Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 5:20 p.m. EDT

June 12, 2018 - 12:00 am


The Latest: President Trump tweets against US Rep Sanford

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — President Donald Trump is backing the opponent of U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford just hours before polls close in South Carolina.

Trump posted on his official Twitter account that Mark Sanford was very unhelpful to him and was better off in Argentina, referring to his trip to South America to have an affair in 2009 when his staff said he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Trump asked South Carolina Republicans in the coastal 1st District around Charleston to back state Rep. Katie Arrington, who spent most of her campaign calling Sanford a "Never Trumper."

Trump's post was made less than three hours before polls closed.

Sanford has never lost in eight primaries in South Carolina, including in his return to the U.S. House after the affair marred the end of his second term as governor


World War I names desegregated despite monuments lawsuit

GREENWOOD, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man has desegregated names on a World War I plaque despite ongoing litigation over a state monuments law.

Trey Ward tells The Index-Journal he put up a new plaque listing Greenwood soldiers in alphabetical order, rather than by race, last week.

A veterans group was seeking the change to promote equality. A judge recently ruled in favor of the American Legion.

The judge noted the monument was privately owned, even though it sits on public property. The judge said private ownership makes changes OK despite state law that generally prohibits monument alterations without legislative approval. That law was enacted to protect monuments during debate over removing the Confederate flag from atop the Statehouse.

State officials asked the judge to reconsider because they think the decision could leave other monuments unprotected.


Police officer in S Carolina fired after N Carolina arrest

FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) — A police officer in South Carolina has been fired after authorities in North Carolina say she was charged with drug possession and driving while intoxicated earlier this month.

Fort Mill Police Chief Jeff Helms said he fired 55-year-old Tanya Ervin-Leonhardt on June 3, one day after she was arrested about 45 miles (72 kilometers) away in Cherryville, North Carolina.

Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks told media outlets Ervin-Leonhardt was pulled over after someone reported her passing other cars recklessly and yelling at least one other driver.

Jenks says officers smelled alcohol on Ervin-Leonhardt's breath and she refused to take a sobriety test. Officers also found 12 grams of marijuana in her car.

Ervin-Leonhardt worked for Fort Mill Police for 16 years. It wasn't known if she had a lawyer.


Sheriff, coroner investigate South Carolina woman's death

NORTH AUGUSTA, S.C. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies and the county coroner are investigating after a South Carolina woman was found dead in her home.

Aiken County Sheriff's Capt. Eric Abdullah said in a news release that deputies were called to a home in North Augusta shortly before 5 p.m. Monday.

Coroner Tim Carlton said in a news release that 20-yearold Melissa Clary was pronounced dead at the scene. Her body has been taken to Newberry for an autopsy Tuesday.

Carlton said Clary was found by her mother, who reported serious injuries.

Abdullah said deputies consider the death suspicious. No arrests have been reported.


The Latest: Trump urges SC voters to dump Rep. Sanford

President Donald Trump is urging South Carolina Republican voters to dump frequent critic Rep. Mark Sanford.

Trump says Sanford "has been very unhelpful to me" and is poking fun at his infamous disappearance in 2009, when he was found to have been carrying on an extramarital affair with a woman in Argentina.

Trump tweets "he's better off in Argentina."

Sanford was elected during a 2013 special election to the U.S. House seat he had held previously despite the controversy which led to his divorce from his wife, Jenny.

He has called Trump untrustworthy and culturally intolerant, prompting Republican state Rep. Katie Arrington to challenge Sanford.

Trump tweeted his endorsement of Arrington along with the swipe at Sanford.



S Carolina officer fired after DWI arrest in N Carolina

(Information from: The Herald,

FORT MILL, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina police officer who was arrested in North Carolina has been fired.

Fort Mill Police Chief Jeff Helms tells The Herald that 55-year-old Tanya Moore Ervin-Leonhardt was fired June 3, a day after her arrest on charges including driving while impaired, drug possession and illegally carrying a gun.

Cherryville Police Chief Cam Jenks says officers responding to reported careless driving "could smell the odor of alcohol on her breath." She identified herself as an off-duty officer and refused to take a sobriety test. Police found marijuana and paraphernalia in her car.

Jenks says concealed carry permit holders aren't allowed to carry concealed weapons with alcohol in their systems.

Helms says Ervin-Leonhardt was a desk officer who joined the department in 2002.

It's unclear whether she has a lawyer.


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