Man jumped to death from car to elude police

The death of a man who died earlier this week while apparently trying to elude Richland County deputies was an accident, County Coroner Gary Watts said Thursday.

Watts said the man died of head injuries he received after he jumped from a moving car on Windsor Shore Drive.

Watts identified the man as Albert A. Furgess III, 24, of Whitmire.

Sheriff Leon Lott said in a news release that deputies had seen the man leave a hotel near the 1000 block of Windsor Shore Drive shortly before 2 a.m. Tuesday.

A short time later, deputies discovered his body near the entrance of a nearby hotel complex.

The victim most likely believed deputies were pursuing him, Lott said.

That's because the man had outstanding warrants against him issued by the S.C. Department of Probation, Parole and Pardon Services, said Monique Mack, a spokeswoman for the Sheriff's Department.

When the man saw the deputy, he might have thought the deputy was coming for him Mack said.

But deputies only discovered the warrant after finding the man unconscious in the road, she said. He also had a handgun on his body.

The man died Wednesday afternoon at Palmetto Healh Richland hospital.

Investigators have spoken to the driver of the car from which the man jumped, and no charges will be filed against that person, Mack said.

- John Monk

Lexington area input sought on U.S. 378

Lexington residents are being asked to comment on several proposed road improvements along U.S. 378.

The S.C. Department of Transportation will hold a public information meeting Feb. 18 regarding proposed improvements in the town of Lexington where 378 crosses Park Road, West Main Street/Old Chapin Road, and West Butler Street/Reed Avenue.

Residents can drop in between 5 and 7 p.m. to hear about the project and offer suggestions. SCDOT representatives will be available to answer questions.

Highway officials also hope to gather information on historic or cultural resources in the area.

The meeting will be at the municipal complex conference center, 111 Maiden Lane.

Other details: program manager Kati Holland, (803) 737-4755 in Columbia.

- Bertram Rantin

Funeral service today for ex-Cayce mayor

Funeral services will be held today for former Cayce Mayor Mortimer Fenton Smith who died Saturday.

An Orangeburg native, Smith served in the Navy during World War II and in the Air Force during the Korean War.

Smith practiced law in Cayce for 30 years. He was a 11th Circuit Family Court judge in Lexington County for eight years and on the board of directors of First Federal Savings and Loan of Cayce for more than 30 years, including five years as chairman. He also was a past president of the Cayce-West Columbia Lions Club.

Funeral services will be at 11 a.m. at First Baptist Church of West Columbia. Burial will follow in Woodridge Memorial Park.

- Staff Reports

College wants to offer accelerated graduate MBA

CHARLESTON - The College of Charleston said Thursday it is seeking the state's blessing to offer graduate students an accelerated master's degree in business administration.

The college said in a statement that its Board of Trustees unanimously approved an MBA proposal submitted by the School of Business.

The college now requires approval from the S.C. Commission on Higher Education's Committee on Academic Affairs and Licensing and from the full commission.

The college hopes to start offering its first MBA degree in the fall.

- The (Charleston) Post and Courier