In Brief: October 9, 2013

Most furloughed employees return to Ft. Jackson

About 90 percent of furloughed civilian employees at Fort Jackson returned to work this week, The State reported.

Half of the 3,500 civilian workers at Columbia’s U.S. Army training facility were furloughed last week as a result of the federal government shutdown.

More than half of the furloughed non-contract civilians employed at Joint Base Charleston also returned to work this week, along with nearly 2,000 civilian employees of the S.C. National Guard and Marine Corps, according to The State.

Today marks the ninth day of the partial government shutdown caused by Congress’s failure to pass a budget or spending plan because of wrangling over the Affordable Care Act. The shutdown has left a number of federal programs unfunded, furloughing hundreds of thousands of federal employees.

State Museum seeks name for shark

For its 25th birthday, the South Carolina State Museum is only asking for one gift: a name for its 43-foot replica shark.

With the help of students at South Carolina School for the Deaf and Blind, the museum has come up with five name suggestions for the public to vote on, The State reported: Carolina, Finn, Meg, Shellie and Stormy.

The 3-ton Carcharodon megalodon replica has been wowing guests at the museum since 1988. The aluminum and fiberglass structure was created by Columbia artist Stavros Chrysostomides.

The public can vote on the shark’s name online at http://scmuseum.org/birthday/nameourshark.html. As of Tuesday night, Finn led the contest, with 45 percent of the votes so far, followed by Carolina with 17 percent.

The winning name will be announced at the museum’s birthday party Oct. 26.

Man pleads guilty to stealing HHS records

A former state Department of Health and Human Services employee pleaded guilty Tuesday to stealing confidential records, The State reported.

Christopher R. Lykes Jr., 38, could face up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine after admitting to four felony counts of willful examination of private records by a public official and one felony count of criminal conspiracy, according to The State.

Lykes was indicted in February after being charged with gathering names, phone numbers, addresses, birth dates and Medicare ID numbers for more than 220,000 South Carolinians and sending them to his unsecured personal email account.

Lykes was fired, and his personal and work computers were seized the day after the department discovered the breach on April 10, 2012.


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