In Brief: September 24, 2013

Ethics complaints against Sheheen dropped

State Sen. Vincent Sheheen, D–Camden, has been cleared by the state Ethics Commission of three ethics complaints from a Republican activist, The State reported.

Commissioners said they found no evidence to support allegations made in July by a paid worker of the S.C. Republican Party, which involved questions about Sheheen’s travel expenses, gas reimbursement and an unreported in–kind contribution.

State GOP Chairman Matt Moore said the complaints were legitimate after reviewing Sheheen’s campaign disclosure documents, The Associated Press reported.

Sheheen said the complaints were “desperate accusations” meant to shift focus away from Gov. Nikki Haley’s own ethics record, according to The State.

Sheheen and Haley are expected to meet next fall in a rematch of the 2010 election for governor.

Boy charged in shooting placed under house arrest

A 12-year-old boy accused in the fatal shooting of a Taylors, S.C., teenager has been released from custody and placed under house arrest while awaiting additional court proceedings, The Greenville News reported.

Prosecutors say evidence links the boy to the death of 15-year-old Trayvon Dodd, who was found shot dead Sept. 11 on the back porch of a Taylors home.

The boy told investigators he had been doing homework alone, heard a shot, looked outside and saw a person lying on the ground, according to The Greenville News.

Defense attorney Lawrence Crane described the boy as a “quiet fellow” and said that much of the evidence against the youth was speculative, lacking fingerprints and other key evidence, according to The Greenville News.

The boy is charged with involuntary manslaughter.

Antisocial gorilla to be moved to Riverbanks

The Riverbanks Zoo is getting a new 430-pound, antisocial addition — and no, it’s not your drunk, obese uncle.

A gorilla named Patrick, who spent 18 years at the Dallas Zoo, is being transferred to Riverbanks to live a more solitary existence, The Associated Press reported.

Dallas Zoo officials tried for years to create social relationships for the 23-year-old gorilla, but his response to female gorillas ranged from indifference to aggression, according to the AP.

With Patrick in a new environment, Dallas Zoo officials will now concentrate on their species survival plan for other male gorillas, the AP reported.

Columbia will become Patrick’s fourth home — he was born in the Bronx Zoo and moved to the Toronto Zoo due to maternal neglect before his move to Dallas.

No move date has been set for Patrick.


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