NEWS FEATURE WRITING Daily Over 50,000 Division THIRD PLACE The State Joey Holleman I love you Peggy
NEWS FEATURE WRITING Daily Over 50,000 DivisionSECOND PLACEThe Post and Courier - harles Carleton Coffin would be haunted by the sight for theBrian Hicks rest of his life. p e Behind the iron gate of the “MART,” Coffin found a long hall lined with benches down one wall, a platform on the other and, beyond it, a four-story brick building with grated windows and iron doors.Slavery in Charleston: He was standing in both a prison yard and an auction house. h Coffin, a reporter with the Boston Journal, was one of the first newspaper- men to reach Charleston after the Con- federate military abandoned it in Feb- ruary 1865. He immediately set out inA chronicle of human search of the city’s largest slave market so he could describe it for his readers in Massachusetts. As Coffin stood looking at the auction block, he heard a voice behind him. “I was sold there upon that table two years ago.”bondage in the Holy City Please see SLAVERY, Page 6A t THE UGLY TRUTH MORE ON THE WAR Tracing your roots back to the plantation. 7A of the nation’s of Africans of the white 4 million brought to The 18th installment of our population slaves lived America as 20-part series on the Civil War. 1B owned 95% of in South Caro- slaves came the slaves in A listing of sesquicentennial . lina. y through our America. events. 5B port. 0 ) 1
NEWS FEATURE WRITING Daily Over 50,000 DivisionFIRST PLACE Hidden Hurt The surprising, deep-seated cause of 16-year-old Aaron Williams’ death The Post and Courier Adam Parker Hidden hurt: The surprising, deep-seated cause of the WADE SPEES/STAFF The Williams family, Hailey (clockwise from left), Beth, Trace and Hannah, with their dog Sassy, at their home in Mount Pleasant. Aaron Williams, 16, died in December from self-inflicted burns. 16-year-old Aaron Williams’ BY ADAM PARKER firstname.lastname@example.org We were trying A t some point that Monday evening, perhaps after a pleasant family dinner, or after Sassy the Dalmatian to help had her walk, Aaron Williams stepped outside, sat him, but in his car and wrote a goodbye letter. we were Over dinner, Beth Williams and her three kids, Aaron, looking in Hannah and Hailey, chatted about the upcoming Christmas the wrong death PROVIDED break. Then they watched a movie together in the living room of their Mount Pleasant home. Beth’s husband, Lt. Col. Trace Williams, was nearing the end of a three-month assignment at Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, Fla. There was no outward indication to those close to Aaron that the high school junior was preparing to end his life. place. Beth Williams, Aaron’s mother A 2010 class photo of Aaron Williams. Please see HIDDEN HURT, Page 6A
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Under 20,000 DivisionTHIRD PLACE 2C | Wednesday, February 23, 2011 ENTERTAINMENT Aiken Standard, Aiken, South Carolina Page edited by: John LoweryAiken Standard You never know who’s looking … Let me give you the moral of the story first: You never know who’s looking. And you never know how much they MIKE’S LIFE look up to you.Mike Gibbons This true-life fable started two players last Thursday, when my wife, practiced daughter and father-in-law hitting, went out to a restaurant. (Park- one of the er and I went home to make women sure the Wii still worked.) They hitting sev- had been there a few minutes eral balls when a bus pulled up. The bus over the was hauling the Chattahoochee fence nearYou Never Know Valley Community College us. Allie MIKE softball team from Phenix City, retrieved GIBBONS Ala., in town for a weekend the balls tournament. and took My daughter felt a connec- them to the fence, where the tion immediately as, to her, players approached. “Hey, anyone from Alabama surely you’re the girl from the is a Bama fan (even if they’re restaurant!” one said. Allie from down near Opelika). beamed. They told us theyWho’s Looking Plus, this was an honest- were playing in the champi- to-goodness softball team. onship game at 4 p.m. When With Allie’s tryouts for the that hour arrived, we were 10-year-old league only a few there in the bleachers, waiting days away, this was, to her, to cheer on CVCC. like seeing the Atlanta Braves We stood out, as a com- walk into the joint. munity college softball team Staff photo by Michael Gibbons She mustered up the cour- from Alabama usually doesn’t Allie Gibbons poses for a picture with the CVCC Lady Pirates softball game after their 15-14 win. age to go and speak with the have a big local following team, asking