News from around The Carolinas

March 1, 2013 

South Carolina

COLUMBIA

Date set for special ed hearing cuts

The state Education Department will argue in federal court next month that its challenge to a $36 million federal punishment deserves to be heard.

Agency spokesman Jay Ragley told The Associated Press on Friday the court hearing is set for March 22 at Washington and Lee University in Lexington, Va.

Arguments in the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals will come nearly two years after the U.S. Department of Education first threatened to reduce the state's allotment for special education because of legislators' recession-era budget cuts.

Education Superintendent Mick Zais wants the federal government to restore the money.

The $36 million penalty is what's left of an initial threat of $111 million.

U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan dismissed South Carolina's case last May, rejecting efforts to challenge the remaining penalty.

MOUNT PLEASANT

Vet gets dying wish to see old ship

A Korean War vet has had his dying wish fulfilled by walking the decks of the destroyer he served on during the war 60 years ago.

Gerald Bowman of Elkins, Ark., returned Friday to visit the USS Laffey at the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in Mount Pleasant.

The 82-year-old Bowman has been diagnosed with advanced heart disease and has been told he has less than a year to live. Bowman and his daughter learned the Laffey was at the museum when they saw television coverage of its return after undergoing repairs last year.

Bowman fought back tears from time to time as he walked the decks and showed reporters where he worked in the Laffey engine room during three tours off Korea.

GREENVILLE

Coroner: No public health threat in child’s death

Authorities say there is no public health threat related to the death of a 5-year-old Greenville student who went home sick and died hours later.

A cleaning crew has disinfected Blythe Elementary Academy, and Deputy Coroner Barry Wright says parents should not be concerned that their children are at risk.

Jeremiah Cornelius Simmons was a kindergarten student who went home sick Tuesday, did not wake from a nap and died just after 7 p.m. that night at a hospital.

A pathologist says the boy had an underlying medical condition unknown to his family that left him more vulnerable than an otherwise healthy child. Dr. James Fulcher says that condition, combined with a virus, was deadly.

From wire reports

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