In Brief: Jan. 26, 2015

2 juveniles cause millions of dollars of damage in Walmart

An 11-year-old and 13-year-old have been accused of causing millions of dollars of damage in a New Year's Eve fire at the Walmart on Bush River Road, The State reported.

The children's parents turned them in to the Columbia Police Department late Friday afternoon. The 11-year-old was charged with third-degree arson and shoplifting and the 13-year-old was charged with third-degree arson.

According to police, the younger of the pair stole a lighter from the Walmart store and intentionally set a fire in the greeting card aisle.

The two were returned to their respective parents and will likely be petitioned to Lexington County Family Court.

Man arrested in connection with 'improvised explosive device' in residence

Columbia police arrested Brandon Poe, 34, in connection with an explosive device found in a residential area home on Garners Ferry Road Sunday, The State reported. Poe was charged with possession of an explosive device.

Police were searching the home, which was connected with a burglary investigation, when they found what CPD spokesperson Jennifer Timmons called an "improvised explosive device."

The area was closed to traffic and residents while bomb squad personnel worked to defuse the device. It took around half an hour until the device was declared safe.

New conduct code to ban state employees from social media while working

Starting in July, state employees will be required to follow a new code of conduct that bans social media, The State reported. The code was created in the hopes of instilling public confidence instate government, but penalties for violations of the rules are not specified.

State workers will be prevented from using state resources for private business or financial gain, and there will be set restrictions on where state employees can work after they leave their jobs with the state.

“If a public servant has to make a decision on whether something is right or wrong, then our code-of-conduct policy isn’t working,” Republican Gov. Nikki Haley said.

Each agency will have the authority to adjust the new regulations for its employees.

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