Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Officers shoot, kill Sumter carjacking suspect - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Officers shoot, kill Sumter carjacking suspect - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "SUMTER, S.C. (AP) — A 24-year-old carjacking suspect has died after authorities say he was shot by Sumter police officers. Deputy Chief Russell Roark told multiple media outlets that officers were responding to reports of a carjacking Tuesday morning when they saw someone who matched a description of the suspect. Roark says Aaron Jacobs shot at the officers, who then returned fire and shot him several times. Sumter County Coroner Harvin Bullock says Jacobs died from multiple gunshots. An autopsy is scheduled for Wednesday. Roark says the officers and the carjacking victim were not hurt."

Prosecutor in Ted Stevens case kills self - Politics - msnbc.com

Prosecutor in Ted Stevens case kills self - Politics - msnbc.com: "A Justice Department prosecutor killed himself while under investigation over whether he and other attorneys in the prosecution of Sen. Ted Stevens acted improperly in the case, officials said. Nicholas A. Marsh, 37, committed suicide on Sunday, two years after being part of the Justice Department team that convicted Stevens on corruption charges that were eventually thrown out. Marsh's suicide was confirmed by his lawyer, Robert Luskin. 'I think Nick loved being a prosecutor and I think he was incredibly fearful that this would prevent him from continuing to work for the Justice Department,' Luskin said Monday. 'It's incredibly tragic after all this time when we were on the verge of a successful resolution.'"

Monday, September 27, 2010

LiLo reportedly wants $10,000 for post-jail pic - Entertainment - Celebrities - TODAYshow.com

LiLo reportedly wants $10,000 for post-jail pic - Entertainment - Celebrities - TODAYshow.com: "While Lindsay Lohan did good by visiting a homeless shelter in L.A. over the weekend, she was quietly shopping around a photo of herself wearing her SCRAM bracelet days after leaving jail. 'Lindsay Lohan was calling around the pap agencies all weekend trying to get $10,000 up front to pose up in the SCRAM bracelet,' a reliable insider tells UsMagazine.com. 'All of the major players passed, and she ended up doing the setup with a small agency.'"

Lindsay Lohan chooses rehab, source says - CNN.com

Lindsay Lohan chooses rehab, source says - CNN.com: "Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Actress Lindsay Lohan has decided to check herself into a substance abuse rehab program in the next few days, a source close to the actress said Sunday. Lohan's decision came two days after a Los Angeles judge ordered her to jail without bail in the wake of a failed drug test. Another judge allowed her to post a bond Friday evening. It was not immediately clear which rehab program Lohan would enter, said the source, who asked not to be identified because the source was not authorized by the actress to release the information."

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Bloomberg Seeking Moderates Regardless of Party Affiliation

Editor: Michael Bloomberg, the billionaire Mayor of New York is doing what I have been advocating for years; he is looking for and supporting moderates who are '...willing, able, and interested in reaching across the aisle and working in a bipartisan way...'.

From the Los Angles Times: "...Bloomberg, a Democrat-turned-Republican-turned-independent, has more plans to support moderates who fit his model. He's expected to back Rep. Mark Steven Kirk (R-Ill.), chasing an open Senate seat in Illinois, as well as Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), who faces a challenge from tea-party-supported candidate Ken Buck. Howard Wolfson, a Bloomberg advisor, said the mayor would support candidates who are 'willing, able, and interested in reaching across the aisle and working in a bipartisan way, whether they are Democrats or Republicans or independents.' 'The two parties aren't even talking to each other,' Wolfson said. 'He believes it's critical to restore some degree of bipartisanship.'"

10 states file opposition to gay marriage - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

10 states file opposition to gay marriage - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "A federal judge ruled last month that California's Proposition 8, a voter-passed ban on same-sex marriage, was unconstitutional. The Perry v. Schwarzenegger case is on appeal. The Casper Star-Tribune reports that other states joining the brief are Alabama, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, South Carolina, Utah and Virginia."

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Beware Geeks Tailgating

You're riding along the Interstate when you notice a car on your bumper... suddenly your radio begins to blast and the temperature inside the car becomes unbearable; you start to pull over to the side of the road and you realize your brakes don't work... what is going on? Well, it is probably some geek hacking your car or worse.

From WIS-TV "...It could be called a new type of car-jacking. It's car-hacking and it involves the computing power under the hood of your car. With the complexity of the computer systems and logic in your automobile comes a potential for hacking.

Could someone take control of your car to steal it, cause the driver harm, convince the driver to pull over for 'urgent maintenance' or ruin the car? According to some experts, the answer is yes..."

Lohan released from jail after posting bail - CNN.com

Lohan released from jail after posting bail - CNN.com: "Los Angeles, California (CNN) -- Actress Lindsay Lohan posted a $300,000 bail and was released from jail late Friday night, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department said. A judge granted Lohan bail Friday night, overturning a decision earlier in the day that sent the actress to jail until a probation revocation hearing four weeks away, a court spokesman said. She must be fitted with a SCRAM alcohol-detection bracelet within 24 hours, Los Angeles County Superior Court spokesman Allan Parachini said. Judge Patricia Schnegg granted Lohan's bail after her lawyer, Shawn Chapman Holley, filed documents just before court closed Friday afternoon, Parachini said."

