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Aiken Standard: Tuesday, January 4, 2011 - Page 1

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   Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - January 4, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina                                 How will Gov. Sanford spend his final week in office? Find out. [ 5A  Tuesday  January 4,2011  Todays Weather  Vol. 145, No. 4  \ ( > I I r o ( ' a I S o 11 r* c c S i r i c c I 8 () 7 =====  www.alkenstandard.com  ==  50^  Two N.A. men die in Sunday night wreck  By PHYLLIS BRITT and BILL BENGT80N  North Augusta bureau  Gregory Lake Road was the scene of two trafific fatalities late Sunday night as two young North Augusta men lost their lives when their vehicle left the roadway and traveled through a stand of trees, coming to rest several hundred feet from the first point of impact.  Ryan Craven, 26, of Gregory Lake Road, and Ryan Tyler McNeal, 23, of White-bark Avenue, were traveling east on Gregory Lake Road around 11:40 p.m. when their 2002 Lexus crossed the roadway onto the left shoulder, hit a tree and overturned as it moved through the woods.  Both men were ejected from the vehicle, according to  Craven  McNeal  S.C. Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Scot Edgeworth.  Edgeworth and Edgefield County Coroner Thurmond Burnett confirmed that both Craven and McNeal were pronounced dead at the scene.  Neither Craven nor McNeal were wearing a seat beh, according to authorities.  It was not immediately apparent who was driving the vehicle, and toxicology is pending, according to police.  On Monday afternoon.  several of their acquaintances around the CSRA shared memories of the two bngtime friends.  "They were just two guys that would do anything for you. They'd give you the shirt off their back. They were just fim-loving guys," said Richard Bush, a Richmond Academy teacher whose background also includes teaching at North Augusta Middle School.  Joe Underwood, a teacher at Paul Kno?{ Middle School, recalled Craven as an eighth-grader at North Augusta Middle School (where Underwood taught at the time), describing him as "a happy go-lucky young, man at that period in his life."  Please see DEATHS, page 5A  Photo courtesy of EdgefieldDaily.com  Ryan Craven, 26, and Ryan Tyler McNeal, 23, died in a wreck late Sunday night.  Sharing the word  H Three local young people who share growing up together in the Presbyterian Church pursue seminary studies.  By ROB NOVIT  Senior writer  When 20-somethings Matthew Rufi&ier, Jack Jenkins and Sally Ann McKinsey, attended Christmas Eve and Sunday services with their families at First Presbyterian Church, they reflected on past memories of youth group activities and missions and all the wonderfiil pastors and church members they have known.  More than most, perhaps, those experiences have had a profound effect on all three.  Ruflfiier, 27, completed Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta last year and is now working there. Jenkins, 24, is midway through his second year at Harvard Divinity School, while McKinsey, 22, is in her first year at Columbia.  "It's amazing to come back here and walk down the hallway of this church," said Jenkins, the son of John and Sally Jenkins. "It's where I've gone with my family and where people here have had such an impact. There is such an overwhelming feeling of support and how that support has empowered us."  \^at's so intriguing is how the three sets of parents frequently crisscrossed into the lives of all three children. Pam and Tim McKinsey served as youth advisers, while John Jenkins taught Sunday school. Rufi&ier's folks, Gayle and John Gordon, also volunteered as youth advisere, and John Gordon served as Jack Jenkins' covenant partner.  Ruffiier was heavily involved at South  Staff photo by Rob Novit  Matthew Ruffner, from left, Sally Ann McKinsey and Jack Jenkins grew up in the First Presbyterian Church and have completed or are attending seminary schools.  Visit  www.aikenstandard.com  for an extended version of this story.  Aiken High School, including sports, yearbook and the arts. But church was especially important to him and, while at Presbyterian College, he found himself drawn to it. That crystallized during a study-abroad trip to England.  "What made me feel most alive were the political and religious conversations," Ruifter said. "It was both liberating and scary and was much like waking up and finding that things are diifferent."  Jenkins also attended Presbyterian and he, too, found direction during study-abroad trips. He encountered Muslim and Buddhist students and enjoyed the dialogues with them.  "You get a chance to articulate your faith in representing Presbyterians and  , Christianity," Jenkins said. "It made it grow deeper as I began to understand the weight and power of my faith."  llie first time McKinsey began to think about seminary was during a youth retreat in Pittsburgh. The two-week program provided teenagers a chance to act as seminary students, and McKinsey discovered she loved stuctying theology in that atmosphere.  