Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - October 6, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina
Cubs Even NL Playoff Series
A Quick Read
Lone Candidate Loses Primary
SACO, Maine (AP) — Mark Johnston was the only candidate from either party running for mayor in this coastal city — and he lost.
Johnston failed to get enough votes in Tuesday’s primary to appear on the November ballot, according to city attorney Mary Kahl.
As Kahl interprets the city charter, a candidate in the primary must win votes amounting to at least 5 percent of the total cast in the previous general election in order to appear on the general election ballot. But Tuesday’s voter turnout was only 3 percent, so Johnston failed to get the required support.
Johnston sa’d Thursday he is challenging his loss. He said another section of the charter says the primary candidate with the most votes wins.
Bush To Undergo Surgery on Finger
WASHINGTON (AP) - President Bush, making light of minor surgery to remove a cyst from his right middle finger, says it’s no “federal case” and promises to show off his scar afterward.
The president was to be operated on early this afternoon as an outpatient at Walter Reed Army Medical Center for removal of the cyst, which has troubled him for several years.
“It's not really painful, but it’s a nuisance in the cense that it’s large enough to cause him some anxiety,” presidential press secretary Marlin Fitzwater told reporters.
The procedure was expected to take about an hour.
Students Hijack Burmese Airliner
BANGKOK, Thailand (AP) - Two Burmese students hijacked a Burmese airliner carrying 85 people and forced it to land at a military airfield in neighboring Thailand today, an army officer said.
The hijackers presented Thai military officials with a list of unspecified demands and were holding the passengers hostage, the officer said.
The plane, which was on a domestic flight in Burma, landed in Uta-phao, 80 miles southeast of Bangkok, the officer, Col. Somchai Dhanara-jata, said.
Weather Increasing Clouds
Skies will become increasingly cloudy tonight. The low will be in the 60s. Tomorrow will be partly cloudy with a 30 percent chance of showers and a high in the mid 80s. Please see Page 8A for details.
Thomas M. Bodle, North Augusta George F. Boozer, Greenwood Elzie W. Brooks, Graniteville Mildred S. Harmon, North Augusta Mary M. Hodges, Ware Shoals Ruby Smith, New Ellenton Amy Lou Sprouse, North Augusta Charles Thompson, Aiken Please see Page 8A for details.
Local Front ...............................1B
Friday, October 6, 1989
Aiken, South Carolina
Vol. 122 No. 247SCE&G: Only 2 'Real Issues' In Power Pact Fight
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
A senior vice president of South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. said Thursday that “it’s time to drop the cosmetic surgery and discuss the real issues” in the feud between her company and Aiken Electric Cooperative.
Cathy B. Novinger, who heads governmental relations for SCE&G, said in an interview that “there are only two real issues in this case” — the right of a city to
decide its power supplier and who can do the best job.
“You can throw out all the ancillary issues, for those are the only two that counts,” said Mrs. Novinger.
The controversy over municipal power rights — specifically, who the city designates as its primary supplier — has ended up in a circuit court thanks to a restraining order filed by the cooperative.
The order was handed down Monday by Judge John H. Waller Jr., only hours before Aiken City Council was scheduled to
hold a public hearing and second reading of an ordinance designating SCE&G as the city’s primary power provider.
The cooperative’s injunction blocked the city’s action until at least Oct. 16. Meanwhile, a hearing on the restraining order is scheduled for Oct. ll.
Mrs. Novinger, along with Aiken SCE&G manager J. Sidney Ballentine and SCE&G development specialist Harry Busbee, replied to charges made by a cooperative spokesman that city officials are being orchestrated by her company
in an effort to win a favorable vote.
Mrs. Novinger said she resents implications that SCE&G is dictating to the city and is the aggressor in the case, noting that Aiken Electric first raised the franchise matter last December by applying for one with the city.
Ballentine said the council gave first reading to such an ordinance, but withdrew it after being told by City Attorney
(Please See SCE&G, Page 9A)
Staff Photo By David Kiriwel!
CIRCUS FUN: Children and adults alike responded enthusiastically to the animal, clown, high wire and juggling acts of the Roberts Brothers Circus Thursday night. For the story, see Page 1B.
2 Swiss Kidnapped In Lebanon
By The Associated Press
SIDON, Lebanon — Gunmen today kidnapped two Swiss men who work for the International Committee of the Red Cross in this southern port city, police said.
The two were seized at 8:30 a.m. (1:30 a.m. EDT) when they arrived at a Red Cross center in this port 25 miles south of Beirut in a white Peugot car, police said.
Officials at the Geneva headquarters of the humanitarian organization condemned the kidnapping, which comes ll months after the abduction of another Swiss Red Cross worker in Sidon. There was no immediate claim of responsibility.
Police and the Red Cross identified the victims as Emmanuel Christen, 32, and Elio Erriquez, 23, and said both worked as orthopedic technicians at the center, which distributed artificial limbs to victims of Lebanon’s 14-year-old civil war.
The assailants, wearing black masks, were waiting in two cars at the entrance of the center near the Ein el-Hilweh refugee camp when the Peugeot arrived, police reported.
“Christen parked the car at the center’s parking lot and climbed out, holding an artificial limb. Erriquez got out from the car’s opposite door, followed by a Lebanese ICRC employee,” a police spokesman said.
Two men immediately leapt out of a dark-colored Mercedes, one wielding a pistol and the other a submachine gun trained at the ICRC men, said the spokesman, who cannot be named under standing rules.
“Christen and Erriquez immediately threw their arms up, offering no resistance. They were bundled at gunpoint into the trunk of the Mercedes, which sped off followed by the other car, loaded with armed guards,” the spokesman said.
