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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - June 20, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina 24-i Arc S« an et Sports Page 2A r Switzer Calls It Quits Page 10AA Quick ReadVoyager 2 Tracks Storm On Neptune PASADENA, Calif. (AP) - The Voyager 2 spacecraft has discovered a 6,200-mile-wide dark spot on Neptune, and scientists believe it’s a giant storm similar to Earth’s hurricanes and Jupiter’s Great Red Spot. The width is about one-fifth of Neptune’s 30,700-mile diameter, just as the 16,000-mile-wide Great Red Spot is about one-fifth the size of Jupiter, said Andrew Ingersoll, a planetary scientist at the California Institute of Technology. Voyager 2 was launched from Cape Canaveral in 1977, visited Jupiter in 1979, Saturn in 1981 and Uranus in 1986. Its twin, Voyager I, explored Jupiter in 1979 and Saturn in 1980, and is now heading toward interplanetary space. “I had gotten sort of discouraged from the Uranus encounter because Uranus was such a bland place,” Ingersoll said Monday. ‘‘So I’m happy to see such action on Neptune.”Executioner Prefers Beheading Criminals MANAMA, Bahrain (AP) — Saudi Arabia’s official executioner, a skilled swordsman who has dispatched more than 600 convicted criminals, says beheading is less difficult than chopping off the hands of thieves. “Frankly, it’s easier to chop off a head since this act means the end of the story for the criminal,” Saeed Al-Sayyaf, 60, said in an interview with the Saudi newspaper Al-Medina. “Chopping off a hand needs more courage, since you are cutting off a part of the body of an individual who is to survive,” he said. The act requires “very skilled attention to ensure that the sword does not slip or cut in the wrong place,” Saeed said in the interview, which was republished by a Dubai-based English-language newspaper, the Khaleej Times. The executioner says he doesn’t suffer remorse for his victims since he is carrying out Islamic justice as required by the Koran, the holy book of Islam. The Koran decrees that convicted murderers be beheaded and thieves lose a hand.WeatherStorms Likely Cloudy skies are forecast tonight with a 40 percent chance of thunderstorms. The lows will be in the upper 60s. Tomorrow will be cloudy with a 60 percent chance of thunderstorms. Highs will be in the mid 80s. Please see details on Page 6B.Deaths Mary Alice Barr, Columbia Walter T. Mitchum, Langley Pilar B. Rushton, Monetta Estelle N. Settles, Aiken Robert W. Woodruff, Hephzibah Please see details on Page 6B.Inside Today Bridge..............................................9B Calendar...........................................3B Classifieds........................................7B Comics.............................................2B Crossword......................................10B Cryptoquote.....................................5B Dear Abby.........................................2B Local Front.......................................1B Obituaries.........................................6B Opinions...........................................8A Sports.............................................10A Television.........................................2B Weather............................................6B Jackson Council Gives OK To Budget G° rn S Tuesday,June 20, 1989 Aiken, South Carolina Vol. 122 No. 147 Rescuers Save 950 From Crippled Ship Soviet Liner Rams Iceberg Off Norway; Crew Still Aboard To Keep Vessel Afloat By The Associated Press OSLO, Norway — A Soviet ocean liner with more than 950 people aboard rammed an iceberg in arctic seas and took on water today, but all passengers were evacuated. Some crew members stayed aboard to try to keep the ship afloat. A Norwegian coast guard vessel and helicopters rescued passengers from the 630-foot Maxim Gorky and others who already had fled to lifeboats and ice floes. Most of the passengers are Western European vacationers. The cruise ship radioed northern Norway’s Rescue Central at 12:27 a.m. that it was listing after hitting an iceberg about 300 miles east of northern Greenland, a coast guard spokesman said. The Soviet news agency Tass said the accident occurred in fog. Norwegian and Soviet officials reported no injuries, and passengers said the evacuation was orderly. “There was no panic at all,” said West Germany passenger Winfried Prince. “The Russian crew has worked perfectly in disembarking passengers into lifeboats, and also the Norwegians who picked us up ... have done a wonderful job, so nobody has been hurt or even worse,” Prince told NBC’s “Today” show in a radio-telephone interview from a rescue ship. Norwegian officials said a pump keeping the Soviet vessel afloat failed at noon, but four or five Norwegian military experts went aboard with new pumps to try to save the ship. Aiken County May Permits Permit Type Number Value Single Family 37 $2,964,300 Hospital 1 $516,000 Offices 2 $115,100 Garages, sheds 16 $210,400 Public garage 1 $114,000 Retail store 1 $8,900 Warehouses 2 $65,487 Farm buildings 4 $55,800 Moving found. 4 $177,700 Renovations 6 $75,500 Additions 11 $449,900 Carports 3 $20,000 Signs 4 $37,000 Swimming pools 2 $25,000 Miscellaneous 2 $259,000 Total construction value $5,136,787 Note: Total does not include transfer fees City of Aiken May Permits Permit Type Number Value Single family 53 $3,220,730 Multi family 10 $3,998,400 Commercial 4 $309,700 All other Not Avail. $154,400 Total construction value $7,683,230 North Augusta May Permits Permit Type Number Value Single family 4 $305,163 Non-residential 4 $430,500 Alterations 28 $68,947 Signs 2 $3,500 Total construction value $808,110 Construction Surges In Aiken: More Than $7 Million In May By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer Building in the Woodside and Hound-lake residential areas coupled with apartment growth added more than $7 million worth of new construction in the City of Aiken during the month of May, according to building permits. The Planning Commission figures show the investment in brick, steel and mortar amounting to $7,683,230 — more than $2 million ahead of county growth and nearly $7 million more than North Augusta. In the county, construction permits totaled $5,136,787, while North Augusta, showing a slowdown after heavy growth early in the year, had only $808,110 on the books during May. City Manager Roland H. Windham said he was