Originally created 06/02/00

Across the area: Graduation comes to area schools



AIKEN COUNTY

Seniors at Wagener Salley, Ridge Spring-Monetta and Silver Bluff high schools celebrated graduation Thursday evening.

Ceremonies for the four remaining high schools in the county are scheduled for today. Those are Midland Valley, North Augusta, South Aiken and Aiken.

Exercises at South Aiken will be held at 6 p.m. Other area ceremonies are scheduled for 8 p.m.

RICHMOND COUNTY

Car chase results in injuries

Apparently startled by the sight of two deputies involved in a traffic stop Thursday, the driver of a pickup slammed on his brakes, then turned around and drove into oncoming traffic on Deans Bridge Road, causing a chase that ended with the truck flipping and ejecting the driver, according to Richmond County Sheriff's Department.

The chase began at about 10:15 a.m. at the Lumpkin Road intersection. As squad cars chased the red 1989 Chevrolet S-10 from the right side of Deans Bridge Road, the driver swerved onto a sidewalk, barely missing pedestrians, then cut back across the median to turn onto Bobby Jones Expressway, Maj. Larry Vinson said. With one tire blown, the truck flipped after striking a guardrail near the Gordon Highway exit.

Deputies found the driver lying in the median. Maj. Vinson said Lamar Williams, 49, likely had a broken arm and bruises but no life-threatening injuries. He was taken to Medical College of Georgia Hospital.

Mr. Williams, who police said was the subject of a chase a few months ago, was charged with reckless driving; fleeing and attempting to elude; running a stop sign; running a red light; driving on the wrong side of the road; and driving without a license, with an expired tag and no proof of insurance.

AIKEN COUNTY

Write-in candidates win seats

WINDSOR - Write-in candidates were the big winners in the Windsor Town Council at-large election Tuesday, winning both open seats.

Incumbent Beverly Jean Byars was defeated by write-in candidate Allen Thompson, 24-5.

Incumbent Patsy Willing, who failed to file in time to get on the ballot, also won as a write-in candidate, defeating Karen Byars, 23-8. They join Mayor Frank Mizell and Councilwomen Betty Barwick and Marie Keenan on the town council.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Baby's father charged in assault

ROCK HILL - A 6-week-old York County boy is in critical condition, and his teen-age father has been arrested, sheriff's deputies say.

Jason Franks, 18, has been charged with assault and battery with intent to kill and illegal conduct toward a child, Capt. Dean Shillinglaw said Thursday.

The boy, whose name has not been released, is being treated at Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte, N.C., for injuries to his head and other areas, Capt. Shillinglaw said.

The boy was having trouble breathing when Mr. Franks and the boy's mother, Becky Pate, took him to Piedmont Medical Center in Rock Hill early Sunday morning.

Doctors stabilized the boy, transferred him to Charlotte and called police, Capt. Shillinglaw said.

SOUTH CAROLINA

State sues over contamination

LEXINGTON - The state health department is suing nine companies and one individual who the agency says contaminated the well water of hundreds of Lexington County residents.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control has filed two separate suits to get back the $2 million the agency says it will cost to investigate the contamination and hook some residents up to a municipal water supply. The agency also wants almost $6 million in punitive damages.

The companies named in the suit released wastewater mixed with industrial solvents into the ground in the Red Bank area. That untreated water ended up in wells, poisoning the water supply, according to the department.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Ambulance sent to wrong address

GREENVILLE - A man shot in the back and heart died after an ambulance dispatched to the scene initially was sent to the wrong address.

Christopher Glover, 30, of Piedmont, died Wednesday morning outside a Greenville residence. Deputies arrived two minutes after a woman called 911, but it took the ambulance 12 minutes to arrive, after it mistakenly was sent to Travelers Rest first.

The computer the dispatcher used failed to indicate there was a duplicate address elsewhere in the county, said Roger Dobbs, EMS communications coordinator.

Coroner Parks Evans said he did not think the delay was a factor in Mr. Glover's death. The bullet went through Mr. Glover's back and into his heart, Mr. Evans said.

SOUTH CAROLINA

Attorney urges note fraud fight

COLUMBIA - State Attorney General Charlie Condon says it's time to crack down on promissory note fraud in South Carolina.

Mr. Condon said Thursday he had ordered seven companies and 11 individuals to stop selling the notes. He said he was prompted by the case of a retired couple who lost their life savings of $500,000 in one such scheme.

Often the notes are sold by insurance agents who think they are legitimate. The agents talk victims into cashing in life insurance policies and investing in the notes, which sellers say will mature in nine months and offer returns between 12 percent and 18 percent.

The sellers then take the money and run or use money from later investors to pay off the initial buyers, Mr. Condon said.

"This scheme is a rip-off, ruse and racket rolled into one," said Mr. Condon, who also regulates the state's securities industry.

He said investors can call (877) BE-ALERT to confirm that a promissory note or seller has been registered in the state.

SOUTH CAROLINA

9-year-old shot during scuffle

NORTH CHARLESTON - A 9-year-old boy has been hospitalized after being accidentally shot during a struggle with his brothers.

Police Detective John Reynolds would not identify the boy, who was taken to Medical University Hospital in Charleston, but said his injury was not thought to be life-threatening.

Police said the boys were playing in a bedroom while their father slept on the coach in the living room. The boys found an unloaded handgun and bullets, then loaded the gun.

Detective Reynolds said the gun had a trigger lock, but the boys found the key and unlocked it. Two of the boys fought over the gun, which went off, shooting the 9-year-old in the side.