Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 10, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina Tuesday May 10,201 Vol. 145, No. 130 Today’s Weather High 90° Low 63° Full forecast 18C 8(i 50* www.aikenstandard.com Council OKs Murphy Oil on Richland ■ Following two separate plans and contentious debate, gas station gets the green light. By AMY BANTON Staff writer Murphy Oil USA will build a new gas station and convenience store on the w est side of Richland Avenue. Aiken City Council unanimously approved the second reading of a concept plan from Murphy Oil. The prospective convenience store will be located on a 1.35-acre outparcel located in front of the Shoppes at Richland and Walmart. The plan approved Monday by Council members was a new application. Murphy Oil came to Council in January w ith a plan that included 16 fueling positions and a car wash; that plan was denied. The plan approved Monday has 12 fueling positions for conventional fuel and no car wash. The dumpster and parking area were also moved to be less visible from Richland Avenue. Trees and additional shrubbery were added to the landscaping plan. jibber For live updates from City Council meetings, follow @AmyLBanton on Twitter. Councilwoman Lessie Price said she was quite proud of how the area in which Murphy Oil plans to build has changed in recent years and hopes that the convenience store will stay true to the revitalization efforts of west Richland Avenue and not detract from the appearance. Price and Councilman Don Wells added that residents in the surrounding area need to be protected from any light or noise pollution the store may emit. “I'm very protective of this area,” Price said to Murphy Oil representatives. Please see COUNCIL, page 5A Food Network Challenge to feature local cake decorator By ANNA DOLIANITIS Staff writer What started out as a hobby for a local woman who spent years in the nuclear engineering field has turned into a career in cake decorating that landed her an appearance on a Food Network Challenge episode that will air on Sunday. Dianna Tomow, who first took an interest in cake decorating and sugar art whim she took beginners* classes on the art form at the Ii. Odell Weeks Center about 25 years ago, recalls that her interest in cakes began when she would pass by bakeries displaying German cakes, or “tortes." with her grandmother in Frankfurt, Germany. “I looked at the cakes and told her that one day, I will make cakes that look beautiful and taste delicious,” she said. When Tomow’s daughter Rebekah, now 18, was bom with special needs, Tomow left her position at the Savannah River Site to be able to give her the extra attention that she needed and spent time while Rebekah w as at school turning her hobby into a successful business. She now primarily makes wedding cakes for brides in the region out of her Aiken home. Her website, www.your-kindofcake.com, caught the attention of Food Network Please see CAKE, page UA i ttesiCB Betty G. Wilson, Aiken Dale Wayne Anderson, Aiken David Holloway Jr., North Augusta Eva Stevenson, Williston McKinley Cullom "Rack" Harrison, Augusta Philip Dew England, Aiken Susie Bell Nickerson, Augusta Virginia Folks Goodwin Winley, Aiken Deaths and funerals 16A Mite Calendar 3C Classifieds SB Crossword 7C Comics 6C Dear Abby 7C Horoscopes 7C Markets 4B Movie Listings 3C Opinions 13A Puzzles 7C Sports _ IB TV Listings 2C — 00001’ I Mi.- wights TP Ti V Gasoline prices stabilize; could fall further over summer months Staff photo by Anna Doiiam&s Aiken cake decorator Dianna Tomow, who will appear Sunday on a Food Network television competition, poses with a cake she made in honor of the wedding of Prince William and Kate Middleton and holds a handmade sugar flower. By ANNA DOLIANITIS Staff writer After an upward climb over the past few months, the price of gas has stabilized and even dropped, likely because the price of a gallon of gas has reached a price so high that tim ers are opting to change their habits rather than dig deeper into their pockets at the pump. Demand destruction, as AAA Carolinas spokesperson Tom Crosby calls it, is an explanation for the statew ide half-cent decrease in gits prices overnight into Monday, and the 2-cent increase over the past week, rather than the 5- to 8-cent increases that became common in pres urns weeks, “What’s happening is the speculative bubble that's been surrounding the price of a barrel of oil appears to have sprung a leak, and the investors are selling short because they are worried,” Crosby said. The average price of gas in the Aiken-Aqgusta area on Monday was S3.784, compared to S3.797 on Sunday, compared to S3.774 a week ago. The Pump prices rn US weekly average retail price for one gallon of regular unleaded gasoline 11 2010 MVI emu MCI Some* US Irmn »ntom>WM\ Aam*******. statewide average is $3,731, lower than the national average, which stands at S3.960. Last year, during the month of May, gas prices dropped 45 to 50 cents, then stayed fairly low through June, July and August before beginning to rise again in September, Crosby said, .md it is possible that the decrease in prices could continue into the summer. There is talk of gas prices decreasing by the same amount this year, hut Crosby said that there are too many Please tee GAS, page 14A County says farewell to retiring teachers, staff By ROB NOVIT - Senior writer For a list of school district retirees, please see page 11 A. For the past 29 years, Andrea Mmolfo has taught at Jackson Middle School and it’s always been a special place, Conner after being recognized at an Aiken County School District retirement dinner Monday. “The old guard is leav ing, w uh just one teacher left,” M moi t o said w ith a laugh. “I live real close, and it was wonderful growing up in the community and teaching there ” To her delight, her son Sal - now the district’s special programs director - spent several years as the Radcliffe Elementary School principal and assistant principal. “I loved working with him,” Minolfo said. “I taught sixth grade, and he could give me information about the kids coming up. It made the transition a lot eaMer. Almost everybody in our family is iii education, and we always get together and talk about new ideas.” The district also will say goodbye to elementary education director Michele Conner, retiring after 43 years, and to two principals, Aiken Elementary School’s Sharon Cagle and Jefferson Elementary School’s Ham Hart. Please see RETIREES, page 5A Dry MayTT MAV I AG Monthl ONLY out Prestige* Apf*iiA*vc£... Buy the Washer Get the Dryer 1/2 Price! Maytag Front Load Washer Imhvvooooxw) Washer MSRP ....... $1099 • S.O CF Maxima* Front Load Washer 1/2 Prke Dryer ......................$549 • Advanced Vibration Control Plus REBATE OFFER .....................-SIM • 1,000 Watt Heater Final Pair ...............$1499 Maytag Front Load Dryer [medooooxw! Sold ach in pans federals sold seporore/y 7.4 CF SuperSize Capacity Stainless Steel Drum Maytag* Commercial Technology Don't Delay! Quantities are limited. Shop anywhere else and you'll pay loo mush! PRBSTIBE Appliance Houjf , PreftMunudj, Sales. Installation and Service ■ Southside Aiken: 257S Whiskey Road - 803 644-6113 - 9 ..ai - 7 pm, Mon-Tri. 19 a m •} p m, Sa. Staff photo Roto Novit Melinda and Gayle Gulkk, left started their careers in education 33 years ago and are retiring together this spring.