Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 3, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
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A Quick Read
Measles Outbreak Shows Need For Shots
LOS ANGELES (AP) — One-sixth of America’s 1988 measles patients came from Los Angeles County, where an ongoing outbreak among mostly Hispanic toddlers demonstrates a nationwide need to vaccinate I- to 4-year-olds, experts say.
“We seem to have a toddler immunization gap,” said Dr. Stephen Waterman, chief of acute communicable disease control for the county Department of Health Services. “A lot of those kids don’t get vaccinated until they go to school,” where measles shots are mandatory.
The extent of the outbreak of the virus-caused respiratory disease in Los Angeles County was reported by the national Centers for Disease Control in today’s issue of the agency’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.
The county last year reported 513 measles cases, 17.5 percent — or more than one-sixth — of the nation’s total of 2,933, the Atlanta-based CDC said. Two of the patients, ages 8 months and 23 months, died.
Team Plans lcewalk To North Pole
OTTAWA (AP) — An international expedition plans to walk 483 miles across the ice to the North Pole to dramatize the hazards they believe are threatening the arctic.
The team, which includes members from Canada, the United States, the Soviet Union, Britain, Japan, Australia and West Germany, hopes to set out on the 65-day trip around March 10-15 from Cape Columbia, Canada’s northernmost point of land on the Arctic Ocean.
The American in the group is Darryl Roberts of the Bronx, N.Y.
The expedition is led by Robert Swan, the British explorer who walked to the South Pole with two other men in 1986. A successful completion of the northern trip would make him the first on record to walk to both poles.
Cloudy And Cool
Cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a 40 percent chance of rain and a low in the mid 50s. Cloudy skies and cooler weather are forecast Saturday with a 40 percent chance of rain and a high near 60. Much colder weather is forecast for early next week.
Yesterday’s high of 78 set a new record. The old high was 77 and was recorded in 1974.
Please see details on Page 6B.
James Denny Jr., Batesburg Mrs. Mannie Lewis, Edgefield Mabel O. Puyh, Aiken Matthew W. Sunday, Williston Please see details on Page 6B
Friday, February 3, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 30
Reactor Start This Year Unlikely
By KATHY KADANE States News Service
WASHINGTON — Top Department of Energy officials told Congress Thursday it’s unlikely that the Savannah River Plant’s three nuclear production reactors will be restarted this year.
Top DOE officials and their safety advisers testified before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee, and their comments renewed concerns about supplies of tritium gas, a vital but perishable weapons component that the U.S. can produces only in those reactors.
Officials said restart of the three reactors, all shut down since last summer for safety reasons, is lagging because data is still insufficient to allow them to decide
‘It’s going to be very difficult to make the level of changes necessary.’
— John Ahearne
whether or not the reactors can be operated safely.
In addition, Energy officials said, training of plant operators in new safety procedures is not yet complete.
They told the subcommittee that by March, the DOE and Westinghouse Savannah River Co. officials would have more test results available and would be able to set a date for restart of the reac
tors. Westinghouse will replace the Du Pont Co. as SRP contractor on April I.
Tritium decays at a rate of 5.5 percent a year, and weapons periodically require fresh tritium supplies to remain effective.
The subcommittee was reconvening today for a closed session on how long the reactors could remain shut down without harming national security. Among the scheduled witnesses were Gen. Robert T.
Herres, vice chairman of the Joints Chiefs of Staff, and Robert C. Duncan,
chairman of the Pentagon’s Nuclear Weapons Council.
“I expect we’re going to get some unpleasant news,” Sen. Jim Exon, D-Neb., told Thursday’s session.
Energy officials also told the Senate committee the plant’s reactors — built in the 1950s — would never meet commercial safety standards like those set by the U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission for commercial reactors, even after repair and modernization.
“DOE reactors are too old to meet current NRC standards,” Troy E. Wade II,
(Please See REACTOR, Page 8A)
Staff Photo By Phil Jones
BALMY: Roy Bailey enjoys the early morning sun as he The recent warm weather isn’t expected to stick around fishes Vaucluse Pond,with only his reflection for company, much longer in the area.
Break Out Scarves — Cold Is Coming
By The Associated Press
COLUMBIA — The springlike weather in South Carolina this week will give way to more normal February weather when the cold front that caused so many problems in Alaska arrives early next week, forecasters say.
Instead of record highs in the 70s and low 80s, temperatures will be in the upper 30s and lower 40s by Tuesday, said English Hammond, National Weather Service specialist.
The extended forecast calls for highs in the 70s Friday, in the 60s for Saturday and Sunday and the 50s Monday. By Tuesday, lows will dip below the freezing mark, Hammond said.
(Please See BREAK, Page 8A)
Big Chill Moving East With Freezing Rain
By The Associated Press
Freezing drizzle ushered the Big Chill of ’89 deeper into the nation’s midsection and toward the East Coast today, turning highways into glaring stretches of ice and draping trees and power lines in a hardened coat.
