SC student smelled like weed, so officials searched him. They found something worse.

The smell of pot led to an unexpected discovery at an upstate high school Tuesday: a loaded gun. The find came after administrators smelled the drug on 19-year-old ZaQuel Shumaud Lewis and asked to search his backpack, according to multiple media reports. Lewis reportedly ran from the school after the request, swearing at staff as he left, according to TV station WYFF. The gun was found in Lewis’ bag, after a school resource officer was able to get him in custody, multiple media outlets reported. They also found marijuana. Lewis was charged with unlawful carrying of a firearm, possession of a firearm on school grounds, and other charges, station WSPA reported. There was no indication that he planned to use the gun at the school, officials told Fox Carolina. Continue Reading

SEC fines Missouri AD; Dawn Staley sues him for slander

South Carolina women's basketball coach Dawn Staley is suing Missouri's athletic director, saying he slandered her when he suggested she created an atmosphere that encouraged fans to spit on his players and use racial slurs. Staley's suit filed in Richland County asks for no more than $75,000 in damages from Sterk for disparaging her reputation. Also on Thursday, Southeastern Conference Commissioner Greg Sankey fined Jim Sterk $25,000 and reprimanded him for publicly criticizing Staley. Sterk broke a conference rule banning public criticism of other member institutions, their staff or players, Sankey said in a statement that also said SEC officials would review how South Carolina handles its crowd during games. "We take seriously the reports from Missouri's student-athletes about inappropriate language and actions directed at them by individual fans, and appreciate South Carolina's willingness to engage in a full review of fan behavior," Sankey said. Missouri officials said they planned to comment on the lawsuit later Thursday. The problems started the day after South Carolina's 64-54 win at home on Jan. 28. The teams have played three tough, physical games in a row, and Sterk said in a radio interview the latest game had an unhealthy atmosphere. "We had players spit on, and called the N-word and things like that. It was not a good environment and unfortunately, I think coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere," Sterk said on KTGR radio. Staley called the accusations "serious and false" right after they were made and said she lost sleep over them. South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner investigated, interviewing security personnel and others at the arena and found no evidence of spitting or racial slurs. He asked Sterk to retract his comments. Sterk then gave another radio interview where he did not take back his statement or apologize, but said he was moving on. "And kind of like in the words of that famous philosopher Forrest Gump, that's Continue Reading

SC legislators’ bill defines marriage, and everything else is a ‘parody marriage’

The day after Valentine’s Day, six South Carolina legislators introduced a bill to the House that would amend the definition of what constitutes marriage in the Palmetto State. The “Marriage and Constitution Restoration Act” was introduced Feb. 15 and would draw a line between what its sponsors deem is “marriage” and what is considered “parody marriage.” According to the bill, “ ‘parody marriage’ means any form of marriage that does not involve one man and one woman. ‘Marriage’ means a union of one man and one woman.” By that definition, any LGBT marriage would be a “parody marriage.” That wasn’t well received by Jeff March, president of SC Pride. “Pure prejudice is what that is. Pure outright prejudice,” March said, according to The State House representatives sponsoring the bill are all Republicans, and include: ▪  Steven Wayne Long, Spartanburg District 37 ▪  William M. “Bill” Chumley, Spartanburg District 35 ▪  James Mikell “Mike” Burns, Greenville District 17 ▪  John R. McCravy, III, Greenwood District 13 ▪  Josiah Magnuson, Spartanburg District 38 ▪  Richard “Rick” Martin, Newberry District 40 Their bill would “prohibit the state from respecting, endorsing, or recognizing any ‘parody marriage’ policy or policies that treat sexual orientation as a suspect class; and for other purposes,” according to its summary on Essentially, the bill would make it so South Carolina would not legally recognize any marriage not between one man and one woman. “It’s true that people can do whatever they want in their own homes, but they can’t force that on the state,” Long said, according to The bill goes on to read, “Marriage between and man and a woman arose out Continue Reading

