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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - September 15, 1999, Aiken, South Carolina Mill wood Gats to win Page IB A I K EN Thursdays Weather Aikens 8B Death and funeral notices 4A Georgia lottery results 2A Food Snip and Savor Composing culinary masterpieces Page 1C Index Bridge 6C Dear Movies Opinions Television ic Vol 133 No 258 Aiken South Carolina Wednesday September 15 1999 v V 1 r Aiken sc Staff reports X N sii i Savann Its iville i V ill j s Aiken became a des for some and a way station for others as Hur ricane Floyd forced tens of thou sands of people away from their homes Traffic streamed into and through Aiken last night and this morning clogging some of the arteries coming into town and filling park ing lots with people who had no place for lodg ing With memories of Hurricane Hugo too fresh in their minds a decade after the fact South Carolina officials ordered mandatory evacua tions from coastal regions of the state Tuesday The subsequent outpouring choked Inter state 26 and other major highways leading inland from the of 8and 10hour journeys from to Aiken We are going to Kingsport but we had to spend the night on the side of Highway 78 last night because the traffic was so bad William Coates from Charleston said this morning We were on Highway 61 for 14 hours Meanwhile Aiken opened its arms to receive those fleeing the path of Floyd Hurricane shelters opened at some local schools and even some churches were opening Southworth Aiken 9 bypass saw traffic this morning as scores of peo ple fled Hurricane Floyd their doors to provide for those with nowhere else to go Virtually every hotel and motel room in the had been taken by early Tuesday morn ing Local restaurants convenience stores and grocery stores were feeling the effects of the influx of people into the area The parking lot of Food Lion on Rutland Drive was packed with cars trucks and campers last night as people fleeing the coast finally found somewhere to spend the night in the morning Rosa Ura Her family from Head in We have no place else to Center was working Tuesday night and Wednesday morning to locations for folks with various levels of hand in anticipation of the storm Executive Director Ralph Courtney said about 100 people including caretakers were anticipated from Colleton and Jasper counties Local churches have pitched in St James Lutheran in Graniteville for example is host ing 30 individuals About 20 relatively inde pendent people have been ensconced at the Ramada Inn in Aiken The community is really pulling together Courtney said The North Augusta satellite office has also been turned into a shelter Sheila Johnston from Charleston stopped in Aiken on the way to Belvedere We were planning on going to Knoxville but the traffic was so bad we werent going to get anywhere We ended up pulling over and sleep ing on the side of the road she said Johnston said that She got in touch with a friend this morning that she is going to stay with But others havent been so lucky Elizabeth Gonzales and her family from Hilton Head have been looking for shelter since they evacuated the island We cant find any place We thought by chance there would be somewhere here I guess we are going to try one of these shelters Please see ANNOYED page 6A Shelters offer refuge from storm FLA Miami By BENGTSON South Aiken High Schools gymnasium drew plenty of vis beginning Tuesday afternoon but sports had nothing to do with the mass migration The site is serving as the first local shelter for people who are evacuating the coast in response to the uncertain path of Hurri cane Floyd Hospitality is courtesy of Aiken Countys chapter of the American Red Cross By 10 pm the SAHS shel ter had more than 60 visi tors mostly from the Charleston area The number doubled in the next three hours and by am the cial 308 with more coming in according to SAHS principal Among the overnight guests was Corner resident Norv ris Ferguson an employee of Bayer Chemi cal He came with his family his wife father son daughter and three grand children He Gassman Ws memo ries of Hurri cane Hugo from 10 years ago were clear and he had no thought of sticking around Charleston to tempt fate He had planned to head for Augusta but found there were absolutely no motel vacancies in the area and was SAHS Referring to the hurri cane he said Were talking about early Thursday morning when its supposed to come through so well be here until then he said Ferguson acknowledged that he his family would have pre ferred a motel in terms of conve and privacy but still expressed thanks for the hospital ity and facilities made available through the