Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - January 4, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
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Vol. 145, No. 4'N on r Local Source Since I <S(>7 ;S=S==; ww\a/.aikenstandard.com--------
500Two N.A. men die in Sunday night wreck
By PHYLLIS BRITT and BILL BENGTSON
North Augusta bureau
Gregory Lake Road was the scene of two traffic fatalities late Sunday night as two young North Augusta men lost their lives when their vehicle left the roadway and trav eled through a stand of trees, coming to rest several hundred feet from the first point of impact.
Ryan Craven, 26, of Gregory Lake Road, and Ryan Tyler McNeal, 23, of White-bark Avenue, were traveling east on Gregory Lake Road around 11:40 p.m. when their 2OO2 Lexus crossed the roadway onto the left shoulder, hit a tree and overturned as it moved through the woods.
Both men were ejected Irom the vehicle, according to
S.C. Highway Patrol spokesman Lt. Scot Edgeworth.
Edgeworth and Edgefield County Coroner Thurmond Burnett confirmed that both Craven and McNeal were pronounced dead at the scene.
Neither Craven nor McNeal were wearing a seat belt, according to authorities.
It was not immediately apparent who was driving the vehicle, and toxicology is pending, according to police.
On Monday afternoon.
several of their acquaintances around the CSRA shared memories of the two longtime friends.
“They were just two guys that would do anything for you. They'd give you the shirt off their back. They were just fun-loving guys,” said Richard Bush, a Richmond Academy teacher whose background also includes teaching at North Augusta Middle School.
Joe Underwood, a teacher at Paul Knox Middle School, recalled Craven as an eighth* grader at North Augusta Middle School (where Underwood taught at the time), describing hun as "a happy go-lucky young man at that period in his life.”
Please see DEATHS, page 5A
Photo courtesy of EdgefieldDaily com Ryan Craven, 26, and Ryan Tyler McNeal, 23, died in a wreck late Sunday night.
By ROB NOVIT
When 20-somethings Matthew Rutfner, Jack Jenkins and Sally Ann McKinsey attended Chi litmus Eve and Sunday services with their families at First Presbyterian Church, they reflected on past memories of youth group activ tues and missions and all the wonderful pastors and church members they have known.
More than most, perhaps, those experiences have had a profound effect on all three.
Kuftner, 27, completed Columbia Theological Seminary in Atlanta last year ami is now working there. Jenkins, 24, is midway through his second year at Harvard Divinity School, while McKmsey, 22, is in her first year at Columbia.
“It’s amazing to come hack here and walk down the hallway of this church,” said Jenkins, the son of John and Sally Jenkins “It’s where I’ve gone with my family and where people here have had such on impact. There is such an overwhelming feeling of support and how that support has empowered us.”
What’s so intriguing is how the three seis of parents frequently crisscrossed into the lives of all three children. Ham and Tim McKinsey served as youth advisers, while John Jenkins taught Sunday school. Rutfner’n folks, Gayle and John Gordon, also volunteered as youth adv isers, and John Gordon saved as Jack Jenkins cov -cnant partner.
Ruttier was heavily involved at South
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Aiken High School, including sports, yearbook and the arts. But church was especially important to him and, while at Presbyterian C ollegc, he found himself drawn to it. That crystallized during a study-abroad trip to England.
“What made me feel most alive were the political and religious conversations,” Rufiner said. “It was both liberating and scary and was much like waking up and finding that things are different.”
Jenkins also attended Presbyterian and he, too, found direction during study-abroad trips. He encountered Muslim and Buddliist students and enjoyed the dialogues w ith them.
“You get a chance to articulate your faith in representing Presbyterians and
C hristianity,” Jenkins said. "It made it grow deeper as I began to understand the weight and power of my faith.”
lire first time McKmsey began to think about seminary was during a youth retreat in Pittsburgh. The two-week program pro-v idcd teenagers a chance to act as seminary students, and McKinsey discovered she lov ed study ing theology in that atmosphere.
Yet she deliberately chose to study art at Furman University, where there would be some silence from the voices encouraging her to pursue seminary training. During college. McKmsey eventually moved toward liturgical art, creating communion and baptismal vessels.
