News In Brief - February 5, 2008

Outage darkens 1,200 Chester County homes

CHESTER -- About 1,200 homes in Chester County were without power Monday night after Duke Energy workers looking to restore power to some homes in York County inadvertantly tripped a breaker that supplies power to the Lando area.

The homes without power were in the Edgeland Road area north to York County and from the York County line into the Mount Holly area.

The power went out around 8 p.m.

York man charged in gas-station shooting

YORK -- A York man was arrested last week after witness testimony linked him to a Jan. 26 shooting incident at the Shell gas station on West Liberty Street.

LeJames Antonio Mitchell, 19, of 47 Southbrook Drive was charged with four counts of assault and battery with intent to kill.

The shooting occurred after a argument between two groups at one of the gas pumps, according to a York Police report. One group drove off in an SUV and a man witnesses identified as Mitchell shot out the window at the group still at the station. Police found five shell casings at the scene. One bullet had hit the building and three went into a car, according to reports. No one was injured.

Mitchell turned himself into police Friday. He was released on a $20,000 bond on Saturday, according to the Moss Justice Detention Center.

DHEC to share results of York contamination study

YORK -- The Department of Health and Environmental Control wants input from the public about how to deal with a hexavalent chromium contamination at the former Metals Protection Co. site, 6347 Campbell Road.

DHEC will hold a public meeting at 7 p.m. tonight at the Hunter Street Elementary School cafeteria to show the results of their investigation, what the clean-up alternatives are and which alternative they think is best.

The chromium contamination is isolated to the former industry's property now owned by SPX Corp. and resulted from rinse water left over from metal that was washed after it was put through chromic acid plating tanks by MPC starting in the early 1950s. Nearby residential wells have never detected any site-related contamination, according to DHEC.

Hexavalent chromium is toxic if orally ingested or inhaled. It is a carcinogen and chronic exposure to it can cause permanent eye injury.

The public has until March 7 to provide written comments to DHEC project manager, Angie Jones at 2600 Bull St., Columbia, S.C. 29206.

Task force to report on quality of S.C. child care

COLUMBIA -- The S.C. Task Force on Early Childhood Quality Standards on Wednesday will deliver its final report to Gov. Mark Sanford and the Legislature on how to improve early child care programs across the state.

The group aimed to develop quality standards for public and private programs for children ages 4 and younger, said chairwoman and state First Steps director Susan DeVenny.

The report recommends incentives for parents, teachers and child-care providers to encourage adoptions of quality standards. Suggestions include linking quality care with tax credits for families and providing scholarship opportunities to low-income families.

-- The (Columbia) State