Originally created 10/12/03

Across South Carolina



Police charge pair with kidnapping baby

NORTH CHARLESTON -A man and a woman have been charged with kidnapping after police said they snatched an 18-month-old baby from a baby sitter outside a North Charleston supermarket.

Baby sitter Dawn Pate told police she was taking the boy to a grocery story when a man ran up, grabbed the child and jumped into a car. A witness followed and later flagged down officers. Police said they stopped the car and found the toddler unharmed on the car's front floorboard.

Police charged Clarey Ellis Hope Jr., 35, of North Charleston, and Susan L. Hayes, 47, of James Island, with kidnapping. Mr. Hope told police that the child was his.

The child's mother, 23-year-old Jamie Lee Michaud, said she was pregnant when she started dating Mr. Hope.

IRS threatens lien against small town

VANCE -The tiny town of Vance has some big financial problems.

The Internal Revenue Service has threatened to file a lien against the Orangeburg County town of about 200 for unpaid payroll taxes.

Vance Mayor Sylvia Shingler said she made an accounting mistake when she applied for a federal grant for the town's police officers, and now the town owes more than $30,000 in federal taxes.

"Unknown to me, I used the wrong figures, and I thought since we were using federal money (to pay police officers), we didn't have to pay payroll taxes," Ms. Shingler said.

If the town's assets aren't enough to pay off the debt, the IRS said it would hold the council members personally responsible, Ms. Shingler said.

House fire kills woman in Anderson

ANDERSON -A woman has died in a house fire after firefighters were able to rescue only her mother and 103-year-old grandmother from the blaze, Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore says.

Lacreta Gray, 21, called 911 about the fire, but when firefighters arrived they only were able to rescue the two older women, Mr. Shore said.

Former county leader joins pretrial program

SUMTER -Former Sumter County Council Chairman Frank Williams Jr. has entered a pretrial intervention program that could expunge charges of receiving stolen property from his record.

Mr. Williams, who was indicted last year on charges of receiving stolen goods between $1,000 and $5,000 in value, entered the program for first-time offenders Sept. 4, said Trey Walker, a spokesman for the state attorney general's office.