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News In Brief - June 25, 2008

Sixth man wants jury trial in graduation arrest case

The sixth man charged with disorderly conduct at the Fort Mill High School graduation will receive a jury trial.

Joseph Anthony Reiriz, 21, of Fort Mill appeared in Rock Hill Municipal Court on Tuesday and requested a jury trial. Reiriz, who is being represented by Rock Hill attorney Harry Collins, said he hopes the charges will be dismissed before the case is presented to the six-member jury in late August.

Reiriz joins five others who were arrested at the Fort Mill High School graduation and charged with public disorderly conduct after they cheered during the presentation of diplomas. Collins is representing all six individuals -- all have requested jury trials -- and plans to file a motion to dismiss the charges.

Two additional men face criminal charges after cheering at other area high school graduations, a 21-year-old York man at the York Comprehensive High graduation and a 37-year-old Rock Hill man at the Northwestern High ceremony. They are scheduled to appear in court later this summer.

-- Adam O'Daniel

Chester train derails, sparks fire; none injured

CHESTER -- A train derailed in Chester on Tuesday afternoon, spilling grain but injuring no one, authorities said.

The crash happened around 4:30 p.m. near the intersection of Ecology Lane and Beltline Road, officials said. They believe a train hauling soybeans left Omnova Solutions with a wheel that wasn't properly aligned.

The train traveled to Ecology Lane, hit a switch, and five boxcars derailed, officials said.

Sparks from the errant wheel ignited a grass fire behind the old Kirby Auto Mall on the J.A. Cochran Bypass. Firefighters knocked the blaze out around 6:30 p.m. The fire didn't damage any property.

Afghan prison officials tour S.C. facilities

COLUMBIA -- A delegation from Afghanistan is making another visit to South Carolina to learn about the state's prison system.

The Department of Corrections said the officials began a three-day visit to facilities in Columbia on Tuesday.

South Carolina officials say their agency is a good model for Afghan's prisons because the agency has learned to operate effectively with little funding.

School district prevails in free-speech appeal

COLUMBIA-- A South Carolina school district did not violate a school voucher supporter's free-speech rights by prohibiting him from using its e-mail and Web site, a federal appeals court ruled.

A three-judge panel of the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Monday that Lexington School District 1 did not create a public forum on the voucher issue and was not required to allow Randy Page to use its Web site or e-mail system to send information about a voucher bill.

Page, the president of South Carolinians for Responsible Government, wrote to the district superintendent in March 2005, asking for equal time to present arguments in support of the legislation. The bill would have granted vouchers or tuition tax credits to parents who send their children to private schools.

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