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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Charleston.

Tuesday
Jul242012

Two Men Indicted after Meth Lab Killed Three 

(CHARLESTON, S.C.) -- A federal grand jury handed down a three-count indictment to two men who allegedly ran a meth lab in an apartment building that burned down on May 31 and killed three people, the Post and Courier reports.

Jerald McCabe, 33, and Shonni "Scooter" Abernathy, 39, have been charged with creating a substantial risk of harm to human life while manufacturing methamphetamine, conspiring to manufacture methamphetamine and manufacturing methamphetamine where children reside. The men could face the possibility of life in prison and up to $10 million in fines if convicted, the paper says.

The fire at the Pine Harbour Apartments in Goose Creek killed Abernathy's 19-year-old daughter, Morgan Abernathy, the cousin she was babysitting, 4-year-old Sammy Garbe and 69-year-old veteran Joseph Raeth. Local, state and federal authorities have been investigating the fatal incident.

The indictments were announced at a press conference in Charleston on Tuesday by Bill Nettles, U.S. Attorney for South Carolina.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Tuesday
Jul242012

SC National Guard Teams Up with Colombia

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- As part of the State Partnership Program, South Carolina has agreed to team up with Colombia in a joint venture that officials say will benefit both parties.

The partnership will see both sides doing some sharing, in terms of information on military tactics and in the area of training personnel.

The partnership will see some members of the S.C. National Guard being sent to the South American country to learn how things are done in that part of the world, while some of Colombia's service members will come to South Carolina to boost their knowledge.

Governor Nikki Haley said the venture may also boost trade between the two destinations, reports The State newspaper.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

County Racked with $11.5 Million Bill for Unbuilt Interstate I-526

(CHARLESTON COUNTY, S.C.) -- Charleston County is still on the financial hook for $11.5 million for unbuilt Interstate 526, unless the state Department of Transportation assumes responsibility for the road, The Post and Courier reports.

The contract for the more than $400 million project is between the county, the DOT and the State Transportation Infrastructure Bank. Lawyers for the Bank and the DOT are evaluating the situation.

DOT Commission Chairman Eddie Adams said in an interview last March that the project needed to be fully funded before the DOT could assume responsibility for it. So far, the bank has approved $420 million to complete I-526. The actual price is not known, but Adams predicts that at least another $75 million is needed, and possibly more, the paper says.

The eight-mile-long highway would include four lanes and five miles of bridges, and would connect Folly Road at the James Island connector with I-526 where it intersects U.S. Highway 17.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

South Carolina Biologist Discovers 79 New Shark Species 

(FORT JOHNSON, S.C.) -- A South Carolina biologist has discovered 79 new species of sharks, The Post and Courier reports.

Gavin Naylor is a biologist at the Hollings Marine Laboratory, and works for both the College of Charleston and the Medical University of South Carolina. His discovery adds to the already known 1,200 or so species of sharks and rays. Almost 40 known species can be found in the waters in the South Carolina region. Naylor is working with researcher Chenhong Li, who invented a way to get individual genes to stick to molecules so they can be isolated.

Most of the new shark species can hardly be distinguished from known species, except for their DNA. The team discovered them while using DNA to test if they had the species they thought they had, the paper says.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

Monday
Jul232012

Columbia Management Will Continue Managing SC College Savings Plan

(BOSTON) -- Columbia Management will continue to manage South Carolina's Future Scholar 529 College Savings Plan, the company announced Monday.

In a news release, company officials said the state has opted to extend it's partnership with Columbia Management into 2017, with the company also adding to its duties the managing of the the South Carolina Tuition Prepayment Program.

"It is very important for families to have a simple and efficient way to save for their children and grandchildren's college education," State Treasurer Curtis M. Loftis Jr. said in a statement. "There is nothing more important than a quality education and the Future Scholar 529 Plan helps make college more accessible to the citizens of South Carolina."

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio