News In Brief - February 23, 2008

Catawbas to hold general meeting

Leaders of the Catawba Indian Nation will meet today to discuss issues facing the tribe.

The meeting of the General Council is planned at 10 a.m. in the Longhouse, located on the Catawba reservation east of Rock Hill.

New Chief Donald Rodgers, who campaigned door to door last year, has promised to reach out to members of all ages and viewpoints to begin settling disputes. Rodgers replaced Gilbert Blue, who retired.

Wes Hayes to appear on SCETV program

A local legislator will discuss education issues that are before the General Assembly Sunday on SCETV.

State Sen. Wes Hayes, R-Rock Hill, will be one of five legislators to join state education Superintendent Jim Rex on the 6 p.m. show "In our Schools."

Hayes is the chairman of the Senate education K-12 subcommittee.

Topics of discussion could include proposed changes to student testing, changes to the accountability system, public school choice programs, possible changes to school funding methods and enhanced Internet access for public schools.

Viewers can ask the panelists questions via e-mail before or during the program at inourschools@scetv.org.

Sen. John Matthews, D-Orangeburg, Rep. Bill Whitmire, R-Oconee, Rep. Cathy Harvin, D-Clarendon-Williamsburg, and Rep. Dwight Loftis, R-Greenville, also will be on the program.

Faith network partners with Upscale Mysale

The Interfaith Hospitality Network has announced a partnership with The Upscale Mysale, which is hosting a consignment sale today and Sunday in downtown Rock Hill.

The hospitality network, which provides meals, shelter, support services and life skills training for homeless parents and children through community partnerships, will receive donations of unsold clothing after the weekend consignment sale.

The sale, which offers women's clothing and other products, will be from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today and from 2 to 6 p.m. Sunday at The Freedom Center gymnasium, 215 E. Main St.

McMaster to investigate baby fraud case

BEAUFORT -- South Carolina's attorney general is investigating the case of a Lady's Island woman who received more than $1,000 in cash and donations after telling people she was expecting quintuplets when she wasn't pregnant.

Attorney General Henry McMaster was asked to review the case after prosecutor Duffie Stone said he had a conflict of interest. Stone told The Beaufort Gazette one of his part-time prosecutors is representing Solis in an unrelated civil case.

Erika Nieves-Abrigo, also known as Nancy Cantu, was charged last month with obtaining goods under false pretenses. She and her boyfriend, Juan Salvador Solis, were featured in several local television and newspaper stories, and community members began sending diapers, bottles and cribs. One couple even threw Cantu a baby shower.

Police said the couple's story began to unravel when doctors preparing for the rare multiple births told investigators they were worried that Cantu had not been getting regular prenatal care. Investigators met with the couple to discuss allegations that the pregnancy may be fake, and an ultrasound revealed Cantu was not pregnant, police said.

Solis also has been charged with obtaining goods under false pretenses. If convicted, they face a maximum of five years in prison.

Volunteer fire chief charged with embezzling, forgery

COLUMBIA -- State police say a volunteer Barnwell County fire chief has been charged with embezzling $7,200 from public coffers.

The State Law Enforcement Division says 41-year-old Long Branch Chief Horace "Buddy" Delk Jr. was arrested Wednesday and also charged with forgery.

Agents say Delk took the money over a three-year period, from January 2005 through December 2007, by forging an account holder's name on checks he then used for personal expenses.

One check was made out to a computer company for more than $4,300.

Two others were made out to cash for more than $1,400. And SLED says Delk wrote two other checks to himself for $1,500.

It was not clear if Delk had an attorney. Jail officials said they did not know, and his telephone number was unlisted.