This Year--Talk of the Town - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

12/26/02

This Year--Talk of the Town

The toy that got a child suspended. The toy that got a child suspended.
Inger Bostick Inger Bostick
Gina Diggins and Sylvia Pitts Gina Diggins and Sylvia Pitts
Gary Udinsky Gary Udinsky
Jay Space Jay Space

In August, it was GI Joe toy guns everyone was talking about. On the second day of his school career, a White Bluff Elementary kindergartener was suspended for five days for bringing what the principal called violent toys into the classroom, violating the zero tolerance policy. His parents called WTOC irate and asking for help, saying the situation was ridiculous.

To put in perspective the size of these toy guns, the image here show they are really no bigger than a quarter. When people saw the size of the guns, it became the talk of the town. The school couldn't comment on the suspension because of state law, but the same day this story aired the child's suspension was lifted.


Inger Bostick's twisted hairstyle got the Chatham County Courthouse tangled in controversy back in July. Bostick, a 13-year-employee, was told fix her hair according to a new policy or find another job.

"I was told this past Monday to leave work and I could return once I change my hairstyle," she said. "It's twisted, a flat twist that lays flat on my head."

This twist got international attention, and the same day Bostick did an interview with Connie Chung, the courthouse sent a news release saying "twists are allowed as long as they are maintained and neat." Bostick no longer works at the courthouse, but she is a Chatham County employee.


And they were off: Gina Diggins and Sylvia Pitts, two soccer moms from Hilton Head, were trying to beat the clock in CBS's Amazing Race.

"Fear no man, but be terrified of the soccer mom. That's us," they said.

But unfortunately, Gina and Sylvia didn't scare too many people. At the beginning of October, they were eliminated in the first episode. Now they are back to scoring goals in their daily amazing race.


In the beginning, it was just "The Heritage." But when corporate America starting playing the game, it became the Worldcom Classic: the Heritage of Golf.

When the company hid billions of dollars in losses and got caught up in a major scandal, the Heritage Foundation dropped them as a title sponsor. Now Hilton Head Island is a major sponsor of what will simply be called the Heritage.


After months of heated debates and hours upon hours of closed-door meetings, the saga of Chatham Chief Appraiser Gary Udinsky came to an end this year.

"The man draws in $81,000 a year, and he's not supposed to make mistakes," said Larry Lower of the Board of Assessors.

Udinsky resigned from the Board of Assessors in November, getting more than $180,000 from the county in severance pay and unused sick and vacation pay.

"I hope we start moving forward in a positive way with the tax assessor's office," said Commissioner Dean Kicklighter of the story's end.


That's not the only embattled county employee. Former Effingham County Sheriff Jay Space has been fighting a battle with multiple sclerosis. In June he was suspended for evaluation of his job performance, in July he was arrested for violation of prescription drug laws, and later that month he ultimately went to court and pleaded guilty to one charge, and resigned as sheriff.

"It's a tragedy to Effingham County and Jay and his family," said Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie.

Formerly deputy sheriff, McDuffie took over in the interim and was officially elected sheriff in November.

Join us as we count down the 11 biggest stories of the year on Saturday, December 28, at 9pm on WOTC-TV.

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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