News from around The Carolinas

December 30, 2012 

South Carolina

Richland County

Man to face charges in deadly SC bar fight

A bar fight that turned deadly in the early morning hours Saturday in Lower Richland County has left one dead and the suspect in the hospital with charges pending, officials say.

Cornelius L. Green, 37, of Hopkins, died at Palmetto Health Richland after he was shot in the upper body, said Richland County Coroner Gary Watts.

Deputies with the county sheriff’s department are investigating the incident that occurred at about 1:30 a.m. Saturday at Tony’s Lounge in Eastover, department spokesman Curtis Wilson said.

The fight started as a verbal altercation inside the club between Calvert Myers, 51, and his niece, Wilson said. That altercation turned physical and the two, along with Green, the woman’s boyfriend, were asked to leave the club.

Once outside, Myers pushed his niece to the ground, Wilson said. Green then tried to come to her defense.

Myers then pulled out a weapon and fired a number of shots at Green, Wilson said. Other people at the club tried to come to the aid of the victim. Green died later at the hospital, Watts said.

Myers is hospitalized with injuries. He will be arrested and charged with murder, Wilson said.

West Columbia

Pair charged with stealing steel from church

Two men are charged with stealing steel beams from a church near West Columbia, Lexington County deputies say.

Ronald Welch, 49, of Lexington and Michael Hall, 28, of West Columbia each face a charge of grand larceny after allegedly taking the beams Friday from the House of Praise, deputies said.

The beams are worth more than $10,000, deputies said.

Simpsonville

City fires recently hired police chief

The fired police chief of Simpsonville says the city council had no grounds to force him to leave his job.

The Simpsonville City Council voted 5-2 Friday night to fire Chief Keith Grounsell, who had been on the job for just a few months. The council and Mayor Perry Eichor said in a news release Saturday that Grounsell wasn’t a good fit.

Grounsell says he plans to meet with an attorney and file a grievance about his firing. He says city leaders questioned everything he did so he couldn’t make any decisions.

City leaders say Lt. Steve Moore is the interim chief. Councilman Matthew Gooch says Moore was one of the top five candidates in the search for a new chief before the city selected Grounsell.

North Carolina

Bessemer City

1-year-old boy shot in the arm

A toddler from Bessemer City has been hospitalized after he was shot in the arm.

Gaston County EMS officials were called to a home just after 8 p.m. Friday after getting a call that a child had been shot in the left arm. The 18-month-old boy was taken to a hospital, and there was no update on his condition.

Investigators say they think the shooting was an accident. Police say the boy was home with his father and a sibling when the shooting happened.

Authorities have not said who owned the gun that was used.

Laurinburg

Car strikes shopper

A Laurinburg woman has been hospitalized after being struck by a car on Thursday night, according to police.

Just before 7 p.m., Linda Smith was hit as she was leaving Belk department store in the Scotland Crossing shopping center.

The driver, Denise Watts, was driving toward Belk at the time, attempting to turn left from the parking lot into the travel lane, authorities said.

The left front bumper of Watts’ car struck Smith as she was crossing the lane toward her own parked vehicle, according to police.

She was charged with failure to yield to pedestrian traffic, police said.

Smith, 66, suffered a head injury and has been transferred to Carolinas Medical Center in Charlotte.

The charges against Watts are subject to change based upon the severity of Smith’s injuries.

Nags Head

Ferris wheel to stand tall on Outer Banks again

The Outer Banks may soon have a Ferris wheel again.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk, Va., reported that the same family that ran Dowdy’s Amusement Park in Nags Head plans to erect a Ferris wheel by May.

Darnell Tillett and his mother, Sandra Dowdy, own Full Throttle Speedway. They plan to resurrect the ride and add a few others for children at their go-cart track and miniature golf course. Full Throttle is about four miles from the original site of Dowdy’s Amusement Park.

For close to 40 years, Dowdy’s Ferris wheel lit up Nags Head summer evenings and broadcast carnival music heard for long distances. The park closed in 2005, the victim of changing zoning laws that prevented Dowdy’s from rebuilding the Ferris wheel when it was blown down.

From wire reports

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