Across South Carolina

Legislator drops out of one race for another


CHARLESTON, S.C. --- Tim Scott, the first black Republican elected to the South Carolina Legislature since Reconstruction, abandoned his race for lieutenant governor on Monday to enter the crowded contest for the state's open 1st District congressional seat.

The state representative and insurance agent from North Charleston becomes the seventh Republican seeking the seat being vacated by incumbent Republican U.S. Rep. Henry Brown, who is not seeking re-election.

Two candidates with well-known political names are already running: Paul Thurmond, the son of the late U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, and Carroll Campbell III, son of the popular late South Carolina Gov. Carroll Campbell.

Scott, 44, told The Associated Press his campaign will be based on fiscal responsibility and states' rights.

"I think the federal government is overreaching at this point. Obamacare will put a major burden on the states' infrastructure. It will be more unfunded mandates," he said, using the opposition's nickname for President Obama's proposals for health care reform.

Pool pic sends county inmate back to SC prison

SPARTANBURG, S.C. - South Carolina prison officials have returned an inmate back to state custody after a television station obtained pictures of him swimming and working unsupervised while he was a trusty at a county jail.

WSPA-TV reports that 61-year-old George Wise was sent to the Chester County jail to serve some of his 12-year prison sentence for felony driving under the influence in a 2003 crash that killed a Columbia woman.

While in jail, the former auditor helped the city of Chester with its finances.

But the TV station found Wise wasn't supervised as required by state prison rules while working at City Hall. He also took a dip in a city swimming pool while helping cook for a Chester event.

Officials sent Wise back to a state prison in January.

SC man stabbed to death with butcher knife at home

WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. - Investigators are trying to figure out who killed a South Carolina man with a butcher knife in his home.

Lexington County Sheriff James Metts says 41-year-old William Adams was found dead in a pool of blood on the porch of his West Columbia house around 3:30 a.m. Sunday.

Investigators say Adams was stabbed in the abdomen with a butcher knife.

Coroner Harry Harman says Adams' aorta was cut and he bled to death.

Deputies say they don't have a motive or any suspects in the killing.

SC man takes car at police chief's funeral

GREENVILLE, S.C. - Police say a South Carolina man took a purse from a funeral home during the visitation for a former police chief, then stole a car from the parking lot.

An officer working security at former Greenville Police Chief David Bridges' visitation Saturday saw a suspicious man get into a car and erratically drive away. At the same time, a woman reported her purse had been stolen from the funeral home.

The officer followed the car, which crashed into a light pole a short distance away.

Police linked the stolen purse to the wrecked car, and charged 48-year-old Lucien Howard of Wellford with burglary, grand larceny, driving under the influence and other charges.

It wasn't immediately clear if Howard had an attorney and no phone listing for him could be found.

SC-based Coast Guard cutter heads to Haiti

CHARLESTON, S.C. - A Coast Guard cutter based in South Carolina is headed to Haiti to help with earthquake recovery.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the Dallas left for Port-au-Prince on Sunday.

The ship will help patrol Haitian waters and is also bringing relief supplies. The 378-foot cutter is carrying extra life vests to help in any rescues of Haitian boats trying to flee the quake's aftermath.

Lt. Ryan Gomez says those boats usually are unsafe.

The Charleston-based Coast Guard ship Oak headed to Haiti shortly after last month's earthquake.

The Dallas could be gone for more than three months.