Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - August 18, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
Staff Graphic by Melissa Culp
Mystery Series Begins Saturday
A four-part series on unsolved mysteries will begin Saturday in the Aiken Standard.
The Saturday edition, which makes the Aiken Standard a seven-day-a-week newspaper for the first time, will also feature a look at University of South Carolina quarterback Todd Ellis, plus a profile of Air Force Gen. Hansford Tillman Johnson, a native of Aiken County.
The unsolved mysteries series, written by veteran reporter Carl langley, will also run in the Sunday, Monday and Tuesday editions of the Standard. Among the cases probed are the disappearance of a child, the shooting deaths of a North Augusta couple, the hit-and-run killing of a bicyclist and the rape-murder of an Edgefield County widow.A Quick Read
Earth Safe From Asteroid
IX)S ANGELES (AP) - For the third time this year, scientists discovered an asteroid will fly relatively close to Earth, and while there is no threat of collision, experts say such a disaster is likely sometime in the future.
“While the new asteroid poses no immediate danger, in astronomical terms it will be making a very close pass” when it comes within IVi million miles of Earth about 8 p.m. PDT next Thursday night, said planetary scientist Eleanor Helin, who discovered the mile-wide hunk of rock.
At 2*2 million miles — about IO times the distance between the Earth and the moon — the asteroid designated 1989 PB “will be one of the very closest larger objects to pass the Earth this century,” said Helin, a planetary scientist at the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Jet Propulsion laboratory in Pasadena.
“Ifs not going to hit us. Certainly there s no danger,” astronomer Brian Marsden said by telephone from Cambridge, Mass., where he directs the International Astronomical Union’s Central Bureau for Astronomical Telegrams, an astronomy reporting agency.Weather
Partly cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a chance of thunderstorms. The low will be in the upper 60s. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a 50 percent chance of thunderstorms. The high will be in the 80s. Please see details on Page 4A.Deaths
James O. Austin, New Ellenton Mack A Brown, Mullins Jessie Day, Aiken Lonnie L. Harris, Vaucluse Johnny B, Huff, Evergreen, Ala Albert L, Leverette, Burnettown Jessica N, Ramirez, Edgefield Lillian B. Scarborough, Stone Moutain William J Stevens, Columbia Reese H, Williams, Graniteville Please see details on Page 4AInside Today
Bridge .............. 6B
Comics ............................. 2C
Crossword ...4.,,............................. 7B
Dear Abby ...................................7B
Local Front .........................1B
Obituaries..,..,,,., ........................ 4A
Television ....... J.....2C
Striking Russians Begin Labor Talks
School Board Threatened With Lawsuit
Friday, August 18, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 198
Planners Head For Showdown
Commission To Insist Subdivision Regulations Be Kept Intact
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
The Aiken County Planning Commission sent a signal Thursday night that it is heading for a showdown with the County Council and developers over changes in subdivision regulations.
With only one negative vote among its nine members, the planning body, in a
letter of “reaffirmation,” said it would insist the council keep intact seven recommendations dealing with subdivisions.
Separate votes were taken on each of the seven items and the result was unanimous on six. Commissioner Doug Gin-grey voted against a proposal that would keep road widths 26 feet in small subdivisions. He said a reduction to 22 feet would not present a problem with traffic.
During the discussion, some of the commissioners indicated they would be present Tuesday night when the council takes up the changes in the subdivision regulations.
Planning Commission Chairman Ralph Zieger said if the commission is not allowed to present its case as a county agency, then commissioners could speak on the revisions as private citizens.
Council’s Development Committee Chairman Medwell Hill, asked to comment on the letter, answered the commissioner’s complaints by saying “they have gotten to the point where they want to dictate everything.”
Hill said some of the complaints by the commissioners are out of touch with the realities of development and their recommendations are a burden, not to developers, but to people wanting to buy a lot and build a home.
The revisions contested by the commis
sioners include items ranging from lot sizes in subdivisions served by tar and gravel roads, to cul-de-sac lengths, curb cuts, paving widths on small .streets and Planning Commission vs. county engineer authority in areas dealing with private unpaved roads and road capacities.
