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GEORGIA

UGA seeks replacement for old coal-fired boiler

ATHENS, GA. --- University of Georgia administrators are looking to replace a 45-year-old coal-fired steam boiler.

The boiler is one of four the university uses to produce steam for heating, cooking, lab sterilization and cooling across campus.

Kenneth Crowe, the university's director of energy services, said the other three boilers are newer and fired mainly by natural gas, which pollutes much less than coal.

Crowe said natural gas supplies can sometimes be cut off without warning, as when Hurricane Katrina slammed refineries and transmission lines in 2005.

He said the coal boiler has been a good backup but is nearing the end of its useful life and needs frequent repairs.

By cutting back on the days the coal boiler operates, workers have reduced the maintenance needed to keep the boiler working.

SOUTH CAROLINA

11 people plead guilty in check fraud scheme

SPARTANBURG, S.C. --- The U.S. attorney's office says 11 Upstate residents have pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a $1.8 million scheme.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a news release that a widespread check fraud conspiracy was operated by 41-year-old Hope Mitchell and family members and other associates.

Others pleading guilty are Dorothy Mitchell, Martha Johnson, Robert Johnson, Melanie Jean Mitchell, Wendy Jeanette Rice, Richard Kenneth Lipscomb, Devek Jermaine Mitchell, Derrick Lashawn Sinclair, Wesley Germaine Hall and Lisa Nicole Stafford.

Nettles said the team recruited people to get fake IDs and use them to open checking accounts with minimal money.

The recruits were taken shopping, and checks were used to buy expensive items. The recruits were told to report their checkbooks stolen. The items were resold and the profits shared.

Lexington deputies pitch in with cleanup

IRMO, S.C. --- Lexington County sheriff's deputies are pitching in to help clean up a subdivision near Irmo.

Sheriff James Metts said his deputies are working with members of the Stratton Place Neighborhood Watch to pick up litter and yard debris, trim bushes and mow grass Saturday in the subdivision.

Metts said the cleanup effort coordinated by Deputy Dan Rusinyak reflects the sheriff's department mission of providing professional law enforcement services that enhance the quality of life for all people in Lexington County.

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