Greenville News _SC_ 1/1/1997 - 31/12/2018
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1US SC: Seizures In Drug Cases Pay For Police Dog Team, Keep Aircraft FlyingMon, 31 Jan 2011
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Alongi, Paul Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/02/2011

Critics Say Law Gives Officers Too Much Power, Profit Motive

Thousands of dollars that help Greenville County sheriff's deputies pay for their dog team and aircraft maintenance are the fruits of what critics say are state laws making it too easy for authorities to seize alleged drug money.

The Sheriff's Office spent $107,870 in forfeited drug money last year, much of it on its K-9 team, two helicopters and a Cessna airplane, according to records obtained by The Greenville News through the South Carolina Freedom of Information Act.

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2US SC: Police Use Of New Gadgets Raises Privacy IssuesSun, 29 Aug 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Alongi, Paul Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:08/31/2010

Local agencies say they follow law, not interested in intrusion

New technology is being used to give law enforcement agencies a leg up in fighting crime - advancements that have elsewhere raised tricky privacy issues that in some cases remain unresolved by the courts.

Greenville County sheriff's deputies are planning to spend $225,000 in federal money on a new thermal-imaging camera that would be installed on a helicopter to help search for suspects and missing people on the ground.

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3US SC: Editorial: Sentencing Reform Is 'Smart On Crime'Mon, 07 Jun 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:06/09/2010

Lawmakers and Gov. Mark Sanford deserve credit for passing and signing a sentencing reform bill that this state needed in order to make residents safer and save taxpayers money.

The bill enacts reforms that mirror the recommendations of the South Carolina Sentencing Reform Commission that was empanelled by lawmakers. The goal of the reforms is to save taxpayers money, help the Corrections Department run more efficiently, equip nonviolent offenders with the skills they need to become productive citizens and ensure that the state's prisons have room for the most dangerous offenders.

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4US SC: Greenville Has No Plans To Subject Student Athletes ToMon, 10 May 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Barnett, Ron Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:05/14/2010

Greenville County Schools would consider implementing a drug testing for student athletes "if a need is expressed and documented by the principal, school athletic director, coaches" and the community, spokesman Oby Lyles says.

Bill Utsey, director of athletics in Greenville County Schools, he thinks it would be well worth the $5,000 to $10,000 a year he estimates it would cost.

However, in a tight budget year, there hasn't been any community support for implementing such a program, he says.

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5US SC: Editorial: State Needs Sentencing ReformWed, 31 Mar 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:04/03/2010

The Senate has wisely given its approval to a sentencing reform bill that largely mirrors recommendations by a sentencing reform commission established last year by the Legislature.

The House should follow suit on this bill that would save taxpayers money, help the Corrections Department run more efficiently and help equip nonviolent offenders with the skills they need to become productive citizens.

Provisions in this lengthy bill would further define violent and nonviolent crimes, streamline sentencing to ensure there is room in state prisons for the most violent offenders, and reduce sentences for some nonviolent crimes. In addition, the bill would establish options for community-based treatment and programs such as the drug courts that have worked in Greenville.

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6US SC: Violent Cartels May Set Sights On SC As Drugs Flow UpThu, 01 Apr 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Alongi, Paul Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:04/02/2010

Violent cartels that import drugs from Mexico could be looking to strengthen their presence in South Carolina as a crackdown drives them out of their distribution hub in Atlanta.

The gangs could bring a whole new set of problems - including shootouts with police -- to a state plagued with the nation's second-highest violent crime rate.

Their drugs are already flowing through Greenville by way of Interstate 85 and heading for destinations all over the East Coast, authorities said.

As local, state and federal authorities seek to turn up the heat, it isn't unusual for them to make huge busts in the Atlanta area.

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7US SC: Clemson Chemist Says His Work Abused To Market Fake MarijuanaMon, 15 Mar 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Simon, Anna Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:03/16/2010

CLEMSON - It's troubling but probably was inevitable, said Clemson University chemist John W. Huffman, who after a lifetime of scientific research is seeing marijuana-related compounds he developed as lab tools in a quest to improve health used for a potentially dangerous high.

Synthetic marijuana-related compounds he painstakingly developed over two decades to study their biological effects and ultimately develop medications to help AIDS, multiple sclerosis and chemotherapy patients, now are gaining popularity with recreational drug users as "fake" pot.

