Originally created 02/28/05

Across South Carolina



Day-care regulation plan is put on hold

COLUMBIA - Plans to set up a statewide voluntary rating system for day-care centers are on hold after the House budget-writing committee blocked the program.

The Department of Social Services had planned to start the program, Palmetto STARS, in the spring. But lawmakers last week adopted a temporary law - attached to the state budget bill - that would prevent them from beginning the system for at least a year.

Some lawmakers have expressed concerns about whether the system would drive up costs. They're also under pressure from some day-care operators who say the program would be unfair.

"It's supposed to be voluntary, but it really wouldn't be, in practice," said Rep. Ralph Davenport, R-Boiling Springs. "The effect would be felt by lower-middle-class and middle-class families."

Misconduct inquiry leads to suspensions

SPARTANBURG - Two more Landrum police officers have been suspended pending the outcome of a State Law Enforcement Division investigation into allegations of misconduct and ticket fixing at the department.

Officer Scott White and Sgt. Tim Kelley learned Friday they had been suspended.

Chief Bruce Shelnut's eight-man department is down to three full-time officers. He said Saturday the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office is on standby in case backup is needed. Six reserve officers also are on standby.

Chief Shelnut said he plans to hire two new officers in March to replace one fired officer and another who resigned.

Officer White, Sgt. Kelley and former Officer Steve Alexander went public with their suspicions of wrongdoing in January. Mr. Alexander was fired soon after.

Officer White and Sgt. Kelley have begun compiling a list of a dozen instances they say mark harassment by several current and former colleagues and an elected official.

The two men said they have a videotape that documents one complaint and plan to turn it over to SLED.

Chief Shelnut said "personnel reasons" factored into his decision to suspend the men.

N. Charleston sees 3rd death in 3 days

CHARLESTON - A man was found fatally shot in North Charleston near a residential area, the city's third homicide in three days.

Clifton Lamar Anderson, 32, was found at about 1:40 a.m. Saturday on the side of a street. He died of a gunshot wound to the head, Charleston Deputy Coroner Rae Wooten said.

Police have charged 39-year-old Ahmad Waheed with withholding information from an investigation, spokesman Spencer Pryor said. He would not give any other details.