Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Teller steals from bank, tries to burn it down - State & Regional - Wire - TheState.com

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Authorities say an Allendale bank teller who stole more than $300,000 from her employer and then tried to burn down the bank when her bosses discovered the money was missing has pleaded guilty.

Federal prosecutors said Wednesday that 40-year-old April Adams faces up to 30 years for embezzlement and five years to 20 years on an arson charge when she is sentenced at a later date.

Investigators say Adams took $323,000 from the Allendale County Bank in May and June and then tried to set a fire inside the bank vault when her managers started to investigate the missing money.


Read more here: http://www.thestate.com/2012/02/29/2172642/teller-steals-from-bank-tries.html#storylink=cpy


Teller steals from bank, tries to burn it down - State & Regional - Wire - TheState.com

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Customers of DialTone & More may lose services

The South Carolina Office of Regulatory Services released information on a possible loss of phone services on Wednesday.

The outage applies to landlines only, not cellphone service.

The release states:
"Customers of DialTone & More, Inc. in AT&T service areas may lose telephone service. DialTone & More, Inc. leases facilities from AT&T for the provision of telephone service. AT&T has notified DialTone & More, Inc. and the ORS of potential disconnection of service, effective March 1.

Officers of DialTone & More, Inc. have not responded to inquiries from the ORS. Therefore, we are issuing this alert to approximately 5,700 consumers who receive local telephone service from DialTone & More, Inc. in the following counties:
Aiken, Allendale, Anderson, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun, Charleston, Cherokee, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Dorchester, Edgefield Fairfield, Florence, Greenville, Kershaw, Lancaster, Lexington, Marlboro, Marion, Newberry, Oconee, Orangeburg and York.

Consumer Services Division
S.C. Office of Regulatory Staff
1401 Main Street, Suite 900
Columbia, S.C. 29201
803-737-5230 (Columbia, S.C.)
1-800-922-1531 (toll-free complaint/inquiry line within South Carolina)
FAX: (803) 737- 4750
TTY: (803) 737-5175 (TTY in Columbia, S.C.)
1-800-334-2217 (TTY toll-free complaint/inquiry line within South Carolina)
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday (except state holidays)

You may also contact the Consumer Services Division by going to the ORS website at www.regulatorystaff.sc.gov and using our online consumer complaint/inquiry form."

Customers of DialTone & More may lose services

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Missing Garvin County woman found in South Carolina | NewsOK.com

A Garvin County woman reported missing this week has been found safe in South Carolina, authorities said.

Garvin County Sheriff's Capt. Travis Crawford said Lisa Needham, 21, of the Stratford area, was located about 9 a.m. Wednesday at a facility in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

Needham was reported missing about 5 a.m. Monday and has been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder and cerebral palsy.

Crawford said authorities are working on a way to bring Needham back to Oklahoma. He said authorities think she hitchhiked to South Carolina along Interstate 40.

Investigators do not think foul play is involved.



Missing Garvin County woman found in South Carolina | NewsOK.com

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Convicted murderer released from prison by accident, police say - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Thomas Whitlock (NC DOC photo) Thomas Whitlock (NC DOC photo)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (WBTV) – A man who was recently convicted of murder was released from prison Monday by accident, according to officials with the York County Detention Center.

Thomas Aaron Whitlock, 31, was making a court appearance on drug charges in York County on Monday when the mistake happened.

Corrections officers noticed their error shortly after 1 p.m. Tuesday when officers were making plans to return Whitlock to the Bertie Correctional Institution in Windsor, North Carolina, police said.

Dorothy Trusty, a York County resident, couldn't believe the news.

"I'm concerned about the fact that there could be someone else's life in danger behind that," she said.

Whitlock has an extensive criminal history. He shot and killed a man in east Charlotte in 2009. He was convicted of the killing in May 20011.

It took several months before Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police along with U.S. Marshals found Whitlock hiding out in Dallas, Texas.

Police said he does have relatives in Rock Hill.

The York County Sheriff's Office is working with the North Carolina Division of Adult Correction, and many other law enforcement agencies, in an attempt to take Whitlock back into custody.

York County Sheriff Bruce Bryant has initiated a comprehensive investigation into how the error occurred.

Sheriff Bryant warns that the public should not approach Whitlock; anyone with information on the possible location of Whitlock should contact the Sheriff's Office immediately at 803-628-3059.

Callers who wish to remain anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-877-409-04321, or online at www.yorkcrimestoppers.com.



Convicted murderer released from prison by accident, police say - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Woman threw puppies against wall, killing them, police say - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

GASTONIA, NC (WBTV) - A Gaston County woman is facing charges after police say she threw puppies against a wall, killing them.

According to police, 29-year-old Bridget Garrett Webb was arguing with another woman on Saturday at a home along North Boyd Street in Gastonia.

Officers say Webb picked up two mixed breed shepherd puppies, threw them against a bathroom wall, killing them.

Webb was arrested by Gastonia Police and was placed in the Gaston County Jail early Sunday morning. She is facing charges for felony animal cruelty, misdemeanor simple assault and misdemeanor injury to property.

She's being held on at least $51,000 bond.

Records at the Gaston County jail show ten previous arrests in Gaston County for Webb since 2007. The charges varied from assault, forgery, worthless checks and breaking and entering.



Woman threw puppies against wall, killing them, police say - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Pedestrian fatally hit by fire truck stolen by naked Sumter man - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

BEAUFORT, SC (WTOC/AP) - A nude man who stole a fire truck in Port Royal and drove off, hitting six vehicles and killing a pedestrian had fled from the Beaufort Naval Hospital before the incident.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports 26-year-old Kalvin Hunt of Sumter has been taken to the hospital by a Beaufort County Veteran Affairs officer last Friday. He escaped when the VA officer took him outside for a moment.

A hospital spokeswoman would not say what he was being treated for, citing privacy laws.

Authorities are not sure when Hunt shed his clothes. Police say after he took the fire truck, he hit and killed 28-year-old Justin Nicholas Miller before crashing.

When Hunt finally crashed the fire truck into a tree, he was pinned inside the fire truck. He then got free and started assaulting two Beaufort police officers. During the incident, three officers and one EMT were injured. Hunt was naked when he exited the vehicle.

The three officers and one EMT were all treated and released from the hospital. Hunt is still in the hospital.



Pedestrian fatally hit by fire truck stolen by naked Sumter man - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Deputies: Nurse stole paralyzing drug to kill husband - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Stacy Dianne Splawn (Source: WYFF) Stacy Dianne Splawn (Source: WYFF)

SPARTANBURG COUNTY, SC (WYFF) - An Upstate woman has been charged with criminal domestic violence after investigators said she stole a vial of a paralyzing drug with the intent of injecting her husband, who would not give her a divorce, according to a report from the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office.

Deputies said that they were called to a place of business in Greer where they met with Douglas Splawn. He told investigators that he and his wife, 38-year-old Stacy Dianne Splawn, had been having marital problems.

