Originally created 09/18/00

Across the area



GEORGIA
Couple chargedin fetus' death

LaGRANGE - A LaGrange woman and her boyfriend have been charged with concealing the death of a fetus.

Karen Meredith, 36, miscarried Aug. 26 when she was between six and seven months pregnant. Two days later, emergency medical workers went to her apartment to treat her.

Police say Ms. Meredith told them about the miscarriage but refused to tell paramedics or investigators where the fetus was.

Investigators found the fetus Aug. 30, wrapped inside a trash bag and thrown into a garbage bin in a northwest LaGrange apartment complex. Police say an autopsy showed the fetus was stillborn.

Police on Friday charged Ms. Meredith and her boyfriend, 38-year-old Alphunzo Pless of Franklin, with concealing the death of a fetus. Jail officials say both were released Friday from Troup County Jail after posting bond.

GEORGIA
Principal bans `Goth' attire

VALDOSTA - The principal at Valdosta High School has ordered a group of students to stop wearing black clothes, heavy makeup and elaborate hair styles - a style known as "Goth" - even though it does not violate the school dress code.

Principal Charles Bonner said the dress code permits students to wear black; students often wear black before Friday night football games because the school colors are black and gold.

But some parents and students complained about the group's look, which includes theatrical makeup and bright hair color. Mr. Bonner said it was his duty to preserve a school climate where students feel "safe and at ease."

Mr. Bonner said he held a conference with the students' parents and said they were "very receptive" to his request. But at least one parent said she does not understand why her daughter and her friends should have to dress differently.

"They wore the exact same clothing last year for a whole year," said Brenda Rothfuss, whose daughter Kim Squires, 17, is one of the group.

The Goth - short for "Gothic" - movement grew out of post-punk Britain in the 1970s and moved to the underground clubs of Los Angeles in the early 1980s. Goths are interested in vampires, witchcraft and death.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Two die when Jeep hits tree

PIEDMONT - The Highway Patrol is investigating a one-car crash that killed two people.

Steven Ray Windham, 29, of Honea Path, and Michelle Miller, 33, of Greenville, died Saturday when the Jeep that Ms. Miller was driving crossed the road and hit a tree, Greenville County Deputy Coroner Kent Dill said.

Highway Patrol Lance Cpl. Dan Marsceau said the Jeep crossed into the oncoming lane, then left the road. The vehicle continued on the left side of the road before hitting the oak tree.

Mr. Dill said there was no indication the driver tried to avoid the tree. Neither victim was wearing a seat belt.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Chemical plant plans shutdown

COLUMBIA - Cardinal Chemical Co. has provided state regulators with a plan for the possible shutdown of a plant along the Congaree River that is suspected of leaking tin compounds into the river.

Thom Berry, spokesman for the state Department of Health and Environmental Control, said Sunday that Cardinal officials had delivered a letter detailing plans for the shutdown.

DHEC ordered the shutdown Friday after low levels of organic tin compounds were found in a settling pond at Columbia's wastewater treatment plant. The same chemicals were found earlier this year in Lexington County's Red Bank Creek, where they are believed to have caused a massive fish kill.

Cardinal denies responsibility for the chemicals and has vowed to fight the order.

The state gave Cardinal until Sunday to show how it would cease operations and until today to say how it would deliver an independent review of processes at the plant.

Cardinal spokesman Alasdair Dunbar said Sunday that the company was appealing the order, but that it submitted the shutdown plan to comply with the state's requirements.

"We still maintain the order is unnecessary, unwarranted and unjustified," Mr. Dunbar said. "There is no emergency. Nothing is any different there than has been going on for 49 years, and in all our 49-year history there is not one shred of evidence that we have killed one fish."

Today: North Augusta City Council, 7 p.m., municipal building, Buena Vista Avenue

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

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

McCormick Town Council, 7 p.m., town hall, Augusta Street

Columbia County Commission, 6:30 p.m., Evans Government Center auditorium

Augusta Commission, 2 p.m., eighth floor, municipal building, 530 Greene St.

Thursday: Aiken County Planning Commission, 7 p.m., County Council Annex, Richland Avenue

North Augusta Planning Commission, 7 p.m., municipal building, Buena Vista Avenue

Allendale County Council, 7:30 p.m., Brant Building auditorium, Courthouse Square

Barnwell County Board of Education, 7:30 p.m., district office, Haygood Avenue

Columbia County Water and Sewer Services, 5:30 p.m., Water and Sewer Services conference room, Evans to Lock Road, Evans

Columbia County Planning and Zoning Commission, 6:30 p.m., Evans Government Center auditorium

The following is a schedule of Shepeard Community Blood Center blood drives for the week of Sept. 18-24:

Today: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, in the SRP Federal Credit Union Building, 1920 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Boshears Giveaway, Shepeard Community Blood Center, 1533 Wrightsboro Road; noon to 4 p.m., RE Phelon, 895 University Parkway, Aiken; 9 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., University of South Carolina Aiken, 171 University Parkway, Aiken

Tuesday: 2 to 7 p.m., Edgefield Community, Bausket Street, Edgefield, S.C.; 1 to 4 p.m., Aiken Regional Medical Centers, 202 University Parkway, Aiken

Wednesday: 11 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., DSM Chemicals, 1 Columbia Nitrogen Road; 6 to 9 p.m., New Hope Church of God, 715 Old Belair Road; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Advanced Glass Fibers/Health Fair, 2556 Wagner Road, Aiken

Thursday: 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, in the SRP Federal Credit Union Building, 1920 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Washington/Wilkes High School, 304 Gordon St., Washington, Ga.; 2 to 4:30 p.m., SunTrust Bank, Broad Street

Friday: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., Lowe's of Aiken, 2503 Whiskey Road, Aiken; 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., MI Home Products, Magnolia Street; 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., Shepeard's Aiken Community Blood Center, in the SRP Federal Credit Union Building, 1920 Whiskey Road, Aiken

Saturday: 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., Lincoln County Community, Lincoln Baptist Church, Peachtree Street, Lincolnton, Ga.

Sunday: 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Lutheran Church of The Resurrection, 825 Greene St.; 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Prince of Peace Lutheran Church, 3703 Old Petersburg Road