SC STATE INVESTIGATION
Separate trials requested in SC State case
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A man charged in a public corruption case involving South Carolina State University wants to be tried separately from a former trustee.
Attorneys for Eric Robinson argue in court papers filed recently that being tried alongside Jonathan Pinson would "unfairly and irreparably prejudice" their client.
Robinson and Pinson have been charged as part of a kickback scheme involving the Orangeburg school. The federal government says Robinson conspired to get kickbacks for Pinson in exchange for his assurance that Robinson's entertainment company would be used to promote a 2011 homecoming concert at S.C. State.
Both men have pleaded not guilty. Federal prosecutors say Robinson hasn't made enough of an argument that being tried with Pinson would violate his rights. They also say multiple trials would cost the public unnecessary funds.
Lawmakers to hear SC treasurer's complaints
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A panel of state lawmakers is hearing from South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis and his complaints about how investments are handled for the state employee retirement system.
The State newspaper reported that Loftis has complained for two years about what he calls corruption and wasteful spending at the state Retirement System Investment Commission.
Four senators are conducting a series of hearings on Loftis' charges that the commission that manages the $26 billion retirement fund wastes millions of dollars on fees. Loftis also says some commissioners have personally benefited.
Commission Chairman Reynolds Williams says he welcomes the review by lawmakers.
Columbia Sen. Joel Lourie says he hopes lawmakers can resolve the dispute between the commission and Loftis, which Lourie says is "very unhealthy."
Beaufort County teacher charged with assault
BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) - A Beaufort County Spanish teacher is charged with simple assault after being accused of hitting a student on the back with a leather pouch.
A Bluffton Police Department report says 39-year-old Lester Eduardo Lara also is charged with third-degree battery.
The report says a 14-year-old student at H.E. McCracken Middle School was not paying attention and was not in his assigned seat Tuesday. When the teacher tried to take a school iPad from him, the student swore and the teacher struck the student on the back. The student then pushed the teacher and ran to the office.
Lara is on paid administrative leave and is free on a personal recognizance bond.
The Beaufort Gazette reported Lara's family said they have been told by their attorney not to comment.
FELONY DUI CHARGE
Moore woman facing DUI charge in deadly wreck
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg County woman has been charged in an October crash that killed another woman.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports that 48-year-old Sherra L. Werkmeister of Moore was charged last week with felony driving under the influence resulting in death and felony DUI resulting in great bodily harm.
Police say the Oct. 11 crash killed 85-year-old Arrie Lee Lowry of Greer.
Lowry was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by someone else. Officers say Werkmeister's SUV crossed the center line and hit the truck head-on.
Police said they found spilled beer and a beer can in Werkmeister's vehicle.
Werkmeister was arrested Nov. 25. Court records listed no attorney for her.
NEW AREA CODE
SC regulators approve plans for new area code
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Eastern South Carolina will be getting a new area code, but it's not clear what the number will be.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved plans for a second area code in the Lowcountry and Pee Dee.
The new code will be an addition to the 843 area code now used and will require people to start dialing the area code when they make calls.
The new code is expected to be implemented around the beginning of 2015.
There is no word yet what the new number will be.
The region is getting the second area code because population growth and the proliferation of cellphones are using up the available 843 numbers.
FETUS STABBING DEATH
SC man sentenced in death of unborn child
CHESTER, S.C. (AP) - A Chester man has been sentenced to 25 years in prison for stabbing his girlfriend and killing her unborn child.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports that 40-year-old Aris Nichols was sentenced Wednesday after pleading no contest to attempted murder and death or injury to a child in utero.
Police say 23-year-old Brittany Jordan was several months pregnant when she was stabbed several times in April 2012 in the couple's home just west of Chester.
Their unborn son did not survive, and Jordan was hospitalized for weeks.
Nichols had been set to go on trial Monday. He said in court that he doesn't remember anything about the stabbing.
LAURINBURG SHOOTING DEATH
Man charged with killing NC woman last seen in SC
LAURINBURG, N.C. (AP) - A Rowland man has been charged in the death of a North Carolina college student who was last seen alive at a South Carolina nightclub.
Authorities said Wednesday 20-year-old Timarius Baker had been arrested on charges including first-degree murder and armed robbery.
Scotland County officials say 21-year-old Demonsha Eronda Clegg of Raeford was found shot to death early Sunday near Laurinburg. The Elizabeth City State University student was home on Thanksgiving break and had been last seen at a nightclub in Marlboro County, S.C.
Scotland County Sheriff Shep Jones says Baker and Clegg left the club together in Clegg's car. Jones says Baker shot the woman, stole her car, and then set it on fire.
Baker was in jail Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if he had an attorney.
Hearing delayed for suspect in med student's death
PITTSFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. (AP) - A probable cause hearing for a man charged in the fatal shooting of a University of Michigan medical student has been delayed a week.
Twenty-one-year-old Shaquille Jones faces open-murder and home invasion charges in Paul DeWolf's death. The hearing now will be held Dec. 13.
Jones was arrested last month in North Charleston, S.C. He appeared Thursday in district court in Washtenaw County's Pittsfield Township.
Jones' lawyer James Fifelski says the judge granted the adjournment to let the defense examine evidence offered by the prosecution.
Another defendant faces a hearing in the case on Dec. 12, while a third hasn't yet been charged.
DeWolf was found dead July 24 at an off-campus medical fraternity in Ann Arbor. The 25-year-old Schoolcraft native was attending Michigan on an Air Force scholarship.
Haley to receive manufacturing award for jobs
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley is being recognized for bringing manufacturing jobs to South Carolina.
During a dinner Thursday in Spartanburg, Haley's office says she is receiving the 2013 Roger Milliken Defender Of Manufacturing Award from the South Carolina Manufacturers Alliance.
Alliance CEO Lewis Gossett says Haley has been aggressive in recruiting new jobs to the state. Since Haley took office in January 2011, state commerce officials say South Carolina has announced 233 manufacturing expansions and openings.
Officials said those announcements have resulted in 26,000 new jobs and more than $8 billion in capital investment in South Carolina.
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