Thursday, March 13, 2008

Regional Briefs

Disabilities director nabbed in sex sting and other news from around the state

ANDERSON

Dude arrested for, you know, just
chillin’

Anderson authorities, responding to a gunshot report, were in the process of a police action to secure an apartment and apprehend the alleged gunman when they say 21-year-old Anthony Swinger casually strolled into the apartment behind them, began to make himself at home and told officers he was, “just hanging out.”   
“The offender then turned the fan on and laid a shirt on the couch,” one officer said in his incident report. Swinger later pleaded guilty to interfering with a police action.

CHESTER

Chester to keep livestock out of city
limits

Chester city council denied a citizens request to keep 23 chickens in his backyard, which also happens to be four doors down the block from city hall. The town’s livestock ordinance, enacted in 1995, bans the housing of barnyard animals in city limits. City council considered amending the law for a horse owner last year, but council members ultimately pulled their support for a measure that would allow mules, cows and horses in certain areas of the city.
If the city doesn’t stick by it’s ordinances, one council member told The Spartanburg Herald-Journal, “We look like we’ve got egg on our face.”
Ouch.

CLEMSON

Seneca man gets “Oscar treatment” at council podium, sues city

George Cleveland, of Seneca, has filed a $500,000 lawsuit against the mayor and mayor pro tem of the City of Clemson because, he says, he wasn’t given enough time to voice his opposition of a proposed smoking ban during a recent city council meeting. According to the Greenville News Mayor Larry Abernathy called the suit the “most frivolous” he has seen in 32 years of public service.

FLORENCE

Florence gives ESPN columnist the ole stiff arm

ESPN sportswriter, Jeff Pearlman, recently visited Florence to research a story on former Dallas Cowboys defensive back and Florence native, Clayton Holmes. The reporter’s description of Florence greatly offended local residents.
Pearlman described the eastern part of Florence as “a downtrodden section of a downtrodden city littered by double-wide trailers, wayward drug dealers and the shattered Budweiser bottles, used condoms, McDonald's wrappers and crumpled newspapers that seem to pock each dirt road and cement walkway.”
“The only harmonious element to Florence's poor neighborhoods,” he wrote, “is the occasional crooning from drunk and cracked-up men on particularly jovial nights.”
Florence residents responded by flooding Pearlman’s email inbox with complaints. He reportedly responded to all of them. But according to the Charleston Post and Courier Florence resident, Victor Webster, took it one step further: he registered the Web domain name JeffPearlman.com and posted a large photo of the town’s welcome sign and the message: “I Love Florence, South Carolina.”
Pearlman reportedly noticed the page when he attempted to register the domain name to promote an upcoming book. After an apologetic email from Pearlman, Webster said he gave Pearlman the domain name in the spirit of goodwill.

ORANGEBURG

Two kittens perish in house fire

A total of 20 firefighters including a ladder company and rescue company fought to control a blaze that ultimately destroyed a cottage style home on Clifton Circle in Orangeburg. Two kittens perished in the fire, according to the Orangeburg Times and Democrat. The identities of the kittens has so far been withheld.

SUMTER

Disabilities director nabbed in sex sting

The director of the Sumter Disabilities and Special Needs board was arrested last week on charges stemming from the alleged sexual assault of a 31-year-old male patient. The victim claims Sherill Holder, 50, of Sumter began abusing him in Manning, S.C. and that the abuse continued once he moved to Sumter. Holder is being charged by police in both towns and could face a minimum of three years in prison without the chance for parole.  

GREENVILLE

Another locally owned alt weekly bites the dust

Alternative weekly, The Greenville BEAT, ceased publication last month citing a sharp decline in advertising revenue due to an influx of commercial papers in the area. BEAT publisher and veteran journalist, James Shannon, has moved his family to Texas where he plans to write freelance.
Many Greenville businesses owners expressed shock and sadness that the paper was leaving.
“Man, this is such a personal business,” Shannon told City Paper. “I’m really going to miss a lot of these people.”
When asked to give advice on how to succeed in alternative journalism for as long as he did, James smiled and said, “You’ve just gotta have balls.”

talkback@columbiacitypaper.com

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