Originally created 09/13/98

Across the area



Memorial servicesheld for victims

Memorial services were held Saturday for an Augusta woman and a friend who died last week in the crash of Swissair Flight 111 while traveling to Geneva.

Caroline Smith of Augusta and Cherie Hastie were the best of friends, forging their relationship in a suburban Atlanta church.

Friends and family gathered at that same church Saturday to remember the pair, who died on the trip to visit Mrs. Hastie's daughter.

"A lot of people talk about being Christians, but these two were the real thing," said Rev. Bryant Wright, senior pastor at Johnson Ferry Baptist Church in Marietta, which held one of two services Saturday.

The two women met in a Johnson Ferry Baptist Bible study class called "the Blue Ribbon Bible Study," the Rev. Wright said.

And after moving to Augusta with her husband about four years ago, Mrs. Smith kept in touch with Mrs. Hastie and other class members.

The same church where the two women met also lost a father and son when TWA Flight 800 exploded over the Atlantic Ocean in July 1996 and a preschool teacher when a Korean Air jet crashed in Guam last August.

Identity of dead man unknown

Police are trying to identify a man who was found dead in an alley on the 500 block of Broad Street on Saturday morning.

Garbagemen found the man face down in alley way next to the Discotheque Lounge around 7:15 a.m., said Richmond County sheriff's Investigator Ken Rogers.

Investigator Rogers said there was some blood coming from the man's mouth, but that there were no other injuries. Police have not ruled out foul play.

The man, a white male, was wearing a sleeveless, white T-shirt, blue jeans and brown boots, and was last seen between 10 and 10:30 p.m. at Rio Bravo Cantina on Washington Road.

He is described as being between 5 feet 10inches and 6 feet tall and weighing about 170 to 180 pounds.

The man's body has been sent to the crime lab in Atlanta for an autopsy.

Reward offered in disappearance

UNDADILLA -- Authorities searching for an 8-year-old Unadilla girl missing for a week said Friday that a $15,000 reward was being offered for information leading to her safe return.

Shy'kemmia Shy'rezz Pate, also known as Shy Shy, was last seen at 7 p.m. Sept. 4 in the vicinity of the Roxy Club in Unadilla, the Georgia Bureau of Investigation said.

Shy'keemia is described as black, 4-foot-4 and 59 pounds. She has a surgical scar along her waist area. She was wearing her hair in long braids, with curls in the front. The girl was last seen wearing a neon green jersey with the word "Braves" in red letters, blue or black jeans and K-Swiss tennis shoes.

Recycling center to close

LEXINGTON -- Safety-Kleen Corp. plans to close a chemical recycling center in Lexington in a move that will eliminate 74 jobs.

The jobs will be phased out over the next nine months, and the work will be moved to Safety-Kleen operations in other states.

But the decision has little to do with the Department of Health and Environmental Control's refusal on July 27 to allow the site to expand, an official with the Columbia-based company said.

"It wasn't a matter of unfair treatment by DHEC, and DHEC's decision didn't really enter into it," said Tom Mullikin, Safety-Kleen's vice president for government and community relations.

The company is making cost-cutting moves around the country, Mr. Mullikin said.

Officials decided the company has too much capacity and can save money by closing some facilities, he said.

Commandments suit delayed

CHARLESTON -- A settlement of the lawsuit against the Charleston County Council's display of the Ten Commandments has been delayed by a battle about legal fees.

The American Civil Liberties Union and Americans United for Separation of Church and State want to recover the $40,000 they spent fighting the county, lost a key court fight on Friday.

Circuit Judge Daniel Martin refused to let them use a federal law that would have increased their chances of getting the county to pay their fees.

The decision strengthens the county's position that it should not be held responsible for the other side's legal fees, County Attorney Sam Howell said.

The county has agreed to never again display the Ten Commandments in areas around the council chambers.

The ACLU wasn't concerned so much about legal fees as it was the court's refusal to let the case be judged under the U.S. Constitution, said Steven Bates, executive director of the state's ACLU chapter.

Lawsuit settles for $3.5 million

NORTH CHARLESTON -- A lawsuit filed after a man was crushed by a falling scoreboard at the North Charleston Coliseum last year has been settled for $3.5 million.

Companies who built, maintained, inspected or operated the scoreboard will pay the family of Billie Wayne Garrett of Columbia, who was killed in the November accident.

Mr. Garrett, 67, was a volunteer for the World Finals Rodeo and had been spreading dirt on the floor when the five-ton board fell 60 feet and crushed him.