News In Brief - July 18, 2007

York County Council approves Baker's contract

The York County Council voted unanimously on Monday night to come to terms with Jim Baker, its choice for county manager.

Baker received a two-year contract and will be paid an annual salary of $155,000.

"You have to pay money to get good people," said council Chairman Buddy Motz. "It was a big decision for him to pick up his family and move here. With his experience and background, we just felt like it was a good match."

Baker attended Monday's meeting and completed his first day of work on Tuesday.

Baker replaces Al Greene, who resigned in September. Greene was paid an annual salary of $122,650.

5-year-old's condition upgraded after near drowning

CHARLOTTE -- Michael Mayo, the 5-year-old boy who nearly drowned in a Rock Hill public swimming pool last week, was upgraded to good condition Tuesday, said a spokeswoman at Carolinas Medical Center.

Mayo was rescued from the bottom of the deep end at Oakwood Acres pool Thursday afternoon by lifeguards and bystanders. After responding to CPR at the scene, he was taken to Piedmont Medical Center, but was taken to the Charlotte hospital when his condition became critical.

Michael's condition has been steadily improving since Saturday, according to hospital reports.

Burglary suspects face rape, kidnapping charges

YORK -- More charges have been filed against two York men in custody on burglary charges at Moss Justice Center after a 17-year-old woman told deputies they entered her home, raped her at knifepoint and then took a television set, a DVD player and two cell phones.

In addition to the burglary charges, the men, Roy Kelly McSwain and Phillip Dede Dorsett, both 24, are both charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct, first degree kidnapping and multiple counts of criminal conspiracy.

According to the incident report, the teenager told deputies she and a male friend were asleep in the bedroom at about 5 a.m. Saturday when the men entered the room, said they were "going to rob the place," tied her companion with a belt and cords and forced her into the bathroom at knifepoint. While one suspect watched her companion, the other took a turn raping her, she said.

The suspects threatened to kill the couple if they told anyone, then cut the man loose and left, the report states.

McSwain and Dorsett were later found with the stolen items according to the report. McSwain's bond has been set at $127,500. Dorsett's bond had not been set as of Tuesday evening.

Rock Hill teen charged in robbery

A Rock Hill teen was arrested Monday morning after being accused of robbing a man at gunpoint late Sunday night, according to a Rock Hill police report.

The victim, a 45-year-old Rock Hill man, told police the 15-year-old male asked to use his cell phone at the corner of Chestnut and Spruce streets, the report states. When the victim refused to lend him the phone, the teen imitated pointing a gun by holding his hand under his shirt and demanded money, the man told police. The report states the man then handed over his phone and $40 in cash.

After getting a description of the teen, police were able to locate him nearby, and after a brief chase, placed him under arrest, according to the report.

Police recovered the cell phone, the report states, and charged the teen with armed robbery and resisting arrest.

Instructor joins York Tech's interior design program

Rebecca Brannan-Tarr, owner of R Design, a Fort Mill interior design company, is the new instructor for York Technical College's Interior Decorating Certificate program.

The program prepares students to work independently as interior decorators or to assist interior designers and consists of seven courses covering topics from space planning for residential interiors, textiles, color and lighting to professional business practices. Each class can be taken separately, but the full certificate program takes about a year.

The next class, Textiles, Windows, Walls and Floors, begins Tuesday and meets on subsequent Tuesdays from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m.

For information, contact York Tech's Continuing Education Division at (803) 325-2888.

Economic Development Corp. welcomes new officers

The Rock Hill Economic Development Corp. welcomed a new slate of officers at its annual meeting.

They include Chairman Eddie Brown, executive vice president of Carolina First Bank, Vice Chairwoman Bev Carroll, partner of Kennedy Covington Lobdell & Hickman in Charlotte, and Secretary/Treasurer Carey Smith, Rock Hill's city manager.

Eddie Boulware and Lonnie Harvey were elected to the board of directors. Boulware owns and operates Innovative Computer Systems. Harvey is president of The Jesclon Group, a human resources training and consultant firm.

Other board members re-elected are City Councilmen Winston Searles and Osbey Roddey, Bob Thompson of RLT Consulting, Stefan Magura of Piedmont Healthcare System and Glenn McFadden of Comporium Communications.

Thunderstorm causes damage at Columbia airport

COLUMBIA -- A thunderstorm caused a wind gust of 75 mph at Columbia Metropolitan Airport on Tuesday, damaging a temporary hanger, authorities said.

The storm also knocked out power at parts of the airport, but officials said the terminal remained open.

The same storm quickly moved into downtown Columbia around 6 p.m., knocking down trees and power lines and dropping hail up to an inch in diameter, the National Weather Service reported.

Demonstrators confront Cindy Sheehan in Charlotte

CHARLOTTE -- Protestors demonstrating against Cindy Sheehan vowed to make an impact on the anti-war activist's trip to Charlotte on Tuesday -- and their strategy worked.

Sheehan, one of the best-known opponents of the war in Iraq, stayed close to her still-running car at a Bryant Park rally where about 125 people gathered Tuesday afternoon. Instead of addressing the crowd -- some of her supporters said there was concern about her safety -- Sheehan moved to Talley's Green Grocery in Dilworth. She spoke there to supporters in part about the importance of having more political choices than the two-party system offers.

Sheehan, the mother of a solider killed in Iraq, has focused her efforts on impeaching Bush and Cheney after the president commuted the prison sentence of former White House aide Lewis "Scooter" Libby this month.

-- The Charlotte Observer