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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - October 10, 1989, Aiken, South Carolina Sports Clark Hits Giants Into Series Page 11A A Quick Read More Children Under 12 Are Getting AIDS COLUMBIA (AP) — An increase in the trading of sex for crack cocaine has resulted in more children in South Carolina being bom with the virus that causes AIDS, health officials say. In 1987, South Carolina had 16 cases of children under 12 infected with the virus. As of July 31, the latest date figures are available, 52 cases were reported. The number of children with the full-blown disease grew from five to 16 during the same period, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control reported. The rise in cases of acquired immune deficiency syndrome in South Carolina’s infants can be traced to how quickly the disease has spread among women, officials say. “We are seeing an increasing number of women in proportion to the total cases. I don’t think it’s any different than the national picture,” said Lynda Hettinger, director of the AIDS division at DHEC. “Obviously, that concerns us as it relates to babies being infected.” Scientists Investigate UFO In Russian City MOSCOW (AP) - Soviet biologists and physicists are probing a reported UFO landing that still terrifies children in a Russian city who saw it, a newspaper reported today. “Something did in fact happen there,” it assured skeptics. The official Tass news agency informed the world on Monday that scientists had confirmed that an alien spaceship carrying giant people with tiny heads had touched down rn Voronezh, 300 miles southeast of Moscow. As many as three aliens left the spacecraft, said to be a large shining ball or disc, and went for a stroll in the park, Tass said. A Tass duty officer stood by the story. “It is not April Fool’s today,” the editor said. But in Buffalo, N.Y., Paul Kurtz, chairman of the Committee for the Scientific Investigation of Claims of the Paranormal, said, “We’re extremely skeptical of this claim. Ifs not the first one (in the Soviet media). There are many. There seems to be a rash of reports, largely uncorroborated.” Weather Fair Skies Fair skies are forecast tonight. The low will be in the 50s. Tomorrow will be sunny and warmer, with a high in the mid 70s. Please see Page 16A for details. Deaths Martha W Bland, Johnston Fred Fowler, Tryon, N.C. James D. Glass Jr., Aiken Raymond H. Pope, Aiken Willie Mae B. Prevette, Rock Hill Please see Page 3B for details. Inside Today Bridge...............................................8B Calendar  ............................14AB Classifieds.........................................6B Comics..............................................4B Crossword.........................................9B Cryptoquote.......................................7B Dear Abby..........................................4B Local Front........................................1B Obituaries.........................................3B Opinions............................................4A Sports..............................................11A Television..........................................4B Weather...........................................16A — _ | Page 2A Star Wars Backers Seek Support Page IB NA Council Denies Bingo Appeal ftncvn crwwrrr public library iUkm Shwfovrf) Tuesday, October IO, 1989 Detail Work Aiken, South Carolina Vol. 122 No. 251 DHEC Pronounces Valley Water Safe Cause Of Weekend Alert Undetermined By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer A South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control spokesman said this morning that the Valley Public Service Authority’s water system has been found free of bacterial contamination. Jim Brownlow said the latest series of tests run on the water have produced good results and “everything is clean as a whistle. They have a clean bill of health as far as we are concerned.” Brownlow added that the agency still has not been able to pinpoint the cause of contamination that forced a weekend alert that failed to reach all the system’s 1,800 customers and set off a flood of complaints. “We still have not been able to identify any specific source,” Brownlow replied when asked about the origin of fecal coliform bacteria reportedly found in samples taken of the water supply. DHEC said the bacteria, commonly found in animal wastes, could make consumers sick if ingested in large quanti ties. The most common ailments caused by coliform are hepatitis and diarrhea. Brownlow said the bacteria samples found Saturday were “not extremely high, but high enough to be concerned.” Left unresolved is a conflict between the DHEC tests and those made by Nor-mandeau Associates, a private laboratory located in New Ellenton. In addition to DHEC, the VPSA also uses Normandeau as a backup testing laboratory. The Rev. Robert L. Boerne, manager of VPSA, said Monday that Normandeau’s tests reported no signs of bacterial contamination in the system. His comments came just after he ended a press conference in Gloverville. But Sally Jay, lab director for the Aiken DHEC office, said the state agency was “standing by” at its tests. “What happened at Normandeau I can’t say,” she remarked. During the press conference at the VPSA ofice, the Rev. Boone said the utility’s staff found no physical evidence of sabotage in the system and tests showed soda ash, a chemical used to neutralize acidity in water, was not to blame for the contamination. The manager said ruling those out only increased the mystery surrounding the contamination and the testing. (Please See DHEC, Page MA) JU* Nuke Foes Challenge Launch Staff Photo By Ginny Southworth SCHOOL MURAL: April Parks, 10, works carefully on a mural in Aiken Elementary School's cafeteria, the work of the school’s fifth graders and North Carolina artist Jeremiah Miller. For the story, please see Page 1B. By The