Couple, granddaughter die in small-plane crash
COLUMBIA --- A North Carolina funeral home owner, his wife and 4-year-old granddaughter died when their small plane crashed as they headed home after a vacation along the South Carolina coast, officials and a friend of the pilot said Thursday.
Danny Carroll, 54, wife Rachel Carroll, 66, and their granddaughter Mallory Fields died Wednesday night when their single engine plane crashed into a mobile home park in North Myrtle Beach, said Horry County Coroner Robert Edge.
Danny Carroll was the pilot and all three died instantly. An autopsy will be conducted, Edge said.
Carroll was a co-owner of Lady's Funeral Home in Kannapolis.
The family was vacationing along the Grand Strand and was leaving from Grand Strand Regional Airport to return to their home 25 miles northeast of Charlotte, N.C., when the crash happened around 9 p.m. Wednesday, North Myrtle Beach spokeswoman Nicole Aiello said.
Two people on the ground were taken to Grand Strand Regional Medical Center with minor injuries and a policeman was also transported to the hospital with smoke inhalation, Aiello said.
Haley refuses pledge to appoint women
COLUMBIA --- The GOP nominee seeking to become South Carolina's first female governor said Thursday she won't sign a pledge to put more women on boards and in charge of state agencies.
The nonpartisan Southeastern Institute for Women in Politics, which works to narrow South Carolina's political gender gap, has asked GOP Rep. Nikki Haley and Democratic Sen. Vincent Sheheen to agree that, if elected, they'll use their appointments to increase gender diversity.
"It goes without saying that Nikki loves the idea of getting more women involved in public service," said Haley campaign spokesman Rob Godfrey. "That said, Nikki is not going to make any pledges in reference to appointments, other than this one -- she will always choose the highest qualified person for the job without regard to race or gender."
Sheheen, however, will attend the initiative's launch next week and sign the pledge, said campaign spokesman Trav Robertson.
In other news
DEMOCRATIC SENATE nominee Alvin Greene still hasn't raised much money in his bid to unseat Republican Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina. Five weeks after stunning the party with his primary win, the unemployed veteran and political novice said he has raised about $1,000.
DeMint, the incumbent, had more than $3.5 million on hand after his last filing.
Elderly couple dies in stalled home elevator
ST. SIMONS ISLAND, GA. --- An elderly couple died while trapped in a home elevator after it became stuck between the second and third floors of their coastal Georgia home, and their bodies weren't found until several days later, police said.
Glynn County Coroner Jimmy Durden said autopsies conducted Thursday at the state crime lab in Savannah found the couple died of heat exhaustion. He estimated temperatures inside the indoor elevator got up to about 95 degrees.
Police found the bodies of Sherwood Wadsworth, 90, and his 89-year-old wife, Caroline, after a newspaper carrier called 911 Wednesday morning because papers had been piling up by the door for several days.
Candidate calls for removal of attack ad
ATLANTA --- The former prosecutor locked in a fierce race to become Georgia's top attorney on Thursday called for his Democratic opponent to take down an attack ad that claims he made a series of mistakes in a high-profile case.
Ken Hodges said Thursday that the 30-second attack ad sponsored by state Rep. Rob Teilhet's campaign for attorney general exploits the victims of the case. He also unveiled letters from his supporters that condemned Teilhet for running the ad in the days before the July 20 primary.
The ad at the center of the controversy features Emily Walker criticizing Hodges for failing to secure a grand jury indictment against the deputy who shot and killed her unarmed son, Kenneth, in a case that exposed racial tensions in west Georgia.
Teilhet said in a statement that his campaign would not remove the ad, and that suggesting so is an "insult" to Emily Walker and her family.
In other news
A UTILITY WORKER IN Milton, Ga., burned over 80 percent of his body when a ruptured gas line sent flames high enough to scorch the bucket of the cherry picker he was working from. The worker had to jump 30 feet from the bucket to the ground. The worker, who has not been identified, was airlifted to Grady Memorial Hospital.