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TO THE SOBER OR SLAMMER CAMPAIGN: State and local law enforcement are looking to crack down on drunken driving by teaming up as part of the annual Sober or Slammer campaign. Alcohol-related crashes are still one of the top cause of fatalities in our state, and through collaboration, law enforcement can work to reduce those deaths. Officers from police agencies, including Aiken, New Ellenton and Salley, as well as the Aiken County Sheriff’s Office, the State Transport Police and the S.C. Highway Patrol, are working together more closely to ensure our roads are safer as the summer comes to an end. We commend their efforts and encourage drivers to respond cordially to officers at checkpoints.


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TO CONSTRUCTION AT NORTH AUGUSTA HIGH SCHOOL GOING OVER BUDGET: Extra classrooms planned for construction at North Augusta High School may force the Aiken County School Board to go $1.9 million over budget based on estimates from the architectural firm working on the project. While the upgrades are aimed at reducing overcrowding and alleviating the need for mobile units, we hope the costs come closer to the original budget such as with the new Aiken High science and business building.


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TO NEW LAW PROTECTING POLICE DOGS IN BITING CASES: A new state law gives police K-9 units more legal protection if they bite a suspect, even in Aiken County, where police dogs are not trained to bite. The measure beefs up the state’s liability statue for dog bites that allowed criminal suspects to “almost certainly” collect a settlement if a police dog bit them, the bill’s sponsor Senate Judiciary Chairman Larry Martin told the Associated Press last month. While the new law doesn’t give law enforcement complete immunity, according to the S.C. Sheriff’s Association, it at least provides them more of a defense.


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TO MORE HOTELS ON WHISKEY ROAD: Construction may soon begin for the addition of two new hotels on Whiskey Road. The road is already littered with hotels – add too many more and it will look like a mini-Vegas strip. While a greater number of hotels allows for more visitors to see Aiken, there’s a point where it’s just too much. We hope development on the Southside soon shies away from more motels and hotels and focuses on businesses that all residents of Aiken can enjoy.