Hearing soon to ask to exonerate executed SC teen
MANNING, S.C. (AP) - A prosecutor says a hearing to determine whether a 14 year-old boy executed by South Carolina in 1944 should have a new trial should happen in the next month.
Prosecutor Ernest A. Finney III said Tuesday that if the judge grants a new trial, he will view that as Stinney's conviction being removed.
Finney says he will then have to review whatever evidence his office can find in the 69-year-old case. If he can't find any evidence, he won't go forward and supporters could seek to have the murder charges removed from Stinney's record.
Supporters say Stinney was the victim of a racist prosecution and the only real evidence against the black teen in the killing of two white girls was a coerced confession that has disappeared.
SC air base mulls holiday display after protest
SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AP) - Officials at Shaw Air Force Base are trying to determine what to do about a holiday display after a Nativity scene was taken down last week.
Air Force spokeswoman Lt. Keavy (kev-EE) Rake said Tuesday a Nativity display was set up Friday by a group of volunteers from the base chapel at a small lake on the installation. The site was near where a tree lighting ceremony was scheduled Friday evening.
Rake says the Military Religious Freedom Foundation lodged a complaint about the display through the Air Force in Washington.
Rake says Air Force officials want a holiday display that reflects more than a single group, so the Nativity scene was taken down and officials are trying to determine the proper placement and arrangement of a new display.
SC Gov.: Capt. Haley will be home for Christmas
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says her military husband will be home before Christmas, but she's not sure of the exact date.
The Republican governor said Tuesday she's excited about the impending return of Capt. Michael Haley, who left in January for a yearlong mission to Afghanistan.
Gov. Haley says she'll be notified of his arrival between 24 to 48 hours in advance. .
Michael Haley's South Carolina Army National Guard group has been working with Afghan farmers on practices to turn them away from growing poppies used to make opium.
The governor has said she decided in June to run for a second term, after talking with her husband when he was home for his two-week leave.
Commerce allowed to extend bonus program
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's economic development agency is allowed to continue its incentive pay program for employees.
The Budget and Control Board voted unanimously Tuesday to extend a program aimed at rewarding staff when the agency meets job creation and capital investment goals. Eligible employees can earn a bonus of up to 10 percent of their salary.
Commerce Secretary Bobby Hitt says the sales incentive pay plan helps recruit, retain and motivate staff.
The agency expects to spend up to $60,000 on the bonuses this year. Nine employees shared $50,000 last year. Eleven employees split $96,000 in 2011.
The department sought a three-year extension of a program the board has repeatedly approved on a pilot basis since 1998. The agency says 10 employees responsible for recruiting industry to South Carolina are eligible.
Man charged in fatal 2011 crash faces another DUI
LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - A man charged with drunken driving in a 2011 Lexington crash that killed two children has been arrested again on a DUI charge.
Authorities say 39-year-old Robert Darren Craft was charged Friday with DUI, second offense. Police say a Springdale officer heard screeching tires at around 2 a.m. Friday and smelled alcohol when he approached Craft's vehicle. Police say Craft also failed several field sobriety tests.
Craft served a year in prison after he was convicted of DUI for the 2011 crash that killed 10-year-old Haley Upchurch and her 7-year-old brother, Cameron. Authorities said the children were riding with their grandparents when their car was struck by Craft's pickup truck.
Craft was in jail Tuesday, and court records listed no attorney for him.
SC lawmaker proposes teacher evaluation plan
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina Republican lawmaker is introducing his own plan for performance-based pay as dozens of schools test Superintendent Mick Zais' proposal for evaluating educators.
Republican Rep. Andy Patrick of Hilton Head Island said he's pre-filing a bill for the upcoming legislative session that's aimed at rewarding excellent teachers and providing others targeted training. Tuesday is the last day for House members to pre-file bills for 2014. Senators have another week.
Evaluating educators based on performance is a required part of the state's exemption from the all-or-nothing provisions of the federal No Child Left Behind law. The federal Education Department approved Zais' plan in March, but educator groups have criticized it.
The state education board must approve a plan before it goes statewide. Patrick says his bill offers another process.
Jenny Sanford now on Charleston Aviation Board
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Former South Carolina first lady Jenny Sanford has been appointed to the board of the Charleston County Aviation Authority.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports that Sanford is the designated appointee of state Sen. Chip Campsen of the Isle of Palms.
Campsen says a law that put him on the 13-member airport authority board is unconstitutional and so he appoints a designee in his place.
Sanford's ex-husband, former Gov. Mark Sanford, was elected to the 1st District Congressional seat earlier this year. The couple divorced in 2010.
SC coroner: Hunter's body found on Pee Dee River
FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - Authorities are investigating the death of a 63-year-old Florence hunter whose body was found on the Pee Dee River.
The Morning News of Florence reports that the body of John Wayne Williams of Florence was recovered Monday afternoon.
Florence County Coroner Keith von Lutcken says Williams had been missing since November 29.
Lutcken says the body is being sent to the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston for an autopsy. The investigation is continuing.
SC woman charged with taking jewelry from casket
UNION, S.C. (AP) - A Union County woman has been arrested and accused of taking a piece of jewelry from a body in casket.
Union County sheriff's deputies said that family members told officers that 46-year-old Tammy Renee Lloyd took a brooch from her deceased relative during a viewing.
Lloyd has been charged with larceny. It was not clear if she has an attorney.
The deputies' report says a woman was having a viewing for her dead mother last week when Lloyd showed up.
A family member said the broach was missing after Lloyd was at the casket.
The broach was valued at $30.
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