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8 US SC: PUB LTE: Many States Move To Legalize PotTue, 02 Mar 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Ellenburg, Heywood Area:South Carolina Lines:34 Added:03/03/2010

The lead story on the front page on Feb. 22 was about South Carolina turning loose non-violent inmates from our state prison system. It spoke of these being mostly people convicted of drug offenses. Why bother going through the judicial process just to turn these people back on the street?

State after state is now legalizing marijuana, and taxing and regulating it. This puts money into the state coffers; it isnít taking money out. It also frees up law enforcement to devote their time to crimes that are more of a threat to society.

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9US SC: Editorial: Listen To Sentencing Reform PanelWed, 24 Feb 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2010

A bill introduced this month in the state Senate would adopt changes in sentencing rules that were recommended by the legislatively created S.C. Sentencing Reform Commission. These, by and large, are sensible changes that will alleviate prison crowding, save tax dollars and help prevent repeat offenses.

As lawmakers debate this bill that mirrors the Sentencing Reform Commission's recommendations they should resist the temptation to tinker with the set of changes recommended by the commission they appointed. The changes won't work if they're adopted in piecemeal fashion to meet the whims of individual lawmakers or the expectations of certain narrow constituencies.

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10US SC: SC Prison Department Expects $29 Million Budget DeficitTue, 23 Feb 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/25/2010

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford balked Tuesday at ordering the early release of nonviolent inmates to ease a $29 million deficit at the Department of Corrections. Instead, he said there needed to be consensus among all three branches of state government before any prisoners are set free early.

The governor's comments came during the state Budget and Control Board meeting. The panel cleared the way for the prisons agency to spend more money than it has. It's the third time in three years the prisons agency has run short of cash as budget cuts have taken a toll on its operations.

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11US SC: Column: Our State Should Focus On Getting Smart On CrimeMon, 22 Feb 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Scalzo, Christopher Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/23/2010

Efforts to improve the criminal justice system are too often reduced to political slogans. Proposals labeled "tough" win, while those branded "soft" lose.

We seem trapped in an "I'm tough -- you're soft on crime" debate. It's an unproductive debate that doesn't tell us whether an idea will actually improve the criminal justice system. Even worse, our get-tough-only politics is over-filling our prisons and costing us more than we can afford.

There is a better approach. Instead of just getting tough, we can get smart on crime.

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12US SC: Plan to Cut Sentences for Nonviolent Offenders Could Save Taxpayers MilliMon, 22 Feb 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Alongi, Paul Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/22/2010

State taxpayers spend millions each year to lock up prisoners for probation violations, driving under suspension and other nonviolent offenses -- and the costs are expected to swell by hundreds of millions if nothing is done.

Prison admissions have grown 26 percent in a decade with a large chunk coming not from murderers, rapists and other violent criminals but lower-level offenders.

Forty-nine percent of the state's inmates are imprisoned for nonviolent offenses, mostly drug and property crimes. Forty-four percent of new inmates have sentences of less than 18 months.

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13US SC: Editorial: Sentencing Changes Could Save MoneyTue, 09 Feb 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC)          Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:02/10/2010

South Carolina would save money and better serve inmates if it makes some sentencing changes recommended by a commission that was created by lawmakers in 2008.

The state Corrections Department has seen a tremendous increase in the volume of inmates. According to data presented by the S.C. Sentencing Reform Commission, the state's prison population has increased from 9,137 inmates in 1983 to more than 25,000 today. The department's budget has increased by more than 500 percent in that same period from $63.7 million in 1983 to $394.1 million in 2008.

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14 US SC: PUB LTE: Focus Should Be On Job CreationSat, 23 Jan 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Frazier, S. E. Area:South Carolina Lines:51 Added:01/26/2010

I think Sen. David Thomas' proposal to drug-test people in South Carolina before they can receive unemployment benefits is one of the most asinine ideas that I have ever heard of in my lifetime.

I am a native Greenvillian and graduate of Wade Hampton High School and Furman University. As of January 2009 I was employed with a global engineering company in Greenville =AD until major contracts were canceled by customers and all contract and many direct employees (like me) were laid off, placed on =93leave of absence=94 or our jobs were cut. With all of this going on, just exactly how do you think that I have felt this past year without a job? And it is not because I have not tried to find a job that I am still unemployed, as I have sent literally hundreds of resumes locally and all over the country. My only prospect was going to work as a contractor and then deploy to Afghanistan in order to have a job. Although to some, this prospect would be fabulous, it was not an opportunity that I wanted to explore and therefore I still find myself unemployed. So on top of all of this, then I had the pleasure of reading about Thomas' drug testing proposal.

