Across South Carolina

Universities want to create fiber-optic line


CLEMSON - South Carolina's three research universities hope to create a joint venture that will allow them to access a national fiber-optic grid and put them in the running for millions of research dollars that they can't even apply for now.

Clemson University, the University of South Carolina and the Medical University of South Carolina are trying to create a "South Carolina Light Rail," said Jim Bottum, Clemson's chief information officer.

The rail would let the universities and other research organizations, such as hospitals, tap into the National Lambda Rail that runs between Charlotte, N.C., and Atlanta. That line is capable of carrying high volumes of data at high speed so researchers in different locations can collaborate in real time, said Chris Przirembel, Clemson's vice president for research and economic development.

Church rallies around pastor after arrest

CAMDEN - Northgate Colonial Baptist Church is trying to hold itself together while its pastor, the Rev. Kevin Ogle, sits in jail in Walton County, Ga., charged with 11 counts of sexual exploitation of children.

The congregation is praying for their leader and has organized meals for his wife and young children.

The Rev. Ogle, 42, is accused of sending pornographic messages and pictures of himself over the Internet to a police officer posing as a teenage girl.

State police look into city's finance records

CHESTER - The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the city of Chester's finances to see whether there is criminal activity to be found among shoddy record-keeping.

The city council decided last month to ask several state agencies to review preliminary findings of an audit that said the city's finances are in "disarray."

Mark Plowden, a spokesman for the attorney general's office, said his office turned the city's request over to SLED.

"They are now investigating to determine if anything criminal has taken place," he said. "If they do, they would give us the report and we would make a prosecutorial decision based on what the SLED report turns up."

Four men are charged in teenager's shooting

COLUMBIA - Four men have been charged in a shooting that left a 15-year-old dead outside a Waffle House, authorities said.

Investigators say three teens in rival gangs opened fire Feb. 19 in a crowd of about 35. Brian Wright was shot in the head and was found face down in the parking lot of a convenience store next door, according to a police report.