The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas on January 25, 1986 · Page 1
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The Salina Journal from Salina, Kansas · Page 1

Salina, Kansas
Issue Date:
Saturday, January 25, 1986
Page 1
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'Journal Home Edition — 25 Cents Salina, Kansas SATURDAY January 25,1986 114th year—No. 25— 48 Pages U.S. fighters fly near Libya WASHINGTON (AP) - Fighters from two American aircraft carriers conducted flight operations off the Libyan coast Friday in what U.S. officials described as a quiet but tense Navy exercise. Libya branded it an "aggressive provocation." Pentagon sources, discussing the matter only on condition they not be identified by name, said the first flights off the carriers Saratoga and Coral Sea had been conducted Thursday night and Friday "without incident." On Friday evening, an adminis- '. tration source disclosed a group of four Libyan fighters had flown northward into the Mediterranean earlier in the day, apparently to observe the Navy force. A group of U.S. F-A-18 fighters, already up in the air, were directed toward the Libyans, the source continued. But as the Navy fighters moved within vision of the Soviet-made MiG 23s and MiG 25s, the planes peeled off and returned to Libya without making any threatening moves. The source dismissed the meeting of the planes as "insignificant." Earlier, Pentagon sources declined to specify what routes the U.S. fighters had been flying beyond saying they were not over the Gulf of Sidra, a large, contested body of water that cuts into Libya's coast. Libya claims the gulf part of its territorial waters. But in a confusing turn of events, the Pentagon appeared to reverse itself on whether future flights might extend over the gulf. On Thursday, the Pentagon said publicly that no such flights were planned. In a prepared response to the same question on Friday, however, the Pentagon was not so adamant. "The United States will be conducting operations in the Tripoli Flight Information Region (FIR), in international airspace over international waters," the Pentagon said. "The Gulf of Sidra is in the Tripoli FIR, but we are not discussing specifics of our operations, including locations within the FIR." Today Inside VOYAGER 2 sends back photos of Uranus after a close encounter with the planet. See story, Page 5. McPHERSON PASSES UP an Interstate 135 interchange. See story, Page 3. THE SALE OF A FARM in Gove County to the Federal Land Bank is marked by the reserve of the crowd. See story, Page 12. WICHITA-KAPAUN MT. CARMEL and Sacred Heart of Salina moved into the finals of the Salina Invitational Tournament with narrow semifinal victories Friday night. Kapaun edged Salina Central, 4946, and Sacred Heart nipped Salina South, 4&43, in overtime. See Sports, Page 13. ACTOR GORDON MACRAE dies Friday after a long bout with cancer. See story, Page 11. Classified 17-20 Entertainment 22 Fun 21 Living Today 6-7 Local/Kansas 3,12 Markets 9-10 Nation/World 5 On the Record 11 Opinion 4 Religion 8 Sports 13-16 Weather 11 Weather KANSAS — Mostly sunny today. Lows around mid- to upper 20s northwest to the mid-30s southeast. Highs 45 to 50 north and low to mid-50s south. Mostly clear tonight with lows from the mid-teens to the lower 20s. Sunday will be partly cloudy and colder east. Highs 45 to 50 far west, with mid-30s northeast. The United States refuses to heed Libya's claim to the gulf, applying a standard 12-mile limit on coastal waters. The last time the United States and Libya engaged in combat was in 1981 when Navy fighters shot down two Libyan jets over the Gulf of Sidra. ' The Tripoli Flight Information Region extends more than 720 miles in length off the Libyan coast—all of it within 70 miles of the coast line. At the White House, spokesman Larry Speakes indicated the U.S. position on Libya's claims had not changed. Asked if the lack of operations over the gulf on Friday reflected U.S. acceptance of Libyan's claim, he responded: "No. Not the Gulf of Sidra line." Libyan leader Col. Moammar Khadafy, responding to the start of the Navy exercise, told Western reporters he had ordered Libyan aircraft out over the Gulf of Sidra "to defend Libya's territorial waters." Pentagon sources confirmed that some Libyan planes had been detected flying off the coast, but added the planes were far removed from the flight paths flown by American jets on Friday. Khadafy also claimed he had ordered all of his military forces on "total alert." But there was no outward sign of such a move among Libyan naval forces or among troops around Tripoli. Several Libyan warships and patrol boats and an outdated diesel submarine of the Libyan navy remained at their moorings. Pentagon sources continued to stress there were no plans for a retaliatory strike against Libya for last month's terrorist attacks on airports in Rome and Vienna. The United States has accused Khadafy of supporting the Palestinian faction believed responsible