Wal-Mart Greeter Debunks ‘Merry Christmas’ Rumor


(AP) – A Greenwood clergyman says he was stunned to hear the rumor that the Wal-Mart greeter in that town was fired for wishing customers a “Merry Christmas.”

That’s because the Reverend Aaron Walker is the greeter and he still has a job.

The story that a greeter had been fired for saying “Merry Christmas” has passed through the Greenwood area in the past few weeks in e-mails, prayer lists and by residents.

How the rumor started, nobody knows.

But it’s been fueled by the recent nationwide media buzz over whether references to Christmas are being taken away.

Some people got so angry after hearing the story, they threatened to return merchandise.

But co-Manager Kevin Roten says nobody’s ever been fired from his store for saying Merry Christmas.

Why Are Boats Being Cited At Lake Thurmond?

Boats Being Cited At Lake Thurmond

Some boaters in Columbia County are concerned. In recent weeks, their boats have been cited for breaking rules they didn’t know existed.

Every day, boater Bruce Disher comes to boat ramp number two at Lake Thurmond to drop his pontoon in the water and take off.

But it hasn’t always been this way.

“Right beside this blue boat, where I’ve been parking for probably the last eight years,” Disher said.

That’s when he received a citation. And he’s not alone. Other boaters on the lake have been warned as well and they’re not happy.

“It’s kind of hard a lot of time by myself. No one’s around there to help me with it,” said Renee Hicks, boater.

Representatives from the Army Corps of Engineers say it’s their policy not to comment on legal action on camera, but in statements, they did shed some light on why the boats were cited and what could happen next.

Corps spokesperson Jeanne Hodge said anyone who leaves a boat unattended on the shore for more than 24 hours is violating federal law.
She said the Corps has tried for years and made every effort to contact the boaters involved… without success. The next step could include impounding the boats.

Hodge and Thurmond Operations Project Manager Ken Dial say the illegal parking is a safety concern, but they could not specify how. They both say they would consider doing more to educate boaters.

But these boaters might not be around that long.

“We pay a lot of taxes up here not to be able to utilize this lake. It doesn’t make any sense. Why live here if you can’t use it?” Disher said.

Patients still support doctor despite federal indictment

Patients still support doctor despite

STOCKBRIDGE, Ga. (AP) _ Patients of a doctor who’s been accused of using a chemical found in pesticides and weed killer to treat people say they still support him.

An 87-count federal indictment accuses Doctor Totada R. Shanthaveerappa of health care fraud and money laundering.

But Shanthaveerappa, a native of India who is also known as T.R. Shantha, continued seeing patients yesterday, one day after being indicted.

Nancy Hoffman delivered a tray of Christmas cookies to Shanthaveerappa and said he saved her life. Others said Shanthaveerappa gave them hope after other cancer
treatments were exhausted.

Yaro Garcia and her mother, Isabell Santos, came to the Stockbridge clinic from Naples, Florida, to get help for Santos’ brain and breast cancer.

Federal prosecutors say Shanthaveerappa treated cancer patients with dinitrophenol — or D-N-P — a weed killer and insecticide chemical; Ukrain; and hyperbaric oxygen therapy.