FELONY DUI CHARGE
Moore woman facing DUI charge in deadly wreck
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg County woman has been charged in an October crash that killed another woman.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reports that 48-year-old Sherra L. Werkmeister of Moore was charged last week with felony driving under the influence resulting in death and felony DUI resulting in great bodily harm.
Police say the Oct. 11 crash killed 85-year-old Arrie Lee Lowry of Greer.
Lowry was a passenger in a pickup truck being driven by someone else. Officers say Werkmeister's SUV crossed the center line and hit the truck head-on.
Police said they found spilled beer and a beer can in Werkmeister's vehicle.
Werkmeister was arrested Nov. 25. Court records listed no attorney for her.
Beaufort County teacher charged with assault
BLUFFTON, S.C. (AP) - A Beaufort County Spanish teacher is charged with simple assault after being accused of hitting a student on the back with a leather pouch.
A Bluffton Police Department report says 39-year-old Lester Eduardo Lara also is charged with third-degree battery.
The report says a 14-year-old student at H.E. McCracken Middle School was not paying attention and was not in his assigned seat Tuesday. When the teacher tried to take a school iPad from him, the student swore and the teacher struck the student on the back. The student then pushed the teacher and ran to the office.
Lara is on paid administrative leave and is free on a personal recognizance bond.
The Beaufort Gazette reported Lara's family said they have been told by their attorney not to comment.
NEW AREA CODE
SC regulators approve plans for new area code
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Eastern South Carolina will be getting a new area code, but it's not clear what the number will be.
The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the Public Service Commission on Wednesday approved plans for a second area code in the Lowcountry and Pee Dee.
The new code will be an addition to the 843 area code now used and will require people to start dialing the area code when they make calls.
The new code is expected to be implemented around the beginning of 2015.
There is no word yet what the new number will be.
The region is getting the second area code because population growth and the proliferation of cellphones are using up the available 843 numbers.
Funeral set for Florence County deputy
LAKE CITY, S.C. (AP) - A funeral is scheduled for a Florence County deputy who died last month after crashing his car while on the way to provide backup for another deputy.
Services are being held Thursday in Lake City for 23-year-old Joseph Antwine. He crashed his 2009 Dodge Charger the evening of Nov. 22 near Johnsonville and died a week later.
Another deputy injured in the crash has been released from the hospital. The South Carolina Highway Patrol is investigating the single-vehicle wreck.
Antwine graduated last year from The Citadel with a degree in criminal justice. Citadel Chaplain Joel Harris called Antwine "a man of faith who exemplified the idea of the servant leader."
Lawmakers to hear SC treasurer's complaints
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A panel of state lawmakers will hear from South Carolina Treasurer Curtis Loftis and his complaints about how investments are handled for the state employee retirement system.
The State newspaper reported that Loftis has complained for two years about what he calls corruption and wasteful spending at the state Retirement System Investment Commission.
Four senators are conducting a series of hearings on Loftis' charges that the commission that manages the $26 billion retirement fund wastes millions of dollars on fees. Loftis also says some commissioners have personally benefited.
Commission Chairman Reynolds Williams says he welcomes the review by lawmakers.
Columbia Sen. Joel Lourie says he hopes lawmakers can resolve the dispute between the commission and Loftis, which Lourie says is "very unhealthy."
MADD vigil remembers SC drunken driving victims
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A vigil is scheduled to remember people hurt or killed in drunken driving crashes across South Carolina.
Mothers Against Drunk Driving South Carolina is set to hold its annual candlelight vigil at 6:30 p.m. Thursday at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia.
Organizers say the event gives people a chance to remember their loved ones. There will be poetry readings and a reading of victims' names.
In 2012, MADD says there were 358 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in South Carolina. That's an increase of 16 percent over 2011.
Spartanburg County holding violent crime vigil
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Law enforcement officers in Spartanburg County are giving people a chance to come together and remember crime victims.
Sheriff Chuck Wright is set to host a 23rd Annual Candlelight Service of Remembrance and Hope on Thursday at Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg.
A service is scheduled for 7 p.m. with a reception to follow.
The sheriff's office says the event is a yearly opportunity for friends, relatives and the community at large to remember the lives of people who have been killed in violent crimes in Spartanburg County.
Keep the Midlands Beautiful hosting annual gala
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Money raised at a gala scheduled for West Columbia this week is going toward beautification projects throughout the Midlands.
On Monday, Keep the Midlands Beautiful is hosting its second annual Gala for a Greener Midlands.
Winners of the Midlands Green Awards are being announced at the event. The awards recognize the people, groups and businesses that are "green" standouts in fields like nonprofit work and elected office.
A "green" law enforcement officer will also be recognized, as will Keep the Midlands Beautiful's volunteer of the year.
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