Originally created 06/13/05

Across South Carolina



Man is charged again after mistaken release

CHARLESTON - A man convicted of criminal domestic violence and mistakenly released from jail has been re-arrested and charged in an attack on the same woman.

Armando Vargas was convicted June 6 of criminal domestic violence and sentenced to 20 days in jail, but the sentence was not entered into a computer, Charleston County Detention Center Administrator Mitch Lucas said.

The jail allowed him to post bail Thursday.

"If the sentence had been entered in the computer, we wouldn't have accepted the bond payment," Mr. Lucas said.

Police reports said Mr. Vargas returned to the victim's home Friday. He was arrested and charged with aggravated criminal domestic violence. The new charge is a felony with a 10-year prison term.

Hotel company will add call center jobs

CHARLESTON - A British hotel concern plans to add 100 jobs to a North Charleston call center in the weeks ahead.

Intercontinental Hotels Group owns or runs 3,500 lodging places around the globe and held a job fair Saturday for its call center operation. That operation handles traveler calls that go to Holiday Inn's corporate toll-free number and calls from a growing number of independent hotels. Overall, the center gets about 9 million calls a year, about 25,000 a day.

Intercontinental also operates a 700-worker call center in Salt Lake City.

South Carolina seizes a growing share of the nation's growing call-center work because it does not charge sales tax on interstate long-distance calls.

New law could keep casino boats at bay

COLUMBIA - Officials in South Carolina coastal counties say they are studying a new law that will let them ban casino boats from mooring at their docks.

For Georgetown County, the new state law could affect its court battle to keep the vessels out. Horry County said local regulatory power could help bring in fees from its casino boat operators.

Currently, only two boats operate gambling cruises, and both are docked at Little River in Horry County. The boats take customers outside the state's waters where gambling is allowed, then bring them back without stopping at any other ports.