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Sunday August 13, 1978
. . . where the 1970s live forever!

News stories from Sunday August 13, 1978

Summaries of the stories the major media outlets considered to be of particular importance on this date:

  • A Navy plane carrying 31 persons crashed 16 miles southwest of Guam. Eight members of a Navy band were believed killed. Two other persons were missing. The twin-engine C-47 was en route to Ulithi Atoll in the Caroline Islands. Survivors included James Joseph, an undersecretary of the interior; Ruth Van Cleves, director of the Interior Department's Office of Territories; Rear Adm. David Cruden, commander of U.S. Naval Forces-Marianas; and Navy Capt. Edward Estes, commander of the Agana Naval Air Station in Guam and pilot of the plane. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Seabrook, N.H., nuclear power plant executives planned "work as usual" for tomorrow when laborers file through the gates for the first time in three weeks and protesters wage a renewed attack against the troubled project. The Nuclear Regulatory Commission last week reinstated the $2.3 billion plant's construction permit after it had been determined that the proposed cooling system was satisfactory. All 2,200 workers are expected to be back on the job by Sept. 8. The antinuclear Clamshell Alliance said 18 of its members would stage an "act of civil disobedience" at the plant and that it would be the first of many small-scale protests in coming months.

    Despite regulatory problems and cost overruns, nuclear power nonetheless is the most economical and most reliable source of electricity for most utilities, according to two energy experts. Nuclear engineers David Rossin and Terry Rieck of Commonwealth Edison said that, contrary to forecasts by some environmental critics, the amount of electricity produced by nuclear power will increase in the years ahead. The engineers made their claim in an article in the current issue of Science, the journal of the American Assn. for the Advancement of Science. [Los Angeles Times]

