Aiken Standard (Newspaper) - May 11, 2011, Aiken, South Carolina
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Vol. 145, No. 131
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500AHS band banned from graduation
By ROB NOVIT
The Aiken High School band won’t participate in graduation this year in order to prov ide more space for parents and other family members.
“It’s only because of the
number of graduates,” Deputy Supenntendent David C aver said Tuesday. “They are taking up space where more chairs could go.”
Two years ago, high school graduation ceremonies were moved to the DSC Aiken Convocation Center. That allowed the district to prov ide
IO tickets each for students at the larger schools instead of six.
But Aiken High will have more than 300 graduates, and “it’s always crowded when the band is there,” Caver said. Without the band present, more bleachers can be pulled out, he said.
The Silv er Bluff and Midland Valley bands can perform at commencement, because they have far fewer seniors, he said. South Aiken High and North Augusta High are the size of Aiken High, but their bands have not participated in the ceremonies. Neither have the much small
er Wagener-Salley and Ridge Spnng-Monetta schools.
A band parent, who asked not to be identified, said he learned of the situation through a newspaper "Talk-Back.” He said he was disappointed for the band students.
“It’s kind of like an honor to get more awareness for
the program,” he said. "The kids work hard and do a good
It’s an unfortunate situation, said Aiken Superintendent Dr. Beth Hveritt. But given the choice, the parents should have the additional seating prov ided for them, she said.
Record number of students Young: Take graduate from Aiken Tech down big signs
By ROB NOVIT ,
Aiken Technical College graduated a record 632 students in two commencement ceremonies Tuesday.
ATC went to tw o programs last year in order to accommodate families and friends. President Dr. Susan Winsor said. Health sci Winsor cnee students
w ere recognized in the afternoon, and those in technical and general education were honored Tuesday night “We now have 3.200 students in a high-quality program.” said Winsor. “Our progress has been a team effort of dedicated faculty and staff. Students are on the cutting edge of merging teclmol-ogies. With our partnerships ... our graduates are well prepared for ev er-changing needs of the global workforce.'''
Stall aw ards of the year went to Charles Welch, faculty; Athena Freeman, administrator of the year, and Candy Herndon, support start.
The guest speaker was Dr" lnes Triay, U.S. Department of Energy assistant secretary for em ironmental management.
“Students are on the cutting edge of merging technologies. With our partnerships ... our graduates are well prepared for ever-changing needs of the global workforc e. ”Dr. Susan Winsor,
Aiken Technical College president
She urged students to find their v ision and work options. They should form a picture of what they will be doing IO to 30 years from now and what they can accomplish for themselves, their tamihes and their communities.
She was a small child when her parents left communist Cuba They valued freedom, education and their (amities and found the opportunity in America.
“We are blessed in this country,” Tnay said. ‘ The American people welcomed me, a Hispanic girl who got to study math and science and
Staff photo by Roto Nova Judy Wright is getting a surgical technology diploma at Aiken Technical College after an earlier career as a technical writer.
Aiken Technical College graduation lists. I SA, 8A
obtain a Ph.D.”
For many of the graduates, their march to the cap and
gown stemmed from a long journey.
Judy Wright, a surgical technology diploma graduate. is among them.
She had spent 17 years as a technical writer I or a software company. At the time the job market fell about eight years ago, her aging and ailing par
ents in Aiken needed her.
Wright sold ev erything and mov ed to Aiken, Later, her adult son Jonathan also left behind his work in Texas to help her.
Both parents had Alzheimer’s, and Wright’s mother went into an assisted bv mg facility. Hospice starters would v isit her dal at home,
Please see ATC. page 12A
Rep. Tom Young has sent SCDOT a letter requesting that the signs at nine spots downtown be removed.
By HALEY HUGHES
Criticism of several large, yellow road signs in the his-toric district has prompted a lineal legislator to ask that they be removed.
District 81 Rep. Tom Young has sent the South Carolina IX'partment of Transportation (SCIX)T) a letter requesting that the signs at nine spots downtown be removed after receiv ing “many” calls from constituents who believe they do not compliment the aesthetic character of the area "With the help of a constituent, I made a list of signs in the historic district. I contacted DOT with that list and requested they take those signs down. Young said.
C aria C loud, executive director of the Aiken Downtown Development Association, said she will soon be j drafting a similar letter.
“Our board requested it.
Staff photo by Matey Hughes Those who have contacted Young about the signs believe they are unattractive and do not fit with the feel of the historic district.
Find out what other residents
think about the signs 114A
Part of our mission is the beautification ol downtown and we feel like the signs don’t fit into that," she said.
The considerable road signs are meant to alert motorists to an upcoming intersection, trartk signal or street so dial they may take the necessary safety precautions on approach, acci>rding to SC DOT ( ommissioner I ddie Adams, w ho represents the third congressional district.
fhese improvements, which can also include new pavement markings such as stop bars, are aimed at reducing the statew ide crash rate by 5 percent annually , according
Please see SIGNS, page UA
Public meeting addresses MOX facility concerns
• un_aiJ^ %ae^
James "Jim" Alden Runkle,
Margaret Bell Hardy,
Mary Ellen H. Moreland,
Deaths and Funerals
By ANNA DOLIANITI8
The Nuclear Regulatory Commission held a public meeting in Aiken Tuesday lo discuss the Safety Evaluation Report published in December for the $4.8 billion MOX facility currently under construction at the Savannah River Site, which found no items needing to be addressed before the facility’s license can be issued.
Even so, NRC representa
tives said Tuesday, a license will not be granted to the contractor, Shaw Areva MOX Serv ices, for the Mixed Oxide Fuel Fabrication Facility until the structure’s construction verification is completed, which may not be until 2016, said Dave Tiktinsky, NRC project manager “The NRC start concludes, in this safety evaluation report, that the applicant's descriptions, specifications, commitments, and analyse-) prov ide an adequate basis for
safety and safeguards of facility operations and that operation of the facility does not pose an undue risk to worker and public health and safety, the report read.
Inspections in v arious areas of the facility - including chemical processes, nuclear critical safety and quality assurance and management measures - found that the facility ’s proposed plans are adequate and acceptable.
Tom Clements of the cm ironmental organiza
tion Friends of the Earth said that, because of budget concerns, there has been discussion about halting the MOX project before the roof is put on. Clements asked, if this were to happen and the partially completed facility w as exposed to weather conditions, w hat role would the NRC would play?
Tiktinsky said that, if this happened, the NRC would continue to inspect the facility continuously as well as upon completion before licensing
(derm C anoli of Nuclear Watch South also spoke and addressed concern ov cr the frequency with which nuclear accidents have occuned.
A representative from the SRS Community Reuse Organization asked ii the information provided should mean to the community that the facility is safe, and she was told that, at this time, all NRC requirements have been met
Please see MOX, pege 12A
Monday - Friday 9-5:30; Saturday 9-5; Sunday Closed • 1796 Whiskey Road, Aiken, S C. • 648-4903