Originally created 10/03/04

Across South Carolina



Students may debate restricted topics

ROCK HILL - School officials now say Fort Mill High School students can discuss stem cell research, abortion and gay marriage at a debate, days after administrators restricted topics.

The student-run debate scheduled for Oct. 19 is intended to mirror the presidential debates. A list of topics was approved by school Principal David Damm, but some expressed concern that certain issues were too sensitive.

School officials said there was a misunderstanding about a state law that prohibits discussion of homosexual sex and abortion in sex education class. They feared the rule would extend to student events, but school district lawyer David Duff said the state rule would not apply to the debate.

State rests case in school funding trial

MANNING - The trial in a lawsuit charging that poor, rural school districts don't receive enough money from the state drew closer to an end as lawyers defending the state rested their case last week.

State attorneys ended their rebuttal of the case, which relied on eight witnesses.

The trial, so far, has played out in 98 days over 14 months and now goes into recess while Circuit Judge Thomas W. Cooper Jr. looks to schedule testimony from several more plaintiff witnesses.

Board asks to suspend doctor after deaths

COLUMBIA - The state medical board wants to suspend the license of a West Columbia doctor who was treating a woman with intravenous hydrogen peroxide when she died.

In a complaint filed against James M. Shortt, the Board of Medical Examiners also cites a second death of a prostate cancer patient who was treated with unorthodox therapies.

Despite the board's move against Dr. Shortt, it continues to list him as a physician in good standing.

Ex-POW says troops should stay in Iraq

COLUMBIA - Shoshana Johnson, a former prisoner of war in Iraq, says the United States should not suddenly pull its troops out.

"It would be total chaos," said Ms. Johnson, who was presented a key to the city of Columbia during a reception in her honor that was attended by about 50 people.

Ms. Johnson, 31, has not been in Columbia since 1999, when she trained at Fort Jackson.