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September 27, 2018 - 12:00 am

PILOTS KILLED

2 pilots die in jet crash at South Carolina airport

(Information from: The Greenville News, http://www.greenvillenews.com)

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A mid-sized jet that tried to land at a South Carolina airport ran off the runway and split in two, killing the two pilots on board and injuring two passengers.

The reason for the crash Thursday at the Greenville Downtown Airport was unclear. Witnesses say the plane appeared to land without a problem until it overshot the runway and went down a steep embankment.

The Greenville News reports the pilots' names won't be released until the Greenville County Coroner's Office notifies relatives. One pilot died at the scene; the other at Greenville Memorial Hospital. The passengers, a married man and woman, are in critical condition at an area hospital.

Airport Director Joe Frasher says the crash, involving a Dassault Falcon 50 model, is the worst in at least 20 years at the airport.

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PROSECUTOR SPENDING

SC prosecutor released on bond on embezzlement charges

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina prosecutor has been released on bond on state charges related to alleged misspending of public funds.

Media outlets report 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson was released Thursday on a $25,000 personal recognizance bond.

Johnson appeared in the same Richland County courthouse where he has served as prosecutor. He was suspended from office last week following his indictment on more than two dozen federal charges including wire fraud and theft of government funds. Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the state charges days later.

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. His federal arraignment has been scheduled for Tuesday.

SUPREME COURT-KAVANAUGH-LINDSEY GRAHAM

Graham to Kavanaugh: 'You've got nothing to apologize for'

WASHINGTON (AP) — Brett Kavanaugh looked in desperate need of a fighter on his behalf Thursday as he gave impassioned testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee denying allegations of sexual assault.

He found it in Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, who told the judge straight out, "You've got nothing to apologize for."

Kavanaugh alternated from anger to tears during fiery testimony. He took deep breaths and lengthy sips of water to gain his composure.

Democratic senators pressed Kavanaugh over and over again to request an FBI investigation if he had nothing to hide.

Enter Graham, who told Democrats, "What you want to do is destroy this guy's life, hold this seat open and hope you win in 2020."

Soon, the White House was also tweeting its appreciation to the senator.

TROPICAL WEATHER-DETAINEES DROWN

Sheriff: Guard waved van around barricade before 2 drowned

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Officials say South Carolina deputies — after being waved through by National Guardsmen — drove a transport van around a barricade blocking a flooded road shortly before two mental patients drowned inside.

Horry (OR-ree) County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Brooke Holden told The Associated Press on Thursday that Guardsmen allowed deputies to drive around a barrier the night of Sept. 18 because they were in a law enforcement vehicle.

State police opened a probe after the women's deaths on a flooded Marion County road. Deputies were transporting the patients as part of a court order as flood waters rose in the area due to heavy rains from Hurricane Florence.

The deputies have been placed on leave.

A South Carolina National Guard spokeswoman didn't immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

HOSPITAL NAME CHANGE

South Carolina hospital systems get new name after merger

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Two hospital systems in South Carolina are getting a new name after their merger.

Palmetto Health in Columbia and Greenville Health say their combined operation will be known as Prisma.

The two systems agreed to merge in November.

Hospitals will keep their names, like Baptist and Richland in Columbia, Tuomey in Sumter, Greenville Memorial and Laurens County.

The Palmetto Health-Greenville Health System merger forms the largest health system in South Carolina with 13 hospitals and 1.2 million patients annually.

The companies are expected to generate nearly $4 billion in annual net revenue. The system is the largest private employer in South Carolina with more than 28,000 health care workers and 2,800 physicians.

Columbia health consultant Lynn Bailey says using non-regional names has become a trend among growing hospital systems.

HURRICANE FLORENCE-COWBOYS

'Hurricane Cowboys' rescue animals abandoned during Florence

(Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A team of people led by a Virginia man called the "Hurricane Cowboy" is working to rescue animals in the Carolinas abandoned during Hurricane Florence.

Patrick McKann is a horse trainer and former bull rider, rodeo cowboy and jockey. He earned his moniker last year when providing aid in Texas following Hurricane Harvey.

McKann tells The State his team has rescued horses, donkeys, chickens, dogs and cats so far, while also providing emergency transportation for people.

The newspaper reported Wednesday that the team worked briefly in Pender County, North Carolina and is now working their way through devastated areas of South Carolina.

The 42-year-old McKann says the team has spent the last few days in Conway, where he says the water was steadily rising.

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