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Greenwood man charged in killing

GREENWOOD, S.C. — A man has been charged in the death of his wife, who was found shot to death in her burning Greenwood County home.

Authorities say Darrell Merritt turned himself in at 4 a.m. Thursday and has been cooperative.

Investigators say firefighters found the body of 46-year-old Lisa Merritt hours earlier inside a burning home.

Investigators say Merritt was not severely burned by the fire, which started in a bedroom.

Deputy Coroner Marcia Kelly-Clark says the woman died from gunshot wounds to the head and chest. Authorities say Darrell Merritt fled to a relative’s home and told them he shot his wife and threw a shotgun out his car’s window.

A judge denied bond for Darrell Merritt, and it wasn’t known whether he had an attorney.

Police shoot, kill erratic driver, 34

DUNWOODY, GA. — Authorities have identified a man who was fatally shot by police Wednesday in Dunwoody as Bradley Almy, of Marietta.

Officials say a police officer shot the 34-year-old man because he was driving erratically, rammed into several cars and refused to stop.

The incident unfolded about 6:20 p.m. Wednesday near the Perimeter Mall in suburban Atlanta.

Officials say Almy was driving erratically through a parking lot and eventually rammed several cars on a nearby street.

An officer patrolling the area on foot tried stopping Almy and fired one shot at him.

Almy crashed into a light pole and was taken to Grady Memorial Hospital, where he later died.

The officer who shot Almy is on paid leave, and additional details were not immediately available.

City to stop using poison in drains

COLUMBIA — Columbia will stop putting rat poison in its storm drains to deal with the rodents.

City officials say they are making the change because of a complaint from a resident whose dog ate some poison. Officials say they are stopping the practice because the storm drains dump directly into streams that lead to the Congaree River.

City officials say they will try to find another way to deal with the rodents.

The city has launched a campaign to discourage people from putting anything in the storm drains.

Officials say there is no indication the practice violated environmental laws.

City officials say they will continue to use the poison in the sewer system. Material from the sewer system goes to a waste treatment plant before it reaches the river.

Retired S.C. trooper cleared in shooting

BEAUFORT, S.C. — Prosecutors say a retired South Carolina trooper used justified force when he killed a man who attacked him and forced his way into his home.

Solicitor Duffie Stone said Thursday that William Wise, 51, wouldn’t face charges in the Nov. 14 shooting death of Paul Rowell, 39.

Wise told investigators he was awakened by his dogs barking about 2:15 a.m. and saw a man getting out of a truck and walking toward the former officer’s Bluffton home.

Investigators say Wise warned Rowell he had a gun, firing a shot in the air when Rowell didn’t stop. Deputies say the two fought and Rowell tried to take Wise’s gun.

Authorities say Wise shot Rowell several times.

Stone says Wise had a right to protect himself.

Cameras added after girl’s death

VALDOSTA, GA. — Authorities at Valdosta State University say they are installing cameras in residence hall elevators, including the dormitory where a 17-year-old freshman was found dead in a study lounge.

School spokeswoman Thressea Boyd said the project began before Jasmine Benjamin’s body was found, and wiring for the cameras was installed several weeks ago.

Boyd said school officials had the cameras on backorder and were waiting for them to arrive when the aspiring nursing student was found unresponsive on a couch in a common study area at Georgia Hall on Nov. 18.

Police say they’re treating the case as a homicide, though autopsy results are not complete. Authorities say there were no obvious signs of a crime when her body was found, but an autopsy raised questions.

Relatives and friends of the 17-year-old gathered Wednesday night for a private memorial service at the Gregory B. Levett and Sons Funeral Home in Lawrenceville.

Historical Society will get $500,000

SAVANNAH, GA. — The Georgia Historical Society has received a $500,000 grant from the Robert W. Woodruff Foundation to renovate and move into a three-story antebellum mansion next to the society’s library and archives in downtown Savannah.

The renovated space will be used for executive offices and a new education center while retaining the character of the 1856 home.

Historical society officials say more money is needed to fund the project, but the grant brings it significantly closer.

The Georgia Historical Society has been collecting, preserving and sharing the state’s history for nearly 175 years.

– Associated Press


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