Zieger said in the letter that the proposed revisions in regulations are “of such potential benefit to developers that, if adopted, would make area developers a self-governing faction... ”
Zieger said if that should happen it would be “a detriment to the public at large and would weaken efforts of County Council, the Planning Commission and
(Please See PLANNERS, Page 10A)
Consumer Prices Up 0.2 Percent In July
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Consumer inflation rose a modest 0.2 percent in July, held down by the sharpest drop in gasoline prices in nearly three years, the government said today.
The increase in the I .a bor Department’s Consumer Price Index last month matched the gain in June. Together, the two reprts showed the mildest two-month inflation picture since July-August 1986 and marked a sharp contrast to surging prices in the first five months of the year.
Even with the recent slowdown, prices for the first seven months of 1989 rose at a 5.5 percent annual rate, more than a full percentage point higher than the 4.4 percent increases in both 1988 and 1987.
The Labor Department said the most recent dampening of cost pressures reflected drops in prices of gasoline and apparel, particularly vomen’s clothing, and a modest rise in f' <od costs.
Gasoline prices, after shooting up 21.2 percent in the first five months of the year, fell 1.0 percent in June and dropped an additional 2.2 percent in July, the sharpest decline since October 1986.
However, fuel oil costs rose 1.5 percent last month, reversing June’s decline of 1.2 percent, and natural gas was up 0.5 percent.
Food and beverage costs rose a moderate 0.3 percent in July following a 0.2 percent June gain. That was a marked moderation from the first five months of the year, when the lingering effects of last year’s drought sent food prices up at a 9.3 percent annual rate.
Cereal products, beverages and sweets all rose substantially, but they were offset by a 0.7 percent drop in the index for meats, poultry, fish and eggs.
Clothing costs were down 0.8 percent last month, following all percent decline in June. Prices for women's and girls’ apparel fell 2.0 percent and those
for infants and toddlers dropped 4.8 percent.
The I^abor Department attributed the declines to larger-than-usual end-of-the-season price discounts for women’s clothing.
The price of goods and services other than food and energy rose 0.4 percent, driven up by a 2.0 percent gain for tobacco but dampened by a 0.4 percent decline for new cars.
The various changes in July left the overall Consumer Price Index at 124.4 percent of its 1982-84 base. That means a hypothetical selection of goods costing $100 during the base period would have cost $124.40 in July, up 30 cents from June.
The moderation in consumer prices had been expected by economists and was sure to be greeted as good news at the Federal Reserve Board, which had
been raising in . rjst »ates in order to slow the economy.
Consumer Price Index
Percent change from prior month
ASONO J F M A M J J 1988 1989
June ’89 July 89
l+Q.4%1 |+0.2%1 Uo'2%1
Source U.S Dept ai Labor
AP5-Year Plan Has Goals For District
By DENISE STUBBS Staff Writer
Development of a five-year instructional plan to advance academic achievement for all Aiken County students encompasses a list of goals for the school district during the 1989-90 school year.
When the Aiken County Board of Education met on July ll, the administration and board members discussed goals that the school district should work toward and achieve during the upcoming school year.
During that meeting at the Clemson Extension Service, Board Member Robert Slay proposed a five-year instructional support plan similar to the long-term five-year facility plan that is currently in place throughout the district. The school board adopted Slay’s plan, which would outline the amount of funds available for instruction and list priorities to improve education in Aiken County each year.
Using the data available from the Savannah River Site Impact Plan, the Task Force 2000 Report, the “Target 2000-School Reform for the Next Decade” Act and other studies and reports, goals for Aiken County instruction will be devel-
Pipe-Bomb Killer Dies In Alabama Electric Chair
oped. Various local, state and national studies have been compiled to predict area growth and future needs of the local community as well as suggested solutions to future dilemmas.
The school district administration will involve the staff, parents, students and other citizens throughout the school district in the development of the five-year instructional plan, according to the first draft of 1989-90 goals report presented to the school board on Aug. 15.
Once the school board members review the goals, the report will be sent to each of the five areas that make up the school district for review by principals, the staff and the area advisory councils. These groups will suggest changes and provide their initial reaction to the tentative goals.
After this process has been completed, the goals will go before the school board for final approval. When the general
(Please See 5-YEAR, Page 10A)
By The Associated Press
ATMORE, Ala. — An inmate who was married last week in a prison ceremony was executed early today in Alabama’s electric chair for the 1977 pipe-bomb killing of an 11-year-old girl.
