Originally created 02/10/02

Across South Carolina



Clemson University names woman provost

CLEMSON -Clemson University has named its first woman provost, ending an 18-month national search.

Doris R. Helms, who has been interim vice president of academic affairs and provost since Steffen Rogers left Clemson to become president of Bucknell University a year and a half ago, officially took over the office Friday.

Ms. Helms, who has been at Clemson for 29 years as a faculty member and an administrator, took an active role as interim provost.

Youth pastor charged with sexual misconduct

ANDERSON -A former youth pastor at an Anderson County church has turned himself in to authorities after he was accused of sexual misconduct with children.

James William Bell, 25, of Greenwood, has been charged with two counts of criminal sexual conduct with a minor, four counts of a lewd act on a child younger than 16 and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, according to the Anderson County Sheriff's Office.

Mr. Bell, who was a youth pastor at Mount Tabor Baptist Church on state Highway 187, was released on a $50,000 bond, sheriff's Capt. Dale McCard said.

Capt. McCard said his office launched an investigation Jan. 28, after church officials told authorities that two youths had been sexually assaulted between July 21 and Nov. 21, 2001.

Mr. Bell was fired last month after one of the boys' parents told the church's minister, the Rev. Joe Whisnant, about the alleged assaults.

Governor wants guns away from schools

COLUMBIA -Gov. Jim Hodges says he will veto any legislation that allows concealed weapons into schools.

"As a parent with two children in public school, I don't buy the argument that guns make schools safer for our children. Schools and guns do not mix," he said.

Mr. Hodges' statement comes in the wake of legislation filed in the General Assembly that would allow people with a concealed weapons' permit to possess a firearm on school grounds but not inside a school. A Senate bill allows permit holders to carry weapons into schools.

Teen gets 30 years for robbery, kidnapping

COLUMBIA -An 18-year-old man who pleaded guilty to kidnapping and robbing apartment residents last year has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Jeffrey Samuels was sentenced for four counts of armed robbery and three counts of kidnapping, Assistant 5th Circuit Solicitor Don Sorenson said.

During the holdups, two men were forced at gunpoint into the trunks of their cars. One man forced his way out of the trunk. The other, a local television weatherman, was forced to withdraw cash from automated teller machines.

A third victim resisted the robbers and was hit on the head with a gun before the attackers took his car keys and ran, officials said.