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This Hour: Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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KILLING PROTECTED BIRDS

3 men sentenced for killing protected hawks, owls

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Jasper County hunting preserve is paying $250,000 in restitution after three of its employees pleaded guilty to illegally trapping and killing hawks and owls to improve quail hunting on the property.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles announced Friday that Mackay Point Plantation's general manager, hunting dog trainer and heavy equipment handler have been sentenced to six months of probation, community service, and a one-year ban on trapping. The $250,000 to be paid by the private plantation will be divided among local animal charities.

Nettles says the three workers placed dozens of baited, steel traps on the property to kill red-tail hawks and great horned owls, which eat quail. The protected birds cannot be killed without a permit.

Nettles says there is no evidence that the plantation's owners were involved.

KIDNAP VICTIM RESCUED-PLEA

Reputed gangster pleads guilty in kidnapping plot

A South Carolina woman who authorities say is a gang member known as "Lady Jamaica" has admitted lying to federal agents during their investigation of the kidnapping of a North Carolina prosecutor's father.

Chason Renee Chase pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court in Columbia, South Carolina. The 24-year-old was questioned by FBI agents following the April 5 kidnapping of Frank Janssen of Wake Forest, North Carolina.

Prosecutors say Janssen's kidnapping was directed by Kelvin Melton, a high-ranking Bloods street gang member serving a life sentence in a North Carolina prison.

Authorities say Chase lied about knowing and communicating with Melton on a cellphone hidden in his jail cell. Janssen was later rescued by the FBI from an Atlanta apartment.

Chase faces a maximum sentence of five years. Nine others still face charges in the case.

TEXTILE PLANT SHOOTINGS

Sheriff: 2 dead near Greenville textile plant

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say two men are dead after an early-morning shooting near a shuttered Greenville County textile plant.

Dispatchers tell local media outlets they got a call about a shooting at around 3:40 a.m. Friday.

The Greenville County Coroner's office says two people were killed on a road near the Hollingsworth textile plant. Authorities have not released any other details about what happened.

Investigators and officials from the coroner's office are still at the scene, which is on lockdown. Dispatchers say a command post is being set up at a nearby gas station.

The plant once made textile machinery and closed in 2009. Officials say the privately owned property is guarded around the clock.

BUSINESS RAIDED

SC Ponzi leader arraigned on new charges

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The wife and brother of a former Anderson County councilman in prison for a Ponzi scheme have been arraigned on charges of hiding assets from federal investigators.

Local media outlets report Ronnie Wilson, Cassandra Kendall Wilson and Timothy L. Wilson were all in court Thursday.

Authorities say Ronnie Wilson's wife and brother helped him stash hundreds of thousands of dollars before a court-appointed receiver could find the money and try to disburse it to investors Wilson had defrauded.

Ronnie Wilson is serving a 19-year sentence for mail fraud. Prosecutors say he and another man promised to buy and sell silver for hundreds of customers through Atlantic Bullion & Coin but invested little of the $90 million they took in and either lost the money or kept it for themselves.

CHILD NEGLECT CHARGE

SC woman charged with exposing child to meth

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) - A Westminster woman is charged with child neglect.

Authorities tell local media outlets that 36-year-old Bridgette Delanea McCall was booked into the Oconee County jail at around 6 p.m. Wednesday on a child neglect charge.

Warrants show McCall is accused of exposing her 1-year-old child to methamphetamine. Authorities say the child tested positive in a drug panel screening.

The investigation began July 9 when a sheriff's deputy spoke with a South Carolina Department of Social Services employee. Deputies say the child was removed from McCall's care and placed with family members.

McCall is in jail on $10,000 bond. It wasn't known if she had an attorney.

DNR BOATING INSPECTIONS

SCDNR offering Labor Day boat safety inspections

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The state Department of Natural Resources is offering courtesy boat safety inspections during the Labor Day weekend at boat landings across South Carolina.

The department announced that boating and enforcement officers will perform quick inspections for required safety equipment and proper boat and motor registration. Boaters won't get a ticket if they are not in compliance, but they will be given a chance to correct the problem before launching a boat.

The first inspections are scheduled for Friday at Galivants Ferry Landing in Marion County.

There will be inspections on Saturday at boat landings in 11 other counties. They continue on Sunday with inspections in six counties statewide.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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