Richland County authorities are searching for an unrestrained white pit bull in the area around Claudia Drive near Columbia Mall.
The dog is being sought in the wake of reports that a person suffered a dog bite Monday. The dog is being sought in the area near Two Notch Road and Columbia Place mall.
If residents see this animal, do not approach it but instead call Richland County Animal Care at (803) 576-2461 or (803) 929-6000.
-- John Monk
State road deaths down slightly
Traffic deaths in South Carolina are down slightly through Sunday compared to the same period a year ago, the State Highway Patrol reports.
Its count released Monday shows 331 deaths compared to 342 a year ago.
That includes 232 motorists, 42 motorcyclists, 36 pedestrians and five bicyclists, the report said. Another 16 persons died while in accidents involving golf carts, all-terrain vehicles and other forms of transportation, officials said. More than half of those killed in vehicle accidents — 134 drivers and passengers — weren’t wearing seat belts, the report said.
The count in Richland County is 20 compared to 14 a year ago. It has fallen in adjoining Lexington County from 24 to 18.
-- Tim Flach
Coastal evacuation exercise planned
Law enforcement officials will conduct an evacuation exercise today along I-26 and other main roads out of the Lowcountry.
Lanes will not be reversed, but state troopers and other specialists will be stationed on road shoulders as part of the hurricane preparation effort, officials said.
-- Tim Flach
ESPN covers USC literacy program
A student-founded literacy outreach program at the University of South Carolina will be featured this week on the ESPN program “SEC Weekly.”
The segment on Cocky’s Reading Express will be part of the show’s academic special program at 9 p.m. Wednesday on ESPNU.
USC students, accompanied by the school’s mascot Cocky, have traveled to schools in underserved areas of the state since 2005 to read to schoolchildren and teach them the importance of reading. Each child receives a book from Cocky as part of the program.
Cocky’s Reading Express receives dozens of school visit requests each semester, and so far the group has visited more than 30 counties and distributed more than 30,000 books. The ESPN crew taped USC students in April during a visit to Carver Lyon Elementary in Columbia’s Waverly community.
-- Bertram Rantin
Man charged in drug sting
An undercover drug sting featuring an officer posing as a marijuana dealer nabbed a 25-year-old Lexington man Sunday. Officers also seized about 27 ounces of cocaine worth an estimated $27,000 street value, said Sheriff James Metts.
Benjamin Jonathan Newman, of Clermont Lakes Drive, was being held at the county detention center on charges of trafficking in cocaine and trafficking in marijuana, Metts said. According to reports, an officer working undercover arranged to “provide” the suspect with 50 pounds of marijuana if he would give him 27 ounces of cocaine.
When Newman allegedly gave him the cocaine, Metts said, the officer arrested him. Officers executing search warrants at the suspect’s house also found a large grill that had been reported stolen from a Lexington church and an all-terrain vehicle. Officers involved in the arrest were with the Lexington County multi-agency narcotics enforcement team.
The team is made up of officers from the sheriff’s department, Batesburg-Leesville Police Department, Irmo Police Department, Lexington Police Department and South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The sheriff and municipal police chiefs implemented NET in 2001 in order to enhance the enforcement of drug laws across Lexington County.
-- John Monk