The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas on August 27, 1987 · Page 23
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August 27, 1987

The Baytown Sun from Baytown, Texas · Page 23

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Baytown, Texas
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Thursday, August 27, 1987
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die, three hurt in rig aeeident THE : BAYTOW>. 5UJV Thursday. August 27. 19tT 11-B SAB1NE PASS (AP) - Three men remain hospitalized after a fruitless attempt to help save the lives of three other co-workers who passed out-inside an oil rig's oxygen-starved ballast tank The injured men - Terry pavlicek, 26, of Corpus Christ! Charles Bowen. 23, of Big Sandy' and Clifton Padgett, 37. of Utopia — were in stable condition Wednesday night at St. Mary Hospital in Port Arthur, a hospital spokeswoman said. Identities of the dead were not released Wednesday, The cause of death for the three men had not been officially determined, officials said. The accident occurred Wednesday morning on an idle offshore: oil drilling rig in the Sabine Pass channel about three miles from the Gulf of Mexico. U.S. Coast Guard Lt. Cmdr. Robert Diaz said. Tests showed air in the ballast tank contained less than 14 percent oxygen, Diaz said, adding that about 19 percent is required for normal breathing. People at the scene believed fumes in the tank were hydrogen sulfide because of the smell coming from the tank, said Don Merwin of the Gaiveston Coast Guard station. Diaz, however, said tests showed there was no hydrogen sulfide gas in, the tank. . : , A worker had been checking the rig's saltwater ballast tank when he "wilted over," Diaz said. Two co-workers went into the tank to assist the stricken worker, but also lost consciousness. The first, victim had been surveying the tank as part of an operation to ready the rig for senlee. Diaz said. Another man tried to help the others, but climbed back out and later was taken to the hospital for shortness of breath. Two other workers equipped with breathing devices then entered the tank and removed the men. Diaz said. The rig, named the J-storm XVII is listed ; as being operated by Marine Drilling Co. of Corpus Christi. The company did not return several telephone messages by The Associated Press at its office Wednesday. Another man working near the rig suffered an apparent heart attack after learning of the incident and was hospitalized in intensive care at Park Place Hospital and Medical Center in Port Arthur. Me'rwin said. Natioiial news Republican vie for Laxalt 's spot WASHINGTON (AP) — Paul Laxalt's decision to drop out of the race for president leaves at least three of the six remaining Republican contenders laying claim to the conservative philosophy of the former Nevada senator. Laxalt, 65, announced Wednesday he was ending his pursuit of the presidency for financial reasons. "While the political response was encouraging, the financial outlook was not as bright," he said. His departure leaves Rep: Jack Kemp of New York and former Delaware Gov. Pierre S, du Pont IV as the main conservative contenders to carry the "Reagan revolution*' into 1988, Laxalt helped usher in that revolution by chairing Reagan's three presidential campaigns and is a close friend of the president. Kemp and du Pont claim to represent the brand of conservatism that brought Reagan to the White House in 1980. and mentions of Reagan were prominent in their reactions to LaxaJt's withdrawal. Senate Minority Leader Bob Dole of Kansas, though not invoking the spirit of Reaganism, cited his friendship with Laxalt and similar voting records in the Senate. In a statement issued without fanfare through a news wire that carries press releases. Laxalt said that "even if our projections for fund raising had been met, the money. In my opinion, would have been inadequate to conduct a viable presidential campaign." West-Germany to dismantle missiles WASHINGTON (AP) — West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl's decision to dismantle 72 Pershing 1A missiles removes the last big roadblock to a U.S.-Soviet arms control treaty but may set a precedent for new attempts to divide the Western allies. President Reagan praised Kohl's action Wednesday in a foreign policy speech in Los Angeles, but the German leader's decision made some American officials nervous. One U.S. official, speaking only on condition of anonymity, said it could set a difficult precedent, encouraging the Soviets to try to Impose restrictions on French and British nuclear arms in future negotiations with the United States. The Soviets made such an attempt a few years ago, but withdrew their demands when the Reagan administration insisted on excluding the British and French systems from U.S.