Friday, April 4 2014 12:28 PM EDT2014-04-04 16:28:44 GMT
A judge dismissed a lawsuit Tuesday filed by Chapin council members against its mayor after performing actions that a majority of council members said violated town ordinances and state law. Mayor JamesMore >>
Chapin officials have no additional documents to answer questions regarding the hiring process for the town's new economic development and communications director. That hiring process was one of the reasons three other council members filed a lawsuit that was dismissed this week.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
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Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
CHAPIN, SC (WIS) -
Three Chapin council members filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider what the town's strong mayor is allowed to do when it comes to hiring employees and controlling council meeting agendas.
Chapin council members Kay Hollis, Robert Frick and Vivian "Bibi" Atkins filed a lawsuit against Mayor James "Skip" Wilson, who was sworn in Jan. 7, and new Councilman Greg White.
The plaintiffs requested several court orders telling Wilson he has to put items on the agenda that are requested by town council members; remove the mayor's control over council agendas; cancel the contract given to the current economic development and communications director; void changes Wilson made to the budget to compensate the new job's $45,000 salary and benefits; and pay the town's utility attorney.
Last month, Judge G. Thomas Cooper Jr. dismissed the case, stating Chapin operates in a mayor-council form of government, and Wilson has authority to add or remove agenda items, while also hiring employees for the town. Cooper added that the majority of council approves items for the agenda at the time of the meeting if the mayor will not place them on beforehand.
The motion to reconsider filed Monday asks for the judge to reverse his dismissal order and reconsider his decisions.
Plaintiffs' attorney Spencer "Andy" Syrett states in the motion that waiting until the meeting to amend the agenda violates the Freedom of Information Act for notifying the public of agenda items prior to the meeting.
"The procedure suggested by the court, although apparently provided in the town ordinance, would violate FOIA," the motion states. "Town ordinances in conflict with state statutes are invalid."
Syrett continued by stating it is "ludicrous to conclude that the mayor, having already prevented consideration on several occasions, would suddenly agree to place the item on the next agenda. If not placed on the agenda at the subsequent meeting, FOIA would again prevent consideration."
The motion also points out that even though town council created the economic development and communications director position, it never approved a salary. Karen Owens currently holds this job and is being paid a $45,000 salary, which was decided and organized into the budget by the mayor alone.
"Although council created the position that Ms. Owens now apparently occupies, there is nothing in the minutes and other parts of the record that shows that the compensation was incorporated in the budget," the motion states.
WIS obtained an email sent to Councilwoman Vivian "Bibi" Atkins from Mayor Skip Wilson denying Atkins' request to put a motion appointing an interim town attorney on the meeting agenda for April 1.
"At this time, I'm inclined to defer the consideration until each council member has the opportunity to provide their input, and we have established a consensus and specific guidelines in this matter," Wilson wrote in the email.
He also denied Atkins' request to add an agenda item to amend a town ordinance, stating that he wanted to discuss the issue "as one council member to another."
Also, town clerk Adrienne Thompson also received an email from Wilson this week stating her clerk's letter to council was not authorized to be placed in council packets for the April 1 meeting. The clerk's letter highlights current issues she's having with the mayor. Thompson wrote that she included the letter in the packet because she was stopped from speaking at the council meetings.
WIS requested to speak to Wilson after the April 1 council meeting, but he declined, stating he had to go out of town for family reasons.
Cooper's office said Thursday that the judge has not set a court date to hear the motion. However, a decision on the motion to reconsider can be made without a hearing.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:58:33 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>