Splawn told investigators that his wife had asked him for a divorce, but he refused and told her that marriage is "till death do you part." He said her response was, "That will be sooner than you think."

Splawn said that on Feb. 18 he found a syringe and a medicine bottle labeled succinylcholine, a paralyzing agent, in an eyeglass case belonging to his wife beside their bed in their home on Shehan Drive in Spartanburg.

He told officers that he filled the syringe with water and put it back in the case and hid the bottle of medication. He said at about 3:30 a.m. the next morning, they were lying in bed discussing their marital problems when his wife discovered that he had found the succinylcholine. He said he told her that he had filled the syringe and disposed of the bottle of medication.

Splawn said his wife then grabbed the syringe and tried to stick him with it. He said he was able to wrestle the syringe away from her and told her he would give her a divorce, ending the confrontation.

Splawn said his wife told him that she took the medication from her locker at Mary Black Hospital after she was recently fired.

Splawn said that the next evening, he overheard heard his wife telling their children that he was trying to kill himself.

He said he contacted Mary Black Hospital on Monday, and the staff there told him to turn the medication in to law enforcement, which he did. He also filed the police report.

Stacy Splawn was arrested on Monday and released after making bond on Tuesday.



Deputies: Nurse stole paralyzing drug to kill husband - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Firefighters: One dead in apartment complex fire - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Source: Mary King Source: Mary King


COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - One person is dead after an apartment building caught fire just north of the capital city this morning.

Crews were called to the apartments on West Ave. near Sunset Dr. and I-277 around 8:50 a.m.

When they arrived on the scene, firefighters reported seeing flames coming from the apartments and heavy smoke in the area.

Fire officials said the fire has claimed one life. Authorities have not released any information about the victim or possible cause of death.

Firefighters: One dead in apartment complex fire - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Police traffic stop leads to shooting; chase in Surfside Beach - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

SBPD clear scene after suspected drunken driver plows into the front yard of a Surfside Beach home (Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
SBPD clear scene after suspected drunken driver plows into the front yard of a Surfside Beach home (Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
(Source: WMBF News Reporter Alex Holley)
Christopher Glenn Clark (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)
Christopher Glenn Clark (Source: J. Reuben Long Detention Center)


SURFSIDE BEACH, SC (WMBF) A traffic stop in Surfside Beach turns into an officer involved shooting and chase overnight as police try to catch a suspect.

Surfside Police Chief Mike Frederick said an officer of the Surfside Beach Police Department initiated a pursuit just before 2 a.m. Tuesday morning after he observed 32-year-old Christopher Glenn Clark's vehicle weaving wildly in the roadway.

Chief Frederick said Clark, who is from Myrtle Beach, initially stopped, but sped away as the officer approached the vehicle. Other SBPD units chased Clark for several minutes, until it came to rest in the front yard of an unoccupied Surfside Beach residence, Frederick said.

As a second officer approached the Clark's vehicle, its tires began spinning wildly and the vehicle swung toward the officer. The officer fired his handgun into the vehicle in an effort to stop the vehicle from striking him, Frederick said.

Clark was not struck and continued to run. A third officer was able to stop Clark's vehicle, Frederick said. Officers say Clark ran from that scene and was caught by officers after a brief foot chase.

"We're obviously very happy that our officer wasn't injured," Frederick added. "Our preliminary review is underway, but we will not release our findings prior to the completion of the outside review."

Chief Frederick says his department has requested an external investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division of SLED. The Myrtle Beach Police Department assisted SBPD by photographing and processing the pursuit and arrest scenes.

Clark is charged with Driving Under the Influence, driving under suspension, failure to stop for blue lights/siren, and resisting arrest. Clark was also a fugitive on multiple failure to appear charges on possession with the intent to distribute narcotics charges from West Virginia.


Police traffic stop leads to shooting; chase in Surfside Beach - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Aiken DPS, coroner investigating suspicious death - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

AIKEN, SC (WIS) - A 54-year-old woman's body was discovered in the backyard of her Horry Street home in Aiken Monday night.

According to the Aiken County Coroner's office, Kayla Raiford was found dead around 8:00 p.m. by a family member.

The coroner's office says Raiford was killed thanks to a gunshot wound to her body and the weapon was discovered near her body.

Neighbors reportedly heard what sounded like fireworks near Raiford's home around 6:30 p.m.

The Aiken Department of Public Safety and the coroner's office are currently investigating the shooting.

Aiken DPS, coroner investigating suspicious death - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Cops: Teacher on leave after showing 'disturbing' movie - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

MT. PLEASANT, SC (WCSC) -

A Wando High School teacher is on administrative leave after police say he showed scenes from a "disturbing" movie to his students in Latin class.

School district officials say 36-year-old Christopher Derek Poston is on administrative leave as authorities investigate an incident where police say Poston showed scenes from the movie "Jackass Number 2."

On Feb. 16, the Mount Pleasant Police Department met with the principal and assistant principal at Wando High School in reference to a suspicious incident. School officials say two days earlier, a concerned parent emailed the assistant principal by email about a "disturbing" incident.

The parent said that her daughter was uncomfortable about an incident that happened in her Latin class where Poston, a full-time teacher at Wando, was covering for another teacher.

According to the parent, Poston was watching inappropriate videos on the Internet and put them on the Smart Board for the entire class to see.

The email went on to say that Poston was showing videos of someone putting a "puppet on his junk" and a snake biting the puppet, vulgar gestures and inappropriate pictures of people in Walmart.

A police report states that when someone from the school district came in to work on the computer, Poston quickly exited the program. According to the parent, after the worker left, Poston continued to show the videos to the class.

On Feb. 15, Poston wrote a statement in reference to the incident and confirmed the allegations made. He stated that his actions were inexcusable.

Poston said that while the students were working, he began watching "Jackass 2" from the computer. Poston said that when the students heard the noise, they asked Poston what he was watching.

According to Poston's statement, he told them what he was watching and then placed the video on the Smart Board. Poston said when he saw how inappropriate it was becoming, he quickly turned it off.

He said he showed about 2 to 3 minutes of movie footage. According to Poston, he then opened up a PowerPoint called the "People of Walmart." He said it showed people in Walmart in various forms and used it to express what society expects of people and how people break norms.

When school officials questioned Poston about the incident, Poston said that "Jackass 2" got on the Charleston County computer laptop through his Amazon.com account.


Cops: Teacher on leave after showing 'disturbing' movie - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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SC Man Catches Disease From Hog Killed on Hunt | Field & Stream

Wild hog hunting is exploding in popularity right along with the exploding wild hog population, but this is not the kind of hog fever you want to be catching.

An Upstate family and wildlife officials are warning hunters of a hog-bourne illness after a Laurens County man was hospitalized following a hog hunting trip. "Had we known this, we would have never -- he would have never gone hog hunting," said Renae Hensley, whose 23-year-old son, Josh, was in Greenville Memorial Hospital on Thursday with an undiagnosed illness.

