Index Journal

May 27, 2015

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BUDGET DEBATE HEATS UP VOL. 97, NO. 93 2 SECTIONS, 22 PAGES WEDNESDAY, MAY 27, 2015 DAILY 75¢, SUNDAY $1.50 TODAY: Cloudy with chance of thunderstorms High of 76. FORECAST, 6B Index-Journal is published with pride for the people of the Lake- lands. You are important to us. If you miss your paper, please call 223-1413 (before noon on weekends). Inside today's edition ■ BUSINESS 6B ■ CALENDAR 2A ■ CLASSIFIEDS 7B-9B ■ COMICS 10B ■ EDITORIALS 10A ■ ENTERTAINMENT 5A ■ LOTTERY 5A ■ MARKETS 5B ■ OBITUARIES 4A ■ SPORTS 1B-4B ■ TASTE 9A Index-Journal is committed to editorial excellence. To report an error, contact Executive Editor Richard Whiting at 943-2522 or Haley: Spend extra $400M on tax cuts, debt or roads COLUMBIA — South Carolina law- makers and the governor are heading toward a showdown in the final two weeks of the General Assembly's ses- sion over how to spend an extra $400 million. R e pu bl i c an G ov. Ni k k i Ha l e y weighed in Tuesday, saying that while she didn't have specific instructions, they better spend the money on tax breaks, state debt payments, or fixes to roads and bridges. "If they did any of those three things, that's a great use of t a x p aye r d ol l ars ," Haley said at a news c o n f e r e n c e s u r - rounded by about 25 Republican lawmak- ers. Haley wouldn't give details, but the infusion of about $400 million could doom any proposal to raise the state's gas tax this year. "This is $400 million. If roads are that urgent, wouldn't that be the imme- diate need?" Haley said. "You'd say do that, and that takes all the tax increases off the table." The governor invited two of the Legislature's more conservative mem- bers to speak at her news conference. One was Sen. Tom Davis, the Beau- fort Republican who is filibustering a bill to spend some of the extra money this week, saying South Carolina has enough extra money to fund roads JEFFREY COLLINS Associated Press NIKKI HALEY Davis filibuster against gas tax increase halts, shuts down Senate COLUMBIA — After anoth- er frustrating day of not getting anywhere, Republicans in the South Carolina Senate called a closed-door meeting to see if they can reach an agreement on how to spend extra money com- ing into the state budget and fix roads. A filibuster by Sen. Tom Davis went through a third legislative day Tuesday, with Davis vowing to hold the floor for the final five regular days of the session if nec- essary to stop lawmakers from raising the gas tax to fix roads. Davis thinks South Caro- lina can find enough money in its budget for road repairs and expansion. His cause has been bolstered by the likelihood that the state will find an extra $400 million to spend in this year's JEFFREY COLLINS Associated Press See DAVIS, page 4A See HALEY, page 4A All parties involved in discus- sions Tuesday night seemed to be in agreement that Greenwood needs to reeval- uate funding for the county fire services. After digest- ing an eig ht- y e a r m a s t e r p l a n f o r f i r e services during the past month, G r e e n w o o d County Coun- cil met during a budget work- shop to discuss t he pl an and how to move forward in pro- viding a request for a ne w or improved fund- ing model that would satisfy the growing needs of fire departments throughout the county. By COLIN RIDDLE ■ GREENWOOD County to try new model for funding fire services CHUCK MOATES TOBY CHAPPELL Finding that classic car of your dreams online could cost you if you don't watch yourself. There were more than 16,000 re p or ts of on line automo- bile fraud nationally in 2014 with men as a majority of the victims, according to the 2014 Internet Crime Report released earlier this month from the Fed- eral Bureau of Investigation's Internet Crime Complaint Cen- ter. T h e F B I fou n d s c h e m e s involving automobiles, the gov- ernment, extortion, real estate and personal relationships as the most popular ways to get to peo- ple's emotions and checkbooks. Many of the cases the Internet Crime Complaint Center inves- tigated were tied to social media. The complaint center received 269,422 calls for assistance in 2014. Affected consumers last year had a total loss of more than $800 million with the average loss per person being $2,971. "The most important infor- mation both consumers and law enforcement can learn from the report are the types of crimes and demographics of the victims in their state and area," according to a prepared statement from the FBI's complaint center. South Carolina ranked 26th in victim complaints and 22nd nationally in complaint losses with more than $9 million. The state had 2,836 victims with the most being age 60 and older. "It does have the appearance that they are going after people of elderly age," said Capt. Dale Kittles, commander of the Com- munity Services Division for the Greenwood County Sheriff 's By DANIEL PERRY Report says state's elderly targeted for online fraud See SCAMS, page 4A C Y B E R S C A M S C Y B E R S C A M S See SERVICES, page 4A School board discusses budget, CO 2 levels in high school ABBEVILLE The Abbeville School District board of trustees met Tuesday night and discussed parental complaints for several Abbevillle High School students who reported sick during the school year and was home-bound. During the meeting's open forum for public input, parent and Anderson District 3 teacher Tabitha Brantly told the board her daughter, as well as 20 other students, was out sick with symptoms ranging from migraine headaches to allergic reac- tions, to respiratory problems, to seizure-like issues. "We have 20 known cases of children being ill in Abbeville High School; we do not know why or what's going on with them, but we do know that the air con- ditioning units in the school are By ARIEL GILREATH ■ ABBEVILLE More inside ■ See 6A for a story from the Associated Press on a similar scam perpetrated on a national scale. See LEVELS, page 4A

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