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September 26, 2018 - 12:00 am


Florence is nation's second wettest storm, behind Harvey

WASHINGTON (AP) — A top rainfall meteorologist calculates that Hurricane Florence is the nation's second rainiest storm in 70 years.

Ken Kunkel, a meteorologist at the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration and North Carolina State University, finds that only last year's Hurricane Harvey rained more over a 14,000 square mile area than Florence during a four-day period.

Scientists say climate change likely boosted rainfall totals for both storms.

Kunkel's preliminary analysis found more than 17.5 inches (0.4 meters) fell on average over five weather stations stretching from Fayetteville, North Carolina, to Florence, South Carolina. That amount is second to Harvey's 25.6 inches (0.6 meters).

The third rainiest storm was in March 2016 in northern Louisiana.

When Kunkel looked at a larger area — 20,000 square miles — Florence fell to seventh biggest rain storm.


'Southern Charm" reality star Ravenel charged in sex assault

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say reality show television star Thomas Ravenel has been arrested after a former nanny says he sexually assaulted her nearly four years ago.

Charleston Police charged Ravenel on Tuesday with misdemeanor second-degree assault and battery.

Bravo released a statement shortly after saying Ravenel would no longer appear on the network's "Southern Charm" show.

A sworn statement from police said Ravenel tried to take off the nanny's clothes in January 2015 at his Charleston home, then pulled down her pants and fondled her.

The statement says police have photos of injuries to her neck and chest.

Media outlets report Ravenel and his lawyer didn't comment on the charge as he was released on his own recognizance after the bond hearing.

Ravenel faces up to three years in prison if convicted.


Court suspends law license for SC prosecutor facing charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Court officials have suspended the law license of the South Carolina prosecutor currently facing state and federal charges related to alleged misspending of public funds.

The state Supreme Court issued that order Monday for 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson.

Johnson was suspended from office last week following his indictment on more than two dozen federal charges including wire fraud and theft of government funds. Authorities have been investigating Johnson's spending habits and trips to locations including Amsterdam, Colombia and the Galapagos Islands.

Johnson recently lost a primary bid for a third term and hasn't responded to messages about charges against him.

Johnson has also been indicted on state charges of embezzlement and misconduct in office and is set to appear in court on those charges later this week.


Funeral arrangements set for daughter of James Brown

(Information from: The Atlanta Journal-Constitution,

ATLANTA (AP) — Funeral arrangements have been set for Venisha Brown, one of the daughters of legendary soul singer James Brown.

Venisha Brown died last week due to complications from pneumonia at an Augusta hospital. She was 53.

The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports the service will be held at 1 p.m. Oct. 5 at Carpentersville Baptist Church in North Augusta, South Carolina.

Brown was the daughter of the late "Godfather of Soul" and the late Yvonne Fair, formerly of the singing group, the Chantels.

James Brown died in 2006.

Family members say of all of his children, Venisha Brown is the one who could most closely mimic the notable dancing skills of her famous father.



Florence flooding slowly envelops South Carolina homes

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) — Conway firefighters say the city hasn't seen many rescues or problems with the unprecedented flooding in the South Carolina city.

Conway Fire Chief Le Hendrick in part credits how accurately predicted the flooding was. Firefighters went around last week with a map warning people they were going to flood even though they never had before.

Hendrick said on Tuesday firefighters checked and those areas were flooded.

The Waccamaw River in Conway was expected to crest on Wednesday at 21.7 feet (6.6 meters). It surpassed the previous record high of 17.9 feet (5.5 meters) set in 2016 by Hurricane Matthew on Friday.

The waterway is not expected to drop below 18 feet or so until sometime next week. The river floods at 11 feet (3.4 meters).


The Latest: Big changes for small fish for fishermen

Big changes are in store for herring fishermen in New England.

The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration says a recent assessment shows the small fish used as bait by lobster and tuna fishermen is in decline.

The New England Fishery Management Council adopted a new formula Tuesday that ties catch limits to assessments of the overall herring population in future years. The council wants to further reduce catch limits to prevent overfishing. But there were no projections available Tuesday.

Herring is a vitally important part of the marine ecosystem, serving as food for whales, seals and large fish.

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