Originally created 08/03/97

Local and area briefs



Pen pal crosses ocean for meeting

ATHENS - The meeting between Beverly King and Connie Kennan took 50 years to happen.

But the women say their lifetime of correspondence with one another made it seem like they were always close - at heart.

"I saw her standing in the window as I drove up. She just came running out of the house and I hurried out of the car," Mrs. King of Athens said of her initial meeting with Mrs. Keenan in England.

The year was 1947 and Mrs. King, then 11, and her classmates were given the names and addresses of English children who needed help in the aftermath of World War II.

Mrs. King and her mother boxed up some old clothes for a young girl in Leeds, England, one of the British towns devastated by German bombers.

The two young girls struck up a unique friendship by mail and continued writing for the next half-century.

As a result, the two wrote to each other about all the news in their lives, such as marriages, moves and children.

The two women finally met face-to-face in June.

Mrs. Keenan fondly recalls the letters Mrs. King wrote of life in the United States as well as the packages she sent.

"My friends at school were jealous because I had all these nice things," Mrs. Keenan said.

They don't know if they will ever meet again, so for now there is another letter in the mail, Mrs. King said.

Worker denies being nanny

ATLANTA - A woman accused in a lawsuit of being a nanny for Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell denied the allegation Friday.

Padma Samrat Nagarker, an administrative assistant in the Bureau of Training said, "I am so upset about it. They are trying to get me involved in dirty politics."

Her former supervisor, Marian Haynes, claimed in a Fulton County Superior Court lawsuit that Mr. Campbell "coerced" her into giving a job to Ms. Nagarker, 57.

Mr. Campbell denied the charge.

Barbara Tate, a city employee, said Ms. Nagarker directly told her she had been a nanny for Mr. Campbell's children.

Recreational area closed

TOWNVILLE - A Hartwell Lake recreational area will be closed about two weeks because of a pine beetle infestation, officials say.

The insects have attacked nearly four acres of pines at the Friendship Recreational Area.

The southern Oconee County picnic area and beach will be off-limits beginning Monday.

Chopping down the infested trees should get rid of them, according to officials.

Last month, the insects destroyed thousands of acres of trees in south Georgia's forests. Rangers will try to save healthy trees in South Carolina, and pines will be replanted.

Stock portfolio surrendered

GREENVILLE - The estranged daughter of William Henry Belk Simpson escaped a jail sentence by surrendering stock worth about $14,000.

Mary Elizabeth Simpson Hanahan on Friday turned over 125 shares of preferred stock in Simpson Enterprises Inc. after being threatened with jail time by Circuit Judge John Kittredge.

Ms. Hanahan, who unsuccessfully challenged her father's will, has refused to sign over the shares that the company has recalled. The judge said the heiress, who is worth about $7 million, is still bitter about the 1994 court battle. Mr. Kittredge found her in contempt of court after she refused to turn over the stock.

Ms. Hanahan alleged her father had lost his mind and before his death was pressured by her mother and sister into signing a will she feared would reduce her share of his $48 million estate. During the trial, she described decades of bad blood between her mother and herself.

Ms. Hanahan's lawyer, Tim Bouch, said he argued Monday that she should not have to sign over the stock until an appeals court hears the matter. The state Appeals court denied her appeal two days ago.

Sisters recover briefcase

PICKENS - When Louie Weathersbee realized his briefcase and $2,100 were missing, he prayed for an honest person.

Two sisters answered the call.

Mr. Weathersbee, 71, of Pickens thought he'd put the briefcase in his truck Thursday, but he had left it on the bumper and it fell off along state Highway 8 as he drove to work.

When he got to Southern Sales Co. in Travelers Rest, Mr. Weathersbee realized the briefcase and money were missing.

Irene Revis, 65, of Easley was driving her sister, Dessie Day, 72, of Pickens to the doctor about 10 a.m. and spotted something on the road.

They opened the briefcase and found $100 bills in an envelope.

They turned the money over to Pickens County sheriff's Deputy Teddi Davis, who found a Southern Sales Co. business card inside.

Mr. Davis said, "It was so refreshing to have a visit like that."

Mr. Weathersbee said $2,000 belonged to Southern Sales. The other $100, which was his, he gave to the sisters.

"I said, `Oh, Lord, I'm so thankful."'

Small airplane crashes

COLUMBIA - A small two-seat airplane crashed into a warehouse near Columbia's Owens Field, injuring two people and causing a small fire.

The Cessna 150 airplane hit the vacant Boineau's Inc. Moving and Storage warehouse about noon Saturday, said Michael Byrd of the Richland County Emergency Services.

Two men, a 19-year-old and a 30-year-old, were injured and taken to the Richland Memorial Hospital, Mr. Byrd said. The injuries were not life threatening, he said.

Deputy fired in dog shooting

SUMMERVILLE - A Dorchester County sheriff's detective who shot and wounded a dog that charged him has been fired from his job.

Lt. Bruce Owens was fired Friday because he left without checking on the dog or without identifying himself to a family member as a sheriff's deputy, Sheriff Ray Nash said.

Mr. Owens shot a 7-year-old Rottweiler named Bear in the head Monday and left the scene. The deputy was in front of the dog's home looking for another address when the dog charged at him, Mr. Nash said.

Mr. Owens wounded the dog in the nose and tongue. He said later he did not know he had hit the dog when he left.

"I'm disappointed because I know what I did was right," Mr. Owens said. "That's the first time in 25 years that I've ever had to shoot at anything."

Sheriff Nash said an internal investigation found Mr. Owens was justified in the shooting, but should have identified himself.