for pointers on when they play in South at a poster hung on the fence. Ala., was on a softball schol- ball. And when they gathered game ball to be her “practice what she should do at her Carolina. One mother even I slipped onto the field to see arship to CVCC when she for a team picture, they had ball,” and I think that’s a fine tryout. They were more than approached my wife and what they were all touching died in a car crash in October Allie hold Mallory’s jersey. idea. When she takes the field helpful, and Allie became an asked, simply out of curiosity, together as a team. It was a 2010. They were playing this “You’ve gotta be somebody for her first game, I hope she immediate fan of the CVCC why we were there cheering poster of a cherubic faced game – and every game – for special to hold Mallory’s jer- will carry the spirit of CVCC Lady Pirates. them on. My wife’s expla- teen named Mallory Garmon. her. sey,” one of the players told with her. And throughout On Saturday, Allie said nation seemed to make her It had the quote, “No one bet- CVCC started out strong, Allie. her endeavors in life, I want over and over that she wanted proud. ter than you right here.” In putting seven runs on the I don’t know any of the her to always have fun and to head to Citizens Park to As we watched the game, the dugout, Mallory’s No. 23 board in the first inning. The young women on the CVCC enjoy the journey, the way the see CVCC play. That, she we saw this team was some- jersey hung. I then saw a pink game got tight as it went on, team. I doubt I will ever cross CVCC team did. And I want told us, was HER team now, thing special. They had an T-shirt on the back of one of but the opposing team never paths with them again. But I her to always remember: She and she had to root them on. amazing energy. Cheers, the fan’s chairs – it had the could top the spirit of CVCC. hope they know the indelible will one day be the woman We finally made our way high-fives, chants, dances. No. 23, and the words “In CVCC won, 15-14. mark they left on a 10-year- some little girl looks up to. over to the fields around 3:30 This was a team Allie was Loving Memory of Mallory At the end of the game, old girl in South Carolina. Mike Gibbons is the man- p.m. The team was practicing born to follow. And emulate. Garmon.” they did something that They taught a lesson of team- aging editor of the Aiken on one field as other games As the innings played on, I quickly looked her up made a little girl forever work, of sportsmanship, of Standard. Contact him at unfolded throughout the park. we noticed the team, before online on my phone. Mallory, have some big league idols. loyalty. mgibbons@aikenstandard. We stood behind the fence as taking the field, would huddle the pride and joy of Elmore, They gave Allie the game Allie said she wants the com.
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Under 20,000 Division Aiken StandarSECOND PLACE Macayla’s story Bible verse triggers Aiken native toAiken Standard share journey after loss of his daughter By MICHAEL GIBBONS Managing editorMike Gibbons The Rev. Jeff Smoak was ordained on April 10. He is a 1991 graduate of Aiken High School and has an undergraduate degree from The Citadel. He attended seminary at Erskine Col- lege and is working towardMacayla’s Story a PhD. Aiken native Jeff Smoak was preparing for a sermon at an Anderson church in March 2009 when he came upon a passage that put him at a crossroads of his faith. “And Nathan departed unto his house. And the Lord struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick.” Smoak, then a seminary student, turned his thoughts Submitted photo immediately to Macayla, his Aiken native the Rev. Jeff Smoak is seen with his daughter, Macayla, who died from a degen- 9-year-old daughter, who erative brain disease on May 22. Smoak has written a book about his experiences. was dying from a degenera- tive brain disease. A grieving father and a man of faith About the book found himself on a cliff of doubt. “I had to ask the question. Was my child struck? Was Macayla struck or not?” The beginning Macayla Smoak was born May 22, 2001. She was healthy, happy and inquisitive. By 2 years old, she was memo- rizing movie labels and could work the VCR. Her father remembers her adventurous spirit. “She was not a girlie-girl. She loved being outside, mess- “The Lord Struck the Child” Submitted photo ing with bugs, worms,” he said. by Jeff Smoak is available at www.lulu.com. The Smoak family is seen at the beach. Pictured, from left, are Please see MACAYLA, page 16A Jennifer, Macayla, Jeff and Jacob.
