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No plot to poison food found at Fort Jackson

COLUMBIA -- An Army probe into allegations of verbal threats involving Fort Jackson's food supply has revealed that none of the five soldiers detained was involved in any plot to poison food at the base, a congressman said Sunday.

U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., said Sunday information he received as a member of the House Armed Services Committee showed there was no plot. The five Muslim soldiers who were connected to a translator training program were detained in December while the Army investigated.

Four of the soldiers were discharged from the Army for petty crimes, Wilson said, and the fifth was returned to his National Guard unit in Virginia. None of the soldiers has been identified.

U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command spokesman Chris Grey said Sunday that the base's food was never in danger, and the investigation didn't turn up any credible information to support the allegations.

An investigation continues into other possible crimes relating to information found on their laptops, Wilson said. The laptops were turned over to the FBI for analysis.

Weather kept tourists from beach in winter

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. -- Colder than normal temperatures and rare snow has kept some of the Grand Strand's tourists away.

Hotel occupancy rates were off about 7 percent from Jan. 10 through Feb. 20 compared with the same period last year, according to the Brittan Center for Resort Tourism at Coastal Carolina University.

"I think all places are going to be down if the weather stays down. It doesn't matter how cheap you make it," Frans Mustert, the president and chief executive of Oceana Resorts, told The Sun News of Myrtle Beach.

Winter visitors travel between 200 and 300 miles and don't book as far in advance, Mustert said. That means the weather has a bigger impact.


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