News In Brief - December 14, 2007

Rabid raccoon bite prompts health alert

INDIAN LAND -- Health officials are warning residents of Lancaster County to be on the lookout for rabid animals after a Lancaster man was bitten by a rabid raccoon last week.

The man, who officials will not identify, was bitten while hunting just outside northern Lancaster County's panhandle.

Adam Myrick, spokesman with the Department of Health and Environmental Control, said the rapid growth in Indian Land could push wild animals into residential areas. Residents are advised to be aware of wild animals acting tame or a tame animal acting wild. For suburban residents, Myrick said family pets are the most likely animals to bring rabies into a community.

If bitten by an animal, DHEC officials recommend washing the wound with soap and water and seeking immediate medical treatment.

The victim of last week's bite is undergoing medical treatment and is expected to recover, Myrick said.

This is the third rabid animal discovered in Lancaster County this year. Seven cases were confirmed in York County by late summer.

-- Fort Mill Times

Nation Ford student selected for honors band

FORT MILL -- A Nation Ford High School student was selected to participate in the Honor Band of America, sponsored by Bands of America and Music for All.

Junior Megan Silby, a bass clarinet player, was picked through a competitive audition process.

The band is comprised of students from across the nation, from large and small programs.

The Honor Band of America will perform in February during the National Concert Band Festival at Butler University in Indianapolis.

Man sought in death of 2-year-old child

COLUMBIA -- Authorities say they have charged a man with murder after the 2-year-old girl he was babysitting died from head injuries.

Richland County deputies say Daniel McAlister hasn't been seen since he took the girl a Columbia emergency room Tuesday. She died two days later.

Deputies say McAlister told witnesses he was watching the daughter of his girlfriend when the child fell and hit her head. He left the hospital before doctors could contact authorities.

Deputies say the girl's injuries were too severe to match McAlister's story.

2-year-old mauled by dog in Dorchester County

SUMMERVILLE -- A 2-year-old boy was mauled to death by a pit bull in his grandmother's backyard Thursday, authorities said.

Holden Jernigan apparently wandered into a fenced back yard while his grandmother was babysitting and was attacked by the 40-pound dog, authorities said.

Dorchester County Sheriff's Sgt. Michael Miller said authorities were investigating to determine whether there will be any criminal charges. He did not release the grandmother's name.

"You can't have a dangerous dog that has been identified as a dangerous dog on your property," Miller said. "But we don't have any reports this dog was deemed that by anyone at this time."

The boy's grandmother called 911 after the attack.

Animal control officers now have possession of the dog.