News In Brief - December 10, 2008

Elementary students evacuate school safely

Students at Rosewood Elementary in Rock Hill were briefly evacuated from class Tuesday morning after a hallway electric heater caught fire.

The fire was reported around 11:15 a.m. when people in the school smelled the heater burning, district spokeswoman Elaine Baker said.

The school conducted a fire drill, and all students were safely evacuated. No one was injured.

The burned heater will either be fixed or replaced, Baker said.

Sheriff's Office moves Clover location

The York County Sheriff's Office has moved its Clover satellite office to a new location with more space.

The satellite office is now in a business center near S.C. 557, closer to Lake Wylie. The office was formerly located in the Clover Police Department.

Police: Woman's vehicle stolen during burglary

FORT MILL -- A Fort Mill homeowner came home to intruders Tuesday, police said. Now, authorities are looking for two men who they say burglarized the house, taking the homeowner's vehicle.

Around 2 p.m. Tuesday, officials said a house on Platinum Drive was burglarized in the Four Seasons subdivision off Gold Hill Road. The homeowner was not there.

"The homeowner came home while the subjects were leaving," said Capt. Jerry Hoffman of York County Sheriff's Office. "She was not physically assaulted."

It's unclear what all the men took from the house. However, police said, the men took the woman's vehicle. It's a 2005 gray-colored Nissan Murano, with South Carolina tag 198UUG, Hoffman said.

Anyone with information about Tuesday's burglary should call the York County Sheriff's Office at 628-3059 or CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.

King to host pair of swearing-in events

Newly elected state Rep. John King, D-Rock Hill, will host a pair of public swearing-in ceremonies on Friday in Rock Hill and York.

The first ceremony will take place at noon in the city of York's Council Chambers, 10 Roosevelt St. The second is planned for 6 p.m. in the Rock Hill City Council Chambers, 155 Johnston St.

King, director of King Funeral Home in downtown Rock Hill, defeated Republican Marvin Rogers for the District 49 seat formerly held by Bessie Moody-Lawrence. For questions, call 980-5454.

S.C. panel recommends freeze on teacher salaries

COLUMBIA -- An education reform panel says teacher pay in South Carolina should be frozen because of the sluggish economy.

The Education Oversight Committee voted unanimously Monday to recommend that teacher pay be frozen at current levels, at least for the coming fiscal year. The (Columbia) State newspaper reported the average teacher salary in South Carolina is $47,376.

The committee also recommended the state stop giving a $7,500 annual bonus for 10 years to teachers who earn national board certification in the future. The panel said those in the process of becoming certified would qualify and those with the certification would continue to get the bonus.

The recommendations go to the General Assembly, which will start work on the state budget next month. Sales tax collections have dropped nearly 11 percent this year.

WIS-TV to lay off 7 employees

COLUMBIA -- Columbia television station WIS is laying off seven employees, the station's manager confirmed Tuesday.

WIS general manager Donita Todd would not identify the employees or their jobs.

"The broadcasting industry and WIS are not immune to the current economic environment," Todd said. "In order for the station to be appropriately positioned for the coming year, we had to take the difficult step of reducing our staff by seven positions. We don't anticipate any further layoffs at this time."

Last week, ETV announced it was laying off 43 people to deal with a $2.3 million state budget cut.

Managers at three other Columbia TV stations, WLTX, WACH and WOLO, said they had no plans for layoffs.

-- The (Columbia) State

Myrtle Beach approves changes to bike rally laws

MYRTLE BEACH -- Myrtle Beach's City Council has given final approval to several changes to ordinances and amendments it passed this fall targeting the May motorcycle rallies.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that fines for those committing administrative infractions, including not wearing a helmet while riding within city limits, breaking the juvenile curfew and several others were set at $100.

Those rules take effect Feb. 28, a date changed by the council after City Manager Tom Leath asked for more time to set up the administrative hearing court that will take care of such cases.