The Daily Gamecock

In Brief: September 10, 2013

Police: Man took loaded gun into Charleston airport

No, it’s still not OK to carry a loaded gun into an airport.

A Mount Pleasant man faces charges after authorities say he had a loaded pistol in his carry-on luggage at Charleston International Airport on Monday morning, The Post and Courier reported.

The Transportation Security Administration found a .380-caliber Ruger LCP during an inspection of Ned Thaxton Beck, 45.

He told airport police officers that he travels frequently, has a concealed-weapons permit and carries the gun for protection. Beck said he had forgotten that the pistol was in a zipped compartment of his bag, according to The Post and Courier.

He’s charged with unlawfully carrying a firearm, a misdemeanor punishable by up to $1,000 in fines and a year in prison.

This was the third firearm found at a Charleston checkpoint this year, according to The Post and Courier.

Pitts appointed as Haley’s chief of staff

A former Lexington County legislator who served alongside Gov. Nikki Haley in the General Assembly has been named Haley’s new chief of staff.

Haley chose 41-year-old Ted Pitts to succeed Bryan Stirling, who was named Department of Corrections director last week, The Associated Press reported.

“Having served together in the legislature and worked closely over the past three years, (Pitts) is someone who understands our administration’s priorities and has the institutional knowledge needed to put those priorities into action,” Haley said in a statement.

Pitts has served as a deputy chief of staff since Haley took office in January 2011, according to AP. Previously, he worked as a real estate broker. He is a major in the South Carolina Army National Guard who received a Bronze Star for his service in Afghanistan.

School evacuated after American flags burned

A Murrells Inlet high school was evacuated for the day after several American flags were burned outside the front entrance before school started Monday, The Greenville News reported.

St. James High School officials found the burned flags around 6:20 a.m. Horry County Police investigators said surveillance video showed a suspect doing other questionable things, so they decided to keep students and teachers outside, according to The Greenville News.

The person with the flags was dressed in all black, including black rimmed goggles, a police photo showed.

St. James students and teachers completed their school day at St. James Middle School. They weren’t allowed back on campus while police continued to investigate at the high school.