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  • Location: Aiken, South Carolina
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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - August 1, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina Kids can rock out to idea of healthy lunch • Tom Chapin's latest CD serves up 14 nutritionally and environmentally MONDAY, AUGUST 1,2011 VOL. 145, NO. 213 • 500 Traffic expected at end of week for tax-free sales IN THE NEWS Ga. lawmakers declined reinstatement of sales tax break, bringing many over river for cheaper deals. BY HALEY HUGHES Staff writer AP PHOTO Braves get Bourn in five-player deal, hoping to spark lineup on field • Atlanta acquires outfielder Michael Bourn from the Houston Astros in a five-player deal, giving the Braves their first true leadoff hitter in at least jSix years. SEE SPORTS 1B conscious songs that tackle a wide range of nationally debated food issues. SEE LIVING ON THE GO 1C TODAY’S FORECAST rn* it. -*» J SEE WEATHER 6C REPORTER VIDEO 70 • Mm SCREENSHOT South Carolina’s sales tax free weekend is coming. From 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Sunday, state and local sales taxes don’t apply to certain items purchased in South Carolina like clothes, books, computers and printers. For the second year in a row, local retailers expect customer traffic will be heavier than in years past, and ,,-ri .    ,    stores    have Geor- This year, we re stocked. PHOTO ILLUSTRATION BY BRANDON LOCKETT A HEALTHY HOME? Renting can have its advantages, but it can often be confusing on what a renters’ rights may be when trouble begins to arise within an inhabitant's housing. When issues with renting rain down fully We have school lists now so parents can start planning ahead.” Joey Bailey Target manager Players speak out at All-Star state tournament • Two members of Gregg Park’s 11* and 12-year-old All-Star team talk about the state tournament VISIT AIKENSTANDARD.COM TALKBACK Are new lunches really a fat fix? • Wow, South Carolina is the third or fourth fattest state in the I    \    nation    and    now we're going to give our children processed, packaged food for <    lunch? SEE MORE TALKBACK 3A AREA DEATHS Arthur Art Gregory, Aiken Eunice Paige Johnson, Aiken Helen Mitchell Kingman, Aiken Myrtle T. Bush, Williston SEE DEATHS AND FUNERALS, 6A INSIDE Calendar .......  5C    Movie Listings......,„ 3C Classifieds   SB    Opinions..................11A Crossword ............ 4C    Sports   1B Comics ........  3C    Work! News  9A Horoscopes..............4C    TV Listings    2C Living On The Go.....1C    Wittier   6C BY ANNA DOLIANITIS [email protected] When it comes to housing, renting can have ifs advantages over home ownership, like avoiding responsibility for property taxes and costs for some necessary home repairs. Landlords often bear the burden of addressing property concerns from insect infestation to damaged roofs and temperamental plumbing, but that responsibility depends OO the aims of ar individuals' lease. Leaving rental property issues to u landlord takes a burden off the renter, but suppose a landlord refuses or fails to address the issues. Then what? When a tenant has an issue that, per the tenant-landlord lease agreement, is tljc responsibility of the landlord and he or she refuses to abate the problem, no agency exists with regulatory authority besides the court system to address it. according to Alton Johnson, enforcement officer with the Aiken County planning and development department. “There is no advocacy,” Johnson said. “There needs to be some place that (people) can come to and get some direction and get some help to maneuver them through the system.” Aiken County’s planning and development office gets several calls per week about properties said to be in violation of the county’s habitability standards, Johnson said. The department regulates the existence of essential sen ices and structural integrity in buildings throughout the county and responds to nuisances, such as having trash in the yard that may cause vermin to come to the property or a building that is not structurally sound, Johnson said. SEE RENTING 12A Tenant obligations • Keep the dwelling clear of garbage and waste • Use electrical, plumbing, heating, ventilating and other facilities and applications in a reasonable manner - not deliberately destroying, damaging, or removing any part of the premises • Conducting oneself and others on the premises in a way that will not disturb other tenants Landlord obligations • Comply with building and housing codes affecting health and safety • Make repairs and do whatever is necessary to keep premises in a "fit and habitable" condition • Making running water and reasonable amounts of hot water and heat available • Maintain electrical, gas, plumbing, sanitary, heating ventilating, air conditioning, and other facilities and appliances • The landlord and tenant may agree