Originally created 11/22/06

Across South Carolina



Man sought in meth lab bust, shooting

COLUMBIA - Authorities continued to search Tuesday for a man they say tried to blow up a meth lab before wounding an off-duty Richland County deputy earlier this week.

Mark Randolph Browning, 36, a West Virginia native, is considered armed and dangerous, said Sheriff Leon Lott.

Deputies arrested Patricia Schober, who was with Mr. Browning. Mr. Browning was out of jail on $18,000 bail on assault and drug charges in Kershaw County when Cpl. Larry Payne and state constable Mark Gill, riding all-terrain vehicles along a utility right of way near Blythewood, came across a methamphetamine laboratory.

Mr. Browning told Cpl. Payne he wasn't going back to jail and would "blow everybody up," then pulled out a lighter and threw it at the lab, the sheriff said.

Cpl. Payne, an eight-year veteran with the sheriff's office, was shot in the thigh and the chest. He was in the hospital after suffering a broken collarbone and collapsed lung.

He is expected to fully recover, Sheriff Lott said Monday.

Bad weather could prevent oyster haul

BLUFFTON - Windy weather could prevent an oyster company from harvesting enough oysters to fill its Thanksgiving orders.

The Bluffton Oyster Co. said it will keep its boats docked if predictions of gale-force winds off South Carolina's coast hold true, said Tina Toomer, who operates the business with her husband.

More than 500 people have placed oyster orders with the company.

Those placed last week will likely be filled, but this week's orders are going on a waiting list, she said.

Lowcountry residents use oysters in stuffing and for day-after-Thanksgiving oyster roasts, she said.

Woman charged with neglecting mother

BLUFFTON -A 96-year-old woman missing from Beaufort Memorial Hospital has been found and her daughter charged in her disappearance.

Greenville County, N.C., sheriff's deputies found Katherine Blount late Sunday. She had not eaten or had anything to drink in 24 hours and she'd had a heart attack.

Her daughter, Paula Johnson, 60, of Millen, Ga., was charged with neglect of a vulnerable adult and booked into the Greenville County Detention Center.

She was being held on a $25,000 bond.

Mrs. Blount was reported missing from Beaufort Memorial Hospital early Saturday morning by her grandson, Jimmy Pinckney, of Bluffton, who said she was seeking treatment in the hospital for a bleeding ulcer and other health problems.

Mrs. Blount was found by Greenville authorities after an alert was put out on Mrs. Johnson's car.

- Edited from wire reports