News In Brief - June 24, 2008

Council sticks with $50 fee for yard carts

Rock Hill leaders flirted with charging a lower price for yard waste rollout carts that will be introduced this fall, but a proposal died Monday night before reaching a vote.

Councilwoman Kathy Pender sought to change the cost from $50 to $36 per cart for residents who buy during the first year. The idea drew swift opposition from Mayor Doug Echols, who said it was "kind of late to the process" to ask for a change. City leaders have been discussing the roll carts for more than two months. Before talks went any further, Pender withdrew her motion, and the $50 rate won out.

The lone "No" vote came from Councilman Kevin Sutton, who said he doesn't care what price the city settled on. "I'm opposed to the rollout cart program in general," he said. "For all the trouble it's worth, it's not going to clean up our streets. You will still have leaves."

Starting in early October, city residents will be asked to buy carts similar to trash bins already being used. Carts aren't required, but grass clippings and sticks will no longer be collected unless placed into them. The carts will be picked up by automated trucks, creating a more efficient and cheaper system. Officials say the $50 figure is equal to what the city paid.

S.C. police dog shot to death after biting deputy

GREENVILLE -- A police dog that went after a deputy instead of a man suspected of shooting a store clerk was shot and killed by the officer, authorities said Monday.

The police dog was released to pursue Antwan Demarcus Whitmire, 26, but instead began biting a deputy's leg, according to a sheriff's department release.

Deputy Chris McAlmont did not realize it was a police dog and fired a shot because he "feared for his safety," the release said. McAlmont was treated and released from Greenville Memorial hospital for bites from the dog named Wes.

The store shooting began with an argument between Whitmire and his girlfriend outside a Greenville convenience store early Monday, authorities said.

The woman ran into the store, and Whitmire dragged her out by her hair. She freed herself, ran back into the store and employees locked the doors.

Whitmire fired several shots into the store, striking store clerk Susan Lambert at least once. She was treated and released from the hospital.

Whitmire faces several charges, including discharging a firearm into a dwelling and assault and battery with intent to kill. He was being held at a Greenville County Detention Center on Monday without bond.