Friday, September 24, 2010

Diplomat's Head Nearly Severed From Body But Police Say Suicide Can't Be Ruled Out

Investigators haven't determined whether Cesar Mercado's death was a homicide or suicide

Editor: The dead Nicaraguan diplomat had somebody's hair grasped in his hands; had multiple stab wounds apparently from two knives found near a bathroom sink; the head was almost completely severed from the body, neighbors report they heard men arguing in the apartment prior to death and that the diplomat often was seen with dangerous and unsavory looking men; door to the apartment was unlocked and the police can't rule out suicide... amazing feat if they do rule suicide. 

"...A Nicaraguan diplomat found dead in his New York City apartment Thursday, his throat slashed and his stomach stabbed, was grasping hair in both hands and at least some of his wounds appeared to have been self-inflicted, police said Friday. Investigators haven't determined whether Cesar Mercado's death was a homicide or suicide, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said..." Full article

Hell Hath No Fury Like a Voter Scorned

"...If anyone is scorned as much as Democrats these days, it's Republicans - the party that may recapture the House and perhaps the Senate in November's elections.

Yet Democrats trying to exploit the GOP's unpopularity in hopes of hanging onto control of Congress face a problem: People who dislike Democrats seem ready to vote in greater numbers than those with little use for Republicans.

In an Associated Press-GfK Poll this month, 60 percent disapprove of the job congressional Democrats are doing - yet 68 percent frown on how Republicans are performing. While 59 percent are unhappy with how Democrats are handling the economy, 64 percent are upset by the GOP's work on the country's top issue.

Just over half have unfavorable views of each party..." More from The State

Beware the Geek!

I Didn't Know That!
"Expensive cables are better! Defragging speeds up your PC! Refilling ink cartridges ruins your printer! We put these and nine other claims to the test to find the truth behind tech's tallest tales.
As it turns out, Windows Vista really wasn't all that slow; and no, your PC probably won't fry if you open it up without wearing a wrist strap. Thanks in large part to the Internet, the tech world is teeming with lies, half-truths and misinformation. We've dug up some of the Web's most notorious nuggets of conventional wisdom to see which hold up to scrutiny and which are merely urban legends.
Of course, there's often a grain of truth in even the most fanciful myth. That's why we provide a handy-dandy set of numbered warning signs to indicate how accurate each of these myths is, with 1 being True and 4 being Outrageous — a complete fabrication. After all, they say numbers never lie."
Full Article

Eddie Fisher Dead at 82

Click on the Title to Hear the Song

"'...Late last evening the world lost a true America icon,' Fisher's family said in a statement released by publicist British Reece. 'One of the greatest voices of the century passed away. He was an extraordinary talent and a true mensch.' 

The death was first reported by Hollywood website deadline.com. Fisher's clear dramatic singing voice brought him a devoted following of teenage girls in the early 1950s. He sold millions of records with 32 hit songs including 'Thinking of You,' 'Any Time,' 'Oh, My Pa-pa,' 'I'm Yours,' 'Wish You Were Here,' 'Lady of Spain' and 'Count Your Blessings.' 

His fame was enhanced by his 1955 marriage to movie darling Debbie Reynolds — they were touted as 'America's favorite couple' — and the birth of two children..." more

Thursday, September 23, 2010

One Senator Standing Up Against Tax Code

"...Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont announced Wednesday that he will oppose President Obama's nominee to head the Office of Management and Budget (OMB), replacing Peter Orszag who left his post for the private sector.

In a statement released from his office, Sanders said, "Jack Lew was kind enough to meet with me last week in my office and to answer my questions at a Senate Budget Committee hearing. Frankly, I found too many echoes of the failed policies of the past in his responses to my questions on trade policy, Social Security, deregulation of banks and other issues."

Sanders, in a floor speech after his statement reiterated his concerns railing against 'a tax code that is so unfair and so absurd' where 'the rich get richer and the poor get poorer.' 

'It is my strong belief that President Obama needs an OMB Director who is willing to stand up to corporate America and the wealthy, say enough is enough, and fight for policies that protect the working class in this country,' Sanders said in paper statement, Unfortunately, I do not believe Mr. Lew is the right man at this time for this important job...'" More From Fox News

New Website About Health Reform in Action

Get the Facts Straight on Health Reform

There’s a lot of misinformation out there. The fact is the Affordable Care Act holds insurance companies accountable, lowers health care costs, guarantees more choice, and enhances the quality of care for all Americans. So before you rush down to the voting booth you owe it to yourself and your kids to learn the truth. 
Think about it... why would those who oppose Health Reform go to such great lengths to put so much misinformation out there? The answer is simple "Their piggy bank is about to get busted!!!!" 
The new law extends coverage to illegal immigrants
Absolutely not. Under the Affordable Care Act, undocumented immigrants are not able to enter the exchanges to purchase coverage nor are they able to obtain tax credits to purchase insurance. Undocumented immigrants will receive absolutely no assistance from the government.
Health reform will lead to a government takeover of health care.
False. The Affordable Care Act puts people, not health insurance companies or government, in charge of health care. The new law strengthens the existing employer-based health insurance market while making the market fair for consumers by implementing landmark consumer protections. Families and individuals that don't have access to affordable coverage can receive tax credits to help them purchase coverage in the private health insurance market. There is no government-sponsored, public, or "single payer" plan in the law. 

