Originally created 05/04/02

Across South Carolina



Staff turns down pay to aid struggling school

SPARTANBURG -About half the teachers and staff at the South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind are giving up a day's pay to ease the school's financial shortfall.

School President Sheila Breitweiser hopes to save about $30,000. The school, which has frozen some administrative positions, employs 351 people on its main campus and through its outreach program.

The school handled a 4 percent cut, or about $600,000, to $14.1 million budget in November by delaying new programs and freezing some staffing vacancies.

The latest idea is to help with a cut of 2.5 percent, or about $350,000, forced on all state agencies in March.

Drought puts pinch on blue crab season

HILTON HEAD ISLAND -Blue crab catches are dismal this year because of the drought, harvesters say.

The harvest is usually boosted by warm weather in May.

Fisherman blame the drought that has gripped the region for the past four years.

The drought has driven crabs so far up creeks they actually are being found in freshwater areas.

The lack of rain has resulted in higher salt levels in areas where crabs usually live.

SLED investigates alleged test violation

SENECA -A Seneca Middle School teacher is under investigation for violating the rules for administering the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test, authorities say.

Oconee County School Superintendent Buddy Herring asked the State Law Enforcement Division to investigate the problems Wednesday, SLED spokeswoman Kathryn Richardson said.

Rural hospital stops delivering babies

CHESTER -Chester County's only hospital says it will stop delivering babies, sending most residents 20 miles north to Rock Hill to give birth.

Deliveries at the Chester County Hospital have been declining steadily to about 150 a year now, CEO Bill Bundy said. Only about 30 percent of the pregnant women in the county choose to stay in Chester to give birth, he said.

The decision to stop delivering babies bothers many longtime county residents, who shudder to think nearly all the county's future inhabitants will have "Rock Hill" typed on their birth certificates.

"This is devastating," county Supervisor John Weir said. "All my children were born in that hospital."