surprised that the city’s building permits had surpassed the $7 million mark during the month, but he noted that “we are getting good quality.” Besides Woodside and Houndslake, single family residential growth was scattered widely, but most of it tended to remain along Silver Bluff Road and in the south side. The city’s apartment construction figures were led by the first phase of The Colony at South Park, a 152-unit complex owned by Aiken Associates and located on the Woodward tract in the Southside. Aiken Associates obtained permits for IO multi-family units at a combined value of $3,997,600. The individual permits ranged from $209,000 to $521,000, with most of them above $400,000. The commander of a coast guard boat Senja, Sigurd Kleiven, said 253 crewmen were being kept on board, and the ship could go down if the pump was not repaired or replaced. About 120 crewmen were rescued. The Senja reached the stricken ship early today and picked up hundreds of passengers who had jumped into lifeboats or scrambled onto ice floes in nearfreezing temperatures and light rain, said Kjell Larssen of the north Norway Rescue Center at Bodoe. Others were rescued by helicopter from the ship or ice floes. Norwegian officials and the Lloyds insurance company of london said none of the passengers were missing or injured. The German travel agency Phoenix Flugreisen of Bonn, which managed the cruise, said said 551 Germans and 16 other west Europeans were aboard and that a plane will be sent to pick them up. The Norwegian news agency said the passengers were from West Germany, the Netherlands, Austria, Britain, Italy, Switzerland and Sweden. Tass quoted Vladimir Nekhoroshev, chief inspector for the Ministry of the Sea Fleet, as saying 575 tourists and 377 crew members were on board. The rescue center said it had received conflicting figures, but said there were 379 crew members. (Please See RESCUERS, Page 9A) Sales Tax Fading, Aiken Leaders Say By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer Aiken City Manager Roland H. Windham said Monday night if the House and Senate cannot agree on a local option sales tax package this week the matter may be dead for at least two years. “Frankly, I aul not optimistic unless they can come up with something this week,” said Windham, who spent the day Monday lobbying members of the legislature to get a bill passed. Windham was joined Monday by Aiken County Council members Rosemary English and Kathy Rawls in seeking support for the bill. Former County Councilman Ralph Cullman also was lobbying for the measure. Windham said the feeling among lawmakers Monday is local option would not be on a November 1990 ballot because those running for office don’t want their names on ballots with tax proposals. The local option legislation, which would allow participating counties to impose a one-cent sales tax in exchange for big cuts in property taxes, has less than three days to become law. If the bill should pass, it could mean as much as $5 million to Aiken County and its local governments and tax rollbacks on houses, land, businesses and vehicles amounting to nearly that much. The bill is in the hands of a Senate and House conference committee, but both bodies are at odds over the structure of local option. The Senate is holding out for a 75 percent rollback on property taxes, based on the appraised value of property, and wants die tax lifted from food purchases. The House, where the bill originated, so far has agreed only to a 65 percent rollback, using assessed property values, and is opposed to exempting food from the levy. The bill gives voters in each county the opportunity, through a November referendum, to approve the one-cent tax hike with a mandatory rollback in property taxes. Major opponents of the bill in the Senate are Sen. Glenn F. McConnell, R-New Seats In Assembly Not Likely In '89 By The Associated Prsss COLUMBIA — State House and Senate members, back for a short week of work, have apparently killed for the year a move to expand the state Senate as they began what is expected to be a low-key conclusion to the legislative year. The General Assembly, which has not met since June I, returned Monday to wrap up the 1989 legislative session. Though they could work until Thursday, most lawmakers expect to handle Gov. Carroll Campbell’s budget vetoes and the other housecleaning measures they are restricted to considering in time to leave by Wednesday night. Other bills not approved by the tune lawmakers recess for the year could be considered in 1990, the second year of the two-year session. “I’m happy to be back because this is the last three days and I know the (Please See NEW SEATS, Page 9A) Charleston, and Sen. Ryan C. Shealy, R-Lexington. The Republicans want local governments to use referendums for any future increases in property taxes, an amendment almost everyone agrees would tie the hands of local governments but also would kill the bill. Windham said Monday night the conference committee was expected to go (Please See SALES, Page 9A) Mentally III Plea, Sentence Given Sterrett Angers Lexington Solicitor By The Associated Press COLUMBIA - Richard Starrett, a Georgia man described as a slave to his sexual desires before being sentenced to life in prison, will have an uphill battle if he attempts to plead guilty but mentally ill to sexual assault charges in Lexington County, authorities say. The 29-year-old Martinez, Ga., man was sentenced to life in prison plus 20 years Monday after pleading guilty but mentally ill to the abduction and assault of a 12-year-old Richland County girl. Starrett was charged with kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct stemming from the Dec. 31, 1987, abduction of the girl from her home. Starrett’s attorneys and their lone witness, Dr. Harold Morgan, on Monday portrayed him as a man whose behavior had been bizarre for years. Morgan testified that Starrett suffered from a sexual disorder known as paraphilia, which includes exhibitionism and voyeurism. “He was living a nightmare,” said Richland County Public Deender David Bruck. “Everything he was doing at the time was the exact antithesis of what he believed in.” Before being sentenced, Starrett said he hated himself for what he had done. “With all the earnestness my troubled heart can muster, I wish to apologize to the girl and her family,” Starrett said. (Please See MENTALLY, Page 9A) ;