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Under 20,000 DivisionFIRST PLACE The Island Packet Cassie Foss The People’s Advocate
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily 20,000 - 50,000 Division Not slowing downTHIRD PLACEHerald-JournalJenny ArnoldNot Slowing Down JOHN BYRUM/JOHN.BYRUM@SHJ.COM After losing part of his left leg in a motorcycle accident in February, Spartanburg Public Safety Officer Keith Soules has returned to his patrol shift after being fitted with a prosthetic leg. Injured officer’s comeback inspires many, but he says he’s not done yet By JENNY ARNOLD email@example.com W ith blue lights ablaze and siren screaming,
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily 20,000 - 50,000 Division Staying powerSECOND PLACEThe HeraldAndrew DysStaying Power PHOTOS BY ANDY BURRISS - firstname.lastname@example.org Maurice Williams holds his gold record for “Stay” at his Charlotte home Friday. Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs had the No. 1 record in the country the week of November 21, 1960. Below, Williams’ memorabilia from his career is on display at his home. At bottom are tickets for Maurice Williams & The Zodiacs concerts in Rock Hill from 1964 and 1965. 50 years later, Lancaster’s Maurice Williams is still singing about the girl who got away T he clock struck 10 p.m. in the living room of the little house on Pleasant Hill Street. Across the street sat First Washing- ton Baptist Church, where whippet-thin 15-year-old Maurice Williams learned the music that wanted to burst forth from his soul. In that living room, on that hot summer night in 1955, the girl with the skirt and the braids and the smile that would rock the world five years later told Maurice she had to go home. Handsome Maurice begged. Handsome Maurice Andrew pleaded. “I was in love with that Dys girl ” Maurice recalls “Head
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily 20,000 - 50,000 Division A light to othersFIRST PLACE WILSON From Page 1A point where he can bow his head at his Thanksgiving meal she always has. Wilson speaks with pride of his recent presentation before the Conway City Council, where he successfully sought money to help send chapter today to talk truly to God about members to a national conven- what he’s thankful for. tion in Florida. “I’m thankful for my wife He impressed council mem- The Sun News that sticks by my side and my bers so much that even in a very daughter that drives me tight budget year, they gave around,” Wilson says. “I’m $500 to the effort. When Gra- thankful for my [National Fed- ham called Wilson to give him eration of the Blind] chapter the news, Graham found him- and that they believe in me so self lingering on the phone, en- much.” joying the conversation. To appreciate the depth of his “It’s very uplifting to talk words, you need to understand with him,” Graham says. the soul they’re coming from Wilson says there are bright and the history of the voice spots even on a completely dark speaking them. road. Wilson was born in Williams- His sense of direction, always burg County in 1942 and grew good, has uncannily stayed with Steve Jones up in a time when a whole group BY TOM MURRAY email@example.com him, and he routinely can tell of people never called him any- Levern Wilson, president of the Conway chapter of the National Federation for the Blind, helps Patsy Roberts in the Jerlynn which way to turn when thing butHOTOS BY TOM MURRAY firstname.lastname@example.org Church. The church hosted a Thanksgiving dinner for the Federation last Saturday. P “Boy.” Little Pee Dee Free Will Baptist they are driving together. He’s “Boy, you want something to The Rev. Leroy Larrimore (center) pastor of the Little Pee Dee Free Will Baptist Church, is guided to the hand of Levern Wilson by his learned to know where the sun eat?” he recalls being sum- ter ticked to $10. He walked the left eye. cent of his sight left at that time. He’s proud of all that. But is by the way it heats up one daughter-in-law Pam Larrimore (left). Wilson is the president of the Conway Chapter of the National Federationdoor of a Blind.the way to and moned from the back for the rest of Wilson a rooming Because of the loss, he had to He remembers it shrank even still, he says, each day is a chal- part or another of his face. He Larrimore lost their sight late in life. house where he had been raking house and plunked down anoth- retire from Eastman Kodak and more, to a point where he had lenge, a fight between the good can feel how the space inside his leaves all day. The offer, which er $15 for a week’s rent, learning get out of a security business he only what he describes as laser memories of the good past and home is different from that in h e r e f u s e d , w a s f o r f o o d at the same time that a job was owned with an associate be- vision. If you were facing him the intimidating fears of the un- the neighborhood outside and Blind late in