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Regulators to inspect Progress Energy plant

HARTSVILLE, S.C. - The federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission will send a team of inspectors to a South Carolina plant to review events that led to a shutdown.

NRC spokesman Roger Hannah said on Friday the inspectors will begin work at Progress Energy's Robinson plant near Hartsville on Monday and could finish in a week or so.

Two fires occurred on March 28 in the electrical system at the plant. The NRC says the plant and public were never in danger, but that issues raised in the initial inspection warrant further study.

After the initial inspection, the plant entered a refueling outage originally planned for mid-April and remains shut down.

Hannah said the inspection team will hold a public hearing after it finishes its work and will issue a final report about a month later.

Rex leads competitors in campaign spending

COLUMBIA - South Carolina Education Superintendent Jim Rex is facing some tough math in his bid for governor in the Democratic primary in June.

A review of candidate spending in the race to replace term-limited Gov. Mark Sanford shows Rex is spending money faster than any other Democratic or Republican party candidate, and he's well behind the money leader in his primary.

Rex reported Thursday he finished the first quarter with $113,000 on hand after raising $121,000 between January and March. Rex also borrowed $42,000 and put $21,000 of his own money into the race.

The $113,000 would pay for less than one week's worth of ads on statewide television.

Even without spending on ads, Rex has burned through cash at a rapid pace since entering the race last year. Including his personal funds, loans, transfers from his existing campaign account and donations, Rex has raised $386,137.

Teens killed in wreck on their way to school

CHESNEE, S.C. - A coroner says a South Carolina high school student and a middle school student were killed in a wreck on their way to class.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler says 16-year-old John Luke Ledford and 14-year-old Brittany Nicole Walker were killed in the wreck shortly before 8 a.m. Friday on a road just west of Chesnee.

Both teenagers were pronounced dead at the scene.

Fowler says Ledford's 1994 Honda Civic went off the side of the road after coming around a curve, went up an eight-foot embankment and struck a tree. A 13-year-old middle school student was flown to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center.

Fowler's office and the South Carolina Highway Patrol are investigating.


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