-Soviet talks on intermediate-range missiles in Europe, and the two allies concurred. Last spring, when the Soviets zeroed In on the Pershings, the Reagan administration decided to resist firmly. The demand was condemned as an 1 Ith-hour negotiating gambit and rejected. The West Germans also resisted. They said the elimination of the Pershing lAs and other missiles in Europe would leave them vulnerable to Invasion by the superior conventional forces of the Warsaw Pact, The Soviets Insisted that because the nuclear warheads for the Pershings were under American control they should be part of any US,-Soviet arms deal. But the United States dug in itr heels. Even while Reagan a month ago said he was "heartened" by prospects for an arms control ac- cord in Europe, presidential spokesman Martin Fitrwater said the Soviets were raising the Pershing issue as a way of "whipsawing". the alliance and causing friction between Bonn and Washington. Reagan: L.$. didn *f pressure Bonn LOS ANG'EIlES (AP) — President Reagan and top aides say that West Germany's oner to dismantle its Pershing missiles removes an obstacle to a U.S.-Soviet arms control agreement '•• but the United States did not pressure Bonn to make the decision. ' < Chancellor Helmut Kohl : announced Wednesday that West Germany will eventually destroy its Pershing 1A missiles if the superpowers agree to scrap medium- and shorter-range nuclear weapons. : Reagan aides said the West German action will be subject to further consultation with the United States and other NATO allies. They said they had not been informed of a timetable for removal of the missiles. .'.'••. A senior administration official said the White House was alerted to Kohl's announcement a day in advance — first by a telephone call froraKohTs office to national security adviser Frank C. Carlucci and then by a letter from the chancellor to the president. A paragraph was hurriedly Inserted into Reagan's long-planned foreign policy address here Wednesday to reflect the development. Reagan said Soviet insistence that any arms control treaty would apply to the Pershings u-as "without foundation," but that Kohl had "removed even this artificial obstacle from consideration:" "We are therefore hopeful that the Soviet Union; will demonstrate that there is substance behind the rhetoric they have repeated so often of. late — that they genuinely want a stabilizing INF agreement." the president said. Tests knock out would-be teachers WASHINGTON (API — A government study says competency tests are knocking out 28 percent of the applicants to teacher education programs and 17 percent of the graduates applying for licenses to teach. But Chester Finn Jr., research chief of the U.S. Department of Education, says passing scores are still set so low that they may be letting incompetents into classroom jobs. The study. "What's Happening in Teacher Testing." was released Wednesday by Finn's Office of Educational Research and Improvement. It found that in some states, teachers can still be certified even if they miss more than half the questions on the National Teacher Examinations. "Teacher testing cannot yet be relied upon as a form of quality control, except of the crudest sort." Finn said in aninterview. All but two states. Alaska and Iowa, require applicants to achieve minimum test scores, either when they apply to major in education or. in most instances, before they are awarded a license to teach. Less than a quarter-century ago. no state tested teachers. North Carolina imposed the first test in 1964, followed by Louisiana in 1977 and Florida in 1973. 10.000 miners fired, strike threatened JOHANNESBURG, south Africa t'APi — South Africa's largest mining company fired 10,000 biack strikers who refused to return to work Thursday after their union rejected a new offer lo end a nationwide strike. Anglo American Corp 's decision to resume mass firings came one day after members of the National Union of Mineworkers voted overwhelmingly to reject a mining company contract proposal that offered slight improvements in benefits but no additional pay. In another development, the country's main black labor federation, the Congress of South African Trade Unions, said Thursday it's preparing for a national strike in support of the mineworkers. Thousands of Anglo workers engaged in the 18-day-oid strike face return-to-work ultimatums over the next two days. At one Anglo gold mine. Western Deep Levels, about 3,000 strikers were participating Thursday in.an underground sit- in The company did not say why the strikers staged the sit-in, but the union claimed they were forced underground on Wednesday night. Anglo American, the company worst hit by the strike, had suspended return-to-wo.rk ultimatums for thousands of strikers threatened