Scientists still pondering fish die-off near Folly Beach
The City of Folly Beach has spent close to $6,000 to clean up a mile-and-a-half stretch of beach after thousands of dead fish washed ashore.
State wildlife officials said the fish appeared to have been healthy and believe the die-off could be contributed to the recent cold snap and lower than normal sea temperatures. The fish are a small species of baitfish called menhaden, which tend to swim closer to the surface and are more susceptible to abrupt weather changes, they said.
â€œThese are bait fish that larger fish feed on, so it might impact the fishing this year,â€ local resident Tom Jerussi, told the Charleston Post and Courier.
Jerussi also wasnâ€™t entirely convinced that the die-off was the result of the weather. â€œItâ€™s been this cold before,â€ he said.
In addition to the heavy machinery contracted to remove the menhaden, some locals came down to fill buckets with the fish to use in their yards as fertilizer. Jerussi praised the cityâ€™s quick response, rather than allowing nature break down the carcasses.
â€œThey will stink like crazy in another day,â€ he said.
Twenty Chihuahuas still homeless following â€œanimal hoardingâ€ bust
The Marion County Animal Shelter says it still needs to find homes for 20 Chihuahuas that were seized from a Marion residence in October. But having only 20 dogs left from the seizure is a good thing, they say; the agency initially seized 179 Chihuahuas, six birds, four ferrets, two snakes, an iguana, and a bearded dragon lizard, according to the Florence Morning News.
Officers were alerted to the problem in October after reports surfaced about a strong odor emanating from the residence.
Marion County Animal Shelter Director Jennifer Nall said shelter employees had to buy earplugs after the nearly 200 lap dogs arrived on site. They were even forced to stop answering the phone because they could not hear it ringing, she said.
â€œI just want people to understand why itâ€™s so important to spay and neuter your animals,â€ Nall told the Morning News. â€œPeople start out with good intentions. They might have one or two. They think they want to save them all, take in some more, but if you donâ€™t spay and neuter, this is exactly what happens.â€
Marion Police said the case is open and pending on a mental evaluation of the homeowner. The owner has not been charged with a crime.
Gun-toting man busted in the buff
Mullins police arrested a naked man who was allegedly sitting in his car with nothing but a rubber Halloween mask and a handgun in a bag.
Police said they noticed the car parked beside a city-owned building shortly before midnight. When they approached the vehicle they noticed the naked man inside.
â€œAs [the subject] exited the rear seat of the vehicle, the officer noticed what appeared to be the butt of a handgun protruding from a bag...â€ Mullins Police Chief Kenneth Davis said in a press release.
Jayshure Lashane Hannah, 18, has been charged with indecent exposure, unlawful carrying of a pistol, and possession of a handgun with an obliterated serial number. More charges could be added when the gun returns from forensic processing at SLED.
Man in motorized wheelchair wanted for hit-and-run incident
Rock Hill Police say a man in a motorized wheelchair hit a stopped car, causing $1,000 in damages, and then fled the scene.
The victim, a 56-year-old woman from Rock Hill, said she was at an intersection preparing to turn left, when the man in the wheelchair â€œcame out of nowhereâ€ and struck her vehicle. When she rolled down the window to talk to the man, he reportedly said that he was OK, then asked the woman for money. When she indicated that she was calling the police to report the accident, the man zipped away in the wheelchair.
Police said a piece of the victimâ€™s vehicle was found nearby in the intersection and, at press time, the suspect has not been located.
Rock Hill considering ban on â€œfake weedâ€
Citing health concerns, Rock Hill leaders are considering a ban on synthetic marijuana products.
Federal drug officials have said the legal product causes rapid heart rate, dangerously high blood pressure and hallucinationsâ€”side effects, in a twist of irony, that are arguably more extreme than those produced by actual marijuana.
Currently synthetic marijuana is marketed in convenience stores and head shops as an incense-like mix of herbs that can be smoked.
Rock Hill Councilwoman Susie B. Hinton, a former school principal, was spurred into action after she learned about the legal synthetic product during a recent workshop.
â€œWe need to move on this,â€ Hinton told the Rock Hill Herald.
â€œThis is a legitimate risk for our youth and a public health problem,â€ said Jane Alleva, director of the York County All On Board Coalition.
Rock Hill would be the first South Carolina city to impose a ban on the product. Violators â€“which could include both customers and storesâ€”would face fines of $500 for misdemeanor offenses. First offense charges for possession of less than one ounce of actual marijuana are $100 to $300.
Robbery victim to public: â€œI ainâ€™t want to shoot anyone.â€ ...But, watch out if it happens again
Sumter area barber, James Wilder, 72, had gone 51 years in the business without being robbedâ€”until recently. Wilder said he was settling up with a young man after cutting his hair, when the man told him to sweep his hair up into a small trash can and then empty the register.
â€œSaid â€˜I want that money right now before I kill you,â€™â€ Wilder told the Sumter Item. â€œAnd he take the trash can and run. It happened so fast, it got me shook up. I panicked... had to settle down. What do you call it? Get my composure together.â€
Wilder, who served in the U.S. Army from 1961 to 1963, said he has a concealed weapons permit and wonâ€™t let a similar incident happen again.
â€œI ainâ€™t want to shoot anyone,â€ he told the Item. â€œBut if he do it again, Iâ€™m gonna shoot him in the crack of his ass. Right in the crack. Theyâ€™ll have to lock me up.â€
He also said heâ€™ll be more cautious about letting in unfamiliar customers.
â€œAny funny looking guy come in that door, I ainâ€™t gonna let him in,â€ Wilder said. â€œLooking ugly, looking fool, looking wild. Tell him go on to another barbershop. Iâ€™m over the hill anyway. I donâ€™t need to cut that much hair anyway,â€ he said.
Police are still searching for the suspect who is described as a black male, 5 feet 4 and 150 pounds between 18 and 20 years old.