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September 25, 2018 - 12:00 am


The Latest: 2 public schools in NC uninhabitable after storm

GEORGETOWN, S.C. (AP) — A North Carolina school superintendent says two of the six schools in his system will have to be demolished because of water damage caused by Hurricane Florence.

Jones County School Superintendent Michael Bracy said Jones Middle and Trenton Elementary schools received at least 3 feet (0.9 meters) of water in portions of the respective buildings. Bracy said by the time workers could get into the schools, mold and mildew had already formed.

Bracy says the system is building a brand new K-12 school for those students, scheduled to open in August 2019. In the meantime, efforts are underway to relocate them temporarily to other schools that weren't affected by Florence.


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.


Preacher charged with assaulting wife after she kidnaps baby

CLINTON, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina preacher and his wife have been jailed on separate charges related to an investigation that was triggered by the kidnapping of a 2-month-old baby.

Citing a Laurens County sheriff's release, news outlets report 31-year-old Jennifer Bunting English was arrested Sept. 21 after the mother of the infant she was babysitting reported her child hadn't been returned and the babysitter stopped communicating.

Deputies found her smoking marijuana around the child. She is charged with kidnapping and unlawful conduct toward a child.

During the investigation, deputies found her husband, 33-year-old David English, helped her obtain illegal drugs and assaulted her earlier that week, causing significant injuries. He was booked Monday on charges of second-degree domestic violence and unlawful conduct toward a child.

It's unclear whether the couple has lawyers.


Family of woman killed in elevator shaft fall to get $600K

GAFFNEY, S.C. (AP) — The family of a South Carolina woman who fell down an elevator shaft to her death has been awarded a $600,000 settlement.

Rae Gilmore was a volunteer and dealer at Blackhorse Antiques who was in her 70s in 2015. Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler said she had called the freight elevator, but it never came down. She stepped forward when the doors opened, plunging 11 to 14 feet into the basement.

Family attorneys tell news outlets a judge signed the settlement order last month with insurers and the South Carolina Municipal Risk and Financing Fund on behalf of Gaffney.

South Carolina Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation spokeswoman Lesia Kudelka says that elevator hadn't been inspected since the state adopted an elevator code in 1986. It was built in the 1940s.

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