Sunday, November 14, 2010

Weird Regional News

CHARLESTON


Man jailed for failing to mow grass


A North Charleston mobile home park owner was jailed last month following a string of tickets relating to yard maintenance.

Carlton Walker told the Charleston Post and Courier that one of his cellmates thought he had been arrested for being “high” on “grass.”

“No,” Walker told the inmate, “‘high’ grass.”

According to Walker, his battle with the city of North Charleston –which has led to close to $20,000 in fines—began when he trimmed his trees in 2008 without a permit. He also received citations for allowing the grass to grow too tall at the 65-lot mobile home lot he owns. He has received around 20 citations so far.

When Walker missed a court date recently, a city judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

“We wish we could feel sorry for him but we've got a duty to the citizens out there to make sure they've got appropriate living conditions,” City Attorney Derk Van Raalte told the Post and Courier.

Walker disagrees with the city’s intervention.

“No citizen in North Charleston, the state of South Carolina or the U.S. should have to be jailed for high grass, illegal tree cutting or any code violation with exorbitant fines so high as $1,092 per violation,” he said in the report.

Drowned paraplegic may have toppled from wheelchair

Authorities are awaiting autopsy results on a paraplegic man who apparently fell out of his electric wheelchair and into Charleston Harbor.

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office said the 69-year-old man’s death appears to be an accident. It is unclear how the man made it from the chair into the water. Investigators said there were no signs of foul play at the private James Island dock, but an investigation is ongoing until autopsy reports come in.

Canadian geese continue to outwit city officials

A group of over 30 Canadian geese are turning Hampton Park into their giant personal toilet and leaving some city officials at their wits end.

According to the Charleston Post and Courier city workers recently set up fake coyote decoys to scare the birds away, but to no avail.

“They're urban geese, they learn quick,” Mike Keating, a horticulturist with the city of Charleston, said in the report.

The city ultimately removed the fake coyotes fearing they would be stolen on Halloween. They are considering reinstalling the decoys after the holidays with the addition of coyote urine pellets for a more realistic stink.

One technique has worked at night, so far. The city has set up flashing yellow lights in the park’s pond. The lights are supposed to resemble the reflection from predator’s eyes. The only problem: once the sun rises, the geese return.

City officials are urging residents to resist feeding the birds in the hope that they will eventually move on.

GREENWOOD

Music minister arrested for groping child

Greenwood police have accused a Baptist music minister of groping the breast of a 13-year-old female parishioner.

Norman Henley Keesee, 57, is charged with committing a lewd act on a child. Keesee is an associate pastor at Emerald Baptist Church in Greenwood, according to the Rock Hill Herald.

Incident reports state that the girl told police she was filing papers at the church when Keesee approached her from behind a groped her under her shirt. She also accused the pastor of groping her during a piano lesson.

Keesee has been placed on administrative leave and is not allowed back on church property until the allegations are settled in court.

“We do practice a safe sanctuary policy,” Curtis Eidson, the senior pastor at Emerald Baptist Church, told the Herald. “If a child does not belong to you, hands off.”

MULLINS

Evangelical tent revival draws noise complaints, citation

A Dillon-based pastor has been issued a noise violation, which he intends to fight, stemming from a tent revival that sparked more than a dozen noise complaints from across town.

Pastor Larry Williams, of Tabernacle of God Church, held the revival in an empty lot near the K & M shopping center, according to the Florence Morning News. Police said they could hear the PA system from the revival at the police department and said some residents called in noise complaints from as far out as the city limits. Police responded to the site of the revival and asked Williams to turn down the volume.

“I told [the officer] sound travels more at night than during the day because of moist air at night,” Williams told the Morning News. “I told them, ‘You were called by the city, and you have a job to do and I was called by God. I had a job to do and that was to preach the gospel.’”

At 10:40 p.m. that night –40 minutes past the city’s deadline for use of loud speakers in public—police received another noise complaint, prompting them to return with more officers.

“We basically just tried to complete the service, because I knew at that point I was going to jail — especially when I looked up and saw the chief,” Williams said in the report.

The pastor wasn’t taken to jail, but was issued a $470 citation. Williams said he was concerned about the police breaking up a religious event. Mullins police said they were sensitive to the religious service, but also had to look out for citizens who were being disturbed.

ROCK HILL

Robbers lead police on low speed mo-ped chase

A Rock Hill teen has been accused of robbing a pizza delivery driver before attempting to flee police on a mo-ped.

Police have charged Do Juan Taurice Cherry, 18, with strong arm robbery, failure to stop for blue lights and underage consumption of beer.

According to the Rock Hill Herald, Cherry and an unnamed accomplice robbed a 33-year-old Domino’s Pizza delivery driver of three large pizzas and fled through a nearby park. A responding officer saw two people on mo-ped who matched the description of the robbers and said they fled when he attempted to pull them over. As the officer lightly accelerated to catch the fleeing moped, he said Cherry began to swerve recklessly. When the officer turned on his siren, Cherry and his accomplice leapt from the mo-ped and took off on foot. Cherry was chased down and apprehended.

No pizza was located, according to the report.

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