Across the region



Scammers asking for personal information

ATLANTA --- A business group is alerting the public to scammers who obtain personal and financial information by posing as representatives of a local election board or civic group.

Unsolicited e-mails or phone calls from someone asking for a Social Security number or credit card number to confirm voter eligibility might be a pretext to steal personal information, warned the Better Business Bureau of Metro Atlanta.

Organizations conducting legitimate voter-registration drives won't ask for financial information, federal officials say.

Sea Island resort firm announces job cuts

BRUNSWICK --- Because of business factors, Sea Island Co. will cut 15 percent to 20 percent of its 2,100 positions, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer Bill Jones III said Monday. The ritzy resort is the largest private employer in Glynn County.

"I am proud of what we have accomplished together as a company, and it is not possible for me to express how much I regret having to take these steps," Mr. Jones said.

Woody Woodside, the president of the Brunswick-Golden Isles Chamber of Commerce, predicted a ripple effect through vendors that sell to Sea Island.

"Sea Island has done so much for our economy, it has been unbelievable," he said.

Founded in 1928, the private resort and real estate development company operates The Cloister at Sea Island, the Lodge at Sea Island Golf Club on St. Simons Island, the Lodge at Cabin Bluff in Camden County and the private Ocean Forest and Frederica golf clubs.


Sanford backs off on workers' comp overhaul

COLUMBIA --- Gov. Mark Sanford has backed away from efforts to force the state Workers' Compensation Commission to accept new injury payment standards, accepting a settlement that would end months of legal wrangling if South Carolina's high court approves the deal.

Commission executive director Gary Thibault wouldn't comment on the details of the deal, reached July 17.

The dispute arose from Mr. Sanford's actions last year after the Legislature overhauled the state's workers' compensation laws. Legislators twice rejected attempts to impose American Medical Association guidelines in making injury award decisions.

Last fall, Mr. Sanford issued executive orders for the commission to use the AMA-backed guidelines or similar ones -- before ultimately asking the Supreme Court to decide the matter. Mr. Sanford saw himself acting to clarify the law, while the commission saw him trying to impose a new interpretation of the law.

Arson is suspected in courthouse blaze

LANCASTER --- Officials said arson caused a blaze Monday that gutted Lancaster County's historic courthouse, which was designed by the creator of the Washington Monument. No one was injured.

Rudy Carter, the chairman of the Lancaster County Council, said a broken window was discovered on the first floor of the 180-year-old, two-story courthouse when firefighters were called just before 5:30 a.m., leading to the suspicion of arson.

"The whole roof is gone. The interior area where the judges sit is gutted. It's a total loss," Mr. Carter said.

Mr. Carter said he wouldn't even guess the dollar amount of the loss.

"We're going to have to bring in structural engineers to make sure the walls are still sound," he said.

-- Edited from wire reports