The Associated Press

Flu deaths on the rise

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — At least 22 more people in South Carolina have died from the flu since early January.

The Department of Health and Environmental Control says 17 of those latest flu-related deaths happened between Jan. 14 and Jan. 29. Five deaths happened earlier and have just recently been attributed to the flu.

Since October, health officials say 46 people have died from the flu in South Carolina. Hundreds have been hospitalized.

HCSO Reserve Hampton deputy sues Bluffton police over arrest

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - A reserve Hampton County sheriff’s deputy has sued Bluffton, two Bluffton police officers and a Beaufort County sheriff’s deputy.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reported ( ) that Johnnie Bryant III of Bluffton says he was improperly arrested in 2014 when he was accused of pointing a gun.

Gov. Haley, others call for Confederate flag to come down

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley said Monday the Confederate flag should be removed from the grounds of the state capitol, reversing her position on the divisive symbol amid growing calls for it to be removed.

The Republican's about-face comes after nine black church members were gunned down, allegedly by a young white man who embraced the flag as a symbol of white supremacy.

HCSO deputy charged with pointing a firearm

BLUFFTON - Police say an off-duty Hampton County deputy was arrested after pointing a gun at his neighbors in Bluffton.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports ( ) that 29-year-old Johnnie Bryant III told police he went to his neighbor's home around 9 p.m. Sunday after noticing a car parked on his lawn.
Investigators say Bryant told them he drew his gun but pointed it at the ground after ringing the doorbell and being charged by the neighbors' dog.

Man leaves Estill prison, arrested in attempted bombing

No details emerged during a court hearing Wednesday about why authorities think an ex-convict planted a homemade bomb at a Denver-area shopping mall a week after being released from prison.

Earl Albert Moore's public defender told U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig Shaffer that Moore won't talk to authorities while in custody on a federal charge of arson and said that he's suffering from prostate cancer and hepatitis C.

Fields leaves Afghan post

WASHINGTON - The U.S. official in charge of overseeing the billions of dollars being spent to rebuild Afghanistan announced his resignation Monday, just a week after he fired two of his top deputies in a major shake-up of the organization.
Arnold Fields' decision to step down comes after key members of Congress urged President Barack Obama to dismiss him for incompetence and mismanagement. His critics claimed he failed to aggressively oversee the more than $56 billion the U.S. has poured into Afghanistan since 2002 to rebuild schools, roads and other facilities.

Public defender charged with drunken driving

HILTON HEAD ISLAND - The public defender who oversees representation for the poor in five South Carolina counties, including Hampton, has been charged with driving under the influence.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports Gene Hood, 65, of Beaufort was arrested Tuesday night. Sheriff's records show he was charged with DUI and transporting alcohol in a vehicle and has been released.

Arrest in drive-by shooting in Walterboro

WALTERBORO - Two more people have been shot just blocks away from where a drive-by shooting in which three people were killed earlier this week.

Multiple media outlets report two people were shot late Wednesday in Walterboro, two days after a shooting that killed three, including a toddler, and injured six.

Authorities say the latest injuries were not life-threatening.

Wilson thanks SC for support

WEST COLUMBIA - U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, who shouted "You lie" at President Obama last week during a speech to Congress said Friday he would not make such an outburst again, and the donations pouring into campaign coffers are not worth the negative attention he's received.

Wilson, whose Congressional district includes Hampton County, said donations since the speech could be approaching $2 million. Asked whether it was worth it, he responded, "Absolutely not."

Rep. Wilson apologizes to Obama

WASHINGTON - President Barack Obama accepted U.S. Rep Joe Wilson's apology for shouting, "You lie!" during his speech to Congress, and House Democratic leaders showed no interest in sanctions against the South Carolina Republican.
Obama said Thursday that Wilson apologized "quickly and without equivocation" and the congressman told reporters the shout-out was "spontaneous."

Funeral home's license revoked for cutting off legs of corpse

COLUMBIA - Authorities revoked the licenses of a South Carolina funeral home and its director after he admitted one of his employees cut the legs of a 6-foot-7 man without the family's permission so the corpse would fit in a casket.

The state Board of Funeral Service voted unanimously Monday to close Cave Funeral Home in Allendale. The board also fined funeral director Michael Cave $500 and ordered him to pay $1,500 for the investigation.

SLED investigates whether man's legs were cut off to fit coffin

ALLENDALE- South Carolina authorities on Tuesday exhumed the body of a man long rumored to have had his legs cut to fit into a coffin, and a coroner said what officials discovered has brought a criminal investigation.

Allendale County Coroner Hayzen Black said "undesirable evidence" was found after officials examined the body of James Hines, a tall man who died in 2004 of skin cancer.

Black would not say what the evidence was, but he said rumors had long circulated in the town that Hines' legs were cut so he could fit into a prepaid coffin.

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