Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 21, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
February 21,2011Vol. 145, No. 52 —-= www.aikenstandard.com
I f- 73°
Full forecast 18C
Blowing the whistle
on criminal coaches
Rec group careful about keeping kids safe while playing
By HALEY HUGHES
All that the stall members of the Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department know when receiving a netrlkaiurn about a completed background check is whether the individual met or did not meet credentlaling standards set
forth by the National Recreation and Park Association.
Depart men! Director Brad Barnes and staff are not privy to what criminal offense(s) appeared on the person’s record. They have al) of the information they need to know.
"We don’t get into the business of know ’fig people’s business,’’ said PRI Assistant Director Emory
Please see CHECKS, page 9A
Some facts on background checks
• Aiken County Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department (PRD has conducted national criminal offense background checks on volunteers since April 2009. Prior to mat time, the department used the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division database to conduct state background checks only.
• PRT contracts with Southeastern Security Consultants mc. (SSCI) to complete the checks.
• SSO*s background check cover all 50 states, 600 million records and the national se* offender registry, as well.
• a background check is mn on all coaches, instructors and volunteers on a yearly oasis for ail internal programs like soccer and baseball
The national comma! offense screening costs $18. Currently, the County pays $8 from registration fees and volunteers pay $10.
- The Aiken County Recreation Commission has recommended that the County cover me full cost
• Since April 2009,74 checks have been completed. Three were flagged for criminal offenses.
• The background checks must comply with the standards established by the National Recreation and Park Association (NRPAj.
• NRPA’s criteria covers ail se* offenses and felony violence offenses regardless of the amount of time since the offense; ail othe* felony offenses within the pest IO years; all misdemeanor violence offenses within seven years; all misdemeanor drug yid alcohol offenses wftftn Ave years; and other misdemeanors within five years that would be considered a potential danger to children.
S.C. House proposal opens door to new way of business
By ROB NOVIT
Just over a month into her first term, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley is getting high marks from S.C. Rep. Roland Smith. R-Warren-ville.
What started as a routine local legislation proposal from Smith could have a major impact on how the General Assembly conducts business.
“Nikki has taken a dif-Smith ferent approach in working
with the legislature, ’ Smith said on Sunday. “She’s always helpful, not just with me. but with everybody cm both sides of the aisle.’’
Smith became concerned when the Clearwater Water and Sewer District bookkeeper Christy Coleman was also elected as a district commissioner, thus holding dual positions. Although the state has statutes regarding "masier-ser\ .ait” conflicts in government. Smith was told by the S.C. Slate Ethics Commission that the ethics law didn’t apply to special purpose districts.
So Smith, chairman of the Aiken County legislative delegation, did what lawmakers have done for years. He introduced a local legislative measure that would prevent such scenarios within his House district. On such bills, only local delegation members typically take part in the voting process.
Smith acknowledged that state law prohibits local legislation for anything other than school issues, but the General Assembly has not enforced it.
“It was routine when I did it, and it could have passed both bodier” said Smith.
Then Haley vetoed the legislation and summoned the Aiken lawmaker to meet w ith her.
The governor said the problem was not PIMM Me STATE HOUSE, page 9A
Annette P. Yon, Salley Charles R.E. “Gene" Rapp,
Eula Lee Smith Gunter Wood, Aiken
Lyle Edwards, New Ellenton Janie Mae Boyd, Windsor Wesley Johnson, Warrenville Hattie Pore, Aiken L Karf Dernetz, Aiken
Deaths and Funerals 16A
Community rallies behind cleanup
■ mu ■ min,.!, — 9
By AMY BANTON
When the Aiken Standard called upon residents to participate in a cleanup effort of die Carolina Bay Natural Reserv e, many came out to show their support.
In fact, the response from the community was overwhelming.
Dozens of residents of all ages took tune to help Aiken Standard stall members pick up trash around the Carolina Bay, responding to several articles about the Utter problem that suggested a cleanup Sunday afternoon. Those residents helped Publisher Scott Hunter, Managing Editor Michael Gibbons and. myself collect garbage that was scattered around the natural reserve. Aiken C ity Manager Richard Pearce and Parks, Recreation and Tourism Director Glenn Parker also grabbed some gloves and orange trash bags to help rid the area of garbageMere from the cleanup
* For video and pictures of the clean-up, visit http:// twttter.com/ AmyLBanton.
• For suggestions regard mg the continuation (A keeping the Carolina Bay litter-free or if you know of any other WMS that are in need of a cleanup, contact Amy Batton at abantonifeik-ensifruidard.com or editorial# aikenstandsKd.com.
Aiken County Watershed Alliance co-chair Krista Brown prov ided refreshments aking with information about watersheds and wetlands during the cleanup.
Lindy Duckett was one of the many residents who look time from her Sunday to assist in the effort. She said she takes frequent walks around the bay, and, lately,
PIMM see LITTER, page 9A
Staff photo by Amy Barton
Girl Scouts Erin Drake, Mina Krohn-Vernon and Caroline Miller hold up a bucket of bottles they collected while deaning up the bay Sunday.