Originally created 05/05/02

Across South Carolina



5 schools examined over broken test rules

COLUMBIA -Five South Carolina schools are being investigated for alleged security breaches of the Palmetto Achievement Challenge Test.

A teacher at Seneca Middle School was put on administrative leave Thursday until the State Law Enforcement Division completes an investigation and four other state schools are being investigated.

Jim Foster, spokesman for the education department, said about a half-dozen investigations are undertaken each year, and national testing experts say they expect incidents to increase as pressure to perform heats up.

Violations of PACT security are misdemeanor charges that carry up to a $1,000 fine and 90 days in jail. A teacher's license is revoked on conviction.

Rifle prank gets man 15-year prison term

ROCK HILL -A Richburg man was sentenced to 15 years in prison after a prank involving a .22-caliber rifle and some ketchup backfired.

Because Jeffrey Price Barber, 46, had three previous convictions for violent crimes, U.S. Attorney J. Strom Thurmond Jr. said, 15 years was the minimum sentence a federal judge could impose.

Mr. Barber's misfortune began nearly two years ago, when he attempted to play a joke on his wife by firing a rifle through a window and dropping to the floor with ketchup smeared on his head.

His wife called 911, and deputies arrested Mr. Barber, who had been banned from possessing a firearm.

Combative couple dies in murder-suicide

CONWAY -Police say they had been called to quell at least three fights in the past six years at a home where a man killed his wife, then committed suicide.

The couple's 9-year-old son reported the slaying, police said.

Eugene Christopher Town forced his way into the couple's house Thursday night, shooting his wife, Deborah, in the bedroom, Horry County police Sgt. Rick Bonney said.

Mr. Town then went to a shed behind the house and shot himself, Sgt. Bonney said.

Official wants limit on large docked ships

CHARLESTON -A city councilman says giant cruise ships in Charleston's harbor are spoiling the views of the Holy City.

Councilman Henry Fishburne says he decided to support limiting the number of ships that can dock in Charleston after seeing one particularly big ship pulling into the harbor.