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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - July 14, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports Braves Still Not Celebrating Page 6AA Quick ReadRetail Sales Plummet In June By 0.4 Percent WASHINGTON (AP) - Retail sales fell 0.4 percent in June — their first monthly back-to-back drop in more than two years — as consumer spending remained sluggish, particularly for cars and other more costly durable goods, the government reported today. The Commerce Department said sales dropped to a seasonally adjusted $140.8 billion last month following a 0.1 percent decline in May. The May figure was revised downward from an 0.1 percent increase originally reported last month. Sales had risen 0.4 percent in April and 0.1 percent in March. It was the first consecutive monthly decline since 1988 when sales fell 5.1 percent in October and 0.4 percent in November. Retail spending accounts for about one-third of economic activity and is closely watched as a measure of the overall economy. Economic growth has been slowing recently, prompting concern that Federal Reserve efforts to contain inflation could move the economy into a recession instead of the “soft-landing” it seeks.Wholesale Prices Post I st Drop In 18 Months WASHINGTON (AP) — Wholesale prices fell 0.1 percent in June, the first drop in 18 months, driven down by steep declines in energy and food prices, the government said today. The slight decline in the Labor Department’s Producer Price Index su-prised most economists, who were expecting a moderate increase of 0.3 percent, and marked a sharp turnaround from the big 0.9 percent jump in May. Energy costs, which had soared more than 20 percent over the first five months of the year, fell 3.1 percent in June, the biggest drop in three years. Food prices fell 0.8 percent, the steepest in a year and a half, reversing an identical increase in May. Despite the overall decline, economists were likely to read mixed signals from the June report because goods other than food and energy rose 0.7 percent, the largest increase since October 1986.WeatherPartly Cloudy Partly cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a 20 percent chance of thunderstorms. The low will be near 70. Partly cloudy skies are forecast Saturday with a 40 percent chance of afternoon thunderstorms. The high will be near 90. Please see details on Page 11A.Deaths Jerry Cunningham, Rock Hill Lawrence Gowdy, North Augusta Katherine Ann Hughes, Apple Valley, Calif. Albert C. Ott, Warrenville Ethel Scott, Aiken Please see details on Page 3B.Inside Today Bridge .......J,*,,..,,,.,,,...,, 7B Calendar.,..  .........  14B Classifieds . ...................  5B Comics  .........    4B Crossword........................................SB Cryptoquote......................................6B Dear Abby.........................................4B Local Front.......................................1B Obituaries.........................................3B Opinions  .......    4A Sports.  ......    5A Television  .....    4B Weather..........................................11A Pilot Of Downed Plane Was Shot Page IB ‘ TMKEN COUNTY P! .f, f «• Friday, July 14,1989 Aiken, South Carolina Vol. 122 No. 168 1,000 Workers Added To SRS Staff By PHILIP LORD Staff Writer Since Westinghouse took over operation of the Savannah River Site on April I, approximately 1,000 people have been hired or transferred to the facility. Becky McSwain, a spokesperson for the Department of Energy contractor, said that approximately 700 people have been hired to fill jobs at the site in the past three months. In addition to the new employees, Westinghouse has transferred 300 to 350 workers to the site and Bechtel, the major subcontractor at the DOE facility, has brought in between 400 to 450 employees. DuPont retirees have helped to offset Westinghouse’s new employees. Between 300 and 400 DuPont workers retired prior to the April I changeover. The Coordinating Council on Economic Development, which is preparing an impact study to help prepare the county for the infrastructure changes due to the contractor change, estimated that approximately 250 employees would be relocating at SRS, said J. David Jameson, director of the Economic Development Partnership. Accelerated employment practices at SRS “may shift the demands (placed on the county) closer to the current date,” he said. The county, however, will not have to provide housing and services for all 1,000 new workers. Not all of the new or relocating employees will decide to live in Aiken County, Jameson stressed. Historically, the county attracts approximately 60 percent of the employees at the facility. He added that some of the new employees at the plant already were area residents. The CCED’s final report for its $176,000 impact study is expected to be released by the end of this month, Jameson said. (Please See 1,000 WORKERS, Page 12A) SRS EMPLOYMENT CHANGES New Employees 'SKP* r. . Staff Graphic By Kim McNeely U.S., Mexico Deal Early On Debt Plan AP Laserphoto LEADERS MEET: President Bush and French President Mitterrand chat during a preliminary meeting for the economic summit. By The Associated Press PARIS — President Bush and Mexican President Carlos Salinas de Gortari held a hastily arranged meeting today amid indications that Mexico was close to a debt-restructuring agreement with its creditors. The New York Times reported today that i ;ie United States will offer Mexico a temporary loan once an agreement is reached to bridge the gap until the deal with the commercial banks can be implemented. White House spokesman Marlin Fitz-water said he could not confirm the report. Walking into the meeting with Bush, Salinas gestured to reporters that a debt agreement was near. Afterward, Bush told his Mexican counterpart, “Let me know on all this other stuff down the road.” The Bush administration has made Mexico a test case for its major initiative, announced March IO, to relieve a portion of the Third World’s $1.3 trillion debt