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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - August 23, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina Are fireflies fadin from the Carolinas? IN THE NEWS AP PHOTO Memorial honoring King opens to public in Washington, D.C. Visitors got their first up-close look Monday at the memorial to the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., including a towering granite sculpture inspired by the civil rights leader’s “I Have a Dream” speech. SEE NATIONAL NEWS 9A Obama says ‘rule is over’ for Libya’s Gadhafi President Barack Obama said Monday that Libyan strongman Moammar Gadhafi’s “rule is over" although elements of his regime continue to resist rebels who have taken control of much of the capital. AP PHOTO SEE INTERNATIONAL NEWS 10A PHOTO BY VICTORIA SHIRLEY “Barking Tree Frog" by Victoria Shirley won first place in the youth photography category. Birds & Butterflies amateur photo contest winners named The winners for the Birds & Butterflies 2011 Amateur Photograph Contest have been announced, and it was all the buzz among the store’s customers Monday. SEE LOCAL NEWS 3ALOCAL POLL Which of these is your favorite category of news online? ^ x ^ B Opinions - letters politics and latkBack ■ tfrtertammeni local events arts and music ■ Sciences - health technology and energy I Other ‘Taken from an online poll as of 5 p m. Monday Visit www aikenstandard com to vote rn today's poll AREA DEATHS Betty A. Pearce, North Augusta Betty Ender Stepler, Aiken Calvin Joshua “CJ” Brown, Aiken Daniel Jean Pellarin, Aiken Estate Keen, New Ellenton Joan Murphy Larlee, Aiken Michael Todd Siegler, Aiken SEE DEATHS AND FUNERALS, 6A INSIDE Classifieds Horoscopes 5C Markets............ 4B 5B Movie Listings, • 50 40 Sports.............. TV Listings...... 1B 30 ?C 40 Weather.......... 60 “Back when I was a kid, I had a BY AMY BANTON [email protected] Fireflies are part of many fond summer memories, but the illuminating hug seems to he fading around South Carolina. “Back \shen I was a kid, I allays had a jar full,” said Bill Hayes with the Aiken Master Gardeners Association. These days, he’s lucky to see even one cm a local golf course in the evenings. he added. Hayes said the Master Gardeners have receivedalways had a    £££?-£ jar full."    where the Breme* •    have gone. Hayes said if there is a decrease in the population, ii could he due to various chemicals used in gardens and yards or it could be the recent hot temperatures that Aiken, along with the rest of the state, has been experiencing. On Twitter, a question was posted to Alkermes asking it they ’ve seen fewer fireflies this summer. “Never have seen them from where I live im the Southside,” said resident Angie Drake in her response. “Saw them (Mice driving through Edgefield at twilight, but not here.” Aiken Master Gardeners Association What is happening to the fireflies? For more information about the firefly watch study, visit public/rec/baruch/tirefly„program. html. Another resident. Chm Morales, responded, “Way less, I miss them.” Currently, Dr. Alex Chow and Dr. Juang-Homg Chong of Clemson University are working on a study to either confirm or disprove that the firefly population in South Carolina is declining. This long-term study looks at the impact of urban development and changes in forestry practices around the state. This year, they conducted a field survey at five different sites in I lobcaw Barony in Georgetown County during the las! weekend of May. Those sites included natural forests, managed forests and residential areas where resident scientists collected soil samples and counted the fireflies they saw at night. An online surv ey was also available for residents around the state to submit firefly counts from their homes during that weekend. Around IOO people responded, and Chow said they are still going through the data collected. SEF FIREFLIES, 14A AP PHOTO IRENE’S PATH: This image provided by NOAA acquired Monday shows hurricane Irene about 55 miles west northwest of San Juan Puerto Rico. According to the National Hurricane Center, Irene has maximum sustained winds of IOO mph, moving west northwest at 14 mph.Hurricane Irene may hit coast BY HALEY HUGHES [email protected] com Hurricane Irene, the Atlantic’s first hurricane of the season, appears to be headed toward the South Carolina coastline. It coul’d hit Charleston Saturday morning, according to National Weather Serv ice forecaster Dave Schutrum, but really, at this point it is so early in the game that Irene could go anywhere If Irene does hit Charleston, it will he the first hurricane to do so in sev en years. “Right now is still real iffy,” he said. “We’re just starting to get wound up.” Already the hurricane cut a destructive path through the Caribbean on Monday, bringing with it strong winds and rain that tore up trees and knocked out power to more than I million people, according to die Associated Press. SEE IRENE 14AMan faces weapons and drug charges BY KAREN DAILY [email protected] An Aiken man who was away from his 11 coley Drive home earlier this summer when SWAT deputies and narcotics officers raided bis residence and found guns and drugs was arrested ov er the weekend. Danny Bush Jr., 23, is charged with or delivery, purchase of a con- , trolled substance and manufacturing possesMon of drugs Bush    In    June,    Aiken County Sher iff’s (Mike deputies arrested several indiv iduals during a roundup in several paris of the county. Aiken County Sheriffs Office deputies SEE ARREST 14A Q&A on Aiken County’s property tax reassessment BY HALEY HUGHES [email protected]$tandard com Are you confused by Aiken County's property tax reassessment? You aren’t the only one. Questions still abound about the process: Bcvn lldered taxpayers want to know how assessors determined their property’s fair market v alae and, perhaps more importantly, why the value increased in a perceived down maikei. It is not an easy matter to figure out, but the Aiken Storuktni has done its best toWANT TO GO? WHAT? Public hearing on reassessment WHEN? Aug. 30 at 6:30 p.m. WHERE? Aiken Electric Co-op answer some frequently-asked questions. Q: What is fair market value? A: The price, stated as an opinion by the assessor, that the property w ould sell for on the open market. The last time Aiken County determined your property’s fair market value was during the prev urns reassessment in 2005-06. Q: What is taxable/capped value? A: The v alue placed on a home for the purposes of determining property taxes. In South Carolina, the term "taxable” or "capped value” essentially did not exist until 2006, according to Assessor Rick Jantzen. That is when property tax law changed, and any increase in a property s v alue w as SEE Q&A 5A use INSIDE TODAY: Florida AG says Casey Anthony must serve probation. SONGWRITERS Come Home Saturday, September IO 7:30 pm, Etherredge Center As part of DSC Aiken's 50th anniversary celebrations, alumni and friends will present an unplugged concert, featuring famous songwriters Archie Jordan, Mike Stewart, Stewart Harris, and Jim McBride. Concert to be followed by dancing to the musk of Palmetto Groove in the theme of Aiken's “Teen Town.' Tickets -$40 each. For more information: Etherredge Center Box Office at J8Q3) 641 3305 For more information on other 50th anniversary events, visit 34009*0000 *<"v ;