Originally created 04/24/06

Across South Carolina



Body of teen caught by riptide is found

MYRTLE BEACH - The body of a teenager who disappeared while swimming in the ocean near the Myrtle Beach Pavilion has been found.

The body of Primtvio Ledesma, 13, was found Friday a couple of miles north of where he went under April 15.

His family had been on vacation from Sanford, N.C.

Officials think he was caught in a rip current - a fast-moving belt of water that can carry swimmers out to sea and make it difficult to swim back.

Lack of funding might delay some roadwork

COLUMBIA - State highway commissioners say some roadwork will have to wait if lawmakers don't provide some money for the agency.

"We are in dire straits; there's no question about that," said Commissioner Bob Harrell Sr., the chairman of the Transportation Department board's finance and administration committee. "I don't think I've seen it this bad."

The financial crunch is a result of increases in the cost of materials used to make roads, lack of growth in the agency's primary funding source - gas taxes - and lower-than-anticipated federal highway revenues, said Mo Denny, the agency's chief financial officer.

Some commissioners say it may be time to raise the gas tax, which has been unchanged since 1987. But that is unlikely in an election year.

House Speaker Bobby Harrell Jr., the son of the highway commissioner, said he doesn't think a gas tax would pass.

Bill grades hospitals on infection numbers

GREENVILLE - Hospitals would be graded on their infection rates under a bill approved by a Senate committee.

The bill, sponsored by Sen. Ralph Anderson, D-Greenville, was approved by the Medical Affairs Committee last week. Mr. Anderson said he plans to meet this week with industry representatives to nail down details of how hospitals would report their rates of infection to the public before the measure goes to the full Senate.

At least one in 20 patients - about 2 million people a year - contracts an infection in the hospital, according to Consumers Union. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports that about 90,000 of those patients die.