Herbert Lee Richardson, 43, was pronounced dead at 12:14 a.m., said state Department of Corrections spokeswoman Debbie Herbert.
He was convicted in the death of Rena Mae Catlins of Dothan, whose body was blown apart on the porch of her home when she picked up a pipe bomb and it detonated.
The execution was carried out after the U.S. Supreme Court followed the lith U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Atlanta and U.S. District Judge Robert Varner in Montgomery in refusing Richardson’s request for a stay Thursday. Gov. Guy Hunt earlier refused to grant clemency.
Richardson was the sixth person executed in Alabama and the 116 in the nation since the U.S. Supreme Court allowed states to restore the death penalty in 1976.
Richardson, blindfolded, was strapped in the electric chair as Holman Prison Warden Charlie Jones read the death warrant.
“I have no ill feeling and hold nothing
against anyone,” Richardson said in a final statement.
Soon after, his body received a surge of 1,800 volts of electricity.
In a news conference after the execution, state Prison Commissioner Morris Thigpen said that Richardson had requested the blindfold from the time he left the holding cell adjacent to the execution room at 11:57 p.m.
“He never saw the execution chamber,” Thigpen said.
Richardson was described by his defenders as an “all-around American boy” who was left emotionally disturbed by his Vietnam War experience. He claimed the pipe bomb was not meant to explode, only to scare the girl’s family. The girl’s aunt had broken off a relationship with him shortly before the device was planted.
Varner, in rejecting the defense claims, said Thursday it is “beyond the bounds of reason ... to believe that a device which maimed and killed an 11-year-old child by exploding in her hands could be thought of... as not presenting a se- ' riousrisk of harm.”
Richardson’s wife, Katie, some of her family members and a Montgomery minister visited the condemned man Thursday until about IO: 30 p.m.
AZT Proved Effective For Mildly Infected AIDS Patients
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Highly successful trials of the antiviral drug AZT suggest that AIDS may soon become “a treatable disease” instead of a hopeless infection, federal officials say.
The announcement is “a major turning point in the AIDS epidemic,” said Jean McGuire, director of the AIDS Action Council, an advocacy group for AIDS patients.
Health and Human Services Secretary Louis Sullivan announced Thursday that trials of AZT on patients who are only
FAUCI mildly infected with AIDS proved that the drug can halt
progression of the infection.
“We are indeed entering the period when AIDS may become a treatable disease,” Sullivan said at a news conference where the AZT drug trial results were announced.
However, he cautioned: “AZT is not a cure and, indeed, even those who are under AZT treatment remain capable of transmitting the disease.”
Findings of the drug trials on mildly infected patients who show no symptoms prompted federal officials to stop the trials so that all participants can receive AZT. The drug trial had required one-third of the 1,300 in the study to receive placebo, or sugar pill.
AZT, also known as zidovudine, is marketed by Burroughs Wellcome Co. under the brand name Retrovir. It formally was known by the name azidothymidine.
which was shortened in popular use to AZT.
Thursday’s announcement marks the third time that formal trials of AZT have been modified after the drug demonstrated its effectiveness against AIDS in selected patient groups.
Two weeks ago, a trial was stopped among patients with a stage of the disease called AIDS-related complex, or ARC. Earlier, the government halted trials among profoundly infected AIDS patients. In both cases the trials were stopped so that those participants getting placebo could start receiving the drug.
An AZT trial continues among AIDS patients whose blood immune system is still healthy but who test positive for infection by the human immunodeficiency virus, or HIV, which causes AIDS. This group would be at an even earlier stage of the disease.
Sullivan said the new trial results, along with those from the two earlier trials, provide “real hope for the millions of people worldwide who are infected with HIV.”
Ms. McGuire said in a prepared statement, “For the millions of Americans who have waited to be tested for HIV because there was no medical assistance available, today’s announcement should be reason for people to rethink that decision.”
The HHS secretary said he is ordering that Medicare patients receiving AZT be reimbursed for the cost of the drug. AZT, which must be taken six times daily,’ costs $7,000 to $8,000 a year per patient.
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, the lead federal clinical agency
(Please See AZT, Page 10A)