Spartanburg expects to clean up PCBs by January
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - State officials have approved a plan by the Spartanburg sewer district to remove hazardous chemicals from water and sludge deposits by January.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports that Spartanburg Sanitary Sewer chief operating officer Rebecca West said Tuesday it will cost $2.5 million to remove the chemicals known as PCBs from 1.2 million gallons of contaminated water and sludge.
State and federal officials have approved the cleanup plan. Authorities began investigating earlier this year after PCBs were found in several Spartanburg County sewer districts. Officials said the contamination appears to be the result of the dumping of illegal materials into the sewer systems.
PCBs were used for decades in a variety of industrial applications but were banned in 1979 after tests showed they could cause ailments including cancer.
MYRTLE BEACH TOURISM
Myrtle Beach lodging revenue, admission taxes up
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - There are more signs South Carolina's tourism industry is continuing its strong recovery from the recession.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the head of the local chamber of commerce told City Council on Tuesday that admission tax revenue is up 6 percent while lodging revenues are up about 5 percent this year.
Chamber President and CEO Brad Dean says the area's local option 1 percent sales tax has paid for marketing to increase the number of visitors. Dean said 38 percent of those who came to the area last year were first time visitors, up from 34 percent in 2011.
Dean says the chamber has an almost $30 million marketing budget for 2014 and nearly 75 percent of that money will be spent on digital advertising.
Beaufort County oak is SC's 2013 Heritage Tree
BURTON, S.C. (AP) - An oak tree estimated to be as many as 400 years old has been designated South Carolina's Heritage Tree for 2013.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports the honor went to the Cherry Hill live oak in Burton. The award was presented Tuesday by Trees SC, a nonprofit group that works to preserve South Carolina's urban and neighborhood forests.
The tree is on a 10-acre site owned by an Augusta, Ga., company. Development plans for the area have not been mapped out, but the owners say the tree will be protected.
Trees SC director Karen Hauck says the award recognizes remarkable trees and is designed to help people recognize the benefits of trees.
SC coroner: More tests needed in inmate's death
UNION, S.C. (AP) - Union County's coroner says more tests are needed to determine how an inmate died at the county jail.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported that Coroner William Holcombe said he needs more information before he can determine how 34-year-old Robert Franklin Gregory of Union died.
Gregory was found unresponsive in a jail cell shortly before 5:30 a.m. Sunday.
Gregory had been jailed on a criminal domestic violence charge and was awaiting a bond hearing. Jail workers and paramedics were unable to revive Gregory.
Sheriff David Taylor said he could not talk about the investigation.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating.
BEAUFORT MASTER PLAN
Hearing set next month on Beaufort master plan
BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - Beaufort residents will get a chance to comment on a proposed master plan for the city next month.
The Beaufort Gazette reports that a Jan. 14 hearing will be held on the 280-page plan that will provide a framework for growth in the coastal city for the next century.
City Council will take the first of two votes on the plan after the hearing.
Mayor Billy Keyserling says that the public hearing and the council vote were postponed until after the holidays so more people would have a chance to comment.
The local planning commission finished the plan in November after months of work and dozens of meetings.
Man arrested in Columbia stabbing death
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Richland County sheriff's deputies have arrested a suspect in the stabbing death of a man last week.
Deputies arrested 21-year-old Tony Lamont Young after getting a tip from CrimeStoppers. It was not clear if he has an attorney.
Deputies found 30-year-old Derrick Land in the parking lot of an apartment complex around 1 a.m. Saturday. Land had been stabbed several times. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Sheriff Leon Lott says officers have found the knife they think was used in the attack.
MAYOR'S BROTHER-IN LAW KILLED
Man arrested in death of SC mayor's brother in law
CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - The man wanted in the shooting death of the brother-in-law of Columbia, S.C.'s mayor has been arrested in Charlotte.
Charlotte police say 40-year-old Arthur Givens was arrested Tuesday.
Givens is charged with murder, possession of a weapon by a felon, assault with a deadly weapon and communicating threats. It was not clear if he has an attorney.
Thirty-eight-year-old Donald Gist Jr. was shot and killed Friday afternoon in Charlotte. Gist is the brother-in-law of Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin.
Police had said the shooting did not appear to be random, as the suspect and the victim knew each other.
Gist's family issued a statement thanking Charlotte officials for the quick action in arresting a suspect.
Rock Hill couple dead in apparent murder-suicide
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - A Rock Hill couple has been found shot to death at their home and the York County coroner says it appears to have been a murder suicide.
Coroner Sabrina Gast said 91-year-old James Martin and 81-year-old Mary Jean Martin were pronounced dead Monday morning.
Authorities think James Martin shot his wife and then himself. Gast says he left a note asking that certain family members be notified.
The coroner said both victims had been suffering health problems.
Gast says autopsies Tuesday confirmed both died from gunshot wounds.
Police spokesman Mark Bollinger says officers were called after a caregiver found the couple. Bollinger says there is no indication anyone else was involved in the shooting.
Mary Martin was a former chair of the Winthrop University Board of Trustees.
Cutter returning to SC from final patrol
NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - After 45 years of service to the nation, a Coast Guard Sector Charleston cutter is returning home from its final mission.
The Gallatin docks in North Charleston on Wednesday following the completion of a 72-day patrol in the Caribbean. During the patrol, the cutter seized more than 24,000 pounds of cocaine at almost $34 million.
The Gallatin was commissioned in 1968 and will be decommissioned in March. It will be replaced by the Hamilton, one of the Coast Guard's new generation of National Security Cutters and the first of that class to be deployed on the East Coast.
The new cutters are faster and have longer range. They can recover small boats from the stern and have a flight deck for helicopters and unmanned drones.
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