Originally created 04/22/01

Across the area



AUGUSTA
Seven men arrestedon cocaine charges

Police arrested seven people early Saturday morning on cocaine possession charges, according to reports from the Richmond County Sheriff's Office.

Henry Burnett, 35, of the 2000 block of Roosevelt Drive; Zinterius Bland, 20, of the 1900 block of Broad Street; Henry Howard III, 21, of the 2000 block of Wharton Drive; Jerimain Howard, 22, of the 2000 block of Westkinston Drive; and Michael Wright, 43, of the 2000 block of Kennedy Drive, were booked on felony charges of cocaine possession.

Darryl Richardson, 24, of the 3000 block of Crest Drive in Hephzibah, and Darrell Whitaker, 35, also were booked on cocaine possession and faced additional misdemeanor charges of marijuana possession.

According to jail records, the suspects were arrested at Mr. Burnett's residence about 1 a.m.

AIKEN COUNTY
Investigators seek handcuffed escapee

Aiken County sheriff's investigators were looking for a man who escaped from the back of a patrol car while still handcuffed Saturday night.

Steven Russell Glover, of the 100 block of Southeast Diggs Road in Trenton, S.C., reportedly had forced his way into his girlfriend's Graniteville home Saturday, Aiken County sheriff's Lt. Michael Frank said.

Two deputies were called to the house about 7 p.m. and arrested Mr. Glover on a charge of threatening his girlfriend. She was not harmed.

The deputies handcuffed Mr. Glover and placed him in the back seat of a patrol car and locked it. While they were gathering more information at the scene, Mr. Glover rolled down a window and escaped, Lt. Frank said.

Mr. Glover is described as black, 5 feet 10 inches tall and 165 pounds. He was wearing a white tank top, gray sweat pants, white tennis shoes and stainless-steel handcuffs behind his back, police said.

Anyone with information about Mr. Glover's whereabouts is asked to call the sheriff's office at (803) 642-1761 or (800) 922-3211 or Crime Stoppers at (866) 88-CRIME.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Forecasters aid Antarctic rescuers

CHARLESTON - Weather forecasters from Charleston are in Antarctica and New Zealand to help the crews of two transport planes rescue an ailing American doctor at the South Pole.

Forecasters with Charleston's Space and Naval Warfare Systems Center are helping provide Canadian pilots with accurate weather forecasts, said Dave Ferguson, a manager at the center's headquarters at the Charleston Naval Weapons Station.

Two Canadian Twin Otter aircraft left the southern tip of Chile Saturday morning heading for a British base in Antarctica. One will then fly on to the South Pole, where temperatures are approaching 70 degrees below zero.

It is hoped one of the planes can airlift Ronald S. Shemenski, 59, from the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. Dr. Shemenski, the station's only doctor, recently passed a gallstone and has the potentially life-threatening condition known as pancreatitis.

Mr. Ferguson said he sent a team of technicians to Christchurch, New Zealand, when scientists earlier this month thought a New York Air National Guard C-130 transport would rescue Dr. Shemenski.

Temperatures dropped to about 60 degrees below zero, too cold for the ski-equipped C-130. The Canadian Twin Otters can fly at 70 below, he said.

Mr. Ferguson said he ordered all but weather forecaster Joe Kramer, of Charleston, to return home from New Zealand.

Mr. Kramer will remain in New Zealand to back up forecaster Dirk Christianson, of Charleston, at the U.S. Antarctic base at McMurdo Sound.

Mr. Christianson is part of a five-man team from Charleston providing technical support at McMurdo throughout the winter.

GEORGIA
Abernathy to be paroled soon

ATLANTA - Former state Sen. Ralph David Abernathy III will be paroled May 3 after serving a third of his four-year prison sentence for misappropriating state money.

Officials with the state Board of Pardons and Paroles said Mr. Abernathy served the usual amount of time for first offenders convicted of such crimes.

Mr. Abernathy, 42, was told Thursday of his scheduled release, said Chuck Topetzes, director of paroles.

The son and namesake of a confidant of the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr., Mr. Abernathy was sentenced last year to four years in prison followed by six years on probation for falsifying legislative expense accounts and forging vouchers for state reimbursements totaling $5,700 and for trying to influence a witness.

Mr. Abernathy has spent most of the past year in an Atlanta halfway house, where he was allowed to leave each day to work at his gas station in southwest Atlanta.

GEORGIA
Scana rebilling gas customers

ATLANTA - Scana Energy is billing about 20,000 customers extra this month to make up for an "underbilling" in March.

The average increase is about $14, which the state's No. 2 gas retailer blames on charging too little last month.

Bob Elsberry, a spokesman for Cobb Electric Membership Corp., whose affiliate company bills for 157,000 of Scana's 430,000 Georgia customers, said the error occurred when Scana lowered its monthly rate from $1.04 per therm to 89.9 cents.

A computer technician at Cobb failed to enter the March 1 effective date, and bills were sent prematurely with the lower price before the error was caught, Mr. Elsberry said.

Philip Nowicki, director of consumer affairs at the Public Service Commission, said there have been a handful of complaints. Scana and Cobb can collect for an underbilling, but customers have 90 days to pay the extra charges, he said.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Officer shot in arrest scuffle

CHARLESTON - A Charleston police officer is recovering after he was shot during a struggle with a handcuffed man suspected of shoplifting, Police Chief Reuben Greenberg says.

Pvt. William S. McDaniel, 32, was shot in the right side before a store employee grabbed the gun from the 21-year-old suspect outside Citadel Mall on Friday night.

Ashley Edward Reynolds of West Ashley was arrested, but charges were pending, Chief Greenberg said.

During the struggle, Mr. Reynolds grabbed Pvt. McDaniel's gun, a .45-caliber Glock pistol, Chief Greenberg said.

He apparently pulled the gun at least partially from the holster and fired one shot into Pvt. McDaniel's side, Chief Greenberg said.

Chief Greenberg said the bullet passed through Pvt. McDaniel, narrowly missing his kidney, liver and spine.

Pvt. McDaniel, a two-year veteran of the department, was taken to Medical University Hospital, where he was listed in fair condition.

SOUTH CAROLINA
Company's tax check bounces

MYRTLE BEACH - A company that paid delinquent property taxes last week on a casino boat based at Little River originally wrote Horry County a bad check, a county official says.

Deputy county attorney Janet Carter said Friday SunCruz LLC gave the county a bad check totaling $95,634 for delinquent taxes owed on the SunCruz VII.

County officials then asked SunCruz LLC to wire the money directly to the county's account.

"I can't believe anyone would intentionally want to give the county a bad check under those circumstances," Ms. Carter said. The situation was resolved in 20 minutes, she said.

The problem was a technicality, said SunCruz spokesman Joe Webber.

"The funds hadn't been sent from one account to another," Mr. Webber said.