Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Regional Briefs



MUSC “Charlem” doc suspended

The MUSC researcher who recently gained international fame for his plans to grow meat in-vitro has been suspended indefinitely and his lab has been shut down.

MUSC officials said Dr. Vladimir Mironov has been placed on indefinite paid leave, surrounding “a series of issues,” according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Mironov reportedly received a letter from the university citing “unacceptable behavior” involving his contact with a university administrator that constituted “an act of insubordination” and ultimately led to his suspension.

As the meat lab hangs in limbo –a concern for animal rights group PETA, which is co-funding the research—others in the medical community are more concerned about the future of Mironov’s work in a separate $20 million project that aims to create human organs from a person’s own stem cells. The project is funded by the largest grant the National Science Foundation has ever awarded to South Carolina.

PETA President Ingrid Newkirk told the Post and Courier she has not yet talked to MUSC and criticized the university for being “closed mouthed” about details surrounding Mironov’s suspension.

“It’s clear there’s a huge ruckus going on there,” she said, “but a lot of lives depend on this research. They may not be on two legs, but they depend on Mironov being back at his lab bench.”


Woman sues after bra dye leads to skin discoloration

A Goose Creek woman has filed suit against Wal-Mart, the Haynes Corporation, and other corporate litigants claiming that a bra left her skin discolored for years.

In the suit, filed in Berkeley County, Cherrill Bennett alleges that a black bra she bought at Wal-Mart in 2008 left a black bra-shaped stain on her skin that remains to this day.

“[The stain] fit perfectly under where the straps were,” Bennett’s attorney, Jarrel Wigger, told the Post and Courier. “[The markings] stopped right where the cup was.”

Wigger further described the markings as a “burnt” color. Bennet was unavailable for comment. So far the defendants have not filed a response, according to the report.


Confrontation with knife sparked by food stain

A Myrtle Beach man escaped injury after his girlfriend threatened him with a knife over food stains on his clothing.

According to Myrtle Beach police, the 56-year-old man said his girlfriend became suspicious that he had cheated on her after finding odd stains on his pants while doing the laundry. When the man rose to grab the bag of clothes during the ensuing argument the woman grabbed a knife and threatened to stab him if he hit her.

Police arrived on scene and separated the couple. No charges were filed.


Man robs teen girl for money for Valentines Day gift

Rock Hill police have arrested a man for allegedly snatching $20 from a 16-year-old girl to buy a Valentine’s Day gift for his own teen daughter.

The victim told police she had just parked in the driveway of her residence when Todd Eugene Smith, 38, approached her asking for money. Smith allegedly said that he wanted to buy his daughter a Valentine’s Day gift, kerosene, and/or food. The victim offered Smith a can of soup in her car and when she leaned over to grab it, the report states, Smith noticed a $20 in her back pocket and demanded it. When the victim gave it over, he fled the scene on foot.

The victim later identified Smith to police, who was then charged with strong-arm robbery.


Woman pulls pistol over fish sticks

Spartanburg County sheriff’s deputies were called to the scene of an argument that originated from a man throwing fish sticks into a woman’s hair.

According to a police report, the argument between Farrah Elizabeth Peeler, 33, and an unidentified man was still in full swing when officers arrived. Though deputies found no gun at the scene, Peeler admitted to pointing a gun at the man after he threw fish sticks at her. When Peeler’s son stepped between them, Peeler reportedly told him to move or she would shoot him, too. Peeler admitted to pulling the gun but denied threatening her son.

Peeler was charged with aggravated criminal domestic violence.


Woman accused of driving into crowd of school children

Summerville Police say an area woman plowed into a crowd of school children on a recent morning after they refused to move out of the way of her car.

Amy Lynn Stewart, 34, has been charged with four counts of assault and battery in the first degree following the incident.

According to Summerville Police Capt. Jon Rogers, Stewart came upon a group of children walking to Alston Middle School on the shoulder of the road at an intersection. When Stewart honked her car horn and the children wouldn’t clear the way, Rogers says, she drove into the crowd striking one 14-year-old, two 13-year-olds, and one 12-year-old.

Dorchester County EMS took one of the children to an area hospital. The child was later released. Bail for Stewart, who reportedly has no prior record, has been set at $40,000.

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