Beckley Post-Herald from Beckley, West Virginia on November 4, 1977 · Page 1
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Beckley Post-Herald from Beckley, West Virginia · Page 1

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Beckley, West Virginia
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Friday, November 4, 1977
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BECKLEY POST-HERALD 12-County Regional News Service (RNS) Beckley, W. Va., Friday Morning, Nov. 4, 1977 Volume 78 No. 239 4 Sections -- 15 Cents Greyhound Service Resumes By YVONNE SNYDER Staff Writer The wildcat strike which halted Greyhound bus service in four southern West Virginia cities early this week is apparently over. "I have just received word from our district office in Charleston that all runs from Beckley resume effective 2:35 a.m. (today) going to Detroit and 3:35 a.m. going to Miami." said Eugene Hancock. Hancock is ticket agent at the Beckley terminal. Hancock said company officials notified him at 8:30 p.m. last night of the decision by members of the Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) in Charleston to return to work. Service was suspended at Beckley, Bluefield, Charleston, and Huntingtdn when the contract between the ATU and Greyhound company expired at midnight Monday. The strike came despite pleas by union officials that workers stay on their jobs until a strike vote was taken by mail. Some members of the Charleston union said they were ordered to strike by their local union officials. (See GREYHOUND. Page 2) Miners Schedule Meeting Friend Dies In Crash Cathy O'Donnell of Trenton, N.J. is comforted by her rescuer. John Matejek. in white shirt, and two unidentified passersby as her car burns in background. Ms. O'DonnelTs passenger, identified by authorities as Sunsan Bruns, died in the car. (AP Wirephoto) WASHINGTON fAP - Officials of the United Mine Workers and the coa! industry agreed Thursday to resume contract negotiations next week in an effort to avert a nationwide strike in December. A bargaining session was scheduled Tuesday. It would be the first session since Oct. 28 when UMW President Arnold Miller suspended negotiations, complaining that management had refused to discuss union proposals concerning miners' health and retirment funds. A spokesman for the Bituminous Coal Operators Association, whose members produce about half the nation's coal, said a number of issues would be discussed when the talks resume, including the benefits. Earlier this week, chief federal mediator Wayne Horvitz expressed concern about "the stalled negotiations. noting that time was fast running out before the current UMW contract. covering 130.000 miners, expired Dec. 6. Miller has said a strike is certain if the employers group didn't agree to serious bargaining. The negotiators will have to reach a tentative agreement by about Nov. 25 to allow union members to complete a ratification vote by the strike deadline. The health and retirement funds, which are financed by royalties on coal production and hours worked, were depleted by wildcat strikes this year. The union is seeking full restoration of medical benefits that were cut last summer and guaranteed payments in the future. Knife Bandit Holds Up Motel By MIKE HALL Staff Writer A butcher knife - wielding bandit held up the Laurel Lodge Motel on Harper Road Thursday evening. Becklev police said the man escaped with S561. Patrolman D. K, Freeland said the incident occured at 7:50 p.m. He said the man entered the office of the motel and asked the clerk for a room. The desk clerk. Randall Bradlev. 27. of Bradley, turned his back on the man to answer the phone. The bandit then went .behind the counter, Freeland said. When Bradley got off the phone the robber demanded all the motel's money, he said. Motel manager Mike Darby said the man also asked for a bag to put the cash in, a plastic trash can liner was used. The robber was described as 5 feet 10 inches tall, 165 pounds, black with a short Afro style haircut and dressed in a blue jean jacket and blue jeans, police said. He was armed with an eight - inch butcher knife. After collecting the money he apparently fled on foot, police said. Darby said "It was a freak accident," that much cash was on hand. "I usually take the money every day and we just keep enough to make change," he said. Later in the evening, the office doors are locked in an attempt to provide some security for the night clerk. Darby said. Thursdav's robberv was the se- cond in a little more than two weeks of a Harper Road motel. On October 16. two men armed with pistols robbed the Best Western Motel of about $2,000, the motel's weekend receipts. No arrests have been made in that case,. Both motel's are near the West Virginia Turnpike, Beckley interchange. Anyone with information on either robbery may contact Lt. Bob Cook, chief of detectives. All information will be held in the strictest confidence, he said. Higher Grocery Costs Signaled J $54J46* 59 City Gets Tough On Sewer Bills Good Morning Frida Occasional rain today tapering off Saturday. High today in the mid 60s with low tonight in the upper 40s. Saturday's high will be in the mid 5Qs. Winds are southerly 10 to 20 mph today and shifting to the east on Saturday. Precipitation is 90 per cent today and 60 per cent Saturday. (See Details On Page 7) Inside Breakfast Table ........ .17 Calendar ............... 14 Classified ........... 21-25 Comics ...... .......... 19 Crossword .............. 19 Dear Abby ............. 19 Deaths .............. 3,7,18 Editorial ................ 4 Market ................ 18 Sports .............. 11-12 Trends .................. 5 By JOHANNA MAURICE Staff Writer Well, it's official -- some 12-2 per cent of the City of Beckley's sewer customers are in arrears. Together, they owe the city a whopping S54.746.59. Beckley is going to get tough, too. It will place liens on property of those who don't pay their sewer bills, starting first with those who owe the most. Harvey Atkins, superintendent of Beckley's Sanitation Department, said Thursday that the department's books reveal that some businesses and private citizens have not paid for years in some cases. The system has over 8.000 customers. Atkins said, "and these 12 Va per cent of the people that aren't paying are the ones that are keeping us in the red. "We go in the hole by anywhere from S2.000 to S3.500 a month, every month," Atkins added, "because these people haven't been paying their bills. Atkins said the city "is going to do anything that is legal to collect the bills/' All the system's customers -should have received their notices of delinquency by now, which include the 10 percent penalty charged when bills become overdue. The system has not had a rate increase since 1971. Atkins said, even though inflation in materials has seriously strained the budget. ·'By operating and maintaining the system with the personnel (13) that we have and cutting every comer we can cut ... saving everything we can save," Atkins said, "we have eliminated some of the cost problems/' But those who are not paying sewer bills are increasing the liklihood that the city will have to ask for a rate increase. And that. Atkins says, would be "penalizing the people who are paying because of the few that won't pay." People with questions about their bills should contact or visit city hall on South Kanawha Street, where workers can review their bills, he said. Atkins said even with the 1971 rate increase. Beckley has one of -the lowest sewer rates in West Virginia among cities that have secondary sewage treat(See CITY. Page 2) WASHINGTON (AP - Wholesale prices rose 0.8 percent in October as farm prices turned upward for the first time in six months, signaling higher grocer} 7 prices this winter. The increase was the biggest since a 1.1 percent rise in wholesale prices last April, just before farm prices began a dramatic decline. Farm prices had plunged nearly 13 percent in May through September, and this helped slow the rise in prices at the grocery store. But in October, wholesale farm prices jumped 2.4 percent. This, coupled with higher costs for new 1978 model cars and trucks, pushed overall wholesale prices up 0.8 percent. W h o l e s a l e p r i c e s g e n e r a l l y foreshadow prices consumers pay. but there are time lags and the relationship isn't always precise because of costs added by middlemen and processors. While retail food prices are likely to rise at a faster pace this winter than during the fall and summer months, government economists and White House officials said there is no. evidence of a dramatic surge ahead. "I think we'll still see some moderation in grocery prices because of the sharp wholesale price declines during the summer that have yet to be fully reflected at retail." said Maynard Comiez, a top Commerce Department economist. White House Press Secretary Jody Powell said the administration was "disappointed the months of decline did not continue. However, we- do not believe this indicates any acceleration in the basic inflation rate." He said that despite the increase in food products. " : we do not expect to see any immediate reflection' in terms of higher retail food prices. But Republican party Chairman Bill Brock was less optimistic and issued a statement calling the October price report "devastating news for working Americans and senior citizens."' Citing the inflation figures and an unemployment rate remaining at near 7 percent. Brock said "it is becoming increasingly evident to the American people thai the Carter administration is incapable of managing the economy in an effective manner." The administration has predicted an inflation rate of about 5 percent during the second half of the year after rates approaching 10 percent at the start of the year. In October, the wholesale price index stood at 196.3, meaning that goods selling for S100 in 1967 now cost 8196.30. Over the past year, wholesale prices have risen 5.9 percent. Carter To Address Nation On Energy