News In Brief - June 19, 2008

York utility rate increase gets initial approval

YORK -- York residents could soon see an increase in their city utility bills.

The York City Council gave initial approval this week to increases in both base water and base sewer rates, from $5.25 a month to $10.50 a month. Combined water and sewer base rates will be $21 a month.

Interim City Manager Charles Helms told council members the increase is needed to make up for money the city is spending to buy water from Rock Hill because of the drought and to help provide money to expand the wastewater treatment plant.

The council voted unanimously in favor of the increase. A second and final vote will be taken during the July meeting.

Adult education director earns state recognition

The director of the Rock Hill school district's adult education program has been given a state honor.

Sandy Andrews is being recognized as the South Carolina Adult Education Director of the Year.

Andrews joined the district in 2001. She is credited with successfully seeking grants and increasing enrollment in the adult education program.

Adult education offers GED prep courses, basic computer and English classes and WorkKeys assessments.

--Jessica Schonberg

USC tuition going up nearly 6 percent

COLUMBIA -- University of South Carolina administrators are recommending a tuition increase of nearly 6 percent for the coming school year.

The administration recommended Wednesday a 5.9 percent increase, from $8,346 for the just-completed year to $8,838 for the coming year.

USC President Andrew Sorensen said the school is confronting rising costs, pointing to a $1 million increase in the utility bill.

Non-resident undergraduates would see tuition increase from $21,632 to $22,094 in the fall.

The budget was presented to a board committee Wednesday. It will be considered by the full board June 27.

The General Assembly cut higher education funding by about 3 percent for the coming year because of falling tax revenues. USC is losing $4.3 million.

Other schools in the USC system also would see in-state tuition increases:

• USC Aiken, up $526 (7.5 percent) to $7,532

• USC Beaufort, up $750 (12 percent) to $7,000

• USC Upstate, up $582 (7.5 percent) to $8,342

At Clemson University, trustees have not decided on next year's tuition.

-- The (Columbia) State