Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Regional News Briefs


Construction crew fouls creek, fines possible

A Batesburg man has pleaded guilty in federal court to pumping nearly 4 million gallons of industrial wastewater and sludge into Little Horse Creek, a tributary of the Savannah River.

John Ashley Mabus, 44, could face a fine of up to $100,000 and one year in prison for violating the Clean Water Act. According to the Aiken Standard, Mabus, owner of Mabus Brothers Construction Co., and his employees were digging a ditch for a sewer line near an abandoned textile mill in North Augusta. When water from a heavy metal-contaminated lagoon at the mill infiltrated the ditch, Mabus reportedly told his workers to divert the water out of the ditch and into the creek.

The criminal investigation division of the EPA and SC DHEC investigated the incident.

“For every day that Mabus pumped heavy metal sludge into Little Horse Creek, he can be fined $2,500 to $25,000,” said Assistant U.S. Attorney Winston Holliday.


Televisions, barbecue sauce removed from home in bizarre burglary

A Clover woman reported a burglary in which two televisions and a bottle of barbecue sauce were removed. The sauce was later recovered in the front yard.

The 21-year-old woman told authorities that she had been trying to get in touch with the father of her child, who lived at the burglarized home. When she tried to contact the man in person at the home, she found the crime scene.

According to the Rock Hill Herald, bedding had been tossed around, everything had been removed from the refrigerator, and floor heating vents had been removed. The woman said she believes the burglary was drug related.

Police believe the sauce was thrown from the front window into the yard, for unknown reasons.




Man arrested for leaving courtroom to snort cocaine

A Hartsville man was arrested after authorities say they witnessed him leave a family court hearing to snort cocaine in his car.

Darlington County Sheriff’s Capt. Andy Locklair said McKenzie Atkinson, 32, became disruptive during a family court hearing, according to the Florence Morning News. Atkinson then walked out of the hearing, sat in his vehicle, snorted a powdery white substance in full view of sheriff’s deputies, and then returned to the courthouse, Locklair said.

Atkinson was detained while a drug dog investigated the car. Police recovered a small amount of cocaine from the vehicle and arrested Atkinson for possession of the drug.


Moped crash leads to kidapping arrest

A collision between a moped and a school bus unwittingly led to the arrest of a man wanted for kidnapping.

Ranqua Young, 26, was reportedly riding his moped when veered into the other lane, collided with a school bus and slid under it, according to the Florence Morning News. Young was transported to a nearby hospital where authorities learned he was wanted on a year-old kidnapping charge.

The outstanding warrant stemmed from a 2010 incident in which Young allegedly stole his ex-girlfriends’ car with her children inside while she was in a convenience store. Young reportedly returned the children to the mother’s home three days later, but left before authorities arrived. He was never seen again.

“We’ve been looking for him ever since, but just hadn’t been able to find him,” Florence County Sheriff’s Capt. Brett Camp told the Morning News. “Then this wreck happened yesterday, and it was him. It’s strange how these things work out sometimes.”



Pat Boone theater to actually exist in Myrtle Beach

After a year-long delay, work has actually started on a Pat Boone theater at the former NASCAR Cafe building in Myrtle Beach.

Visitors to the theater will reportedly sit through gospel concerts, Christmas shows, and a resident illusionist. There will also be a Pat Boone-themed museum onsite. Boone, 76, will perform around 14 days a year at the theater, Kelly Burton, the theater’s marketing director, told the Myrtle Beach Sun News.

“We are here,” Burton told the Sun News. “It is coming.”


Half-bright scam nets thousands in cash for parking lot grifter

A Walterboro woman told police she was duped out of $12,200 in cash by a stranger in a Bi-Lo parking lot.

The victim told police that a woman wearing a straw hat approached her in the store parking lot, claiming she had just found a bag containing $68,000. The suspect then asked the victim if she wanted to split it. When the victim said yes, the suspect reportedly told her to wait while she went to a nearby Dollar General store to consult an attorney. The suspect returned a short while later and told the victim that they could split the money, but could not spend it for six months. As a result of that risk, the victim would need to give the suspect a substantial fee in advance. The victim withdrew over $12,000 in cash from a nearby bank and handed it over to the suspect. The suspect then told the victim to go meet a man in a nearby Belk store, who would give her half of the $68,000.

When the woman arrived at Belk, no man was there and the suspect had left the scene.


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