Originally created 07/23/01

Across the area

Sheriff says deaths were 'mercy killing'

DOUGLASVILLE - An elderly man apparently shot his bedridden wife and then killed himself Saturday, Douglasville police said.

Douglas County Sheriff Phil Miller called the incident a "mercy killing," saying that he knew the couple and that they had been in poor health for a while.

A caretaker in the couple's home heard two gunshots about 2 p.m. and called police. The man, 80, and his wife, 79, were found dead. They were not immediately identified.

"They were very good people," Sheriff Miller said. "And he was a very independent person, and I doubt that he wanted to be waited on. He made this decision. Whether it's the right decision or not, it's not up to me to judge."

Substitute teachers clinic set

The Richmond County Board of Education Substitute Teachers Workshop will take place from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Wednesday at 804 Katherine St.

Work crew finds man's body

GREENVILLE - A litter crew doing community service found the body of a man who might have been killed days earlier after crashing his motorcycle into a fence, authorities said.

Workers first noticed the man's red-and-purple motorcycle lying in a kudzu patch before spotting his body on the other side of the fence Saturday, Capt. G.S. McLaughlin said.

The man has been tentatively identified as Reuben William Mullins, 25, said Greenville County Deputy Coroner Kent Dill.

An autopsy is scheduled for today to determine the cause of death.

Mr. Mullins' body might have been lying in the kudzu for about a week, Mr. Dill said.

Man drowns while mowing yard

SPARTANBURG - A man cutting grass for a friend drowned after falling into a swimming pool Friday with a mower.

Aniel Vaman Shanbhag, 27, was cutting grass when he fell into a pool.

Lt. Ron Gahagan, of the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office, said witnesses said that Mr. Shanbhag could not swim.

Mr. Shanbhag apparently fell backward into the pool, along with the self-propelled push mower, Lt. Gahagan said.

He was taken to Spartanburg Regional Medical Center, where he died at 3 p.m. Saturday, said David Councilman, a Spartanburg County Coroner's Office investigator.

Officer calls blast an accident

LANDSFORD - Federal investigators found no wrongdoing in a Chester County fireworks plant blast that killed a college student Thursday, The Herald of Rock Hill reported.

"We have conferred with our certified explosives experts and have no reason to believe that the explosion was deliberately caused and was indeed an accident," said Earl Woodham, a spokesman for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. "Therefore, because we found no criminal cause or intent, the criminal investigation is now closed."

The blast at Melrose South Pyrotechnics killed James Brett Ringer, 24, of Rock Hill, and injured Kenny Vinson and Heather Arnette.

Mr. Woodham would not say what caused the explosion because that information could compromise an investigation by state Occupational Safety and Health Administration officials.

Hodges addresses uranium issue

SIMPSONVILLE - Two residents turned out to talk with Gov. Jim Hodges on Saturday about uranium contamination of wells.

Mr. Hodges said he has ordered his Emergency Management Team to coordinate the state's response to the crisis.

That team will work with the Department of Health and Environmental Control and the state Budget and Control Board to resolve the issue as soon as possible and can also serve as a liaison to residents, he said.

Simpsonville resident Carol Gilley told Mr. Hodges that several wells in the Hillside Church and Fork Shoals communities have also tested high for uranium, yet much of the attention has been focused on others.

"Nobody in our communities is blaming anyone," she said. "It's a natural occurring problem. I think the agencies are here to help."


Today: Aiken City Council, 7:30 p.m., municipal building, Park Avenue (pre-meeting at 7 p.m.)

Burnettown Town Council, 6 p.m., Burnettown Town Hall, 3144 Augusta Road, Burnettown

Columbia County Planning and Development Services, 5;30 p.m., Evans Government Center auditorium

Grovetown City Council, 7:30 p.m., Grovetown City Hall

Tuesday: Aiken County Board of Education, 7 p.m., District Office, Brookhaven Drive

Columbia County Development Authority, 7:30 a.m., Columbia County Chamber of Commerce, Evans to Locks Road

Columbia County Public Works, 5:30 p.m., Evans Government Center auditorium

Thursday: Edgefield County Board of Education, 7:30 p.m., Strom Thurmond High School Library, South Carolina Highway 23

Augusta-Richmond County Land Bank Authority, 2 p.m., eighth-floor committee room, Augusta-Richmond County Municipal Building, 530 Greene St.

Drug awareness meeting for parents by Columbia County Sheriff's Office, 7 p.m., Evans Government Center auditorium


The following is a list of locations for the Shepeard Community Blood Center for the week:

Today: 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., Kmart, 310 E. Martintown Road, North Augusta; 8 to 11:30 a.m., Department of Veteran Affairs, Wrightsboro Road; 1 to 4 p.m., Department of Veteran Affairs, 15th Street and Walton Way

Tuesday: Noon to 5 p.m., Shepeard West, 112 Davis Road, Martinez; 2 to 7 p.m., McDuffie Regional Medical Center, 521 Hill St. S.W., Thomson

Wednesday: 9 to 11:30 a.m., Community Mental Health, 3421 Old Savannah Road; 12:30 to 3:30 p.m., Georgia Regional Hospital, 3405 Old Savannah Road; 3 to 7 p.m., Dearing Community, Dearing, Ga.; 7 a.m. to 1 p.m. and 2 to 7 p.m., Bridgestone/Firestone, 1 Bridgestone Park, Graniteville

Thursday: 2 to 7 p.m., Sandersville Community, 258 N. Harris St., Highway 25 South, Sandersville, Ga.

Friday: 1 to 4:30 p.m., BellSouth, 440 Walker St.

Sunday: 12:30 to 3 p.m., Springfield Baptist Church, 114 12th St.; 11 a.m. to 2 p.m., Central Christian Church, 220 Crawford Ave.


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