FOXNews.com - Prosecutors say corruption endemic in Calif. city where many city officials remain jailed

FOXNews.com - Prosecutors say corruption endemic in Calif. city where many city officials remain jailed: "'Our audit found the city had almost no accounting controls, no checks or balances, and the general fund was run like a petty cash drawer,' state Controller John Chiang said in a statement. 'The city's pursestrings were tied to only one individual, resulting in a perfect breeding ground for fraudulent, wasteful spending.' Pedro Carillo, the interim city manager who requested the audit, called the findings 'reprehensible beyond words.' Rizzo's attorney James Spertus has said his client believes he did nothing wrong."

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Even in a Recession the Rich Get Richer

Forbes' richest in U.S. are still feeling recession - Business - Forbes.com - msnbc.com: "...Bill Gates and Warren Buffett were up $4 billion and $5 billion, respectively. They, too, are short of their personal highs. Gates, who in March lost his title of world's richest person to Mexico's Carlos Slim, is still America's richest person — for the 17th year in a row. Las Vegas gambling tycoon Sheldon Adelson was the kid, or 'comeback adolescent,' as he calls himself. 'I'm too old to be a kid,' he told Forbes. The largest shareholder of Las Vegas Sands is the year's biggest dollar gainer. His casino's shares are up 1,500 percent since their 2009 low. Adelson is now the 13th richest American, worth $14.7 billion, up $5.7 billion from last year — though nowhere close to his $28 billion net worth in 2007, when he ranked third among Americans..." Read full article here

Melvin's Attorney on Vacation While Feds Pile on Racketeering/Money Laundering Charges

September 22, 2010

"...Former Lee County Sheriff E.J. Melvin was hit with even more criminal charges Wednesday for his involvement in a drug, racketeering and money laundering operation. 

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said Melvin, 47, of Bishopville, was charged with 47 counts of various violations of federal law. 

The indictment supercedes the drug conspiracy charged issued to Melvin and 13 other people back in May. Since then, all 13 co-defendants pleaded guilty to the charge. 

 Prosecutors say Melvin's additional charges come after FBI and SLED agents spent several weeks interviewing people in and around Lee County. 'Every time we interview someone, we find out more information on corruption with Mr. Melvin,' Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark Moore said in August..." More From WIS-TV

"Catch Me If You Can" subject speaks in Columbia about ID theft - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

"Catch Me If You Can" subject speaks in Columbia about ID theft - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "'I impersonated an airline pilot for two years because I could travel around the world for free and stay in hotels for free,' Abagnale said. 'Then I was doctor in a hospital in Georgia. I was a lawyer in Louisiana and passed the bar. I wrote about $2.5 million in bad checks before I was 21.' 'Catch Me if you Can' details how the young Frank Abagnale eluded the FBI. Now years later and working for the bureau, the older and reformed Abagnale no longer takes -- he teaches. 'It's an honor and a pleasure to be able to serve my country through the FBI,' Abagnale said."

On Camera: ATM Stun Gun Attack - Video - WYFF Greenville

On Camera: ATM Stun Gun Attack - Video - WYFF Greenville

Shaw Air Force Base teaches kids about military : News : MidlandsConnect.com

Shaw Air Force Base teaches kids about military : News : MidlandsConnect.com: "SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AP) -- Shaw Air Force Base is giving children a chance to learn about their parent's military deployments. Air Force Master Sgt. Felicia Corley said Wednesday's event will give 160 children a chance to do things their parents experience. Corley says that includes pre-deployment preparations, such as doing paperwork and listening to a mission briefing. The children will eat snacks that replicate military food and pretend to deploy on a mission. Corley says the children also will learn about military careers by viewing military vehicles, ambulances, fire trucks and robots that defuse bombs. The boys and girls will practice for a return home and earn a certificate when they"

Monday, September 20, 2010

CREW Calls for Federal Criminal Investigation into Christine O’Donnell for Campaign Finance Fraud | Business Wire

CREW Calls for Federal Criminal Investigation into Christine O’Donnell for Campaign Finance Fraud | Business Wire: "“Christine O’Donnell is clearly a criminal, and like any crook she should be prosecuted,” said Melanie Sloan, CREW Executive Director. “Ms. O’Donnell has spent years embezzling money from her campaign to cover her personal expenses. Republicans and Democrats don’t agree on much these days, but both sides should agree on one point: thieves belong in jail not the United States Senate.”"