life, he scraped from the plates of those possible if he was waiting out- cause he could no longer accu- head-on, he could see you. If you known future. inside, to be eaten on the porch. side the car wash on Main rately fire the gun he needed to moved at all, you were gone. “What’s the matter with you Street when it opened the next carry. He had the retirement in- “This is the only thing I can’t “All I had to do was cough, whip,” he says. “I wrassle with it how an open field feels more spacious neighborhood. than the meets issue head-on boy, ain’t you hungry?” Wilson shared his rural home morning. come, but lost the $12,000 to sneeze, and everything went every day. It’s a struggle every He rose early and recalls a $15,000 he made each year in black,” he says of episodes that day.” He says he can pretty well gauge a person’s height, weight A Light to Others with four sisters and four broth- long, roundabout walk to Main his own business. began to plague him. He wants to be able to walk and even hair color in a hand- ers, a father who set the rules Street. But he was there by 5 “I thought it was devastat- Then, one day in 2008, there o u t o f h i s h o u s e a n d l o o k shake and a bit of conversation. BY STEVE JONES battled to a.m. and Viewhired atphotos of ing,” Wilson says. and a mother who was more $1.25 an was no recovery. around. Again. Houck says blindness is to email@example.com worth. hour to helpLevern Wilson at give him a sense of self wipe down cars af- Sitting around doing nothing, “I panicked,” he said. “I used Jerlynn wants him to get out him what he imagines a lost leg He recalls his father telling ter they emerged from the though, was not an option. to wake up at night tearing at more, spread his light further is to a veteran. You always miss him that if he ever got in trouble wash. TheSunNews.com . “The measure of a man is my face. It was like you had a than the Federation. But he it, but the presence of the loss in CONWAY | A single tear sneakswould for defending himself, he “I said ‘Wow!’ ” he recalls. “A that he has got to stand on his mask on.” thinks his lack of formal educa- your mind diminishes as in- out of the corner of Levern Wil- was buck and a quarter an hour!” own two feet and make his mark be there to help him. If he Wilson joined the Conway tion limits what others will see creased activity takes over con- son’s right eye and slideshis fa- “You wonderhe got a job with in the world,” he says. caught stealing, though, Eventually, ‘How do they chapter of the National Federa- if he offers himself. scious thoughts. stealthily downrecallscheek,come hands Eastman Kodak, he says of upSo he bought a one-ton pick- tion of blind. He got more seri- The Fixer ther told him not to He out look at me now?’ ” where he his his mother’s home. stayed for 30 years, met and truck and trailer and started totally the Blind before he was It can be an anchor that stops movement or it can be a solitary on his shoulders, her eyes family, friends and acquain- beyond his dark glasses. It’s bor- married his wife, Jerlynn, start- making regular runs to South ous with the organization after “He’s one of the most impres- tear that dries on a cheek. Wil- not big enough, his, telling have was ed a“I’m the guy that solved Carolina, hauling fresh produce the 2007 diagnosis and now sive people I’ve met in recent ing into doesn’t him he tances. family and built a life that son, you just know, is one who as from the despair, the defines the American dream. enough juice good as anybody else, no mat- problems.” and seafood back north. says his involvement with the memory,” says Conway City Ad- will win. One who will create a ter the taunts they threw at He had a motorcycle, he went The trips reacquainted him organization played a big part in ministrator Bill Graham. new identity once again that fits to escape his cheek and drop him. Two years ago, Wilson, to with how much warmer and saving his life. deep sea fishing, he loved 68, David Houck, director of the the definition of a strong man. onto his shoulder,in those days, Wilson the final sparkvansaand en- slower life was in South Caroli- Back lingering on- lost hunt, he detailed in 14-year It wasn’t an easy journey and S.C. Federation of the Blind, “I dream of hunting wild ly as a glistening trail that ma- campaign against failing eye- na than New York, and he began the chapter work wasn’t his on- who’s been legally blind since he says, Williamsburg County tered them in competitions. He boars down here with my pis- ny people would nevercrow would have bought 80 acres with a cabin to talk with Jerlynn about relo- ly lifeline. “was so poor a see. sight, the last speck of light was 16, says Wilson’s future is tol,” he says. “I love living on the to carry his own corn.” where he, his family and friends cating. A native of Florida, she “My thought was what do I limited only by what he will try edge.” The only at first be- leaving him