office, McDonald Law of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce and George Nelson of the North Augusta Chamber of Commerce.
(Please See SRS, Page 10A)
Watkins Cites Safety As Keynote To Restart
By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer
Energy Secretary James D. Watkins may have left Savannah River Site employees with the impression Friday that he’s both the plant’s toughest critic and its biggest fan.
Watkins twice gave pep talks to audiences of hundreds, reminding them of their importance to national security, during an all-day tour of the troubled weapons plant.
But he left no illusions about the size and difficulty of the management revisions that await completion before he’ll authorize restart of the plant’s strategically vital nuclear production reactors.
The retired U.S. Navy admiral, accompanied by Gov. Carroll Campbell and several U.S. senators and congressmen, told his audiences he’d like to return in a year and present a plaque for safety achievements.
“Let’s go get ’em,” he said during a brief speech at the Defense Waste Processing Facility, the biggest of the site’s waste management projects included on his tour.
The new Department of Energy chief, installed in January, told workers he had come “to demonstrate how important I think you are.”
The plant’s reactors, the only source of the perishable tritium gas vital to arming U.S. nuclear weapons, have been shut down since last fall for DOE-ordered safety improvements.
Watkins expressed concern about dwindling supplies of tritium, which decays at a rate of 5.5 percent a year. “Timing is critical. Nature is working against us,” he said.
But he predicted it will be early (Please See WATKINS, Page 6A)
Staff Photo By Scott Webster
INSPECTION: On a personal fact-finding tour of SRS, Energy Secretary James D. Watkins expressed concern about the dwindling supply of tritium but said safety comes first in the restart of the plant’s reactors.