Friday, December 12, 2008

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North Charleston gang of youths wild in the streets

All Larry Redding had on his mind Sunday night was the aroma of the two-piece Church's chicken dinner wafting up from the take-out box in his hands. He barely noticed the three kids standing by a Rivers Avenue alley, laughing and yelling as they watched him approach. Then five more appeared, fanning out around him. "Hey, Old School," one of the youths yelled. As Redding, 55, turned in the speaker's direction, a fist slammed into his right eye from the other side. Blood flowed from Redding's nose as his steaming dinner dropped to the pavement.

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Religious plates ordered halted

COLUMBIA â€" South Carolina must stop marketing and making license plates that feature the image of a cross and the words "I Believe" while a lawsuit challenging the plates' constitutionality goes forward, a federal judge ruled Thursday. U.S. District Judge Cameron Currie issued the temporary injunction after an hour-long court hearing in which opponents argued that the plates, which depict a stained-glass window with a cross on the left hand side and the words "I Believe" across the top, violate the separation of church and state.

Inmate pleads guilty to slaying

ST. GEORGE â€" A violent inmate at Lieber state prison voluntarily pleaded guilty Thursday to committing his third murder in what looked like an attempt to forgo a jury trial and directly seek the death penalty. Kenneth Henry Justus, 41, was serving two life sentences for separate Oconee County murders when he stabbed fellow inmate Justin Bregenzer, 22, to death with a shank. After that killing, officials filed for the death penalty.

State agencies must ax another 7 percent

COLUMBIA â€" State agencies were ordered Thursday to slash another 7 percent in spending, bringing total budget cuts to nearly a billion dollars. Agencies face the task of figuring out whether to cut employees or services, or a combination of both this fiscal year. The latest round of cuts, ordered by the Budget and Control board in a 4-1 vote, total $383 million and follow Wednesday's news that tax collections continue to fall short of projections.

Rape leads to life sentence

Charleston attorneys, judges and friends of Judge Louis E. Condon packed a reception hall at the Confederate Home on Thursday evening to celebrate the 81-year-old jurist's career, with the unveiling of a portrait that will hang in the Charleston County Courthouse. "He was such a wonderful jurist," said Charleston County Clerk of Court Julie Armstrong. "He deserves it."

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