"Yesterday his fever was around 104 all day. It spiked to 105 at one point," Hensley said. Hensley and her husband, Butch, said Josh started feeling ill on Sunday, after a hunting trip the day before, in which he and his friends killed a 360-pound hog using dogs and knives. Renae said she and her husband suspected that a disease called brucellosis may be the cause of Josh's condition after hearing about the disease from a friend.

According to Tom Swayngham, a wildlife coordinator for the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, brucellosis is carried in the bodily fluid of some wild pigs, and can be passed to humans if an animal's blood gets in a person's eyes, nose, mouth or cuts in the skin. "It's not very common. A lot of hunters do not use rubber gloves, and we wish they would," Swayngham said. "The best precaution is to use rubber gloves when cleaning the animal. You don't want to touch any uncooked meat, intestines, or reproductive tracts," he said.



SC Man Catches Disease From Hog Killed on Hunt | Field & Stream

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Monday, February 27, 2012

Teen accidentally kills best friend with World War II rifle - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Brady Olson (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department) Brady Olson (Source: Lexington County Sheriff's Department)
Various Moslin-Nagant rifles (Source: Wikipedia)
Various Moslin-Nagant rifles (Source: Wikipedia)

LEXINGTON COUNTY, SC (WIS) - A 17-year-old is in jail after accidentally shooting and killing his best friend with a World War II era rifle at a home in Red Bank on Sunday, according to the sheriff's department.

Brady Xavier Olson of Riglaw Circle has been charged with Involuntary Manslaughter after the shooting death of 19-year-old Kenneth Nay on Sunday evening. Nay is listed as living at the same address.

According to an incident report, Olson and Nay were inside Olson's home around 8:00 p.m. when the shooting happened.

Olson, according to the report, was pointing a 7.63mm Mosin-Nagant bolt action rifle in the direction of Nay without checking to see if the gun was loaded. Olson then pulled the trigger, shooting Nay in the head and killing him, the arrest warrant stated.

After waiving his Miranda rights, Olson provided a statement to deputies admitting that he shot Nay, according to the arrest warrant.

Investigators said it appears that Olson did not shoot Nay on purpose, but Olson's actions constituted probable cause to arrest him, a sheriff's department spokesperson said.

Olson was being held at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting a bond hearing.

The Mosin-Nagant sniper rifle was developed by the Russians in the late 1800's and later updated during the first and second World Wars.

The incident remains under investigation by the Lexington County Sheriff's Department and Lexington County Coroner's Office.


Teen accidentally kills best friend with World War II rifle - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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UPDATE: Steuben County Home Invasion - WETM 18 Online

The Steuben County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigation Unit reports an update in the ongoing investigation into the Home Invasion Robbery that occurred on Sunset Avenue in the Town of Erwin around 12:30 AM on February 24, 2012. Throughout the evening on February 25, 2012 Sheriff’s Office Investigators, working in conjunction with authorities from Seneca County and several law enforcement agencies in South Carolina, were able to secure the persons of interest in regards to this incident.

The persons of interest in custody at this time are:

Alexander s. Vanvleet, age 19, of County Route 139 in Ovid,NY

Adam Campbell, age 19, of County Route 139 in Ovid, NY

Sarah D. Smith, age 17, of West Seneca Street in Ovid, NY

A 15 year old juvenile, whose name is being withheld, has also been detained.

Shortly after 4:00 PM on February 24, 2012, the Sheriff’s Office was notified by the Clemson Police Department in South Carolina that the persons of interest were reportably enroute to a residence in that jurisdiction. Steps were then taken to secure the stolen vehicle and take the persons of interest into custody, but a wrong turn resulted in the persons of interest ending up in Landrum, South Carolina. The stolen vehicle from Sunset Avenue, which had been spray painted red, was then spotted in a parking lot and several Landrum Police Department patrol units were dispatched to the area.

As the patrol units approached the vehicle, a 15 mile police pursuit through Landrum, South Carolina ensued which ended when the stolen 2006 Pontiac Grand Prix crashed on the interchange ramp to Interstate 26. Vanvleet then attempted to flee the collision scene on foot, but was apprehended a short time later in a wooded area near the collision scene. The other (3) persons of interest were taken into custody at the collision scene without incident or injury.

Sheriff’s Office Investigators then conducted telephone interviews of persons of interest, with the assistance the Landrum Police Department, in regards to the Home Invasion Robbery in Erwin. Investigators from the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office also conducted interviews in regards to a series of events that had occurred in Seneca County prior to the Robbery on Sunset Avenue. The investigation resulted in an Arrest Warrant for First Degree Burglary being issued for Sarah D. Smith out of the Town of Erwin Justice Court Sunday morning around 1:00 AM. Smith is currently being held as a Fugitive from Justice on the Arrest Warrant in South Carolina and has waived extradition to return to New York.

Vanvleet and Campbell are also being held as Fugitive from Justices on Arrest Warrants filed out of Seneca County, New York. The juvenile in this investigation is currently being housed by the South Carolina Department of Social Services.

The Sheriff’s Office is being assisted in the investigation by the Steuben County District Attorney, the Seneca County Sheriff’s Office and District Attorney’s Office, the Clemson and Landrum Police Department in South Carolina.

The investigation is continuing.



UPDATE: Steuben County Home Invasion - WETM 18 Online

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New Arrests Made in Fatal Shooting | wltx.com

L: Henry Norris Johnson R: Justin K. Washington


Lexington County, SC (WLTX) -- Detectives with the Lexington County Sheriff's Department arrested two more men in connection with a deadly shooting two weeks ago near Swansea. One of them was a player on the Vorhees College basketball team.

Lexington County Sheriff James R. Metts says 24-year-old Henry Norris Johnson, Jr., of Swansea, has been arrested and charges with murder, burglary and armed robbery. At the time of his arrest, Johnson was a junior point guard on the Vorhees College men's basketball team.

Detectives also arrested Justin K. Washington, 21, of Denmark, on arrest warrants on charges of murder, first-degree burglary and armed robbery.

Both are being held at the Lexington County Detention Center while awaiting bond hearings.

Bond hearings for Johnson and Washington have not been set yet.

On February 17th, Detectives arrested 31-year-old Patrick Sintell Larry of Swansea in connection with the murder. Larry continues to await a bond hearing at the Lexington County Detention Center.

Johnson and Larry are cousins, Metts said. Washington is an acquaintance of Johnson.

Investigators say on in the early morning of February 12, Johnson, Larry and Washington entered the Calhoun Road home of Matthew Milhouse, Jr. Milhouse was fatally shot in his upper leg during a drug-related robbery at his home. Detectives recovered a 20-gauge shotgun, and ballistic tests will be conducted to determine whether the shotgun was used to kill Milhouse.

The Lexington County Coroner had said preliminary results of an autopsy show Milhouse died as a result of a gunshot wound to his upper leg.



New Arrests Made in Fatal Shooting | wltx.com

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1 charged with killing, dismembering SC man - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Leslie Warren Sandoval (Source: WYFF) Leslie Warren Sandoval (Source: WYFF)

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - Police say an acquaintance has confessed to killing and dismembering a homeless man whose mutilated body was found at a downtown Anderson building.