for those Dec. 27 attacks, in which 19 people were killed. On Friday, Libya's state-run radio branded the naval and air operations "another aggressive provocation by Ronald Reagan ... which will not go unanswered." Craig Chandler L.W. Gorges, Hutchlnson, loads refined fuel into his truck Friday at McPherson's NCRA refinery. Drop fuels pessimism in oil industry By NANCY MALIR Staff Writer Salina area consumers are paying less for gasoline this week because of the falling price of crude oil. But along with that good news comes the bleak forecast by Kansas oil producers that lower oil prices mean less oil production. And that means higher unemployment and a loss of local and state tax revenue. "It's going to be terrible to the local economy," said David Comeau, vice president of Liberty Enterprises, a Plainville-based oil producer. Already, the number of Liberty employees has fallen from 125 last year to 19. And he said five of the company's 58 wells have been taken out of production in the past six months. "With the farmers in as much trouble as they are, and with oil production the way it is, I'm afraid we're looking at one of the worst economic depressions ever in northwest Kansas," Comeausaid. He blames the layoffs on an oil market slowdown that began with the state severance tax on oil production and was sharpened by recent actions of the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries. "OPEC is flooding the market because they want to overproduce and cut the price," he said. Bob Eickbush of Ecco, a McPherson-based oil production company, said since the first of January his company has seen the price of oil drop from $26.75 to $23.50 a barrel. "In my opinion, the main cause is OPEC is overproducing," he said. "Falling prices are going to hurt everyone," said Terry Richardson, superintendent of Murfin Drilling Co. at Hill City. "One of the problems that will develop from this is that a lot of smaller wells will go out of production, and that will cause the state and county tax base to erode.'' Bill Shropshire, assistant general (See Oil, Page 11) Farmers: 'Right now, we're in a state of limbo' By LINDA MOWERY-DENNING Great Plains Editor ABILENE — Every day Reginald Konrade is asked questions he can't answer. After 21 years with the federal government, he considers the situation frustrating, but not surprising. "I guess I've learned to expect it and accept it because if you don't, you go bananas," he said. Konrade is the executive director of the Dickinson County Agricultural Stabilization and Conservation Service. He and his counterparts in other Kansas counties are on the front lines created by a complicated piece of legislation known as the Food Security Act of 1985. They're the people who must explain the provisions of the farm bill to farmers who have planted their , winter wheat and are beginning to think about planting their spring row crops. The problem is the local ASCS offices have little information to pass on to producers. Some say it could be mid-February until full details of the program are released. That prediction has led to even more frustration in the country. "Farmers are getting used to being Reginald Konrade frustrated, but there comes a point when it gets hard to laugh," Konrade said. "A typical comment I hear is: 'Do you suppose you'll know by wheat harvest?' " U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary John Block announced basic provisions of the wheat and feed grains program on Jan. 13. In- cluded was a drastic reduction in price support loan rates to make American farm commodities more competitive in world trade. The loan rate for the 1986 wheat crop, for example, will be $2.40 a bushel, compared with $3.30 for last year's harvest. The wheat target price — which is used to'determine federal deficiency payments to farmers when market prices fall below a certain level — will remain frozen for two years at the 1985 target of $4.38 a bushel. Because of cuts in the loan rate, which traditionally has served as a floor under prices, wheat prices could plummet from their current level of about $3 a bushel to $2.20 a bushel or less by harvest, economists predict. Konrade and others believe the fear of low wheat prices will force large numbers of Kansas producers into the farm program. Sign-up for the program is expected to open March 3 and continue for a month or more. Konrade said most of his information on the program has come from newspapers. He received a news release after Block's announcement, but it raised more questions than it answered, he said. "We know there's going to be a minimum 25 percent set-aside on wheat, but what's the maximum?" Konrade said. "And what about haying and grazing on set-aside acres? Every farmer who comes in here asks us about that. "Right now, we're just in a state of limbo." Frank Mosier, state ASCS director, said a national training session on the wheat and feed grains program is planned Feb. 5 through 7 in St. Louis. Local officials should receive final details