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Policeman getting medal for heroic rescue

Columbia police officer Jason Whittle, 36, will be awarded the police Medal of Valor this morning at City Council's weekly meeting.

No officer is believed to have been awarded that medal for at least 40 years, city officials said Tuesday.

The award, the first item on council's agenda, will be presented to honor Whittle for risking his life to save a woman trapped in a burning car after a wreck on Forest Drive. Within a minute after Whittle and a civilian, Michael Samuels, pulled the woman from the car, it exploded.

Each police department has different standards for awarding a Medal of Valor, but basically an officer must have performed an act above and beyond the call of duty to save, or try to save a life, at the risk of his or her own life.

DSS worker accused of pointing gun

CONWAY - A state Department of Social Services worker has been arrested after police say he pointed a gun at three college students.

The (Myrtle Beach) Sun News reported that 38-year-old Scott Grainger of Conway posted $5,000 bail Tuesday and was released. He was charged with pointing and presenting a firearm. Grainger was suspended from his job.

Authorities said Grainger pulled up beside a vehicle carrying three Coastal Carolina University students and pointed a gun at them. Grainger, a case manager who works with special needs children, was on duty when he was arrested, but was not in a state-owned vehicle. There were no children with him in the car.

Grainger has worked for DSS since September 2007.

Death might be sought in anchor's slaying

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A judge said prosecutors might seek the execution of a man accused of killing a popular television anchorwoman.

The judge also ruled Tuesday that evidence gathered against Curtis Lavelle Vance can be shown in open court.

Vance is charged in last October's beating death of KATV personality Anne Pressly, a Greenville, S.C., native. A trial is set for Nov. 2.

Defense lawyers said black men convicted in killings are set for execution at an excessive rate, especially if the victims are white. Pulaski County Circuit Judge Chris Piazza rejected their argument Tuesday without comment.

Piazza also said reporters and the public could attend pretrial hearings over the defense's objections.

Vance has pleaded not guilty.

Son charged in deaths of mother, man

SUMTER - Authorities say a man has been charged with murder in the killing of his mother and a man in her home.

Sumter police said Adolph McGhaney Jr., 23, was arrested Tuesday afternoon in a convenience store parking lot near Shaw Air Force Base.

They said that Monday night, McGhaney beat his mother, Rosemary Henderson, 46, and Jimmy Harvin, 61, with a blunt object with a sharp edge.

Investigators said McGhaney called a family member and told him he had killed someone. The relative went to Henderson's home, breaking down her door when no one answered, and found the bodies.

Police had said McGhaney drove off in Harvin's Ford Explorer, which was with him when he was arrested.

A motive hadn't been determined.

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