  • The Senate Energy Committee gave tentative approval to the formation of an advisory commission to consider the best uses of state and federal lands in Alaska. The commission, which would be enchained by Alaska's governor and a presidential appointee, would make recommendations to state and federal agencies without actually controlling or managing the often intertwined lands. In adopting the advisory approach, the committee passed up a proposal to place state and federal lands under cooperative management that was pushed by Alaska Sens. Ted Stevens and Mike Gravel and Gov. Jay Hammond. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Pine beetles are infesting state and national forests from the Black Hills of South Dakota to the Colorado Rockies and New Mexico. The U.S. Forest Service said Colorado is losing about 2 million ponderosa pine trees each year to the beetles and millions of other trees have met a similar fate in South Dakota. In Montana, an estimated 600 million board-feet of lumber have been lost to the bugs annually since 1970, a Forest Service spokesman said. [Los Angeles Times]
  • "Let's go," she said. Then she turned to her trainers, told them "Goodby" and stepped into slightly choppy water this afternoon in an attempt to be the first person to swim across the current-swept straits between Cuba and the Florida Keys. Diana Nyad, 28, hoped to reach the United States in 60 hours from her takeoff point in Ortejaso, part of the port of Bahia Honda, about 50 miles west of Havana. "I've gone through hell getting this swim organized," Miss Nyad had said earlier. Her attempt was delayed several times over the last month when the weather was bad, when there was trouble with her shark-proof cage, when fundraising efforts faltered and when the Cuban government wasn't very cooperative in giving its approval. But her business manager at last raised $135,000 -- mainly from commercial sources -- and Miss Nyad vowed before stepping into the water, "If I start this swim, I'm not going to get out for anything except a hurricane." [Los Angeles Times]
  • A forest fire in eastern Oregon was brought under control with the help of rainy weather. The fire, 12 miles southeast of Baker, had scorched 1,800 acres of land owned by Boise Cascade. Fire fighters were still battling a blaze 40 miles southwest of John Day and had encircled another fire near Grants Pass. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Postal laws have forced Tulane Medical Center in New Orleans to delay a program to test marijuana for the poison paraquat, Chancellor John Walsh said. Under the plan, marijuana users were to mail a gram of marijuana to a Tulane lab with a random code number and $8. They would find out by phone whether the marijuana was contaminated with paraquat, an odorless, colorless and tasteless defoliant that can cause serious lung disorders and is used by Mexican authorities to eradicate marijuana crops. But mailing "controlled substances" such as marijuana can mean a four-year jail term and a $30,000 fine. [Los Angeles Times]
  • The body of a boy missing for 19 days was found in a shallow grave 70 feet from his home in Vienna, Va. An autopsy indicated that 12-year-old Billy Viscidi had died of a fractured skull. The body was found stuffed in a plastic bag and buried in a vegetable garden. The boy was last seen after eating breakfast with his brothers July 25. The body was found when family friends checked an area that had been searched by policemen earlier. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Three balloonists from Albuquerque in their helium-filled craft, the Double Eagle II, were reported about 50 miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland, at 9,000 feet and heading toward Europe at about 20 m.p.h. Radioing that they were "right on schedule" in their attempt to complete the first trans-Atlantic balloon crossing were Maxie Anderson, 44; Ben Abruzzo, 48, and Larry Newman, 31. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Prince Philip and 370 other passengers departed for England from Vancouver aboard an Air Canada 747 after two aborted takeoffs, an airline spokesman said. The first attempt was halted when a cabin door warning light came on. After the plane was checked and approved for a second attempt, it blew four of its 16 tires and a fire broke out in the undercarriage. A replacement plane finally got them to London's Heathrow Airport. Queen Elizabeth's husband did not talk to reporters, but other passengers said he had told an airport official, "There was a bit of an incident but it was a very good flight afterwards." [Los Angeles Times]
  • Vietnam charged that Chinese soldiers crossed the border and beat several guards in a "fresh violation of Vietnamese territory." Hanoi lodged a strong protest with the Chinese Embassy and demanded that the provocations cease, according to the official Vietnam news agency. Hanoi said Chinese authorities planned the attack with the aim of poisoning talks between the nations' foreign ministers over ethnic Chinese who want to return to China. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Cambodia accused its former ally, Vietnam, of allowing the Soviet Union to set up military bases in Vietnam. In a bitter attack broadcast by Radio Phnom Penh, Cambodia also said Vietnamese border battles with Cambodia showed that Vietnam wants to "swallow Cambodia in a single gulp." The broadcast did not say where or when the alleged Soviet bases were set up. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Martial law, imposed on the major Iranian industrial city of Isfahan after antigovernment rioting Friday, was extended to three smaller towns in Isfahan province -- Hajjafabad, Shahreza and Hoamyounshahr. Isfahan itself was quiet with its 10-hour, dusk-to-dawn curfew. Tanks and hundreds of troops with fixed bayonets guarded key crossroads and bridges and patrolled the city's main marketplace and wide avenues. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Police arrested about 160 rock-throwing demonstrators outside the home of India's Prime Minister, Morarji Desai, after he refused to intervene in a caste conflict involving farmland leased to untouchables. The unruly protest was staged by 4,500 farmers who belong to the Jat caste, a low one. They were angry over the government's refusal to give them former communal grazing land which has been teased to 120 families, mostly untouchables. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Police in Lahore, Pakistan, arrested two Arab men in connection with the Aug. 5 attack on a Palestine Liberation Organization diplomatic mission that killed four persons, the Pakistan Times newspaper said. The paper identified the men as Jamal Mohammad Abud Ahmad and Mohammad Hasan Abu Shada but said their nationalities were being kept secret. The PLO had blamed the attack on Palestinian radicals supported by Iraq. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Bishop Abel Muzorewa defeated an attempt by party dissidents to oust him from the presidency of his United African Council. The dissidents contended that Muzorewa, one of three moderate black leaders in Rhodesia's ruling Executive Council, is "inept" and that the country's new biracial government is not moving quickly enough to end racial discrimination. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Singer Perry Como, fighting off a throat infection, was forced to cancel his final four performances at the Front Row Theater in Highland Heights, Ohio. A theater spokesman said Como, whose week-long engagement had been sold out, would return Sept. 8, 9 and 10 to complete the engagement. [Los Angeles Times]
  • Things have changed in Plains since President Carter made it famous. Police Chief Bill McClung, 38, was named to head the six-man force when it was established Dec. 15, 1976, and since then the town of 680 has had only one burglary and just two cases of assault. Before the police department was established, the town -- once patrolled by a single policeman -- could get kind of wild. "Plains used to have a lot of felony crimes -- cuttings and shootings," McClung said. "I don't feel like we've got any big problems anymore," McClung said while seated in his small office just off the town square, next door to Billy Carter's service station. The 2,500 tourists a day are no trouble. Protest groups are his main concern. "There aren't but six of us." When the protesters come, "We have to call for help from the state patrol." Appearances of such groups as the Ku Klux Klan and the Black Muslims don't sit well with local residents, and the chief said, "That's the only time you hear any reaction from the people." [Los Angeles Times]

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