Originally created 02/27/06

Across South Carolina



Oprah gives message to fans in Charleston

NORTH CHARLESTON - A capacity crowd of 2,300 fans from across the South and as far away as Minnesota braved the rain to see a woman many of them revere: Oprah Winfrey.

Ms. Winfrey delivered a two-hour message of inspiration and hope Saturday at the North Charleston Performing Arts Center as part of her "Live Your Best Life" tour.

"Oprah makes you proud to be a woman," said Carmen Brookshire of Taylorsville, N.C.

Ms. Winfrey repeatedly spoke of her relationship with God and sang a chorus of I Surrender All.

Lab worker accused of altering results

CHARLESTON - A lab assistant charged with taking money to cover up urine test results has highlighted the state's lack of oversight of drug-test screeners.

Neal Lamar Holmes, 41, of Charleston, was arrested last month on a charge of obstructing justice.

He is accused of taking $90 from two undercover agents to give clean test results.

Authorities say it was not the first time Mr. Holmes had asked for money to alter tests.

They believe he conducted hundreds of drug tests for the U.S. Probation Office and the U.S. District Court in Charleston during his three years as a drug screener.

If convicted, he faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

He has not yet entered a plea.

Cheating prompts test of plagiarism software

COLUMBIA - Students using the Internet to cheat on assignments have led a Columbia-area school district to test plagiarism detection software.

Some Internet-savvy students are using what they find on the Web to complete their homework and term papers and are counting on their teachers not to recognize the material. Some Web sites even offer term papers for a price.

Seventy percent of Richland 2 students say they know someone who cheats, while about half say they don't fully understand attribution - what's cheating and what's not, according to the district's 2004 survey.

Lawmakers want to expand 'Daniel's Law'

SUMTER - At the urging of the Sumter police chief, two lawmakers have introduced a bill that would allow infants to be dropped off at police stations or churches without penalty.

Currently, "Daniel's Law" applies to unharmed newborns left only at a hospital or other medical facility.

Sumter Police Chief Patty Patterson said that does not provide enough options and urged Reps. David Weeks, D-Sumter, and Murrell Smith, R-Sumter, to push the bill expanding where infants can be left.

Last month, after an anonymous call to 911, Chief Patterson and a fellow officer found a baby boy, apparently only a few hours old, abandoned on the side steps of a Sumter church.