Aiken Standard

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The Aiken Standard is the leading source for news in Aiken, South Carolina. You can visit our website for information on circulation and advertising, in addition to local/state/national/international news and photo galleries. Readers can also get access to our subscribed e-edition and our historical archives.

Teachers from six Aiken County elementary schools won SRR Students/Teachers Achieving Results (STAR) grants this year to...
06/02/2020
SRR awards STAR grants to Aiken County elementary school teachers

Teachers from six Aiken County elementary schools won SRR Students/Teachers Achieving Results (STAR) grants this year to provide funding for innovative approaches to teaching STEM areas.

Savannah River Remediation recently awarded educational grants to Aiken County elementary school teachers, helping to support Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) curriculum in their classrooms.

The state of Nevada and the federal government are within striking distance of settling a lawsuit concerning a half-metr...
06/02/2020
Nevada, federal government readying settlement for Savannah River plutonium lawsuit

The state of Nevada and the federal government are within striking distance of settling a lawsuit concerning a half-metric ton of defense plutonium shipped from the Savannah River Site to the Silver State sometime in 2018.

The state of Nevada and the federal government are within striking distance of settling a lawsuit concerning a half-metric ton of defense plutonium shipped from the Savannah River Site to

Mary Commons’ passion for helping others led to more than two decades of fundraising to benefit the students and employe...
06/02/2020
ATC Foundation director retires after more than 20 years of service

Mary Commons’ passion for helping others led to more than two decades of fundraising to benefit the students and employees of Aiken Technical College.

Commons retired May 29 as the ATC Foundation director, where her efforts positively impacted students and employees of the college.

Mary Commons’ passion for helping others led to more than two decades of fundraising to benefit the students and employees of Aiken Technical College.

The City of Aiken will hold a 4 p.m. press conference Wednesday to address the issues of injustice and inequality raised...
06/01/2020
City of Aiken, community leaders to address injustice, inequality in Wednesday press conference

The City of Aiken will hold a 4 p.m. press conference Wednesday to address the issues of injustice and inequality raised by the recent deaths of George Floyd and other African Americans.

In addition, the event will “show support of the message that has been communicated through peaceful protests around our city (this past weekend),” Aiken Mayor Rick Osbon said Monday afternoon.

The City of Aiken will hold a 4 p.m. press conference Wednesday to address the issues of injustice and inequality raised by the recent deaths of George Floyd and other

Members of the Aiken Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. helped distribute 240 boxes of food to local resi...
06/01/2020
Kappa Alpha Psi distributes food to community

Members of the Aiken Alumni Chapter of Kappa Alpha Psi Fraternity Inc. helped distribute 240 boxes of food to local residents as part of a community involvement project.

“Part of our service as a fraternity is giving back to the community,” said Hayward Barnwell with the fraternity.

Fresh fruit, vegetables, eggs and muffins were on the menu Saturday morning at Perry Memorial Park.

The current recommendation for reinvigorated plutonium pit production intimately involves two states, South Carolina and...
06/01/2020
Funding, authorizations the 'biggest' risks pit production faces, Defense official says

The current recommendation for reinvigorated plutonium pit production intimately involves two states, South Carolina and New Mexico, a divided Congress with lawmakers already jockeying for and against the venture, and a broad spectrum of local, vested opinions.

Proper funding and necessary authorizations represent the "biggest" hurdles the plutonium pit production endeavor must clear, a U.S. Department of Defense executive said last week, echoing sentiments other nuclear officials

Built prior to World War II, the old hospital is located on Richland Avenue West in Aiken.Previous deals to sell the 9.3...
06/01/2020
Aiken County Council set to hear third and final reading on ordinance to sell old hospital

Built prior to World War II, the old hospital is located on Richland Avenue West in Aiken.

Previous deals to sell the 9.33-acre property for $1.1 million to The Marian Group in Kentucky and then to a local entity, WTC Investments LLC, have fallen through.

An ordinance that would authorize the sale of the old Aiken County Hospital to 828 Richland Avenue Associates LLC is on the agenda for Aiken County Council’s meeting Tuesday.

"At UofSC Aiken we must be clear in our stand that hate, inequity and injustice will not be tolerated ... We stand with ...
06/01/2020
'Injustice will not be tolerated': USC Aiken releases statement after George Floyd's death

"At UofSC Aiken we must be clear in our stand that hate, inequity and injustice will not be tolerated ... We stand with the African American community and with all who are victims of racism and resulting inequities."

In a recent statement, USC Aiken has asked its students, faculty and staff to reflect on how they can take a stand against racial inequality, injustice and prejudice.

