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Slain bear cub found on campus

Campus police at Western Carolina University and wildlife officials are investigating the discovery early Monday of a dead bear cub draped with a pair of Barack Obama campaign signs.

Leila Tvedt, associate vice chancellor for public relations, said Monday night that maintenance workers found the 75-pound bear cub shot to death around 7:45 a.m. in front of the school's administration building at the entrance to the campus near N.C. 107. The Obama yard signs were stapled together and placed over the bear's head, Tvedt said.

The bear had been shot in the head, Tvedt said.

“Western Carolina University deplores the inappropriate behavior that has led to this troubling incident,” Tvedt said Monday night. “We cannot speculate on the motives of the people involved nor who those people might be.””

Bear season is under way in Western North Carolina.

Associated Press

Meck briefs

Charlotte

The N.C. Highway Patrol is targeting drivers this week who pass stopped school buses.

Troopers will work in school zones and follow buses in an effort to enforce laws prohibiting drivers from passing school buses that have their stop sign arms extended.

Passing a stopped school bus is a misdemeanor, punishable with five driver's license points and fines up to $200.

Information about school bus safety: www.ncbussafety.org.

Pam Kelley

Regional briefs

North Carolina Raleigh

Through Sunday, daily attendance at the N.C. State Fair has been below last year's numbers, and a spokesman said weather may have been a factor.

Despite clear skies, Sunday's brisk weather may have dampened attendance, particularly after the sun went down, said Brian Long, spokesman for the state Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Sunday's total of 85,495 visitors was about 8,000 fewer than the same day last year.

“I think the cool temperatures probably were a factor yesterday,” Long said. “I noticed we didn't have a huge night-time crowd last night.”

Attendance at the first three full days of the fair is 215,618, compared to 253,596 last year.

(Raleigh) News & Observer

South Carolina

An attraction worker at the S.C. State Fair in Columbia was killed on the final day of the event when he was struck by the ride.

The State newspaper reported that Jeff Doucleff was killed Sunday afternoon when the Inverter hit him.

Doucleff was a traveling fair worker and was in a secured area away from the public when the accident happened. General manager Gary Goodman says no riders on the Inverter at the time reported seeing it. Goodman said details leading up to the accident were unclear.

The ride was closed for the rest of the day as officials investigated. An autopsy was scheduled Monday.

American Midway Entertainment spokeswoman Amber Swedgan said the Inverter is a platform ride that seats about 30 people in a car and flips them upside down.

Associated Press

Beaufort

A bridge over the Combahee River in Beaufort County now bears the name of an abolitionist who helped free hundreds of slaves.

The bridge over U.S. Highway 17 was named the Harriet Tubman Bridge in a ceremony over the weekend. The dedication comes 145 years after Tubman helped lead a Union raid of plantations along the river that historians said freed 750 slaves.

Historians say she came to the area a year earlier to help slaves who had been left behind as plantation owners fled the Union Army.

State Rep. Kenneth Hodges told The Beaufort Gazette he advocated changing the name to educate residents about Tubman's role in the June 1863 raid. Legislators approved the measure two years ago as work on the new bridge began.

Associated Press

Police digest

Lincoln County Stanley

A Stanley man arrested by Lincoln County authorities on drug charges was being held in jail under a $1 million bond.

According to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office, Gerald Lee Sharpe, 33, of Killian Farm Road, was charged Friday with 16 counts of trafficking, eight counts of obtaining a controlled substance by fraud or forgery, eight counts of possession of a controlled substance Schedule III (methamphetamine) and eight counts of obtaining property by false pretenses.

Authorities said that after receiving a tip from another law enforcement agency, the narcotics unit began an investigation of Sharpe's activities.

Sharpe is accused of passing forged prescriptions at the Wal-Mart pharmacy on N.C. 73 in Denver and trafficking methamphetamine between March and October 2008, authorities said. Officers seized some of the prescription drugs during the arrest.

Sharpe was being held in the Harven A. Crouse Detention Center.

Joe DePriest

Lancaster County, S.C.

A Lancaster County sheriff's deputy resigned Sunday after being charged with DUI.

Anne Marie Herrick, 29, of Kershaw, S.C., was charged with DUI Sunday morning after being stopped regarding a traffic violation on U.S. 521 near Indian Land, S.C, said Highway Patrol Cpl. Bryan McDougald.

Herrick had been a Lancaster deputy since March 2005.

Pam Kelley

Anthony William McGee II of Fort Mill, S.C., was the passenger killed in a one-car accident early Monday in Lancaster County, said Karla Knight, the county's chief deputy coroner.

McGee died after the car driven by Anthony Guzzonato, 19, of Morris, Ill., swerved off Old Bells Road, near S.C. 160, about 1:20 a.m. Guzzonato apparently tried to control the car, but overcorrected, and it flipped over, the S.C. Highway Patrol said.

McGee was thrown from the car and died at the scene. He wasn't wearing a seatbelt.

Guzzonato was uninjured. Authorities charged him with felony driving under the influence. A second passenger, Patrick Helms, 18, of Matthews, was also not injured.

David Perlmutt
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