News In Brief - December 8, 2007

Clover to honor football champions Tuesday

CLOVER -- Clover High School will celebrate the success of its state championship football team with a community-wide recognition ceremony to honor the players at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday in the school gym. Admission is free.

Professional DVDs of the game with announcer and sports commentary can be ordered at the celebration for $20 or by e-mailing Carroll Hester, athletic director, at hester@clover.k12.sc.us. Shirts, sweats and hats also will be for sale at the celebration and while supplies last at the school. All proceeds from the apparel sales will be used to offset the cost of championship rings for the players.

-- Enquirer-Herald

Algebra, science scores up, English scores down

COLUMBIA -- More students passed end-of-course Algebra and physical science tests in 2007 but fewer passed English tests, according to results released by the S.C. Department of Education on Friday.

End-of-course tests count for 20 percent of a student's final grade and provide a basis for comparison across the state.

The average score this year in each subject was a passing grade for the first time.

Despite some gains, state Superintendent Jim Rex said scores were unacceptably low.

He directed state experts to look into why the scores are not improving more quickly and to recommend ways the education department can help local schools.

Full results will be posted at ed.sc.gov under the topic "assessment."

York street to close for pipe replacement

YORK -- Harbor Street will close Monday for about a week for maintenance.

The S.C. Department of Transportation will be replacing a pipe under the roadway.

It will be open to local traffic only, and there is no posted detour.

Minor earthquake prompts bridge inspections

A small earthquake in western North Carolina on Friday morning prompted the S.C. Department of Transportation to dispatch teams to inspect bridges in the Upstate area.

The inspections were completed just before noon on Friday, and no damage or movement was reported on any of the structures, the DOT said.

Officer charged in Horry County bus wreck

MYRTLE BEACH -- An Horry County officer has been cited for improper passing after his patrol car hit a school bus.

Troopers say William Hilburn had his lights and siren on responding to a call when he tried to pass the bus on the left Thursday afternoon.

Troopers say the bus then made a left turn, hitting the cruiser and sending both vehicles into a ditch.

Horry County Police spokesman Bob Carr said supervisors will decide whether to discipline the officer after the Highway Patrol completes its final report.

Officials say six students and the bus driver suffered minor injuries. The 35 students on the bus were all from Green Sea Floyds Elementary School or Green Sea Floyds High School.

Man charged with killing missing woman

GREENVILLE -- A 34-year-old man has been charged with murder in the killing of a woman whose body was found four days after she had been last seen bleeding from a gunshot wound.

In court Friday, Brian Sturgeon told 25-year-old Jandie Finley's family that he didn't kill the woman, but was sorry for what happened.

A family member told him to shut up.

Sturgeon is charged with murder and arson. Authorities say he drove Finley's body around after shooting her in the head.

2 DJJ officers charged with assaulting inmate

COLUMBIA -- Two former Juvenile Justice Department officers have been charged with aggravated assault after state investigators said the two twisted an inmate's arm to the point that it fractured.

George Anthony Pearson, 41, of Columbia and Dewayne Alonzo Jenkins, 28, of West Columbia were arrested Friday morning, according to the State Law Enforcement Division.

Both men were fired when they were arrested, DJJ spokeswoman Loretta Neal said.

The incident happened Oct. 30 at DJJ's prison in Columbia, authorities said.

Pearson also is charged with obstruction of justice after investigators said he denied any involvement in the case in a sworn statement to SLED officials.

Pearson admitted during questioning that his initial statement was not true and provided a second statement detailing his involvement, according to an arrest warrant.

shot at the Berea apartment complex, but he was not seriously injured.

Investigators are still trying to determine a motive for the killing.