Across South Carolina

Ex-treasurer calls for legalized pot, cocaine


CHARLESTON --- A former state treasurer who served 10 months in federal prison on a cocaine charge says in a newspaper editorial that cocaine and marijuana should be legalized.

In the piece for The Post and Courier of Charleston, Thomas Ravenel calls the war on drugs a failure and says the U.S. should change its approach. The article will be published today.

"Drug abuse is a problem, a medical, health care and spiritual problem, not a problem to be solved with a criminal justice model," he said.

Ravenel, a multimillionaire land developer, resigned as treasurer just months after taking office when he was indicted in June 2007. He pleaded guilty to buying cocaine for himself and to share with friends.

"All I want to do is open up a debate," Ravenel, 48, told the newspaper. "I want people to start asking their politicians questions."

He said he hoped his celebrity status would bring attention to the cause of legalizing marijuana and cocaine.

Mom who broke ankle loses suit against USC

COLUMBIA --- The South Carolina Court of Appeals has ruled against the mother of a University of South Carolina intern who was visiting her son in 2005 on Pritchards Island when she slipped and broke her ankle on a beach boardwalk.

Karen Harris had been carrying a book, a drink can and a beach chair up the boardwalk steps at a facility that USC leases from the Carolina Research and Development Foundation.

Harris sued the university in 2006, alleging it had negligently designed, built and maintained the stairs. She also said that the university didn't warn her about the "dangerous condition" of the stairs and that she suffered a permanent disability.

Harris had been seeking damages for lost wages, medical bills, future medical expenses, loss of the enjoyment of life, and her mental anguish and physical pain, according to Thursday's decision.

The decision from Circuit Court Judge Thomas Hughston, Jr. affirmed a jury's earlier ruling that sided with USC.

Dog blamed in alpaca deaths; owner charged

YORK --- A York County man has been charged with a leash-law violation after four alpacas were killed apparently by a pit bull at a neighbor's pasture.

Sheriff's deputies have charged Macilinley Clayton Izzard with allowing a dog to run free, The Herald of Rock Hill reported.

Mark Barnett said he saw a dog crawling under a fence and saw several of his animals dead. A veterinarian told him Thursday that the injuries were consistent with a dog attack. A coyote would have tried to eat them.

Izzard told a deputy he was inside cooking and realized his dog was off the chain. He said he went outside and put the chain back on the dog. A deputy said there was no blood on the dog.

Alpacas are valued for their fleece. Bennett said he has raised them for nine years.

Woman is accused of prostituting daughter

MAULDIN --- A Mauldin woman has been arrested and accused of allowing a man to have sex with her 16-year-old daughter in order to obtain illegal drugs.

Kathleen Dawn Bunnell, 39, was arrested Thursday and charged with promoting prostitution of a minor, contributing to the delinquency of a minor and illegal neglect of a child, television station WYFF reported.

The warrant says Bunnell allowed a drug dealer to inject narcotics in the girl's neck to get her high so he could have sex with her.

The daughter has been placed with the Department of Social Services.