Christopher Hitchens Believes He is Dying - Prayer Day Organized in His Honor

Read article On the subject of the prayer day organized in his honor, "Everybody Pray for Hitchens Day", he says, "...I say it's fine by me, I think of it as a nice gesture. And it may well make them feel better, which is a good thing in itself..." link

Christopher Hitchens will tell you that free expression and scientific discovery should  replace religious teachings. He believes the concept of a supreme being is destructive to individual freedoms. He believes that the ordinary person had no share in the religious edicts passed down over the ages by rulers who needed a method of control for the masses. He believes organized religion is the main source of the hatred in the world.
He has said that religion is "...[v]iolent, irrational, intolerant, allied to racism, tribalism, and bigotry, invested in ignorance and hostile to free inquiry, contemptuous of women and coercive toward children..." Link

"'...How's your health?' asks Larry Taunton, a friend who heads an Alabama-based group dedicated to defending Christianity. 'Well, I'm dying, since you asked, but so are you. I'm only doing it more rapidly,' replies Hitchens, his grin faint and his voice weak and raspy. Only wisps of his dark hair remain; clothes hang on his frame. 

The writer best known to believers for his 2007 book 'God is Not Great: How Religion Poisons Everything' has esophageal cancer, the same disease that killed his father. He is fighting it, but the 62-year-old Hitchens is realistic: At the very best, he says, his life will be shortened..." link

Johns Looking for Added Benefits Dismayed Craigslist Submitted

"...The shuttering of the 'adult services' category (which had been called 'erotic services' until last year) came shortly after a South Carolina judge threw out the site's lawsuit against the state's attorney general, Henry McMaster. Craigslist had consistently fought attempts to control its content, arguing that federal law provides powerful, and essential, protection against liability for websites whose users post inappropriate content. Last year, it sued in federal court in Charleston, alleging a campaign of intimidation at the hands of McMaster, who had targeted the ads as a front for prostitution..." Read full article

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Family of missing Myrtle Beach man suspect foul play - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Family of missing Myrtle Beach man suspect foul play - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "SUMTER, SC (WIS) - It's been nearly eight months since the disappearance of Brandon Graves, a Myrtle Beach man who went missing in Sumter back in February. His family says it's not like him to not call or to not have contact with them. Because of this, investigators believe something criminal is involved. However, there is no physical evidence to support that theory. Graves was last seen at Sebastian's Night Club in Sumter. He tried to enter the club, but was turned away by a bouncer. Graves hasn't been seen since that night. If you have any information about this case, please call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIME-SC."

Tea Party Candidate - Christine O'Donnell - Google Search

See what; no wait... Make that Who Everybody is Tweeting About
Christine O'Donnell - Google Search

Seven people arrested for series of Sumter burglaries - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Seven people arrested for series of Sumter burglaries - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "SUMTER, SC (WIS) - Sumter police say they've arrested seven people in connection with a series of burglaries throughout the city. Jerome Worthen, 35, is awaiting bond on two counts of second degree burglary. Thomas Davis, 48, was issued a $20,000 bond on a charge of receiving stolen goods and being an accessory after the fact. Police said Worthen broke into a computer store twice in late August and early September and stole four computers. Investigators believe Davis helped Worthen sell the stolen computers. Police said further charges are expected."

The Unveiling of Christine O'Donnell

"...Even as many activists within the movement praised her victory as a strike for the everywoman against elite politicians, strange stories about O'Donnell emerge daily. Some of her financial troubles could counter the tea party's message of fiscal and personal responsibility. And her comments on sex could marginalize a movement that has tried hard in recent months to portray itself as a cross-section of America..." Read the full story

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Christine O'Donnell - Scientist are Growing "Fully Functioning Human Brains" in Mice

Tea Party Endorses Woman Who Believes American Scientists are Growing Human Brains in Mice

"...This is a rush transcript from "The O'Reilly Factor," November 15, 2007..." Link

"O'DONNELL: By their own admission... O'REILLY: No. O'DONNELL: ... these groups admitted that the report that said, 'Hey, yay, we cloned a monkey. Now we're using this to start cloning humans.' We have to keep... O'REILLY: Let them admit anything they want. But they won't do that here in the United States unless all craziness is going on. O'DONNELL: They are — they are doing that here in the United States. American scientific companies are cross-breeding humans and animals and coming up with mice with fully functioning human brains. So they're already into this experiment. O'REILLY: Alright. Doctor... MORRONE: That's an exaggeration." Read the full story

Branding? Political Identity -- Is it Important?

In just about every conflict the world has ever known, some good evolves from the chaos. The political scene in Washington is in the throes of a conflict that has national implications and it is only a matter of time before the dust settles and a new ideology emerges. Saying that it can't come too soon for millions of voters who see politics in general, as broken is a huge understatement. 

