Originally created 10/11/05

Across South Carolina



Sanford leads cyclists from Aiken to capital

COLUMBIA - Gov. Mark Sanford and more than 200 cyclists pedaled 60 miles to the Governor's Mansion from Aiken in about five hours to encourage South Carolinians to live healthier lifestyles.

Two cyclists were taken to the hospital after separate crashes. The riders who finished were treated to lunch at the mansion.

Ron Vance, who rode with his dog Quincy in a milk crate, said he came to South Carolina from his hometown of Gaylord, Mich., to build a deck for his daughter, a teacher at South Aiken High School.

"I get to ride with the governor, even got my picture taken with him," Mr. Vance said. "Isn't that cool?"

One rider in particular impressed Mr. Sanford.

Columbia attorney Sara Hutchins made the trip on a mountain bike with big, fat tires.

"It's all I had," Ms. Hutchins said. "I do a lot of running. Besides, it's a chance to have lunch at the Governor's Mansion. (I said) we're doing it!"

Autopsy is coming in death of scuba diver

MYRTLE BEACH - A Pennsylvania woman has died after scuba diving off the South Carolina coast, and Horry County officials hope an autopsy will provide more information about her death.

Beth Moore, 40, of Fairfield, Pa., collapsed at about 3 p.m. Sunday after diving about 38 miles offshore. She was airlifted to shore and taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center, where she was pronounced dead a short time later, said Tamara Willard, a deputy coroner in Horry County.

Ms. Moore was an experienced scuba diver on an annual trip to the area with friends, Ms. Willard said.

Entrepreneurs boost state oyster industry

BULL'S BAY - A few entrepreneurs on the coast are helping keep the oyster industry afloat in South Carolina by marketing on the Internet and trying to grow better oysters.

The state's oystermen are focused on filling niches in the seafood industry, officials said.

The Lowcountry's briny oysters grow in clusters, which aren't preferred by restaurant owners.

Chefs prefer oysters in single shells because they're easier to prepare and serve, officials said.

Change leads to rush in bankruptcy court

COLUMBIA - South Carolinians are rushing to bankruptcy in growing numbers.

It's not the economy that's driving them there, it's a change in the rules that will make it more difficult to escape debts through the court.

Last week, 603 bankruptcy cases were filed in South Carolina compared with 295 during the first week of September, according to U.S. Bankruptcy Court records.

The past month saw a 33 percent increase in filings to 1,943 from the same time last year.

The new bankruptcy laws, which take effect Oct. 17, will drive up the cost of filing for bankruptcy, Columbia attorney Michael J. Cox said.

Attorneys are raising fees and debtors will have to pay for mandatory credit counseling.