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Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - June 14, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina Local man wins $1 million with scratch-off lotto ticket | 3A .....v    ’    -    i    -    jmm Staft photo by Rob Novrt Edgefield Street resident Siva Aiken created this cheeky protest to opponents of a proposed School Board plan to raise taxes in 2011-12, including a painting representing tax-increase opponent Jane Page Thompson. mm Aiken Standard lite photo Residents who contacted Rep. Tom Young about the signs believe they are unattractive and do not fit with the feel of the historic district.DOT will take down two signs By AMY BANTON Staff writer Residents in the City of Aiken can say goodbye to some of the big, yellow traffic signs that had suddenly popped up in the downtown area. City Manager Richard Pearce announced Monday night at the City Council meeting that he received notification Thursday from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCOOT) that the signs will be removed from two of the nine downtown intersections that Rep. Tom Young suggested to be reviewed. Signs located in front of the Chamber of Commerce on Richland Avenue eastbound and tm Whiskey Road about 2S yards south of South Boundary will be taken down, Pearce said. The decision came afret a rev lew by SCDOT that was sparked by a request made by Young and a meeting with City officials that occurred in late May. “We’ve been getting some great support from Rep. Tom Young,” Councilman Did Dewar said. “He’s just taken the bull by the horns.** Dewar also said it’s always been easy to work with SCOOT*! professional stall, bul the signs appearing without really notifying the C ity and its residents was a bit bothersome. Pearce said SCOOT will continue reviewing the signage. As for several “Do Not linter” signs placed near the courthouse on Park Av enuc, Pearce said they have been told they were authorized by the < frangcburg SCOOT office, and the City is following up im that issue. The large, yellow traffic signs w ith the image of a stoplight along with the road name or intersection symbol, were erected as part of a statew ide safety improvement project. The signs* purpose is to alert drivers of PIMM see SIGNS, page 13A Angela Simmons, Aiken Ethel D. Wilson, Aiken Hazel Benson, Clearwater James A. Guyton, Aiken Jerome "Jerry" George Lex, Aiken Richard E. Stallings, Jackson Shirley La sister Alexander, Aiken Leonard L By nem, Wagener Mild Calendar 5C Classifieds 5B Comics IC Dear Abby 4C Horoscopes 4C Markets 4B Movie Listings SC Obituaries 6A Opinions ISA Puzzles 4C TV Listings 2C <.009«00001*'>* Vol. 145, No. 165Tuesday, June 14, 2011 www.aikenstandard.comHomeowner takes artistic stand in favor of school tax increase Drop in gas prices provides relief for local consumers By ROB NOVIT Senior writer Siva Aiken readily acknowledges she marches to the beat of a different chum. She wanted to take a stand in support of the Aiken County Board of lulucation’s proposed lax increases for operations and facilities including a small pay raise for teachers. So she utilized her artistic talents to cheekily depict images of political actu ist Jane Page Thompson and We The People founder Debbie Nix - both ol them actively urging School Board members to reject the lax hikes, just as they successfully opposed the School Board’s construction bond referendum in 2010. After hearing about it Munday, Nix and Thompson went to the must’s property im I dgetield Avenue to look at the creations There’s a large rendering of a Tyrannosaurus rex, which Aiken said represents J “the power of education,” as well as likenesses of Page and Nix with short quotes related to the tax increases “Siva is very artistic,” Nix said. “She put this in a square-foot garden, and it's great. She obv lously has a different opinion, but it’s great she’s out there letting the world know what she thinks. Everybody should drive by to take a look.” Thompson said she and Nix laughed “It s very'foolish not to    * support teachers. We have    *. to sustain the integrity’ of ; the school system. I live • on an incredibly limited ; budget, but I feel I can * afford $36."    :Siva Aiken    ; artist : about Aiken’s artistic efforts. Thompson said she welcomes people becoming engaged in the budget process. However, shes not flappy with the quote, “Why should you (the School Board) give raises to teachers, the same teachers that have not taught our students.” I ha! comment at a hoard meeting was taken out of context in the Aiken SiatuJani, thompson said. But she isn’t hacking down from her belief that teachers should not get raises when many community residents are not recciv mg them. Please see ART, page 13A Staft photo by Rob Novrt This painting by Siva Aiken, a proponent of the Aiken County School Board's proposed tax increase, is intended to depict Debbie Nix, who is leading a group of residents opposed to the tax increase for operations and facility needs. Staff photo by Haley Hughes A gallon of regular unleaded gas was $3.23 at this Greg's Gas Plus on Monday. By HALEY HUGHES Staff writer Arca gas prices have dropped roughly 50 cents in the past month, providing some relief at the pump, and analysts said the trend could continue in Aiken ami nationwide. Oil fell Monday to the lowest since May 17, due to a drop in Greece’s credit rating and concerns over Europe’s economic recovery, weak gasoline demand, faltering consumer confidence and jobs data. Reports that Saudi Arabia would boost oil production to IO million barrels per day pushed prices lower Ute last week, according to The Associated Press. Crude prices are now hovering around $100 per barrel. Saudi Arabia’s move to increase production is reportedly based on concern the high oil ami gas prices are slow mg the worldwide eco- MAN ON THE STREET What is the cheapest and most expensive price you have paid for a gallon of gas? lL, TI * •rn I /4K Lr “The cheapest 32 “The cheapest: tents. The most $2. The most expensive $4,65. expensive: We live in Illinois, $3.65.' and they really - Willie Brannon burn us.* - Clarence Im “The cheapen SI SO The most expensive $3.99 * - Steve Schad The cheapest tents. Now, $3.1 per aolbn is fyj col for me. I ho to do the medic grade" - Sandra Raym More “Man on the Street" interviews on gas prices. 113A nomte recovery. The increase is meant to ease supply concerns, according to The Associated Press. The lowest price per gallon in Aiken Monday was $3.23, according to GasBuddy.coro. The state average is $3.42, 30 cents less than it was one month ago but nearly $ I more than this time last year. While tlx; downward trend Please see GAS, page 13A ;