problem. The Bush-Salinas meeting came as more than two dozen leaders of rich and poor nations marked today’s 200th anniversary of the French revolution. Getting under way this afternoon was the annual economic summit of the world’s seven richest democracies — the United States, Britain, Canada, France, West Germany, Italy and Japan. The combined events have brought together leaders of some of the world’s richest and poorest nations, although there were no plans for them all to sit down together to thrash out world problems. Smaller meetings were planned, however, to discuss such pressing issues as the foreign debt of the developing nations. Egypt, India, Venezuela and Senegal wasted no time Thursday in asking French President Francois Mitterrand to call a summit of rich and poor nations so they can talk about international economic and environmental problems. Brazilian President Jose Samey also (Please See U.S., MEXICO, Page 12A) Millions Line Paris Streets For Bicentennial Binge By The Associated Press PARIS — Brass bands marched down the Champs-Elysees today and scores of planes streaked across the sky, leaving a trail of blue, white and red smoke wafting over the heads of I million bicentennial revelers. Celebrants danced and frolicked into the wee hours this morning at nearly a dozen places around Paris to celebrate the July 14,1789, storming of the Bastille prison and the beginning of the historic French Revolution. The traditional Bastille Day military parade in the morning followed all-night partying that briefly got out of hand, resulting in a 5 a.m. scuffle between a few stragglers that riot police tried to clear from the Place de la Bastille. Three of the baton-wielding policemen were slightly injured as were an unknown number of others, the French news agency Agence France-Presse reported. About a dozen people were arrested. President Francois Mitterrand rode standing up in a jeep from the Arc de Triomphe to the Place de la Concorde, where he took his place in the parade viewing stands behind bullet-proof glass shielding more than 30 world leaders in Paris. Among those seated in the VIP stands to watch the military parade were President Bush, Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher of Britain and President Cora-zon Aquino of the Philippines. Nine bands set the stirring pace for units representing every branch of the French military, including the Foreign Legion. Among the more than IOO planes that swooped over the avenue were nine Mirage 2000N’s, designed to carry nuclear warheads. One squadron of aircraft trailed blue, white and red smoke, the French national colors. About I million people lined the avenue for the parade, according to police estimates. A meeting of leaders from the seven major industrialized nations was to begin this afternoon, coinciding with the festivities. The parade was the first of two scheduled today, the second of three days of bicentennial celebrations that began with a human rights ceremony Thursday and the inaugural performance at the new Bastille Opera. EPA Places SRS On Priority List For Superfund Cleanup By KATHY KADANE States News Service WASHINGTON — The Environmental Protection Agency made public its intention Thursday to become actively involved in the cleanup of the Savannah River nuclear weapons plant by announcing a proposal to place the Aiken facility on its Superfund “national priorities list”(NPL). The list names hazardous waste sites around the country which are deemed to be long-term threats to safety and the environment. It is compiled under provisions of a federal law called the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act (CERCLA), known as the Superfund Law. Placing the site on the list also invokes other provisions of the Superfund Law, including a requirement that officials of the Energy Department sign an agreement with EPA setting a timetable for cleanup of the plant. The Aiken facility, which manufactures plutonium used in nuclear weapons, is administered by the Energy Department. Its reactors have been shut down for safety reasons for over a year. According to an EPA statement issued Thursday, any agreement signed by DOE will be legally binding. The state of South Carolina or ordinary citizens may seek enforcement of the agreement in federal court, the statement said. The Aiken plant is one of 52 federal sites chosen by EPA officials for addition to the list, which now includes about 40 federal sites. Most of the new sites proposed Thursday are military bases and installations. Eight are nuclear weapons production facilities. Talks to hammer out the terms of the agreement began several months ago, but were never publicly announced, said (Please See EPA, Page ILA)Harley, Steele Lead Early In Garden Contest From Staff Reports Area gardeners are bringing the fruits of their labors to the Aiken Standard in hopes of winning cash. As of noon Thursday, ll gardeners had weighed in king-sized tomatoes and 13 greenthumbs had hauled in giant cucumbers. Pat Harley, 584 Stormbranch Road, North Augusta, is leading the tomato contest with a 2 pound, 8.5 ounce ripe red giant. J.L. Steele of Aiken is currently winning the cucumber contest with a 2 pound 15.3 ounce green masterpiece. The contest, which will run until Aug. 2, is for all gardeners with the exception of Aiken Standard employees and their families. Weight, rather than firmness, taste or color, will be the criterion in the contest. The heaviest tomato and the heaviest cucumber will win $100 prizes for their growers. Second prize in each category will be $50, and third place will be $25. Gardeners who believe their vegetables are second to none may haul, trundle, or tote their entries to the front desk of the Aiken Standard at 124 Rutland Drive between 8:30 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday. A receptionist will weigh the vegetables and record the results. Contest winners and their vegetables will be announced in early August. An article and picture featuring the winners will appear in the Aiken Standard. ;