Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Charleston.


Gaffney Man Gets Prison Time for Possessing Child Porn

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- A Gaffney man has been sentenced to 78 months in prison for possessing child pornography.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, 38-year-old Donald Howard Smiley was found in possession of 138 still images and 26 videos of child pornography on his mobile device.

Gaffney will also face five years of supervised release following his imprisonment.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Charleston County Marks 25th Anniversary of Hurricane Hugo 

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Charleston County officials will recall their experiences from the landfall of Hurricane Hugo, marking the 25th anniversary of the Category-4 storm on Sept. 21.

Just before midnight on September 21 in 1989, winds of up to 135 miles per hour hit South Carolina, bringing record storm tides of up to 20 feet.

Speakers including Charleston County's former Emergency Preparedness Director and representatives from the state's emergency management division will share their stories at the North Charleston Election Warehouse.

“I can’t believe it’s been 25 years. When I think of the county, I can’t remember what it was like before Hugo. It was like Hugo was the start of life and our foundation for being prepared,” said Cathy Haynes, Chief of Operations of the county's Emergency Management Department.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Five Killed on South Carolina Roads Last Weekend 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Five people were killed on South Carolina roadways last weekend, according to preliminary numbers from the state Department of Public Safety.

In one of the incidents from Sept. 12 through 14, the victim was not wearing a seat belt.

From Jan. 1 through Sept. 14, Charleston County has seen 28 traffic fatalities.

Of the 356 motor vehicle occupants who have died in 2014, nearly half were not wearing seat belts.

Officials say 510 people have lost their lives on state highways this year, compared to 531 deaths during the same time period in 2013.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Rep. Mark Sanford Splits with Argentine 'Soul Mate'

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Rep. Mark Sanford has decided to "call off" his engagement to the Argentine "soul mate" he had a intercontinental, extra-marital affair with as governor in 2009.

The announcement of the split with Maria Belen Chapur was buried in a 2,349-word Friday Facebook post responding to the complaint filed by his ex-wife, Jenny, in Charleston County Family Court Sept. 2.

"No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement," Sanford, 54, wrote in the post. "Maybe there will be another chapter when waters calm with Jenny, but at this point the environment is not conducive to building anything."

The former two-term governor proposed to Chapur, who he had seen in secret for more than a year, in Argentina in 2012.

"Belen is a remarkably wonderful woman who I have always loved and I will be forever grateful for not only the many years we have known and loved each other, but the last six very tough ones wherein she has encouraged me and silently borne its tribulations with her ever warm and kind spirit," Sanford wrote Friday.

Sanford's congressional office declined to respond to the letter, while Jenny Sanford did not immediately respond to ABC's requests for comment.

In 2009, then-Governor Sanford went AWOL from South Carolina, claiming he was hiking, then admitting that he’d been away having an affair with Chapur. Sanford returned to politics in a successful bid for South Carolina’s First Congressional District in 2012. He had served in the Congress from 1995-2001.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio


Charleston County Launches Newly Redesigned Website

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- Charleston County launched a new website redesign Monday, giving a new look for its information services and online visitors.

While the website's host URL remains the same, its layout has changed to become more topic-driven rather than sorted by departments.

“The overall goal was to take an old site that grew to more than 3,700 pages as programs expanded over the years, and simplify it for users so they can quickly find what they need,” said webmaster Mattia Galanda, who led the site redesign. “We feel the new layout accomplishes that goal and allows us room to grow the new site as county services expand in the future.”

The redesign includes mobile-friendly accesibility, reduced pages, and compatibility with all Apple devices.

Copyright 2014 ABC News Radio