Originally created 12/06/05

Across South Carolina



Bill would let students take tests on computer

COLUMBIA - Elementary and middle school students could take annual high-stakes tests on computer under a House bill to be pre-filed this week.

Lawmakers want to get test results in teachers' hands more quickly and give students a test that better gauges their strengths and weaknesses. Both goals could be accomplished with a computerized test, they say.

An adaptive computerized test responds to a student's performance by presenting more challenging questions as students answer correctly. Officials say such a test gives teachers and parents a clearer picture of where students need help. Computerized tests also can get those results to schools faster.

Governor wants state to buy up timberland

AWENDAW - Gov. Mark Sanford said Monday that he will propose spending $10 million next year to help preserve timberland before it is gobbled up by breakneck development across the state.

Mr. Sanford said South Carolina has a chance to preserve land at a time timber companies are selling some of their land holdings.

"This is something that has never happened before. We think it is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to tie down large blocks of land as these timber companies dispose of these properties," the governor told reporters along a rural road near the Cape Romain Wildlife Refuge.

Mr. Sanford said he will propose in his executive budget that the money come from new state revenues. He said the state funds could be leveraged by pooling them with federal money or money from conservation groups.

Men shoot teen, stop car en route to hospital

CHARLESTON - A teenager died after being shot in a nightclub parking lot then chased by his assailants as friends drove him to the hospital, the Berkeley County coroner says.

Desquan Lampkin, 16, was pronounced dead at 2:45 a.m. Sunday at Moncks Corner Medical Center, Coroner Glenn Rhoad said.

Three men have been charged in the shooting, but details of the arrest were unavailable.

Mr. Lampkin's friends put him in a car and started toward the hospital after the shooting. But the attackers rammed the victim's car, pushing it off the road into a tree, Mr. Rhoad said. Another group of friends grabbed Mr. Lampkin from the wreck and put him into another car that got him to the hospital, but by then it was too late to save the teen, Mr. Rhoad said.

Marion Trail planning to get under way soon

MYRTLE BEACH - A trail highlighting the battles and encampments of Revolutionary War Gen. Francis Marion could boost tourism in the northeastern corner of South Carolina.

State lawmakers approved a commission to establish the Francis Marion Trail and provided $100,000 for planning. The members are in place, and a three-day retreat is planned next month, said Ben Zeigler of Florence, the chairman of the unpaid panel.

The trail is intended to boost heritage tourism, a growing industry segment.