Originally created 10/01/97

Local and area briefs



Edgefield schools gets federal grant

EDGEFIELD - The effort to bring 21st Century technology to Edgefield County students received a monumental boost Friday, when $100,000 in federal funds was awarded.

The grant money was awarded on the strength of an idea called the Millenium Project. According the the application, the project is designed to usher the Edgefield County School district into the next century with a rapid influx of new technologies.

The money will be used to provide at least computers, which will eventually allow students and teachers to connect to a districtwide network under development in the county.

Additionally, three desktop computers, a printer and a library of educational and research software will be purchased to begin development of the Millenium Center. The facility will provide technology-based staff development and research opportunities available to Edgefield County educators.

Super VHS video cameras will be placed in each school, along with two editing systems to be located at the district office for teacher use.

Lawmaker to be guest speaker

Georgia Commissioner of Agriculture Tommy Irvin will be the guest speaker for the annual meeting of the McDuffie County Farm Bureau.

The commissioner will speak on topics of interest to farmers and agriculturalists, such as the affects of the summer drought and his testimony before the U.S. Senate regarding tobacco farmers and the tobacco settlement.

The program begins at 7 p.m. Thursday at Thomson High School. About 250 people are expected to attend.

Candidate's forum held

A candidate's forum, sponsored by the Westside High School PTA and Student Council, will be held at 7 p.m. Monday in the Westside High School auditorium.

The forum is for the District 7 commissioner's seat. Participants will include the incumbent, Jerry Brigham, Tommy Boyles, Willis Irvin Jr. and Wade Warner

Forestry conducts seminar

The Georgia Forestry Association will conduct a seminar Oct. 16 in Thomson about new ideas that are being applied to forest management.

The seminar is part of a series of meetings planned across the state. Registration for the program will begin at 3:30 p.m. Pre-registration information can be obtained by calling (706) 595-2210.cq

Grocery sales tax reduced

ATLANTA - The state sales tax on groceries will be reduced from 2 percent to 1 percent today as part of Gov. Zell Miller's campaign to eliminate the food tax altogether by 1998.

Half of the 4 percent state tax on food was eliminated last October and the remaining 1 percent will drop off next October.

The tax reduction applies to groceries intended for home consumption such as meat, poultry, bread, cereals, milk and infant products.

Talmadge leaves hospital

ATLANTA - Former U.S. Sen. Herman Talmadge was released Tuesday from the hospital where he had open-heart surgery more than two months ago.

The 84-year-old Mr. Talmadge was transferred from Emory University Hospital to the LaFayette Rehabilitation Center in Fayetteville, where he's scheduled to spend several weeks, said Mr. Talmadge's wife, Lynda.

School's hours to be shortened

CHARLESTON - The Military Magnet Middle School's new principal plans to shorten the school's 10-hour day after talking with parents, students and staff.

Mike Hepner said he talked to several families on the verge of pulling their children out because the long day is too much of a hardship. The extended schedule also creates staffing problems.

By next week, Mr. Hepner would like cut at least 30 minutes out of the day.

Charleston County Superintendent Chip Zullinger announced Friday that Mr. Hepner would take over the new magnet school from Steve Twining after a shaky start-up caused enrollment to plummet.

Food business investigated

MYRTLE BEACH - Health officials are investigating a food service business at Coastal Carolina University after 85 students became ill and two were hospitalized.

The state Department of Health and Environmental Control has confirmed seven cases of salmonellosis during the past week, spokesman Thom Berry said.

Officials don't know what food was tainted by the bacteria, identified as Salmonella enteriditis. "We are looking at the time frame of Sept. 12 through the 17th and the meals that were served," Mr. Berry said.

Theory on death released

ROCK HILL - The beating death of a man may have been the result of a love triangle, police said.

Kenneth Blackmore, 56, of Rock Hill died Monday at a Charlotte, N.C. hospital. He was found unconscious in his apartment Thursday night. A bloody brick was nearby.

Warrants have been obtained against Troy Eugene Mobley Jr., 26, of Rock Hill, charging him with murder, armed robbery and auto theft, Detective Jerry Waldrop said.

Shaw court-martial begins

SUMTER - A court-martial has begun for a Shaw Air Force Base psychiatrist charged with improper sexual conduct with three patients.

The proceeding against Col. Djalma A. Braga of the 20th Medical Group is expected to last most of the week, base spokesman Col. Ron Mullan said Tuesday.

Col. Braga has been charged with dereliction of duty, conduct unbecoming an officer, making a false official statement, adultery, sodomy and obstruction of justice, Col. Mullan said.

Boa constrictor found in home

ORANGEBURG - Margaret Phillips thought she saw a little kitten under the refrigerator in her garage when she came back from a weekend trip.

Not exactly. It was a 6-foot-long boa constrictor.

"It was the biggest snake I had ever seen in my life," she said. "When I shined my light on him I could see him wrapped up in there."