Originally created 10/20/06

Across South Carolina



Immigrants sending millions back home

COLUMBIA - South Carolina's 139,000 Latino immigrants are expected to send roughly $322 million to families in their homelands this year, according to a new report by the Inter-American Development Bank.

That figure represents a significant increase from two years ago, according to the report released Wednesday.

Anna Naranjo of Columbia tries to wire home $500 each month to her family in Ecuador, where the money is used for food and utility bills.

Ms. Naranjo works at Carolina Paint and Body in the Midlands. The money she sends home represents about 30 percent of her monthly income.

The increasing amount of money flowing from South Carolina to Latin America reflects the state's increasing Latino population, one of the fastest-growing in the country, said Doug Woodward, an economist with the Moore School of Business at the University of South Carolina.

Citadel graduate is killed in Iraq action

STURBRIDGE, MASS. - A 23-year-old Marine who graduated from The Citadel last year died this week in Iraq, the U.S. Department of Defense said Thursday.

Marine 2nd Lt. Joshua Booth was killed by a sniper shot to the head while leading his platoon on foot patrol in Haditha. He leaves behind a wife, Erica, and an 18-month-old daughter.

Lt. Booth was a 2005 graduate of The Citadel, the state military college in Charleston. He is the 12th Citadel graduate to die in the fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Lt. Booth had served in Iraq for just more than a month, but his superiors told his parents, John and Debra Booth, that he'd made an important impact. He worked in an advanced intelligence unit whose members spoke the local language.

"They said Josh got more out of the neighbors in Haditha in his two weeks there than they have in six months," Mr. Booth said.

Median cable barriers helping to save lives

COLUMBIA - Median barriers - those thin steel cables stretching across the center of many of South Carolina's interstates - have been hit more than 10,000 times since the first ones were installed in January 2001.

And highway officials say they have undoubtedly saved lives by preventing vehicles from crossing into traffic going the opposite direction.

In 2000, the last full year before the state started installing median cable barriers, 27 fatalities resulted from people crossing the median. Since the start of 2005, there have been two crossover deaths, according to the Public Safety Department.

The Federal Highway Administration estimates that 250 fatal crashes have been avoided since January 2001.

- Edited from wire reports