Originally created 01/31/05

Across South Carolina

Small chemical leak is contained at port

CHARLESTON - A small chemical leak was contained and cleaned up after about 20 gallons of an ingredient used in perfumes and pharmaceuticals poured out of an overseas-bound shipping container, officials said.

Port workers Saturday noticed the propionic anhydride, which by itself is corrosive and produces a harmful gas, oozing out of a container after a bolt came loose, officials said.

Two firefighters wearing blue chemical suits surveyed the damage and fixed the bolt.

"It's not a large leak, but we take the same safety precautions no matter how large or small the spill," Charleston Fire Chief Rusty Thomas said. "There were three shipping containers with the same chemical, but only one of the containers had a leak."

Chief Thomas said his department hadn't responded to a chemical spill at the downtown port in more than six years.

No injuries were reported.

Community, police leaders discuss gangs

COLUMBIA - About 300 community and law enforcement leaders discussed ideas to prevent youth violence at a statewide gang summit Saturday.

Columbia Mayor Bob Coble said he hoped the summit would become an annual event. Attendees met in groups, discussed gang legislation and shared ideas to stop youth violence.

Neighborhood will cross county line

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - Sun City Hilton Head's developer has decided to expand the neighborhood for people older than 55 into Jasper County.

Del Webb Group of Pulte Homes had originally planned to sell the 700 acres to another developer, but the company changed its mind after sales of its homes in its original neighborhood in Beaufort County improved, officials said.

Developers will build 1,250 homes on the Jasper County land, but construction will not begin until sales in the Beaufort County portion are complete.

Man takes plea deal in 1994 strangling

FLORENCE - A man who spent nearly a decade in prison for killing a Marlboro County woman before his conviction was overturned has reached a plea agreement with prosecutors that will likely keep him from going back behind bars, his attorney said.

Martin McIntosh, 39, pleaded guilty this month to misprision of a felony and agreed to testify against Johnny "Ringo" Pearson, the only defendant in the case who has not been tried.

Darlene Patterson's body was found in a pond in November 1994. She had been strangled, with duct tape around her ankles, hands and head.

Mr. McIntosh was convicted of murder, but the state Supreme Court overturned the conviction last year.


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