Originally created 04/11/98

Additional area news



Aiken Tech plans Career Day '98

AIKEN -- Aiken Technical College will hold Career Day '98 on Wednesday in the Student Center on campus.

From 9 a.m. to noon, 40 companies will provide information about local employment opportunities. Included in this year's career day will be representatives from Michelin Tire Corp., Westinghouse Savannah River Co., Kimberly-Clark Corp. and Procter & Gamble Manufacturing Corp.

The event is sponsored by the Aiken Technical College Career Services Office and is open to the public free of charge.

Interested individuals should take a current resume and be prepared to ask questions regarding employment in their chosen field.

Resurfacing project awarded

AIKEN -- The South Carolina Department of Transportation has awarded a $1 million contract to a Greenwood, S.C., company to resurface more than 20 miles of secondary roads in Aiken County.

The contract was given to the lowest bidder, Satterfield Construction Co., according to an announcement this week from Commissioners John Hardee of Columbia and W.M. "Mat" Self of Greenwood.

The roads, most in and around Aiken and North Augusta, will be resurfaced with asphalt concrete and temporary pavement markings. The work is scheduled to be completed by Oct. 31.

Free dental screening offered

LANGLEY -- Aiken Technical College will offer a free dental sealant screening clinic for children ages 6 to 15 years old as part of the college's dental assisting program Monday and Wednesday.

A free follow-up dental sealant application clinic will be from 1 to 4 p.m. April 20, 27 and 29 in the Health and Engineering Building. The visits are by appointment only.

To schedule an appointment for the initial dental sealant screening clinic, call Rita Melton at (803) 593-9954, Ext. 1393.

Replacement planned for bridge

GRANITEVILLE -- A bridge over Little Horse Creek will be replaced and the approaches to the bridge resurfaced.

The low bidder, Triplett-Peek, Inc. of Chester, was awarded a $345,037 contract for bridge construction by the South Carolina Department of Transportation. The current bridge will be replaced with a 98.4-foot reinforced concrete and structural steel bridge, with work expected to finish by Oct. 31.

The bridge is on Secondary Road 104, northwest of Graniteville.

Molester gets chemical castration

FAYETTEVILLE -- A brain-damaged Peachtree City man who pleaded guilty to molesting two boys will be chemically castrated. He will have to serve part of his 10-year sentence in a Florida hospital.

Leo Martinez, 43, will serve the balance of the 10 years in the Georgia prison system if he's released early from the Institute of Neurological Rehabilitation, a locked facility in Wauchula, Fla. His family will pay for the castration and the time he spends in the neurological facility.

"This was not done casually," said Fayette County Superior Court Judge Paschal English, who issued the order. "He's got some problems that need to be addressed neurologically. I just didn't think prison would provide what we needed."

Handicapped man dies in fire

SENECA -- A 23-year-old man confined to a wheelchair died as his home burned around him, despite rescue efforts.

Bruce Pickens, mentally and physically disabled since birth, could not get out of the house on his own early Thursday. Mr. Pickens' grandparents, an 11-year-old girl and a good Samaritan passing by suffered burns and smoke inhalation trying to save him.

Firefighters found Mr. Pickens' body in bed. An autopsy was planned.

Man crushed under junked car

JOHNSONVILLE -- A 55-year-old Pee Dee man was killed when a junk car fell on him, and the coroner says high winds could be to blame.

Odell Carter Sr. was taking parts off the abandoned car Thursday when he was crushed. He had propped up the car with a jack and set the frame on a cement block.

"There's a strong possibility that the force of the gusty winds we had today shook the car right off that one cement block because the block was turned over when we all got there," Florence County Coroner M.G. "Bubba" Matthews said.

Gusts of 42 mph were recorded at the Florence Regional Airport as severe thunderstorms moved through the area.

Judge refuses to delay lawsuits

CHARLESTON -- A state judge has refused to delay lawsuits against retired teacher and accused child molester Edward M. Fischer until separate criminal charges are resolved.

Mr. Fischer, 70, had been indicted for sex offenses dating to 1960 involving 13 boys, mostly pupils in Charleston area schools where he worked. He was arrested in October and is free on $125,000 bail.

At least three lawsuits have been filed against Mr. Fischer, two by parents whose sons were victims of alleged abuse and a third by a former James Island high school student.

Circuit Judge Markley Dennis on Thursday denied a request to postpone the civil actions until criminal charges are settled.

Scam artists prey on public

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's efforts to find the owners of unclaimed money also has attracted scam artists.

Some out-of-state companies send letters and postcards or call consumers about unclaimed money owed to them, state Treasurer Richard Eckstrom said Thursday.

He said the catch is, the companies ask for money for information that is free to the public. The companies appear to prey on the elderly.

Customer hijacks car salesman

WOODRUFF -- Car salesman Joseph Pate says nothing seemed unusual during a test drive with a prospective customer until the man held a gun to his head and he was robbed of his money and the new car.

The 23-year-old salesman at Greenville Mitsubishi Motors eventually escaped unharmed.

Authorities are looking for a white man about 6 feet, 2 inches tall, 190 pounds with short brown hair and long sideburns.

The man, who asked to test drive a 1998 black Mitsubishi 3000 GT on Tuesday, drove Mr. Pate to a mobile home where he tied him up and left him. Mr. Pate eventually escaped and called police.