News In Brief - October 2, 2007

Fort Lawn boy attacked by pit bull

FORT LAWN -- A 7-year-old Fort Lawn boy was attacked by a pit bull over the weekend, according to a Chester County Sheriff's Office report.

The attack happened around 5 p.m. Saturday at the Lazy-H Road home where the boy was staying, the report stated.

The owner of the 2-year-old dog told police that the boy came crawling up the front steps growling at the dog when the animal attacked him on the porch, according to the report.

The boy suffered bite marks on his face and on the top of his head, the report stated. One of the child's front teeth also was broken.

The boy was taken to the emergency room of the Chester County Regional Medical Center for treatment, according to the report. Animal control removed the dog.

Local bands place at Irmo invitational

The Northwestern High School band placed first overall at the Palmetto Esprit de Corps Invitational on Saturday at W.C. Hawkins Stadium at Irmo High School.

Nineteen bands competed, according to the S.C. Band Directors Association Web site.

Northwestern received a superior rating in the 4-AAAA competition and placed first in its category. Northwestern's drum line was best overall.

The Chester High School band received an excellent rating and placed second in the 1-A category.

Unoccupied house destroyed by fire

CHESTER -- A late-night fire destroyed an unoccupied house in Chester late Sunday, according to the Chester Fire Department.

Authorities said the small mill house at 570 Sixth St. caught fire around 11 p.m. Sunday. It took firefighters about an hour to put out the blaze, but because the home was unoccupied, no one was injured, fire officials said.

The home was completely destroyed, and officials said the cause is still under investigation.

Murray White wins conservation award

A former York County Councilman won the 2007 BMW Conservation Award for his vision and leadership in protecting the rural character of York County, according to a press release.

Murray White, of Fort Mill, founded the Nation Ford Land Trust in 1989 because of concerns about loss of farmland, river corridors and the special natural areas of the region, the release issued by Palmetto Conservation states.

The land trust has protected more than 4,530 acres in the county, including easements on two farms and several miles of river frontage along the Catawba, the Broad and Sugar Creek.

Land significant in the Revolutionary War -- the Battle of Huck's Defeat, King's Mountain, and Nanny's Mountain -- also has been preserved by the group, the release states.

White forged a strong partnership between the land trust and county government that resulted in the state's first local government land preservation program.

This is the 10th year BMW and Palmetto Conservation honored an individual for lifetime contributions in preserving South Carolina's natural resources. White was nominated by Fort Mill resident Anne Springs Close.

White will be honored at a reception Oct. 16 at the White Homestead from 6 to 7:30 p.m. The event is free but attendees must RSVP to (803) 771 -0870.

Middle schoolers charged with trying to sell pot

Two Rock Hill teens were charged Friday with trying to sell illegal drugs during class, according to a Rock Hill Police report.

The report states a 13-year-old male Saluda Trail Middle School student was trying to sell a small amount of marijuana to another student during science class when a teacher noticed the sale. According to the report, the boy told police he bought the drug from a 14-year-old male classmate, who also admitted to police he was involved.

The boys were charged with possession of marijuana with intent to distribute and distributing marijuana, the report states. They were released to their parents with a summons to appear in family court.

Decision on intersection will come in November

The Rock Hill school board will have to wait until November to find out if the York County Council will change the design for the intersection of Porter and Firetower roads.

At the school board's request, the council agreed last month to look into plans for the intersection near a new school. School board members voiced concerns because of the expected volume of traffic at the intersection when nearby Mount Holly Elementary School opens next year.

County Manager Jim Baker said he talked to property owners affected by the construction and engineers about alternatives. He said a recommendation to council is expected Nov. 5.

Firetower and Porter roads meet about a mile off Interstate 77 and less than a mile from Main Street, Anderson and Albright roads.

Plans to improve the intersection were part of the 2003 road-improvement project, "Pennies for Progress," with road work financed by a 1-cent sales tax increase. Instead of turning the Y-shaped intersection into a standard T-shape 300 feet east, the council decided in March to make small improvements.

Construction could start in the spring on the nearly $900,000 project. Choosing the T-shape design could cost around $200,000 more to complete.

4 agencies search for escapee, hunter

The Chester and York county sheriff's offices, the Chester Police Department and the S.C. Law Enforcement Division all joined forces Monday night to search for a prisoner who had escaped Chester police in handcuffs.

Chester police had charged Wayne Alexander Caldwell, 29, of Chester with possession of a handgun and possession of crack and powder cocaine, according to Chester County Sheriff Robby Benson. Somehow, Caldwell eluded officers while being transported to the Chester County Detention Center, Benson added.

SLED sent a helicopter and York County a canine unit to search for the escapee.

Meanwhile, officers received a report of a 68-year-old hunter who had gone into the Chester County woods with a friend but never emerged. Officers diverted their resources to search for the missing hunter at about 9:30 p.m.

"We know who he is," Benson said of the escapee. "We can get him later."