Service providers discuss 911 usage
Cell-phone users are at a disadvantage when they use the phones to dial 911 but Georgia recently passed legislation to correct this problem. A group of emergency service providers are meeting in Augusta this week to discuss this issue and others concerning 911 service.
Sponsored by The National Emergency Number Association, the conference also will provide the opportunity for some vendors, such as Augusta-based Emergency Services Integrators, L.L.C, to showcase new technology gains in the emergency services industry.
Currently, wireless cell phones don't give information on the caller such as an name, address or phone number, said Captain Phil Watson who heads Richmond County's 911 department. The legislation, effective in the year 2000, will allow operators to do their job more effectively and can result in helping to save lives and property, Cpt. Watson said.
Cpt. Watson was among several representatives from Richmond County and surrounding county 911 systems to attending the three-day conference at the Radisson Hotel downtown.
Towns to receive grants
Three Barnwell County towns will receive federal grants totaling more than $1.46 million from the Economic Development Administration at the U.S. Department of Commerce.
The grants will help the county add more than 300 jobs.
Blackville will get $793,870 to upgrade its water and sewer system. Williston and Elko will share $671,000 for the first phase of a regional water system for Barnwell County. A well will be constructed in Williston and water lines will be run to Elko.
The grant for Blackville will be combined with $250,000 in state funds and an equal amount from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development's Community Development Block Grant program. The funds will be used to upgrade the treatment plant and water system that serves Ducane Industries and Augusta Fiberglass. The new system will allow Ducane to create 72 new jobs and Augusta Fiberglass to add 50 new jobs.
The Williston-Elko grant will be combined with $200,000 from the state and $25,000 each from Williston and Elko. The funds will allow Dixie Narco to expand and create 190 new jobs.
Power outage is expected
EDGEFIELD, S.C. - Aiken Electric Cooperative member-owners in much of Edgefield County will experience an extended power outage on Sunday between 12:01 a.m. and 8 a.m.
At that time substation crews from Aiken and Santee Cooper will install a new transformer and protection equipment in the Edgefield substation. This will increase substation capacity to provide reliable service to members in the area.
The power blackout will cover homes and businesses located on U.S. Highway 25 North, U.S. Highway 378 toward McCormick, the McCormick area, U.S. Highway 378 toward Saluda to Prince's Garage, U.S. Highway 25 South to John Henry Lloyd Road, a portion of Martintown Road toward Peace Haven Church, including Garrett and Sprouse Roads, and all of the Edgefield area.
Mother denies killing boy
DECATUR, Ga. - Kathy Almon, the mother of a baby whose death 26 years ago was blamed on his 2-year-old half-sister, vehemently denied Wednesday that she killed the boy, as her ex-husband's attorneys have suggested.
Her ex-husband, Jan Barry Sandlin, 47, is being tried for murder, aggravated assault and child cruelty in the 1971 death of 4-month-old Matthew Golder. He has pleaded innocent.
Prosecutors contend Mr. Sandlin killed Matthew and put his then-2-year-old daughter Tracy, now Tracy Rhame, in the crib to make it appear she threw the infant to his death.
Guard glad to be away
ATLANTA - A former guard at Hays State Prison says she quit her job because co-workers labeled her an "inmate lover" after she testified in a federal lawsuit supporting claims that prisoners were beaten.
Despite being in debt because she is not working, Phyllis Tucker said she is glad to be away from the prison, where she was given the cold shoulder by colleagues and criticized by supervisors.
Ms. Tucker's description of a July 10, 1996, sweep of the prison was one of more than a dozen depositions from prison employees that said excessive force was used on inmates.
Corrections Commissioner Wayne Garner has been accused of giving his blessing for the beatings. The depositions were given in preparation for the trial of a federal suit filed by 14 inmates.
Trial set to begin Dec. 1
ATHENS, Ga. - The trial of an Alpharetta man accused of raping women at colleges in Georgia and Florida will begin Dec. 1 as scheduled, a Clarke County judge ruled Wednesday.
However, the judge said the trial date may change, depending on where the case is moved and whether a courtroom is available Dec. 1.
Mr. Scieszka is accused of sexually assaulting five women in Athens' Five Points neighborhood in 1996 and 1997. Mr. Scieszka also faces charges in connection with sexual attacks in Atlanta and Valdosta and at the University of Florida in Gainsville.
The case has attracted widespread publicity because many of the attacks have occurred on or near university campuses, and because of the number of attacks and the violent nature of them.
Officials want university audit
CHARLESTON, S.C. - State lawmakers critical of the proposed lease of three Medical University of South Carolina hospitals to the nation's largest health care chain now want an audit of the university.
MUSC President James B. Edwards said the questions already have been answered and wonders whether the request is the work of an attorney representing doctors opposed to the deal.
Challengers criticize Beasley
COLUMBIA - Gov. David Beasley should stop using two state wildlife enforcement officers on his bodyguard staff, gubernatorial challengers Jim Hodges and James Metts say.
On Tuesday, a Legislative Audit Council report criticized use of the Department of Natural Resources officers. They were paid $102,800 in the fiscal year that ended June 30, 1996, and used $61,000 of agency equipment, the audit said. The equipment includes vehicles, guns and electronic gear.