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Aiken Standard Newspaper Archive: February 22, 2011 - Page 1

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   Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 22, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina                                 mrnmrnm.  m  Tuesday  February 2^2011  1 Affi Ij.il i_m  TOCisiQfS wvBanier  Full forecast 16C  Vol. 145, No. 53  Y O II r L o c a 1 S o u r c e S i 11 c e I 8 f) 7  www.aikenstandard.com  ====:  500  Officials: Fire danger continues  By KAREN DAILY  Staff writer  Despite the lack of an official bum ban, South Carolina Forestry officials continued Monday to warn residents of the dangers of outdoor burning.  State Forestry Commission spokesman Scott Hawkins said firefighters responded to 221 fires over the weekend, bringing the statewide total to 447 wildfires so far for February.  The Forestry Commission and the National Weather Service have asked residents not to do any outdoor burning because of stiff winds and low humidity.  Although humidity will recover today, the National Weather Service is reporting that grasses and other fuels  will remain dry, increasing the potential for a fire to get out of control quickly.  It is illegal to bum yard debris in the City of Aiken at all times, but residents living in the unincorporated parts of Aiken County where yard debris bums are allowed must still contact the S.C. Forestry Commission at (800) 895-7057 before bum-ing.  • Buming household trash is strictly prohibited throughout the state at all times.  Items that are illegal to bum include, but are not limited to, paper and cardboard, motor and waste heating oil, roofing materials like shingles and tar, tires and other mbber products, paint, electrical wire, plastic.  Please see FIRE, page 14A  GOOnES ARf eOMiiiG  Girl Scout favorites arrive Thursday  By ANNA DOLIANITIS  Staff writer  Thin Mints, Peanut Butter Patties, Caramel deLights and the rest of the Girl Scout cookie varieties will be making their way into town later this week.  Troop leaders will receive the cookie shipments on Thursday, and those who pre-ordered from Girl Scouts can expect to see their cookies as early as Friday, said Katie Miller of the Giri Scouts' Aiken Service Unit.  This year's sale numbers for the initial cookie shipment, which includes pre-ordered cookies and boxes ordered by troops to sell at area businesses m the next couple weeks, came out to almost 20,000 more boxes than last year's initial shipment.  CooMe count:  Number of cookies sold during Aiken's ordering period this year:  • Thin Mfnts-13,416  • Cdramel deLights -11,976  •Peanut Butter Sandwiches - 8,136  • Peanut Butter Patties-7,848  • Shortbreads - 6,360  • Lemonades - 5,412  • Thanl(s-A-Lots -3,888  • Shout outs! - 2,832  Totei - 59,868  Last year, 41,472 boxes were ordered initially, compared to 59,868 boxes ordered this year.  "We have a lot of new troops this year, which I  believe is why we've seen such an increase in our initial order this year," Miller said.  It was no surprise. Miller said, that Thin Mints were the best-sellers this year, with Caramel deLights coming in close second.  Girl Scout cookie orders will be delivered by March 25 at the very latest. Miller said.  Last year, Aiken Girl Scouts sold a total of 60,024  — ' boxes  Photo coot^®' of cookies, and the girls are already only 13 cases of cookie boxes away from meeting last year's final numbers, Miller said.  Those who missed out on the pre-order period don't have to wait until next year to get their Girl Scout cookie fix, because troops order  Please see COOKIE, page 14A  G-Force takes 1st in robotics regional  my ▲  I Aiken High-based M'Aiken Magic's three Tech Challenge robotics teams thoroughly dominated a regional event in Cookville, Tenn.  By ROB NOVIT  Senior writer  M'Aiken Magic's three Tech Challenge robotics teams thoroughly dominated a regional event in Cookville, Tenn., Saturday, taking three of the top four spots with their alliance partners.  G-Force and its partner team took first place in the tense finals over an alliance that included Atomix, anottier M'Aiken Magic squad.  The G-Force team apparently has qualified for the international Tech Challenge competition later this spring, which G-Force won with two alliance partners in 2010. The caveat, said Coach Kelly Russell, is that G-Force was selected for the final round by an Arkansas team, which, as the "captain" squad, automatically gets a berth in the international event.  G-Force may have to go through a lottery, although that wasn't necessary last year.  