News In Brief - January 31, 2008

Wiire reports

S.C. man in police chase gets 30 years for rape

LEXINGTON -- A man who raped a family friend then led police on a chase down Interstate 26 that ended with a two-hour standoff has been sentenced to 30 years in prison.

Paul Reid admitted Wednesday he left his 3-year-old child in his truck as he went inside the home of the friend and sexually assaulted her last May.

Prosecutors say during the rape, he snorted cocaine off the victim's stomach.

Authorities say Reid then dropped the child off and led police on a chase down Interstate 26, occasionally pulling to the side of the road to threaten to shoot officers or himself.

Defense attorney Jack Duncan says Reid lost his mind that day because of drug use and depression over the death of his wife.

S.C. man leads officers to mother's body

COLUMBIA -- Authorities say a man convicted of killing his mother more than four years ago even though her body had not been found has now led investigators to her remains.

Prosecutors say 48-year-old Jeffrey Weston admitted during an unsuccessful murder appeal Tuesday that he dismembered and buried his 78-year-old mother's body after she died in 1998.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott says Weston led officers to the burial site in woods in Columbia on Wednesday.

Authorities say Weston still maintains his innocence, saying his mother fell and hit her head as they argued.

Weston is serving a 40-year prison sentence.

Port of Charleston volume drops in 2007

CHARLESTON -- The Port of Charleston was handling fewer shipping containers last year compared with the previous year.

The South Carolina State Ports Authority says the port had an 11 percent drop in volume last year. The port handled about 1.75 million shipping containers in 2007.

The 20-foot-long steel containers are stacked on ships and then moved to trailer trucks.

Charleston was once the second-biggest container port on the East Coast. Now, it's fourth behind New York-New Jersey, Southeast Virginia and Savannah, Ga.

Authority spokesman Byron Miller says the port must show it's serious about expansion or shippers may go elsewhere.

McCanless named publisher of Ga. paper

MACON, Ga. -- George McCanless was named president and publisher of The Telegraph on Wednesday, said the McClatchy Co. which bought the Macon newspaper in 2006.

McCanless, 51, had been the senior vice president of finance and strategic planning for The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., since March 2004 after four years with the newspaper.

A former finance director of The Herald, McCanless also previously served as director of administration at The Times Herald-Record in Middletown, N.Y.; and chief financial officer of The New Haven Register in New Haven, Conn.