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View Sample Pages : Aiken Standard, January 06, 2011

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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - January 6, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina BOEHNER ELECTED HOUSE SPEAKER • SA Thursday January 6,2011 Vol. 145, No. 6Today's Weather ..    High« \ , se- < ‘    k Lowegip* 27° Full forecast 16CYour Lo (‘al Source Si net* I S (> y    5001 •—    i    im    mmm— Sanford bids farewell ■ As a part of his farewell tour of the state, Gov. Mark Sanford visited the Aiken Standard to discuss time in office, future plans. Staff photo by Rob Novit Philip Howell was formally sworn in as the Aiken Branch NAACP's first white president Tuesday night. Also pictured is Louisiana Sanders, the new first vice president. NAACP chapter installs its first I white president Staff photo by Rob Novit A relaxed Gov. Mark Sanford visits Aiken Wednesday as part of a three-day tour around the state before he leaves office next week. the incoming governor to do it. This is just a blueprint." (her the last eight years, Sanford repeatedly clashed with legislators, including those of his own Republican Party. Hut he’s proud “that we stayed true to taxpayers, challenging practices like bobtailing and bringing structural changes to the 1)V1 V (I )epartn»ent of Motor Vehicles) and the Employment Security Commission.” Ucst spr ing the C ieiwral Assembly upheld more of his budget vetoes than ever before, and he’s proud of that too. In June 2009 Sanford disappeared for five days and later admitted he was in Argentina to pursue an altair with a woman there. That relationship and its hcavily-publici/ed after-math cost him his marriage and much credibility, both statewide and nationally ~ He doesn't talk about that anymore, hut Sanford did say his biggest disappointments in office, "outside the obvious," were his inability to get some reform measures across the finish line and the unwillingness of legislators to oppose federal stimulus funds. Still, the governor expects the Budget and ( ontrol Hoard to get some needed restructuring during the upcoming session. Lawmakers’ time this year will be taken up mostly with the budget, he said. The stimulus money will run out rn June, and the legislature must deal with a shortfall of at least of SWX) million. Sanford pointed out that he, too, faced revenue prwoiiuts w hen he took office in 2002. "We’ve got slightly different circumstances now,” he said, "There’s now a constituency tor financial discipline and reforms. The Tea Party phenomenon is much bigger than people realize. It’s good news that ifs there now, but a number of senators and I louse members are concerned about being outllanked by the nght.’ Another difference, said Sanford, is the 24-hour news cycle and the blogs that give anyone who wants it an instant voice on the Internet Please see SANFORD, page 10A By ROB NOVIT Senior writer When Philip Howell was installed as the Aiken Branch NAACP president by his good friend. Nelson Rivers Jr.. Tuesday, he downplayed that he is the first w hite person to head the organization, "I lust want to make the NAACP in Aiken County an even more important part of this county’s life," Howell said in an interv iew Wednesday. Ile has been involved in the Aiken Branch for about two decades, having served most recently as first v ice president under former president Bren-dolyn Jenkins. Howell was the second \ ice president lor another former president, the Rev, Dav id Walker. "Ibis is historic for the branch and the state." Walker said. "Philip is one of us. He knows the association, knows the policies and the missions and believes iii those missions. I le’s going to do an excellent job and will get the support of the branch.’’ Some Aiken Branch members Iud tiled an election challenge over a procedural decision that Jenkins was not placed on the ballot. The issue went lo a committee with the national NA At I* office. Ihc committee confirmed tlut Jenkins "could not be on die ballot because lier membership dues were not submitted in a timely manner,” said James < iallman, an Aiken Brunch officer and burner state NAAC P president. Please see NAACP, page TOA By ROB NOVIT Senior writer Clad in jeans, a sweater and a pull-over jacket, S.C. (iov. Mark Sanlord laughed a lot during a stop iii Aiken Wednesday appearing relaxed and v ery much the part of a public official who will leave government next week aller two terms in the Gov emor’s Mansion and six years in Congress from 1994-2000. During a visit with Aiken Standard editors, Sanlord put off a anxious aide concerned about his next appointment, saying "five more minutes” dunng (HK appearance by the staffer and th n "I guess we’ll he late" during the next. Sanford beg;at a farewell tour around the tate Tuesday, also releasing that day his proposed budget of 55.4 billion for the 20 ll S.C General Assembly session that begins next week. The proposal includes some extensive cuts, including a five percent salary cut for all state workers except teachers. I Ie has drawn some criticism for producing the budget, with one consultant telling lh. State that it puts incoming Gov.