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This Hour: Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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LATTA POLICE CHIEF

SC police chief says firing was because she's gay

LATTA, S.C. (AP) - The police chief of the Dillon County town of Latta has been fired and she says it is because she is gay.

About 100 people attended a special town council meeting Thursday, hoping to be heard on the firing of Crystal Moore.

But Mayor Earl Bullard said the firing was not on the agenda. Bullard fired Moore on Tuesday and has refused to say why because it's a personnel matter.

Councilman Jarret Taylor says Moore was fired because she would not sign written reprimands before consulting her attorney.

UNEMPLOYMENT-SC

SC unemployment fell to 5.5 percent in March

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment rate is continuing to go down.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate was 5.5 percent in March.

That's down from 5.7 percent in February. The drop means the state's unemployment rate has now fallen for 10 straight months.

State officials say that employment has reached a historic high. The Workforce Department said the number of employed people in South Carolina last month was just over 2 million.

In anticipation of the summer tourist season, leisure and hospitality jobs were up by 9,300 last month. Professional and business services jobs also increased by 4,400.

Nationally, the unemployment rate was unchanged at 6.7 percent in March.

INDIAN CHILD WELFARE DISPUTE

Fallin questioned repercussions in custody dispute

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Email correspondence shows that Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin sought to speak with advisers about repercussions with the Cherokee Nation as she considered intervening in a custody dispute involving a Cherokee girl.

Veronica was in the center of a custody battle between her biological father, Cherokee Nation member Dusten Brown, and her adoptive parents, Matt and Melanie Capobianco of James Island, S.C.

The email correspondence was among thousands of pages released to The Associated Press on Friday under an open-records request about the case.

The correspondence included news articles about the case, strategy between the governor and her advisers and emails from constituents.

Fallin had signed an extradition order for Brown to face a criminal charge for refusing to hand over Veronica.

But Brown ultimately handed the child over to her adopted parents and the extradition order was dropped.

FISHING BOAT SEARCH

Officials halt search for 2 missing in Lake Erie

TOLEDO, Ohio (AP) - Authorities have again suspended the search for two boaters still missing in western Lake Erie after the bodies of a woman and a teenage girl were found off the Ohio shoreline.

The Port Clinton News-Herald reports the Department of Natural Resources planned to search for the anglers Saturday, but the Ottawa County sheriff had no such plans.

The newspaper says the men missing since Wednesday are presumed dead because authorities don't think they could survive days in chilly waters.

Searchers found a partially submerged boat Thursday on a reef near the Davis-Besse nuclear power plant east of Toledo and later spotted the bodies of two females, who wore life jackets.

The sheriff's office identified them as 33-year-old Amy Santus of Perrysburg and 16-year-old Paige Widmer of Leesville, S.C.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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