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Tomi Rae Brown says her goodbye in private

COLUMBIA - The woman who claims to be James Brown's fourth wife stood in front of the soul singer's open casket and mourned one more time before DNA samples were taken from the late entertainer, she told The Associated Press on Friday.

Tomi Rae Hynie Brown's visit Thursday was the intimate farewell she didn't get at two funerals in December, when thousands crowded an arena and family and friends said goodbye in a private service.

Mrs. Brown refused to talk about when and where Mr. Brown would be buried.

The DNA samples will be used to determine the paternity of anyone claiming to be one of Mr. Brown's children.

Mrs. Brown would not say whether a paternity test will be needed for her son, who was not included in Mr. Brown's will filed in January.

Swords are used in intrusion, police say

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - A man toting a 3-foot sword apparently met his match when he broke into his ex-girlfriend's apartment.

Her roommate, a sword collector, took one of his own blades from the wall and fended off the ex-boyfriend, who was cut on the arm, police said.

The man accused of burglary and aggravated assault, Elvis Javier Polanco, 18, came to the home Thursday afternoon with a friend after they had been drinking, Beaufort County sheriff's Capt. Toby McSwain said.

Mr. Polanco broke a window and climbed into the apartment, Capt. McSwain said, where the roommate confronted him.

Schools, district get upgrades after appeal

COLUMBIA - A handful of schools and one district saw their report card ratings improve after appealing their earlier grades to the state Education Department.

Six additional schools met federal Adequate Yearly Progress performance goals under the No Child Left Behind law after revisions.

Changes were made after schools identified incorrect data that had been supplied to the Education Department by the Dec. 1 appeals deadline.

Lexington 1 district's rating was upgraded to excellent from good and its overall improvement rating was upgraded to good from below average. Three of the schools saw overall improvement from the worst rating of unsatisfactory.

Colonel takes control of F-16 combat wing

SUMTER - Col. James N. Post III took command of the Air Force's 20th Fighter Wing.

Col. Post, who succeeded Col. James W. "Bill" Hyatt, comes to Shaw from 12th Air Force, Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, Ariz. As the 20th's commander, Col. Post will lead the Air Force's largest F-16 combat wing.

- Edited from wire reports

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Stormwater fee to fund Columbia County repairs

Columbia County is set to invest an additional $600,000 in its aging stormwater system next year, with the hope that more money and manpower will result in half as many repair orders and fewer ...
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