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After traffic stop, mayor stops officer

NORWAY, S.C. — The South Carolina Law En­force­ment Division is investigating the mayor of Nor­way’s claim that he was legally empowered to pull over a state trooper after the trooper had pulled him over for speeding.

Mayor Jim Preacher was stopped for speeding Wednesday. Afterward, he turned on the blue lights and siren in his vehicle and pulled the trooper over.

Preacher admits he was speeding but says he was pulled over while acting in his capacity as the town’s chief constable. He said he was chasing a vehicle believed to have been involved in a robbery.

The state Department of Public Safety has asked SLED to look into whether the mayor does have powers of law enforcement. The town council disbanded the police department last year.

Official worried by death penalty cost

WARNER ROBINS, GA. — A Houston County commissioner is expressing concerns over a nearly $19,000 bill for the county’s share of a death penalty case.

Commission Chairman Tommy Stalnaker said he can see the expenses “getting out of hand” for the trial of Joshua Dupree Rounsoville, 24, and Stewart Calvert Brannon, 22.

The two are accused in the August 2008 fatal shooting of Maurice Smith, a 25-year-old maintenance worker for the Houston County Board of Education.

Rounsoville’s defense has so far cost about $190,000, while Brannon’s has cost about $45,000.

State law requires the county to pick up 25 percent of the cost once the public defender system has spent $150,000, and then 50 percent of the cost once the agency spends $250,000.

In other news

THE UNIVERSITY of Geor­gia is planning to increase its summer teaching budget by about $180,000 to boost enrollment and help students graduate faster.

AUTHORITIES IN South Carolina are worried that synthetic narcotics sold over the counter could make a comeback, despite a recent ban. Rep. Anne Thayer, R-Belton, will propose a bill that would ban 110 drugs with no medicinal use.

– From wire reports


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