It seems that today's politician has tunnel vision... it is the party line or nothing... and they seem to ignore the bigger picture... a broken American experience... a constitution that is in danger... a congress that is defunct... and a citizenry that is fed up!  

DeMint may be on the right track, but he shouldn't be satisfied with only the overhaul of his brand.

With all due respect to Senator John McCain, Senator Jim DeMint is the true Maverick. Talk about outrageous insolence! Bucking his party's leadership? Yep, he is the new maverick, but does he recognize that with his new role he has an opportunity to go beyond his personal politics and reach solidarity with millions of American voters who are desperately searching for leaders who understand the precepts of compromise.... We, the people, (sound familiar?) know it is only through mutual agreement at the conference table that Congress can become a functioning entity. 

In England the word 'compromise' means both sides win something while in the United States the word has become to be known as something lost! 

I think it's time for us to use a new term... and the best one I can think of that will prod these egotistical fellas along is... 'Get 'er done!'

From WISTV: "WASHINGTON (AP) — Sen. Jim DeMint proudly recalls the moment he became a thorn in the side of the Republican establishment.
In the gloomy weeks following the party's throttling in the 2008 elections, the first-term South Carolina senator urged GOP leaders to shake up the seniority rules that he felt were perpetuating a broken culture of parochial spending within the party. 'I was told eye-to-eye ... 'DeMint, you can't change the Senate,'' he said in an interview in his Capitol Hill office this week. 'I said, 'Well, we'll see.' And that's been my challenge ever since.'" Full story 

Does the City of Sumter Need a New Seal?

From the Desk of Susan H Wild

Contact:          Jamie H. Wilson, City of Sumter
Phone:                        (803) 436-2690
Email:              jhwilson@sumter-sc.com


SUMTER, South Carolina (Sept 15, 2010) – Sumter residents are invited to attend a roundtable discussion at 6 p.m., September 20 in the City Centre to offer suggestions about a possible new logo for the City of Sumter.

Any new emblem will be used to unify City departmental logos as well as provide a fresh marketing strategy for the city. According to city staff, public input is tantamount to the success of a new branding image.

“The involvement of city residents is a vital part in this discussion,” said Deron McCormick, City Manager. “We want this new symbol to be a true representation of the City of Sumter.”

After hearing from community leaders as well as city residents, Arnett & Muldrow -- an urban planning firm hired by the City of Sumter -- will use the ideas offered in the discussion to tailor-make an image that best represents the City of Sumter. The image will then be evaluated by city officials for possible adoption.

Any Sumter resident is welcome to attend the meeting. More information on Arnett & Muldrow can be found at the company Web site http://arnettmuldrow.com/ . For more information concerning the meeting, contact Jamie H. Wilson at 436-2690. The City Centre is located at 23 N. Main Street, adjacent to the Opera House.


Susan H. Wild
Communications, Tourism & Recreations Director, City of Sumter
P O Box 1449
Sumter, SC 29151
Phone: 803-436-2500
Fax: 803-774-3975

Friday, September 17, 2010

USC - Furman Are the Cocks Ready?

The Gamecocks welcome the Paladins to Williams-Brice Stadium in Columbia Saturday night as the two in-state schools line up for another gridiron battle. 

The two teams have only met twice in the years since 1960, but South Carolina holds an overall advantage in the series 26-20-1. Furman stunned the Gamecocks in their last meeting back on October 16, 1982, when a Dick Sheridan lead team walked off the field with a 28-23 win. Though he didn't enter the game, current Paladin coach Bobby Lamb was a backup quarterback on that team. 

The Paladins over the years have played on equal terms with the Gamecocks for the most part and they hold a couple notable distinctions: 1. They are the Gamecocks oldest foe having met for a game in Charleston, SC back on December 24, 1892, and 2. they soundly thrashed the Gamecocks that day by a score of 44-0 in what was South Carolina's first collegiate football game. 

This should prove to be an exciting game. 

From WlTX :
By Scott Hood GamecockCentral.com 

"...South Carolina hosts Furman Saturday night at Williams-Brice Stadium in a clash between two Palmetto State schools. Here are five predictions for the game:

 1. CONNOR SHAW WILL PLAY AT LEAST 50 PERCENT OF THE SNAPS: My prediction last week that Stephen Garcia would take every snap for the Gamecocks against Georgia turned out to the accurate. This week, I'm going in the other direction. Without question, the coaches view this game as a great opportunity to secure Shaw some valuable experience playing quarterback in a game environment..." See full story for the rest of the predictions

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Did South Carolina State's Bulldog Eat Financial Records?

Clyburn is a graduate of S.C. State
South Carolina's only public historically black university

Common sense will tell you that there is no smoke without a fire. But when a 2006 Department of Health and Human Services audit pointed to raging inferno at South Carolina State University, important people with close ties to the University warned against a 'rush to judgment'. 

