Originally created 03/27/04

Across South Carolina



Teacher's killer is set to die April 23

COLUMBIA - A man convicted of killing a Columbia schoolteacher in 1993 has been scheduled to be put to death April 23, the state attorney general's office said Friday.

Jason Scott Byram, 38, was convicted of stabbing 36-year-old Julie Johnson to death as she slept on a sofa in her downtown home while her family slept upstairs.

The U.S. Supreme Court declined to hear Mr. Byram's appeal Monday, said Trey Walker, a spokesman for the attorney general's office. A federal appeals court had previously rejected Mr. Byram's claim that mistakes by his lawyers denied him a fair trial.

Public school march to draw over 10,000

COLUMBIA - Organizers say they expect a crowd of more than 10,000 to march on the Statehouse on May 15 to protest how the state pays for public school education.

Testimony in a lawsuit challenging state funding practices for schools resumes next week; about three dozen rural school districts have sued the state.

Activist Rhett Jackson said he and others have organized a coalition of more than 50 groups for the march and rally.

Teen faces charges in two men's slayings

GREENVILLE - A teen has been charged with murder in the shooting deaths of two men in the Judson Community of Greenville County.

Authorities said Nicholas Rozier Perry, 17, of Greenville, turned himself in Thursday.

The bodies of Malloy F. McNatt, 36, of Spartanburg, and Charles Agnew, 41, of Fountain Inn, were found last weekend.

Arrest warrants said Mr. Perry was riding in a car with the two victims when he shot Mr. McNatt. Mr. Perry is accused of chasing Mr. Agnew down the street before shooting him.

Experts say drought may not be returning

COLUMBIA - Even though South Carolina will soon finish what looks to be the driest March on record, experts say the lack of rain doesn't necessarily mean the drought is returning.

The state has averaged 0.4 inches of rain this March, well below the record low of 1.08 inches set in 1985. The forecast for the rest of the month looks relatively dry.

Much of the state has received 3 to 5 inches less precipitation than normal in 2004.