News In Brief - October 31, 2007

Voting equipment to be tested

The York County Registration and Elections Office will conduct a public test of voting equipment to be used in upcoming municipal elections in Tega Cay, Fort Mill and Clover.

The test will be performed at 1 p.m. on Thursday at the E.C. Black Building, 13 S. Congress St. in York. It is is open to the public. For information, call director Wanda Hemphill at 684-1242 or 909-7194.

Church plans annual vigil to aid CDV victims

CHARLOTTE -- When Faye Gatlin-Lewis began attending the single parents group at Bible Way Church of Atlas Road four years ago, she had just gotten out of a marriage she described as abusive and was ashamed to tell her story.

Members assured her she was not to blame and coaxed her out of her shell.

Across South Carolina, faith communities are increasingly aware of the danger of domestic violence in their congregations and are fighting against it.

Church ministries restored her confidence and helped manage the large debt her husband incurred in her name. She joined the church in 2003.

On Oct. 10, the church held a vigil for victims of domestic violence. Jackson said it likely will be an annual event.

South Carolina ranks seventh in the U.S. in the rate of women killed by men, according to the most recent study by the Violence Policy Center in Washington, D.C. The Palmetto State consistently has ranked in the top 10 nationally in recent years.

Last year, 40 women and 10 men were killed by their domestic partners.

-- The (Columbia) State

Old Slave Mart Museum reopening in Charleston

CHARLESTON -- Twenty years after the city of Charleston bought the Old Slave Mart Museum from a private owner, the small building whose exhibits tell of the slave trade is set to open its doors again today.

The building -- really a roof over an alley between two other buildings -- was used to sell slaves for eight years from 1856 until near the end of the Civil War. It was later a tenement, a shoemaker's shop and then, for decades, a museum under private ownership.

The city bought the building in 1987. It was badly damaged by Hurricane Hugo two years later.

Leaders were undecided what to do with the structure for years but brought in a curator five years ago with plans to reopen the museum a few blocks south of the city's popular open-air market.

The well-known slave mart was one of about 40 in the area. Slaves were originally sold outdoors until there were mounting complaints from locals.