WWII Fort Jackson chapel destroyed by fire

South Carolina


A fire has destroyed a World War II-era chapel at Fort Jackson.

Fort Jackson spokesman Patrick Jones says no one was in the Villepique Chapel fire Tuesday.

Jones says the blaze brought more than 30 firefighters, five fire engines and two ladder trucks to the scene. The firefighters came both from the Army installation and the nearby community.

The wooden chapel had not been used since 2002.

Jones says all the furnishings in the chapel and been removed because it was scheduled for demolition.

Officials say it appears the fire started at the back of the building. The cause of the blaze is under investigation.

Associated Press

Gaston program to recognize child labor descendants

A program at the Gaston County Public Library on Saturday will mark the 100th anniversary of Lewis Hine's National Child Labor Committee photographs of children who worked in local textile mills.

Hine made the historic images to document abuses of child workers. In 1908, there was no federal child labor law.

Descendants of the children in the photos will be recognized at the program, which features speaker Robert Allen, a UNC Chapel Hill professor and Gastonia native.

The National Child Labor Committee donated thousands of the photos and negatives to the Library of Congress in 1954. Allen, who teaches in the American Studies program at UNC, found the Gastonia images several years ago while researching an unrelated project at the Library of Congress. He located more than a dozen descendants of people shown in the photographs.

On Saturday, Allen will preview the new exhibit based on Hine's photos called “Standing on a Box.” The exhibit opens Saturday at 5 p.m. at the Gaston County Museum of Art & History in Dallas. The exhibit and program are part of a multi-community project exploring Gaston's early 20th-century textile heritage and its influence.

The anniversary program is free and starts at 2 p.m. in the auditorium of the library, 1555 E. Garrison Blvd., Gastonia.

For information, call 704-868-2164, ext. 4.

Joe DePriest

Regional briefs

North Carolina


North Carolina's health department has settled litigation with a Durham-based mental health services provider over disputed Medicaid payments.

The N.C. Department of Health and Human Services said Tuesday that Dominion Healthcare has agreed to reimburse the state agency more than $1.6 million.

The agreement stems from a state investigation that began in February 2007. It requires that the state manually review Dominion's claims for compliance with Medicaid requirements.

The state's mental health division has led at least three investigations of Dominion since 2006. After a series of financial reviews, the state department determined that Dominion had improperly provided services or improperly billed Medicaid.

The News & Observer of Raleigh reported Wednesday that when the program began in 2006, the state offered companies up to $61 an hour to help mentally ill people learn tasks. But the state discovered the program was being billed for taking people to movies and helping children with homework.

The newspaper reported that Dominion charged taxpayers $33.9 million, the second highest of all contracting agencies.

Regulators tried to close Dominion and its statewide network of offices, but the company sued the state for more than $1 billion.

A message for Dominion CEO Joel Hopkins seeking comment wasn't immediately returned Wednesday.

Associated Press

A former N.C. assistant principal has pleaded guilty to inappropriately touching a student on school property.

Larry Ray Jewell was sentenced Oct. 28 to six to eight months in prison. The 58-year-old was given credit for time served while waiting for trial.

Jewell was an assistant principal at Southeast Raleigh High School and was arrested in February 2007. Prosecutor Jeff Cruden said Jewell and the victim were in Jewell's office when he began inappropriately touching the student and himself.

Last month, Jewell pleaded guilty to 15 counts of indecent liberties with a minor in a case involving a male relative in Harnett County. He received a four- to five-year prison sentence.

He's being held in the Craven Correctional Institution in Vanceboro.

Associated Press


Residents in several Fayetteville neighborhoods discovered fliers from hate groups in their driveways on Election Day.

Police told the Fayetteville Observer that residents said the fliers were stuffed inside old newspapers in plastic bags. Residents said the fliers rail against Democrats and Republicans, and claim to be from an Arkansas-based Ku Klux Klan group.

Fayetteville police spokeswoman Theresa Chance said gang detectives are investigating but the only crime committed was littering. She said the fliers contained no overt threats, and authorities have no suspects.

Charles Broadwell, publisher of The Fayetteville Observer, said similar incidents have occurred sporadically over the years. He said the newspaper wasn't involved and condemned its use in the fliers' delivery.

Associated Press

DurhamIn a record turnout, Durham County voters overwhelmingly rejected a 1 percent prepared-food tax.

With only provisional ballots to be counted, unofficial totals Tuesday night showed a 72 percent vote against the tax and only 28 percent in favor. The county had placed the tax referendum on the ballot, hoping to fund a $59 million program of building and maintaining cultural and recreational amenities.

Ellen Reckhow, chairwoman of the Durham County Board of Commissioners, said the county would try to find a way to move ahead with some projects, such as greenways and renovations to Durham County Stadium. “Probably not as quickly,” she said, “and we'll fund them with property taxes.”

(Raleigh) News & Observer

Rock Hill

South Carolina ETV, facing a $2million dollar shortfall, has canceled several shows.

One of the first casualties is the Rock Hill produced “Piedmont Politics.” The half-hour show airs Mondays and Sundays, focusing on York County area issues and politics. It's filmed at the network's York Technical College studio.

Network officials Tuesday contacted guests scheduled to be on camera the next day. A manager also contacted “Piedmont” host Terry Plumb, former Herald editor and current contributor.

“I was told not to come back anymore,” Plumb said. “It was a total surprise.”

ETV joins other state-funded agencies charged with slashing $488 million in costs. The public access TV and radio network, with its 14 percent cut, is among the state's hardest hit.

Shawn Cetrone, (Rock Hill) Herald

Police digest

York County, S.C.


A York County detention officer was fired Tuesday after an investigation into an inmate's allegation of sexual misconduct, according to the York County Sheriff's Office.

Robert Cordell Martin, 59, of Smyrna, was charged Tuesday with second-degree sexual misconduct with an inmate in connection with an Oct. 19 incident. Martin had been employed as a detention officer since 2004, the release notes.

He was fired Tuesday by York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant, according to the release.

The Herald could not reach Martin today for comment.

An incident report notes a 41-year-old Charlotte woman was inappropriately touched between 6 p.m. and midnight Oct. 19 while incarcerated at Moss Justice Center, according to a report from York County Sheriff's Office.

Toya Graham, (Rock Hill) Herald