Sgt. Tony Tilley says 44-year-old Leslie Warren Sandoval had been charged with murder and weapons possession. It wasn't known if he had an attorney.

Investigators say Sandoval voluntarily went with them late Friday night to talk about the death of 53-year-old Seth Barton Foster.

Sandoval told authorities he strangled Foster last month and used a knife to remove the Belton man's head, hands and feet. Police say they found the knife after Sandoval told him where it was.

Authorities say both men were homeless

1 charged with killing, dismembering SC man - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Woman hospitalized after fallen tree traps her for hours - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

BURNETTOWN, S.C. (WFXG) -

A 78-year-old woman is in the hospital after severe storms on Friday cause a tree to come crashing through her house. Joyce Shealey, who is confined to a wheelchair was found by a neighbor, pinned underneath a 60- foot pine tree on Bath Lake Road in Burnettown.

"He went in the house to find her pinned underneath the pine tree you see behind me now," says Kenneth Smith, who also lives next door to Shealey.

It took fire crews hours, with Smith's help, to pull Shealey out of the house.

"Only thing I knew to do was to grab my chainsaw and see what I could do to help," says Smith with tears in his eyes, "Really and truthfully I wasn't thinking, I was just praying at that point."

The woman, who is in bad health, was rushed to GHSU, much to Smith's relief.

"I was scared if they did get her out that she wasn't going to come out alive," he says.

But officials say Shealey was not doing well after the ordeal.

"She's in pretty rough shape, and we'll leave it at that," says Michael Hunt, Chief of the Clearwater Fire Department.

Smith says his neighbor is like a grandmother to him.

"She's just a sweet old lady, she's always got a kind word and has looked out for us," he says.

Shealey lived in the house with her son.


Woman hospitalized after fallen tree traps her for hours - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Police: Victim fired shots as suspects drive away in his car | WCBD-TV 2

Two suspects are on the run after police said they stole a car in North Charleston.

The incident happened at about midnight Monday.

North Charleston Police were called to the Saint James Apartments on Dorchester Road.

A man there said he parked his car to drop off his counsin at the apartment complex. He said two men started walking toward him, and he grabbed a gun out of the car and ran inside.

That's when he said the two men hopped in his running car and took off. The victim said he fired shots at the car as the suspects drove away.

The victim's vehicle was later located in Moncks Corner, abandoned.

Police have not made any arrests.


Police: Victim fired shots as suspects drive away in his car | WCBD-TV 2

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SC's Riverbanks Zoo offers its poop for planting - State & Regional - Wire - TheState.com

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Riverbanks Zoo and Garden in Columbia is offering lucky gardeners a chance to put in orders for its famed poop produced by elephants, giraffes and zebras.

Zoo spokeswoman Susan O'Cain says one cubic yard of the manure will be available for $43 a load. The manure sells out quickly, and each order is limited to two loads.

Zoo animals produce about 1,500 pounds of manure every day. For those interested in small amounts, pint-size and two-gallon buckets are placed at zoo entrances throughout the year.

O'Cain says the poop will be available for pickup on Friday, March 23. Orders may be placed through www.riverbanks.org.



SC's Riverbanks Zoo offers its poop for planting - State & Regional - Wire - TheState.com

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Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sheriff's deputies investigate murder-suicide in Eutawville - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

EUTAWVILLE, SC (WIS) - Orangeburg County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a murder-suicide in Eutawville Saturday night.

Sheriff Leroy Ravenell says deputies were first called to Strick's One Stop on Old Number Six Highway at about 6:23 p.m. after an employee reported seeing a woman shot. The employee told investigators they heard a gunshot, saw a woman fall to the ground, and a pickup truck quickly leaving the scene.

The Orangeburg County Coroner identified the woman as 42 year old Anngenette Shaw of Eutawville.

At about 6:31 Saturday night, deputies were called to Oilers Drive, less than a mile and a half away, for a report of a suicide. The County Coroner says the man was 53 year old Kenneth Burch.

Sheriff Ravenell says after shooting Shaw, Burch drove to his mother's house, which is next door to his own home, and kissed her. Burch then returned to his home and shot himself.

Coroner Samuetta Marshall conducted autopsies on Shaw and Burch today, but she could not release any additional information.


Sheriff's deputies investigate murder-suicide in Eutawville - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Saturday, February 25, 2012

SC pedestrian dies after hit by stolen fire engine : News : CarolinaLive.com

PORT ROYAL, S.C. (AP) - A South Carolina man is facing a list of charges after jumping naked into fire truck at an emergency scene, then killing a pedestrian and smashing into multiple vehicles as he raced away.

The Beaufort County Coroner's Office said Saturday that 28-year-old Justin Miller of Port Royal was killed by the careening fire truck as he walked along a sidewalk.

A Beaufort police supervisor was not immediately available Saturday to confirm the suspect's identity. The driver was pulled from the fire truck after it crashed into trees and immediately began fighting with police and paramedics.

Witnesses said the man was naked when he was pulled from the fire truck and when he jumped behind the wheel as Beaufort-Port Royal Fire Department firefighters responded to an apartment complex.



SC pedestrian dies after hit by stolen fire engine : News : CarolinaLive.com

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Deputies question 5 in double shooting - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

RICHLAND COUNTY, SC (WIS) - Richland County Sheriff's deputies are investigating a shooting early Saturday morning that injured two people.

Deputy Curtis Wilson says deputies were in the 7200 block of Two Notch Road at about 3 a.m. when they heard several gunshots. Deputies saw a gold Taurus speeding away from the area.

A man and a woman had been shot in the torso near the ROC. They were taken to the hospital where their conditions have not been released.

Deputies attempted to pull the vehicle over, but the driver took off, leading them on a short chase. Eventually deputies caught up with the vehicle near the intersection of Parklane and Columbia Mall Boulevard.

Wilson says when the car stopped, five people inside jumped out and ran. Deputies caught up with them, and they are being questioned.

Deputies say they found a revolver near where they believe the shooting occurred.



Deputies question 5 in double shooting - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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S.C. House approves suicide prevention bill - The Item: AP State News

COLUMBIA (AP) - A bill requiring middle and high school teachers in South Carolina to get suicide prevention training has cleared the House.

The House approved 97-3 this week a measure requiring two hours of training that would count toward the 120 hours of training that teachers must acquire every five years.

Six states already have passed the law. It is named after Jason Flatt of Tennessee, who killed himself in 1997 at age 16. The Jason Foundation works to spread awareness about teen suicide and to promote teacher training.

Suicide is the third leading cause of death nationwide for those ages 10 to 24.

Foundation specialist Donna Finley has said it's not about making teachers counselors, but making them aware of the warning signs and where to go for help.



S.C. House approves suicide prevention bill - The Item: AP State News

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FORT MILL | Two charged in 2007 Fort Mill church arson | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

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Authorities have arrested two people in the 2007 arson and burglary of a Fort Mill church.

