News In Brief - February 28, 2008

Bond set for man charged in fatal wreck

LANCASTER -- Bond was set Wednesday for a Kershaw man charged in a weekend wreck that killed his common-law wife.

A judge set bond at $150,997 for Robert C. Whisonant, 41, of 187 Youngs Bend Road, a Lancaster County Detention Center official said. Whisonant has been in jail since Monday in connection with the wreck that resulted in the death of Mary Beth Johnson, 44.

Authorities charged Whisonant with felony DUI involving a death and two counts of felony DUI involving great bodily injury, said Lance Cpl. Ron Johnson of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

On Saturday, Whisonant was driving a 1986 Buick on S.C. 341, Johnson said. Whisonant pulled out of a bar parking lot, drove left of center and struck a 1993 Honda, Johnson said.

Whisonant's blood alcohol level was not available Wednesday, Johnson said.

Mom, daughter beaten on Willowbrook Avenue

Rock Hill Police want the public's help to find a man they say forced his way into the Willowbrook Avenue home of a woman and her daughter and beat them.

The assault happened Feb. 15 at 843 Willowbrook Ave. and involved an 85-year-old woman and her 65-year-old daughter, police say.

"They were severely assaulted and beaten," said Rock Hill Police Lt. Jerry Waldrop. "We're asking for anyone with information to call."

The women heard a knock at the door, and the daughter answered. A short, heavy-set man forced his way in and demanded money for lawn work. The woman's mother said she had not had any work done to her yard, according to the report.

The man then rummaged through the home before assaulting both women. The mother was cut on her face, head and arms and was stabbed in her back. The woman's daughter was cut on her face and hands, according to the report.

Officials recovered the knife used by the man, who is believed to be around 18 years old. Anyone with information can call Rock Hill Police at 329-7200 or CrimeStoppers of York County at 1-877-409-4321.

Couple charged in illegal sales of alcohol

CHESTER -- A Chester County man faces liquor law violations after police say he sold alcohol from his truck behind a Chester flea market.

Carlo John Rizzo, 64, of 540-B Carobrooke Road in Fort Lawn was charged Sunday with unlawful sale of alcohol, Chester County Sheriff Robby Benson said.

The state Department of Revenue also fined Rizzo $28,000, Benson and Detective Scott Thompson said.

Rizzo's ex-wife, Carolyn Hope Mitchell, 60, was charged with conspiracy to unlawfully sell alcohol, Benson said. On Sunday, authorities purchased alcohol from Rizzo, who had the alcohol in the back of a van behind the Stoney Creek Flea Market at 2091 J.A. Cochran Bypass.

Authorities seized six boxes of assorted liquor mini bottles, 10 boxes of assorted liter-and gallon-sized bottles and $16,996, Benson said.

Mitchell and Rizzo both were released Tuesday on $10,000 bonds, authorities said.

York, Chester counties receive homeless money

York and Chester counties will receive federal assistance to help homeless and disadvantaged people, according to a Wednesday news release from U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

York County will receive $139,776, and Chester County will get $40,189, the release stated. South Carolina will receive more than $3 million.

The money may be used to provide shelter, food and other services for hungry, homeless and poor people.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency awarded the grants.

York County Council begins 2-day retreat

The York County Council and county staff will meet today and Friday at Winthrop University's Joynes Hall for a retreat.

Staff will update the council on various departments and "Pennies for Progress" money starting at 1 p.m. today.

Friday's session starts at 9 a.m. and features discussions on long-term planning.