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   Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - April 16, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina                                 r    *  INSIDITODAY Dennis Saylor retains county GOP chair 13A  Saturday  April 16,201  Vol. 145, Mo. 106  Today's Weather  J  St  High  77°  Low  47°  Full forecast 18C  \ on p Local Source Since 18(>7  ------- r:r:= ._  www.aikenstandard.com  t ......  OLYMPIC  VICTORY  Hundreds of athletes come to MVHS for Special Olympics  By ROB NOVIT  Senior writer  Jefferson Elementary School teacher Melissa Darby was delighted to bring her students to the Area 15 Special Olympic Games at Midland Valley High School on Friday.  That wouldn’t have been possible a few years ago, w hen the games were only open to kids 8 and older and to adults. Since then, the Special < My rn pics has added a young athletes division for ages 2 through 7.  ‘They’ve opened it up to our little kids,” Darby said.  “It’s great for preschool teachers, giving our kids a chance to participate, and they have such a good time They couldn’t wait to come this year. We have lots of volunteers, and everybody is excited."  More than 500 special athletes, \ olunteers and teachers gathered at Midland Valley’s football field for an event modeled** th* trarht »on*l Olympics.  Schi»ol “teams" marched into the stadium for the opening ceremony to the Olympic theme. WSl-SRS staffers accompanied spe-, elal athletes for the torch run. East Aiken Elementary School of the Arts w as announced as the school spirit w inner.  "It’s awesome,” said speech therapist Laura Deal. “We’re so excited that we won the spirit award, That s vs hat we've been aiming for.”  Michael Adcock, 8, of Busbee Elementary School was selected to Ik the last athlete to touch the torch before it was lit.  “Michael is a surviving twin who weighed just LB pounds at birth.’’ said his mother, Amy Adcock. “He was quarantined for four years and just got his feeding tube out, which wasn’t expected to happen. Michael has chronic lung discase and hypertension. He s also very smart, and 60 percent of the time is in regular clasps.’ Another Busbee athlete, Ezekiel Staley, had two volunteer buddies for the event - North Augusta High  See Sunday’s edition of the* Aiken Standard for more photos from the Area 15 Special Olympic Games.  tumors Rachel Ward and Sydney Scaggs.  “It’s really fun," Scaggs said. “We get to know them and do some arts and crafts and sec what they’re interested in and see how they can display their talents.”  The Aiken Woman’s t lub also sponsored the Very Special Arts Festival for the 25th year. Athletes and their buddies had plenty of activities to entertain them. Among the arts volunteers were the Junior Leadership Aiken members eighth and ninth-graders who are learning about their community through a variety of field trips. Two students, Aiken High’s Rowan Miller and Midland Valley ’s William Hardy said they were glad ti hclp-fc* * tfood cans*.  ConitH t Rob Nos it at rnovitCu mkcnstimiiaril com  Zais pays visit to Schofield Middle School  By ROB NOVIT  Senior writer  As David Culp’s strings  f  musicians rehearsed during class at Schofield Middle School Friday, South Carolina Superintendent of Education Dr. Mick Zais couldn’t stop smiling.  Three months after becoming superintendent in January, Zais is periodically visiting schools throughout the state. Earlier Friday,  he also visited Fox ( reek High School, a public charter school in Edgefield County just outside North Augusta.  Before tounng Schofield,  Zais spent about 40 minutes talking with Principal Jackie Barnwell, Aiken County Superintendent Dr. Beth Ever-itt and Area I Assistant Superintendent Joy Shealy about the school and the school district.  “This has been a great day,’’ Zais said. ‘To see how this school is changing the lives of students; I’m so proud of the hard work of the teachers and staff here who really are doing a great job of w orking with the young people."  Please see ZAIS, page 13A  Area Marines back from Afghanistan  Staff photos by Rob Nov#  Top; Athlete Alexandra Huerta, an East Aiken Elementary School of the Arts student, eel ebrates after the school was named most spirited at the Area lS Special Olympic Games at Midland Valley High School on Friday. Bottom: Graham Shuford, a North Augusta ig i  School student serves as the volunteer buddy for Dwayne Robinson of Bo xr, I lementary  School.  By ANNA DOLIANITIS  Staff writer  A little boy yelled out “Daddy, are you coming?" at Augusta Regional Airport on Thursday night, and he wasn’t the only one eager for his daddy to arrive.  Children and wives, mothers and fathers, and siblings and friends waited patiently until, after some flight delays, 12 men from the Augusta Marine Corps reserve motor transport maintenance company returned from an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan.  The Marines included Arenites and Aiken High School graduates Stall Sgt. Matt Comer and Lance C pl. Anger Singh, w ho returned to their families Thursday night.  “It feels very good to be home; I missed everybody,’’ said Comer, an officer w uh Aiken Public Safety, when he arrived, greeted by his wife, Allison, and other family members. “I’m definitely glad to get back and get back in the swing of things.’*  Comer has spent 10*/i years in the military and deployed previously to Kuwait and iraq in 2003.  The children who live next door to Comer decorated his yard to welcome him back this week, and he and Allison are head  stall photo by Anna DoltanrtJ* Marine Staff Sgt. Matt Comer, who is also an officer with Aiken Department of Public Safety, was welcomed home from an eight-month deployment to Afghanistan by his wife Allison.  mg on a Caribbean cruise to celebrate his return before he heads back to Public Safety, Albion said.  "Ha\ mg your best friend gone is one of the hardest things you can et er do, especially knowing he’s in a very scary place,’ she said 'To be normal again and to hat e my husband home is all I need  Singh, a Aiken High graduate who h been a Marine for |..»t less than two years, didn t tell hi family that his deployment ended.  Please see MARINES, page 13A     Sum      Frank W.Medlock.          Indianapolis, Ind.          Gregory Algic Randall,      Warrenville          James C. Hutto, Graniteville      Deaths and funerals 16A      JjE&I-J          Calendar    JC      Classifieds    2D      Crossword    SC      Comics    4C      Dear Abby    SC      Horoscopes    SC      Markets    12A      Movie listings    BC      Puzzles    SC      Sports    IB      TV Listings    2C     COMINGSUNOHY  Know which local notables these cute kids grew up to be-*  Identity these three and seven others end win e SSO Walgreen s gift certificate!  SPAPERI  s'W*? <*609*0000  Check out this month’s Healthy U Calendar I I MIX/FRUITY    for Information on University Health Care  vv I NI V I-i1\lJ1 J *    svstem’s Celebration of Life Luncheon for  HEALTH CARE SYSTEM     cancdr surv jvors with speaker Jeffrey Zaslow.  I  I   

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