Christopher Charles Hunt, 23, of 2022 Haire Road in Fort Mill and another man were charged with second degree burglary and second degree arson following a fire on May 16, 2007, at Glen Rock Baptist Church, located at 1615 Doby's Bridge Road, according to Capt. Bryan Zachary of the Fort Mill Police Department.

Hunt is being held at the York County Sheriff's Office on $100,000 bond.

The second suspect was 14 at the time of the incident and will be tried as a juvenile. He was petitioned to family court.

A joint investigation with SLED, the York County Fire Marshal's Office, Fort Mill Police and the U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms turned out no suspects. But following a tip from a Fort Mill resident, the investigation was reopened and resulted in the two arrests.

According to a Fort Mill Police report, an anonymous caller alerted authorities about the fire, which caused extensive damage to the church before firefighters could extinguish it.

A single brick was found in the church and a window had been broken. The fire had spread to to a nearby mobile home.

Both suspects told investigators Thursday that they entered the church and started the fire, according to the report.


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/02/25/3769674/two-charged-in-2007-fort-mill.html#storylink=cpy


FORT MILL | Two charged in 2007 Fort Mill church arson | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

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SC wind turbine test facility nears completion | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. Amid dust and din, a cavernous 70-year-old warehouse once used by the Navy is being transformed to play a key role in the nation's energy future.

Sometime this summer, workers will jockey a 150-ton rig designed to test the drive trains of offshore wind turbines into a massive hole in the floor of the testing facility on the campus of Clemson University's Restoration Institute in South Carolina.

The unit, capable of testing turbines that can produce 7.5 megawatts of power, will be tested and online by year's end. A second, larger testing unit, one weighing 400 tons and capable of testing turbines that can generate up to 15 megawatts will also be installed - even though turbines that size have yet to be built.

A 15-megawatt turbine could provide power to about 6,000 homes. Using larger turbines offshore would mean the same power could be generated with fewer units needing maintenance and repair.

The test facility also is being retrofitted to withstand both earthquakes and hurricanes.

Small earthquakes are not unusual in the Charleston area. The turbine testing facility is not far from a fault that caused the devastating 1886 quake that killed more than 100 people. It's been more than 20 years since the last major hurricane hit the South Carolina coast - Hurricane Hugo in 1989, a Category 4 storm that packed 135 mph winds.

When completed, the nearly $100 million facility will be the world's largest wind turbine testing center and employ about 80 people. There are two other testing facilities, one in Spain and one in Colorado, but the Clemson test site will handle far larger units.

"We think there is an enormous potential here," said John Kelly, the executive director of the Restoration Institute.

While there are no wind turbines in U.S. waters yet, that's the way the nation is moving, he said.

"As wind farms build offshore there will be deployment sites. They are going to create jobs and lots of jobs," he said. The Department of Energy estimates that the industry could create as many as 20,000 jobs.

Earlier this month, the national Bureau of Ocean Energy Management announced that an assessment found there would be no significant environmental impacts from issuing wind energy leases in federal waters off the mid-Atlantic coast. That clears the way for energy lease sales off Maryland, Virginia, New Jersey and Delaware.

Already there are two partnerships of companies in Virginia looking to develop wind farms in federal waters off the Atlantic coast.

South Carolina is in a unique position to help the industry. The deep water in Charleston Harbor allows companies to bring their turbines easily to the Clemson lab for testing, and South Carolina could easily serve the needs of East Coast wind farms through the state's shipping port.

Testing is key because it's far more expensive to have something go wrong with a turbine offshore and have to fix it at sea. A 15-megawatt turbine would likely have blades reaching 100 yards above the ocean surface.

"We basically break them," Kelly said. "Our job is to find the failure points so companies can fix the failure points, which means when the turbine is going offshore there is less maintenance."

The Department of Energy gave Clemson $45 million in federal stimulus money for the test facility, with state and private donors providing another $53 million.

Clemson also plans a graduate center on its 26-acre campus, meaning there will be experts in wind technology, an attraction that could draw manufacturers. Once it is established, the industry will mean jobs in manufacturing, deploying and installing the wind turbines, and in logistics.

"There will be manufacturing near a port. I hope it's here. I would do everything in my power to make sure it's here. This is an ideal location," Kelly said.


Read more here: http://www.charlotteobserver.com/2012/02/25/3044232/sc-wind-turbine-test-facility.html#storylink=cpy


SC wind turbine test facility nears completion | CharlotteObserver.com & The Charlotte Observer Newspaper

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Friday, February 24, 2012

York County, SC | Rock Hill man arrested in armed robbery of teenager | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

A Rock Hill man was arrested Thursday in the Chestnut Street armed robbery of a 17-year-old earlier this month.

Tyronne Rashan Dunham, 23, of 1006 Sturgis St., was charged with armed robbery, according to Rock Hill Police records.

The charge stems from a Feb. 14 incident when police responded to the 600 block of Chestnut Street in reference to shots fired, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

A 17-year-old told police he was robbed at gunpoint. The suspect put the barrel of a handgun under the teen's chin and demanded money, threatening to shoot him if he yelled, the teen told police.

The suspect stole $30 and two cell phones from the teen and then hit him in the face with a closed fist and threatened him and his family if the teen reported the incident.

Bond for Dunham was denied, officials said.


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/02/24/3768785/rock-hill-man-arrested-in-armed.html#storylink=cpy

York County, SC | Rock Hill man arrested in armed robbery of teenager | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

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Bond set at $1.8 million for cousins accused in armed robberies - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Manuel Scott, left, and Rodney Scott. (Source: Charleston County Detention Center) Manuel Scott, left, and Rodney Scott. (Source: Charleston County Detention Center)

Bond was set at $1.8 million total for two cousins in connection with four armed robberies, including one involving an 85-year-old woman with cancer.

An 85-year-old woman had her purse stolen Monday in West Ashley. See photos.

Manuel Scott's bond was set at $1 million while Rodney Scott's bond was set at $800,000 on Friday.

The Charleston Police Department arrested 20-year-old Rodney Scott and charged him with armed robbery and two counts of strong armed robbery. Authorities charged 20-year-old Manuel Scott with armed robbery, possession of a firearm during the commission of a violent crime and three counts of strong armed robbery.

The robberies all happened in West Ashley and on Johns Island.

Authorities say a break in the investigation came when Detective Thomas Bailey spotted a vehicle at Savage Road and US Highway 17 that matched the description of a vehicle used in a Jan. 12 robbery on Farmfield Avenue.

According to investigators, Rodney Scott Jr. was the driver of the vehicle. Police also recovered the vehicle they believe was used in the robberies. Investigators say the robberies started on Jan. 12 and involved victims ranging from 16 to 89 years old.

The first robbery happened on Jan. 12 around 11:15 a.m. as the 60 year-old victim was entering a business on Farmfield Avenue in West Ashley. The suspect approached her from behind, grabbed her purse and fled the area on foot. The suspect was described as a black male, 20 to 30 years-old, with a slim build and wearing BDU style pants and a gray sweat shirt.