WASHINGTON (AP) - President Carter, attempting to save his energy program, will address the nation Tuesday night "to refocus public attention" on the energy problem. White House officials said Thursday. The speech will be available for national live television and radio broadcast. The House and Senate are nearing the end of their work on Carter's energy legislation and the White House, in a three-paragraph announcement, said "the president feels the remaining areas of controversy should be presented to the American people." Carter originally unveiled his plan in a speech to the nation on radio and television April 18. Two days later, he detailed it in an address to Congress. "He believes the time has come to refocus public attention on this problem, which he feels and has said is the most serious domestic problem likely to be faced by this administration," the White House announcement said. The speech" will be given at 9 p.m. EST. The congressional work on the program has threatened to delay or cancel Carter's planned four-continent trip, still officially scheduledto begin Nov. 22. The president has said several times in the past few weeks that he would remain in Washington if necessary while Congress completes work on the program. The energy legislation is currently before a joint House-Senate conference committee. White House Press Secretary Jody Powell said Thursday that no final decision has been made on whether to go ahead with the trip as planned. However, he said the president had no plans as of Thursday to reveal the decision on the trip during the energy speech. Possible Ignition Closes Mine Keystone 2 Mine of Eastern Associated Coal Co. (EACC) at Herndon remained closed Thursday as officials continued to study a possible methane ignition in the mine's longwall section late Monday. Alfred E. Lewis, director of communications for EACC, said Thursday night the Wyoming County mine will be closed "pending the outcome of investigation by company, state and federal mine safety personnel." EACC ordered workers out of the mine late Monday after a possible igni- tion was reported on its longwall section. Since then, conditions within the mine have been monitored continuously. Another inspection may take place today. Inspector - at - large J.A. Philpott of the state Department of Mines said ·Thursday carbon monoxide readings of mine gases "are not conclusive" as to whether there has been a fire in the mine. Philpott said it was "possible" there was an ignition of gas in the mine, "but certainly there's not a raging fire." A methane ignition is a localized incident which happens fairly frequently, not technically the same as a mine explosion. Any suspected methane ignition must be reported immediately to the state and federal mine officials. There were 28 reported methane ignitions in the state last year. Lewis said close to 400 company and classified employes work at Keystone 2, which mines premium-quality metallurgical coal from a Pocahontas seam. Wears New Suit David, the six-year-old 'bubble baby', records his voice through a microphone for the first time recently as his family looks on. David is wearing his new gorm-free Mobile Isolator System, a suit developed by NASA to enable him to come out of his isolation bubble that he has lived in all his life. The large tube to David's left is a special interface system which allows the transfer from the germ - free bubble to the suit. (AP Wirephoto) Police Probe Girl's Death INDEPENDENCE. Ohio (AP) Police are investigating the death of Cynthia Johnson, 16. of Garfield Heights, whose strangled body was found Monday. Police said the girl's fully clothed body was discovered by an employee of the Titen Fastener Engineering Co. atop an industrial rubbish container outside the company warehouse. The girl formerly lived in the community of Red Star in Fayette County. W.Va.* Police said they have not made any arrests. "We're still working on it. We still don't have anything," one investigator said. Police have twice questioned a Cleveland man. According to police, the girl told a friend she was going to meet the mar, Sunday night. The man was identified by police as a friend of the girl's stepfather. However, police said the man was account for his whereabouts Sunday night and may not even have seen the girl. Her mother, Mrs. Pearl Voipe. said, "she was a likeable persons. We wasn't a super-outstanding person, but everybody liked her. She made friends easilv." Insanity Plea Brings Acquittal LANSING, Mich. (AP) -- A circuit court jury Thursday night acquitted Francine Hughes by reason of insanity on charges that she killed the ex- husband who had beat her. The jury of 10 women and two men returned the verdict in the first-degree murder trial after 6Vb hours of deliberations. Mrs. Hughes had testified during the trial that she suffered years of beatings until one night last March when she poured gasoline on the floor around the bed where her exhusband slept

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