Originally created 07/20/98

Additional area news



Graniteville man dies in car wreck

A Graniteville man died early Sunday in a one-car accident on Ascauga Lake Road.

King David Johnson III, 28, lost control of his 1989 Mustang about 2 a.m. Sunday, Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said. The accident was at the curve on Misty Lake Dam.

Mr. Johnson was driving up to 90 mph when he entered the curve, left the road and hit a tree, said Cpl. Jones Gamble of the South Carolina Highway Patrol. The tires on the car were slick, Mrs. Townsend said, and he was not wearing a seat belt.

Natural causes cited in death

Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said Sunday she has ruled the death of a Graniteville man as resulting from natural causes.

The man, 49, who wasn't publicly identified because authorities haven't notified his family, was found dead Friday night in a trailer on Railroad Street in Graniteville.

An autopsy Saturday in Newberry found no indication that the man's death was heat-related. He was last seen July 6, Mrs. Townsend said.

A neighbor who checked on the man Friday called Aiken County paramedics, who smelled a suspicious odor coming from the trailer, said Aiken County sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank.

The trailer, nearly empty, had no electricity or running water and was furnished with only a mattress, Mrs. Townsend said.

Company name change put off

ATLANTA -- Atlanta Gas Light Services, the marketing company formed by Atlanta Gas Light Co.'s parent company to sell gas, has won a reprieve from an order that it change its name.

Fulton County Superior Court Judge Philip Etheridge granted a stay of the Georgia Public Service Commission's name-change order, pending outcome of the company's appeal.

The judge disagreed with the commission's finding that the choice of name by the Atlanta Gas Light affiliate was a violation of the state's new gas deregulation law.

He also questioned the fairness of the commission's decision. Thus, Atlanta Gas Light Services can continue to use that name while it pursues its appeal.

Judge Etheridge also ordered the company to use a "consumer-friendly disclaimer" in any promotional materials to make clear it is independent of its sister company, Atlanta Gas Light Co.

City tries to clean up image

MYRTLE BEACH -- Adult video stores, strip clubs and sexually oriented advertisements leap out at motorists along the Grand Strand, and that's not the kind of welcome city leaders want.

"We have a very hard entrance way into Myrtle Beach," said Kelly Mezzapelle, coordinator for the downtown redevelopment board. "We want it to be something very welcoming, something that is very pleasing."

A corridor study is looking for ways to balance aesthetics along U.S. Highway 501 with the rights of property owners. It targets the 40-mile stretch from Galivants Ferry to Myrtle Beach.

Escaped inmate recaptured

FLORENCE -- A state inmate who authorities say escaped from the Palmer Work Center in Florence has been recaptured.

Timothy Garris, 25, was serving a two-year, three-month sentence for fraudulent checks in Horry County, said state Corrections Department spokesman John Barkley. Mr. Garris was missing from the minimum-security prison at about 3 p.m. Saturday.

He was taken into custody without incident at 9:50 a.m. Sunday, Mr. Barkley said.

Key witness gunned down

ATLANTIC BEACH -- A former town clerk was fatally shot in the head at a hotel he operated in Atlantic Beach. Al Scott, 50, died at Grand Strand Regional Medical Center in Myrtle Beach.

Investigators have identified several suspects in the shooting, but no arrests were made, Police Chief Franklin Eagles said. The State Law Enforcement Division also was investigating.

Mr. Scott was a key witness in the trial of a former police officer who was convicted last week of corruption and sentenced to six years in prison, but police said they do not think Mr. Scott's death is connected to the case.

Mr. Scott worked as Atlantic Beach's town clerk until June and was a minister at two churches in Marion County.

Bloodmobile

The Shepeard Community Blood Center's bloodmobile will conduct blood drives this week at these locations:

Today: 7-9 a.m., Air Products & Chemicals, 403 Carline Road, Langley; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Pepper Hill Nursing Home, 3525 Augustus Road, Aiken; 1-4:30 p.m., Augusta Chronicle, 725 Broad St.; 6-9 p.m., International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, 1250 Reynolds St.

Tuesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Savannah River Site (S-Area); 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Plant Vogtle, Georgia Highway 56, McBean; 3-7 p.m., Jackson Community Center, 106 Main St., Jackson.

Wednesday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Savannah River Site (766-H); noon to 5 p.m., Aiken Regional Medical Centers, 202 University Parkway, Aiken.

Thursday: 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., Savannah River Site (A-Area); noon to 6 p.m., Shepeard Community Blood Center, corner of Whiskey and Pine Log roads at Rich Plaza, Aiken.

Friday: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Shepeard Community Blood Center, corner of Whiskey and Pine Log roads at Rich Plaza, Aiken; 1-5 p.m., Sears Contract Sales, 2417 Regency Blvd.

Saturday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Winn-Dixie, Robert C. Daniel Blvd.; 3-6 p.m., Target store, Robert C. Daniel Boulevard.

Sunday: 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., Church of the Most Holy Trinity, 720 Telfair St.

Area meetings

Today:

Fairfax Town Council, 6 p.m., Town Hall, U.S. Highway 278.

North Augusta City Council, 7 p.m., Municipal Building, Buena Vista Avenue.

Tuesday:

Aiken County Judicial and Public Safety Committee, 5 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue.

Aiken County Development Committee, 5:45 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue.

Aiken County Council, 7 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue.

Thursday:

Edgefield County Board of Education, 7:30 p.m., Strom Thurmond High School library, South Carolina Highway 23.