News from around The Carolinas

South Carolina


Soldiers from SC, Arkansas killed in Afghanistan

Federal officials say two Kansas-based soldiers from South Carolina and Arkansas have been killed in Afghanistan.

The Department of Defense said Sunday that 24-year-old Sgt. Channing B. Hicks of Greer and 23-year-old Spc. Joseph A. Richardson of Booneville, Ark., died Friday in Paktika province.

The soldiers were assigned to the 1st Battalion, 28th Infantry Regiment, 4th Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, at Fort Riley, Kansas.

Officials say the men died from injuries they suffered when enemy forces attacked their unit with an improvised explosive device and small arms fire.


Police shoot, kill assault suspect

A man is dead after a confrontation with police in downtown Greenville.

Police Chief Terri Wilfong says two of her officers responded to an assault call early Sunday. Wilfong says the officers saw a man beating someone with a bat and yelled for him to stop.

Wilfong says the man charged at the officers with the bat, and one of them shot and killed him.

The officers involved have been put on leave, and the State Law Enforcement Division is investigating. Greenville County Coroner Barry Wright has identified the man who was shot as 19-year-old Senovio Pedro Maldonado from Easley.


Police: Man stabs cousin after watching MMA fight

Richland County deputies say a man stabbed his cousin after the two watched a mixed martial arts bout together on television.

Deputy Curtis Wilson says three men were drinking and watching the fight at a home on Saturday night.

After the bout ended, Wilson says 37-year-old Jason Sparks’ cousin tried to stop him from attacking another man. Wilson says Sparks pulled out a pocket knife and stabbed his cousin in the torso.

As Sparks and his girlfriend drove his injured cousin to the hospital, deputies say Sparks again tried to attack the man.

Sparks was arrested at the hospital and charged with aggravated assault. It wasn’t known if he had an attorney.


Plane catches on fire after collision with deer

A pilot and a passenger weren’t hurt after their plane caught on fire during a crash with a deer on a runway at the Greenwood County Airport.

Sheriff Tony Davis says the collision happened at around 11:30 a.m. Saturday.

Davis says the plane was trying to land when a deer ran across the runway. The pilot felt a bump, then saw the plane was on fire.

Davis said the plane traveled several hundred yards after bursting into flames. The pilot and a passenger were able to get out of the plane without any injuries.

Fire officials say the plane caught on fire after fuel leaked into the engine after hitting the deer. The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating.

North Carolina

Chapel Hill

Orange hearing for smoking ban

The Orange County Commissioners will hear from the public Tuesday before considering a ban on smoking in public places.

If approved, the ban will prohibit smokers from lighting up in parks and on sidewalks or city- and county-owned property after Jan. 1. Violators will receive warnings for the first six months, during a public education campaign.

After July 1, violators could face a $25 fine.

Those who operate public places also could be charged for failing to enforce the rule. The first two violations could result in a warning, and the health director could levy a fine of up to $200 for any additional violations.

The Orange County Board of Health voted Oct. 24 in favor of the ban after hearing from more than 800 people. Most of them favored the ban, officials said.

Mount Airy

NC couple charged in death of 5-month-old

A Mount Airy couple has been charged in the death of a 5-month-old child in their care.

Surry County Sheriff Graham Atkinson says 30-year-old Billie Jo Floyd and 32-year-old Justin Wayne Barker were arrested Friday and charged with second-degree murder in the death of Floyd’s child.

Atkinson says authorities were called to Barker’s house Friday after a report of an infant in cardiac arrest. The baby was later pronounced dead at a hospital, and the sheriff says authorities became concerned and charged the couple after noticing injuries on the baby’s body.

An autopsy is scheduled for Monday morning. Floyd and Barker were jailed Sunday on $1 million bond each, and it wasn’t known if they had attorneys.

From wire reports