The second incident occurred around 2:15 p.m. on Feb. 6 as the 85-year-old victim was entering her home on Wappo Road in West Ashley. The suspect grabbed her from behind and demanded her purse. He then pushed her down as he grabbed her purse and fled on foot down Skinner Avenue. The suspect was described as a black male, about 6'0", 18 to 25 years old, weighing between 135 and 170 pounds and wearing dark colored pants and jacket.

The third incident happened around 6:30 p.m. on Feb. 19 after the 16-year-old victim approached his vehicle after visiting a friend at an apartment complex on Ashley Crossing Lane in West Ashley. The victim opened the driver side door and that's when the suspect approached him and took his money and cellular telephone.

The suspect was described as a black male, 18 to 20 years old, about 6'0", with a flat top hair cut and upper gold teeth and wearing a dark colored jacket. The vehicle the suspects were driving is described as a four-door silver or gold colored Impala with dark tinted windows.

The fourth incident occurred at 3:30 p.m. on Feb. 20 on Thunder Trail on Johns Island as the 89-year-old victim pulled his car into his garage. The suspect opened the front passenger side door and pointed a handgun at the victim and demanded his money.

The suspect took the victim's money and fled the scene in a vehicle described as an older model four-door gold colored Impala. The suspect was described as a black male, 20 to 25 years-old, with a medium complexion, weighing between 175 and 185 pounds and wearing a dark baseball cap and dark shirt.

Rodney Scott Jr., who was arrested at Charleston Police headquarters is a suspect in the robberies that occurred Jan. 12th on Farmfield Avenue, Feb. 6 on Wappoo Road and Feb. 20 on Thunder Trail.

Manuel Scott, who was taken into custody by U.S Marshals in Goose Creek, is a suspect in the robberies that occurred Jan. 12 on Farmfield Avenue, Feb. 6 on Wappoo Road, Feb. 19 on Ashley Crossing Lane and Feb. 20 on Thunder Trail.

Manuel Scott is currently out on bond on a charge of grand larceny.

Officials with Charleston police say detectives, patrol teams and many other units of the Charleston Police Department worked tirelessly the past 24 hours to bring the cases to a successful conclusion.



Bond set at $1.8 million for cousins accused in armed robberies - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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SC one of 7 states suing over contraception, abortion services... | www.wsoctv.com

Eyewitness News obtained a copy of a federal lawsuit that includes South Carolina along with six other states.

The lawsuit accuses the Obama administration of coercing religious institutions and intruding on their First Amendment rights.

The battle is over contraception and abortion services. The Department of Health and Human Services told religious organizations that they would have to offer birth control and abortion services in health care plans for their employees.

To many in the established religious community, those requirements are a moral wrong.

Catholic churches began filing lawsuits against the federal government back in November over the issue, but seven states jumped in Thursday after a compromise offer failed to settle the matter.

“The church shouldn't have to be told what to do by the state," said John Giuliani, a Catholic priest serving a parish in Fort Mill.

Giuliani said the government's requirement is a wake-up call.

“It's the beginning of the state infringing upon the church. I'm so happy South Carolina is standing with us, because it's an important issue that affects all of us," he said.

However, representatives of the ACLU in South Carolina told Channel 9 the state should be defending women and their right to birth control, not the church.

ACLU South Carolina Executive Director Victoria Middleton said courts in other states have not held that requiring religious entities to offer contraception is a violation of the First Amendment.

“We would wish the South Carolina attorney general and the state government would protect women's access to health care, including contraception, given the fact that virtually every American woman uses contraception at some point in her life," Middleton said.

The seven states suing are South Carolina, Florida, Texas, Ohio, Michigan, Oklahoma and Nebraska.

The attorneys general in those states have asked a federal judge to block the requirement that would fall on churches, as well as religiously affiliated schools, hospitals and special programs they offer.

Local Catholic leaders told Channel 9 that if forced to follow the new federal rules, churches may drop health care coverage altogether.

"That could be one reaction," Giuliani said. “We expect to work all this out and settle it, though."

What's not clear is if there is any more room for compromise on either side. That's particularly true in an election year, when GOP presidential candidates have been pounding President Obama on the issue.



SC one of 7 states suing over contraception, abortion services... | www.wsoctv.com

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S.C. economy gets national notice - KansasCity.com

WASHINGTON — South Carolina is faring better than most other states across a wide range of measurements tied to its economy and to the fiscal health of its state government.

Dual reports by Federal Funds Information for States, a think tank affiliated with the National Governors Association, place South Carolina in the top quarter of states in the nation's slow recovery from the Great Recession.

In one key figure included in the group's Index of State Economic Momentum, South Carolina ranks No. 9 in employment growth with a 1.9 percent increase in the number of jobs from November 2010 to November 2011.

"What we're seeing is that the economy is slowly starting to turn around," said Bill Hauk, an economics professor at the University of South Carolina's Moore School of Business in Columbia. "It's not going gangbusters like we'd like it to, but there does seem to be some growth out there."

In one encouraging sign, the state's manufacturing sector grew by 5.5 percent, adding 11,600 jobs, from December 2010 to December 2011, according to the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce.

The overall unemployment rate in South Carolina fell to 9.5 percent in December, reaching its lowest level in three years after the fourth consecutive monthly drop. The January rate hasn't been released yet.

The S.C. unemployment rate was still 1 percentage point higher than the national rate of 8.5 percent, but the gap has narrowed in recent months and eight states now rank below South Carolina, among them Georgia and North Carolina.

S.C. Rep. Brian White, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said a state constitutional balanced-budget requirement and legal limits on debt have helped build a foundation for major firms such as Boeing, Bridgestone, BMW and Continental Tire to expand in South Carolina.

"We've gone in and reduced our expenditures pretty expeditiously, which has helped us maintain our AAA credit rating," said White, an Anderson Republican. "We've landed a lot of good companies. I think the future's bright for us."

A separate analysis by FFIS, which it termed the Continuum of State Fiscal Stress, lists South Carolina as one of just 11 states that ended the 2010-11 state fiscal year with reserves totaling at least 10 percent of the general fund spending during the same year.

And South Carolina ranked No. 4 in the nation with a 9 percent increase in its level of reserves, measured as a share of its overall spending.

Gov. Nikki Haley heralded the two reports' findings.

"We have worked very hard this past year to improve the economic and fiscal climate and morale of the state," she told McClatchy.

McClatchy obtained copies of the reports, which are available from FFIS through subscription.

Les Boles, director of the S.C. Budget and Control Board, said the general fund grew by 6.4 percent in the 2010-11 fiscal year, which ended June 30, and is forecast to increase by 3 percent in the current year. It had a $525 million combined surplus and rainy day fund in mid-2011.

"Our budgeting is very conservative," Boles said. "We're moving in the right direction. From November 2007, revenue just went straight down. We hit our low point in January 2010. Since then, we've been increasing every month slowly but surely."

