Friday, December 18, 2009

Regional briefs

CHARLESTON

Vote concedes county to feral cats

Charleston County Council has approved a controversial program that lets feral cats roam throughout the county. The ordinance, which passed with a 7-2 vote, would let the animals have free reign over the countryside as long as they are vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered.

Animal welfare groups say the program could save the county more than $40,000 in costs associated with euthanizing and incinerating the cats. The county did, however, impose a kitty death penalty for trouble-making cats that are captured more than twice.

“It’s a three-strikes-and-you’re-out thing,” Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey told the Charleston Post and Courier. “It’s not going to get picked up again unless it’s causing problems.”

Some area birdwatchers and naturalists expressed concern that free roaming packs of cats would negatively impact bird populations. But a representative for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says the program will reduce cat numbers in the long term.

“Lets say I’m driving down Dorchester Road and I see a bunch of cats at a dumpster by a convenience store,” Joe Elmore, an ASPCA spokesman hypothesized to the Post and Courier. “If you... euthanize them, other cats will come in and breed and take their place.”

By sterilizing and vaccinating them instead, the cats could defend their dumpster or other food sources from rival cat gangs that would’ve otherwise simply taken over their turf. Eventually the untreated cats would likely get sick and die, Elmore said.

FLORENCE

Three charged in 2007 civil rights case

Three white men who threatened a black man who was trying to use the restroom in a Marlboro County store have pleaded guilty in a federal court and are awaiting sentencing.

Thomas Blue Sr., 49, Thomas Blue Jr., 28 and Judson Talbert, 35, pleaded guilty in a Florence federal court to civil rights and carjacking charges, after they attacked Dahndra Moore when he stopped at the Stop and Shop on Dec. 6, 2007. The store was owned by the Blue family.

According to reports, the elder Blue escorted Moore to the parking lot and threw him to the ground when he tried to use the restroom. The younger Blue threatened Moore with a chainsaw while Talbert stole Moore’s car, drove it away and burned it. Moore was able to run down the road and escape into a nearby home.

GREENVILLE

Cross-dressing man claims to be undercover cop

Greenville Police arrested a man they say was dressed as a woman, claiming to be an undercover officer and attempting to arrest patrons at Haywood Mall.

According to a police report, David Lee Burton, 45, told officers that he comes to the mall on Wednesdays and Fridays dressed in women’s clothing. Police were called to the scene when shoppers complained that Burton approached them, saying that he was an undercover officer with the Greenville Sheriff’s Department. Burton denied the allegations.

Burton was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and trespass notice served.

Golf course sexual assault fabricated, authorities say

Greenville County authorities have charged a woman they say falsely reported that she was sexually assaulted at a golf course.

In November, Kathryn Isbell, 23, of Taylors, told police that a stranger sexually assaulted her in the tree line along the course at Pebble Creek Country Club around midnight while she was searching for her dog. According to the Greenville News, investigators said they began to find discrepancies in the evidence, casting doubt on Isbell’s story. Confident that there was no sexual assault, police have charged Isbell with filing a false police report of a felony.

If convicted, Isbell could face five years in prison and a $1,000 fine and she could be ordered to pay restitution to the investigating agency for the cost of the investigation.

MYRTLE BEACH

Skeletal remains of fetus found

A 16-yr-old girl has been arrested after her mother found the skeletal remains of a fetus and called authorities.

According to multiple media reports, the teen’s mother saw photos of the dead fetus on her daughter’s cell phone, recognized the background location, and retrieved the remains. The woman then notified police. A Horry County deputy coroner determined that the fetus was stillborn at less than 20 weeks old. The teen was charged with desecration of human remains.

Woman arrested over hot dog

A Charleston woman found herself in hot water after she allegedly made a hot dog at a Myrtle Beach area Circle K, offered to pay it for it later and then threw it in the trash after the clerk declined her request.

The woman told responding officers that she threw the hot dog away because it didn’t taste good. She was later charged with shoplifting. The hot dog was valued at $1.41, according to one media report.

ROCK HILL

PETA angered over Christmasville chimp show

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the Rock Hill Christmasville show to disallow a travelling chimpanzee show from participating. The animal rights group claims that chimps generally undergo harsh treatment during training process. The show went on as scheduled.

The Christmasville show, which was billed a “Chimpfabulous,” featured chimps doing various stunts. A chimp named Rickey reportedly rode a scooter and later wore a pair of sunglasses while lip-synching a Stevie Wonder song. Another chimp named Kenya, 35, was reportedly dressed like a cowboy and rode around on a small horse.

The City of Rock Hill defended its choice to use the chimps in their Christmas event.

“We research very carefully any vendors that we allow in city events,” city of Rock Hill spokeswoman Lyn Garris told the Rock Hill Herald. “It's an honorable group of people. The animals are well treated. We're comfortable that we've made a good decision.”


regional_Head12-17

CHARLESTON

Former General Assembly Politicos Wed

Former state senator Catherine Ceips (R-Beaufort) and former Republican state representative Wallace Scarborough were married in a private ceremony at Ceips’ home in Beaufort last week, according to the Hilton Head Island Packet.

