STATE NEWS IN BRIEFCOLUMBIAGiraffe baby stands tall at RiverbanksKeeper Emily Boese stood on a boulder Thursday to bottle-feed Riverbanks Zoo's cute new baby.The bottle held nearly 2 liters of milk, and the baby chugged it down in a couple of minutes.Even when they're young, giraffes aren't dainty.The new female was 5 feet 6 and weighed 119 pounds at birth Aug. 15. A month later, she's nearly 6 feet tall and 177 pounds."It kills me when the babies are taller than me," said Sue Pfaff, assistant mammal curator. "They just tower over me."The unnamed female joins half-brother Lewis, who was born in February, and four adults in the Riverbanks exhibit. First-time mom Krissy didn't nurse her baby, so keepers had to hand-rear her, Pfaff said.The new baby is the 17th giraffe born at Riverbanks in 35 years, but only the second since 2000. Charlie, the lone adult male at the zoo, is the father of both Lewis and the new baby, whose naming rights will be auctioned off at the ZOOfari fundraiser Oct. 3.The baby first was allowed in the outdoor exhibit for short periods 10 days ago. She has adapted quickly, often sticking close to her brother while the adults head to other parts of the yard, Pfaff said."It's like when families get together for the holidays. The adults go to one room, and the kids go to another," Pfaff said.The baby already is hanging out in the exhibit most of the day, but visitors won't be able to feed her like the adult giraffes. COLUMBIAChurchill writings go to USC collectionThe University of South Carolina says it's getting a collection of writings by former British Prime Minister Winston Churchill. The school says a donor from Florence is visiting the university today to unveil the collection, which also includes a painting by Churchill. The donor is also being honored with a private reception later today. The collection will be on display at the university's Thomas Cooper Library through October. It joins other 20th-century world history collections, including comprehensive holdings for the two world wars. FLORENCEThird arrest made in pair of shootingsAuthorities say a third man has been charged in connection with the shootings of two people whose bodies were found on a dirt road in South Carolina. Multiple media outlets reported that bond was denied Thursday for 26-year-old Fonnelze Travis Delaine. Delaine was arrested Wednesday and charged with accessory before the fact to murder in the deaths of 32-year-old Talya Poston and 26-year-old Bill Hall. Investigators say the pair were killed in Florence County Sept. 1. Poston's SUV was found burning three days later. Authorities last week arrested 27-year-old Laross Graham and 25-year-old Montez Barker and charged them with murder. All three suspects were in the Florence County jail Thursday. It wasn't immediately clear if they had attorneys. CHARLESTONCarnival Cruise boat makes Charleston homeSouth Carolina's $16 billion tourism industry is getting a boost following word from state and ports officials that, for the first time, cruises will leave from the state year-round. The officials announced Thursday that Carnival Cruise Lines will homeport its 2,056-passenger Carnival Fantasy in Charleston beginning next year. The Carnival will begin operating five-, six- and seven-day cruises from Charleston beginning next May. In the past, Carnival operated a handful of voyages during the winter season from Charleston. State Sen. Larry Grooms estimates that each voyage will directly pump $1 million into the local economy - as much as $70 million a year. And that money will have a ripple effect in the local and state economy. COLUMBIAVA facility asks flu sufferers to stay awayThe Dorn VA Medical Center is asking anyone with flu symptoms or who has been exposed to the flu to refrain from visiting the veterans facility in Columbia. Veterans Affairs officials said Thursday they need to restrict anyone under age 18 from visiting until the flu season is over. The steps are designed to limit the spread of the seasonal flu, as well as the H1N1 swine flu. VA officials say they need to protect the health of those in the 172-bed hospital and its outpatient clinics, which see about 650 patients every day. Children may be allowed to visit patients in the 10-bed hospice center, but this will be determined on a case-by-case basis. MOUNT PLEASANTInterim leader tapped to lead naval museumThe interim executive director of the Patriots Point Naval and Maritime Museum in South Carolina now has the job permanently. The Post and Courier of Charleston reported that Dick Trammel was named executive director this week from a field of 130 people who applied. Trammel will make $100,000. He's overseen operations at the museum on Charleston Harbor since April when Hugh Tant resigned. During that time, the museum that is home to the aircraft carrier Yorktown received a $9 million state loan for repairs to the World War II destroyer Laffey. Trammel wants to open a marine science museum aboard the Yorktown and display more of the museum's collection of items showing naval history. - From wire reports
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