Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Regional News


Elderly smoker sparks fire
Firefighters say an elderly smoker accidentally dropped a lit cigarette onto her plastic oxygen tube, igniting a fire in her home.

When the cigarette burned through the tubing and came into contact with pressurized oxygen, the resulting flame ignited the carpet. The fire quickly spread throughout the house, authorities said. Responding firefighters were able to combat the blaze and all residents were evacuated without injury. The family has been temporarily displaced by the blaze.

Following complaint, school district bans religious messages

Florence School District 1, responding to a complaint from a constitutional rights group, has banned staff members from sending religious messages to co-workers via district email or memoranda.

The ban came in response to a complaint letter from Americans United for Separation of Church and State. According to a report by the Florence Morning News, the letter charged that messages from the interim district superintendent and a school principle both contained “religious messages and, at times, overt religious proselytization.”

Delmae Principle, Roy Ann Jolley’s, emails to staff reportedly contained daily scriptures and other Christian theological writings. Florence District 1 Interim District Superintendent, Dr. Allie Brooks Jr., reportedly sent emails containing scripture, quotes from televangelist T.D. Jakes, and suggested that staff sing hymns during times of distress.

“I do declare,” board member Pat Gibson-Hye Moore said in the meeting, “I’ll go before a firing squad if they make me give up the one who has always been with me.”

Moore eventually agreed, with the rest of the board, that the messages needed to cease.

“We are public officials and we have a responsibility to follow the law and we will follow the law,” Brooks said.


Woman accuses pastor of raping her during exorcism
The Orangeburg Dept. of Public safety is investigating allegations that a visiting preacher raped a woman while performing exorcism rites on her unborn child.

According to a report in the Orangeburg Times Democrat the woman said that an out-of-county minister asked if he could “pray the demons out of her unborn child and her house.”

During the exorcism, the man allegedly asked the woman to lie on her side, so he could “pray the demons out of her side” at which point he engaged in sexual intercourse with her. Following the sex, he reportedly declared her free of demons.

In the days following the exorcism, the pastor allegedly urged the woman to keep the incident to herself and at one point offered to buy her a car.

Quarrel turns into full neighborhood fiasco
Jamison Avenue residents engaged in a weeklong dispute stemming from a simple argument over a cell phone conversation, police say.

According to the Orangeburg Times Democrat police responded to a group of women screaming at each other in the street. The whole thing started, they said, a week prior when a neighbor yelled at a woman’s daughter for talking too loud on her cell phone. Later, a person mowing the woman’s yard hit a piece of debris that flew into the neighbor’s yard, causing further confrontation.

The lawnmower confrontation allegedly led the neighbor to bend over in the middle of the street, drop her pants, and suggest that the woman kiss her bare buttocks.

Following a third confrontation, the nearby houses cleared of women, all of whom ended up in the street arguing about the feud. Police were called when a combatant kicked another’s car.

Police said all was calm when they finally left the scene, according to the report.


Argument claims breathalyzer ignition, leaves couple stranded
An arguing couple found themselves stranded at a motel after one of them smashed and disabled the breathalyzer ignition system on their car.

Breathalyzer ignitions are installed on cars to prevent drunk driving and require drivers to give a breath sample to before the car will start.

According to police, the couple were arguing in the car and slinging water and other beverages at each other. At some point, the ignition system was damaged, rendering the couple unable to separate and furthering the confrontation.

Police were called to calm the situation.

Thief stuffs 14 bottles of body wash in pants
That a Rock Hill man would want to steal 14 bottles of body wash is special enough; that he was somehow able to stuff them all into his pants is truly amazing.

A day shift manager at an area Bi-Lo called police to report that a man had stuffed $118 worth of body wash into his trousers and attempted to waddle out the door. After several employees unsuccessfully tried to stop him, the manager was finally able to detain him until police arrived.

The incident marked the man’s ninth shoplifting arrest since 2007.

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