Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - August 25, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
High School Football Kicks Off In County
A Quick Read
Plane Missing In Pakistan
ISLAMABAD, Pakistan (AP) — A Pakistan International Airlines plane with 54 people aboard was reported missing today, and rescue workers began searching the rugged Himalaya and Korakoram mountains along its intended flight path.
Airline officials said the twin-en-gine Fokker-27 Friendship propeller plane had not been heard from nine hours after it took off early this morning on what should have been a 45-minute flight from Gilgit to Islamabad.
Rescue workers in planes searched the mountains today, but their effort was hampered by thunderstorms and heavy rains.
It was not known if the missing plane had encountered bad weather, but planes generally don’t leave the Korakoram Mountain city of Gilgit in storms.
Dying 8-Year-Old Boy
FAIRMONT, W.Va. (AP) - It started as a simple visit by a couple of soldiers in combat fatigues with an 8-year-old boy dying of cancer.
But by the end of the day, Chris Riley had enlisted in the Army as a special soldier, flown in a helicopter, ridden in a tanklike vehicle called a mobile howitzer and made some new friends in the military.
“It certainly is a dream come true,” said the boy’s father, Robert “Kip” Riley. “He’s a big G.I. Joe fan. He was just thrilled to death, just as thrilled as anyone could be with all these things.”
Chris has undergone surgery twice since November 1986 for a brain tumor, said his mother, Gale Riley. She said chemotherapy was stopped last month after the cancer spread to Chris’ spine, leaving him in pain and too weak to walk.
“Now he’s on constant morphine to keep away the pain,” Mrs. Riley said. “ And he’s lost most of his mobility. There’s nothing more the doctors can do for him right now.”
Chance Of Storms
Partly cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a 30 percent chance of thunderstorms. The low will be in the low 70s. Partly sunny skies are forecast Saturday with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms and a high in the low 90s. Please see details on Page 6A.
Davis L. Eidson, Slidell, La. Mattie H. Garvin, Millen, Ga. Shannon L. Widener, Augusta Please see details on Page 6A
Bridge ........................................... 7B
Comics ........................ 8A
Local Front............................'..........1 b
Obituaries ....................... 6A
Television ..J,..,.,,,,.,.,,,,.,.,..,.,.,,,.,,,,,.,, BA Weather...........................................6A
Japanese Official Resigns After Scandal
Langley Pond Residents Are Fed Up
^ amt time
Friday, August 25, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 205
Panel Looks At Lost Court Fines
Committee Wants Tighter Control On Lost Court Money
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
Aiken County Council’s Judicial and Public Safety Committee agreed Thursday night to look at a program that could prevent the annual loss of apparently hundreds of thousand of dollars in criminal court fines.
The decision to ask Clerk of Court Elizabeth Cooper-Godard to install a tighter collection system, using an existing employee or employees, came after a lengthy discussion about the lost fines.
If the pilot project proves successful, Committee Chairman LaWana McKenzie and committee member Rosemary English indicated they would support more funding for an enhanced collection program.
Voyager Encounters Neptune
By The Associated Press
PASADENA, Calif. — Voyager 2 plunged over Neptune’s north pole for a close-up look today at the icy I .»on Triton, snapping photographs of cuffs and glacier-like lunar terrain as it reached the pinnacle of its epic exploration of four planets.
“We see what is best described as an extremely strange and puzzling surface” in photos of Triton taken a few hours before the spacecraft made its closest approach to Neptune, said Bradford Smith, head of Voyager’s photographic imaging team at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory.
The photos showed long fault lines, ridges, low-lying cliffs and “ice structures of various sorts, like glacier terrain,” scientist Torrence Johnson said. “They’re like things you see in polar caps on Mars.... We’re not seeing a lot of big craters,” indicating Triton’s surface is geologically active with processes that obliterate craters made by meteorites.
“It looks like there’s all kinds of fault systems all over the place,” said Laurence Soderblom, of the U.S. Geological Survey. The faults suggest that “Triton quakes” may have occurred at one time on the moon.
“Triton will upstage Neptune. It’s filled with hummocky, rippling terrain,” said laboratory astronomer Rich Terrile.
The one-ton Voyager probe skimmed 3,048 miles above Neptune’s icy north pole cloud tops at 8:56 p.m. PDT Thursday — the closest of its planetary encounters — after being accelerated by Neptune’s gravity to a speed of 61,148 mph.
(See VOYAGER, Page 7A)
Drawing Straws ........................1 b
Testimony before the committee was that criminal defendants owing large sums of fine money are thumbing their noses at the courts because the clerk’s office doesn’t have the manpower or other resources to track them down.
Cited as an example is a case where a defendant is fined a certain amount, say $5,000, but is only able to pay $1,000. Judges, confronted with packed jails and nowhere to put prisoners, usually accept the “down payment” and order the rest paid in installments over a period of time.
But the committee was told that in many cases the defendants “walk away knowing” they won’t have to pay any more.
Robert Perry, director of the state’s Probation, Pardon and Paroles Services office in Aiken, agreed with the clerk that the defendants have learned to beat the collections system.
Mrs. Cooper-Godard appeared before the committee after writing a memo last month that reported more than $82,000
After The Innoceiue
was owed by criminal case defendants from one week’s session of court.
Fines imposed by Judge Frank Eppes amounted to $94,695.25 and during court the clerk’s office received $11,923.55. The clerk’s office said that left $82,771.70 due the county for the week of July 17-21.
Mrs. Cooper-Godard said in the memo that “there is no staffing available to monitor and enforce collection.”
