Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - July 6, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
Gorbachev Offers Arsenal Cutbacks
Major League All-Stars Picked
A Quick Read
TV's 'People's Court' Brings Increased Load
GREENVILLE (AP) - The number of cases in small claims court in the Greenville area are up this year, and magistrates say ifs due in part to such television shows as “The People’s Court.”
“Now, I don’t mean any disrespect to ‘The People’s Court,’ but I can usually tell in IO minutes if a guy walks in if he has been watching the show,” said R. Carey Werner of Greer, a magistrate for 22 years.
He said the show has made more people prone to filing a claim. And that bothers him.
“A lot of people don’t realize that once you sue somebody, they’ll be your enemy for life,” he said. “If your neighbor’s tree falls into your yard, yes, you can sue him. But then you have his hard feelings. I would rather spend $100 and still have him as a friend.”
Werner said he does not have specific figures, but estimates that the number of cases in his court has tripled over the past three months.
Deadly Scarlet Fever Back After 50 Years
BOSTON (AP) — An outbreak of rapidly fatal bacterial infections in at least four western states could mark the return of dangerous strains of strep germs that mysteriously disappeared almost 50 years ago, researchers reported today.
The newly recognized illness, which doctors call streptococcal toxic shock syndrome, can lead from a minor skin infection to death in a day or two.
Strep germs are common but usually result in relatively minor illnesses, such as sore throats. More virulent forms of the microbes were once frequent causes of life-threatening illnesses, including scarlet fever and rheumatic fever. But for reasons unclear, the dangerous strains of strep largely faded away in the early 1940s.
In today’s New England Journal of Medicine, doctors describe 20 cases of severe illness, including six deaths, that were seen between 1986 and 1988 in Idaho, Montana, Utah and Nevada. They believe the illness was caused by strep bacteria that produce scarlatina toxin, the poison responsible for scarlet fever.
Partly cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a 20 percent chance of evening thunderstorms. The low will be in the lower 70s. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a 20 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The high will be in the 90s. Please see details on Page 6A.Deaths
Michael Alverez, Martinez, Ga.
Wade Baskett, North Augusta Grover Cofer, North Augusta J.W. Folk Jr., Williston Jimmy A. Green, North Augusta Marie C. Johnson, North Augusta Arthur B. Pope, Mobile, Ala.
Thomas Anthony Wooden, Washington, DC.
Please see details on Page 6AInside Today
Bridge ............... 5B
Classifieds. ...... 3B
Comics ..... 2B
Crossword .......... 6B
Dear Abby ........ 2B
Local Front .......... 1B
Obituaries ........... 6A
Television ................ 2B
Browder Drug Trial Starts Monday
Thursday, July 6, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 161
Graniteville Co. Assessing Fire Loss
By PHILIP LORD Staff Writer
GRANITEVILLE — Graniteville Company officials and firemen were assessing damage today from a fire that raged through the company’s Hickman Division weave room Wednesday night.
William E. (Bill) Johnson, vice president for administration, said the fire started around ll, but he could give no cause for the blaze.
The fire kept firefighters from six area fire departments busy as they fought the blaze throughout the night.
At 11:30 p.m., firefighters from the
Graniteville Co. called for assistance from the Graniteville-Vaucluse-Warren-ville Volunteer Eire Department, which responded and called for mutual aid from the other departments in the county, said Chief Phil Napier of the GVW department.
Chief Napier said that when his department arrived at the fire they could not see the blaze due to the large amounts of smoke inside the building.
About IOO firemen from Belvedere, Langley, Bath, Beech Island and the City
of Aiken joined the local firefighters in battling the blaze, he said.
Firemen used approximately 500 air tanks during the night, Chief Napier said. Each tank contains about 30 minutes worth of oxygen.
A GVW spokesman said two firemen suffered from smoke inhalation and were transported to HCA Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Graniteville resident Dirk Bennett and Freddie Bell of Bath were in stable but guarded condition this morning, hospital officials said.
Both men were kept overnight for observation. Bell was to be transfered to the
hospital’s intensive care unit this morning, officials said.
Johnson said the plant was shut down for the Fourth of July holiday, so no one was at the plant when the fire started.
Considerable smoke, fire and water damage was found among the 300 looms in the weave room, he added.
The sprinkler system in the building, which has about 800 nozzles, helped limit the damage, Johnson said.
Cleanup efforts were under way this morning and smoldering rolls of cloth were removed from the building so the job could be done, Chief Napier said.
Punishment Fashioned To Fit Crime
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTpN — The judge in Oliver L. North s case balanced the former presidential aide’s achievements against his Iran-Contra crimes to fashion a punishment that could defuse the controversy over his prosecution.
U.S. District Judge Gerhard A. Gesell’s sentencing decision Wednesday answered a question posed by defense lawyer Brendan V. Sullivan Jr., who asked. "What is Oliver North’s good life worth?”_
How Does Aiken Feel?...............Page 10A
Before placing him or two years probation, Gesell told North he had considered the many highly commendable aspects of your life’’ as a Marine hero in Vietnam and later as a staff aide at the National Security Council.
Against North’s 20 years of service as a Marine Corps officer and a presidential aide. Gesell weighed the three crimes for which North he stands convicted — destroying or altering Iran-Contra documents, helping falsify a chronology of U.S.-Iran arms sales to deceive Congress and illegally accepting a home security system.