-elcct Nikki Haley in a tough position, I laley has said she doesn’t have time or the resources to produce a full budge! proposal and told the Associated Rress that legislators would routinely toss Sanfind’s budgets rn the trash. Howev er, Sanford said Wednesday he is obligated to prov ide a budget document. I Its predecessor, Jim I lodges, "fuid a budget few mc when I stepped in. it’s a constitutional mandate, and you don’t back away. We did all the budget hearings, and it's fair for -ii) Barbara S. Bradshaw, Augusta Ryan Jameson Craven, North Augusta Malcolm Norwood Dailey, Aiken Ronald T. Davis, Harlem, Ga. Josephine E. P. DeMasi, Aiken Barbara Fields, Gloverville Donnie E. Musselwhite, Aiken Martha Turner Palmer, Summerville Douglas C. Pressnell, New Ellenton Lance Smith, Monetta Deaths and Funerals 16-7A Six years later, Graniteville still recovering Calendar 5C Classifieds 4B Crossword 4C Comics 3C Dear Abby 4C Horoscopes 4C Markets 3B Movie Listings SC Obituaries 6 7A Opinions 9A Puzzles 4C Sports IB TV Listings 2C 3C009,,00QQ 1*Hv By KAREN DAILY Staff writer Recalling the Graniteville tram derailment that six years ago today claimed nine lives and displaced more than 5,000 residents conjures up eerie images of a community aw ukened by a disaster in the early hours of Jan. 6, 2005, and questions about the community’s future. The town’s fire chief, Phil Napier, reflected on the morning and recalled the crash as a tragedy that the residents in the mill town still struggle to overcome. "And, it’s the first time (January 6) will fail on a Thursday since," he said. About 2:40 a.m., a 42-car, three-engine Norfolk Southern train crashed into a parked two-car, one-engine Norfolk Southern train, causing the deadly chlorine spill. Napier said he looks at the now vacant mills and aging water system and wonders, "What if?" "People have tried to get over it, but you just look around ami see the constant reminders - the empty mills - and wonder whether or not the derailment caused it to happen,” he said. The f uture of Graniteville is in question, he added. "After the tram derailed, we had a left of involvement from politicians, and we have some working tm our water system, upgrades, but as far as the community as a whole, it seems like the town is forgotten," he said. In the days and weeks following the collision, Graniteville gamed national attention. Stale and federal officials made fly-overs as the toxic chemicals blanketed the many homes, churches and schools below and polluted the waterways and destroyed v cgetation. Even attempts to clean up the environment have been controversial, Napier said. As the result of an EPA lawsuit, Norfolk Southern was penalized almost $4 million in March because of violations of the Clean Water Act that resulted from the spill. The EPA states that $100,000 of the sum went to planting vegetation along the banks of Horse Creek to decrease erosion and sedimentation, assisting in the improvement of water quality in thai stream. Another portion of the money was set aside to restock fish in Langley Pond. The remainder went to the federal Oil Spill Liability Trust Fund. Napier expressed frustration over the allocation of the funds and what he said was the lack of input the EPA received from the community. On the Hip side, Napier said the community that lived through the tragedy has banded together. "We have growth in the outlying areas, but the community here is the same population,” he said. The incident has changed life in Graniteville forever, he added. For local law enforcement, the crash also impacted the policies and procedures they had in place on the day of the tragedy. Aiken County Sherif) Michael Hunt said an agency always prepares for disaster but added that they learned a tremendous amount from the incident and the response. Numerous safety changes to the rail system have also resulted nationwide. Still, for those present six years ago, Napier said there s a feeling of uncertainty. He said he still talks with some of those w ho lost family members in the derailment and encourages residents throughout Aiken to remember those who lost their lives that day. The Graniteville Community Coalition, in conjunction with the GVW Investment Corporation and Bethlehem Missionary Baptist Church, will hold its annual service Saturday at 3 p.m. at the church, 271 Bethlehem Circle. Contact Karen Daily at kdailyiw/Jikemtandard com Staff photo by Karen Daily Six years after the train derailment in Graniteville claimed nine lives and displaced more than 5,000 residents, a memorial stands in the center of town to remind residents of the tragedy that unfolded Jan. 6,2005. ;