The Daily Gamecock

In Brief: February 4, 2013

State senator to offer gun permit classes for teachers

Some South Carolina teachers may soon be packing heat thanks to state Sen. Katrina Shealy.

The Lexington Republican announced in a release last week that she would be offering free concealed weapon permit classes to the state’s teachers and school administrators in mid-February.

The classes, which usually cost between $85 and $100, will involve both written and shooting tests. Shealy, who supports allowing concealed weapons in schools, stressed the importance of these classes in the wake of recent mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December, which left 20 children and six adults dead.

“It is imperative we do all we can to keep our children safe and our schools secure,” she said in the release.

—Amanda Coyne, Assistant News Editor

Haley proposes additional funding for prison system

The Lee Correctional Institute in Bishopville had its share of issues last year, and now, its problems may be spurring change.

Gov. Nikki Haley’s budget proposal includes an $18 million increase in funding for the South Carolina Department of Corrections, including a 3-percent pay raise for corrections officers and $3 million for maintenance work, The State reported.

Since April, prisoners in the Lee facility have captured two officers, stabbed one and twice taken over portions of the jail. They’ve also snuck out to get drugs and used cellphones to assemble riots, according to The State.

—Thad Moore, News Editor

Police investigating pair of drug store robberies

Columbia police are hoping to get to the bottom of a pair of armed robberies at pharmacies on Broad River Road over the last week.

Saturday morning, a man allegedly held up a Walgreens at 7412 Broad River Road and demanded pain medicine from a pharmacist, just days after a similar incident at a Rite Aid down the road on the 1500 block, according to a police press release. Whether the two are connected isn’t clear.

The man in Saturday’s robbery is described as a white male wearing a light-colored sweatshirt, a white or tan baseball cap, blue jeans and white tennis shoes. He’s believed to have fled in an older model dark blue four-door pickup truck with damage on the right side.

No one was injured in either of the two incidents, and police are asking anyone with information about the incidents to submit tips on Crimestoppers.

—Thad Moore, News Editor