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Wreckage from plane crash to be inspected

COLUMBIA - The crash of a small plane Thursday night that killed three Columbia-area men is a mystery.

A National Transportation Safety Board investigator will review air traffic controller tapes and inspect the wreckage of the Cessna 182, an agency spokesman said.

The pilot, Bernard Stanek Jr., 57, of Columbia, and passengers Len Lovette, 71, of Hopkins, and Nathan Derek Faulkenberry, 34, of Columbia, died instantly of multiple trauma, Lexington County Coroner Harry Harman said.

34-year-old charged in series of arsons

COLUMBIA - A 34-year-old man has been indicted on arson charges in connection with a series of intentionally set fires in Sumter County.

State Forestry Commission agents arrested Christopher Lee Hartley in June at the scene of a fire in Manchester State Forest, the commission said in a news release.

Forestry agents charged Mr. Hartley with six woods fires, and the Sumter County Sheriff's office added three more arson charges.

Two men charged in intentional fires

COLUMBIA - Columbia police say two men have been charged with arson in a string of intentionally set fires.

Thirty-eight-year-old Chris Matthew Lloyd was charged with arson in connection with two fires, including one that burned the J-P Holley Funeral home.

Fifty-seven-year-old James Kirkley was charged with one count of arson in connection with another fire.

Committee nominates new Senate chaplain

COLUMBIA - A Senate committee has nominated a Columbia clergyman to be the chamber's new chaplain.

The Rev. James St. John, the pastor of Forest Lake Presbyterian Church for 15 years, would replace George Meetze, who had been chaplain since 1950 and who died Thanksgiving Day.

Officials hope more people get flu shots

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - The state health department is hoping an increase in the number of cases of the flu will prompt more people to get flu shots.

South Carolina currently has plenty of flu vaccine, unlike the last two years, when heavy demand and late shipments created a rush on flu shots, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control.

In the Lowcountry, health officials have seen a sharp decline in the number of people at their vaccination clinics, said Nick Davidson, the public health preparedness director for the DHEC region that includes Beaufort, Jasper, Hampton and Colleton counties.

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