Tuesday, October 28, 2008

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School board gives superintendent good marks

The Charleston County School Board gave Superintendent Nancy McGinley a good grade for her first 18 months as chief of the state's second biggest district. But three board members â€" David Engelman, Arthur Ravenel Jr. and Ray Toler â€" did not fill out review forms that were compiled and used to rate McGinley. Those same members also voted against the one-year contract extension, $8,000 performance bonus and $300 monthly travel allowance increase the board agreed to give the superintendent.

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Utility's plan stirs coal-ash debate

On the banks of the Great Pee Dee River, Santee Cooper wants to build a giant power plant that would consume 410 tons of coal every hour and generate enough electricity for 600,000 homes. Burning all that coal also will generate huge volumes of potentially harmful ash, and Santee Cooper plans to store it in a landfill and holding pond on a bluff above the river.

Ash landfill causes concern

Near Moncks Corner, in the quiet Whitesville community, SCE&G operates an ash landfill for its Williams generating station. For years, wells drilled to monitor groundwater around the landfill didn't reveal any pollution problems â€" until 2004 when engineers put them in places where contamination was more likely to occur.

Suspect named in string of break-ins

Alternately polite and foul-mouthed, a brazen burglar has slipped in and out of darkened downtown homes for weeks, startling sleepy-eyed Charleston residents and inspiring fear in his quest for quick cash. Charleston police say some undisclosed evidence has helped them finally put a name to this mysterious, early morning creeper. The prime suspect in the string of break-ins is a 23-year-old Charleston man who has a previous burglary conviction on his record, authorities said Monday.

Mom: Shooting was an accident

JOHNS ISLAND â€" Roberto "Robbie" Valdez's family members were worried about the bad friends he made while living in Illinois, so they packed up and moved to Johns Island. On Saturday afternoon, the 15-year-old freshman at St. Johns High School was playing with a .22-caliber pistol and accidentally shot himself to death, his mother, Christina Pulcher, said. "He thought it was unloaded."

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