Originally created 02/11/06

Across South Carolina

Pastor, wife accused of stealing from church

MONCKS CORNER - A former pastor and his wife are charged with conspiring to steal money from a Berkeley County church, authorities said.

Kenneth Dale Feagin, 44, had been pastor at Victory Baptist Church in Macedonia for nearly 13 years. His wife, Cynthia Robertson Feagin, 45, was church secretary.

Conspiracy warrants charge the two with working together to conceal the embezzlement of more than $5,000.

Mr. Feagin also was charged with breach of trust over $5,000.

Authorities allege he wrote checks to himself and put the money into his personal account but said the checks went to a program to help needy families.

A State Law Enforcement Division affidavit also alleges that Mr. Feagin kept a $2,300 insurance settlement for a crash involving a car donated to the church. He is also accused of taking $2,800 from the sale of a pickup, also donated to the church.

Guard sends relief hay to Mississippi

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina National Guard will ship more than 3,000 bales of hay to the hurricane-ravaged Gulf Coast, as South Carolina farmers try to help their colleagues in Mississippi.

The first convoy of "Operation Hayride" left Thursday.

Hurricane Katrina has created problems for farmers along the Gulf Coast trying to feed livestock.

South Carolina usually has to import hay for livestock, state Agriculture Commissioner Hugh Weathers aid. But the past year has been a good one for hay production in South Carolina, Mr. Weathers said.

South Carolina growers are donating about 3,000 bales that weigh about 1 ton each, along with about 2,500 smaller bales. The hay has a value of about $200,000, Mr. Weathers said.

Timmy Benton farms about 1,000 acres near Walterboro and says he remembers when farmers from other states shipped hay to South Carolina as the state suffered drought conditions.

"This is our way of helping our neighbors," Mr. Benton said.

Television show helps catch slaying suspect

LANCASTER - The suspect in a stabbing death more than a year ago was arrested in Louisiana after the case was featured on the television show America's Most Wanted, authorities said.

David Rollins Cauthen Jr., 41, was arrested Thursday by U.S. marshals while he was on a lunch break from his construction job.

Mr. Cauthen's girlfriend, Brenda Steen, was found stabbed to death in October 2004 in Lancaster County.

More than 110 tips came in after a segment on Ms. Steen's killing aired last weekend.

"America's Most Wanted does work," said Shelby Steen, Brenda's mother. "I know catching him is not going to bring her back. ... But it's going to bring relief to us."

Mr. Cauthen was arrested at a convenience store near Covington, La., said Lancaster County Sheriff's Lt. Lee Blackmon. Investigators say they believe Mr. Cauthen, a handyman, moved to Louisiana, where he had been working as a roofer, repairing homes that were damaged by Hurricane Katrina.

- Edited from wire reports


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