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Around The State

Aug 30, 2010

McMaster: New 'I Believe' license plates are legal

COLUMBIA (AP) — South Carolina drivers might be able to buy a license plate with the words “I Believe” and three crosses, despite a federal judge’s ruling against a previous attempt to make similar tags. Nine months after a federal judge barred the state from making legislatively approved plates with the religious message, Attorney General […]

Aug 30, 2010

Columbia lawyer pleads guilty to conspiracy charges

COLUMBIA (AP) — A South Carolina tax attorney has pleaded guilty to conspiracy involving mail fraud and money laundering. The State newspaper reported 63-year-old John Fitzgerald O’Connor Jr. of Columbia pleaded guilty in federal court Aug. 24. O’Connor faces up to five years in prison and $250,000 in fines when he is sentenced later. Prosecutors […]

Aug 23, 2010

Cameras still used to nab I-95 speeders

RIDGELAND (AP) — You may not want to smile, but if you’re speeding along a stretch of Interstate 95 in southern South Carolina you may be on camera. The Beaufort Gazette reports the town of Ridgeland is still using automated cameras to catch speeders, despite a state law that says tickets based only on photographic […]

Aug 23, 2010

Lawyer: Mom accused of killing sons remorseful

ORANGEBURG (AP) — The mother accused of suffocating her two young sons and trying to cover it up by staging an accident says she is remorseful and has been speaking with the family minister, her attorney said Aug. 18. “She’s tearful, as anybody would be under these circumstances,” defense attorney Carl B. Grant said after […]

Aug 23, 2010

Officials discuss merging prisons, parole department

COLUMBIA (AP) — Lawmakers are considering merging the agencies that operate South Carolina’s prisons and the probation and parole functions. The Post and Courier of Charleston reported there are estimates the state could save $6 million by combining the Department of Corrections and the Probation, Parole and Pardon Services Department. A legislative committee plans to […]

Aug 16, 2010

Prosecutors want statewide jury in Lee County sheriff case

COLUMBIA (AP) — Prosecutors making a drug conspiracy case against a former South Carolina sheriff want a statewide jury to hear the trial. Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore said in court documents filed Thursday that a centralized jury is the only way to ensure a fair trial for former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin. Moore […]

Aug 16, 2010

2 men in SC sentenced for selling fake ID cards

COLUMBIA (AP) — The owner of a Hispanic convenience store and an illegal immigrant have been sentenced to federal prison for their roles in making and selling fake identification cards in South Carolina. The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Friday that owner and permanent resident Fermin Gonzalez-Mendoza was sentenced to 21 months in prison. […]

Aug 16, 2010

Deal reached in 2007 payday lending lawsuit

COLUMBIA (AP) — Lawyers suing payday lenders on behalf of South Carolina customers have reached a $2.5 million settlement with more than a dozen companies. The State newspaper of Columbia reports Friday that hundreds of thousands customers who took out high-interest payday loans between 2004 and 2009 could get up to $100. The original complainants […]

Aug 16, 2010

Family of Myrtle Beach sunbather run over by truck sues

MYRTLE BEACH (AP) — The family of a South Carolina man severely injured when a beach-service truck ran over him as he sunbathed has sued the company and the city of Myrtle Beach. The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports Thursday that the brother of 34-year-old Erik Rabon has sued over the May 14 accident […]

Aug 9, 2010

Documents: 20,000 birds died in SC cockfighting

COLUMBIA (AP) — Federal court documents show more than 20,000 roosters fought to the death at a South Carolina cockfighting ring over the past 18 years, a Columbia newspaper reported last week. “Every single bird in this case was treated with nothing short of extraordinary cruelty,” federal prosecutors wrote in the documents that surfaced during […]

Aug 9, 2010

SC defense contractor pays $1 million to resolve dispute

COLUMBIA (AP) — A South Carolina defense contractor has agreed to pay the U.S. government more than $1 million to resolve fraud allegations related to a contract with the Defense Department. U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Aug. 4 that the Defense Department paid nearly $435,000 to Columbia-based FN Manufacturing LLC to mentor minority-owned companies. But […]

Aug 9, 2010

New, more secure SC driver's license coming

COLUMBIA (AP) — South Carolina will begin issuing a more secure driver’s license this fall. The State newspaper reported that Department of Motor Vehicles director Marcia Adams said last week that the new licenses and identification cards should be offered in late September or early October. Adams says the new cards are designed to protect […]

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