forever. You don’t notice itwork he and his sib- could share good times and resisted, partly because of her have to live for now?” he says. to do. lings could get to help maintain He’s been through the sui- own memories but mostly be- “Honest to God, I wanted to cause you’re so busy listening bond. Jerlynn Wilson still thinks of ➤ Contact STEVE JONES at to his words family was inlatest cide thing, through the search cause she worried about leaving cash out.” the about his agriculture, The Wilsons raised their chil- her husband as The Fixer, as 444-1765. struggle with his identity, a life- for adren – twoand has daughters a friends, a paid-for home and hard work, and the maximum lifeline sons, four come to Anger enveloped him like a pay was $3 a day. – the way he was raised. Well- support systems. cold blanket, preventing any hu- long challenge, and could reso- more defined rules. Copious love. “I knew I the handle The sight in his left eye con- man warmth from entering his HAVE YOU HAD YOUR YEARLY SKIN EXAM? Levern Wilson speaks of his struggle with the glaucoma that took his sight. nance of his deep voice. says. “I knew ISee WILSON | Page 9A tinued to deteriorate. Half of it dark new world. He remembers than $3 a day,” he was worth more than $3 a day.” Glaucoma scare was gone by 1997. By the time the day he sat hopeless on his He had a scare from glauco- the Wilsons moved into their bed with a .357 caliber pistol in Atlantic Dermatology Associates, P.A. $1.25/hour in Rochester ma, but it was deemed dormant home on the golf course near his lap. He called his pastor, who Toxic algae puts brakes on warming fix He saved what money he in 1973. could and when he was 16, he Conway in 1999, he could no lon- stopped him from raising the In 1993, he went to a doctor ger drive. He could still read gun and pulling the trigger. He went to the bus station in Hem- for help to stop tremors in his some, watch a bit of television, began to accept help from Jer- ingway to get a ticket to a better face and paralysis in his arms but his sight kept sliding. life. Wilson recalls studying the and legs. The doctor diagnosed lynn, who he says is 150 percent of the reason for him making it We are now participating with Medicare, Tricare, BCBS, UHC, Aetna, Cigna, Medcost, First Health schedule on the wall while the him with Bell’s palsy and start- Gone for good this far “in a land I’ve never BY SAMMY FRETWELL sity of South Carolina. house gas from air. Cruz and LSUbehind they have bad- South Carolina professor He was told at an eye ap- walked before.” man says the counter ed a regimen of steroids. McClatchy Newspapers For more than 20 years, sci- But recent research shows documented the toxic algae he want- “Everything’s going dark,” gered him about what in Claudia Benitez-Nelson, apointment in 2007 that the He became president of the ed, where he wanted to go. The Wilson recalls telling the doctor nerves to his eyes were so dam- Conway chapter, increased entists have discussed wheth- that putting more iron in the sections of the tired of waiting on Wil- duringof the research team,aged that there was no chance membership to 20, took the post man got open Pacific member the treatment. “I need to Dr. Jonathan Crane COLUMBIA | An experimental er adding iron to the sea could ocean also could cause an ex- Ocean, a finding believedthe customer see an eye doctor.” to the seahe would keep any vision. No as Area One director for the son and turned to to be said adding iron Dr. Ronald Benjamin plan to fight global warming effectively keep carbon dioxide plosion in growth of toxic al- the first of behind him.Previously, might Fine, said the global warm-hope. its kind. help curb physician, but state chapter and was named to Patricia Hood, PA-C could cause blooms of poison- out of the atmosphere by caus- gae. “Rochester,” the man said in wait until the steroids a poten- He estimates he had 3 per- head its fundraising committee. the toxin had been known al- ing — but not withouthave run Kelly Britt, PA-C a deep voice as he handed over their course. Charlene Snyder, PA-C ous algae in seafood-rich ing the increased growth of A recent report by re- most exclusively along the im- tially caustic side doctor exam- When the eye effect. stretches of the open ocean, phytoplankton, a tiny ocean searchers from USC, the Uni- his money, Wilson recalls. mediate coast, near beaches then ined him, Wilson recalls, she be- “Rochester,” Wilson AMERICA’S LARGEST WINDOW Andrea Villareal, PA-C say researchers at the Univer- plant that absorbs the green- versity of California-Santa and harbors. mimicked in as deep a voice as See ALGAE |Wilson didn’t came furious. Page 5A REPLACEMENT COMPANY We welcome new patients For an appointment call he could muster. Two days later, the bus pulled have Bell’s palsy, she said, he had suffered a stroke. America’s 910.251.9944 favorite Inside Star into the station in northwestern And the physician treating 1099 Medical Center Drive Wilmington, NC New York and Wilson disem- him for the palsy hadn’t seen barked into an October chill un- the glaucoma in Wilson’s med- like that in South Carolina. He ical history. had $40 in his pocket. Steroids will reawaken glau- He asked a cab driver where coma and put it on fast forward. Call Today the black people lived and got Within three months, Wilson 445-9921 in, stopping the journey short of had lost the sight in his right eye STARTING AT his destination because the me- and the peripheral vision in his $ 179
