Originally created 08/13/02

Across South Carolina



Budget cuts leave mental patients in jail

COLUMBIA -State budget cuts are to blame for the more than 60 inmates judged incompetent to stand trial but left in county jails, Mental Health Department officials say.

Judges have ordered the inmates to get psychiatric treatment from the state, but the agency says it doesn't have the staff to comply. More than five dozen inmates need beds in mental health facilities, said department lawyer Mark Binkley, but budget cuts have hurt the agency's ability to help the prisoners.

Man sought in three slayings in Carolinas

DOBSON, N.C. -A South Carolina man suspected of killing two people in North Carolina and one in his home state was sought Monday and was said to be in the Atlanta area.

Two people were shot early Monday during an apparent robbery at a convenience store near Interstate 77, about 15 miles south of the Virginia border.

Quincy Allen, 22, was charged Monday with the shootings. The victims were store clerk Richard Hawks, 53, of Low Gap, and customer Robert Shane Rouse, 29, of Lancaster, Ohio.

South Carolina authorities also have charged him in the fatal shooting of Jedediah Harr on Thursday in Columbia.

Mr. Allen is described as black, about 6 feet tall and 160 pounds. Police say he is armed with a shotgun.

Drought takes toll on farm animals' hay

ORANGEBURG -Farmers suffering through another year of drought also face another year without enough hay for their animals.

Dairy farmer Hugh Weathers, of Bowman, said dry conditions again this year have meant poor quality and quantity in his hay harvest.

"It is critical to have a good quality for dairy cows, especially those that are birthing a calf," he said.

Hay is normally harvested from early June to early October.

City considers use of anti-crime cameras

GREENVILLE -Greenville City Council is considering spending $200,000 to install 22 cameras along downtown streets to deter crime, but not everyone likes the idea.

To Police Chief Willie Johnson, it's about staying ahead of the criminals.

Sean P. O'Rourke, who teaches in Furman University's communications department, understands cameras for airport security but doesn't favor them downtown.

"It's kind of a move toward Big Brother that we have no justification for," he said.