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View Sample Pages : Aiken Standard, February 24, 2011

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - February 24, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina Second phase of SRNS layoffs begins By ANNA DOLIANITIS Staff writer Savannah River Nuclear Solutions has entered the second phase of its 1,400 employee workforce reduction plan, notifying affected employees of layoffs, according to SRNS spokesperson Will Callicott. Callicott sad that he could not give an exact number of employees who will receive news of a layoff this week, but said that a num-  ber will be Flowers    released after all of the affected employees have been notified of their employment status. The layoffs are part of a plan announced in late October, planning to eliminate 1,400 jobs by late summer. A letter from SRNS president and CEO Garry Flowers said in an e-mail to all SRNS employees in December that this week’s phase of the layoffs will likely affect 600 to 700 employees. In December, 328 employees participated in a voluntary separation phase of the process, choosing to leave their positions voluntarily and accept one week of severance pay for each year of service, up to 26 weeks. The final phase of the layoffs will take place in August. Meetings with those who have lost their jobs are scheduled during the week of March 13, Callicott said, to discuss benefits and a variety of other pertinent topics, and then a transition center will open, Callicott said. Part of the purpose of the transition center is to help match the employees’ skills with potential employers who might have relevant openings, Callicott said. The transition center will be located on the second floor of 237 Park Ave. in Aiken. Contact Anna Dolianitis at adolianitisfa-aikenstamkird. com Thursday February 24.2011 Vol. 145, No. 55YiMir Lornl Source* Since* l<S(> Warm weather brings pollen, allergies By AMY BANTON Staff writer While many Aiken County residents are cheering on the springlike weather, some allergy sufferers can only manage an “ACHCX)!” As Aiken experiences warmer temperatures, the pesky yellow dust that is pollen has begun to float around the area, and some residents are starting to feel it assault their sinuses. Dr. Anthony Hams, a local otolaryngologist (ear, nose and throat doctor) and allergy specialist said he has seen an increase in patient visits in the last several days. Hams keeps a careful eye on the pollen counts m Charlotte, Atlanta and Greenville to gain a perspective of Aiken's levels, as there is no pollen-counting station in the CSRA. He said the counts have been quite high, and though pollination has begun a bit sooner than expected, Harris has seen it start as early as January rn the past. “It’s all just a function of the weather,” Hams said, adding that usually when the temperatures hit the 7(te, pollen (puces the area w ith its presence. Dr. Neil Kao of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology owns the only certified pollen counting station in South Carolina, which is located in Greenville. He said warmer weather along w ith high winds have contributed to the recent pollen dusting in the area. At this moment, trees are the culprit as they are the earliest pollen producers of the season, said Kao. Cedars, junipers, elms and alders are currently or w ill soon be pollinating. Oaks will follow later in the season as the pollination of trees peak in April along with grass, which typically peaks in May. On Wednesday the pollen count w as considered “high" in Greenv die, as it was measured at 1,482 per cubic millimeter, but was on the edge of being “very high,” which is anything over 1,500 per cubic millimeter. Kao said it’s safe to say the levels in Aiken are similar as pollen can travel hundreds of miles. Kau suggested several ways to get through the pollen season if you suffer from allergies. Being aware of your environment, along with identifying any early allergy symptoms can possibly prevent or lessen the effects of pollen. Please see POLLEN, page 16A Today's Weather ** W , 82“ wsfBm 4r Staff photo by Anna Dolianitis 20-year-old Tevon Jackson appeared in General Sessions court this week to face charges for the 2008 murder of 21-year-old Marcus Finklin. Murder trial begins By ANNA DOLIANITIS Staff writer A 20-year-old Aiken man appeared at the Aiken County Courthouse Wednesday morning to face charges against him rn connection w ith the 2008 murder of 21-year-old Marcus Finklm. Tevon Jackson of 193 Dry Brmch Rd. in Aiken allegedly shot Finklin in the head and robbed him of money and cocaine in the early morning hours of June 4,2008, after nding in a car w ith him to complete a drug deal, according to witnesses for the prosecution who testified in coml Wednesday. Please see TRIAL, page 16A to toy mm Commerce report ► See what s happening