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View Sample Pages : Aiken Standard, January 27, 1989

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - January 27, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports Duke Loses 3rd, Illinois Upset Page 7 A A Quick Read Aiken Patrol Trooper Charged With Rape A South Carolina Highway Patrol trooper has been arrested and released on $12,000 bond after a Charleston-based sailor accused him of raping her at gunpoint in Aiken County, authorities said today. Aiken Magistrate Max Meek confirmed that Trooper Melvin W. McGrier, 32, of the Aiken patrol unit was freed after a bond hearing in his court Thursday afternoon. Meek said charges against McGrier were brought by South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Lt. Paul A. Grant. Documents in Meek’s office allege that the rape occurred between 9 and IO p.m. Jan. 22. The complainant said McGrier stopped her automobile on Interstate 20 while she was enroute to Charleston from Atlanta. Whipping Proposed For Drug Offenders DOVER, Del (AP) - Drug traffickers in Delaware, which outlawed public floggings less than 30 years ago, could be stripped to the waist and given 40 lashes if legislation introduced in the state Senate becomes law. The bill unveiled Thursday requires the whipping post in addition to jail time for anyone convicted of dealing hard drugs or involving children in the drug world. “I think the drug problem is serious enough to warrant that kind of punishment,” said Senate Majority Leader Thomas Sharp, the bill’s sponsor. “I’m willing to take the barbs and criticisms, but we’re going to debate it.” The Democrat said he has support for the proposal, and plans to bring it to a floor debate after a six-week break for budget hearings that began Thursday. Under the legislation, a drug offender could receive ‘‘no fewer than five nor more than 40 lashes well laid on” a bare back. Weather Sunny Skies Fair skies and colder weather are ’ forecast tonight. Mostly sunny skies are forecast Saturday. The low will be in the mid 30s with the high in the upper 60s. Please see details on Page 5B Deaths Tommie E. Hydrick, West Columbia Dorothy R. Laird, Gloverville Mary T. Query, Aiken Jessie Mae B. Stewart, Hephzibah, Ga. Please see details on Page 5B.Inside Today Bridge..............................................4C Calendar...........................................6B Classifieds..........................  1C Comics.............................................4B Crossword........................................5C Cryptoquote....................................3CB Dear Abby.........................................4B Local Front.......................................1B Obituaries.........................................5B Opinions...........................................4A Sports...............................................6A Television .......................................4B Weather............................................5B Page IB Suit To Be Filed Against Edgefield Aiken Co* Friday, January 27, 1989 25C Aiken, South Carolina 1988 Economic Growth Best In Four Years By The Associated Press WASHINGTON - The U.S. economy shook off the effects of the stock market crash and the drought to grow at a robust 3.8 percent in 1988, the best performance in four years, the government reported today. The increase in the gross national product, the broadest measure of economic health, was powered by a big improvement in the U.S. trade deficit and a sharp increase in business capital investment. The advance occurred even though growth slowed sharply in the final three months of the year. From October through December, the GNP grew at a lackluster annual rate of 2 percent, the slowest quarterly performance in two years. Weakness in consumer spending and business investment held back growth. The fourth-quarter GNP increase followed a 2.5 percent rise in the July-Sep-tember quarter. Many economists predict these trens will intensify this year and will result in sharply lower growth for 1989. That would give President Bush a major headache because his hopes of lowering the budget deficit without an increase in taxes rests on expectations of continued strong economic growth. The 3.8 percent GNP increase for 1988 followed a 3.4 percent rise in 1987 and was the best showing since a 6.8 percent rise in 1984. Higher inflation accompanied the increase in growth. An inflation index tied to the GNP rose by 4.2 percent in 1988, the fastest rise in prices since 1982. The jump in inflation, up from a 1987 price increase of 3.6 percent, has set off alarm bells at the Federal Reserve Board, which has been driving interest rates higher in an effort to dampen demand and keep inflationary pressures in check. (Please See Economy, Page 5A) Fire On Silver Bluff WATCHFUL EYE: A fireman keeps a watchful eye out for stray brush fires on Silver Bluff Road as an abandoned store burns in the background The store Staff Photo By Phil Jones was believed to have been ignited by a grass fire. Before the firemen could bring the fire under control, it spread at one point to the other side of the road. Aiken Couple Missing On Island Flight By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer The U.S. Coast Guard was conducting an island-to-island and sea search today for an Aiken couple missing since Wednesday on a flight from Miami to Treasure Cay in the Bahamas, a Coast Guard spokesman said. The two were identified by Lt. W.S. Ball of the Coast Guard as Keith Crawford, 34, and Georgann Crawford, 37, who are listed as residents of 588 Newberry St. Lt. Ball said another couple, not yet identified, also was missing. Lt. Ball said the plane carrying the four was about 30 minutes flight time from Freeport when the Freeport air station lost them on radar. Their destination, the officer said, was Treasure Cay. Lt. Ball said Treasure Cay is about IOO miles from Miami. He said the Crawfords and the other couple left Miami Wednesday morning and were last heard from shortly after noon Wednesday. “Treasure Cay is just a speck of rock, but it could accommodate small aircraft