News In Brief - December 11, 2008

South Pointe student hospitalized after fall

A ninth-grade student at South Pointe High School in Rock Hill was admitted to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte for observation Wednesday after he fell and hit his head during a physical education class, school officials said.

District spokeswoman Elaine Baker said the student, whose name was not being released, was playing basketball in the school gym at about 11 a.m. during the class.

The student approached the basketball goal to attempt a shot and fell, hitting his head on the floor, Baker said.

Emergency Medical Services was called and decided that the student should be flown to the Charlotte hospital, Baker said. She said his parents were called.

Doctors who examined the student Wednesday afternoon said they did not find any evidence of brain or spinal injury, said Baker, who described that news as "promising." She said doctors decided to admit the student for observation.

Police reveal evidence in missing S.C. couple case

HILTON HEAD ISLAND -- An accountant who was the last person to see a missing South Carolina couple alive bought drop cloths large enough to be body bags and turned off his cell phone for 12 hours after meeting with his wealthy clients nine months ago, police said Wednesday.

Authorities also revealed the contents of accountant Dennis Gerwing's suicide note, yet another piece of evidence that suggests he played a role in the couple's disappearance.

"I have acted completely alone in all actions committed," Gerwing wrote in the note, discovered in an apartment where his body was found about a week after the couple vanished. "I knew the risk of this happening and believe taking myself out of the game is the best way to move everyone as quickly as possible past all events. All anger should be directed towards me."

Gerwing, who killed himself after police questioned him in the disappearance of John and Elizabeth Calvert, could have disposed of their bodies hundreds of miles from Hilton Head Island, Beaufort County Sheriff P.J. Tanner told reporters. That would have given Gerwing, 54, time to drive several hours away, Tanner said.

Business, wildlife groups oppose power plant

COLUMBIA -- Two South Carolina organizations are asking Gov. Mark Sanford to review the state-owned utility's plan to build a coal-fired power plant in Florence County.

The Small Business Chamber of Commerce and the Wildlife Federation said Wednesday that state-owned utility Santee Cooper has no outside body to regulate it like investor-owned utilities. Officials from the two organizations said Sanford and other members of the Santee Cooper Advisory Board could provide that oversight.

Santee Cooper has said it needs the $1 billion plant to meet growing demand for electricity. Opponents say coal-fired plants are expensive, outdated and cause too much pollution, releasing mercury into the river.