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15 US SC: LTE: Testing Unemployed For Drugs SensibleFri, 22 Jan 2010
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Mule, J. R. Area:South Carolina Lines:41 Added:01/24/2010

Bravo to Sen. David Thomas for proposing a bill that would require those receiving unemployment benefits to prove they are free of illegal drugs. It should be no different than what occurs in the workplace: If you are found to be under the influence of illegal drugs while working, you will be fired, plain and simple. One need not be shown to have performed his or her job poorly while under the influence. Do drugs and lose the privilege of keeping your job.

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16US SC: Greenville Drug Evidence Tossed OutThu, 03 Jul 2008
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Smith, Tim Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:07/04/2008

High Court Rules Seizure at Checkpoint Unconstitutional

COLUMBIA -- The South Carolina Supreme Court has upheld the suppression of drug evidence found during a Greenville County roadblock after ruling the checkpoint was unconstitutional, violating the protection against unreasonable search and seizure.

A lawyer for the defendant in the case said the ruling is the first in the state since U.S. Supreme Court decisions on roadblocks and could limit the discretion of law enforcement in making future checkpoints.

But Chief Justice Jean Toal, dissenting, argued that she saw nothing wrong with the roadblock and would reverse the ruling of Circuit Judge D. Garrison Hill.

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17US SC: Penalty Gap Closing For Powder And Crack CocaineSun, 06 Apr 2008
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Connor, Eric Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:04/06/2008

At least 17 people have been released from prison in the Upstate in the month since federal judges have had the leeway to reduce crack cocaine sentences, and more are to come as orders to release prisoners trickle daily through the federal court system.

Early estimates are that 800-900 federal inmates serving sentences on crack convictions will be granted early release statewide under new sentencing guidelines that are designed to shrink the disparity with powder cocaine sentences, said Quincy Avinger, deputy chief of the South Carolina District U.S. Probation Office.

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18US SC: Will The Real Person In Recovery Please Stand Up?Tue, 10 Jan 2006
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Pressly, Jane F. Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:01/10/2006

Is it the person sitting two rows over from you in church? Is it the nurse helping you at your doctor's office? What about your real estate agent or attorney? Maybe it's the clerk behind the counter at the dry cleaners?

They are hard to spot. They lead normal and productive lives. But it didn't use to be that way for them. It is hard to tell just by looking at them, but they are different. They are "in recovery" from addiction to alcohol or other drugs. They are living proof that there are real solutions to addiction, but their stories of recovery are not celebrated.

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19US SC: Some Addicts Seeking Help Are Turned AwayMon, 27 Jun 2005
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Barnett, Ron Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:06/28/2005

Eddie Young felt like he didn't fit in. He felt like "an alien." He was lonely and afraid.

Crack cocaine took all that away.

"It takes away all the pain, all the fear," he said. "It became my best friend."

It took away more than that, though, the 38-year-old heavy machinery operator said during an interview at the Phoenix Center, a drug and alcohol rehabilitation center in Greenville. He blew his life's savings, $24,000, in a one-month binge before hitting bottom last month - again.

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20US SC: OPED: Many People Have Become Slaves To Pain MedicineMon, 13 Jun 2005
Source:Greenville News (SC) Author:Leap, Edwin Area:South Carolina Lines:Excerpt Added:06/15/2005

When we treat people, it is our duty to do it using as much science as possible.

I still remember the woman who came to the hospital in the middle of the night for chronic headaches. Her pain was terrible, she said. She had already taken the powerful narcotics she used daily, and yet her "chronic pain" was worse.

She said to me, with slurred speech, "You haave to helppp zzzzzz." And with that, she drifted off to sleep. In a person with a sudden, new onset headache, that would have been cause for alarm. It would have been reason for a CAT scan of her brain, maybe even for a lumbar puncture (spinal tap) to look for a bleeding aneurysm or meningitis. In her case, however, this was just another normal day. I looked at her husband, who said with a sigh, "Why don't I just take her on home."

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