Wind turbines to be installed in water

Duke Energy and the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill said Tuesday they have signed a contract to place one to three wind turbines in Pamlico Sound, possibly paving the way for utility-scale wind farms on the N.C. coast.

The demonstration project may be the first wind turbines placed in water in the United States.

Duke will pay for the turbines and their installation, a cost spokesman Tim Pettit said will likely run into the tens of millions of dollars. UNC will do research on their performance, ecological impacts and other aspects.

Duke has 634 megawatts of land-based wind power operating in Pennsylvania, Texas and Wyoming.

Chevy enthusiasts to support food drive

The Columbia Classic Chevy Club will host a drop-in Saturday to benefit the Lexington County Sheriff's Department's annual holiday food drive.

Residents can drop off nonperishable food items between 5 and 9 p.m. at Woodberry Plaza parking lot, at Woodberry Road and U.S. 1 near West Columbia.

The Sheriff's Department later will deliver donations to local food banks as part of its Thanksgiving holiday food drive.

Group works to save ancient rock carvings

PICKENS - The Pickens County Cultural Commission is leading a campaign to save more than 40 rock carvings in northwestern South Carolina etched centuries ago by prehistoric American Indians.

The Greenville News reported Tuesday that the carvings, near Pickens, include 17 rare human figures. Residents and officials involved in the campaign hope to raise $400,000 to protect the petroglyphs and create a South Carolina Rock Art Center.

Commission director Allen Coleman says the carvings are thought to be more than 1,000 years old. They were discovered in 2003.

The group has raised $70,000, which includes some grant money. Officials hope to see the center finished by 2011.

Faith community to focus on environment

Caring for Creation, coming up Nov. 1, is a free conference aimed at members of the faith community interested in preserving the environment.

The event will be held at Riverbanks Zoo and Garden from 2 to 6:30 p.m. and will feature representatives from natural-resource agencies, conservation groups and churches. The sponsor is the Richland County Conservation Commission.

The deadline to register is Oct. 22, by calling (803) 576-2080.

S.C. native nominated for appeals court seat

PROVIDENCE, R.I. - The first black woman to serve as a judge on Rhode Island's main trial court was nominated to a seat on a Boston-based federal appeals court Tuesday.

President Barack Obama nominated O. Rogeriee Thompson, 57 and a native of Anderson, S.C., following the recommendation of Rhode Island's two Democratic senators, Sheldon Whitehouse and Jack Reed. They said in a statement Tuesday that the judge was an "exceptional public servant."

The nomination requires U.S. Senate confirmation.

Thompson would replace Bruce Selya, who is also from Rhode Island, and would be the first black judge on the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.

$20 scratch-off tickets offer lots of prizes

RALEIGH - North Carolina Education Lottery players have to pony up more if they want a chance to win a part of the lottery's largest payout ever for an instant scratch-off game.

The lottery's first $20 scratch-off ticket was set to hit stores Tuesday for what's called the $200 Million Extravaganza game.

There are more than 1.4 million prizes available, with five top prizes of $3 million, 10 of $1 million and more than 12,000 prizes between $1,000 and $100,000. The million-dollar prizes will be paid in 20-year installments.

The lottery says the overall odds of winning of 1 in 2.65 are also the best for an instant ticket since they were first sold in 2006.