Originally created 06/25/02

Across South Carolina



Firefighters contain blaze near beach

MYRTLE BEACH -The red flag fire alert has been canceled after firefighters contained a wildfire near Myrtle Beach and returned to their normal assignments, the state Forestry Commission said.

Weekend rain provided some relief, but fire officials cautioned that there are still dry areas across the state.

Officials suspect that lightning sparked the wildfire, which burned more than 1,600 acres before being contained.

2-year-old boy chokes to death after eating

COLUMBIA -A 2-year-old Columbia boy has died after choking on food at his home, Richland County officials say.

Christopher Simuel died shortly after 10:30 a.m. Sunday at Palmetto Richland Memorial Hospital, Coroner Gary Watts said. The child choked after eating what may have been a piece of sausage, the coroner said.

Man drowns in river near Columbia zoo

COLUMBIA -A 23-year-old man died after falling into the Saluda River while trying to cross the stream near the Riverbanks Zoo.

Sonny Carl Holland, of Columbia, slipped on rocks and fell into the river about noon Sunday, said Mike Willis, spokesman for the Natural Resources Department.

Fishermen found Mr. Holland's body in about 10 feet of water, Mr. Willis said.

Renovation ends for historic Market Hall

CHARLESTON -After four years and $3.6 million, renovation is complete on Charleston's historic Market Hall, built in 1841 but closed after it was heavily damaged during Hurricane Hugo.

"This is the most architecturally and historically significant building in this community," said Steve Livingston, the head of the city's parks department. "And we have set a new standard for preservation."

The building, designed by architect E.B. White, served for years as a public meeting room and social hall.

Potential juror freed after 10 days in jail

SPARTANBURG -A potential juror has been released from jail after 10 days on a contempt charge.

Evelyn Kilgore Harris, 58, was released last week after she asked the judge to reconsider her four-month sentence. Her punishment was reduced to 10 days in jail and 20 days under house arrest.

Circuit Judge Derham Cole had found Ms. Harris in contempt because she didn't tell the court she knew participants in a drug case her jury pool was scheduled to hear. The defense attorney had represented Ms. Harris' son in a drug case, according to the judge's contempt order.