The frigid air mass that spilled into the lower 48 states from Alaska earlier in the week brought more snow today to ttie weather-weary Pacific Northwest and northern states, threatening crops and endangering newborn livestock.
The cold spell has closed schools, disrupted travel, and caused power out
ages at a time when electricity is in high demand. Wind-chill readings between 60 and 80 degrees below zero were common across much of Montana and the Dakotas.
Stretching across a roughly triangular area from the Pacific Northwest to Texas to New England, the air mass is pushing southward, but at a slower pace than earlier in the week, said Brian Smith of the National Weather Service.
“It’s moving quite a bit slower now. We’re not getting the really rapid changes in temperatures that we
(Please See BIG, Page8A)
DOE Will Do EIS On SRP
By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer
The Department of Energy says it will meet environmentalists’ demand for an environmental study on the Savannah River Plant’s nuclear reactors, but won’t guarantee completion of that study before the idled facilities are restarted.
Environmental groups said they’re unsatisfied with the DOE’s new position, and won’t drop their suit demanding that finalization of an “environmental impact statement’ precede any restarts of the idled reactors.
Meanwhile, DOE expects to start hoeing Aiken-area public hearings in mid-April, as the first step in preparing the EIS.
The Columbia-based Energy Research Foundation, allied with Greenpeace USA and the Natural Resources Defense Council, filed suit in December to force an EIS, a hearing-filled process requiring a year or more.
The groups contend that recent reports about safety problems at SRP makes restart a major federal action requiring an EIS under the National Environmental Policy Act.
DOE officials testified Thursday before a Senate Armed Services subcommittee that restarts of any SRP reactors are unlikely this year.
DOE told the committee that it would do a full EIS, but “ifs not a condition for restart,” said Will Callicott, a spokesman at the DOE’s Washington headquarters.
Environmentalists say uncertainty over the shutdown’s length — perhaps lasting more than a year — make it clear there’s time for EIS preparation beforehand.
Energy Research and Greenpeace’s Columbia office said they learned about the new EIS development only through an article this morning from The State’s Washington bureau.
The article quotes Troy Wade, acting DOE assistant secretary for defense programs, as saying Thursday that the department will not wait for completion of the EIS before starting up K-Reactor.
(Please See DOE, Page 8A)
Dog Has His Day In Court; Owner Has To Pay $25 Fine
By PHILIP LORD Staff Writer
The old saying is that every dog will have his day, but this dog got his day in court.
Black Jack, a 1-year-old male shepherd/labrador mix, had a court date with Magistrate Ralph Barber Thursday.
The dog’s owner, William Edward Corbett, 207 Dean Dr., North Augusta, had to pay a $25 fine after the dog allegedly stole two large T-bone steaks on Jan. 18 that were sitting on a grill at a neighbor’s house.
Monroe D. Berry had Corbett charged with allowing his dog to run free after the dog allegedly ran off with two steaks that he had placed on a grill to thaw.
Berry came out from underneath his
truck, where he was changing oil, to see the dog run around his trailer, he said.
“I looked, and my steaks were gone,” Berry said. “You could take a fork and cut those steaks.”
He added, “He was eating the steaks with me looking at him.”
Berry said that he has had problems with the dog before, but he has never reported it to the authorities.
“That was the last straw,” he said. When authorities arrived, they went over to Corbett’s yard and served him with a copy of the complaint and a court date, authorities said.
“To me, a dog like him is supposed to run free,” Corbett said. He added that the dog was “basically a neighborhood dog” before it settled at the Dean Drive
(Please See DOG, Page 8A)
Nation's Jobless Rate Rises; Number Of New Jobs Also Up
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Unemployment rose slightly in January to 5.4 percent, but the number of new jobs created last month rose by 408,000, much higher than expected, the government reported today.
The Labor Department said the civilian unemployment rate rose by 0.1 percentage point from the December rate of 5.3 percent.
But the first major report of the economy’s 1989 performance showed continued strong growth, something analysts have predicted would feed inflationary fears and perhaps convince the Federal Reserve Board to tighten its reins on credit.
The 408,000 new nonfarm jobs created last month followed a gain of 279,000 in December and nearly matched November’s robust gain of 440,OOC new jobs.
Analysts had predicted that January job growth would be in the 250,000 range
and that any growth of more than 300,000 could trouble the markets.
The Labor Department said the labor force expanded by nearly 900,000 people, with about 700,000 of them finding jobs, and that a record 62.9 percent of the working-age population had jobs.
The unseasonably warm weather in much of the country helped eontruction employment rise by 102,000 jobs last month, the department said. Manufacturing employment also was up forthe fourth month in a row, with 45,000 new January jobs split virtually evenly between the durable and non-durable goods industries.
There were 260,000 new jobs in the service-producing sector of the economy, with the 135,000 in retail trades accounting for more than half of that figure. Service industries reported adding 75,000 new jobs last month, down from an average monthly gain of 110,000 in that sector throughout 1988.