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At least two drivers rescued in Anderson County after parts of road wash away in rain

Crews rescued at least two drivers Thursday morning after heavy rain washed out roads in Anderson County.

One driver was found hanging on to tree branches on Scotts Bridge Road after his truck went off the flooded road, according to the Hopewell Fire Rescue team.

This happened about 6:20 a.m. A tactical rescue crew used a boat to rescue him. He was taken to the hospital but is expected to be okay. They said his truck floated down in the floodwater. 

Crews were also called to Martin Road and Shackleburg Road around 6:30 a.m. Thursday for reports of a possible water rescue there.

Officials said they were searching for a vehicle. They didn't find the vehicle, but they did find the driver and rescued him...

Deer breaks into Christ Church Episcopal School in Greenville

There was some excitement at a Greenville school Tuesday when a deer "let himself" into the building.

Pictures show busted-out glass at Christ Church Episcopal on Cavalier Drive and the deer standing in a classroom.

David Padilla, the head of the school, said on Instagram that the deer let himself in through the front door, wandered around the lower school, and visited a couple of classrooms before being escorted safely out by Greenville’s animal control professionals....

Former NASCAR John Wes Townley shot to death, police say

Former NASCAR driver John Wes Townley was shot to death over the weekend during a dispute that involved a hatchet after showing up at a house occupied by his estranged wife and another man, police said Monday.

The 31-year-old Townley, who raced eight seasons, had the weapon at some point before he was fatally wounded by Zachary Anderson, 32, of Dunwoody, Georgia, the Athens-Clarke County Police Department said in a statement. Laura Townley, 30, was shot and wounded, it said.

John Wes Townley died after being taken to a hospital. The woman was seriously injured but is expected to survive, police said.

Investigators were trying to determine whether the Townleys remained married, but they clearly were estranged, said Lt. Shaun Barnett, a police spokesman. The relationship between Laura Townley and Anderson also wasn’t clear...

SC school district warns after elementary student follows through with ‘Slap a Teacher’ TikTok challenge

A South Carolina school district is warning parents after an elementary student followed through with a new TikTok challenge.

It’s called the “Slap a Teacher” challenge and it happened Friday to an elementary school teacher in Lancaster County.

According to the district, an elementary school student struck a teacher in the back of the head.

“Unfortunately, the challenge that has been put out for this month is to slap or hit a staff member from behind,” the district wrote in a letter to parents. “Sadly, we actually had an elementary student assault a teacher by striking her in the back of the head.”

In recent weeks, schools dealt with incidents of vandalism from the “devious lick” challenge where students were encouraged by peers to break or steal stuff at school – often in the restroom...

Bear attacks couple, dog on Blue Ridge Parkway, officials say

A bear attacked a couple in?the parking lot of an Asheville area art center this week, prompting warnings and safety precautions, officials said.

It happened Wednesday evening at the Folk Art Center on the Blue Ridge Parkway, according to a release from the National Park Service.

The couple was having a picnic on a grassy hill near the center when they were alerted to a bear by their dog, the release said.

The unleashed dog ran towards the bear, barking loudly, according to the release.

The bear acted defensively toward the dog and the couple, likely aggravated by the dog, officials said.

There were repeated attacks by the bear over the next several minutes while the couple was able to get to the safety of their vehicle with their dog...

Greenville County Schools hold special meeting to talk about judge blocking school mask mandates

Greenville County Schools is having a special meeting Thursday to talk about a federal judge's decision to block a ban on mask mandates in South Carolina schools.

The meeting is happening now in executive session. We will update this story when we know what happened.

Parents and students have gathered outside the meeting to protest a mask mandate

The judge made the decision to block the mask mandates in schools on Tuesday.

The meeting notice says the school board will talk about legal advice regarding the decision.

Parents of disabled children, helped by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the state saying the ban discriminated against medically vulnerable students by keeping them out of public schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues...

Federal judge temporarily blocks ban on mask mandates in SC schools

A federal judge Tuesday suspended South Carolina from enforcing a rule that banned school districts from requiring masks for students.