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Over 50,000 Division THIRD PLACE The State Otis R. Taylor Jr. The Twist and Chubby Checker
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Over 50,000 DivisionSECOND PLACE Ronald David RatliffThe Post and Courier Sinking into theGlenn Smith darknessSinking into the darkness Friends, family: Recession, deaths, addictions led to Ratliff’s downfall BY GLENN SMITH firstname.lastname@example.org Linda Weaver crouched behind a car as she watched sheriff’s deputies swarm around her friend David’s home across the street in West Ashley. Pop! Pop! Tear gas canisters sailed through the air and found their mark with the shattering of glass. Weaver cringed that January day, re- calling all the hours David had spent installing those windows, tending to every detail in the tidy, four-bedroom h th t h i t ll b ilt
PROFILE FEATURE WRITING OR STORY Daily Over 50,000 Division SANFORD RETROSPECTIVEFIRST PLACE The governor’s future, personally and politically, remains in question as his time in office comes to a close The Post and Courier Yvonne Wenger Sanford Retrospective ALAN HAWES/STAFF As he flies on the state plane, Gov. Mark Sanford works on a speech he will give during a plant expansion announcement ceremony on June 24 at FujiFilm in Greenwood. Just days from leaving office, the governor, once seen as a possible presidential contender, is embarking on an uncertain path. G BY YVONNE WENGER // email@example.com Gov. Mark Sanford rummages bol, a Palmetto tree and crescent through a ragged white canvas moon-shaped gorget, embroidered sack that he calls his mobile office on the tan headrests. The drone of and digs out his notes about a new the plane’s engine dominates the investment Fujifilm has made in passenger cabin, and the smell of Greenwood. leather fills the air as the hot plane He studies the details, and on a cools down on the 90-mile trip half-dozen index cards, he scribbles from the capital city to Greenwood. in barely legible penmanship a On this day, June 24, exactly one speech he will deliver in less than year earlier, Sanford also prepared an hour before the Japanese execu- to deliver a speech, one that would tives and company workers. WADE SPEES/STAFF change the trajectory of his The governor is traveling without Sanford’s well-worn “mobile office” political career and the direction of sits just outside his office door in any staff in the state’s King Air, a September, awaiting his next trip his life. nine-seat plane with the state sym- away from the Statehouse. Please see SANFORD, Page 8A
SHORT STORY Daily Under 20,000 DivisionTHIRD PLACEThe Times and Democrat Spray park sweetgrass clippedRichard Walker By RICHARD WALKER T&D Staff Writer City of Orangeburg employees called police around 8:30 a.m. Wednesday when they found theSpray Park Yoo-hoo! We see you, Mr. lock had been cut from the River- Sweetgrass man! You looked side Drive park’s gate. around but you didn’t see all of The employees told police they us in the video camera over your were missing a large quantity of a head. green, stalky substance. Early Wednesday one of several If you can pronounce it, it’s ecurity cameras at the Orange- technically called muhlenbergiaSweetgrass Clipped burg Spray Park captured foot- ﬁlipes. This native to the South- age of a man apparently breaking east is widely known for its use in n after hours and taking what a sweetgrass baskets. police incident report called “the Park employees estimate they’re majority of the sweetgrass.” missing about $80 worth of the The video shows the man enter- stuff. ng the facility around 2:30 a.m. Experts say the native grass that He then went off camera for about can grow a couple of feet high is 24 minutes, coming back into view becoming more scarce. Unless you with an armload of sweetgrass. have bolt cutters. At least he closed the gate when Police are following several he left, as seen in the video. leads taken from the sweetgrass video, including a clear view of ONLINE Mr. Sweetgrass man. If anyone has another name @TheTandD.com for Mr. Sweetgrass man, they are Visit us online for asked to contact Crimestoppers at video footage. 1-888-CRIME-SC. TheTandD.com/news CHRISTOPHER HUFF/T&D Contact the writer: rwalker@time- Authorities say someone broke into the Orangeburg Spray Park sanddemocrat.com or 803-533-5516. and cut away some sweetgrass on Wednesday.