"... (House Majority Whip James) Clyburn released a statement shortly after news of the audit became public. In it, he defended the university against a "rush to judgment." link

Thankfully, more prudent heads in state government got together and sent a letter to Thomas Bardin, director of the state's Legislative Audit Council, requesting another audit and pointing out significant areas of interest: 

  • The James Clyburn Transportation Center lost federal designation in 2006 and continued to seek state funding for the Fiscal Years 2006 through 2009. In 2010 continued funding was requested but vetoed by the Governor and sustained by the House and Senate. 
  • The expenditure of funds to vendors, consultants, and organizations and the related services provided in conjunction with those expenditures should be examined. 
  • Expenditures related to the James E. Clyburn Transportation Center for personnel services and consultant fees should also be subject to review. 

Senator Robert  Ford
The letter was sent by State Senator Robert Ford, D-Charleston, in response to an June 14, 2010 article in the Post and Courier, which pointed to the fact that, "...Twelve years and more than $50 million later, the site of the James E. Clyburn University Transportation Center remains vacant, no transportation research is underway and the center lost its federal designation..." link

Five Senators adding their signatures to the letter were: Sen. Chip Campsen, R-Charleston; Rep. Chip Limehouse, R-Charleston; Rep. Wendell Gilliard, D-Charleston; Rep. Anne Peterson Hutto, D-Charleston; and Rep. Mike Sottile, R-Isle of Palms. link

"...State Rep. Jerry Govan, D-Orangeburg, said he doesn't think S.C. State needs a Legislative Audit Council investigation on the transportation center..." and "... Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter, D-Orangeburg, said she supports an audit council investigation..." link

From WISTV:  "...ORANGEBURG, SC (WIS) – A report on an internal South Carolina State University audit is due to the university's board at a September 30 meeting. The audit is looking for how and where the university spent millions in state and federal funds on the James Clyburn University Transportation Center. University president Dr. George Cooper could not answer specific questions about the center's funding in an August interview. Cooper also said he had not seen a 2006 Department of Health and Human Services audit that criticized the university's spending of state and federal tax dollars. The audit found that the university misspent millions of grant dollars..."

Representative Harry B. Limehouse

"We're not rushing to anything," said Rep. Chip Limehouse, who signed the letter asking for the audit. "We're dwelling into what looks like could be a very precarious situation if these questions we're asking aren't answered. And the questions are quite simple: where is the money?"
Limehouse says SC State is not turning over financial records.
Representative Wendell G. Gilliard
"When the Legislative Audit Council started making inquiries, SC State is saying, essentially, the dog ate our homework, is the excuse for not having the records," said Limehouse.
"I think the results here, you'll probably find out you had a group of people who have been pimping out that college for years," said Rep. Wendell Gilliard, who also signed the letter..." link
In all probability Senator's Ford, Limehouse and others may be privy to the audits findings but don't expect them to be revealed before the September 30th meeting of the University's Board. However, these things have a way of finding the light of day if they are deemed politically expedient. 

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Man Dies in Boating Accident in Sumter County, SC wltx.com | Columbia, SC News, Weather and Sports |

Man Dies in Boating Accident in Sumter County, SC wltx.com | Columbia, SC News, Weather and Sports |: "Sumter County, SC (WLTX) - One man is dead after a boating accident in Sumter County. The incident took place at about 7 p.m. Tuesday in Campbell Pond at the Manchester State Forest. Department of Natural Resources officers say 43-year-old Charles Taylor of Wedgefield and another man were fishing in a 10-foot jon boat. For undetermined reasons, the boat overturned. Officers say the other man swam to shore, but Taylor went under the water and drowned. Divers recovered his body between 8 p.m. and 9 p.m."

Much Needed Boost to Local Economy to Begin Arriving in 2011

From MidlandsConnect.com : "SUMTER (AP) -- Army officials are laying out the details behind the 3rd Army's planned move from Fort McPherson in Atlanta to South Carolina's Shaw Air Force Base next summer.

The Item of Sumter reported Wednesday that Lt. Col. Malcolm Earles told a local government panel the transfer will take place in four stages from May through August of next year.

Earles told the Santee-Lynches Regional Council of Governments that 1,400 soldiers, civilian Army employees and contractors will arrive in groups of between 260 to 440 people at a time.

The move was ordered by the Pentagon's Base Realignment and Closure Commission in 2005.

The 3rd Army is responsible for supporting troops in the Middle East and central"

Osteen: "Unfortunately, Not All Military Families Will Decide to Locate in Sumter..."

3rd Army's Move to Shaw AFB in 2011

From The Item:  "Gen. Schwartz made a number of very positive, and very important, comments about the Air Force, Shaw Air Force Base and our community in general. First off, the general was very, very clear when he spoke about the importance of good schools in a community. He pulled no punches when telling the crowd of about 75 people that airmen make their decision on where to live with their families based on the schools in the area. Period. End of story. It goes without saying that our public (and private) schools must continue to work hard at being the best they can be. With school consolidation less than a year away now, one can only hope that military families will see this as a forward-thinking community that puts education first. Unfortunately, not all military families will decide to locate in Sumter, but hopefully the word will get out that our local schools are making great strides year after year on improving our education system and model."

