Originally created 03/03/03

Across South Carolina



One-third of salaries fail to match inflation

COLUMBIA -Nearly one-third of South Carolina workers are in occupations with average salaries that didn't keep pace with inflation between 1999 and 2001, according to a newspaper's analysis of federal data.

Roofers are typical of the trend that hit nearly a half-million workers statewide: The average South Carolina roofer earned $21,400 in 2001, down 4 percent after accounting for inflation, The State reported Sunday.

That pay is two-thirds of the national average, a gap that widened as the average roofer saw wages nationally rise 2 percent after inflation.

Auto stolen with 2-month-old inside

JOHNS ISLAND -Two Charleston County men were charged with grand larceny of a motor vehicle and kidnapping after they took a car with a 2-month-old infant inside, police said.

Derrick LaBoard, 23, was arrested about a half-mile from the convenience store where Randolph Butler left his car running with his daughter inside as he went to pay for gas Saturday. Police found Geniya Butler unharmed, the baby was sopping wet beneath another car minutes later.

Eamario Brown, 21, of Johns Island, surrendered to police later Saturday, said Charleston police spokesman Charles Francis.

Woman faces charges in husband's slaying

SUMTER -A woman has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of her husband, Sumter police say.

Ann Elizabeth Brunson, 50, told investigators that her husband, Jerome, had thrown her up against a wall and choked her Friday. She said that she broke free, got a knife and stabbed him.

An autopsy report showed that Mr. Brunson was stabbed once in the heart, Sumter County Coroner Verna Moore said Saturday.

Land is contaminated after leak in fuel tank

HONEA PATH -A small leak in a fuel oil tank turned into a bigger problem at Honea Path Elementary School.

A contractor dealing with the leak says he was told the 4,000-gallon fuel oil tank was full of water. Conn Construction Management Co. used a hose and pumps to drain the buried tank so it could be filled with sand, resealed and buried.

But the company discovered that about one-third of the tank's contents were fuel oil, which once was used to heat the school about 25 miles northwest of Greenwood.

About 150 gallons of fuel contaminated about 1,200 feet of land beside the school, said Chris Eleazer, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control's environmental health manager.