Parents of disabled children, helped by the American Civil Liberties Union, sued the state saying the ban discriminated against medically vulnerable students by keeping them out of public schools as the COVID-19 pandemic continues.

The mask ban has been forcefully backed by Republican Gov. Henry McMaster and GOP lawmakers who said parents should decide whether students wear masks, not school officials.

The ruling wasn’t even a close call, U.S. District Judge Mary Geiger Lewis wrote, stopping the state from enforcing a one-year ban placed in the budget...

Upstate nurse loses thousands of dollars after scammers use Zelle to transfer money

An Upstate nurse said she lost $3,500 after scammers called her, pretending to be from her bank.

After a long day of work at the hospital back in August, Meredith Seitzer said she received a text from what appeared to be Bank of America.

“(The text read) along the lines of, ‘Did you attempt a Zelle transaction of $3,500, yes or no?’ I’m like, that’s kind of weird,” she said.

She ignored it, but about 15 minutes later, her phone rang and she said it was Bank of America’s 1-800 number.

“Maybe that was for real,” she said. “They’re calling to tell me that something’s going on.”

The caller gave her his employee ID number, she said and seemed friendly at first...

Spartanburg County has highest COVID-19 hospitalization rate in the country, report says

An Upstate county has the highest hospitalization rate in the United States, according to the Washington Post.

The report says Spartanburg County has 38 COVID-19 patients per 100 beds. For comparison, in Albany, New York, there are seven COVID-19 patients per 100 beds.

The New York Times reports that an average of 93% of ICU beds were occupied in the Spartanburg County area as of Thursday.

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control reported Thursday 144 new confirmed COVID-19 cases in Spartanburg County and two new confirmed deaths. Those numbers were from data as of Tuesday, Sept. 21.

The Washington Post website has a map showing that in general areas with the highest vaccination rate have the lowest hospitalization rates for COVID-19 patients...

Clemson Kappa Alpha fraternity under investigation, temporarily suspended

A fraternity at Clemson University is under investigation.

Joe Galbraith, a spokesman for the university, told WYFF News 4 Tuesday that the university is aware of allegations involving the Kappa Alpha fraternity.

4:05 UPDATE - Galbraith released the following updated statement from the university:

"The preliminary results of an investigation by the Office of Community and Ethical Standards (OCES) and Clemson University Police Department (CUPD) into an alleged incident involving the Kappa Alpha fraternity have determined earlier reports and rumors of the hospitalization of a student were incorrect."

Bojangles responds to town saying Clemson wrap violates ordinance

Bojangles says it has not received any notice about the Clemson-themed restaurant in Pendleton violating the town ordinance.

The restaurant on Highway 76 was recently wrapped in orange and purple with the words "Clemson" and "Tailgate Headquarters."

On Monday, the town planner, David Poulson, told WYFF News 4 the new design doesn't comply with the zoning ordinance, which details the size and number of signs allowed on a building.

To see more pictures, click here.

Pfizer says COVID-19 vaccine is safe and works in kids ages 5 to 11

(WYFF - AP) - Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon -- a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters.

The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner BioNTech already is available for anyone 12 and older. But with kids now back in school and the extra-contagious delta variant causing a huge jump in pediatric infections, many parents are anxiously awaiting vaccinations for their younger children.

For elementary school-aged kids, Pfizer tested a much lower dose -- a third of the amount that's in each shot given now. Yet after their second dose, children ages 5 to 11 developed coronavirus-fighting antibody levels just as strong as teenagers and young adults, Dr. Bill Gruber, a Pfizer senior vice president, told The Associated Press...

Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will guest host 'Jeopardy!' through the end of the year

Some familiar faces will soon return to "Jeopardy!" And according to officials for the show, they'll be sticking around for a while.

In a Thursday news release, the quiz show announced Mayim Bialik and Ken Jennings will host episodes that will air through the end of 2021. Beginning Monday, episodes featuring Bialik behind the show's iconic lectern will begin airing. The former "Big Bang Theory" star will continue hosting through Nov. 5.

