Official: Feds look at whether train engineer was distracted

DUPONT, Wash. (AP) — Investigators are looking into whether the Amtrak engineer whose speeding train plunged off an overpass, killing at least three people, was distracted by the presence of an employee-in-training next to him in the locomotive, a federal official said Tuesday.

A damaged Amtrak train car is lowered from an overpass at the scene of Monday’s deadly train crash onto Interstate 5 Tuesday, Dec. 19, 2017, in DuPont, Wash. Federal investigators say they don’t yet know why the Amtrak train was traveling 50 mph over the speed limit when it derailed Monday south of Seattle. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson)

Linda Moore/Special to JCST Sun City’s Linda Moore saw this eagle enjoying the morning sunshine.

McTeacher fundraiser raises $1,000 for RES

McTeacher Night at the McDonald’s in Ridgeland on Dec. 12 raised more than $1,000 for Ridgeland Elementary School. Forty-nine staff members from Ridgeland Elementary School participated in the fundraiser.

Submitted photo McTeacher Night at the McDonald’s in Ridgeland raised more than $1,000 for Ridgeland Elementary School.

Authorities: Multiple people killed in train derailment

<p>TACOMA, Wash. (AP) &mdash; The Latest on an Amtrak train derailment in Washington state (all times local): </p>

This photo provided by Danae Orlob shows an Amtrak train that derailed south of Seattle on Monday, Dec. 18, 2017. Authorities reported “injuries and casualties.” The train derailed about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Seattle before 8 a.m., spilling at least one train car on to busy Interstate 5. (Danae Orlob via AP)

Sober or Slammer! campaign

Hardeeville development moves forward

The city of Hardeeville and the Argent Land Holdings, developers of the proposed 7,351-acre East Argent development, are finalizing their plans.

Jasper church collects 1,850 shoeboxes for kids around world

The community’s churches have helped make Christmas special for kids around the world.

Photo courtesy Step of Faith Christian Academy Great Swamp Baptist Church was an area hub for Operation Christmas Child. Jasper County — led by the church — collected 1,834 boxes. Overall, the Lowcountry gathered 16,000 boxes.

Ridgeland seeking grant for wastewater treatment plant

The town of Ridgeland, following a public hearing Dec. 5, will apply for a loan/grant with the USDA to seek upgrades at the Jimmy Mixson Water Treatment Plant.

County Council pledges support for culinary institute

The Technical College of the Lowcountry is preparing a great recipe for success with its new Lowcountry Culinary Arts Institute and Interpretative Center.

The TCL Lowcountry Culinary Arts Institute would be similar in appearance to the Culinary Institute of Charleston. (Photo submitted by TCL)

Palmetto Electric check to county will fund spec building

Jasper County will move forward with another new spec building in the Cypress Ridge Industrial Park in Ridgeland thanks in part to a check from Palmetto Electric Cooperative.

Jasper County Council Chairman Marty Sauls, middle, accepts a $328,850 check from Ashley Feaster, of Palmetto Electric, for the county’s 2017 utility tax credits. He is joined by council members Henry Etheridge, left, Theodus Drayton and Tom Johnson. Photo by Shellie Murdaugh/Jasper County Sun Times

Sheriff’s Office probes Saturday shooting

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting on Bees Creek Road that sent two people to the hospital on Saturday.

Klaus Ritter/Special to JCST Klaus Ritter caught this scene of the Super Moon on Dec. 3.

Gov. moves to fire South Carolina utility board head

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster wants to fire the chairman of the state-owned utility involved in a failed nuclear project that has cost billions of dollars, but the chairman calls the letter “completely false.”

Gov. Henry McMaster

Thomas Heyward Academy drive collects 100 books for library

Thomas Heyward Academy’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes collected 100 books last week to donate to Ridgeland Pratt Library.

Special to JCST Thomas Heyward Academy’s Fellowship of Christian Athletes collected 100 books last week to donate to Ridgeland Pratt Library.

Ridgeland man sentenced to 15 years in DUI wreck that killed Bluffton teenager

A 28-year-old Ridgeland man charged with felony DUI following a head-on collision in January that killed a Bluffton college student has been sentenced to 15 years in prison, according to the 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office.

Photo courtesy 14th Circuit Solicitor’s Office Christopher Lenning

UPDATE: Hardeeville man ID’d as victim in fatal train crash

A Hardeeville man died after the vehicle he was driving was struck by a freight train Thursday evening in Hardeeville, according to Jasper County Coroner Martin Sauls.

Anthony Garzilli/JCST Emergency personnel on the scene in Hardeeville after a train struck a car. The driver of the car died.

1 dead after train hits car in Hardeeville

One person is dead after a train hit a car in Hardeeville Thursday evening.

Anthony Garzilli/JCST Emergency personnel on the scene in Hardeeville after a train struck a car. The driver of the car died.

Ex-cop gets 20 years in prison for fatally shooting Walter Scott

<p>CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) &mdash; A white former South Carolina officer was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Thursday for fatally shooting an unarmed black motorist in the back in 2015, wrapping up a case that became a rallying cry for the Black Lives Matter movement.</p>

FILE - In a Nov. 29, 2016 file photo, former North Charleston police officer Michael Slager testifies during his murder trial at the Charleston County court in Charleston, S.C. Slager was sentenced to 20 years in prison Thursday, Dec. 7, 2017, for 2015 fatal shooting of unarmed black motorist Walter Scott. (Grace Beahm/Post and Courier via AP, Pool, File)

3 suspects face charges in alleged car dealership theft

Three suspects face charges in Georgia and Jasper County in connection to an alleged car theft at Mike Reichenbach Chevrolet, the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office said.

Photo Chatham County Sheriff's Office Jamie Ellis

Help children enjoy Christmas by giving

Santa’s heroes want to take a lot of children shopping in Jasper County for Christmas presents this year.

The Jasper County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with several organizations to make Christmas for children in need.