after that session. "Any time you have new legislation it has to go through a pretty tough review," Mosier said. "The information is going to come in bits and pieces." Chris Elam, who oversees the Saline County ASCS office, said farmers are "furious" about the lateness of this year's program. She said her office has even received calls from business people who are upset because their farmer- customers don't have enough information to make a cash flow projection on their operations for 1986. Local ASCS offices were required this year to establish new crop yields on each farm, based on an average of the past five years. "This is about as messy as we've ever seen," Elam said. "And it seems to get worse every day." In far western Kansas, Jamie Powell, executive director of the Wallace County ASCS office at Sharon Springs, said farmers are upset, but not surprised by the lack of details on the farm program. For the 1985 wheat program, for instance, ASCS offices were making advance deficiency payments by mid-October of 1984. This year, advance payments probably won't be offered until March on the 1986 crop. "This is the latest most people around here can remember," Powell said about the timing of information on the farm program. "Farmers are trying to plan their spring barley. They're trying to get ready to prepare their ground for corn and milo and they're not able to plan." In Dickinson County, Konrade also has another problem. Because of strong winds this winter and a lack of snow cover, some farmers in the Abilene area have lost wheat. They want to know if those damaged acres can be worked into their set-aside ground. The only answer Konrade has to that question is: "Maybe by next week I'll know more.'' NATO reports Soviets raising military spending BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - The Soviet Union is accelerating its pace of military spending while such expenditures by the Western allies appear set to level off or decline, a NATO report said Friday. But it also said the procurement of military hardware will continue to take the largest share of the Soviets' defense budgets, and they hard pressed to match Western nations in the development of new technologies for military uses. "It will be a major challenge for the Soviets to develop the technologies that must be embodied in the next generation of weapons," the report said. "They face substantial technological hurdles in all the military industries." V According to the report, Soviet military spending rose an annual average rate of about 2 percent in the mid-1970s and early 1980s, and it predicted the annual increase would be about 3 percent per year during the 1986-90 period. It gave no figure for the intervening years, but a NATO source, speaking on condition he not be identified, said the 1983-84 growth ^ate was about 3 percent a year. U.S. military spending rose by an inflation-adjusted 4 percent a year in the late 1970s and early 1980s, according to the report. It added that the growth of the Soviet economy is expected to average between 2 and 3 percent per year during the remainder of this decade. „ Super Bowl persistence pays off SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Elaine Zambos got her first taste of the Chicago Bears as a little girl when her father told her his memories of the brassiest, best football team in the country, even though he hadn't been to a game since the 1940s. Now George Zambos, 58, is getting a reunion with the Bears in New Orleans on Sunday, thanks to his daughter's refusal to take no for an answer in her quest for Super Bowl tickets. When Zambos learned of her surprise gift, he "hugged me and cried," she said. Zambos, beginning at age 6, was a popcorn and candy huckster at Chicago's Soldier Field and Wrigley Field during the Depression. He enlisted in the Navy in 1944 and then settled in Utah in the 1950s, but absence from the Windy City didn't diminish his memories of the Bears and Cubs. His daughter, 31, was determined to get two tickets to this year's Super Bowl, especially after the Bears won the NFC playoff. However, the tickets go fast and there were a lot of roadblocks. A letter to Ann Landers seeking advice on how to obtain tickets was not answered. Efforts to get tickets via the son of a friend of a friend who played for the Los Angeles Rams fell through when the Rams lost in the playoffs. Officials at the New Orleans Superdome told her she was crazy. A local sports editor told her it was impossible. And the NFL Commissioner's office said flatly: "Lady, there's just no way you're gonna go this year." Then a co-worker at the U.S. Postal Service suggested she write Bears General Manager Jerry Vainisi. The letter, with a picture of Zambos in a Bears outfit, went out last Sunday. Three days later, Elaine Zambos got a phone call from Vainisi's office telling her two $75 tickets were available. "I sobbed. I mean I just cried," she said. Then she • (See Bowl, Page 11)

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