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S.C. official sees more water wars

Attorney General Henry McMaster predicted future water wars in the Southeast and said Tuesday a lawsuit South Carolina brought against North Carolina will set a precedent for settling the disputes.

“This is the kind of thing we're going to be seeing from now on,” McMaster told about 300 people at the S.C. Water Resources Conference. “It won't be long before Atlanta tries to build a pipeline to the Savannah River.”

McMaster sued North Carolina last year after the state decided to allow 10 million gallons of water a day be diverted from the Catawba River, which flows into South Carolina.

“North Carolina simply can't do that to us,” McMaster said. “A river flowing through one state into another state doesn't belong to the upstream state only.”

McMaster originally expected a decision by 2010, but said it will take longer after the city of Charlotte, Duke Energy and a water system serving Union County, N.C., and Lancaster County, S.C., were allowed to enter the case earlier this year.

Associated Press

Decision 2008

Two hours before the presidential candidates debate in New York, the candidates for N.C. governor will square off tonight in a debate to be broadcast live from Charlotte.

Republican Pat McCrory, Democrat Bev Perdue and Libertarian Mike Munger will appear in the forum sponsored by the Charlotte- Mecklenburg League of Women Voters and WSOC-TV. It will be aired live from 7 to 8 p.m. on WSOC (Channel 9) and WTVI (Channel 42).

Staff Reports

Meck briefs

Charlotte

Charlotte's Myers Park United Methodist Church will hold a prayer service at 7 p.m. Thursday for those seeking hope in these times of economic and personal uncertainty. The church, at 1501 Queens Road, will offer prayers, hymns and Scripture readings centered on the economic troubles afflicting Charlotte, the United States and the world. Details: www.mpumc.org.

Tim Funk

Regional briefs

Buncombe County Asheville

A federal prosecutor expects more charges in an investigation of illegal video poker that already has snared a former sheriff and his officers. Assistant U.S. Attorney Richard Edwards said during a hearing that he anticipated at least one more indictment in the wide-ranging gambling probe, the Asheville Citizen-Times reported Tuesday.

Several people were sentenced last week in the video poker investigation, including former Buncombe County Sheriff Bobby Medford and four of his former officers. Medford was sentenced to 15 years in prison for taking up to $300,000 in bribes from illegal video gambling operators during his tenure as sheriff of the Western North Carolina county.

Associated Press

Wake County Raleigh

A 39-year-old former middle school teacher will spend 20 days in jail and five years on probation after pleading guilty today to 10 counts of second-degree exploitation of a minor.

Jason Garant Perkins gave an emotional confession of his sexual addiction after a prosecutor described nearly 200 images of child erotica and pornography found on his computer. The images included video of minors engaged in sex.

“I soothed myself it was only a fantasy world,” Perkins said, adding that he has since joined Sex Addicts Anonymous and a 12-step program called Celebrate Recovery. His computer is filtered for sexual content, and he spends only about 15 minutes a day out of the company of his wife, employer or customers at the store where he now works.

Josh Shaffer, (Raleigh) News & Observer

South Carolina Columbia

South Carolina's infant mortality rate dropped slightly in 2006 even though thousands more babies were born in the state that year, according to numbers released Tuesday by state health officials.

The rate of 8.4 deaths per 1,000 live births in South Carolina was down from 9.5 in 2005, according to the Department of Health and Environmental Control. That means that for every 1,000 babies born alive in South Carolina in 2006, one more survived than in 2005. Despite the overall rate's decline, there was a marked disparity between rates for white babies and other babies.

In 2006, the state's infant mortality rate for white babies was 5.7, while the rate for minority babies was 13.2. A year earlier, the rates were 7.0 for white babies and 14.3 for other babies.

Associated Press

South Carolina Newberry

Authorities have arrested a man and his two sons after they made obscene gestures, threw rocks and pointed a gun at a State Law Enforcement Division helicopter.

Newberry County Sheriff Lee Foster said Tuesday that 43-year-old Michael Phillip Greenberg, 19-year-old Robert Michael Greenberg and 18-year-old Sam Greenberg are charged with conspiracy and assault with intent to kill. They're being held in the county jail.

Investigators say the helicopter was conducting an investigation near the family's mobile home when some men began making obscene gestures and throwing rocks at the aircraft. Police say one man loaded a rifle and pointed it at the aircraft.

Associated Press
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