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May 04, 2019 - 12:00 am

CHILD PORNOGRAPHY-DOZENS ARRESTED

Child pornography roundup nets 82 arrests in Southern states

ATLANTA (AP) — Authorities say a roundup operation targeting child pornography suspects resulted in 82 arrests across eight Southeastern states.

The Georgia Bureau of Investigation said in a news release Friday that 31 of the arrests occurred in Georgia. Most of them involved charges of possessing or distributing child pornography. The GBI said some were charged after making plans to have sex with people the suspects met online and believed were minors, but were actually law enforcement officers.

About 170 agencies also took part in the crackdown that also included in Alabama, Florida, Maryland, North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia.

The GBI said Operation Southern Impact III was planned for four months and the arrests came after three days of undercover operations, executing search warrants and other actions.

FATHER SUES SON

Famous SC attorney from TV ads sues son over similar name

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — An attorney famous for his television ads in South Carolina is suing his son for starting a law firm with the same name.

George Sink's federal lawsuit against his son George Sink Jr. says the father fired the son from the firm in February and the son then started his own law firm.

The elder George Sink says in court papers his son had gone by "Ted" or "Teddy" all his life before opening the George Sink II Law Firm in North Charleston earlier this year.

Media outlets report George Sink is suing his son for trademark infringement, unfair competition, cybersquatting, unfair trade practice, and dilution.

Neither father nor son commented about the suit to media outlets.

The elder George Sink has 13 offices in South Carolina and Georgia.

FIVE CHILDREN KILLED

Jury selection goes slowly in SC dad's death penalty case

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Jury selection is going more slowly than a judge had hoped in the death penalty trial of a father charged with killing his five children in their South Carolina home.

The judge wanted to have a pool of 40 to 50 people this week to pick the jury from in the case of 37-year-old Timothy Jones Jr.

By Friday afternoon, media reports say lawyers and Judge Eugene Griffith had picked just 12 people they think could fairly decide Jones' sentence if he is convicted.

Jones is charged with five counts of murder. Police say he killed his children, ages 8, 7, 6, 2 and 1, in their Lexington home in August 2014. He drove their bodies around for a week, buried them in Alabama and was arrested in Mississippi.

SHERIFF INDICTED

Defense lawyer wants some charges against sheriff dropped

(Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — An attorney for a South Carolina sheriff who is facing 14 criminal counts wants a judge to throw out at least some of the charges because the indictments are not specific enough.

Will Lewis is suspended as Greenville County sheriff. Prosecutors have said Lewis used public resources to carry on an affair.

The Greenville News reports that Lewis' attorney, Rauch Wise, filed a motion saying the indictment doesn't specify what public money or material Lewis used.

Another indictment said Lewis broke the law by not conducting a background check when he hired a captain.

Wise wrote in the court documents the indictment does not specify which state law was broken.

Prosecutors have not answered the motions that were filed earlier this week.

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HURRICANE FLORENCE-REPORT

Report: Hurricane Florence killed 22, caused $24B in damages

MIAMI (AP) — A National Hurricane Center report says Hurricane Florence killed 22 people across three states, was the ninth most destructive storm in terms of property damage in U.S. history and spawned 44 tornadoes.

Issued Friday, the report also said the September storm was responsible for 30 indirect fatalities, including 25 in North Carolina. Indirect deaths are classified as those resulting from heart attacks, house fires, electrocutions and traffic accidents.

Of the tornadoes caused by Florence, an EF-2 reported in Chesterfield County, Virginia, on Sept. 17, 2018, caused significant structure damage. One building collapsed, killing a man inside.

In all, Florence made an impact on four states. Damages from Florence were estimated at $24 billion. According to the report, the storm left 1.1 million residents without power, all but 100,000 in North Carolina.

DUKE ENERGY RATES

SC regulators reduce Duke Energy's proposed rate increase

(Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina utility regulators are reducing a proposed rate increase that would affect 591,000 Duke Energy customers.

The Greenville News reports the utility requested last year to increase its Residential Basic Facilities Rate charge from $8.29 to $28. That would have resulted in a yearly increase of $237 per customer in energy costs.

The company later agreed to lower the charge to either $11.70 or $13.09.

The state Public Service Commission said in a directive Wednesday that Duke Energy executives were "tone deaf" about how a 238% increase would negatively affect older, disabled, low-income and low-use customers.

The commission, in coming weeks, is expected to announce a final decision on the amount of the rate increase.

Regulators also recommended that the company's CEO and Duke Energy executives take pay cuts.

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