Originally created 11/25/03

Around South Carolina



Official wants power in pollution crimes

COLUMBIA - State Attorney General Henry McMaster wants the Legislature to give the state grand jury the authority to investigate crimes against the environment and his office greater power to prosecute.

The U.S. attorney's office typically investigates environmental crimes in South Carolina, relying on federal grand juries with much broader authority than the state grand jury.

The state could help out if its grand jury had broader authority, Mr. McMaster said.

Priest quits church over misuse of funds

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - A priest has resigned from his position at St. Francis By the Sea Catholic Church several months after church officials determined he had misappropriated funds.

No criminal charges will be filed against the Rev. Michael McCafferty, officials of the Catholic Diocese of Charleston said.

Officials would not say how much money was taken, but they said the priest has made full restitution.

Man on Thanksgiving trip crashes plane

COLUMBIA - A Massachusetts man who crashed his single-engine plane into a residential area in Columbia was on his way to Aiken to spend Thanksgiving with his family, his brother said.

Frank Donovan's plane crashed Saturday into a back yard after it apparently ran low on fuel, his brother Jim Donovan said. Mr. Donovan, who was the only one aboard, suffered minor injuries from the crash.

"It's the first time he's crashed, and it'll be his last time," Jim Donovan said.

Groups get award to preserve forests

CHARLESTON - A coalition of conservation groups has received millions of dollars that it hopes to use to preserve at least 60,000 acres of forest land in South Carolina's coastal plain.

The newly formed Lowcountry Forest Conservation Partnership will use a $4 million grant from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation, officials announced Monday.

The seven groups include Clemson University, the Conservation Fund, Ducks Unlimited, the South Carolina Coastal Conservation League, the Joseph Jones Ecological Research Center, the Lowcountry Open Land Trust and the Nature Conservancy.