Across South Carolina

Historic museum will undergo restoration


BEAUFORT - The 209-year-old Beaufort Museum will close for a year to undergo a restoration that could return it to its 1930s appearance.

Structural engineers examined The Arsenal, where the museum is housed, during the past year and found poor drainage, loose mortar and bricks, cracks where additions meet the original building, major leaks and window rot.

A $230,000 grant from the National Park Service in 2005 will help pay for part of the restoration.

Native American center put on hold

OCONEE COUNTY - Duke Energy put on hold plans for a development on Lake Keowee that would include a Native American Interpretive and Educational Center as its centerpiece.

The move has angered the leader of the Eastern Cherokee, Southern Iroquois and United Tribes of South Carolina.

"It's a complete shock to us," said Robert Daffin, of Keowee Town Management Group, which was developing the site with the tribes. "Duke has always been a great community partner and supporter of Native American projects."

Director candidates will conduct concerts

COLUMBIA - The seven finalists for music director of the South Carolina Philharmonic will each conduct a concert during the coming season to help the organization make its pick.

One will be hired shortly after the season ends in April 2008 and will replace Nicholas Smith, whose contract wasn't renewed after 14 years.

The new conductor will receive a benefits package between $75,000 and $100,000 and likely will continue to work for another orchestra as well.

New Mexico governor urges Iraq pullout

GREENVILLE - The United States should begin pulling troops out of Iraq this year and has nothing to lose from direct talks with North Korea, Iran or Syria, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson said during a weekend visit to South Carolina.

"I think we have to set a deadline this year or early next year - I think it has to be soon - that is tied to a political solution," said Mr. Richardson, who is considering a run for president in 2008. He said his state's National Guard is strained by deployments and that he's worried about his state's ability to fight fires and deal with floods.