Originally created 08/08/06

Across South Carolina



College scholarships exceed $600 million

COLUMBIA - High school students in the 2006 graduating class were offered nearly $610 million in college scholarships, Education Superintendent Inez Tenenbaum said Monday.

The total has increased each of the five years since the state began surveying local school districts. The senior class total of $609.5 million was $55 million higher than the previous year, bringing the five-year total to more than $2.4 billion.

Aiken County High School graduates won $22.8 million in scholarships last year.

Cocaine is seized at 2 hotels in Fort Mill

ROCK HILL - Investigators seized 5 kilograms of cocaine at two Fort Mill hotels in what police are saying may be the largest bust of the drug in York County.

Marvin Brown, the commander of the York County Multijurisdictional Drug Enforcement Unit, said Saturday's seizure followed a monthlong investigation of Victor Demont Brown, 34, and David William Sleet Jr., 35, both of Knoxville, Tenn.

A third suspect escaped by jumping out the second-story window at a hotel.

Spence's widow, sons settle estate dispute

COLUMBIA - The widow of U.S. Rep. Floyd Spence has settled a dispute with her four stepsons over the South Carolina congressman's estate.

Deborah Spence, Mr. Spence's second wife, and his four sons agreed in June 2004 to divide the 29-acre Spence Plantation on Lake Murray, The State reported Monday.

According to court documents, Mrs. Spence received half the land, and the remainder was to be divided equally among the sons. Lexington County property records show the property was valued at $3.7 million before its division.

The Republican, served in the U.S. House for 31 years. Lula, his first wife and mother of his four sons, died in 1978.

High court affirms ruling for new trial

COLUMBIA - The South Carolina Supreme Court on Monday affirmed a lower court's decision granting a new trial for a Richland County man convicted of murder.

Willie Reese, 36, was sentenced to 35 years in prison in the 2001 shooting death of his estranged wife, Teresa Reese, 29. Prosecutors said he had been waiting for his wife to return home. He then approached her, shot her once in the head and drove away.

The high court said prosecutors "indisputably asked jurors to abandon their impartiality" by asking them to look at the case from the viewpoint of the victim. The justices disagreed with the Court of Appeals' decision in 2004 that jurors should have been allowed to consider a lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter.

- Edited from wire reports