The clerk of court said she could not estimate the annual loss but conceded it could run to more than $700,000 if the July week of court is used as a measuring stick. 6
The county gets 75 percent of all fine money collected, while 25 percent goes to the state. If fines for a year total $1 million, the county’s share is $750,000. But Aiken County never collects anywhere near that amount.
County Administrator W. Scott Barnes, who was at the committee meeting, acknowledged that the county only budgeted $130,000 this year for criminal fines, which highlights the pattern of lost revenues.
Mrs. Cooper-Godard said her office is hampered in the collection procedures
BANISHED: Pete Rose, maintaining his innocence to the end, completes an epic plunge from baseball’s pantheon to exile as he is banished from the sport for life for betting on his own team. Please see story on Page 2A,
because it needs at least two computer terminals costing $1,600 and another employee to keep track of the defendants and their fines.
The clerk said one terminal would be located in the courtroom and the other in the clerk’s offices. The employee’s job would be to track down and contact the defendant to press for payment.
Committee Chairman LaWana McKenzie proposed that the clerk offer an employee an opportunity to work on a contractual basis, at nights or on weekends, to see if the pilot program could result in an increase collection of the fine monies.
Mrs. Cooper-Godard said she would make an effort among the staff to install the pilot program.
The decision to try the in-house solution came after Barnes pointed out that the treasurer’s office worked out a major problem with errant tax billings by using a contractual agreement with a retired employee.
In that case, according to Barnes, the employee worked on a flat fee to sort out about 7,000 bills that had been returned due to address changes and taxpayers moving out of the county.
Financial Meltdown Not Likely
By The Associated Press
NEW YORK — Stock market analysts say the risk of a financial meltdown is far lower today than it was two years ago, the last time the Dow Jones industrial average was in record territory.
The Dow Jones average of 30 key industrial company stocks jumped 56.53 points Thursday, carrying it to 2,734.64 and surpassing the record of 2,722.42 set precisely two years ago today.
The 1987 peak was the start of a short but severe bear market that culminated in the worst day in Wall Street history, the 508-point plunge in the Dow Jones industrials on Oct. 19,1987,
Evidence of that debacle was hard to find Thursday.
“The quote of the day is something like: What crash?” said Robert Brusca, chief economist of Nikko Securities Co. International Inc., the New York arm of a Japanese brokerage firm.
Supporting the stock market in 1989 are a healthy dollar, relatively low interest rates and optimism that the economy will manage to steer a middle course between recession and high inflation.
Most of all, there is no speculative bubble ready to be popped. Stock prices are far lower in relation to underlying company profits than they were two years ago, said Lawrence Kudlow, chief economist at Bear, Stearns & Co.
“Fundamentally this is a great expression of confidence in the whole U.S. economic outlook,” Kudlow said. “We keep throwing negatives at the market and they don’t stick.”
(See FINANCIAL, Page 7A)
Colombian Politidans Fear Electoral Process
By The Associated Press
BOGOTA, Colombia — Politicians say the latest wave of drug-sponsored violence, including the slaying of a presidential candidate, threatens the country’s electoral process.
In March, Colombians are to choose a new Congress and mayors. In May, a presidential vote is planned, and campaigning is already under way.
But according to ex-president Misael Pastrana Borrero, leader of the opposition Conservative Party, “the electoral process is badly compromised,” both by cocaine traffickers and leftist guerrillas.
“There are at least 50 municipalities in which it is impossible to conduct political campaigning,” he said in a local radio interview. “Under these conditions the electoral process is wounded.”
Those municipalities are effectively controlled by leftist guerrilla organizations or hit squads funded by narcotics
traffickers allied with right-wing extremists,
The death squads are blamed for countless slayings of leftist and labor activists and also conduct what is euphemistically called “social cleansing” — the killing of vagabonds, prostitutes, the elderly and infirm.
Several leftist guerrilla groups are active in the country. They control many rural areas, attack military and economic targets — including oil pipelines — and kidnap for ransom.
Ernesto Samper Pizano, a Liberal Party senator and presidential candidate, complained that “there are no guarantees (of safety) for the electoral campaign.”
He said he feared that “the process might be jeopardized by new and unfortunate acts of violence.”
Last Friday, assassins believed hired by cocaine traffickers killed the Liberal Party’s leading presidential candidate, Sen. Luis Carlos Galan.
Lowcountry Storms Cause Traffic Tie-Ups, Accidents
By The Associated Press
CHARLESTON — At least four people were iojured when a line of heavy thunderstorms, lightning and hail moved through Charleston, downing tree limbs, snarling rush-hour traffic and leaving thousands without power late Thursday.
Two people were injured when winds toppled a guard shack at Charleston Naval Base, said Lt. Cmdr. John Tull, spokesman for the base. Others hurt included a shipyard worker struck by a tree and a James Island woman who inhaled smoke after lightning struck her home, burning a hole in the wall and the roof, authorities said.
For all the ferocity of the storm, damage was minimal, Charleston County Police Maj. Thomas Dawson said.
“I think with the wind damage and funnels that were occurring, it certainly brought a sense of concern to people in those areas,” he said. “But we’re grateful it turned out that It was not as severe as we first thought it was going to be.”
At the height of the late afternoon storm, an estimated 18,500 customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. were left in the dark, spokesman Brian Duncan said.
Power was restored to about half those customers by early evening, but some customers were not expected to have power again until early Friday, he said.
The storm also downed tree limbs, causing a rash of accidents that snarled rushhour traffic. Charleston County police said.
The National Weather Service issued a tornado warning for Charleston County after a funnel cloud was spotted near Interstate 26 in the Union Heights area, forecaster John Townsend said.