Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Regional News Briefs

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Lot Lizards Rejoice



CHARLESTON

DOT cleans up sleazy rest areas

The South Carolina DOT recently reopened seven rest areas it had temporarily closed due to problems with drug distribution and illicit sex. One rest area specifically limited to truckers on I-95 near St. George had been closed since 2001 after repeated complaints of drug dealing and the presence of prostitutes, sometimes called “lot lizards” by truckers. State officials reportedly installed a protective fence around that rest area and reopened it last month. Both trucking associations and the state Dept. of Public Safety wanted the rest areas operational for safety reasons and believe they will allow sleep-deprived truckers more opportunities to rest.

FLORENCE

Prodigal clown returns

LAMAR—Darlington County native, Jim Howle, lectured on his career as a clown in the Ringling Brothers and Barnum & Bailey Circus at the Lamar library last Monday. Howle, also a classically trained painter, became the official artist of the circus, rendering portraits of well-known clowns, some of which hang in the Smithsonian Institute’s National Portrait Gallery today.
Though retired now, Howle told the Florence Morning News, “I enjoyed everything about being a clown.”

GREENVILLE

Humane Society bracing for low kitten yield this season

Greenville Humane Society officials are expecting a decline in kittens this year. Kim Pitman, the shelter’s executive director, believes an outbreak of a fatal feline disease last year contributed to this quarter’s kitten shortfall.
“The number of kittens is off 70 percent as compared to last year,” Pitman told the Greenville News. “That’s a huge deficit.”
The puppy and hamster markets will likely feel an upswing as a result of the kitten shortage.
MYRTLE BEACH

Rock and roll officially dead

Hard Rock Cafe, Inc. plans to open its $400 million hard rock theme park on May 9 in Myrtle Beach. The Hard Rock Park will feature, among other things: “Led Zeppelin: The Ride” a massive 15 story tall roller coaster; “Nights in White Satin: The Trip” and “Reggae River Falls” for the kids. It is unconfirmed at press time if Joe Strummer has indeed rolled over in his grave.

ROCK HILL

Woman robbed at Burger King drive-thru

FORT MILL— The York County Sheriff’s department is searching for a man who robbed a woman while she waited for her order at the window of a Burger King drive-thru. The unidentified woman reportedly rolled down the window of her minivan to hand the cashier $20 when a man rushed up to the vehicle, snatched the money from her hand and fled the scene on foot. Police dogs tracked the man to a nearby Walgreen’s parking lot before the trail went cold.

Southern Baptists stress importance of global warming, Jesus

A declaration signed by the president o the Southern Baptist Convention states that the church should take a more proactive stance on climate change. Some pastors in the denomination reportedly have mixed feelings about the issue, though.
“I don't have time to serve on a committee to look at global warming,” Rev. Tom Tucker told the Rock Hill Herald. “We don't need to be distracted from what our mission is: Winning the lost with the Gospel.” Though he doesn’t want the church to get sidetracked, Tucker reportedly recycles and uses energy efficient lightbulbs in an effort to be more responsible towards the environment.
The Herald report also states that church leaders who signed the declaration were quick to point out that their acknowledgement of global warming does not change their opposition to abortion and gay marriage.

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