Saturday, December 27, 2008

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Losing grip on home

In 30 years as a mortgage counselor, Robert Mitchell has seen a lot of pain, but never like this. Every day now, Mitchell gets dozens of calls at his United Way office from people who are barely getting by, and are desperate for help as they try to avoid foreclosure. "People are trying to cut back on everything," he said. "Utilities, groceries; they are glad gas prices are going down."

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Parents fear child will slip

Allison Wright is still learning to talk and hold a spoon or crayon like other 2-year-olds, but she has become a bright-eyed and animated child who responds affectionately to people outside her immediate family. Her parents, Terrance and Shantoya Wright, worry that their daughter's progress will be derailed when the Charles Webb Center closes because of state budget cuts.

Landfill looking to expand

SUMMERVILLE â€" A Dorchester County landfill is set to expand, unless somebody has valid objections. The Department of Health and Environmental Control is taking written comments through the end of the month and will schedule a public hearing to hear concerns. Oakridge Landfill is off U.S. Highway 78 between Ridgeville and St. George. About 750,000 tons of household garbage go there each year, according to DHEC. From the highway, it looks like a 50-foot mountain of dirt looming above the trees.

RV campground feeling the pinch

You often can gauge how the economy is doing by the number of RVs parked at the Oak Plantation Campground. Nestled under a canopy of oak trees along U.S. Highway 17 near Johns Island, the family-owned business caters to the motor homes of snowbirds and transient workers. Whenever there's a big job in town, like the Ravenel Bridge project a few years ago, the spaces are full of workers who live in campers and RVs.

Gifts keep doors open until Jan. 1

The struggling Boys and Girls Clubs of the Trident Area will be able to keep its centers in Charleston and Mount Pleasant open through the end of this month, thanks to last-minute donations from governments and civic leaders, but what happens New Year's Day? In Charleston, the organization received $5,000 from the city to keep its downtown Shaw Unit open over the holidays. In Mount Pleasant, Town Council member Billy Swails and several of his friends kicked in $1,000 each to continue services at 118 Royall Ave.

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