donations of local cit Volunteers running the facility in addition to representing the ARC also came from the SC Department of Social Services Some came from off the street as Please see SHELTERS page 6A Inside Hurricane tips 7 A SC home tips 7A Horses here 7A Area ready 6A Floyd churns in the Atlantic heading north 25 Staff photo by Scott Don Sprawls gets a victory hug from his wife Sprawls wins primary By THOMAS SMITH After the last vote was counted the constituents of the third dis had a new City Council rep In what some have called an upset Don Sprawls defeated incumbent Karen for the seat she has held for almost eight Democracy is a wonderful institution Voters get exactly what they vote for Mrs said I am sure Mr Sprawls will enjoy his tenure as much as I have enjoyed mine The con of the City and Aiken 3 have my heartfelt thanks for their support in the Of the 872 votes Sprawls received 488 to Mrs 384 Sprawls said the victory has not really sunk in yet His duties with the volunteer fire depart ment kept him pretty busy Actually I ended up helping people with directions until about midnight last night he said We had a lot of good support A lot of people backed me Sprawls said a lot of friends I hope I can make a difference when I get there on City Coun Sprawls based his campaign on his view that the Council should be run more like a business His platform included land usage areas how much growth to allow in recreation areas monitoring the new zoning ordinance and allowing citizens to decide tax issues in a referendum Mrs ran on her council record and her vision for the future of Aiken Her platform included protecting and strength ening Aiken neighborhoods Please see SPRAWLS page 7A Public Safety investigates alleged kidnapping plot Hispanics booming in SC By CARL LANGLEY Aikens Department of Public Safety is investigating an alleged plan to kidnap retired Aiken min ister Hayden E Wyatt 86 The Rev Wyatt is the father of Aiken developer Weldon Wyatt I Michael Dennis Wyatt 35 the grandson of the minister was identified as a suspect in the alleged kidnap plan Maj Robert Hardt of the Aiken Department of Public Safety said a second person has been arrest ed on an unrelated charge Hardt who did not identify the second man confirmed that an undercover officer was involved in the arrests Michael Dennis Wyatt who is being held without bond at the Aiken County Detention Center is employed at an Aiken industri al plant His address was given as 4 Cardinal Circle Department of Public Safety Director Pete Frommer said We cannot give out a lot of informa tion because our investigation is continuing The public safety office issued a statement saying Michael Dennis Wyatt was arrested for conspira cy to kidnap and unlawful carry ing of a pistol The statement said the police were given information about a plan to kidnap the minister and an investigation began that involved a number of law enforce ment agencies Working with Aiken police are the Orangeburg Department of Public Safety the Aiken County Sheriffs Office the North Augus ta Department of Public Safety and the Aiken FBI office Associated Press COLUMBIA South Caroli nas Hispanic community is growing especially in rural areas according to Census Bureau information that takes a detailed look at pop by race Statewide the Hispanic popula tion grew 62 percent between 1990 and 1998 Census figures show The 1998 figures are estimates Lexington Countys Hispanic population nearly doubled to 2563 Hispanic population growth was above 75 percent in York Lee Horry Kershaw Oconee Ander son Pickens and Aiken counties The trend has stirred spirits For example the owners of AM 1440 turned the radio station into the first 24hour Spanish station earlier this sum mer hospitals are giving employees Spanish lessons and sensitivity training Law enforcement and public safety agencies have noticed the changes in Lexington County The No 1 place it is affecting us right now is in our detention facility said Capt Gary Morgan of the Lexington County Sheriffs Department We do have people on our staff who are fluent in Spanish Morgan said He said the department is look ing at hiring translators for court We seem to run into more and more situations where language is a barrier said Brian Hood spokesman for the Lexington County Department of Public Safety v Hood said the situa tions has in help ing people In most cases somebody in the family or a neighbor bridges the language gap Hood said Some times band signals are enough to tell emergency medical officers whats wrong The Hispanic population boom is not just a South Carolina trend but a national one
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