Associated Press CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. - Anti-nu-dear activists say they'll try to invade Hie launch pad of the space shuttle Atlantis if a court challenge today fails to block liftoff of the ship with its radioactive plutonium payload. The countdown ticked toward a launch at 1:29 p.m. Thursday as NASA waited for word on whether the flight can proceed and deploy the nuclear-powered space probe Galileo. U.S. District Judge Oliver Gasch was to hear oral arguments today in Washington from attorneys representing the space agency and three citizens groups seeking to block the launch. There was no indication when the judge might rule. The opponents sought a temporary restraining order because Galileo, which Atlantis’ five astronauts are to dispatch (Please See NUKE, Page MA) Co-Op To Hold Own Public Hearing By CARL LANGLEY Staff Writer Aiken Electric Cooperative supporters laid plans Monday night to hold their own public hearing into a power dispute involving the city and South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. Citizens to Save Our Co-op spokesman Clarise Stephens said the utility’s hearing will be held at 6 p.m. Monday, 90 minutes before City Council hopes to hear arguments on a controversial ordinance dealing with utility franchise agreements. Mrs. Stephens announced the cooperative’s hearing strategy during a press conference at the consumer-owned utility’s headquarters. Breaking into tears near the end of the meeting, Mrs. Stephens said the cooperative intends to put 500 people into the Municipal Building for its hearing — a protest in numbers against restrictions on attendance at the council meeting. The cooperative adopted the strategy Mall Operators Hope To Change Shopping Habits By PHILIP LORD Staff Writer When the Aiken Mall opens its doors on Wednesday, a new era will begin in area shopping habits. So far, area consumers have depended upon strip centers and occassional trips to Augusta to fill their shopping needs, but Aiken Mall officials are hoping to reverse that trend. “If Aikenites can drive to Augusta to shop then Augustans can drive to Aiken, but we have got to give them a reason to,” Aiken Mall Manager Bob Ghormley told members of the Greater Aiken Chamber of Commerce last week. He added that the mall wants to keep potential Aiken buyers at home and get customers from other cities, like North (Please See MALL, Page 10A) T after City Manager Roland H. Windham said attendance at the Monday night meeting would be limited to 150 — the maximum allowed in council chambers under state fire safety regulations. Council also will limit representatives of Aiken Electric and SCE&G to 25 each and give each side 30 minutes to make statements on the ordinance. Shortly after Mrs. Stephens’ press conference, City Attorney James M. Holly said a show cause hearing has been set for IO a.m. Wednesday in Marion, where the city hopes to overturn a restraining order that has been blocking council action on the franchise. Circuit Judge John H. Waller Jr., who issued the injunction against the city on Oct. 2, will hold the hearing in Marion, and it could result in the order being dismissed or continued. Holly said the city will ask the judge to lift the order so the council can proceed with second reading and public hearing of the ordinance next Monday night. Aiken Electric obtained the injunction a few hours before Qty Council was to conduct the second reading and public hearing of the controversial statute. The ordinance designates SCE&G as the primary power supplier to the city in newly annexed areas. But it also grants Aiken Electric a franchise for existing customers within the city limits and any customers it has before annexation. The legal salvo is the biggest round fired in a war-of-words skirmish that has been going on for weeks. The struggle focuses on the enormous future reveilues projected from customers in subdivisions and shopping centers that are brought into the city. Aiken Electric claims most of those potential customers will be in rapidly growing parts of the south side — an area in its territory because of partitioning of the county into defined power districts in the early 1970s. At that time, the state Public Service Commission, acting on legislation passed (Please See CO-OP, Page MA) Staff Map By Melissa Culp Nationwide Raises S.C Auto Rates By Tho Associated Press COLUMBIA — Nationwide Insurance Co., the third-largest largest automobile insurer in the state, has agreed to a rate hike that would average about $29 annually per motorist, officials said. The rate increase for the 199,000 motorists insured by Nationwide would take effect Dec. I under the agreement reached Monday among state insurance and consumer affairs officials, company representatives and consumer groups. The deal awaits acceptance by state insurance commissioner John Richards, who usually approves such compromises. The $3.4 million rate hike is about 40 percent of the $8.5 million increase originally sought by the company. The amount initially sought didn’t reflect several rate-cutting ideas ordered by the Legislature effective July I, but the compromise does, state officials said. The rate hike proposed averages 7.5 percent, but will vary among motorists depending upon type of coverage, state and company spokesmen said. The agreement was for the amount suggested by state insurance officials. Martin Simons, chief actuary for the state agency, said an increase was justified because of rising claims, but was modified to reflect “a leveling-off” of accidents that produce damage payments during the first six months of this year in addition to the steps ordered by lawmakers. Nationwide lawyer James Gray called the compromise “within the range” of compromise acceptable to the insurer. Nationwide sought the largest rate hike among IO proposed since a three-year freeze on rates expired July L (See NATIONWIDE, Page MA) ;