Nine additional people have tested positive for coronavirus in Aiken County, state health authorities said Monday.
06/01/2020
Nine new coronavirus confirmed in Aiken County

Nine additional people have tested positive for coronavirus in Aiken County, state health authorities said Monday.

Nine additional people have tested positive for coronavirus in Aiken County, state health authorities said Monday. Aiken County now has over 200 confirmed COVID-19 cases.

An Aiken man, already facing charges for buggery and possession of child pornography, has been charged in connection to ...
06/01/2020
Aiken man charged in September horse sexual assault case

An Aiken man, already facing charges for buggery and possession of child pornography, has been charged in connection to a sexual assault on a horse back in September.

An Aiken man, already facing charges for buggery and possession of child pornography, has been charged in connection to a sexual assault on a horse back in September.

A man is dead while another victim is injured following a deadly assault in Aiken Monday morning.
06/01/2020
One dead and one injured after early morning assault in Aiken

A man is dead while another victim is injured following a deadly assault in Aiken Monday morning.

A man is dead while another victim is injured following a deadly assault in Aiken Monday morning. Around 6:30 a.m., a 911 caller told dispatchers that while she and her

After crafting the bench from the cedar tree through a process that took over one year, the team proudly donated the ben...
06/01/2020
A tree with a story: Woodworkers club recycles dead cedar into bench

After crafting the bench from the cedar tree through a process that took over one year, the team proudly donated the bench to the Aiken Public Works employees on May 21 in honor of National Public Works Week and in recognition of the employee's ongoing sacrifices.

The stunning scenery is one of the many joys of living in Aiken. From the picturesque farms, to the beautiful neighborhoods, to the clean and welcoming parks, sometimes it feels

Eddie Burch, whose parents are Deana and Joseph Burch, is considering a career in the military – "at least for 20 years,...
06/01/2020
Jacket senior heading for West Point

Eddie Burch, whose parents are Deana and Joseph Burch, is considering a career in the military – "at least for 20 years," he said, acknowledging that both of his grandfathers served in the Army, so he is familiar with the concept as he prepares for four years at the U.S. Military Academy, in southeastern New York.

Uncle Sam is on track to play a tremendous role in Eddie Burch's near future, as the North Augusta High School senior has been appointed to West Point.

Residents of Jackson, New Ellenton and Beech Island decorated their vehicles and took part in a 30-minute salute at the ...
06/01/2020
Silver Bluff seniors celebrate end of school year at Carolina Dragway

Residents of Jackson, New Ellenton and Beech Island decorated their vehicles and took part in a 30-minute salute at the dragstrip, offering some joyful noise in honor of the seniors, whose final year in Petticoat Junction was radically altered by the national shutdown in response to the coronavirus.

JACKSON — Sunday afternoon's scenery at Carolina Dragway included blue skies and plenty of blue down below, with this year's corps of Silver Bluff High School seniors decked out in

Dressed in their graduation gowns, the students marched west on Park Avenue and turned north on Laurens Street to Barnwe...
05/31/2020
Class of 2020 parades through downtown Aiken to celebrate graduation

Dressed in their graduation gowns, the students marched west on Park Avenue and turned north on Laurens Street to Barnwell Avenue while Queen's “We Are the Champions” and other music the students chose provided the soundtrack along the route.

Hornets buzzed, Thoroughbreds raced, Panthers prowled and Crusaders marched through the streets of downtown Aiken on Sunday afternoon.

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 were reported in Aiken County on Sunday, according to a news release fro...
05/31/2020
DHEC reports two new COVID-19 cases in Aiken County

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 were reported in Aiken County on Sunday, according to a news release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

The total number of confirmed cases in the county is 197 with seven deaths.

Two new cases of the novel coronavirus COVID-19 were reported in Aiken County on Sunday, according to a news release from the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control.

"We have a committee that is made up of administrators, community members, teachers, parents … they had a considerable d...
05/31/2020
CBD products banned from schools due to unreliable testing, Aiken superintendent says

"We have a committee that is made up of administrators, community members, teachers, parents … they had a considerable discussion about CBD ... They recognize there are a lot of uses for it, but the issue that we have is generally with vaping."

The recent revisions made to the Student Code of Conduct for Aiken County's public schools includes a new item on the list of illicit substances: CBD oils and products.

Documents detailing the exact terms Council is voting on are not yet posted online, but the city has previously discusse...
05/31/2020
North Augusta City Council to vote on downtown Greeneway connector

Documents detailing the exact terms Council is voting on are not yet posted online, but the city has previously discussed doing a streetscape project via Bluff Avenue to bring the trail to downtown.

