Jockey remains in critical state
AIKEN - A jockey injured during the 31st running of the Aiken Steeplechase last weekend remained in critical condition late Friday.
George Perry, who fell from his horse after completing a jump on the back stretch of Ford Conger Field, was still in intensive care at Aiken Regional Medical Centers.
Fellow jockeys have been allowed to visit Mr. Perry in the hospital because his immediate family resides in England.
Mr. Perry was injured when his horse Divine Idea landed on top of him after brushing the jump during the fourth race March 22.
A second jockey, Brian Korrell, also fell from his horse during the race, but was treated and released from the hospital the same day.
Columbia road closing delayed
The closing of Baston Road in Columbia County has been moved back to April 5.
Originally, Baston Road was to have closed March 22.
The road will close for about 20 days for road construction, said Bryan Corbitt of the Department of Transportation.
Baston Road will be closed from Fury's Ferry Road to 313 Bastion Road, the entrance of Augusta Christian School.
Traffic will be rerouted from the intersection of Baston and Fury's Ferry roads to the intersection of Fury's Ferry and Riverwatch Parkway (west) to the Old Petersburg and Baston roads intersection.
Nude bars seek alcohol sales
ATLANTA - Attorneys for strip clubs in Marietta asked the Georgia Supreme Court on Thursday to reconsider their challenge to a city ordinance barring alcohol sales in nude dance clubs.
The court March 17 upheld Marietta's 1995 ordinance which bars alcohol in establishments featuring nude dancing.
"Those who hold licenses that expire annually act at their peril and assume the risk that their license might not be renewed," Chief Justice Robert Benham said in writing for the majority in the 6-1 decision.
Owners of the Cyprus Lounge, Boomers and Taj Mahal claim they cannot operate profitably without alcohol sales.
Student dies of meningitis
ATHENS - A University of Georgia student has died of meningitis after becoming ill while on a spring break trip to Florida.
Lauren Tardif, 18, of Marietta was brought back to Georgia from Daytona Beach, Fla., after she became ill, said Pete Konencamp, a spokesman for the university. He said she died Thursday at Promina Kennestone Hospital in Marietta.
Officials have notified people who may have come into contact with Ms. Tardif, Mr. Konencamp said.
Meningitis, which typically strikes people under 30, is spread only by very close contact such as kissing. Symptoms include fever, stiffness, nausea, dizziness and a purple rash. It is fatal in 5 to 10 percent of cases.
Ex-legislator named to board
ATLANTA - The governor Friday named former state Sen. Joe Kennedy, D-Claxton, to the Board of Regents, which governs Georgia's university system.
Mr. Kennedy will represent the 1st District. He fills a vacancy created when Regent Elsie Hand of Pelham resigned.
Mr. Kennedy "has served the people of this state well, and I know that he will continue to do so as a regent," said Gov. Zell Miller, who swore Mr. Kennedy in during a ceremony in the governor's office.
Mr. Kennedy served 24 years in the Georgia Senate, from 1967 to 1990, when he left to run for lieutenant governor. He was Senate president pro tem for eight years.
The Board of Regents has 16 members, one from each of the 11 congressional districts and five at-large. Members serve seven-year terms.
Workers remain hospitalized
GREENVILLE - Four of 12 injured workers remained in serious condition today after a pipe burst at a poultry plant, dousing them with ammonia.
They suffered ammonia inhalation and ammonia burns in Thursday's accident at the Columbia Farms processing plant.
The pipe carrying ammonia used as a refrigerant ruptured about 9 a.m.
The workers were sprayed down by firefighters and again at the hospital.
Greenville Memorial Hospital spokeswoman Donna Carlson said Louise Beachum and Mary Dillard, both of Greer, and James Williams and Dannie Pringle, both of Greenville were in serious condition.
Five others were listed in fair condition: Mamie Jennings-Turner of Duncan and John Turner, Denise Allmond, Damarras Lamont Flemming and Jacqueline Jennings, all of Greenville.
Florence Davis of Greenville, Joseph Dinnall of Greer and Carrie Mack of Wellford were released Thursday.
Lifesaving boy to receive honor
GREENVILLE - A 9-year-old Taylors boy who helped save his stepfather from serious burns will receive a national award for his heroics.
McKenzie Goff reminded Rob Edwards to "stop, drop and roll" when he caught fire in February while tending a bonfire.
McKenzie will receive one of 25 national 1997 SAFEKIDS Gear Up All-Star awards May 6-9 in Washington.
Shellfish beds get health OK
COLUMBIA - Shellfish beds in Charleston County that were closed earlier this month because of heavy rain have been reopened by state health officials.
The beds behind the Isle of Palms and Sullivans Island were reopened Friday by the Department of Health and Environmental Control.
Harvesting in the beds was stopped March 14 because heavy rain increased the bacteria levels in the water.
Recent samples indicated acceptable bacteria levels, said Ty Ragsdale, manager of DHEC's shellfish program in Charleston.
Protesting students return
DARLINGTON - Darlington High School students were back in class Friday, a day after hundreds walked out to protest next year's planned transfer of the principal.
The students left class Thursday morning and walked about a half-mile to the Darlington County Courthouse to protest the planned transfer of Otto Wingate.
The principal was able to convince the students to return to class about 30 minutes after the walkout.
"If they lose him, the school's going to go wild," Lamonte Deas said. "They won't be able to control all the students." Half of us won't be coming back."
The school board voted 5-3 Monday to transfer Wingate to another position for the next school year. The vote came less than a month after Wingate was named in a grade-padding lawsuit against the school district.
Susan Barber, a 1996 Darlington High School graduate, sued the district for more than $1 million, saying she was denied valedictorian honors because grades were manipulated.
An independent investigator hired by the district determined some students grades were changed.
State officials asking about practices after fire
PENDLETON - State health officials are questioning waste-disposal practices at Clemson University after a fire broke out in a school trash truck.
A Clemson worker who discovered the fire Thursday morning found a laboratory vial in the truck. Workers checking the waste transfer station here discovered about two dozen more vials, Clemson spokeswoman Sandy Dees-Baker said.
The vials appeared to contain sodium metal, said Mark Harvley with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control.
"They found some items that shouldn't have been dumped at the Pendleton station," Harvley said. "Nobody got hurt. Nothing contaminated anything."
Less than a half-gallon of liquids, along with vials and some syringes used for horticultural research were improperly dumped at the site, Harvley said. The school's garbage usually is forwarded to a landfill in Spartanburg.
- Compiled by Mike Hill