February 14, 2016

SCRN 5:30 Newscast

Included in this evening’s newscast:

— Republican presidential candidates are saturating the state this afternoon. Hear from John Kasich and Marco Rubio.

— Dorchester County Coroner Chris Nisbet has resigned from his position.

— A Richland County councilman was sentenced after admitting he did not file his state income taxes for three years.

— Federal judge in Charleston again delayed  a trial date for Dylann Roof, the accused Charleston Emanuel AME church shooter.


Dorchester County coroner resigns, governor names replacement

Chris Nisbet (Image: Dorchester County)

Chris Nisbet (Image: Dorchester County)

Gov. Nikki Haley has promoted Dorchester County’s chief deputy coroner to the office’s top position, one day after the previous county coroner resigned to face misconduct charges.

The Governor’s Office issued an executive order Thursday naming Alice Durr to the position. Voters will choose the new coroner in November.

She replaces previous coroner Christopher Nisbet, who resigned from his position on Monday. Nisbet was charged in September 2015 after he chased down his neighbor with a county-owned vehicle and pulled a gun during that neighbor’s confrontation with a repossession worker. The governor had already suspended Nisbet in October after a grand jury indicted him.

An affidavit released by the State Law Enforcement Division states a responding Summerville Police officer smelled alcohol on Nisbet after responding to the incident. The coroner admitted he had been drinking beforehand, according to the incident report, but said the other man had pulled a gun on the repo man.

Dashboard camera footage showed Nisbet holding a handgun at his side as the officer pulls up to the scene. The video also shows Nisbet not responding as the officer repeatedly orders him to drop the weapon.

Nisbet is out of jail on a $5,000 personal recognizance bond.

Richland County councilman pleads guilty for failure to pay taxes

Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington (Image: Richland County)

Richland County Councilman Kelvin Washington (Image: Richland County)

A Richland County councilman was sentenced to three years probation Wednesday after admitting he did not file his state income taxes for three years.

However, the circuit judge ruled that probation could be lifted once Kelvin Washington pays a $2,500 fine and $1,000 more in court costs.

Washington, who recently left his job with the state Department of Transportation told the court Wednesday he neglected his personal finances while trying to balance his job and his service as a councilman. “The minutiae of life just got in the way and, of course, doing the things I’ve done in the community, I just didn’t take care of my personal assets,” he told Circuit Judge J. Mark Hayes. “Transitioning from public work with (the Department of Transportation), I just got behind.”

Prosecutors said Washington did not file income tax returns from 2012 to 2014 and was charged with three counts of willful failure to file taxes by the state Department of Revenue. They said Wednesday that Washington paid more than $7,000 in back taxes back in October after they confronted him. He also paid a $1,000 fee on top of his fine.

Washington’s guilty plea comes a month after former Columbia city councilman Brian DeQuincey Newman pleaded guilty to similar charges. He also received probation and a fine.

SCDOR officials said they discovered the unreported income last year while auditing how Richland County handled revenues from a 2012 sales tax increase. Known as the “Penny Tax,” revenue from the additional one percent tax were to go toward transportation needs in Richland County.
Prosecutors with the state Attorney General’s Office said it is routine for auditors to investigate the income taxes of officials involved whenever it looks into financial questions about programs such as the sales tax.

#PalmettoPrimary: And then there were nine

A daily look at how the presidential candidates of both parties are trying to win the “First in the South” primary.

— The field of Republican presidential candidates shrank by two on Wednesday, as New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina both dropped out of the race. Each announced the suspension of their campaign in a Facebook posting.

Christie and Fiorina finished sixth and seventh, respectively, in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday — a disappointing finish for both. Fiorina had been the only Republican not to schedule any public events in South Carolina this week, while Christie had to cancel four different stops in the Charleston and Beaufort County areas the past two days.

— New Hampshire primary winner Donald Trump rallied with nearly 5,000 supporters during a stop at a livestock arena in Pendleton Wednesday night. Trump spoke for about 50 minutes  at Clemson University’s T. Ed Garrison Livestock Arena, saying he believes he can run the table if victorious in South Carolina.

— Texas US Sen. Ted Cruz told prospective voters in Myrtle Beach on Wednesday that he believes he is the only GOP candidate who can defeat Trump this year. During a stop at the “Ground Zero” teens club on Wednesday, the Republican told reporters his stronger-than-expected finish in New Hampshire is a sign that he can perform well in moderate states despite being one of the most conservative members of the Senate.

[Read more…]

SCRN: 530 newscast

Included in Wednesday’s cast

— Two more candidates indicate they will drop out of the presidential race.

— Ted Cruz suggests he’s the only Republican presidential candidate who can beat Donald Trump

— A North Charleston woman told police she strangled her mother because ghosts commanded her to do so

Listen below: