“If the allegations prove to be true, certainly this is unacceptable behavior for anyone.”

Mount Pleasant Mayor Harry Hallman said this of Mount Pleasant Councilman Bobby Utsey’s arrest for aggravated assault and driving under the influence. Apparently suffering a Mel Gibson moment, the councilman stopped at the Houston Northcutt/Highway 17 intersection to punch a woman in the face through the window of her car door. Officers apprehended him after he fled the scene, at which point he failed several sobriety tests. Source: ABC News, Channel 4 WCIV

Iraq News ·
Moncks Corner Pfc. Corey Clagett and three other Army Airborne soldiers are standing trial in Tikrit, Iraq, for the murder of three Iraqi civilians. On May 9 in Samarra, Iraq, Clagett and his colleagues were involved in a raid on a house inside which they discovered three men. After detaining the men the soldiers discovered one handgun, one AK-47, and a variety of gun parts and bullets. A soldier at the scene, Pfc. Bradley Mason, testified last Wednesday that he was told Clagett and Spc. William Hunsaker were going to kill the men. After voicing his disapproval he heard gunshots. “They just smiled,” said Mason.
Mason also testified that the accused soldiers threatened to kill him if he said anything to the authorities. The accused refused to testify, pleading the fifth.
“They did (their job) honorably, they did it admirably,” said Paul Bergrin, Clagett’s attorney, in an interview to the Associated Press in July. “If they did want to kill these men, they could have and been within the rules of engagement.”
This case is one in a string of reports of American military involvement in Iraqi civilian deaths. Last Thursday it was announced that an initial military investigation supports allegations that U.S. Marines deliberately shot 24 Iraqi civilians in November, and another hearing is scheduled this month to address allegations that five U.S. soldiers raped and killed a 14-year-old girl.
Also last Thursday, in testimony before the Senate Armed Services Committee, the head of U.S. Central Command, Gen. John Abizaid, acknowledged that Iraq was descending into civil war. “I believe that the sectarian violence is probably as bad as I’ve seen it, in Baghdad in particular, and that if not stopped it is possible that Iraq could move toward civil war,” he said. —Elle Lien


That’s how much the Noisette Company paid the City of North Charleston in an agreement that satisfies the City’s note and mortgage with the company and officially ends their fiduciary relationship. The North Charleston City Council agreed to the deal on July 31, glad to be washing their hands of the muddled Noisette deal. The money came from a $23 million bank loan, the rest of which will be used to complete Noisette projects.

Minimum still minimal ·
Last Thursday the Senate failed to pass a minimum wage bill that would have increased hourly pay from $5.15 to $7.25. Reasons given for the bill’s failure differ depending on what media outlet you go to for your news. “Liberally biased” news sources will tell you that Democrats fell on their political swords — refusing to pass the minimum wage bill after Republicans tied it to a tax breaks for heirs of multimillion-dollar estates. Closer to home, conservative news outlets like our own Post and Courier argue that it is the Grand Old Party that will be criticized this election cycle as the “do nothing” congress. While politicians on both sides of the aisle hold pity parties, folks working on minimum wage are the ones really getting screwed. —E.L.

“I’m here today because this is where God wants me to be.”

New Charleston Police Chief Greg Mullen of Virginia Beach made this declaration at the press conference announcing his appointment. Mayor Riley also got something off his chest, sharing at the conference his intentions to run for re-election in next year’s mayor race. If successful, it will be Riley’s unprecedented ninth term as mayor.


That’s how many Charlestonians took advantage of CARTA’s Free Ride Friday on July 28 — more than double the typical daily ridership. The free rides are part of a summer-long campaign to encourage new riders to take advantage of the bus system.


That’s the percentage of South Carolina college students who are likely to move out of S.C. after graduation. A student retention survey conducted by Greenville Forward found that availability of jobs, lack of tolerance or progressiveness, and out-of-state graduate school were the top three reasons motivating college grads to leave the state.

GOP in the Hizzie ·
Last Thursday, the Republican National Committee (RNC) announced that the South Carolina GOP will host a Republican Presidential debate in Columbia on May 15, 2007. Political groupies, get your hotel rooms now. The RNC also revealed that South Carolina will once again hold the “first in the South” Republican Presidential Primary in early 2008.


That’s how many young men are on a waiting list for a big brother in the tri-county area. The local chapter of Big Brothers Big Sisters has a waiting list nearly two years long. To volunteer your time, visit www.becomeabig.org.

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