Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - March 10, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
I Coming Sunday
Mrs. Sheffield Phelps led the organization of the Garden Club of Aiken at her home, Rose Hill, in 1924. The Aiken Standard Sunday Magazine has the story, as the garden club nears Its 65th anniversary.
A Strategic Plan being developed for growth at the SRP will find local governments are working together to solve their problems. Carl Langley’s series on SRP impact continues with interviews of government officials.
Horse Health Products, Inc., is marketing a revolutionary new feeding system for Thoroughbreds. Reporter Philip Lord has the story in Sunday’s business section.
A Quick Read
Couple In Spotlight From Test-Tube Twins
TAYLORS — Mary Paxton says she and her husband have been overwhelmed with the historical significance of having twins who were conceived in a test tube.
Fred and Mary Paxton have been trying to have a baby for seven years. “In vitro’’ fertilization, conception outside the body and surgical implantation of the fertilized egg in the mother, was one of their last chances.
Though perhaps a dozen test-tube babies have been bom in South Carolina since 1984, the Paxtons have been told they are the first to have multiple births through the technique.
Making history is “a little overwhelming,’* Mrs. Paxton said.
Middleton Oak Named Constitution Tree
CHARl^STON — For centuries, the sprawling Middleton Oak has stood silent sentinel by the gray-green waters of the Ashley River.
On Thursday, about 50 people gathered by the river at Middleton Place as the tree was designated a Constitution Tree, signifying it was alive when the nation was founded.
One gnarled branch of the hoary, tree reaches down almost into the water at the edge of one of the formal gardens at Middleton. Ferns cling to some of the boughs of the oak which is draped with Spanish moss.
The oak is more than 60 feet tall, has a trunk that’s 37 feet around and IO feet across and may be as many as 600 years old, said Jay Clingman, an urban forester with the South Carolina Forestry Commission.
Middleton Oak is one of only 30 trees in the nation designated a Constitution Tree, Clingman said. There is another in South Carolina at Brookgreen Gardens near Myrtle Beach.
Clear Skies Tonight
Clear skies are forecast tonight with a low near 30. Mostly sunny skies are forecast Saturday with a high near 70.
Please see details on Page 6A.
Charlie Simmons Jr., Williston Please see details on Page 6A.
Eastern Airlines Ticket Holders Angry
Barnwell Plant May Get DOE Work
Friday, March IO, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 60
Rejection Causes Pentagon Paralysis
Routine Jobs Getting Done By Acting Chief, But Major Defense Decisions On The Horizon
COMMENTS ON VOTE: John Tower reads a statement at the Pentagon Thursday after the Senate voted 53-47 to reject his nomination as Secretary of Defense.
By NORMAN BLACK AP Military Writer
WASHINGTON — The Pentagon faces paralysis even if George Bush quickly finds a replacement nominee for John Tower as defense secretary, officials say.
Some of the officials argue President Bush will have to elevate the authority of Acting Defense Secretary William H. Taft IV, a Reagan holdover, or the department’s attempt to project a business-as-usual posture will crumble.
“The routine stuff is getting done, thanks to Will Taft,’’ said one official. “But we’re running out of time, now. You can’t just focus on the routine stuff.’’
Said another senior official, who is also a Reagan holdover, “We’re getting close to the deadline for budget decisions over here.’’
That same official said it would take several weeks before a replacement for Tower can be installed at the Pentagon.
The Senate voted 53-47 Thursday to reject Tower’s nomination after questions
were raised about his alleged alcohol abuse, indiscreet behavior toward women and ties to defense contractors.
In the meantime, say Pentagon officials, the Pentagon’s internal budget deliberations are coming to a head and that the department will have to submit a plan to the White House by the end of the month for slashing almost $6.4 billion from its fiscal 1990 request.
What worries some officials even more is that without a secretary of defense, the selection and confirmation of key deputies throughout the department remains at an absolute standstill.
Bush has submitted only one other Pentagon nomination — that of former GM executive Donald J. Atwood to become deputy defense secretary — to the Senate. But that nomination now likely goes on hold pending selection of a new defense chief, and the dozens of under secretaries and assistant secretaries that help run the department are still not on board, the officials said.
One-Third Of Young Teens Ponder Suicide, Survey Says
By T he Associated Press
ATLANTA — One out of every three eighth- and lOth-graders survey^ in 20 states said they have seriously considered killing themselves, and many have poor health habits that include drinking, smoking and ignorance of safe sex.
Thirty-four percent of the 11,000 students — 25 percent of the boys and 42 percent of the girls reported that they had thought seriously about ending their lives, and 15 percent had gone so far as to attempt potentially fatal injuries, the national Centers for Disease Control reported Thursday.
Dr. Lloyd Kolbe, director of the C’DC’s Division of Adolescent and School Health, said the suicide figures were surprising. “We just didn’t think it would be that high,’’ he said.
He said it was the first time the suicide question had been asked in the National Adolescent Student Health Survey, so researchers lacked a bench mark for comparison.
“Many schools in the nation are teaching more about suicide, about how to identify friends who may be suicidal and many school faculty are being trained in
how lo deal with suicides should they occur,’’ Kolbe noted.