South Carolina was one of only 10 states that met four criteria set by FFIS to compare state governments' fiscal health across the country:

_ Contrary to previous years, it didn't have to cut its enacted 2010-11 budget;

_ Its tax collections met or exceeded revenue estimates for the year;

_ It ended the fiscal year with reserves equaling at least 5 percent of general fund expenditures;

_ Its total balances rose from the end of the 2009-10 and 2010-11 fiscal years.

"A state that is building reserves has restored balances to its budget and is on a path to recovery," the FFIS report said.

Ashley Landess, head of the South Carolina Policy Council, a Columbia think tank that promotes limited government and free enterprise, debunked the analysis.

Landess said that by looking only at the general fund, the report ignored the total scope of state government spending from other sources including increased license fees and federal funds.

"They're not cutting the cost of government," she said of Haley and the General Assembly. "They're still spending the same amount of money or more, but they're doing it with fees, fines and federal dollars."


S.C. economy gets national notice - KansasCity.com

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York County, SC | Lancaster deputies investigate suspicious death | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

The Lancaster County Sheriff's Office is investigating a suspicious death.

Deputies found a woman's body inside a vacant house on Starnes Street in Lancaster's Brooklyn Avenue neighborhood Friday around 11 a.m., according to Major Matt Shaw with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office.

The victim was identified as Linda Massey Gaymon, 54, of Lancaster.

The house was dilapidated and did not show signs of anyone staying there, Shaw said.

Gaymon’s cause of death had not been determined Friday afternoon. However, the information available suggests foul play, according to the sheriff's office.

“We have started a detailed investigation and no stone will go unturned until we find out who is responsible for this victim’s death," Sheriff Barry Faile said.


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/02/24/3769658/lancaster-deputies-investigate.html#storylink=cpy


York County, SC | Lancaster deputies investigate suspicious death | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

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New law aimed at reducing phosphates going down the drains into South Carolina waterways | The Republic

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A new South Carolina law banning phosphate-laden dishwasher detergent is meant to dramatically reduce phosphates going down the drain.

Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law this week a measure banning the sale, use and distribution of household dishwasher detergent greater than 0.5 percent phosphorous. State law already limits phosphates in laundry detergents and other cleaners.

Experts say phosphates cause algae blooms that can use up oxygen in the water, killing fish and irritating the eyes, throat and skin of people on the water for recreation.

Supporters included both environmentalists and wastewater treatment plant operators. They say the ban is an easier, less expensive way to keep excess phosphorous out of waterways than leaving it to wastewater treatment plants.

The law allows stores to sell its stock as of July 1.



New law aimed at reducing phosphates going down the drains into South Carolina waterways | The Republic

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Tornado Warnings issued for parts of southern Midlands - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |



COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The National Weather Service has confirmed a tornado touchdown near the Aiken/Lexington County line earlier this afternoon.

Forecasters said the tornado touched down just south of the Lexington Co. line near Sand Dam Rd. and Cline Taylor Rd. The tornado continued east-northeast into Lexington Co. to near the intersection of Greens Bridge Rd. and Charles Town Rd.

Fire officials in Lexington County are surveying the damage. An initial assessment shows the worst damage is the Lawson Rd. area near Highway 302 near the Aiken Co. line. Crews aren't reporting major damage and many of their trucks are leaving the area, but some are still on scene.
In Calhoun County, officials say there are trees, poles and wires down near Great Cir. Drive. No injuries have been reported.
In Aiken County, crews from Aiken Electric Cooperative were busy restoring power to some 1,300 residents who lost electricity at the height of the storm. Officials in Wagener say there are some structures damaged off of Highway 113.
Several counties in southern parts of the Midlands were under a tornado warning Friday afternoon as a fast-moving line of storms hit the area. The tornado warning has since expired, but a tornado watch remains in effect until 4:00 p.m. for most of the Midlands, and until 8:00p.m. for the Lowcountry of South Carolina.


Tornado Warnings issued for parts of southern Midlands - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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LANCASTER | Man arrested in killing of Lancaster woman | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

Police arrested a man Thursday in the death of a Lancaster woman who was stabbed and shot several times earlier this month.

Roger L. Baskins, 39, of Charlotte was charged with murder and possession of a firearm during a violent crime, according to a news release.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police arrested Baskins Thursday morning. When they arrested him, officers discovered Baskins had suffered a self-inflicted wrist injury. He was taken to Carolinas Medical Center-Charlotte, where he was in critical condition Thursday evening.

Cynthia Barnes was found dead about 7:30 a.m. on Feb. 9 in her East Dunlap Street home, according to police. The home was in disarray.

No motive is apparent, police say. Capt. Scott Grant of the Lancaster Police Department said he couldn't comment about whether Baskins and Barnes knew each other, but he said the attack was not random.

Baskins’ criminal history includes convictions for assault and battery, criminal domestic violence, and assaulting a police officer.

Barnes’ killing - Lancaster’s second in less than a week - shook up the neighborhood about a mile east of downtown. Two days earlier, former Major League Baseball player Danny Clyburn Jr. was shot and killed outside his North Market Street house.

A 36-year-old man was arrested in Clyburn’s killing.

Friends called Barnes by her nickname, “Fruity.” She was known for helping neighbors. She rode her mo-ped to the store to help people, took neighborhood kids to a nearby soup kitchen, and cleaned the homes of elderly neighbors.


Read more here: http://www.heraldonline.com/2012/02/23/3767195/man-arrested-in-killing-of-lancaster.html#storylink=cpy

LANCASTER | Man arrested in killing of Lancaster woman | The Herald - Rock Hill, SC

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Thursday, February 23, 2012

Police charge SC man with car wreck that killed former Belmont mayor and friend | The Republic

BELMONT, N.C. — A South Carolina man is being charged with leading police on a chase they say ended when his car slammed into another vehicle, killing two people, including a former Belmont mayor.

Forty-one-year-old Lester Norman Jr., of Lancaster, S.C. is facing several charges, including felony death-by-vehicle, driving while intoxicated and driving with a revoked license. He's being held in the Gaston County jail on $500,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if he has a lawyer.

Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin says the chase began when Norman ran through a DWI checkpoint.

The crash killed former Belmont mayor Kevin Loftin and a friend, Donna Jean Deitz. They were returning from an Ash Wednesday service when their car was hit.

Belmont Police Chief Charlie Franklin says the chase began when Norman ran through a DWI checkpoint.

Loftin was mayor of the Gaston County town from 1992 to 1997.


Police charge SC man with car wreck that killed former Belmont mayor and friend | The Republic

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Report: Victims in fiery crash were heavily intoxicated - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - Toxicology results from the Richland County Coroner's Office indicate the four people killed in a fiery crash in January on George Rogers Boulevard were heavily intoxicated.

According to Coroner Gary Watts, the driver of the vehicle, Brian McGrath, had a blood-alcohol level of .157. The legal limit in South Carolina is .08.

The three passengers also had high levels of alcohol in their bloodstreams. Kelsey Harris' had a BAC of .192, Melinda Pipp registered a .136, and Billings Fuess IV measured in at .160.

Harris and McGrath were USC students and Fuess was a former student.