Greenwood family featured on Super Bowl ad

More than 100 million people watched the Super Bowl, and for a split second, a Greenwood family crossed their screens. Matt Van Swol, who lives with his family in Hodges, entered a photo of them in a Kraft ad contest to be aired during the Super Bowl, but didn't expect to win. "I didn't tell anybody anything other than my family because I was like, there's quite a big chance that this never gets used in a Super Bowl commercial," Van Swol said. The criteria for the contest was to portray your family cheering, dancing or interacting with each other when watching sports in a photo or video. "We have two dogs and a pretty big family, so I said, we're just going to cram everybody on the couch and start cheering as loud as possible, get the dogs riled up and then take a photo," Van Swol said. Van Swol said Kraft had paid a fee to use the photo, but they hadn't been told it would be used. During the game, he and his sister had just turned the TV back to the game about 10 seconds before they saw it flash across the screen. "We just got up and started screaming," Van Swol said. "It was completely serendipitous." It wasn't long before their phones and Facebooks started blowing up with messages from friends and family. "We weren't even interested in the game at that point," Van Swol said. The Van Swol family photo is the first in a series of photos and clips Kraft used in its commercial, which can be viewed at Continue Reading

Coroner identifies 5 killed in South Carolina wreck

Officials have released the names of the five people who died in a weekend wreck in South Carolina. The South Carolina Highway Patrol said eight other people were hurt in the wreck Friday night in Darlington County. The victims have been identified as 52-year-old Leonard Rouse of Darlington, 14-year-old Nakisha Rouse of Darlington, 28-year-old Chikari Douglas-Rouse of Hartsville, her unborn child and a baby boy identified only as Douglas-Graham, also from Hartsville. The coroner's office said one woman was in labor and was headed to a hospital when the wreck happened. The Highway Patrol says everyone was thrown from the vehicle when the car ran off the side of a road and hit a drainage ditch and overturned. Continue Reading

2 dead, more than 100 hurt in Amtrak crash in Cayce

A Sunday morning crash involving an Amtrak passenger train and a freight train in Cayce, South Carolina, killed at least two people and injured more than 100. Here are the major developments of the day. ▪  There were eight crew members and approximately 139 passengers on board. Anyone seeking info about passengers on Train 91 should call the Amtrak info line at 1-800-523-9101. ▪  The two people who were killed were Amtrak employees. They were identified as train engineer Michael Kempf, 54, from Savannah, Ga., and conductor Michael Cella, 36, Orange Park, Fla. ▪  The crash between the Amtrak train and a CSX freight train occurred near Charleston Highway and Pine Ridge Road (west of Columbia) around 2:35 a.m. Sunday. The lead engine and a few passenger cars derailed. ▪  The Amtrak train appeared to be on the wrong track, according to SC Gov. Henry McMaster, when it collided with a freight train that was stationary and on a loading track. ▪  All the passengers were removed from the train, which was operating from New York to Miami. The train was headed south, the governor said. ▪  More than 100 passengers were taken to local hospitals, McMaster said. The Palmetto Health hospital system received 62 patients from the crash. According to Dr. Steve Shelton with Palmetto Health, one patient was critical late Sunday morning and two others were in serious condition. ▪  President Donald Trump tweeted: “My thoughts and prayers are with all of the victims involved in this mornings train collision in South Carolina. Thank you to our incredible First Responders for the work they’ve done!” ▪  Investigators with the National Transportation Safety Board are on site to determine the exact cause of the crash. ▪  Amtrak throughout the day was providing charter buses to help get those affected by the crash traveling on to their intended destinations. ▪  There Continue Reading

No. 7 South Carolina managing UConn prep, Missouri fallout

South Carolina coach Dawn Staley has had to multi-task this week, dealing with serious concerns on and off the court. Staley and the Gamecocks have been preparing for No. 1 UConn while the coach dealt with Missouri athletic director Jim Sterk's comments that she fostered a hostile atmosphere during last Sunday's game against the Tigers. "I'm a master compartmentalist," Staley said Wednesday. "Anytime you deal with distractions, you prioritize and the priority right now is UConn. That's been my focus. Did I lose a little sleep last night? Yes. But there's another game to be played." That's on Thursday night when No. 7 South Carolina (18-3) takes on the top-ranked Huskies (20-0) in the latest top-10 matchup between the programs. But Staley has had to double back to the Missouri game and Sterk's charge. He told the Columbia, Missouri, radio station KTGR on Monday that fans used racial slurs and spit on Missouri players as they left the court after the Gamecocks' 64-54 win. "We had players spit on and called the N-word and things like that. It was not a good environment," Sterk told the station. "And unfortunately, I think Coach Staley promoted that kind of atmosphere, and it's unfortunate that she felt she had to do that." Staley said Sterk's assertions were "serious and false." She said they would be addressed through proper channels. During the Missouri game there was a brief scuffle when South Carolina's Alexis Jennings and Missouri's Kayla Michaels battled for a loose ball and both hit the floor hard still locked up. Players on both sides ran to the scrum. Officials took about 15 minutes to decide on penalties: Two Missouri reserves were ejected for leaving the bench while a starter on each side — Missouri's Sophie Cunningham and South Carolina's Doniyah Cliney — were assessed unsportsmanlike fouls. South Carolina's crowd booed Cunningham each time she touched the ball. In her postgame comments, Missouri coach Robin Pingeton Continue Reading

Her dog needed a walk, but Rock Hill woman said it was cold. Here’s what she did.

