Across the region

Landfill searched for signs of missing pair


JESUP, GA. --- Investigators with cadaver dogs searched a southeast Georgia landfill Monday for a missing couple last seen two weeks at the marina where they lived and worked on Hilton Head Island, S.C.

John and Elizabeth Calvert, who live part time on a yacht at the Harbour Town marina they lease and manage, were last seen March 3. Police think Dennis Ray Gerwing, a business associate of the couple who committed suicide last week, was the last person to see them.

Authorities had combed through parts of the vast landfill in rural Wayne County on Saturday, but found nothing. The Beaufort County, S.C., sheriff's office has said only that a tip prompted the search 100 miles from the resort island near the Georgia-South Carolina border.

Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner has refused to say whether he thinks the Calverts are dead or alive.

Wayne County sheriff's Capt. Joe Naia said Monday trash from Hilton Head Island is dumped at the landfill after being sent to Savannah and compacted. But he said authorities weren't certain the Calverts' bodies had been taken to the landfill.

Mr. Calvert, 47, and his 45-year-old wife run several businesses.

Victims may get more of their money back

CHARLESTON --- People who trusted their money to an economist who admitted swindling hundreds of investors appear to have lost less and might recover more than previously thought, according to court documents.

An updated report filed in federal court on Friday shows that people who invested with Al Parish lost between $60 million and $80 million. Earlier estimates had run as high as $90 million. The report said 471 investors have filed claims.

Mr. Parish, a former Charleston Southern University economist, is awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty to fraud and lying to investigators.

David Dantzler, an attorney helping tally Mr. Parish's assets, had said earlier that investors might get back only a nickel on the dollar. Now it appears that amount could be higher, depending on the total of the losses.

Program to fund care vouchers for 900 kids

COLUMBIA --- A voucher program that helps abused women in shelters send their kids to child care providers while they work would be fully funded under a plan reached by the governor's office and the state's welfare agency.

Gov. Mark Sanford's office and the Department of Social Services said Monday they have figured out a way to cover about 900 children who were cut from the program under the agency's state budget proposal.

The program, which serves about 22,000 children across the state, was expanded a year ago for the state's poorest families to include 882 more vouchers. To qualify, a family of three can't earn more than $930 monthly.

The agency will present the new proposal to senators in the coming weeks, Mr. Sanford's spokesman Joel Sawyer said.

-- Associated Press