New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - October 17, 1980, New Braunfels, Texas
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5 cents October 17,1980
Vol. 89-No. 83 22 pages —2 sections
(USPS 377 880) New Braunfels, TexasMount St. Helens erupts for sixth time
VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) - Mount St.
Helens coughed a layer of ash onto nearby communities overnight, belching steam and ash nearly eight miles into the dark sky in its sixth major eruption in as many months.
The blast, less powerful than other recent eruptions, came late Thursday, three hours after scientists warned the volcano might erupt — a warning that followed repeated earthquakes at the mountain.
There were no immediate reports of injury or damages from the eruption. On May 18, Mount St. Helens blew its top in a devastating eruption
of super-heated gas and ash that killed 34 people and left 28 people missing and presumed dead. That blast paralyzed parts of eastern Washington with a thick cover of ash.
“A very black cloud” of steam and ash spewed to more than 40,000 feet after Thursday’s eruption, said U.S. Forest Service spokesman Jim Unterwegner.
The volcano quieted after the 9:58 p.m. blast, and by midnight, only a light dusting of ash had been reported in the area.
A red glow was seen at the bottom of the volcano’s crater by a U.S. Forest Service pilot who flew over the 8,400-foot-high mountain less
than an hour after the eruption.
“We’ve got reports of ash falling in LaCenter, Amboy, Richfield, Battle Ground and Hazel Dell, but no accidents or complications reported yet,” said Linda Simpson, an information officer for Clark County, south of the volcano. “It was late enough that few people were out on the road.”
The National Weather Service issued a three-county ash warning for the Portland, Ore., area and two southwest counties of Washington, saying ash could make for possible hazardous driving conditions with slippery roads or reduced visibility.
The eruption was accompanied by harmonic
tremors — which indicate the movement of molten rock — for nearly IO minutes, said Don Leaver of the University of Washington geophysics center.
By ll p.m., the Forest Service reported the volcano had ceased venting ash and only a minor steam plume to 9,500 feet was reported.
University spokesman Bob Norris said the mountain was seismically quiet after the eruption, adding: “It’s not necessarily the end of it. We’ve seen activity die down like this before renewed activity.”
At a news conference in Hazel Dell late Thursday, U.S. Geological Survey geologist Don
Peterson said the eruption did not catch scientists totally by surprise. He put the time of the blast at 9:58 p.m.
From about I p.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday there were three to four seismic events per hour, he said, and at 7 p.m. an earthquake measuring about 3.0 on the Richter scale of ground motion was recorded beneath the volcano’s crater.
The mountain’s five previous significant eruptions all occurred during daylight. The last major eruption was Aug. 7.
The blast followed a week of minor earthquakes. Geologists seemed unconcerned about the activity until the 7 p.m. quake.Economic data
WASHINGTON (AP) - In a report that could signal an end to the 1980 recession, the Commerce Department said today that the U.S. economy grew at a I percent annual rate in the third quarter due chiefly to a sharp rebound in personal spending.
A preliminary report showed the inflation-adjusted value of all goods and services — the real gross national product — rose by $3.5 billion during the July-September period to an annual rate of $1.41 trillion. The annual rate is determined by projecting the change in one quarter over a full 12 months.
Before adjusting for inflation, GNP rose 10.2 percent during the quarter, to $2.58 trillion.
The third-quarter performance contrasted with the record 9.6 percent decline in real GNP in the second quarter. The Commerce Department said the turnaround was caused by a 3.7 percent, or $91 billion, increase in final sales after a 10.2 percent decline during the previous three months.
Personal spending, which had fallen $2.9 billion in the second quarter, rose $55.2 billion in the third. A key factor in that increase was higher automobile sales, which raised the purchase of durable goods by $24.5 billion in the third quarter after a decline in the second.
After-tax personal income rose $51.6 billion during the quarter and spending was up $54.7 billion. Savings as a portion of personal income dropped from 4.9 percent in
the second quarter to 4.6 percent in the third.
Business investment rose $3.2 billion in the third quarter after a $4.4 billion plunge in the second three months of the year.
The Commerce Department’s measure of inflation, called the GNP deflator, showed the price spiral slowed in the third quarter. The deflator indicated prices rose by 9.1 percent in the third quarter compared with 10.7 percent in the second.
Today’s report indicated that by one popular definition, there was no 1980 recession at all — simply because the downturn was limited to one calendar quarter.
The popular definition of recession is two consecutive quarters of GNP decline. Statisticians say the economy began sliding in January or February, bat the first quarter still registered an overall growth rate of 1.2 percent.
That was followed, however, by the worst quarter in history — an annual rate of decline of 9.6 percent in economic output from April to June.
That plunge, concentrated in the construction and automobile industries, resulted in unemployment of 7.5 percent to 7.8 percent from May to September, a steep decline in industrial production, a drop in retail sales and the worst slide in corporate profits in five years.
