Across the region

Environmental suit fought by SCE&G


COLUMBIA — South Carolina Electric & Gas is denying claims it illegally discharged arsenic and other contaminants into the Wateree River near Columbia.

The utility wants a federal judge to dismiss a lawsuit filed in January by the Catawba Riverkeeper Foundation. That lawsuit charges that SCE&G stores wet coal ash in lagoons near its Eastover plant and that monitoring wells near the lagoons show five times the legal limit of arsenic. The suit says the material sometimes leaks into the river.

SCE&G denies it is illegally discharging pollutants and says the plaintiff and its members have not been harmed and lack standing to bring a lawsuit.

The foundation says its members fear using the river because of pollution.

Aiken felon makes Democratic ballot

COLUMBIA — South Caro­lina Democratic leaders are trying to decide whether to support a convicted felon running for Congress as a Democrat.

Bryan Lamont “Ryan B” Doyle of Aiken won this week’s Democratic primary in the state’s 3rd Con­gressional District, which stretches along the state’s western edge.

Federal court records show the 37-year-old was convicted in 2003 on six felony counts related to Medicare fraud and making false statements, resulting in a 30-month prison sentence. Doyle claims he was framed after his signature was forged.

South Carolina law prohibits convicted felons from serving in state office, but there is no law barring them from seeking federal office.

“He’s legally qualified, A. And B, we’re sending him to Washington, where fraud is a way of life. So I certainly don’t think it’s a disqualifier,” State Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian said. “We’d have to see what kind of effort he’s making.”

The 3rd District leans heavily Republican, and Doyle is squaring off against one-term incumbent U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan, a conservative from Laurens.

Cemetery put body in incorrect grave

COLUMBIA — Officials at a Columbia cemetery have learned that they buried a woman in the wrong grave.

Workers at Greenlawn Memorial Park made the discovery when they were digging another grave Wednesday.

Helen Carlton of Gaston died in May and was supposed to be buried next to her husband.

Chris Carlton said he was shocked to find out that he and his family had been visiting the wrong grave. He said he’s been putting flowers on an empty grave.

Greenlawn general manager Tammy Chandler said officials are awaiting the approval of all of Carlton’s children before her remains can be moved.

Finalist named for college presidency

MILLEDGEVILLE, GA. — Geor­gia College & State University in Milledgeville will have a new leader soon.

The state Board of Re­gents announced Friday that the lone finalist for the president’s job is Steve Michael Dorman.

Dorman is dean of the University of Florida’s College of Health and Human Performance and a professor. He has also been at professor at Texas A&M University and head of its Department of Health and Kinesiology.

The board will vote on Dorman’s appointment at an upcoming meeting. He will replace Dorothy Leland, who left last year to be president of the University of California, Merced.