Watts says the victims also had evidence of marijuana in their systems.

The group was seen together at a couple of local nightspots prior to the collision, Watts said. They left The Wild Hare Sports Cafe, where Pipp was an employee, after midnight to go to another location. They were seen leaving together in McGrath's vehicle from another nightspot called Uncle Fester's sometime after 3:30 a.m.

Police said three of the passengers were not wearing seatbelts. Investigators could not determine if the fourth person was restrained.

Report: Victims in fiery crash were heavily intoxicated - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Prosecutors: Gerald Hardin cut off friend's hand for $600K - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

CAYCE, SC (WIS) - A Midlands man is in jail accused of working with two other people to defraud an insurance company by intentionally cutting a person's hand off with a pole saw and then filing an insurance claim.

According to the U.S. Attorney's Office, Gerald B. Hardin, 34, of Cayce, was arrested on charges that he and two other people committed mail fraud in May of 2008.

Prosecutors said, while living in Sumter, Hardin and another person devised a plan to use a small chain saw attached to a pole to cut the third person's hand off.

The three participants, according to a six-page indictment, then submitted claims against a homeowner's insurance policy and three accidental death and dismemberment policies and received over $671,000.

Neither the other person who helped or the person whose hand was severed are identified in the indictment.

The maximum penalty Hardin could receive on each count is 20 years imprisonment and $250,000 in fines.

Hardin made his initial appearance in federal court on February 21. He is currently being held on a $100,000 bond.

The case was investigated by agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is assigned to Assistant United States Attorney Dean A. Eichelberger of the Columbia office for prosecution.



Prosecutors: Gerald Hardin cut off friend's hand for $600K - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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Wednesday, February 22, 2012

SC Best Buy apologizes for porn broadcast - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

GREENVILLE, SC (CNN) – A Best Buy store in South Carolina is apologizing after porn suddenly appeared on a TV at the company's Greenville location.

A customer said she was there with her son and grandchildren when the offensive image popped up on a 55-inch smart TV. According to the woman, the store manager said someone hijacked the store's WiFi to upload the image and the same thing had happened the night before.

Best Buy's corporate office released the following statement:

"Two individuals accessed our store's wireless signal to broadcast inappropriate content on a smart television display. In both cases, we worked immediately to disable the inappropriate content. We greatly apologize for this unfortunate incident and we are working to ensure that it does not happen again."

The customer filed a complaint with the Greenville Police Department, who said they will investigate.



SC Best Buy apologizes for porn broadcast - WECT TV6-WECT.com:News, weather & sports Wilmington, NC

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S.C. appeals court reverses 2nd Judicial Circuit's relief ruling for Denmark kidnapping, rape | The Augusta Chronicle

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Court of Appeals has reversed a decision from 2nd Judicial Circuit Judge Doyet “Jack” Early, which had awarded post-conviction relief to a man accused of kidnapping and raping a woman in Denmark, S.C., nearly 10 years ago.

The circuit court had granted Joseph Walker’s post-conviction relief application based on missteps by his attorney, who failed to investigate Walker’s girlfriend, a potential alibi witness. Walker had said he was with his girlfriend at the time the other woman said he had kidnapped and repeatedly raped her at his home.

In its reversal, the Court of Appeals agreed that Walker’s counsel had not served him properly. But that wasn’t enough to cause prejudice, according to Wednesday’s appeals court decision. The decision stemmed from the state’s appeal, which was heard in October.

A cross-examination of Walker’s girlfriend showed she could not say for sure that she was with Walker the night of the crime.

The victim had testified that on March 2, 2002, she asked for help at a BP gas station in Denmark when her car had broken down. A man fixed her car with a wire he bought nearby for $30, according to Wednesday’s published decision.

The woman told the man to follow her home so she could pay him. She said the man entered her home uninvited, blindfolded her, drove her to his house, and raped her throughout the night. The next morning the man blindfolded her again, drove her home, and said he would kill her if she told anyone. A few hours after she got home, she testified, she drank a rum and Coke to calm her nerves.

The woman identified a man in the surveillance videotape from the BP station as her attacker and kidnapper. The BP store manager then identified him as Walker.

Police matched the woman’s descriptions of her attacker’s truck and house with Walker’s truck and house, according to Wednesday’s decision. Walker was arrested 20 days later and eventually convicted of first-degree criminal sexual conduct and kidnapping.

The trial court sentenced him to 24 years in prison, and Wednesday’s appeals court decision affirms Walker’s convictions and sentences.



S.C. appeals court reverses 2nd Judicial Circuit's relief ruling for Denmark kidnapping, rape | The Augusta Chronicle

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Woman finds pearl in pizza at Five Points restaurant - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A midlands woman is feeling lucky after finding a rare treat in her dinner. It happened at a Columbia restaurant. Now she's seeing dollar signs.



Pamela Levi loves oysters. But she never thought one of her favorite foods would pay out.

Levi bit into an oyster while eating an oysters Rockefeller pizza Friday night at Goatfeathers in Five Points. She thought it had shattered a tooth.

"I thought, 'I'm suing!'" laughed Levi. "But I really thought I'd broken a tooth!"

"Very ladylike, I"I'm trying to take this out of my mouth," said Levi. "It was round, so it kinda felt like a BB, as I was taking it out of my mouth, Jeff was sitting across from me."

"All of a sudden she's looking really weird and I look over and she pulls this pearl out of her mouth," said Goatfeathers owner Jeff Helsley.

Helsley worked as an oyster shucker growing up, but he never saw a pearl quite like Levi's.

"Somebody at the bar had gotten a really tiny one and he was bragging about that, and we said uh uh, we showed him this one and it blew him away!" said Helsley.

"When I was young I heard on the news about someone finding a pearl in an oyster and I thought that would be the ultimate," said Levi. "So when it happened to me it was incredible."

And it's incredibly rare--as in one in the tens of thousands.

That makes Levi one lucky lady.

"I don't play the lottery but I did buy a scratch off ticket the other day and won 75 dollars! Holla!"

That's probably more than she'll get for the pearl. Restaurant oysters aren't usually the ones that produce high-dollar gems.

But it's at least worth a good story.


Woman finds pearl in pizza at Five Points restaurant - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

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South Carolina man admits making up 9/11 story at remembrance | SILive.com

SPARTANBURG, S.C. -- A Boiling Springs man says he made up a heroic tale that he told at a 9/11 ceremony last year in Spartanburg about his role as a New York City firefighter.

Jordan Liflander dressed in a uniform with a FDNY patch and was one of a number of speakers at the Wofford College event. Liflander said he retired as a captain of Ladder Company 133 and that he attended 47 funerals in three weeks for those who died in the terrorist attacks.

Frank Dwyer with the New York Fire Department media office says no one named Jordan Liflander has ever served with the department.

Liflander says he got caught up in the moment and tried represent views of New Yorkers.

A call seeking comment from Liflander wasn't immediately returned today.



South Carolina man admits making up 9/11 story at remembrance | SILive.com

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