Originally created 09/08/02

Across South Carolina



Member of drug gang gets life sentence

COLUMBIA -A Myrtle Beach man will spend life in prison plus 85 years on drug, robbery and firearms charges.

Timothy Gadson, 29, was a member of the Five Percenters gang, a group of five men who spent time together in state prisons and imported cocaine from the Miami area to Williamsburg County and the Pee Dee after their release, officials said.

The gang was involved in more than 25 armed robberies of drug dealers in South Carolina and Georgia, officials said. The New York-based Five Percenters gang draws its name from a belief that they are God's chosen 5 percent of the population.

Two academies seek charter status for fall

MYRTLE BEACH -Two charter school operators hope to open classrooms in Horry County in time for the 2003-04 school year.

Charter schools are publicly funded, but free of many of the regulations that apply to public schools.

Horry County schools approved Richard Milburn Academy in 1999, but Robert Crosby, the head of Richard Milburn, said he delayed plans for the school until new charter school legislation was enacted. That happened in June.

Bridgewater Academy in the Waccamaw Pottery Park also is seeking charter status by next fall, said Marian Cummings, the academy's office manager.

New exhibits help zoo break visitor record

COLUMBIA -Riverbanks Zoo's new Bird House and gorilla, elephant and koala exhibits helped it top 1 million visitors in the 2001-02 fiscal year, setting records along the way.

Riverbanks set a one-week attendance record in April, broke its Lights Before Christmas record and passed 1 million visitors in a fiscal year for the first time.

Police officer jailed for helping dealers

GREENVILLE -A Greenville police officer convicted Friday of official misconduct will spend 10 years in prison.

Greenville Police Cpl. Timothy R. Irvin received the maximum sentence from circuit Judge John Few.

At the trial, several convicted drug dealers, most of whom were Cpl. Irvin's former in-laws, testified that they paid him to identify informants and tip them off to drug raids.