News In Brief - August 7, 2007

Searles remains in intensive care

Rock Hill City Councilman Winston Searles remains hospitalized this week at Piedmont Medical Center, where he is in the intensive-care unit.

On Monday, Searles got a visit from former Mayor Betty Jo Rhea, who said she kept him company for a few minutes.

Searles, 85, made clear after the last election that his current term would be his last. It ends in October. Local activist Susie Hinton has filed to run for the seat and faces no opposition.

Since 1980, Searles has represented Ward 1, which includes neighborhoods such as Hagins-Fewell and Sunset Park. That year, he and police officer Frank Berry became the first blacks elected to the City Council.

Father killed, son wounded in Spartanburg shooting

SPARTANBURG -- A father was killed and his son wounded Monday morning in a shooting after an argument at a party, Spartanburg County deputies said.

Jose Luis Duenas Sr., 49, was shot once and died, while his son, Jose Luis Duenas Jr., 27, was wounded, sheriff's spokesman Dan Johnson said.

The two men were at a party when they started arguing with 39-year-old Roberto Perez Arreol outside the home around 2 a.m., Johnson said.

Arreol turned himself in Monday afternoon and was charged with murder and assault and battery with intent to kill, deputies said.

N.C. official still pushing for MySpace consent law

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Attorney General Roy Cooper vowed Monday to keep pressuring lawmakers to approve legislation that will require minors to get parental permission before using MySpace.com and other social networking Web sites.

Cooper, along with top law enforcement officials in other states, said the sites provide sexual predators easy access to children and teenagers because people of any age can join. North Carolina legislators failed to pass a bill this year targeting such sites, as some House members and Internet commerce groups said a broad restriction would be unworkable and unconstitutional.

"One thing we pride ourselves in doing is being ahead of the curve with ideas," Cooper said during a news conference. "Sometimes it just takes the slow-moving Legislature a period of time to see the light."

In response, MySpace general counsel Mike Angus said the bill didn't pass because the verification technology isn't up to par.

"Leading Internet and technology experts, as well as respected Internet and media companies, successfully explained why age verification and parental consent would be ineffective," he said in a written statement Monday.