SHORT STORY Daily Under 20,000 DivisionSECOND PLACEThe Island PacketTom Robinette...And Don’t Forgetto Play by the “Rules”
Police: SHORT STORY Monopoly thief no Daily Under 20,000 Division winner By RICHARD WALKER T&D Staff Writer Go to jail, go directly to jail ... A Denmark man didn’tFIRST PLACE pass GO, nor did he collect $200 after he allegedly tried to swipe a box of Monopoly game pieces from the John C. Calhoun Drive McDonald’s Friday night, according to an Orangeburg Department of Public Safety incident report. Around 10 p.m., an off- duty police officer working The Times and Democrat security spotted a man walk inside the restaurant and step up to the counter. The officer noted the man was unsteady on his feet. A few moments later, the Richard Walker man grabbed a box of Monop- oly game pieces and walked out, the report said. The officer followed the man into the parking lot. The man initially drew a Chance card and tried to say he bought Police: Monopoly Thief No the pieces. Police told him the games were not for individual sale. He was offered a Get Out Of Jail Free card if he would take the box of game pieces back. Winner The man said he would. However, once he was back inside, he changed his mind about returning the pieces, the report said. He said the box of game pieces contained his chicken dinner and soft drink, and he had paid for those items. Police weren’t impressed. They still saw St. Charles’ Place instead of chicken. After a bit of a scuffle, the 18-year-old was hauled off and charged with petit lar- ceny and public disorderly conduct, the report said. Contact the writer: rwalker@timesanddemocrat. com or 803-533-5516.
SHORT STORYDaily 20,000 - 50,000 Division THIRD PLACE Morning News Dwight Dana A Whopper of Energy
SHORT STORY Daily 20,000 - 50,000 Division a6/local Friday/7.15.11/www.independentmail.com Anderson County Body of unidentified woman removed from wellSECOND PLACE BY KIRK BROWN Independent Mail kirk.brown@/260.1259 BY NIKIE MAYO Independent Mail mayon@/622.1708 The body of a middle-aged woman was removed Thurs-Independent Mail day from a well near Inter- state 85 in Anderson County . Members of an Easley family believe the body is that of their 45-year-old rel- ative who has been missing from Anderson since May . Anderson County Deputy NATHAN GRAY Independent Mail Coroner Don McCown said Anderson County sheriffs spokesman Chad McBride he expects to confirm the discusses a body that was found in a well.Kirk Brown and woman’s identity and her cause of death after an au- night with relatives of Re- body began Thursday morn- topsy this morning. becca Lynn Simmons, an ing. County public works The body has likely been Anderson woman who was employees and the county in the well “at least several last seen on Mother’s Day . technical rescue team also SEFTON IPOCK Independent Mail weeks,” McCown said, The relatives, who reported assisted. adding that it was “almost Simmons missing on May The well is a few feet from Graffiti marks the entrance to a rundown structure off Hurricane Creek Road skeletal.” 31, are “pretty convinced” an abandoned house. The in Anderson where a body was recovered from an abandoned well. McCown said it took him that she was the woman in words “Brad and Becca’sNikie Mayo two hours Thursday to ex- the well, he said. Place” are spray-painted on NATHAN GRAY Independent Mail tract the body from the 50- Anderson County sher- an outer wall of the dilapi- foot well. The well is in a iff ’s Detective Wayne Mills, dated structure. A member of stand of pine and oak trees who was investigating Sim- Simmons’ mother, Jewel the Anderson along Hurricane Road, mons’ disappearance, found Craig, said Thursday night County Sheriff ’s which is off Liberty High- the body in the well on that her daughter spent Office walks way . Wednesday morning — the time at the abandoned down a trail off “It was hard and un- same day that the sheriff ’s house with a man whom she Hurricane Road pleasant down there in that office asked for the public’s was seeing named Brad to the well where hole,” he said. “But I want- help in finding her. Smith.Body of Unidentified a body was found. ed to be sure that I saw any Sheriff ’s spokesman Court records show that forensic evidence and that Chad McBride said 45 to 50 Simmons was facing we could preserve anything volunteer firefighters, emer- charges of unlawful neglect we found. The main thing is gency medical service per- of a child or helpless person that we were able to recover sonnel and sheriff ’s em- and possession of less than a woman, even if we can’t be ployees searched the area one gram of methampheta- sure who she is yet.” around the well for evidence mine at the time of her dis- McCown met Thursday before efforts to remove the appearance.Woman Removed fromWell
