Across South Carolina

Mosquitoes worst on coast, officials say


HILTON HEAD ISLAND --- Beaufort County Mosquito Control director Gregg Hunt says 2007 was the worst year for mosquitoes he has ever seen in the Lowcountry.

But state environmental officials say a drought made it a mild mosquito season in most of the rest of South Carolina.

Although the mosquitoes were bad in Jasper and Beaufort counties, there were no reports of West Nile virus.

Mr. Hunt credits a new program in which workers drop time-release insecticide briquettes into stormwater drains where mosquitoes breed.

But the briquettes don't work on salt-marsh mosquitoes, which plagued the coast. Those mosquitoes thrived on unusually frequent high tides this summer that soaked marsh grasses and mud flats.

Pupils stuck with needles at school

GREENWOOD --- Officials are urging some pupils at a Greenwood County middle school to have medical tests after they reported that other students had stuck them with small needles.

Since Friday, 15 pupils at Brewer Middle School have told school officials that other pupils at the school had pricked them with lancets, small needles typically used by diabetics for checking blood sugar levels, said Amy Anderson, spokeswoman for Greenwood County School District 50.

Students began telling school officials Friday that they had been stuck while riding the bus to school that day, Ms. Anderson said. A search of the bus turned up several needles, and letters were sent home that afternoon to parents of bus riders, notifying them of the incident, she said.

On Monday, more students said they had been stuck on school grounds, and the Greenwood County Sheriff's Department was notified, Ms. Anderson said.

Two pupils questioned by school officials and sheriff's deputies said they got the needles from a third boy, who brought a box of them from home.

The 12-year-old's father is a diabetic, Ms. Anderson said.

Cremated remains found in towed car

CHARLESTON --- The back seat of a Buick wasn't supposed to be Izetta Dickerson's final resting place, but that's where a car repair shop owner found an urn containing her cremated remains.

"The owner said he doesn't know how it got there," said Demond McElveen, whose shop bought the car after it was towed there.

Ms. Dickerson, of North Charleston, was the widow of Franklin Dickerson. She died March 5, 2003, according to a newspaper obituary. Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said her family thinks the urn probably was lost during a move.

-- Edited from wire reports