The third Aiken High-based team, M'Aiken Tech Magic, reached the semi-fmals. That team and Atomix will have another chance to make the international contest at a regional at S.C. State University in Orangeburg March 5.  Russell and longtime team mentor Clyde Ward were  impressed with the perseverance by members of all three squads.  "This tournament was so poorly organized," said Russell. "It took 16^/2 hours, the longest one-day event I've ever attended. The kids were tired, but they kept going mentally. It was gratifying to see them come bacl^ so it was worth it in the end,"  All three squads were beset by technical problems throughout the day - parts not working and having to be .repaired, the planning field for the small 'bots not conforming to the configuration that the teams anticipated.  G-Force captain John Foga-rty wasn't entirely surprised.  "This is the hardest game I've ever seen," he said.  After the preliminary rounds, Tech Magic was fifth, Atomix sixth and G-Force 11th. Only the top four at that stage were assured spots in the finals, but three of those teams selected the Aiken teams as alliance partners.  Ironically, Fogarty had to deal with double-duty Saturday. The judges had trouble with the software for the contest, said Russell, so Fogarty spent much of his time assisting that effort.  There was also a scoring glitch from the referees, and M'Aiken Tech Magic's alli-  Staff photo by Rob Novit  Two days after a regional Tecli Ciiailenge competition with small robots, IVI'Ailcen Magic members were working to get the big 'bot ready to send off to a regional competition in Charleston next month. From left, are Dustin Snelling, Larsen Scott, John Fogarty and Brittany Waclcer.  ance may have come out ahead of the Atomix alliance. But Brittany Wacker of Tech Magic brushed off the results.  "It's all about working together," she said. "We got  plenty of practice and now know how we need to change our strategy." All three teams had been  Please see ROBOTS, page 14A  >.A. resiaents discuss new complex plan  By HALEY HUGHES  Staff writer  NORTH AUGUSTA — A date has been tentatively set for the first meeting of a citizens ad hoc committee, which among other things, will make a recommendation to Aiken County Council on the location of a new administrative complex.  Aiken County Administrator Clay Killian said he has penciled in Monday as the date for when the 18-person committee will first meet. The committee is expected to meet at least twice.  "Once the advisory committee meets and puts their heads together to come up with a recommendation, we'll make a decision," said Council Chairman Ronnie Young, who was also at the public input session in North Augusta.  As they sat in the Palmetto Room of the North Augusta Municipal Center, several in the audience Monday could not help but make comparisons of certain aspects of the building that opened in 2009 to the complex Aiken County anticipates building.  Ruth Evans Frommer,  Aiken  BettyJ.Hightower,  Olmsted Falls, Ohio  rht^iihi  The New  Chester Meade Perry,  Aiken IdeHScottr  New York City, N.Y.  Giles DanierOanny" Gregory,  Mount Holly  Deaths and Funerals 16A  Want to go?  ► What? Rnal public input session on new administrative complex  ► When? Today fifDm6to8p.m.  ► Where? Aiken Technfcal College in the  ■ auditorium of Buikiing 100, k)cated on Aiken/ Augusta Highway  North Augusta's facility is 66,000 square feet and sits on about 6 acres, while projections put Aiken County's new building at 125,000 square feet. Architects and contractors have 9 acres to work with if the complex > remains at its current site on Richland Avenue.  Preliminary numbers indicate it will cost between $25 million and $30 million and will accommodate about 250 staff members.  It was unclear how many North Augusta staff members work in the Georgia Avenue building. Mayor Lark Jones, City Administrator Sam Bennett and members of North Augusta City  Please see COMPLEX, page 14A  ■COITI  LOCAL NEWS IN     Calendar    5C      Classifieds    4B      Comics    3C      Dear Abby    4C      Markets    12A      Movie Listings    5C      Nation/World    12A      Obituaries    6A      Opinions    13A      Puzzles    4C      Sports    IB      TV Listings    2C     Wç Accept  Southlawn Cemetery & Mausoleum  Aikfin'fi Pmmier Cemetery  Vot^ Aikm's Best Cemetery For Two Consecutive Years!  Two Spaces for the price of One.  (Valid on preanrangemento ouly. BostrietiouH apply. Offer may expire without notice)  livide you and your loved ones Peace of Mind thwugh Pi-eairangement  Save Todayl ^803^ 641-6800  4584 Wakey Bead, Aiken, iSC 89803   

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