A Rock Hill woman decided to not to brave the cold when her dog needed to go on a walk just before 9 a.m. Thursday. But police don’t recommend her solution. The Rock Hill woman, who lives on Marrett Boulevard Extension, decided to tie her dog to the back of her SUV – pulling it around the block by its leash, according to a Rock Hill police report. “It’s never a great idea to pull your dog by their leash, while the leash is attached to the back of your car,” the Rock Hill Police Department said in a Facebook post Thursday night. “No, it is not OK to walk your dog, using your car, so you can stay warm inside your car while doing it,” the police department said. A witness called police Thursday morning, after he said he saw a red SUV pulling a dog by the leash on Amber Lane in Rock Hill. The witness told police he tried to stop the car, because the dog looked “overly tired” and appeared like it was about to collapse, the report says. The witness said the car didn’t stop, but he was able to point out the vehicle to police. The woman, identified by police as Maria Maltos, admitted to pulling her dog with her car, the report says. She said the dog “likes to run, and usually runs with cars,” the report says. The woman told police she thought it would be OK to pull the dog by the car, since it was cold outside and she wanted to stay warm, the report says. The dog didn’t have any apparent injuries, but the officer notified Animal Control, the report says. Maltos was cited for dog abuse, the report says. Continue Reading

Comedian attacked by audience member at Columbia club

A comedy routine in Columbia went sour for a comedian, when a member of the audience took to the stage to attack the entertainer. The incident took place at the Comedy House in Columbia on Sunday, during Steve Brown’s act around 10 p.m. He was scheduled to perform from Jan. 17 through Jan. 21. Tumika LaSha, who recorded the incident with her phone, said she was in the middle of the show having fun, when suddenly her table was knocked over along with her food. It all started when Brown spotted an audience member who just didn’t seem to be enjoying the routine. “I just remember the comedian asked the guy what was his problem,” LaSha said. “The comedian asked, ‘what’s wrong?’ He just shook his head like, move on to somebody else.” LaSha recalled Brown asking the audience member why did he come to a comedy show, if he wasn’t going to laugh. Then the audience member got mad. LaSha said Brown warned the man, “this ain’t what you want.” Still, the man charged at Brown. In the video captured by LaSha, the audience member is seen swinging punches at Brown and missing. He then grabs the mic stand, which he also swings at Brown. Finally, the man struck Brown with the on-stage stool. Two men then ran on stage to break up the fight. In an Instagram post, Brown said that the attack was a “reminder of why these comedy clubs should all be well equipped with professional security to protect us entertainers who bring their club so much money.” “I thank God for looking out for me and giving my old ass the ability to bob and weave because this could have ended in horrible way,” Brown said. Brown also later posted an image of the cut he received from the mic stand. A woman who answered the phone at the Comedy House said management would not comment on the incident. In an incident report from the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the attacker is identified as Continue Reading

Christmas Day lotto glitch gives woman multiple winning tickets in South Carolina

A South Carolina woman thought she was experiencing a year-end miracle when she bought a winning $500 “Holiday Cash” insta-pay ticket. However, it was more like a major disappointment. Nicole Coggins, who lives in Liberty, SC and doesn’t usually play the lottery very much, then bought three more tickets, which were all winners. “I thought maybe there’s something wrong with the machine. This can’t be real,’’ she told Greenville TV station WYFF. Her instinct was right. Coggins was later told that they were invalid when she tried to cash the "winners." A programming glitch created too many winning "add a play" tickets for two hours on Christmas Day. LAS VEGAS HOTEL SHOOTING LEAVES 2 SECURITY GUARDS DEAD No more than five identical play symbols should appear for a single play. Once the issue was identified, the game was suspended immediately to conduct a thorough investigation. State officials also reportedly said that anyone who purchased a Holiday Cash Add-A-Play ticket on Christmas Day between Continue Reading