Across South Carolina

Shock absorbers will be replaced on bridge


CHARLESTON - At least one of the large blocks of solid rubber that act as shock absorbers for the $632 million bridge over the Cooper River in Charleston is cracked and engineers say they plan to replace all eight of them.

State bridge engineers say the rubber bearings, which weigh several tons each, prevent the deck of the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge from swaying in a hurricane or earthquake to protect its structural integrity.

Leland Colvin said the work falls under the state's warranty on the 2-year-old bridge and the state won't have to pay for the replacement work to be done next year.

The cracks were discovered during one of the bridge's first inspections, Mr. Colvin said.

The bridge also has a problem with some improperly installed plastic drain pipes, which had been inserted too far into another drainage pipe, causing a blockage, interim bridge maintenance engineer Lee Floyd said. Workers recently fixed that problem.

Man drowns during couple's night swim

MYRTLE BEACH - A Michigan man has drowned while swimming in the early morning hours at Myrtle Beach, his wife and local officials say.

Edward Presbery, 34, of Westland, Mich., died Saturday morning, Horry County Deputy Coroner Charles Sendler said.

Lawanda Presbery, 35, said she and her husband were both good swimmers and liked to swim at all hours.

"We were just playing in the waves at night," she said. "We had a rule to never go out in parts of the ocean where our feet couldn't touch the bottom. Our feet were touching the bottom, but the waves took over. The waves pulled us back, and we lost control. We couldn't feel our feet at the bottom anymore."

Mrs. Presbery said about 10 people they knew were on the beach while the couple was swimming. Someone saved her, but the waves took her husband of 15 years.

She plans to return to Michigan after an autopsy is complete.

Town decides to sell historic property

VARNVILLE - Town officials are hoping that the right buyer will be able to preserve a piece of Varnville's history.

The Varnville Town Council agreed to sell the Goethe-Moxon House, a historic property that was donated to the town by Frank McClure of the Varnville Historic Foundation in March 2006.

The town had hoped to restore the house and utilize it for the good of the community.

The 1.3-acre property was once the home of Dr. James H. Goethe, who is believed to have been the first physician to practice medicine in Varnville. The home was built during the 1870s.

- Edited from wire reports