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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 14, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports Georgetown Downs Syracuse Page 7A A Quick ReadWedding Lines Form In Las Vegas LAS VEGAS (AP) - Long lines formed at the courthouse and business boomed at the city’s 25 wedding chapels today as an expected 1,500 couples began tying Valentine’s Day knots in this marriage mecca. Beverly Swinn, who has seen hundreds of thousands of couples line up at the Marriage License Bureau, said workers were hoping they might get a breather this year, with Valentine’s Day falling near the middle of the week. Last year, when Valentine’s Day fell on Sunday, 1,365 couples purchased licenses Feb. 13 and 14. The bureau issued 841 licenses this weekend, said Ms. Swinn. More than 400 were issued Monday and at least that many were expected today, she said. “We thought it was going to ease off, but we’re swamped today,” she said Monday. “Most of those people will be saving them for Tuesday.” In 1988, the Marriage License Bureau issued a record 72,500 licenses, or about 200*3 day. last year’s total was up nearly 5,000 from 1987.Ingenuity Pays Off, Despite Some Delays MONTPELIER, Vt. (AP) - A military technician who was worried about the safety of a $4,500 infrared light tester used on helicopters went to the local hardware store and built his own — for $8.75. Now, after saving the military more than $6 million a year, John Ledoux is getting his reward: a check for $25,000. Ledoux, a part-time sergeant in the Vermont Army National Guard and a full-time civilian employee of an Army National Guard base in Burlington, Vt., received a $10,000 incentive prize from the government more than a year ago. Today he was to receive the larger prize from the federal Office of Personnel Management.WeatherHigh May Hit 80s Partly cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a low in the mid 50s. Partly cloudy skies are forecast Wednesday with a high in the low 80s. Please see Page 2B for details.Deaths Alaphaire Andrews, Johnston Carrie T. Darien, North Augusta Ethel P. Harrington, Eutawville Thomas F. Livingston, Rowland, N.C. Minnie Mathis, Johnston Harry E. Quattlebaum, Augusta Marie K. Staples, Augusta William H. Wilson, Thomson, Ga. Please see Page 2B for details.Inside Today Bridge    .    7B Calendar......*...............    10B Classifieds.........................................5B Comics .....      4B Crossword.........................................8B Cryptoquote................... 6B Dear Abby..........................................4B Local Front........................................1B Obituaries..........................................2B Opinions............................................6A Sports................................................7A Television..........................................4B Weather.............................................2B Page 2A Schools Teach Basics - Not Much Else Page IB Jackson First Alert Withdraws Request SUkctt Tuesday, February 14, 1989 25C Aiken, South Carolina Vol. 122 No. 39 $470 Million Settles Bhopal Case Union Carbide To Pay India By March 31 By DILIP GANGULY The Associated Press NEW DELHI, India — The Supreme Court today ordered Union Carbide Corp. to pay the Indian government $470 million for the 1984 gas leak in Bhopal that killed more than 3,300 people — the world’s worst industrial disaster. The payment is to be made by March 31 as “full and final settlement of all claims,” said Gopal Subramanium, an attorney for the Indian government in its suit against the Danbury, Conn.-based corporation. India had sought damages of $3 billion for the leak of methyl isocyandate at the Bhopal pesticide plant, which is operated by Union Carbide’s Indian subsidiary. Tile civil suit that had bogged down in legal maneuverings in a series of Indian courts. Subramanium said India had agreed to drop all criminal charges against Union Carbide officials as part of the settlement. Warren Anderson, former Union Carbide chairman, had been charged with culpable homicide in the disaster. A company spokesman, Earl Slack, told The Associated Press by telephone from his New York home that Union Carbide had accepted the $470 million judgment and March 31 deadline. “This is a just and fair settlement,” Subramanium told a reporter outside the Supreme Court chambers. Slack said the court’s order “was based on its review of all pleadings in India and the U.S., applicable law and facts, and the enormity of human suffering that requires substantial and immediate aid.” The settlement came as a surprise when the court reconvened after a lunch break in hearing day-to-day arguments, the Press Trust of India reported. The news agency said Chief Justice R.S. Pathak suddenly interrupted Union Carbide lawyer F.S. Nariman to say the court had reviewed the case in detail and considered it “pre-eminently fit for an (Please See $470, Page 10A) Reagan's Policies AreKey Issues By PETE YOST The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Oliver North’s lawyers say attempts by former President Reagan to get around a congressional ban on aid to the Nicaraguan Contra rebels and then cover up the activities are “at the heart of this case.” North attorney Brendan Sullivan is attempting to introduce evidence about the Reagan administration’s secret efforts to aid die Contras in his defense of North, who is charged with covering up the Iran-Contra affair by shredding evidence and lying to Congress. The Justice Department has succeeded in delaying North’s trial until an agreement or court ruling is obtained on the extent of classified information that can be introduced. Sullivan said Monday that Reagan and other top administration officials “participated personally and directly in quid pro quo and other arrangements with Central American and other third countries as a means of obtaining military assistance” for the Contras after Congress banned U.S. aid.Fugitive May Still Be In Vicinity From Staff And Wire Reports (Please See REAGAN’S, Page 10A) AP Laserphoto ESCORTED: Oliver North is accompanied by a security agent as he arrived for a at the federal courthouse for a recent hearing regarding his trial. An agreement pending between the Justice Department and North lawyers could clear the way for North’s trial to start. A chance exists that a fugitive sought in last week’s kidnapping of a South Carolina teen-ager may be in the Aiken-Au-gusta area. Aiken Department of Public Safety director J. Carrol Busbee said there “is always a possibility” that Richard Daniel Star-rett may decide to stay in the general area, in the territory he knows.    *j    ® Starrett, a 29-year-old engineer employed by Bechtel National STARRETT Inc. of San Francisco and assigned to the Savannah River Plant, was sighted in Augusta as recently as Sunday night, according to published reports. Chief Busbee said the best thing local citizens can do is to keep an eye open for a man matching Starrett’s description, and to watch for the fugitive’s car. If either is sighted, the police should be called immediately. (Please See FUGITIVE, Page 10A)January's Retail SalesAre Strong By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - Retail sales rose 0.6 percent in January as 1989 opened with a strong showing despite a slowdown in the pace of auto transactions, the government said today. The Commerce Department said retailers sold $138.9 billion worth of goods last month, up $760 million from the December sales level after adjusting for seasonal variations but not for price increases. January’s jump in sales was the best performance since a 1.3 percent increase in November and followed a revised 0.1 percent decrease in December. The overall rate was held back by a 0.9 percent drop in car sales last month that followed a 0.4 percent dip in that category in December. Excluding autos, which account for about one-fourth of the retail total, sales in January would have been up I percent, following an unchanged sales pace in December. The only category besides autos to record a decrease in January was clothing • and accessory stores. Retail spending is seen as a key barometer of economic health because it represents about one-third of the gross national product. The important general merchandise category, which includes department store sales, shot up 1.7 percent in January after inching up 0.1 percent in December. Earlier this month, major department store chains reported strong sales in January, aided by mild winter weather that encouraged shoppers and added to sales volume. In addition, lean inventories resulted in higher prices that boosted overall sales figures for January. Sales of durable goods, “big ticket” items intended to last three or more Retail Sales Seasonally adjusted, billions of dollars 138 __ 136 —- 134 — 132 _ 130 — 128 — 126 — FMAMJJASON D J Jan. ’88 Dec. *88 Jan. ’89 $128.8 $138.2 $138.9School Reorganization Plan May Face A New Challenge By GEORGE BURGESS and DENISE STUBBS Staff Writers Dr. Beecher Morton, whose job with the Aiken County School system was eliminated in a recent reorganization, isn’t planning on leaving. The Board of Education approved a plan submitted by the Superintendent of Schools Dr. Joseph R. (Joe) Brooks Jan. 31 eliminating Dr. Morton’s position. His position is assistant superintendent for adult education assessment and facility planning and management. The staffing changes, which involved transfers of assistant superintendents in the district and central office personnel, left no position open for Dr. Morton. At a news conference on Feb. 3, Dr. Brooks made no comment as to where Dr. Morton would be placed in the staffing changes. At that time, the Board of Education Chairman Sheran Proctor said, “I think he is going to retire.” Dr. Morton, in a letter to Board of Education Chairman Proctor dated Feb. 7, has indicated he has no intention of resigning. Chairman Proctor confirmed receipt of the letter this morning, but said the letter would not affect the Jan. 31 reorganization of personnel. Board members also confirmed receipt of carbon copies of the letter from Dr. Morton. “I have asked our attorneys to be present at tonight’s meeting,” she said. “This will be discussed in executive session. (Please See SCHOOL, Page 10A) years, edged up 0.1 percent in January following an identical rise in December. Non-durable goods surged 0.8 percent after dropping 0.2 percent during the previous month. Here are sales details for other retail categories: Rep. Derrick Lauds Du Pont's Management Record At SRP ^ Furniture and home furnishings, up 0.4 percent in January after a 1.1 percent drop in December. ^ Hardware and building supplies, up 1.4 percent after a 2 percent increase the previous month. By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer ✓ Grocery and other food stores, up I percent after a 0.9 percent drop. ^ Drug stores, up 2.9 percent after a 2.7 percent decrease. ^ Clothing stores, down 1.1 percent after a I percent increase. Restaurants and bars, up 1.2 percent after a 1.1 percent increase. ^ Gasoline stations, up I percent after the same increase the previous month. Aiken’s congressman says the Du Pont Co. has run the Savannah River Plant “very well” over the decades, despite recent media coverage of every “hiccup” at the troubled weapons plant. U.S. Rep. Butler C. Derrick, D-S.C., said his visit to the SRP on Monday was partly a gesture of appreciation to Du Pont, which will withdraw on April I after nearly 40 years as plant contractor. “I came down here to thank them for the contribution they have made to this area and the U.S. defense,” Rep. Derrick told reporters at a press conference at the plant after his tour. “If you look at the results, I think you would have to say they’ve managed the plant very well,” he said. He also lauded SRP advances in waste management and reactor inspection, and downplayed fears of an impending shortage of the weapons-grade tritium produced only at Savannah River. Derrick said he’s worked with Du Pont for 20 years as a congressional representative and, before that, as a state legislator. “I have been pleased and satisfied with the way Du Pont has run the plant. It hasn’t been perfect,” he said, but the plant has operated “safely” and without major accidents. (Please See REP. DERRICK, Page 10A) ;