Across South Carolina

Guard members will help secure border


COLUMBIA - The South Carolina National Guard said 2,000 of its soldiers will join efforts to secure the U.S. border with Mexico.

The troops won't go all at once, Guard officials said. Units or portions of units will rotate onto the Arizona-Mexico border for two- to three-week intervals, starting this weekend.

Two planeloads of troops are scheduled to leave Sunday from McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Eastover.

The mission, called Operation Jump Start, will have Guard members serving in several areas, including ground transportation, command and control, maintenance, civil engineering and ports of entry.

South Carolina's role in the border operation is expected to end in May, ensuring the troops are back for the June 1 start of the hurricane season.

No one reportedly injured in gas leak

BEHTUNE - A natural gas leak was contained in about two hours after a regulator malfunctioned on a line in northeastern Kershaw County early Friday, emergency officials said.

No injuries were reported.

No evacuations were ordered, but residents in several houses nearby had been told to stay inside and turn off heating units.

U.S. Highway 1 was closed for a time in the area near the Lynches River bridge and the Chesterfield County line.

Bethune Elementary School was to start two hours late.

Art teacher receives national art award

ROCK HILL - A Rock Hill educator who has taught art for 24 years is South Carolina's Art Educator of the Year.

At its national convention in New York in March, the National Art Education Association will honor Kathe Rice Stanley of Northside Elementary.

Ms. Stanley was nominated for the honor by colleagues.

I-26 crash causes fire, lane closures

LITTLE MOUNTAIN - Both directions of Intestate 26 were blocked in southern Newberry County on Friday morning.

Sheriff Lee Foster said a commuter bus caught fire on I-26 near Little Mountain. Sheriff Foster said the bus was powered by natural gas and officials let it burn itself out.

Sheriff Foster said a wreck in the other lane caused it to close.

- Edited from wire reports