By giving North what he called “a
LEAVING COURT: Oliver North, preceded by his wife, Betsy, leaves U.S. District Court following sentencing.
chance to start something good and wholesome for the future,” the judge made it harder for North’s supporters to portray their hero as a martyr.
Gesell told North that while he was a
“low-ranking subordinate working to carry out initiatives of a few cynical superiors’’ he didn’t consider him blameless.
Some Fear Rain May Hurt Crops
By The Associated Press
COLUMBIA — Some South Carolina farmers are worried that if rainfall continues to be heavy throughout July, they may begin having some problems with crops.
But most seem to agree they’d rather deal with too much rain than too little.
Meanwhile, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers expressed delight Wednesday that lake levels were rising because of heavy rainfall this spring.
“We’re still out there doing the rain dance,” said Corps of Engineers spokesman Jim Parker.
Precipitation varied widely across the state in June, with some of the highest totals reported in Caesars Head, 15.9 inches; Hogback Mountain, 12.5 inches; and Walhalla, 11.7 inches. Rainfall was below normal in Lockhart and Dillon.
Last summer, rainfall amounts were below normal.
The forecast is for continued heavier rain than normal in July, which has some agriculture experts concerned that mud will keep farmers out of their fields, crops will develop slowly and weeds and insects will multiply.
(Please See PUNISHMENT, Page 10A) (Please See SOME FEAR, Page 10A)
Abortion Activists Gather Support For Rally
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — Abortion rights activists expect to blunt the impact of a Supreme Court ruling with a “mass mobilization of the American people” to march on the Capitol and to target key legislative races next year.
Organizers for the National Organization for Women announced Wednesday they hope to draw I million people to the march at the end of October.
The march “will make the equal rights march look like a peanut compared to the giant that will come out here,” NOW
President Molly Yard told a rain-dampened crowd of several hundred who gathered for a rally across the street from the White House.
“We will organize with NOW the largest mass mobilization in history,” she said.
I-ast April, abortion rights activists lobbied on Capitol Hill to try to influence the Supreme Court’s decision on a Missouri law imposing restrictions on abortion. Crowd-size estimates ranged from 300,000 to 600,000 men and women, Democrats and Republicans and Hollywood stars.
However, justices on Monday upheld the Missouri law, giving states new power to regulate abortion.
“We’re not about to go home and give up,” said Yard. “We are going to stay and fight.”
Yard said the NOW march will be part of the group’s “Freedom Campaign for Women’s Life,” which also will include a “Freedom Caravan” that will travel to every state to educate women about the abortion rights movement.
About 14 leaders from a dozen national pro-choice groups yelled into microphones set up in Lafayette Park to issue
warnings to President Bush and other elected officials who are against women having the right to choose abortions. Others held banners, waved signs, hooted, cheered and clapped.
Police lined the streets and milled through the crowd to carry off a few antiabortion activists who infiltrated the rally with their own signs.
Irene Natividad, national chairwoman of the National Women’s Political Caucus, said her group will focus on training women to run for state legislative seats.
Second Career Coming To An End For Veteran Law Enforcement Officer
By FRAN PODA
Capt. James W. Whitehurst finished his second career last week, when he retired from the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department after more than 25 years in law enforcement.
Capt. Whitehurst, 63, spent 20 years in the Navy before he began working in law enforcement. At the age of 37, he found himself at the end of one career and at the beginning of another one.
He retired from the Navy while stationed in Beaufort, and began his law enforcement career there. After 14 months he began looking for greener pastures and higher pay, and Aiken Department of Public Safety then-director E.M. (Zip) Hanna hired him as a patrolman in 1964. He’s lived in Aiken ever since.
Law enforcement was a natural field for Capt. Whitehurst to get into, as many members of his family are fellow police officers.
His father was in law enforcement, and in Capt. Whitehurst’s home of Florida,
there are many badged Whitehursts keeping order in the streets, he said.
Capt. Whitehurst stayed at the public safety department until 1970, when he hired on with the sheriff’s department as a deputy sheriff. By the time he retired, he had worked up to the position of captain of investigations. The only higher position in the department is the one held by Sheriff Carrol G. Heath.
Capt. Whitehurst’s Friday retirement was actually his second. In 1980, he decided it was time to quit, and he did. But when Sheriff Heath, Capt. Whitehurst’s old buddy at the public safety department, was elected sheriff that year, he dragged Capt. Whitehurst out of retirement to be his captain of investigations.
’He tried it, and I conned him into forgetting that foolishness,” Sheriff Heath said.
“It won’t be the same around here. Ifs like losing a plank out of the Ark.
“I don’t feel he’s going to stay inactive long.”
Capt. Whitehurst will be a part of the deputy reserves, and will work when he’s
needed or when he has some free time. Judging by his first day as a retired man, that might be often. He was taking part in an audit of the evidence room Monday, the working day after he retired.
The difference between now and the first time he retired is that now his wife, Peggy, is at home, too.
“It’s time for me to start relaxing, enjoying what life I have left,” he said.
“Which I hope happens to be a long time,” chimed in Sheriff Heath.
“When I get through doing all the jobs that I’ve let go for four and a half years, I might do some traveling,” Capt. Whitehurst added.
In the 25-plus years Capt. Whitehurst has been in law enforcement, there have been many changes, he said. The basic difference is that crimes now are more violent and more drug-related. Ifs also harder to keep people in jail now than it used to be, Sheriff Heath said.
(PleaseSee WHITEHURST, Page 10A)
Staff Photo By Scott Webster
RETIRING: Capt. James W Whitehurst ends long career.