The spokesman said the two care headed in the direction of the camp.
(Please See 2 SWISS, Page 9A)
Slip By S.C.
Governor, Senate, SLED Hold Key................ Page 9A
By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer
COLUMBIA — A state tourism agency lobbyist said Thursday that time is running short to enact legislation that would allow the setting up of a state racing commission and bring parimutuel betting to South Carolina.
“There are only three states contiguous to each other that have not allowed pari-mutuel betting, and that’s South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia,” said Elliott D. (Duby) Thompson, who represents the South Carolina Tourism Council.
“If we don’t move before the others do, we stand to lose a lot of monev. If North Carolina and Georgia build a track first, the people* will go there and we won’t be able to get a lot of them bock.”
Thompson said if that happens the state will lose many millions of dollars each year “that we can’t afford to lose.”
Using statistics gleaned from a study made by the University of South Carolina’s School of Business Administration, Thompson said the figures show tracks for thoroughbreds and greyhounds could provide more than 5,600 steady jobs and produce an economic impact of $148.3 million a year.
Thompson said those kind of figures can make a person blink, and he doesn’t want to see North Carolina and Georgia getting the jump because the state’s political leadership drags its feet on the issue.
At present, there are two pieces of legislation in the General Assembly that lay the groundwork for a state racing commission — the first step to track construction and pari-mutuel betting — and Thompson believes support is growing for them.
One bill is on the House contested calendar, while the other is in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
“I wouldn’t say they are on the front end of the calendar, but we expect to see action on them in the next session,” said Thompson. He also admits there will be opposition — mainly from the state Baptist Association and other church groups opposed to gambling of any kind.
Die churches and other allies have been successful at keeping lottery legislation from a vote, and Thompson concedes they probably will be just as active against pari-mutuel betting. But he says that battle will be tempered by the fact that racing is different from a lottery in that it creates jobs and promotes capital investment.
(Please See PARI-MUTUEL, Page 9A)
Job Rate Up In Surprise To Analysts
By The Associated Press
WASHINGTON — The nation’s civilian unemployment rate rose a notch to 5.3 percent in September as a rise in joblessness among adult men more than offset a decline among women.
The unemployment rate was up from 5.2 percent in both July and August, the Labor Department said in the government’s first comprehensive look at the economy last month.
The report was a bit weaker than many analysts had expected. The unemployment rate for adult men jumped to 4.8 percent last month from 4.4 percent in August, while the rate for women fell to 4.5 percent from 4.7 percent a month earlier.
The jobless rate is derived from a survey of American households. A separate survey of employers showed that the economy added 209,000 non-farm payroll jobs in September, bringing the total to a seasonally adjusted 109.1 million. August job growth was only 88,000, revised down from a previous estimate of 110,000.
September growth was artificially bolstered by the return of 75,000 striking telephone workers. In the household sur-
9 Elderly Patients Die As Fire Strikes Nursing Home
Sept. ’88 \ Aug. ’89 Sept. *89
I 5 4% H 5 2% UTyTj
wmmmmmmmmmmmm ■mmmmmmi un im iii i »rn i mil
Source: U S. Dept, of Labor
vey, strikers are counted as employed, so their return did not affect the unemployment rate.
The department said more industries lost than gained jobs in September. Goods-producing industries, representing about one-fourth of the economy, was particularly hard hit, losing 108,000 jobs.
Most of the loss was to manufacturing payrolls, which have been declining since the spring and lost 103,000 workers in September — 33,000 of them in the auto industry.
Construction payrolls were unchanged last month while mining, which includes oil drilling, lost 5,000 jobs.
Service industries added 317,000 jobs, bolstered by the returning telephone workers and by a gain of 95,000 government jobs.
Economists said the distribution of gains follow the pattern set this year, in
(Please See JOB, Page 9A)
By The Associated Press
NORFOLK, Va. — A fire that struck a nursing home while patients were going to sleep killed nine people and injured 68 as rescuers rushed dazed patients to safety through halls flooded with choking smoke.
The elderly evacuees, some in bedclothes and some of whom were naked when they were saved, were helped down halls and down ladders as firefighters tackled the blaze, reported at 10:30 p.m. Thursday.
Patients huddled early today on lawns of houses near the 160-bed Hillhaven Rehabilitation and Convalescent Center, attended by paramedics and neighbors.
The fire was mostly contained to a room on the second floor of the four-story brick home, but smoke spread throughout, and many of the injured suffered from smoke inhalation, said Norfolk Fire Chief Thomas E. Gardner.
“I woke up in a roomful of smoke,” said patient Robert Bell, 82. “The whole room was saturated with smoke. You couldn’t see and you couldn’t hardly breathe.”
Many patients “were hooked up to all sorts of medical equipment,” Gardner said, further hampering efforts to evacuate them.
‘You couldn’t see and you couldn’t hardly breathe.’
— Fire Survivor
The nine residents died of smoke inhalation, said Deborah Myers, a spokeswoman for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital. Gardner had reported earlier that two people had died of bums.
The 68 people taken to a half dozen hospitals suffered smoke inhalation and minor bums, Ms. Myers said. Nineteen of the 29 taken to Sentara Norfolk General were admitted, including five in critical condition, she said. The rest were treated and taken to other nursing facilities.
The cause and extent of the fire, which was extinguished after midnight, were not immediately known.
Second-floor resident Harriett Waddill, 76, described the confusion:
“Everything was quiet. We were going to bed. All of a sudden we heard this commotion in the hall. They were running up and down the hi'll and they were yelling, ‘Get him out of toe room.’ It was getting
(Please See 9 ELDERLY, Page 9A)