SHORT STORY Woman killed on way to help dog Daily 20,000 - 50,000 Division BY NIKIE MAYO Independent Mail mayon@/622.1708 Tricia Marie Trutwin ON THE WEB Photos from the scene of the was waiting to hear if she wreck and video are at had been accepted to med- www.independentmail.com. ical school and Chelsea Blair Spears was liv- Malone set a $10,000 sure- ing with her ty bond for Spears, and her parents and parents had posted bail for working at her by Saturday evening. Chili’s when McCown said the carFIRST PLACE their lives in- Spears Spears was driving during tersected this the accident, a 1999 Honda weekend. Civic, is registered to her Spears was driving west mother, Kimberly Spears. on Brown Road in Ander- Kimberly Spears is the ex- son late Friday night and ecutive director of the An- Trutwin was walking derson County Arts Center. across the same road be- Attorneys Bruce Byrholdt cause her neighbor’s dog and Sarah Drawdy repre- had been hit by a car and sented Chelsea Spears at Sat- she wanted to help. urday’s hearing. Independent Mail Spears hit Trutwin near Ashley Downs subdivision, according to the South Car- olina Highway Patrol.The ac- cident happened at 10:15 p.m. Less than an hour later, Byrholdt asked the judge for leniency, saying that Spears suffers from de- pression and would be liv- ing at home with her par- ents in Anderson. Trutwin was pronounced Malone ordered Spears Nikie Mayo dead. She was 41. not to have any contact with Spears, who is 24, has Trutwin’s family and set her , been charged with driving next court date for Nov 4.. under the influence in an In the lobby outside the accident involving death. judge’s office, Spears’ father Anderson County Deputy cried as he waited for his Coroner Don McCown said wife to gather bail money that alcohol and speed were for their daughter. Woman Killed on Way to Help Dog factors in the accident and that Trutwin died of “mul- tiple, multiple traumas.” Trutwin, a former nurse’s assistant at AnMed Health Medical Center, leaves behind two children “Our hearts, thoughts and prayers, go tim,” he said. “My daughter has such a big heart.” McCown said Trutwin, a graduate of Clemson Uni- our out to the family of the vic- and her husband. Her hus- versity, worked at AnMed band made it safely across before becoming an admin- Brown Road to try to help istrative assistant at a chi- the injured dog just before ropractor’s office. He said the accident Friday night. she had applied to medical “This is a tragic situation school, though he wasn’t both ways,” Magistrate sure which one, and had ex- Denise Malone said Satur- pected word any day about day at Spears’ bond hearing. whether she would get in. Spears’ parents, Kimber- “She was really smart; ly and William B. Spears, she studied microbiology ,” held hands and cried at the McCown said. “Getting in- hearing as they watched to medical school would their daughter via closed- have marked a milestone in circuit television. her life.” Chelsea Spears,in the An- Instead, one of the last derson County jail, cried markers of Trutwin’s life is through nearly the entire a white cross that the coro- proceeding,and sobbed hard- ner spray-painted on the er as she signed paperwork pavement. at the end of the hearing. She said only her name and Reporter Kirk Brown “Yes, ma’am” to the judge. contributed to this story.
SHORT STORYDaily Over 50,000 Division THIRD PLACE The State Dawn Hinshaw Everlasting Splendor
SHORT STORY Daily Over 50,000 Division SECOND PLACE The State Adam BeamFor Mom, Rumor Became Horror
Council SHORT STORY votes on Daily Over 50,000 Division gibberish Dorchester agendas offer little explanation of issues BY BO PETERSEN firstname.lastname@example.orgFIRST PLACE ST. GEORGE — The people in the audience at the Dorchester County Council meeting on Monday finally had enough. The voting began incomprehensibly: “3rd Reading for Ordinance #11-13, ‘An Ordinance to Amend Dorchester County Ordinance Number 97-05 as Previously Amended Pertaining to the The Post and Courier Organization and Rules of Dorches- ter County Council to Delete the Last Sentence of Section 1-3 and Substitute a New Sentence in Lieu Thereof.’ ” County Council members raised their hands to approve, without dis- cussion, and moved on. In the audi- Bo Petersen ence, they looked at each other per- plexed. By the time council reached the eighth agenda item — four lines worth of the same sort of gibberish — two of them stood up. “I should know what you are doing,” said Karen Smith, of the Dorchester Council Votes on Gibberish community. “As a citizen I should un- derstand what you’re doing.” People don’t turn out for council meetings because they can’t follow what’s go- ing on, she said. “Can’t this be written in a language I understand?” No, because a lawyer wrote it, Coun- ty Attorney John Frampton joked. He and council members began explain- ing what the vote was for and how the language is required for the minutes. But that wasn’t it at all. John Muck- enfuss of Ridgeville followed Smith to the podium. “A common man with a 12th-grade education cannot understand this at all,” he said, waving the agenda. What council is actually voting to do “needs to be on the agenda or put online so you can understand it.” That’s the rub and it’s been that way for years. Unless there’s a fuss over a vote, or a council member takes it on himself to address the audience, agenda items often are passed without expla- nation. Council members do explain most ordinances on a first-reading Please see GIBBERISH, Page 6B