Aiken County Register (Newspaper) - January 4, 1984, Aiken, South Carolina
Aiken Co. Public Lib-
*35 Newberry St,
Aiken SC ^
Volume I -- Number 7
Aiken, S. C., Wednesday, January 4, 1984
25* Per Copy
Bitter Cold, Winds Plague County
By STEPHEN D. HALE Register Editor
AIKEN - It was 9:20 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 28, when the Augusta television stations broke into their broadcasts to say a tornado had been seen in Martinez, northwest of Augusta and was headed toward Aiken County.
At 9:30 the sky over Aiken Estates grew horribly black, the wind swirled fiercely, stopped dead, then crashed back again, hurling a brief but violent rain storm at the hill.
Within a few moments the eerie weather convinced county employes to evacuate the upper floors of their building as the twister
skimmed over Aiken.
A few blocks away Carl Langley stepped out of his office at the Aiken Bureau of the Augusta Chronicle on Pendleton Street to see what could have been a terrible disaster sweep harmlessly over the city.
“It was pear-shaped,” Langley said, “It was black and it looked like there was another, smaller one being swept along behind the first tornado.”
The second floor of the Aiken County Sheriff’s Department was also evacuated and the storm was reported a few minutes later in Perry, S.C., and then in Orangeburg County.
The tornado that chose to
frighten the heart of the city but not to destroy it was only the most unusual of the severe weather visited on the county for the two holiday weeks.
Freezing temperatures were the norm with a low of 0 degrees reported on Christmas morning.
The record cold - several days in the past two weeks set records for low temperatures - claimed one casualty Christmas night. The frozen body of Dora Sanders Jordan, 43, of Barnwell Avenue in Aiken, was found on Richland Avenue at 7:30 a.m. Dec. 26. Aiken County Coroner Sue Townsend said Ms. Jordan died of exposure to the cold.
Broken water pipes plagued the county, particularly the school system, throughout the period. The heating systems of many area schools had been cut off over the holidays to save money, but the practice ended up costing much more in emergency repair bills.
Over 25 schools were damaged by water from broken pipes over Christmas weekend and several other county buildings, including the county office complex, and the agricultural building suffered the same fate. Broken pipes were also a major problem at the Mattie C. Hall Nursing Care Center
(Continuad on Pogo 16)
....Keep Aiken Elementary??
By SUZY SMITH
AIKEN - “To Keep or Not to Keep Aiken Elementary” is the question making rounds in Aiken these days. Those who want to keep the school are just as passionate about it as are those who want to replace the building. Emotions are running high
for retention of the school.
A recent facilities survey authorized by the S.C. Dept. of Education recommended Aiken Elementary, and other schools in the district, be abandoned due to deterioration.
Built 93 years ago as Aiken Institute, the school
offered a full and complete education to students until the 1930s when it began housing grades one-six. It presently serves children in kindergarten-fifth grade.
Mandle Surasky attended Aiken Institute from 1904-15. He feels the central location of the school cuts down the cost of busing students. “It will be a grave injustice if they close the school,” he commented.
Another Aikenite, Betty Townes Owen, feels Americans are replacing too many landmark buildings. “The new modernistic buildings may be more functional, but our old buildings have more character. Good examples are Aiken Elementary, the old post office and the courthouse.”
Mrs. Owen attended
Aiken Institute from 1920-31. She taught in Aiken High School, both at Laurens St. and Rutland Drive. She emphatically supports any efforts to renovate the Aiken Elemen tary school building and retain it as a public school.
Aside from the historical significance of Aiken Elementary, there are prac tical reasons in favor of its retention.
Mrs. Lawana McKenzie, assistant principal at the school, accompanied S.C. Dept, of Education representatives on a tour of the facili ty in early 1983. “The representatives recordec favorable comments during their tour and “liked our spacious classrooms with
(Continued on Pogo 2)This Week In Brief
AIKEN - Democratic County Councilwoman Faye Hatcher has talked to Republican officials concerning her rumored party switch. If Mrs. Hatcher does switch parties it would reverse the present council split of five Democrats to four Republicans. Mrs. Hatcher has been embroiled in a controversy over her proposal to change the form of county government from a council-administrator to council- manager form. That would eliminate the elected offices of treasurer and auditor.
AIKEN - Under the initiative of council member William Cly burn, Aiken County Council voted Tuesday night to attempt to reach a consensus on the long simmering debate over dual taxation with county municipalities by early March.
The several incorporated ^ towns in the county have for over five years been contending that their residents are taxed by the county for services that they do not fully receive. For instance, the cities contend that they supply their own police and garbage collection functions and should not have to pay for the county* sheriff’s department or green boxes.
A combined county-cities task force on the subject produced a plan two years ago, however that effort failed when the county council refused to fund their suggestions. The council voted unanimously Tuesday that “the time has come” to resolve the issue, as councilman Clybum said.