He thought the findings added urgency to such activities. “I think what it means is that we need to begin exploring this a little more and looking at what we can do,’’Kolbe said.
TTie 1987 survey addressed questions about alcohol, drugs, violence, suicide and sex to eighth- and lOth-grade students in randomly selected classrooms chosen from a national sample of 217 schools in 20 states.
In the eighth grade, 51 percent had tried smoking and 77 percent had tried alcohol; by 10th grade, the numbers rose to 63 percent for smoking and 89 percent for liquor.
Overall, 22 percent reported smoking in the previous month and about 32 percent reporting having five or more drinks at one time in the previous two weeks.
“Drinking and drug use ... contributes very substantially to homicide and suicide,’’ Kolbe said.
The survey also measured students’ knowledge about health-related topics: Forty-seven percent believed wrongly that donating blood increases the risk
Teenage Health Behavior
Selecteid responses to a survey of 11,419 8th arxl 10th grade students in 217 schools across the United States assessing their exposure to health risks.
□ Allstudents g 10thgraded 8thgrade
"i. .'-vWW’ :
Have had five or more ; drinks on one occasion during the past two weeks.
Have seriously considered suicide.
Rode In the past month" with a driver who had used alcohol or drugs.
Believe donating blood increases the likelihood of becoming Infected with AIDS
Received instruction on AIDS
Did not wear a seat belt the last ' time they rode In a vehicle.
Are current smokers.
- 3.5% margin of error
Source: Centers for Disease Control of AIDS.
Fifty-one percent thought incorrectly that washing after sex could decrease the likelihood of getting AIDS.
Only 43 percent were able to figure
AP/T. Dean Caple
out from a cereal box which was the chief ingredient, and only 42 percent knew what the date on a milk carton means.
(See ONE-THIRD, Page 7A)
Jobless Rate Is At Lowest Since 1974
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - The nation’s unemployment rate in February plunged to 5.1 percent, the lowest point in IS years, as employers created 289,(MM) new jobs in a sign of the economy’s continued strength, the government reported today.
The jobless rate was down 0.3 percentage points from December, hitting 5.1 percent for first time since May 1974, the Labor Department said. The rate last was lower in December 1973, when it hit 4.9 percent.
' At the same time, employers created 289,000 new nonfarm jobs last month, with the gains confined to service-producing industries, according to a separate survey of business payrolls.
February’s job-growth figure reflected some fallback after payrolls grew by a robust 415,000 jobs in January, when emplopient was spurred by unusually mUd weather. January’s figure was revised upward from an initial estimate of 408,000 new jobs.
(See JOBLESS, Page7A)
Westinghouse Foresaw Challenges At SRP
By BRAD SWOPE Staff Writer
Westinghouse’s May 1988 proposal to operate the Savannah River Plant foresaw that the next SRP contractor would face major challenges in nuclear reactor safety, environmental cleanups, fiscal belt-tightening and employee relations.
Westinghouse Savannah River Co., which the Department of Energy selected in September to operate the weapons materials plant, will replace the Du Pont Co. on April I.
“The extraordinary partnership between DOE and the Du Pont company that has brought mission success for nearly four decades is about to end. Even under the most optimistic transition scenario, there will be a certain amount of adjustment for DOE and incumbent personnel,’’ wrote Theodore Stern, a Westinghouse vice president, in a letter included with his company’s voluminous proposal.
The DOE released portions of that 1000-page proposal last week in response to a request from the Aiken Standard under
the Freedom of Information Act, which allows access to many government documents not otherwise available.
Westinghouse, which had vied with Martin Marietta Corp. for the SRP nod, submitted its bid well before the onslaught of congressional criticism last fall that led the DOE to idle all three of Savannah River’s operable production reactors for management and equipment upg»*ades.
(See WESTINGHOUSE, Page 7A)
Energy Secretary Gets Fast Start On Problems
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON - Energy Secretary James D. Watkins is moving quickly to tackle the problems of modernizing the nation’s problem-plagued nuclear weapons plants and cleaning up their hazardous wastes.
Even before his formal swearing-in Thursday, a team of nuclear experts assembled by Watkins had begun assessing conditions and prospects at key weapons plants to give him an independent view of the problems, department officials said.
Members of the Watkins team visited the Savannah River Plant, near Aiken, S.C., last week and were at the Hanford
Reservation in Washington state earlier this week, the officials said.
The creation of the team and the start of their work were not announced by the department.
Watkins informed the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee late last month that he wanted a special review of efforts at Savannah River to prepare the restart of three reactors there that produce tritiu, a perishable and scarce gas needed to make nuclear warheads. The reactors have been shut down since last spring because of safety, technical and management problems.
“This review will provide me with an integrated overview of progress and
planned activities’’ at Savannah River and other key parts of the weapons complex, Watkins said in a written response to questions from members of th Senate panel. A text of Watkins’ comments was made available by the panel this week.
The department has said that unless it gets at least one of the Savannah River reactors back in operation by the end of the year, supplies of tritium would be dangerously low.
Will Callicott, a department spokesman, said he could confirm that members of the new review team had visited Savannah River, but he declined to
(See ENERGY, Page 7A)