Will Boeing’s Charleston plant unionize? That’s the hope of the International Association of Machinists, which opened an office in North Charleston on March 14. “I think the workers there will come to understand the value of a union, when they’re putting together an airplane and making less money than counterparts who are making the same airplane model in Puget Sound,” union president Tom Buffenbarger told the Puget Sound Business Journal. The union’s office is a mile away from the plant and has five employees.
The City of Columbia has named William “Skip” Holbrook as new police chief. Holbrook, who most recently was police chief of Huntington, W. Va., steps into a politically charged situation marked by turmoil during the search for a chief and controversy over allegations surrounding the past two chiefs.
State Circuit Judge Robert Hood announced a Friday morning hearing in the ethics case of S.C. House Speaker Bobby Harrell. The high-profile case has drawn increased attention after The State reported that Harrell’s attorneys had wanted a secret hearing in an effort to have state Attorney General Alan Wilson removed from the case.
The S.C. Senate Medical Affairs Committee approved a bill to allow the use of cannabis oil to treat epilepsy in children, The Associated Press reported, but supporters say the action taken — which would only allow the use of the oil in very limited clinical trials — is too narrow to help in most cases. “This is South Carolina, and we take baby steps,” said Sen. Brad Hutto, an Orangeburg Democrat.
Under a bill passed by a state House subcommittee, drivers convicted of driving with an alcohol level of 0.15 or higher would be required to have ignition locks placed on their car; the special locks contain a breathalyzer that would keep drivers from starting their car if it detects alcohol. The subcommittee weakened the original bill, which called for ignition locks on anyone arrested (but not necessarily convicted) with a level of 0.12 or higher. The bill is called Emma’s Law after a 6-year-old girl who was killed by a drunk driver.