like they were flying,” said Lt. Ball. “It is possible they could have landed on some other island.” The Coast Guard spokesman said the search is being conducted on theories they could have “crashed into the sea, crashed on land or landed somewhere else.” Lt. Ball said the area includes a string of “very small islands and they could have bypassed Treasure Cay and landed somewhere else.” Chip Angell, a friend of the Crawford’s, said the couple was active in Aiken horse circles and the art world. Angell said Crawford worked as a blacksmith for Buckland Farms and other local thoroughbred training stables. He also was a pilot and owned his own plane. Angell said Mrs. Crawford was a sculptor and coin designer. He said she worked for the Franklin Mint and had designed a coin for the nation of Belize in South America. Angell said he made a flight with Crawford in the same area last year and the blacksmith was an experienced pilot. Angell said Crawford’s plane was a Cessna. Vol. 122 No. 24 Gross National Product DOE Report Questions SRP Safety Company Praised For Past Success Tritium Alternative Reviewed, Page 2A By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer Declining radiation doses to Savannah River Plant workers have encouraged “complacency” in the plant’s health protection program, and the potential remains for a serious radiation accident, a Department of Energy report concludes. The report nonetheless found the plant’s program on a sound “professional” footing, and credited plant officials with efforts to improve. At the same time, it listed deficiencies in such areas as documentation, posting of hazardous areas, contamination control, training of health protection inspectors and use of radiation detection instruments. The report, released Wednesday at a hearing of the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, attributes the problems partly to the “technical isolation” of the Du Pont Co. in its nearly 40 years as government contractor at the weapons materials plant. It also puts some blame on the DOE itself. “The result is a radiological protection program that, while successful in keeping worker doses relatively low, has fallen out of step with what is currently recognized as accepted industry practice and required by DOE,” says the report. Fourteen safety experts, drawn from DOE and two of its other contractors, EG & G and Battelle, compiled the 96-page evaluation after touring facilities, interviewing staff and examining records at SRP last August and September. The plant’s nuclear production reactors, now idled for wide-ranging safety upgrades, produce radioactive tritium gas and plutonium for U.S. nuclear weapons. (Please See DOE, Page 5A) $30.18 Million Whiskey Road Complex Opposed By Residents By JAMES PATRICK Staff Writer A planned $30.18 million commercial and residential development on Whiskey Road has come under fire from a newly-formed group of Aiken citizens. Friends of Aiken, which began activities this month, is seeking to block or delay current plans for the 59-acre Woodward Tract, to be developed by Blanchard and Calhoun Commercial Co. of Augusta. The group, which met with representatives of the development firm Tuesday, says that the best development of the property would be low-density residential. Representatives of Blanchard and Calhoun did not immediately return telephone calls. A preliminary site plan calls for 300 apartments, a lake, three office buildings, one of which would be three-story, a shopping center and a bank site. The strongest opposition has come over what the group says is a serious threat to New Ellenton Development On Hold, 1B the horse training industry, environmental considerations and the effects on nearby historic areas. The tract is located across Whiskey Road from the Palmetto Golf Club. It stretches to Two Notch Road. The plan also calls for a road to connect Whiskey Road to Two Notch Road, which would take automobiles traveling through the development to the downtown right through the heart of the horse district. Such traffic would seriously impair the area’s multimillion dollar use as a training center, several authoritative trainers have said. The tract also contains an urban Carolina Bay, which supports a natural community termed as “one of the rarer” ones associated with such wetlands, according to a biologist with the South Carolina Heritage Trust. (Please See $30.18 MILLION, Page 5A) Horse Trainers Join Objections To Woodward Tract Development By JAMES PATRICK Staff Writer Members of the horse training industry have joined Friends of Aiken in its efforts to change development plans for the Woodward Tract. “The major professional people in the industry believe Aiken is the number one Thoroughbred training center in America,” Frank Wright, former CBS Sports equine announcer and Aiken trainer, said. The industry can only flourish in “low-density residential areas — in other words, traffic is counter-productive to thoroughbred training.” And traffic, lots of it, is what the industry fears should the development link Whiskey Road with Two Notch Road. MacKenzie (Mack) Miller, a Hall of Fame trainer and Aiken resident, agrees. “Traffic is the biggest concern. We’ve got a major horse crossing (over Two Notch Road) from the Whitney Trust stables to the main track.” Wright, who spoke on the behalf of a number of Thoroughbred trainers at the Tuesday night meeting with the president of Blanchard and Calhoun, reminded those present of the economic impact of the horse industry. A study conducted by Clemson University put the figure at $16 million per year. Wright thinks that figure is on the low end of an accurate representation. It was pointed out that the value of two of the studs which have come through Aiken equals the $30.18 million development cost. The horsemen’s primary concern is that the through road not be constructed. “That would relieve a great deal of the tension,” Wright said. However, the direct impact on the industry is not the trainers’ sole concern. “We hate to see the face of this beautiful city change,” Miller said. Hunt On For D.C. School Gunman ;