Across South Carolina

Ex-teacher accused of sex with minor


COLUMBIA - A former Laurens County teacher was charged with having sex with a teenage boy over several months in 2005, authorities said Monday.

Karen Robbins, 49, was arrested over the weekend and charged with three counts each of criminal sexual conduct with a minor and committing a lewd act on a child.

The sex occurred with a 15-year-old in her car and twice at her home between September and November 2005, according to arrest warrants.

Ms. Robbins was a private school teacher at the time and officials said the accusations did not involve one of her students.

Police said they began investigating after school officials turned over letters found at Bell Street Middle School, where Ms. Robbins worked during the 2006-07 school year.

Task force to address motorcycle safety

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Department of Public Safety's motorcycle safety task force will meet in Columbia on Wednesday to address the increasing number of motorcycle-related fatalities in the state.

Motorcycle fatalities are on the rise in South Carolina and nationally, said Ed Harmon, the planning and evaluation manager with the department's Office of Highway Safety.

"In the last five years, fatalities increased by 50 percent nationally," Mr. Harmon said of motorcycle wrecks. "There were 106 in South Carolina in 2006. That was a record."

New state treasurer calls for teamwork

ANDERSON - Converse Chellis III believes he is ready to tackle his new position as state treasurer. In an interview Monday with the Anderson Independent-Mail newspaper, Mr. Chellis said he also realizes it will take teamwork to run the office successfully.

"I've always been a 'we' person," Mr. Chellis said. "I try not to say 'I.' I've always been taught that it takes a team approach to accomplish things."

Resolution requests immigration control

GREENWOOD -Third District Congressman Gresham Barrett, R-S.C., said Monday that the time for action on immigration is now.

Mr. Barrett announced a proposed congressional resolution Monday during a noon press conference at the Greenwood County Courthouse.

It calls for Congress to ensure that border security laws are in place and being implemented. One of the laws he wants enforced calls for 18,000 border patrol agents along the Mexican border by 2008.

Rep. Barrett also wants to see the pace of work increased on the construction of 850 miles of fencing along the border. Currently, only 16 miles of the fence have been placed.

- Edited from wire reports