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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - August 12, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina FRIDAY, AUGUST 12,2011 VOL. 145, NO. 224 « 500SRS lab aids in cleanup of Japan plant BY ANNA DOLIANITIS [email protected] ll Among the support received by Japan from the global community in the aftermath Of the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power plant disaster in March were contributions from the Savannah River Site’s Environ-* Rental Bioassay Laboratory to determine the radiological impact on Japan’s environment. Ii The BBL, which responds to both domestic and interpatumal disasters, became involved in the recovery effort in mid-April bid contributed a team of about 40 workers 6t various times to receive and test samples . from Japan so the Japanese government could decide how to proceed. [ The team analyzed soil samples from farmland surrounding the Fukushima reactors, as well as air monitoring samples from areas like the U.S. Embassy and American military bases to determine personnel exposure hazards, identify the nuclear power plant radiological source term and plume deposition and assist the government in determining what the impact was on the environment and agriculture. * The samples were collected by the Japanese government and shipped to SRS. The EBL was chosen as one of four laboratories nationally to perform the sample analyses because of its expertise in rapid analytical methods for radiological contam!- * nants in en\ ironmental samples, allow ing the radiological impacts on personnel and a me environment to be determined, according to a Department of Energy press release. “This is not something new that the (EHL) did just for Japan that they don’t normally do. This is their routine work,” said SRNS spokesperson Barbara Smoak. SEE SRS 16AIN THE NEWS GOP candidates go after Obama and each other I • Minnesota rivals Tim Pawlenty and Michele * Bachmann sparred bitterly Thursday night " during an eight-candidate Republican debate, trying to break out of the GGP presidential pack ahead of an Iowa test vote with huge consequences. Each seeks to b^ome the. main challenger to Republican front-runner Mitt Romney. SEE POLITICAL NEWS, 9A How will the S&P downgrade affect the economy? ■ More disaster 71% ■ No effect 12% _ ■ The economy is about to be on the rebound 11% H ‘Taken from an online poll as of 5 p.m Thursday. Visit www to vote in today's (Mil. AREA DEATHS Aaron E. Coston, Aiken Neomia Morris Blackwell, Aiken SEE DEATHS AND FUNERALS BA Calendar............ SC Movie Listings... 50 Classifieds......... ID Opinions............. rn Crossword............. 40 Sports................. 1B Comics................... 30 World News....... 14A Horoscopes.......... 40 TV Listings......... ?C living On The Go.. 10 Weather............. BC East Aiken, South Aiken teachers greet students 641-3000® ToU Free 866-851-3000Local vet’s reflections highlighted on website BY SUZANNE R. STONE [email protected] BY ROB NOVIT [email protected] Male teachers at the elementary school level remain relatively uncommon, even in the 21st century. But for Vernon Williams and Michael Truitt, elementary school is the place to be. Both spent several years at Busbee E lementary School in Wagener before moving to I ast Aiken Elementary School of the Arts this week. They were warmly greeting their new fourth-grade students during registration SEE SCHOOL 16A STAFF PHOTO •YHOO NOVIT MEETING THIS YEAR S TEACHERS: Fourth-grade teachers Michael Truitt, left, and Vernon Williams meet new student Brandi Butler and her mother Lori during registration at East Aiken Elementary School of the ArtsWANTA    ?SIGN UP AT DEALS.AIKENSAWYSHOPPER.COM. ONE WINNER WW BE NOTIFIED VIA EMAIL    UNTIL    AUG.    22. Don Skinner's Air Force memories are a current highlight of the military social media site Skinner of Aiken has been a member at for two years and has been updating his user profile’s “Reflections” section throughout that time _ as he recalled incidents and Skinner    details of his more than 20 years of sen ice in the U.S. Air Force. Near the end of July, he was notified that his “Reflections” section had been chosen by the site administrators to be featured in the site’s “Monthly Voices” section. Skinner entered the Air Force in 1949 as a private and ended his senice as a chief master sergeant E-9, the highest rank available to an enlisted man. He specialized in radar maintenance throughout his military career. “When I started out, it was tight beam auto track radar. What we did in Korea was ground-directed bombing. We’d lock onto a target, direct it to a point in the sky where we wanted it and tell them when to release,” he said. “Then in Vietnam, we had about the third or fourth generation of the bombs and radars we’d used in Korea, and we used those for directed bombing. We controlled all the B-52s and close force strikes with our radars." Skinner also serv ed in Germany, Texas, Louisiana, Florida, the U.SVC'anada border and in Aiken. “I had graduated from high school when I was 16, and I went into construction work and became a journeyman carpenter. I decided that wasn’t going to be for mc, ami I needed some education which I couldn’t afford and some experience which I couldn't afford,” he said. "So I looked around and decided the Air Force SEE REFLECTIONS 16A SUBMITTED PHOTO MARRED MARKERS: These plaques from a veterans park in Burnettown were found vandalized after a tip from detectives in Wayne County, Ga.3 charged, I sought for vet marker theft BY KAREN DAILY [email protected] cm A tip from a Wayne County, Ga., detectiv e has led to the arrest of a group of individuals connected to the theft of more than 30 memorial plaques from a local veterans' park and the attempted sale of the items at a south Georgia recycling center, while one suspect is still being sought for his role in the theft. The theft and destruction of the plaques is estimated at more than $10,500. The markers were insured. Police are looking for Hubert L. Chastain, 26, of Bath. Local law enforcement officers have obtained a warrant for his arrest for obliterating, vandalizing or desecrating graves or human burial grounds. Chelsea Marie Watson, Chastain 19, of Bath, Austin Kidd, 23, of Folkston, Ga., and Ronald Watson, 43, of Folkston, were arrested by the Wayne County Sheriffs Office SEE THEFT 16A ;