See ECONOMY, Page 16A
Surrounded by a maze of wires, a utility worker goes about his business
Staff photo by John Sant*Conciliatory signals
Carter willing to discuss hostages with Iranian prime minister
WASHINGTON (AP) - U.S. officials from President Carter on down, while denying that any deal has been made or is being negotiated, are sending conciliatory signals to Iran in a bid to free the 52 American hostages.
Carter said Thursday he would be willing to meet and discuss the hostages with Iranian Prime Minister Mohammad AU Rajai, in New York for an unexpected appearance at the United Nations, “if he should be amenable.” Secretary of State Edmund S. Muskie added that “the door is open” for negotiations.
Rajai arrived in New York shortly after midnight Thursday, about two hours after Carter
had attended a charity banquet in the city, and was to plead Iran’s case in its 26-day war with Iraq before the U.N. Security Council later today.
Rajai is the highest-ranking Iranian official to visit the United States since revolutionary forces overthrew the late Shah Mohammad Reza Pahlavi in January 1979.
There were no indications the hard-line Islamic fundamentalist would meet with Carter or any other U.S. official, but Rajai’s trip nevertheless fueled frenzied speculation about the hostages and U.S. relations with Iran — all of which the Pentagon and the State Department
tried to dispel.
Carter and other officials, meanwhile, were playing down the United States’ tensions with Iran.
The president, who called Iraq an “invading nation” Wednesday night, continued to emphasize U.S. support for Iran’s national integrity.
Asked on a campaign stop if the administration would support Iran’s complaints against Iraq at the United Nations, Carter said, “Disputes like this should not be settled through aggression or invasion of another country’s territory.”
The Pentagon denied a published report that the United States and its allies have built up an armada of 60 warships to keep the Strait of Hormuz open to Persian Gulf oil traffic. The Iranians have threatened to mine the strait.
Muskie stressed that if the hostages are returned, the United States would lift its economic sanctions against Iran and possibly allow the shipment to Iran of military spare parts now stockpiled around the country.
Chicago television station VVUS, quoting what it said were four “highly placed sources" on three continents, reported Thursday that a deal is iii the works for the United States to trade military spare parts for release of the hostages, now
spending their 349th day in captivity.
The station said the parts would have to bi* iii the air by noon today for the deal to go through, but the trade would not lie announced until next week.
It said the hostages, reported to have been dispersed around Iran after the aborted U.S. rescue mission last April, have been returned to the U.S. Embassy in Tehran to anticipation ot their release.
Pentagon officials denied that any planes have been loaded with parts destined for Iran or that any preparations have been made for such a move.
See HOSTAGES, Page 16A
Amendment 8 would cut backlog
Smith favors appeals court changes
By HENRY KRAUSSE Staff writer
Judge Robert O. “Bob” Smith, in town for a campaign stop in his bid for election to the Third Court of Civil Appeals, said he favors a proposed constitutional amendment that would give criminal cases to state civil appeals courts.
Appointed to the Austin-based court i which handles civil appeals from a 24-county area, including Comal) by Gov. Bill Clements, Smith
faces Democrat John Powers to keep his position.
He couched his position on the amendment in terms that seemed a little schizophrenic.
“As a judge presiding over a court it would directly affect, I’d prefer to keep it like it is. This amendment (Amendment 8) would complicate things.”
“As a citizen, though, I’m going to vote for it. The legislature has given us this choice. Rather
than not do anything, we’re better off doing something that has a reasonable chance at solving the problem.”
The problem is a serious backlog of criminal cases, tying up the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to the tune of 3,000 cases, “at least two years worth of work,” Smith said.
The backlog has been gradually increasing for ten years at the rate of 300 a year, he added.
Amendment 8, which will appear on the ballot Nov. 4, is the “least controversial of any of the proposals designed to deal with it,” Smith continued.
“If voters tell the legislature to go back to the drawing board, it’ll three or four years before they come up with something else, and that’s another 1,200 cases backed up,” he said.
Critics of the amendment have said most appeals court judges aren’t familiar enough with criminal procedures to handle criminal appeals, but Smith doesn’t see that as a real problem.
“I’m not familiar with the personal background of all the appeals court judges, but ifs my impression at least one or two have quite a bit of criminal practice experience,” Smith said.
Smith himself has been twice elected Travis County District Attorney (as a Democrat), and has prosecuted and defended in both civil and criminal cases.
Now a Republican, he says he doesn’t like party labels.
“State judges are elected, and they should be. People whose lives they most intrinsically affect ought to have a say in their selection. But ifs wrong to put a party label oil a position that should be and is nonpartisan.
“This wasn’t such a concern when Texas was a one-party state, but it is more and more so as the system changes,” Smith affirmed, adding that two-party politics “is here, and it’s going to become a way of life.”
REAL ESTATE .....
T V. USINGS........
...on campaign stop