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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 21, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina mm mmsrn, February 21,2011 Vol. 145, No. 52 \i)\i r I.()clì I Sou vvc S i n ('v. 1 86 7 ¡5SSÜ55555S www.aikenstandard.com AIKENSTANDARD.com Blowing the whistle on criminal coaches Ree group carefu about keeping kids safe while playing By HALEY HUGHES Staff writer All that the staff members of the Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department know when receiving ■a-notifiealion about a completed background check is whether the individual met or did not meet credentialing standards set forth by the National Recreation and Park Association. Department Director Brad Barnes and staff are not privy to what criminal offense(s) appeared on the person's record. They have all of the infomiation they need to know. "We don't get into the business of knowing people's bHsiness," - -said PRT Assistant Director Emory Please see CHECKS, page 9A Some facts on background checks • Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Departrrient (PRT) has conducted national criminal offense background checks on volunteers since April 2009. Prior to that time, the department used the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division database to conduct state background checks only. • PRT contracts with Southeastern Security Consultants Inc. (SSCI) to complete the checks. • SSCI's background check cover ail 50 states, 600 million records and the national sex offender registry, as well. • A background check is run on all coaches, instructors and volunteers on a yearly basis for all Internal programs like soccer and baseball. • The national criminal offense screening costs $18. Currently, the County pays $8 from registration fees and volunteers pay $10. • The Aiken County Recreation Commission has recommended that the County cover the full cost. • Since April 2009,74 checks have been completed. Three were flagged for criminal offenses. • The background checks must comply with the standards established by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPA). • NRPA's criteria covers all sex offenses and felony violence offenses regardless of the amount of time since the offense; all other felony offenses within the past 10 years; all misdemeanor violence offenses within seven years; all misdemeanor drug and alcohol offenses within five years; and other misdemeanors within five years that would be considered a potential danger to children. S.C. House proposal opens door to new way ofbusiness By ROB NOVIT Senior writer Just over a month into her first term, S.C. XTil^U; Uoir VtirrVl '"to** Smith from S.C. Rep. Roland Smith, R-Warren-ville. What started as a routine local legislation proposal from Smith could have a major impact on how the General Assembly conducts business. "Nikki has taken a different approach in working with the legislature^" Smith said on Sunday. "She's always helpful, not just with me, but with everybody on both sides of the aisle." Smith became concerned when the Clearwater Water and Sewer District bookkeeper Christy Coleman was also elected as a district commissioner, thus holding dual positions. Although the state has statutes regarding "master-servant" conflicts in government, Smith was told by the S.C. State Ethics Commission that the ethics law didn't apply to special purpose districts. So Smith, chairman of the Aiken County legislative delegation, did what lawmakers have done for years. He introduced a local legislative measure that would prevent such scenarios within his House district. On such bills, only local delegation members typically take part in the voting process. Smith acknowledged that state law prohibits local legislation for anything other than school issues, but the General Assembly has not enforced it. "It was routine when I did it, and it could have passed both bodies," said Smith. Then Haley vetoed the legislation and supamoned the Aiken lawmaker to meet with her. The governor said the problem was not Please see STATE HOUSE, page 9A Annette P. Yon, Sal ley Charies R.E. "Gene" Rapp, Aiken Eula Lee Smith Gunter Wood, Aiken Lyie Edwards, New Ellenton Janie Mae Boyd, Windsor Wesley Johnson, Warrenvllle Hattie Dorè, Aiken L. Karl Dernetz;, Aiken Deaths and Funerals 16A ttMüa Calendar 3C Classifieds 4B Comics 4C Dear Abby SC Horoscopes 5C Movie Listings 3C Opinions ISA Puzzles SC Sports IB TV Listings 2C Community rallies behind cleanup By AMY BANTON Staff writer When the Aiken Standard called upon residents to participate in a cleanup effort of the Carolina Bay Natural Reserve, m^y came out to show their support. In fact, the response from the community was overwhelming. Dozens of residents of all ages took time to help Aiken Standard staff members pick up trash around the Carolina Bay, responding to several articles about the litter problem that suggested a cleanup Sunday afternoon. Those residents helped Publisher Scott Hunter, Managing Editor Michael Git)bons and. myself collect garbage that was scattered around the natural reserve. Aiken City Manager Richard Pearce and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Glenn Parker also grabbed some gloves and orange trash bags to help rid the area of garbage. More from the cleanup • For video and pictures of the clean-up, visit http:// twitter.com/AmyLBanton. • For suggestions regarding the continuation of keeping the Carolinci Bay litter-free or if you know of any other areas that are in need of a cleanup, contact ' Amy Banton at email@example.com or editorial® aikenstandard.com. ' Aiken County Watershed Alliance co-chair Krista Brown provided refreshments along with information about watersheds tmd wetlands during the cleanup. Lindy Duckett was one of the many residents who took time from her Sunday to assist in the effort. She said she takes frequent walks around the bay, and, lately, Please see UTTER, page 9A Staff photo by Amy Banton Girl Scouts Erin Drake, Mina Krohn-Vemon and Caroline Miller hold up a bucket of bottles they collected while cleaning up the bay Sunday.
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