with the Chamber of Commerce INSIDE TODAY Pacers win al home ► USC Aiken’s men s and women’s basketball teams topped visiting lander See the stones on 1B. Geraldine V. Hamilton, North Augusta Lila Blackwell Bums, Elizabethtown, N.C. Travis E. Cromer, Wagener Steven Jeffrey Smith, Aiken Louise Frederick Norris, Williston Ashley Pierre, Augusta Jesse Odell Baldwin Sr., Aiken Deaths and Funerals 16A toed ii-) Calendar 3C Classifieds SB Comics 4C Dear Abby __SC Horoscopes sc Markets 4B Movie Listings sc Obituaries 6A Opinions T5A _______JL______ Puzzles SC Sports IB TV Listings 2C Copper taken from area church By KAREN DAILY Staff writer One of the latest v tennis in a the recent string of copper and metal thefts in the area is a small Wire Road church. Magnolia Baptist Church Deacon C harles Morgan said the two heating and air condi-iinning units that sat outside the church were "gutted” Munch me Sunday afternoon or Monday morning Only the shells remain on the grey cement pads. 'They were destroyed,” he said. Each unit is valued around $8,000, and while the church is insured and the units will be replaced, that doesn’t make Morgan any less upset. “We have nothing to go on either. Hiere were no footprints or tire tracks - nothing,” he said. “They did a clean job, I guess. They came in with the tools, and zip, zip, zip, the panels are off.” The air conditioning was running during Sunday ser-v ices, but when he returned Monday afternoon to do what he called his "rounds,” he knew what happened. “They took everything,” he said. “The only thing left was the compressor. I guess they have a market for the interior pieces as well.” Capt. Troy Elwell, an Aiken County Sheriff's Office spokesperson, said there are a number of unscrupulous recyclers who immediately chip the metal up as it comes in - plausible deni-ability - but said there are a many others that are doing what they should. Recyclers do require ID and keep information, he said. In Georgia, where most of the metal stolen in Aiken is believed to be going, Elwell said, the law requires recyclers take ID. “Many do,” he said. Local law enforcement officers see the thefts in Educator Roberson still hospitalized Submitted photo Two air-conditioning units at Magnolia Baptist Church were stripped of copper and other sellable parts. spurts, and currently there is a definite uptick, said Elwell, Local businesses, homes and a number of area churches have been victimized. Although nothing has proven fool-proof, security experts suggest fencing in property and adding surveillance equipment if possible. Contact Karen Daily at kdaUy%atkensiandard com By ROB NOVIT Senior writer Dr. Frank Roberson, the Richmond County School District superintendent and a former longtime Aiken County educator, remains hospitalized in an Augusta hospital, Media outlets have reported a statement from a school district spokesman, who said there is no truth to initial information that Roberson had surgery after suffering an aneurysm. However, a peivm who spoke with a family member Wednesday said Roberson did have surgery tor a condition that was not specified. Roberson had taken the superintendent's position in Richmond County last summer. An Aiken County native, he spent about 27 years with the Aiken County School 6* Annual Augusta Home & Garden _ Show Starts Toinono^ ► February 25*27 gave I‘mot Take advantage of exclusive “Show Only” discounts it pricing. * la* wftn me Experts • Compafe Pnces and Get the Best Deal ■ Eliminate the Middleman- Buy Direct James Brown Arena pimp, 8WTc009B00001« Mutual , rj, u)a Paul James it* Host of Gardening by tim Yard Visit show to chaology, com for ama Info and a tlwourtf coupon find everything for your homo A garden all la one place! • The Latest treads rn Kitchen and Bam • Home improvement Ailey f eaturing Remodeling and Building Expects ■ Gardens, landscapes and Wain* Features Adults 17*  .....  M    OO Ages 14 16........  $3.00 13 & Under   Free 65 + $5.00* Al! Weekend Military $4.00* AH Weekend *Not ygiitQ with any Qts,et flNacoc*'it O' friday    2pm    -    7pm Saturday    10am    7 pm Sunday    Ham    5pm Rob*? von District. Dr. Bill Gallmwi, a retired Aiken County deputy superintendent, has known Roberson throughout his career. “I’m obviously very concerned about his health and wish him the best," Cullman said. “We were colleagues fix’ many, many years and worked close!) together in several different roles. Frank has always had the ability to monitor and modify curriculum, always researching fix new possibilities. My sense of what he was doing (in Richmond County) was that Please see BOE, page 16A Have fwd Se much ta see idol Pay Once-Come bach FREE All weekend long! ■ Complimentary Wine Tastings • Shop tattoo Drop in Our Art, Gift anc Gourmet Area > Interactive Kid Zone * Pet Zone *rm live f*t Adoptions ms (Comcast nemm'ShEsis mew 40 ) ;