Shaw AFB warns of nighttime jet noise : News : MidlandsConnect.com

Shaw AFB warns of nighttime jet noise : News : MidlandsConnect.com: "SHAW AIR FORCE BASE, S.C. (AP) -- Neighbors of a South Carolina Air Force base are being warned of nighttime noise as F-16 fighter pilots prepare for combat. Officials at Shaw Air Force Base are warning residents in central South Carolina on Wednesday that the night flying activity will create some noise as the jets take off, land and perform specific training runs. The aircraft will be flying in restricted areas so that they don't conflict with commercial airlines. The night time exercises give the pilots the opportunity to train with their night vision equipment. Officials say the exercises continue through Friday. The F-16 jets, dubbed Fighting Falcons, are used to protect troops on the ground or battle other aircraft in air-to-air encounters."

Taser Deaths by Police Officers are Increasing

tasers.jpg tasers.jpg image by catc2007

From GoUpstate.com: "GREENVILLE — A South Carolina coroner says a man who died after he was stunned by police officer was a homicide victim. But multiple media outlets reported the Greenville County coroner's office says state investigators should decide if there was criminal wrongdoing in the death of 39-year-old Andrew Torres on Aug. 9.

Coroner Parks Evans says the mentally ill man died from an irregular heart beat as the result of having an enlarged heart, the physical strain of fighting with police and being stunned with Tasers.

Police Chief Terri Wilfong has said her officers followed proper procedures when they went to a home to take Torres into custody for involuntary psychiatric commitment.

Three officers are on administrative duty.

 Evans says the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating."

Related information: The rate of deaths in Taser-related incidents is rising as police forces increasingly adapt the conducted energy weapons, a Raw Story analysis finds.
2008 report (PDF) from Amnesty International found 351 Taser-related deaths in the US between June, 2001 and August, 2008, a rate of just slightly above four deaths per month.
A database of Taser-related deaths maintained at the African-American issues blog Electronic Village counts 96 deaths related to the use of Tasers since January, 2009.

Unmanned Fire Station Half Mile Away - Result - 51 Year Old Woman Dies in Fire

flame.jpg flame image by busybug7 
Deadly Oversight

From WISTV: "...Chief Garry Alderman says a volunteer station about a half mile from the home was unmanned and Conway firefighters were the first to arrive. Alderman says only 18 of the county's 32 fire stations are staffed full-time. He says it's unclear if a faster response could have saved the woman. The fire appeared to start in the master bedroom. Horry County Fire Rescue investigators said the fire originated in the home's master bedroom, but have yet to identify what sparked the fire..."

GOP Tax Proposal - We Waited For This?!

GOP Releases Tax Plan Without Knowing the Costs

With the battle field still undecided Americans heard the opening salvo's concerning taxes from the GOP so recently that its echo's 
are still bouncing around the hall's of the Executive and Legislative buildings. 

No so surprisingly the opposition forces have yet to decide how to return fire for they appear to be unorganized, poorly led and disconnected from their support group. 

Meanwhile, a third entity into this battle known as "We The People" has flanked the opposing forces and is steadfastly undermining their plans by systematically removing their  leaders! Brilliant move!

According to comparable figures recently released by the 'nonpartisan' Congressional Budget Office, the economics of the plan presented to the public just this week by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, the Republican from Kentucky, will not cut the mustard with the American people.

From the Congressional Budget Office: CBO projects, that if current laws and policies remained unchanged, the federal budget would show a deficit of $1.3 trillion for fiscal year 2010. At 9.2 percent of gross domestic product (GDP), that deficit would be slightly smaller than the shortfall of 9.9 percent of GDP ($1.4 trillion) posted in 2009. Last year's deficit was the largest as a share of GDP since the end of World War II, and the deficit expected for 2010 would be the second largest. Moreover, if legislation is enacted in the next several months that either boosts spending or reduces revenues, the 2010 deficit could equal or exceed last year's shortfall...

From the Washington Post: "...The measure, introduced by Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) this week, would permanently extend the George W. Bush-era income tax cuts that benefit virtually every U.S. taxpayer, rein in the alternative minimum tax and limit the estate tax to estates worth more than $5 million for individuals or $10 million for couples. Aides to McConnell said they have yet to receive a cost estimate for the measure. But the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office recently forecast that a similar, slightly more expensive package that includes a full repeal of the estate tax would force the nation to borrow an additional $3.9 trillion over the next decade and increase interest payments on the national debt by $950 billion. That's more than four times the projected deficit impact of President Obama's health-care overhaul and stimulus package combined..."

