Wilson returning $200 in donations from 2010 race
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The campaign of South Carolina's top prosecutor is returning $200 a lobbyist donated to his 2010 campaign, as requested by the State Ethics Commission.
Spokesman Richard Quinn said Friday the campaign of Attorney General Alan Wilson also is making a technical correction in its 2010 filings so that a legal firm didn't appear to give the maximum donation twice. He said one of the $3,500 donations should have been applied to debt from the previous cycle.
Commission attorney Cathy Hazelwood said she sent letters Thursday to Wilson and former state Rep. Joyce Hearn, who gave $150 to his campaign in November 2009 and $50 in March 2010.
State law bars statewide officers from taking money from lobbyists, and Hearn was a registered lobbyist for the South Carolina Credit Union League.
FATAL GAFFNEY FIRE
Coroner releases names from fatal Gaffney fire
GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) - Authorities have released the names of the mother and 11-year-old daughter killed in an early morning house fire in Gaffney.
Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler on Friday identified the victims as 43-year-old Evelyn Rodriguez and her daughter, Lanette.
Fowler says both died from carbon monoxide poisoning and burns.
Authorities have said Rodriguez was able to get her 12-year-old son out of the home safely after it caught fire around 4:30 a.m. Thursday, but died when she went back inside to rescue her daughter.
Authorities say the boy tried to break a window and get into his sister's bedroom, but the smoke and heat were too powerful.
Fowler says Rodriguez's parents were sleeping in a back bedroom and managed to escape. Investigators are trying to determine what started the blaze.
Man, woman charged in deadly Pelzer shootings
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A man and woman have been charged with murder in three shooting deaths at a home in Pelzer.
Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper said Friday that 32-year-old Jared Michael Williams and 19-year-old Hope Phillips are charged with carrying out the killings. Williams faces three murder charges, and Phillips is charged in one death.
Deputies initially arrested Williams after a chase that ended when he crashed a stolen truck into a house in Piedmont. Williams was treated at a hospital before being taken to jail.
Both Williams and Phillips were jailed Friday, and it wasn't clear if they had attorneys.
Authorities say the victims were 40-year-old Wanda Anderson, 48-year-old Victor Vandegrift and 32-year-old Hank Eaton. Skipper said investigators were trying to figure out a motive for the shootings.
FLA OCEAN RESCUE
Attempted murder charges for mom in ocean drive
DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. (AP) - A pregnant South Carolina woman who drove a minivan carrying her three young children into the ocean surf off Florida is being charged with attempted murder and aggravated child abuse.
Volusia County Sheriff Ben Johnson said Friday that 32-year-old Ebony Wilkerson is being charged with three counts of attempted first-degree murder and three counts of aggravated child abuse.
Bystanders and officers helped pull Wilkerson and her children from their minivan as it was almost submerged on Tuesday on Daytona Beach. The children are 3, 9 and 10.
The sheriff says Wilkerson has denied trying to harm her children, but her children told investigators otherwise.
Johnson says the windows were rolled up and the doors were locked. He says one of the children tried to wrestle the steering wheel away.
ARMY SERGEANT ARREST
SC sergeant arrested on NC sex charges
FAYETTEVILLE, N.C. (AP) - A sergeant based in South Carolina has been arrested and charged with sexually assaulting adult and child victims in North Carolina.
U.S. Marshals arrested 34-year-old Oscar Rodriguez in Puerto Rico early Friday. Rodriguez is awaiting extradition to Harnett County.
Rodriguez was a staff sergeant based at Fort Jackson in Columbia, S.C.
He is accused of forcibly entering the bedrooms of two Harnett County victims and engaging in multiple sexual assaults between last summer and New Year's Eve.
The Army has charged Rodriguez with desertion.
He is being charged with three counts of indecent liberties with a child, two counts of second-degree rape, two counts of second-degree sex offense, one count of sexual battery, two counts of crimes against nature and four counts of first-degree burglary.
SC expects no delay between study and harbor work
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina ports officials expect a seamless transition from federal studies of deepening the Charleston Harbor shipping channel to dredging on the project which could begin next year.
The president's new budget includes almost $700,000 for studies of the project. A final report is expected next year on how deep to dredge the channel. Maritime interests want it deepened to at least 50 feet to handle new, larger container ships.
South Carolina officials say they're confident a federal Water Resources law will be passed by next year allowing Charleston to use state money already set aside for the deepening project.
In nearby Savannah, Ga., there was no construction money in the president's budget for a $650 million channel deepening there. That prompted the state's congressional delegation protest to the president.
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