After that, the show says Bialik and Jennings will split hosting duties as their schedules allow.

The show's 38th season began this week featuring episodes hosted by the embattled Mike Richards. Richards stepped down as Alex Trebek's replacement on Aug. 20, and was ousted as the show's executive producer a week and a half later, after it was discovered podcasts he had made in 2013 and 2014 contained demeaning remarks about women and minorities...

Curtis Smith, the man accused of helping Alex Murdaugh, appears in court

The man who authorities say prominent South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh hired to shoot him in the head was in court Thursday morning.

Curtis Edward Smith, 61, was taken into custody earlier this week in connection with the Sept. 4 shooting of Murdaugh.

Smith is charged with assisted suicide, assault and battery of a high aggravated nature, pointing and presenting a firearm, distribution of methamphetamine, possession of marijuana, insurance fraud and conspiracy to commit insurance fraud..

SLED says Alex Murdaugh planned his own shooting

A prominent South Carolina lawyer who found the bodies of his wife and son three months ago tried to arrange his own death earlier this month so his son would get a $10 million life insurance payment, but the planned fatal shot only grazed his head, state police said Tuesday.

The shooter, Curtis Edward Smith, was charged with assisted suicide, insurance fraud and several other counts in the Sept. 4 shooting of Alex Murdaugh on a lonely highway in Hampton County, the State Law Enforcement Division said in a statement...

SLED opens new investigation into case of Alex Murdaugh

The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division has opened a new investigation into the case of Alex Murdaugh, officials said Monday.

In a release from SLED spokesman Tommy Crosby, officials said the latest investigation is based on allegations that he misappropriated funds in connection to his position as a former lawyer with the Peters, Murdaugh, Parker, Eltzroth, & Detrick Law Firm in Hampton, South Carolina...

Abbeville County deputies searching for missing 23-year-old with special needs, sheriff says

Abbeville County deputies are searching for a 23-year-old man last seen Saturday afternoon.

According to a Facebook post from the department, Adam Clark Harvey was last seen wearing a black shirt and black jeans around Mt. Carmel Road around 3 p.m. Saturday.

He is described as a white man, 6'1" tall and has red hair.

The sheriff says Harvey has special needs...

Governor and Bon Secours St. Francis Health System respond to President Biden's vaccine mandate

President Joe Biden announced Thursday night sweeping new federal vaccine requirements.

The government's expansive new rules mandate that all employers with more than 100 workers will require employees to be vaccinated or tested for the virus weekly, affecting about 80 million Americans.

Gov. Henry McMaster took to Twitter to respond.

"Rest assured, we will fight them to the gates of hell to protect the liberty and livelihood of every South Carolinian," the governor said, adding: "The American Dream has turned into a nightmare under President Biden and the radical Democrats."

Driver killed after pickup catches fire in Greenville County crash with dump truck, troopers say

This crash happened at around 9 p.m. Wednesday near Monticello Drive, according to the Greenville County Coroner's Office.

According to troopers, the driver of a Ford truck rear-ended the dump truck. The driver was trapped inside the Ford truck, which caught fire.

Troopers said the driver of the dump truck was not hurt.

A driver was killed in a fiery crash involving a pickup and a dump truck in Greenville County, according to South Carolina Highway Patrol.

Troopers said a dump truck was disabled in the eastbound lane of SC-20, also known as S. Piedmont Highway.

Polk County School Board votes to implement a mandatory mask mandate

On Tuesday the Polk County Schools' Board of Education voted 5-2 during an emergency meeting to implement a mask mandate.

The temporary mask requirement for students and staff is effective Wednesday, Sept. 8., according to officials.

According to officials, the temporary measure is a means to combat the impact of COVID-19 events and quarantining that has led to clusters in classrooms, staffing issues and the temporary closing of three schools.

The mask requirement will only apply during the school day and in other instructional settings when students and staff are indoors and not eating or drinking, officials said...

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