In 2006,  Columbia City Paper columnist  Will Moredock broke the story that Scarborough’s then-wife had alleged her husband and Ceips were having an affair while serving in office.

affair_copyCeips served in the state House of Representatives from 2002 to 2007 before she won a special election to fill a state senate seat vacated by Scott Richardson. She lost a full-term bid for the seat in the 2008 election. Scarborough served the General Assembly from 2001 to 2007.

The couple has not commented to the media about their wedding at press time.

Vote concedes county to feral cats

Charleston County Council has approved a controversial program that lets feral cats roam throughout the county. The ordinance, which passed with a 7-2 vote, would let the animals have free reign over the countryside as long as they are vaccinated, microchipped and spayed or neutered.

Animal welfare groups say the program could save the county more than $40,000 in costs associated with euthanizing and incinerating the cats. The county did, however, impose a kitty death penalty for trouble-making cats that are captured more than twice.

“It’s a three-strikes-and-you’re-out thing,” Charleston County Councilman Elliott Summey told the Charleston Post and Courier. “It’s not going to get picked up again unless it’s causing problems.”

Some area birdwatchers and naturalists expressed concern that free roaming packs of cats would negatively impact bird populations. But a representative for the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) says the program will reduce cat numbers in the long term.

“Lets say I’m driving down Dorchester Road and I see a bunch of cats at a dumpster by a convenience store,” Joe Elmore, an ASPCA spokesman hypothesized to the Post and Courier. “If you... euthanize them, other cats will come in and breed and take their place.”

By sterilizing and vaccinating them instead, the cats could defend their dumpster or other food sources from rival cat gangs that would’ve otherwise simply taken over their turf. Eventually the untreated cats would likely get sick and die, Elmore said.

FLORENCE

Three charged in 2007 civil rights case

Three white men who threatened a black man who was trying to use the restroom in a Marlboro County store have pleaded guilty in a federal court and are awaiting sentencing.

Thomas Blue Sr., 49, Thomas Blue Jr., 28 and Judson Talbert, 35, pleaded guilty in a Florence federal court to civil rights and carjacking charges, after they attacked Dahndra Moore when he stopped at the Stop and Shop on Dec. 6, 2007. The store was owned by the Blue family.

According to reports, the elder Blue escorted Moore to the parking lot and threw him to the ground when he tried to use the restroom. The younger Blue threatened Moore with a chainsaw while Talbert stole Moore’s car, drove it away and burned it. Moore was able to run down the road and escape into a nearby home.

GREENVILLE

Cross-dressing man claims to be undercover cop

Greenville Police arrested a man they say was dressed as a woman, claiming to be an undercover officer and attempting to arrest patrons at Haywood Mall.

According to a police report, David Lee Burton, 45, told officers that he comes to the mall on Wednesdays and Fridays dressed in women’s clothing. Police were called to the scene when shoppers complained that Burton approached them, saying that he was an undercover officer with the Greenville Sheriff’s Department. Burton denied the allegations.

Burton was charged with impersonating a law enforcement officer and trespass notice served.

Golf course sexual assault fabricated, authorities say

Greenville County authorities have charged a woman they say falsely reported that she was sexually assaulted at a golf course.

In November, Kathryn Isbell, 23, of Taylors, told police that a stranger sexually assaulted her in the tree line along the course at Pebble Creek Country Club around midnight while she was searching for her dog. According to the Greenville News, investigators said they began to find discrepancies in the evidence, casting doubt on Isbell’s story. Confident that there was no sexual assault, police have charged Isbell with filing a false police report of a felony.

If convicted, Isbell could face five years in prison and a $1,000 fine and she could be ordered to pay restitution to the investigating agency for the cost of the investigation.

MYRTLE BEACH

Skeletal remains of fetus found

A 16-yr-old girl has been arrested after her mother found the skeletal remains of a fetus and called authorities.

According to multiple media reports, the teen’s mother saw photos of the dead fetus on her daughter’s cell phone, recognized the background location, and retrieved the remains. The woman then notified police. A Horry County deputy coroner determined that the fetus was stillborn at less than 20 weeks old. The teen was charged with desecration of human remains.

Woman arrested over hot dog

A Charleston woman found herself in hot water after she allegedly made a hot dog at a Myrtle Beach area Circle K, offered to pay it for it later and then threw it in the trash after the clerk declined her request.

The woman told responding officers that she threw the hot dog away because it didn’t taste good. She was later charged with shoplifting. The hot dog was valued at $1.41, according to one media report.

ROCK HILL

PETA angered over Christmasville chimp show

People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals called on the Rock Hill Christmasville show to disallow a travelling chimpanzee show from participating. The animal rights group claims that chimps generally undergo harsh treatment during training process. The show went on as scheduled.

The Christmasville show, which was billed a “Chimpfabulous,” featured chimps doing various stunts. A chimp named Rickey reportedly rode a scooter and later wore a pair of sunglasses while lip-synching a Stevie Wonder song. Another chimp named Kenya, 35, was reportedly dressed like a cowboy and rode around on a small horse.

The City of Rock Hill defended its choice to use the chimps in their Christmas event.

“We research very carefully any vendors that we allow in city events,” city of Rock Hill spokeswoman Lyn Garris told the Rock Hill Herald. “It's an honorable group of people. The animals are well treated. We're comfortable that we've made a good decision.”

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