Officials Press Reforms After Suspects Caught

Local community leaders, officers, and elected officials are calling for criminal justice reforms in the wake of the recent shooting death of teenager Jermel Brown. On Wed. July 8, Charleston Police charged brothers Rafael S. Horlbeck and Leon W. Horlbeck in connection with Brown’s death late last month.

Rafael Horlbeck was out on bond in relation to a charge of sexual conduct with a minor, said police Chief Greg Mullen. Horlbeck has also been charged in an unrelated North Charleston shooting.

Witnesses coming forward contributed to the arrests, Mullins said, as well as assistance from other law enforcement agencies, including North Charleston police, who first apprehended Leon Horlbeck.

Calling Rafael Horlbeck’s criminal record “astonishing,” Mayor Joe Riley again reiterated his calls on the state legislature to pass criminal justice reforms involving gun possession and habitual offenders. Riley said he will carry a picture of Brown and share it with legislators who have been slow to support the proposed changes.

“We will work tirelessly to get these bills passed,” Riley says.

Community leader Arthur Lawrence criticized the jailhouse “revolving door,” while Rev. Alma Dungee called for more positive influences in downtown neighborhoods, including trade school opportunities.

There still may be additional arrests in this case, Mullen said. Praising the tireless work of law enforcement, he too called for action from Columbia officials.

“When will everyone else stand up with us?” he asked. —Greg Hambrick

Sanford Surviving Scandal

A few dozen voters rallied last week for Gov. Mark Sanford’s resignation or impeachment, but the sparse numbers and a feeling from GOP leaders that Sanford’s hand had been sufficiently slapped suggest he’ll stay in office.

Sanford received national attention when he abandoned the state and lied to family and staff during a secret five-day Argentinian rendezvous with his mistress. He later told the Associated Press that the other woman was his soulmate, but he’d try to love his wife again.

Early last week, state Republican leaders moved to censure Sanford for abandoning the state, but did not call for his resignation. On Friday, The Washington Post reported that Sanford went out of his way during a June 2008 South American trade mission to see the other woman — first insisting on an Argentinian leg for the trip, then pressing for a light official schedule with a lot of alone time. Meanwhile, state media continue digging for more details. —Greg Hambrick

“Someone with better looks, more charisma, and a lot more intelligence that I can get behind.”

Self-effacing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) on what he’s looking for in a GOP presidential candidate in 2012. Judging by the thinning Republican field, DeMint may not want to be so picky. Source: U.S. News and World Reports

“Disgusting and embarrassing.”

Surfrider Foundation member Bubber Hutto on the mounds of trash left on Folly Beach over the July 4 holiday. Nearby Morris Island was also inundated with junk as waves lapped up and drug it back out into the ocean. The whole ordeal enraged locals who know how to pick up after themselves, as well as Folly officials who are weighing whether to ban party-time beverages from the beach. We’d also suggest more trash cans. Source: The Post and Courier

$580 million

That’s how much plane manufacturer Boeing is expected to pay for a local Vought Aircraft parts plant. Some have suggested the purchase was a move by Boeing against union leaders in Seattle. “It’s a win-win for Charleston on all counts,” read one letter to the editor in the Seattle Times, alluding to our embattled school district superintendent’s exit to the West Coast city in 2007.


That’s the estimated cost to engrave “In God We Trust” and the Pledge of Allegiance in the new Congressional Visitors Center. Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.) spearheaded the effort, calling the omission a “historical whitewash.” Source: The Associated Press