North Augusta City Council will be voting Monday on two resolutions related to the downtown Greeneway connector.

Ashley Brittain felt called to serve as a foster parent, a life she describes as a "roller coaster" of emotions but alwa...
05/31/2020
'They deserve to be loved': Foster care awareness highlighted in the month of May

Ashley Brittain felt called to serve as a foster parent, a life she describes as a "roller coaster" of emotions but always a wonderful adventure.

Her family, including her husband Jason and their two sons J.J. and Joey, has served as a foster family in the Aiken County area.

Ashley Brittain felt called to serve as a foster parent, a life she describes as a "roller coaster" of emotions but always a wonderful adventure.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Aiken County Public School District's office at 1000 Brookhaven Drive.The propos...
05/31/2020
Aiken County School Board to hold public input meeting on 2020-21 budget

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. at the Aiken County Public School District's office at 1000 Brookhaven Drive.

The proposed budget does not include a tax increase, according to the agenda. The school district has not had an increase in operating millage since the 2013-14 school year.

The Aiken County Board of Education will hold a special called meeting Tuesday to receive public input on the 2020-21 budget.

“My reason for going on the show really was, when I kind of saw it was a fresh take on dating and relationships and fami...
05/31/2020
North Augusta businessman competing on reality television show

“My reason for going on the show really was, when I kind of saw it was a fresh take on dating and relationships and family, clearly I want to have a family, and so I thought it was an opportunity to meet a great girl, and to have a really good experience around that."

Reality shows about finding love aren’t a new concept, but a new show with a familiar face involves starting a new romance as well as a family.

A residential rezoning request did not get a favorable recommendation from North Augusta Planning Commission during its ...
05/31/2020
North Augusta planners vote against rezoning request off Gregory Lake Road

A residential rezoning request did not get a favorable recommendation from North Augusta Planning Commission during its meeting May 21, with environmental issues, mass grading and road safety being mentioned as a few reasons.

A residential rezoning request did not get a favorable recommendation from North Augusta Planning Commission during its meeting Thursday, with environmental issues, mass grading and road safety being mentioned as

The Aiken Artist Guild Member Show annual exhibition will be on display through June 19 at the Aiken Center for the Arts...
05/31/2020
Aiken Artist Guild Member Show showcases local talent

The Aiken Artist Guild Member Show annual exhibition will be on display through June 19 at the Aiken Center for the Arts.

The show features 102 pieces of artwork by 59 local artists, according to a news release from the Center. For the safety of guests, artists and Arts Center employees, no opening reception is planned.

The Aiken Artist Guild Member Show annual exhibition will be on display through June 19 at the Aiken Center for the Arts.

Column: My story is fairly common: young boy collects cards, then puts them away when he gets his driver’s permit and be...
05/31/2020
Column: 'The Wax Pack' stirs fond baseball memories

Column: My story is fairly common: young boy collects cards, then puts them away when he gets his driver’s permit and becomes interested in other pursuits. When I got out of college in 1987, baseball cards were experiencing a Renaissance of sorts.

Ever pick up a book and have a hard time putting it down?

Primary elections in South Carolina are set for June 9, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.In Aiken County, specifical...
05/31/2020
Aiken County primary guide: Who's running, for what office, and why?

Primary elections in South Carolina are set for June 9, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

In Aiken County, specifically, there are several competitive Republican races – county, state and federal – but no Democratic ones.

Primary elections in South Carolina are set for June 9, with polls open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Editorial: With deaths from the coronavirus topping 100,000 in the U.S., George Floyd, Amy Cooper, China, executive orde...
05/31/2020
Editorial: Equity, not just empathy

Editorial: With deaths from the coronavirus topping 100,000 in the U.S., George Floyd, Amy Cooper, China, executive orders and looters, all on the heels of the Ahmaud Arbery shooting, on top of our unprecedented public health crisis, was maximum overload.

“In the end we will remember not the words of our enemies but the silence of our friends.” — Martin Luther King Jr.

When Stephen Poole Jr. talks about the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in saving lives, he speaks from exper...
05/31/2020
Stephen Poole Jr.: Spreading the word about importance of CPR

When Stephen Poole Jr. talks about the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in saving lives, he speaks from experience.

Late in 2016, he used CPR to help prevent the deaths of his wife, Mandy, and the youngest of their three children, Owen.

When Stephen Poole Jr. talks about the importance of cardiopulmonary resuscitation in saving lives, he’s not just parroting the words of a message being spread by the American Heart Association

Nike announced Saturday night that it is canceling the remainder of its Elite Youth Basketball League, including North A...
05/31/2020
Peach Jam canceled, Nike scraps EYBL amid pandemic

Nike announced Saturday night that it is canceling the remainder of its Elite Youth Basketball League, including North Augusta's Peach Jam.

