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Georgia court lets execution proceed

JACKSON, GA. — A state court has declined to halt the execution of a Georgia death row inmate set to die Monday.

A Butts County Superior Court judge Thursday denied requests filed by Warren Lee Hill’s lawyer. Lawyer Brian Kammer argued Hill is mentally disabled and shouldn’t be executed. Similar requests are pending at the U.S. Supreme Court.

The court said Hill has proven an IQ of 70 beyond a reasonable doubt and meets the overall criteria for being mentally disabled by a preponderance of the evidence.

Georgia law requires death row inmates to prove beyond a reasonable doubt they are mentally disabled to avoid execution, and the court said Hill failed to do that.

Hill was serving a life sentence when he was convicted in the 1990 death of a fellow inmate.

Firm agrees not to sell drug elements

CHARLESTON, W.VA. — A Georgia company that makes ingredients that can be used in “bath salts” and synthetic pot has agreed not to sell or advertise its chemicals in the state.

West Virginia Attorney General Darrell McGraw sued Alpharetta, Ga.-based Nutragenomics Manufacturing LLC in April. McGraw has said the company was a “significant distributor” of synthetic drug ingredients.

The company agreed to place a notice on its Web site that it does not sell to West Virginia customers. It also agreed to provide a database of its West Virginia customers from Jan. 1, 2008, to the present and the amount of products they ordered.

Nutragenomics attorney Leah Macia says the company entered into the agreement voluntarily because it was not doing anything illegal. The agreement does not end the lawsuit, which will proceed.

Harbor deepening still needs money

CHARLESTON, S.C. — The
designation of the Charles­ton Harbor deepening as a national significant project may speed studies of the project, but U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham says money is still needed for the $300 million effort.

Graham spoke on Thursday with South Carolina reporters by phone from Washington.

The administration late Wednesday announced that harbor projects in Charleston and four other ports – including Savannah – were being designated as nationally significant and studies would be expedited.

But Graham says Congress must still come up with money to pay for the work itself.

He says he’d like to see about $20 billion put aside in an account to pay for harbor projects both inland and on the nation’s coasts.

Disabled man dies after father’s death

BLACKSBURG, S.C. — Authorities say a 34-year-old disabled man has died from dehydration after his father died from a heart problem and there was no one around to help.

Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said the bodies were found by deputies Wednesday after someone who mowed the lawn for the men didn’t get an answer at their door.

Fowler says an autopsy determined 66-year-old Edward Reynolds died Monday from a heart problem, while his son, Edward Heath Reynolds, died the next day from dehydration.

Fowler says the son was totally dependent on his father for care.

Freshwater amoeba causes boy’s death

COLUMBIA — Health officials say a Sumter County boy has died from a rare brain infection caused by an organism that lives in warm, fresh water.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control said Wednesday the boy was killed by an amoeba known as Naegleria fowleri. The organism lives in lakes, rivers and hot springs.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there were only 32 documented cases of this kind of infection between 2001 and 2010. DHEC did not release the boy’s name.

An agency epidemiologist says the amoeba typically enters the body through water forced up someone’s nose. Officials say the infection cannot be caused by drinking.

DHEC advises people not to swim in fresh water when water levels are low.

In other news

FORMER SOUTH Carolina Chief Justice A. Lee Chandler has died. Belk funeral home in Darlington said Chandler died Wednesday. His death was noted on the state Senate floor with a moment of silence. Chandler was 89.

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