Yet she deliberately chose to study art at Furman University, where there would ' be some silence from the voices encouraging her to pursue seminary training. During college, McKinsey eventually moved toward liturgical art, creating conmiunion and baptismal vessels.  Please see CHURCH, page  Judge moves foward with Ferrara suit  By ANNA DOLIANITIS  ' Staff writer  A district court judge granted a motion for summary judgment for seven of 21 causes of action outlined in a civil lawsuit by a fomier Aiken County Councilman against members of the Aiken County Sheriffs Office.  The judge's order in the lawsuit filed by William Russ Ferrara of Aiken, who is seeking $20 million for 2006 charges that were eventually dropped, means that the lawsuit can proceed with the remaining causes of action.  Ferrara was arrested on allegations that he solicited sex in exchange for rent from a female tenant and made unwelcome sexual advances toward the woman.  He was charged with assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, solicitation of prostitution, disseminating obscenities and indecent exposure.  Ferrara was placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring for 27 months, at his own expense. The charges were later dismissed.  Ferrara subsequently filed the civil suit against Aiken County Sheriff Michael Hurit and Deputy Charles Cain, as well as former Second Judicial Circuit Solicitor Barbara Morgan and Assistant Solicitor Brenda Brisbin, saying that the charges were malicious, unlawful and conspiratorial. Morgan and Brisbin have since been dismissed from the lawsuit.  Ferrara dismissed two causes of action specifically aimed at Morgan and Brisbin, bringing the total to 19.  District Judge Richard Mark Gergel granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment on seven claims on Dec. 29.  Please see FERRARA, page 5A  Ferrara  Paul Eugene Edel, Aiken Paul HenHord Lewis, Aiken RolMrtK. Smith,  North Augusta  John L "Johnny^ Pairsons,  Beech island  Deaths and funerals 16A     Calendar    3C      Classifieds    4B      Crossword    5C      Comics    4C      DearAbby    SC      Horoscopes    5C      Markets    3B      Movie Listings    3C      Nation/World    7A      Obituaries    6A      Opinions    9A      Puzzles    SC      Sports    IB      TV Listings    2C     ilRliJIiWPW  Controlled burns will begin in Hitchcock Woods  By AMY BANTON  Staff writer  A prescribed bum will be conducted in Hitchcock Woods in the coming weeks, so if residents in the surrounding area smell or see smoke, do not be alarmed.  The ietnnual cold weather prescribed bum has been implemented by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation for around 23 years, said Woodis Superintendent Bennett Tucker.,  The bumis have always been carefully monitor^ and are always a success, l\icker said.  Tucker said this is a commonly accepted forest management tool. He said that when most people think of the combination of forests and fire, they are sUirtled by the idea, but prescribed bums have ecological advantages. They ^ al30 pjiosely mom-  fire-i are managers.  prescribed fire  Three reasons surround the purpose behind a prescribed bum, according to TXicker.  • The first reason is to reduce the hazard of wildfires in Hitchcock Woods. A prescribed fire gets rid of "fiiel" or accumulated leaves, grasses, pine needles, bru^h and fallen trees that would make accidental fires more intense and harder to control;  • The burning of the forest floor also initiates the mttural process of breaking down organic matter into soil nutrients, which are carried by the rain, providing a more fotile seedbed. SeeoUngs then grow at a j^ter rate, m there is less competition and more sun-li^t. The part of those plants sticidng out of the ground during the winter are burned, later sprouting from the leftover root, comiiu back very lu^ Thicker said  • Lastly, the presmbed bum assists with wildlife habitation, according to Tucker. With the plants coming back with more lushness, animal habitats are enhanced, and the  Jill  Submitted photo  Hw tasy piiii|ì9 of this horse and ridtr, Just 20 feet from the flro line, demonstrates the low intensity of a prescribed, controlled bum in Cathedral Aisle.  quantity of forage for wild^ increwes.  Around 600 of the 2,100 acres in the forest that the foundation manages have been identified for burning.  IXicker said that some sections of the woods are burned more often than others.  Cleared trails in Hitchcock Woods will be used as control  lines in the sections of the forest that will receive prescribed bums.  "It's kind of like painting a picture, but you are using Ae trails as firebreaks," Tucter s^d. "It's as much of an art dian it is a science."  tucker added that tiiey will minimize the smoke coming fi?om the prescribed bum by  mopping up heavy logs or smoldering trunks. The term mopping means that officials use a brush tmck they borrow fi'om Aiken Public Safety to put out the fires.  When the prescribed burning begins will be determined by the weather.  Contact Amy Bmton at abantoni^ikenstaneiani. com.   

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