Republican Senator from Texas, John Cornyn: "...Americans are asserting their right of self-government with enthusiasm we have not seen in years. Many have participated in public rallies like those during the fight for independence more than two centuries ago. Others have made their voices heard through social networks, blogs, and other technologies of the modern era. Millions have already participated in competitive primaries across the nation. They have made clear that if Washington does not change its ways, then they will change Washington this November.
The midterm elections are only one way the American people are seeking to reform their government. Earlier this year, Florida legislators made the Sunshine State the latest to invoke Article V of the Constitution, by calling for a constitutional convention to restore some of the checks and balances that the Founders intended but which Washington is ignoring..."

Monday, September 13, 2010

Order Out of Chaos - Keeps Us Sane - But Deceives Us Too

Think About This

When you look to the heavens, "...There is a 100 percent chance something will be there, be anywhere, when you look, but only the need for meaning changes how you feel about what you see..." Link

A bit of self-reflection: "... You've probably been in one of those relationships were [sic] you just knew you didn’t fit with the other person. Something early on attracted you, or a situation brought you together, and then somewhere down the line you realized you had nothing in common at all. You may have tried to keep it together despite your differences, but the research suggests you would be happier if you just parted ways..." Link

Why is it that: "...The beneficiaries of good fortune often do nothing to earn it, and bad people often get away with their actions without consequences..."? Link

Make up your mind: "...So which is it – you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, or you are never too old to learn?..." Link 

I think I have made up my mind.... yes... I'm set in my ways until my wife changes my mind.

Midland’s Most Wanted - Crime & Courts - TheState.com

Midland’s Most Wanted - Crime & Courts - TheState.com

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Georgia Played With One Arm Tied Behind Back

Insert the suspended leading wide receiver A.J. Green and you have a different Georgia football team.

Remove Marcus Lattimore, who had a stellar performance with 182 total yards on 37 carries with two touchdowns, and you have a mediocre Gamecock offense. 

Bottom line: Georgia will be a better offensive team when Green returns and the Gamecocks better hope nothing happens to remove Lattimore from their lineup. Building an entire season on the shoulders of one player is a recipe for failure. 

 "Columbia, SC (Sports Network) - One week after Marcus Lattimore made his collegiate debut, the freshman running back totaled 182 yards rushing and two touchdowns, as No. 24 South Carolina outmuscled 22nd-ranked Georgia, 17-6, in the SEC opener for both teams. Lattimore's number was called 37 times, as the Gamecocks (2-0, 1-0 SEC) and their pass-happy head coach ran the football 52 times and passed just 17 in the victory. Stephen Garcia was efficient in his attempts, completing 12 passes for 165 yards. Seven of those were caught by Alshon Jeffery, who compiled 103 receiving yards. Aaron Murray finished 14-of-21 for 192 yards and Washaun Ealey posted 75 yards rushing for the Bulldogs (1-1, 0-1). Georgia played without leading wide receiver A.J. Green, who was serving the second of a four-game suspension for selling his Independence Bowl game jersey to an individual who meets the NCAA definition of an agent..." Read full story

Chicken Curse Vibes

Today the USC Gamecocks play host  to the Georgia Bulldogs

Tillman's excommunication of the Cocks; just myth? 

"SULLIVAN'S ISLAND (The Post and Courier) -- Here on the upper ridges of Fort Moultrie you can see trouble blowing in. Four-letter trouble, and I don't mean Igor. NCAA trouble at South Carolina. Of all places, of all seasons. Steve Spurrier in his sixth year as Gamecocks head coach finally has enough talent to win the Southeastern Conference East Division, and a home win over Georgia today would make for a nice first step toward a school first. But the ultimate Chicken Curse happens if Spurrier, one of the most rules-abiding coaches in recent college football history, leads traditionally so-so South Carolina to an unprecedented division title only to have the achievement tainted by NCAA sanctions..." Read full article

Photo of Gene Sapakoff
Gene Sapakoff writes columns and covers a variety of sports subjects (and sometimes non-sports subjects) for The Post and Courier. An Oregon native and graduate of Colorado State University, he moved to the Lowcountry to study history and eat Frogmore Stew. He has won many national writing and reporting awards. Since 1997 he has won South Carolina Press Association awards in eight different categories. His work has appeared in The Sporting News, Sport, Sports Illustrated, California, Us, Basketball America and Pro Football Weekly.

Friday, September 10, 2010

USC receives formal letter of inquiry from NCAA - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Gamecock Football Coach Steve Spurrier 
More Concerned About Georgia Than Rules Violations

University President Has Different View Says: 
"...playing by the rules is the only way to win..."

Columbia (WIS) "...Coach Steve Spurrier said he was not concerned with the inquiry. 'I'm concerned about trying to do whatever I can to help our team beat Georgia,' said Spurrier. 'That's what I'm concerned about and that's all our players are concerned about right now.'

 University President Harris Pastides issued a statement after the letter arrived in Columbia. 'I assure our fans and community that we will do what is right for the university. Winning and playing by the rules go hand in hand,' said Pastides. 'And playing by the rules is the only way to win. We will continue to cooperate with the NCAA investigation as we have in the past regarding possible rules violations...'" Read full report