"As we continue to navigate the evolving impact of COVID-19, we are cancelling the remainder of the 2020 EYBL season," read a statement posted to the Nike EYBL website.

Nike announced Saturday night that it is canceling the remainder of its Elite Youth Basketball League, including North Augusta's Peach Jam.

The crowd, a mix of races and ages, families with kids and moms with their babies in strollers, gathered at the Newberry...
05/31/2020
'No justice! No peace!': Peaceful protesters march in solidarity for George Floyd in downtown Aiken

The crowd, a mix of races and ages, families with kids and moms with their babies in strollers, gathered at the Newberry Street Festival Center at 3 p.m. to march in support of a message of racial equality following similar protests nationwide after George Floyd's death in Minneapolis.

Chanting “No Justice! No Peace!” in a call-and-response pattern, more than 50 demonstrators marched peacefully through downtown Aiken on Saturday afteroon to protest the death of George Floyd.

For almost 60 years, Leverett Shoes sold more than shoes. Founders Kenneth Leverett and his wife, Elva, also provided gr...
05/31/2020
Kenneth Leverett was known for providing 'great service'

For almost 60 years, Leverett Shoes sold more than shoes. Founders Kenneth Leverett and his wife, Elva, also provided great service to their customers.

Kenneth Leverett died May 22. He was 92.

For almost 60 years, Leverett Shoes sold more than shoes.

The program was met with the inquiries of over 350 business owners throughout Aiken, the majority of whom were only seek...
05/30/2020
City's small-business revolving loan program assisted hundreds throughout Aiken

The program was met with the inquiries of over 350 business owners throughout Aiken, the majority of whom were only seeking council about federal loans and other options as the coronavirus pandemic threatened their businesses in mid-March.

The City of Aiken's small-business revolving loan program came to an official end Friday, May 22, and issued $464,200 to businesses throughout its two-month run.

The roughly two-hour event – what was once the "Rally in The Alley," jointly hosted by the Aiken County Republican Party...
05/30/2020
'One of the reddest spots': GOP candidates make their case at Aiken virtual rally

The roughly two-hour event – what was once the "Rally in The Alley," jointly hosted by the Aiken County Republican Party and the Aiken Republican Club – featured more than a dozen candidates spread across more than a half-dozen primary contests: federal, state and county. Uncle Sam, played by Claude O'Donovan, emceed.

The depth of the Republican Party's bench in and around Aiken County was on full display Saturday, as candidate after candidate stood behind a festooned lectern at Newberry Hall and,

The total number of reported cases in the county is now 194. Saturday's numbers also included one case reported in Barnw...
05/30/2020
Three new cases of COVID-19 reported in Aiken County

The total number of reported cases in the county is now 194. Saturday's numbers also included one case reported in Barnwell County. Across the state, 266 news cases were reported, bringing the state's total to 11,394, according to DHEC.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Saturday three new cases of the novel coronavirus in Aiken County.

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Hello! I reside here in Aiken and I wanted to reach out to you about the Black Lives Matter Movement currently going on. Several of us, here in Aiken and a few surrounding counties, have come together in a group page on Facebook called "BLM Aiken Movement". Our goal is to continue to peacefully protest the issue until some big changes are made, some laws are rewritten for the safety of the everyone, especially the black community, and how we can continue to all come closer together as a whole overall. We created the group so everyone from different races and places can be reached and also voice our ideas and opinions. Tomorrow we are having our first initial meet and greet back at Odell Weeks here in Aiken, we will be creating signs, giving ideas on graphic tshirts, throwing out all positive ideas to continue our peaceful protests and movement, introduce and hear testimonies, stories or prayers, and making fliers for our upcoming protest on Saturday to spread the word. We would really appreciate someone covering our first meeting (as well as the protest Saturday) to put the word out there. Now is time that we need to come together more then ever, all communities. We hope to see you there. Thank you for your consideration and we hope to see you tomorrow evening! Sincerely, -BLM Movement.
Summer's here, and Aiken's City of Aiken Parks, Recreation and Tourism is easing into reopening the City's recreational facilities. Read more about it below!
AUGUSTA & AIKEN - HERE WE COME!!! The Falcon RV Squadron (based at Falcon Field in Peachtree City, GA) will continue its mission of creating giant “Hearts of Hope” in the skies over Augusta/Aiken hospitals this Saturday, May 16th, starting at approximately 11:30am in the Augusta area. The group will also honor the nearby Aiken Regional Medical Center Hospital complex at 11:40am. Afterwards, the aircraft will land at Augusta Aviation at Daniel Field around 12:15pm for refueling and lunch. At that time, the pilots will be available for a "meet & greet" session and to answer questions. Our all-volunteer group of pilots will fly a large formation of 12 experimental aircraft over five major Augusta hospitals at an altitude of 9,500 feet and leave several giant white hearts overhead as a symbol of appreciation and hope. CSRA Area Hospitals Planned Augusta University University Hospital Charlie Norwood VA medical center Doctor’s Hospital (northwest) Fort Gordon Eisenhower Medical Center Aiken Regional Many of the pilots are former military veterans and airline pilots. The aerobatic aircraft we fly are known as “RV’s” named after the original aircraft designer (Richard Van Grunsven). For more information about these homebuilt aircraft, click here: https://www.vansaircraft.com/ The hearts are dedicated to healthcare professionals, first responders, and all essential services personnel in your area who have unselfishly stepped in to keep us all safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. The heart symbolizes two messages: First, when viewed from us above, it shows our appreciation for you! Second, when viewed from below, is a reminder that hope, and love will conquer fear and uncertainty in the days ahead as we return to our normal lives. The pilots had been practicing to perform in the Atlanta Airshow that was to be held May 16th-17th. The airshow was canceled as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. The pilots then decided to put their flying skills to use by spreading a message of hope to cities throughout Georgia. One of the members (Randy Sage) designed the giant heart routine and the group practiced for weeks in order to perfect it. The name “Hearts of Hope” was suggested by another pilot (Dean Marvin). --Each heart is almost a mile wide and nearly 2 miles long --White smoke is created by injecting an environmentally safe fluid into the airplane’s hot engine exhaust. The resulting smoke trail can last up to five minutes, depending on weather conditions. So far, we’ve taken our skywriting message to approximately 30 hospitals throughout Georgia and have been overwhelmed by the enthusiastic response from the communities we’ve flown over. Our mission of spreading “Hearts of Hope” continues… The following is the most recent list of web links that will help you follow our progress... Debbie McFarland's Nice Article About Why We Do This... https://www.daisyhillstudio.com/?fbc...eroes---pilots TV Coverage of the Practice Flight: https://www.fox5atlanta.com/news/atl...essage-of-hope Atlanta Radio Station FM 96.1 Live Video Coverage From the Ground FUN!: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-3PDFnqfWy0&t=28s Video From Inside Our Planes and Overhead Atlanta https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E_RT...ature=youtu.be Pictures from our 15-airplane flight over Thomaston and Griffin hospitals.... https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-XJ27ZP/ Photos from 18-ship Albany & Columbus Dual Hearts https://www.smugmug.com/gallery/n-nVhwv2 Albany coverage: https://wfxl.com/news/local/flight-squadron-displays-hearts-of-hope-over-phoebe-putney Columbus LIVE coverage ... excellent https://www.wrbl.com/top-stories/atlanta-falcon-rv-squadron-to-put-heartfelt-message-in-the-columbus-sky-over-piedmont-columbus-regional-midtown-campus/ LaGrange Wellstar Hospital Live coverage on Facebook... Video of LaGrange Heart of Hope Flyover: https://youtu.be/-3PDFnqfWy0 and a few more photos.... LaGrange Heart Album. The Falcon RV Squadron would like to thank you for your support of our mission. We also would like to graciously thank Pot Smokers BBQ and Augusta Aviation at Daniel Field for their accommodations. To schedule a preflight radio/phone/video interview or post flight interview at Augusta Aviation at Daniel Field, please contact: Monica Benjamin at 706-589-9883. Thank you for your support, Falcon RV Squadron Pilots KFFC - Peachtree City, GA
Online paper is still May 5 !!
National Day of Prayer May 7, 2020 6:45 pm - University Parkway COG
Would'nt it be nice if the headline read "Stay Home" If you must go out for necessities, please don't take your children: please wear a mask and take precautions to wash your hands and clothes when you get home!! Take this threat seriously and keep Aiken SAFE.
Coming to a city near you. Resist and Remove!
Please investigate warning systems for Aiken county. I know lots of people that would be dead right now if that tornado had been just 15 miles north. We had no warning at all. Not even emergency alerts on our phones.
For all of those who think the controls are about a virus.
Can you investigate, how all of our Nursing Homes, Assistant Living Facilities are doing and how many cases of Corona we have there. We do not hear a word out of Trinity, Cumberland, Benton House, Shadow Oaks....etc