in writing that the tenant will perform any of the landlord's required . duties, if the agreement is entered into "in good faith and not for the purpose of evading the obligations of the landlord ” cia legislators to thank for that. Claiming Georgia could stand to lose an estimated SUPply liStS    $20 million in r J    sales tax revenue, ready now SO    the state’s law makers declined to pass the legislation necessary to reinstate the tax-free weekend. This the second year Georgia has not had a tax- free' weekend, perhaps spurring frustrated shoppers to cross over into South Carolina. Target manager Joey Bailey said he expects Georgia residents will shop at the store during the tax-free weekend. Tax-exempt items cover just items needed to send a kid back to school - clothes, shoes, pens, , pencils, paper, book bags, calculators and lunch boxes, which can ordinarily put a dent in a family’s wallet. * A National Retail Federation survey found the average American family will spend more than $600 on clothes and school supplies this year. “We’ve got tons and tons of back to school items,” Bailey said. “Last year, we ran out of paper and binders. This year, we’re fully stocked We have school supply has ready now so parents can start planning ahead. Normally clothes and school supplies are big for us.” Several stores also reported scheduling extra stalf to work the weekend to handle the anticipated increase in customer traffic. Tax-exempt items include: lf you have questions or concerns, i contact The Planning and Development I ottice at Kalimia Plaza or call 642-1520 I • Clothing and sizes • School supplies • Baby diapers including, but not • Bathing suits limited to, pens, • Shower curtains pencils, paper, • Pillows binders, notebooks, • Lingerie books, bookbags, • Handbags/purses lunch boxes and • Rainwear calculators • Shoes •Computers printers •Socks and printer supplies • Sports clothing and computer and uniforms software • Sweat pants/shirts/ • Bed linens suits •Towels of all types • Umbrellas Nonexempt items include: • Cell phones • Hand tools/power • Cameras toots • Computer parts • Hobby equipment, when not sold in supplies and toys conjunction with a • Jewelry central processing unit • Sleeping bags • Cookware • Sporting equipment • Eyewear • Toilet paper • Furniture • Wallets • Gitt wrapping paper • Watches • Greeting cards • Window treatments Congress closing in on debt deal as deadline nears OO9"0000 I*'•' V Af PHOTO CLOSING M ON DEBT DEADLINE: Rep. Jason Chaffed R-Utah, sponsor of the “CU, Cap and Balance” deficit reduction plan that was passed in the GOP-controlled House, walks through the Capitol to get an update from the Senate on debt negotiations. Sunday in Washington, DC BY DAVID ESPO Associated Press WASHINGTON, DC. — Racing the clock to avoid a government default, President Barack Obama and Republican congressional leaders closed in Sunday night on a compromise to permit vital U.S. borrowing by the Treasury in exchange for more than $2 trillion in long-term spending cuts. But no votes seemed likely in cither house of Congress until today at the earliest, just one day before the deadline to raise the federal debt limit and enable the government to keep paying its bills Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell said the two sides were " really, really dose” to a (teal after months of partisan lighting And as evening neared, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid issued a statement saying he had signed oil on a pending agreement, subject to approval by the Democratic rank and file. But that was met by conspicuous silence from the White House, McConnell and House Speaker John Boehner, No deal had been struck, Boettner’n aides said, though they arranged a Sunday night conference call to bring other House Republicans up to date on the talks. Privately, otficials said a final sticking point concerned possible cuts rn the nation’s defense budget in the next two years. Republicans wanted less. Democrats pressed for more in an attempt to shield domestic accounts from greater reductions. As contemplated in talks that McC onnell and Vice President Joe Biden were negotiating, the federal debt limn would rise in two stages by at least $2.2 trillion, enough to tide the Treasury over until after the 2012 elections. Big cuts in government spending would be phased in over a decade. Thousands of programs - the Park Service, Labor Department and housing among them - could be trimmed to levels last seen years ago. No Social Security or Medicare benefits would be cut, but the programs could be scoured for other savings. Taxes would be unlikely to rise Any agreement would have to be passed by the Democratic-controlled Senate and Republican-controlled House before going to the White House for Obama’s signature. With precious little time remaining, both houses were on standby throughout the day, and Speaker John Boehner was in his office. SEE DEBT 12A ;