Please see CHURCH, page SA
By ANNA DOLIANITIS
A district court judge granted a motion for summary judgment for seven of 2) causes of action outlined in a civil lawsuit by a former Aiken County Councilman against members ©I the Aiken County Sheriff*s Office.
The judge's order in the lawsuit filed by William Russ Ferrara of Aiken, who is seeking $20 million for 2006 charges that were es carnally dropped, means that the lawsuit can proceed with the remaining causes of action.
Ferrara was arrested on allegations that he solicited sex in exchange for rent from a female tenant and made unwelcome sexual advances toward the woman.
He was charged w uh assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature, solicitation of prostitution, disseminating obscenities and indecent exposure,
Ferrara was placed on house arrest with electronic monitoring for 27 months, at his own expense, live charges were later dismissed.
Ferrara subsequently filed the civil suit against Aiken County Sheri lf Michael Hunt and Deputy Charles Cain, as well as former Second Judicial C ircuit Solicitor Barbara Morgan and Assistant Solicitor Brenda Brisbin, saying that the charges were malicious, unlaw lui and conspiratorial. Morgan and Brisbin hav e since been dismissed from the lawsuit.
Ferrara dismissed two causes of action specifically aimed a1 Morgan and Brisbin, bringing the total to 19.
District Judge Richard Mark (iergel granted tile defendants’ motion for summary judgment on seven claims on Dec. 29,
Please see FERRARA, page SA
araataaaiiB Controlled burns will begin in Hitchcock Woods
Paul Eugene Edel, Aiken Paul Heniford Lewis, Aiken Robert K. Smith,
John L "Johnny" Parsons,
Beech IslandDeaths and funerals 16A
By AMY BANTON
A prescribed bum will be conducted in Hitchcock Woods in the coming weeks, so if residents in the surrounding area smell or see smoke, do not be alarmed.
Hie annual cold weather prescribed bum has been implemented by the Hitchcock Woods Foundation for around 23 years, said Woods Superintendent Bennett Tucker
The bums have always been carefully monitored and are always a success, Tucker said.
Tucker said this is a commonly accepted forest management tool. He said that when most people think of the combination of forests and fire, they are startled by the idea, but prescribed bums have ecological advantages.
They are also closely monitored by officials who have fire-fighting expertise and are certified prescribed fire managers.
Three reasons surround the purpose behind a prescribed hum, according to Tucker.
• The first reason is to reduce the hazard of w ildfires in Hitchcock Woods. A prescribed fire gets rid of "f uel” or accumulated leaves, grasses, pine needles, brush and fallen trees that would make accidental fires more intense and harder to control.
• The burning of the forest floor also initiates the natural proem of breaking down organic matter into soil nutrients, which are carried by the rain, providing a more fertile seedbed. Seedlings then grow at a faster rate, as there is less competition arui more sunlight. The part of those plants sticking out of the ground during the w inter are burned, later sprouting from the leftover root, coming back very lush, Tucker said.
• Lastly, the prescribed bum assists with wildlife habitation, according to Tucker. With the plants coming back with more lushness, animal habitats are enhanced, and the
The easy passing of this horse and rider, just 20 feet from the fire line, demonstrates the low intensity of a prescribed, controlled burn in Cathedral Aisle.
quantity of forage tor wildlife increases.
Around 600 of the 2,100 acres in the forest that the foundation manages have been identified for burning.
Tucker said that some sections of the woods are burned more often than others.
Cleared trails in Hitchcock Woods will be used as control
lines in the s ections of the fores! that will receive prescribed bums.
“it’s kind of like painting a picture, but you are using the trails as firebreaks,” Tucker said. “It’s as much of an art than it is a science. ’
Tucker added that they will minimize the smoke coming from the prescribed bum by
mopping up heavy logs or smoldering trunks. The term mopping means that officials use a brush truck they borrow from Aiken Public Safety to put out the tires.
When the prescribed burning begins w ill be determined by the weather.
Contact Amy Bunton at abantonCa aikenstamiani com
SHARING THE WORD Judge moves
foward with Ferrara suit
■ Three local young people who share growing up together in the Presbyterian Church pursue seminary studies.
Staff photo by Rob Nova
Matthew Ruffner, from left Sally Ann McKinsey and Jack Jenkins grew up in the First Presbyterian Church and have completed or are attending seminary schools.