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NAVY NUCLEAR CHEATING

AP NewsBreak: Navy kicks out 34 for nuke cheating

WASHINGTON (AP) - The Navy tells The Associated Press that at least 34 sailors are being kicked out of the service for their roles in a cheating ring that operated undetected for at least seven years at a nuclear power training site in South Carolina.

Ten others are under criminal investigation.

Also, 32 other sailors were implicated by investigators but later exonerated.

The number of accused and the duration of cheating are greater than was known when the Navy announced in February that it had discovered cheating by as many as 30 sailors seeking to be certified as staff instructors at the nuclear reactor training site in Charleston, South Carolina.

Investigators found that the cheating began in 2007 or possibly earlier. A copy of the probe was provided to The AP.

ACT SCORES-SC

SC's ACT test scores stable as more take exam

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Graduating seniors' scores on the ACT remained the same as more South Carolina students than ever took the college entrance exam.

Data released Wednesday shows the Class of 2014's average composite score was 20.4 on a 36-point scale. That's unchanged from last year. The national average increased by one-tenth of a point, to 21.

The data includes scores posted by private and home-schooled students. Nearly 2,400 additional seniors took the test compared to 2013.

State Superintendent of Education Mick Zais points to the slight increase in scores for public school students as evidence of progress. Those increased by one-tenth of a point to 20.2.

Twenty-three percent of South Carolina's test-takers met college-ready benchmarks in all four subjects: English, reading, math and science. That's up from 22 percent last year.

BEACH BIKERS

Police seek help solving Bikefest weekend slayings

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Myrtle Beach police are urging anyone with information about the shooting deaths of three people at a motel during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest to contact them or Crime Stoppers.

Detective Will Kitelinger was joined by family members of the victims at a news conference in Summerville on Wednesday in asking for the public's help.

Kitelinger says the case is a tough one because the victims were all from the Summerville area and the perpetrators could be from somewhere else in the U.S.

Police initially said the slayings might be gang-related but the detective says he has no information to suggest that.

After a rash of violence in communities near Atlantic Beach during this year's bike festival, Gov. Nikki Haley called for an end to the annual event.

HIT-AND-RUN INVESTIGATION

Death of SC woman investigated as a hit-and-run

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - The death of a woman found along a road in Berkeley County is being investigated as a hit-and-run.

Coroner Bill Salisbury tells area media outlets that 59-year-old Peggy Ann Cain of Cross was found by the side of a rural road about 10 p.m. Tuesday. Cain later died of her injuries at a local hospital.

Salisbury says an autopsy will determine the cause of death but the incident is being investigated as a hit-and-run.

Authorities have not yet released a description of the vehicle they think was involved.

BUDGET-CLOSING THE YEAR

SC year closes with higher-than-expected surplus

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina has again ended the fiscal year with a higher-than-expected surplus, handing legislators an additional $32 million to distribute next year.

The fiscal-year closing report issued Wednesday by the state's chief accountant shows South Carolina's coffers collected more than enough to fund every item on the Legislature's priority list for surplus revenue. That $235 million list includes $6.5 million to cover what some school districts otherwise would have lost due to education funding formula changes.

It is the second consecutive year that the surplus exceeded estimates.

State Comptroller Richard Eckstrom says state revenue grew by 2.5 percent in the fiscal year that ended June 30. He says that means the state's economy grew slower than in 2012-13, when the rate was a more robust 9.1 percent.

T25-S CAROLINA-YOUNG CORNERS

No. 9 South Carolina turns to youth in secondary

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Steve Spurrier has said several times that No. 9 South Carolina has plenty of good players, just no one knows it yet.

The Gamecocks coach better hope that's especially true in the secondary where the club enters the season without last year's lockdown standouts Victor Hampton and Jimmy Legree - and will lean heavily on freshmen Chris Lammons, Wesley Green and Al Harris Jr. to rotate into the mix this fall.

With about a week before the Gamecocks open at home against No. 21 Texas A&M, Harris looks close to earning a starting spot opposite senior Brison Williams, moved from safety a year ago.

Harris says the young players have picked things up quickly and are ready to have an immediate impact for South Carolina.

USC AIKEN-ATHLETIC HALL

Golfer Goff heads up USC Aiken hall class

AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - Former NCAA Division II championship golfer Jeff Goff heads a group of three in the latest class for the USC Aiken Athletic Hall of Fame.

The others named were longtime administrator Jim Kauffman and former softball standout Jessica Strickland. The school announced the newest members this week.

Goff played for two years on the Pacers golf team, winning the NCAA individual championship in 2008.

Kauffman worked at USC Aiken from 1976 through 2005, serving several roles in the athletic department including volunteer baseball coach and athletic director.

Strickland spent four years with the softball team from 2006-09 and was the Peach Belt Conference player of the year in 2007.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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