with dismissal so they could vote Wednesday on the contract offer by the Chamber of Mines, which represents the six major mining houses. Last week, Anglo fired about 7.000 striking workers and closed two economically marginal gold mines. The huge mineworkers' strike, which began Aug. 9. is the largest legal walkout in South African history. Under the country's labor law. companies may fire workers if they do not show- up for work. Cvril Ramaohosa. the union's general secretary: said Wednes day that strikers were nearly unanimous in turning down the chamber's offer. "The strike continues until our demands are met," he told a news conference. The chamber said in a statement Thursday that it was •"gravely disappointed" by the union's decision. "Mine managements will now be pursuing the objective of getting their mines back to normal production." it said The National Union of Mineworkers said 340.000 miners remained off the job at 45 gold and coal mines, the backbone of the country's economy. The Chamber of Mines, which represents the six biggest mining companies, said 210,000 miners were striking 29 mines. In the first round of negotiations since the walkout began Aug. 9. owners issued an offer Tuesday that would have slightly improved death benefits and holiday pay. The offer did not address the central union demand — a 30 percent wage increase. Ramaphosa disclosed that the union had lowered its wage raise demand to 27 percent but that management refused to discuss pay. The chamber said owners would not negotiate a further increase 'beyondj raises of 15 percent to 23.4 percent that it implemented July 1. The annual inflation rate in South Africa is 17 percent. According to chamber statistics, black miners made an average S250 a month before the raise and now earn S285. The union says miners averaged $170 a month before the increase. "The strike continues, and our managements will simply have to do whatever is necessary to bring it to an end as quickly as possible." said Johann Liebenberg, industrial relations chief for the chamber. State news Dallas leads in AIDS-case increase DALLAS (AP) — While it is still far from leading the country in total number of cases, the Dallas area outpaced the nation last year In the rate of new cases of AIDS, federal health officials said. There was an increase of 73 percent in 1986 over 1985 as the area reported 287 new AIDS cases, according to Centers for Disease Control statistics. New York^ which has reported more AIDS cases than any other city in the United States, had an increase of 29 percent: San Francisco had a 39 percent increase and Los Angeles a 44 percent increase. While Dallas may have reported a higher percentage increase in AIDS cases, cities such as New York, San Francisco and Los Angeles stUl report far more cases every year, said Ann Freeman, program manager of the Dallas County Health Department's AIDS Prevention Program. Austin, HL&P close to nuke deal AUSTIN (AP) — The city of Austin and Houston Lighting & Power Co. are neartng an agreement to get the city out of the South Texas Nuclear Project, according to • newspaper report The Austin American-Statesman said Wednesday that the agreement being drawn up Is similar to proposals that have been discussed by the two sides for some time. But this time, both sides appear in- tent upon a settlement, sources told the newspaper. Details are still being negotiated, but City Council members said they are optimistic that a final deal can be worked out soon. The agreement reportedly calls for the Houston utility to take over the city's 16 percent share of the project, and in return, the city would drop its lawsuit against HL&P, the nuclear project's managing partner. 100 more subpoenaed in S&L probe DALLAS (AP) — The financial records of more than 100 individuals, including those of the state's top thrift regulator, a former governor and former lieutenant governor, have been subpoenaed by a federal grand jury as part of a U.S. Justice Department criminal investigation of Texas banks and savings associations, state and federal officials say. Among the prominent Texans named in the expanded grand jury subpoena list are Texas Savings and Loan Commissioner L. Linton Bowman III, former Texas GOVJ John Connally, former Lt. Gov. Ben Barnes and Gene Phillips, the chairman of Southmark Corp., one of Dallas' largest corporations, the Dallas Times Herald reported Thursday. i The list brings to about 410 the number of individuals whose financial records are .being sought by investigators from about 25 to 33 Texas savings associations. JUST SAX; when you place a classified ad. Use your MasterCard or VISA Whatever you need to advertise — from to little it's so easy! Just call SUN CLASSIFIED 422-9323

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