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Jeff Bezos reaches space on Blue Origin's 1st passenger flight

Jeff Bezos blasted into space Tuesday on his rocket company’s first flight with people on board, becoming the second billionaire in just over a week to ride his own spacecraft.

The Amazon founder was accompanied by a hand-picked group: his brother, an 18-year-old from the Netherlands and an 82-year-old aviation pioneer from Texas — the youngest and oldest to ever fly in space.

"Best day ever!" Bezos said when the capsule touched down on the desert floor at the end of the 10-minute flight.

Named after America’s first astronaut, Blue Origin’s New Shepard rocket soared from remote West Texas on the 52nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, a date chosen by Bezos for its historical significance. He held fast to it, even as Virgin Galactic’s Richard Branson pushed up his own flight from New Mexico in the race for space tourist dollars and beat him to space by nine days...

'Lip service again': Cherokee County coroner calls out SCDOT after 3 people are killed in crash

Strong words, again, from the Cherokee County coroner after three people were killed in a construction zone along Interstate 85.

The crash happened Thursday at mile marker 90 in a single-lane chute used to divert traffic around the construction project.

After the crash Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler called the area a "death trap" and "maze of concrete."

Read his full statement here.

Since the crash, the South Carolina Department of Transportation says it is working to lower speed limits in the area.

This is as crews work to widen the roadway to change plans in order to eliminate the "chute" as quickly as possible...

3 people killed in 8-car crash on I-85 in area coroner calls 'death trap' and 'maze of concrete'

Three people were killed Thursday in an eight-vehicle crash on Interstate 85 in an area the county coroner calls "death traps."

The crash happened at 2:50 p.m. in the southbound lane near exit 90 in Gaffney.

According to Cherokee County Coroner Dennis Fowler, Thomas Newman McElroy, 58, and his wife, Ruth Ann McElroy, 60, of Townville died in the crash.

Karen Marie Goggin, 60, of Virginia also died in the crash, Fowler said.

According to Fowler, the McElroys were in a Chrysler van heading south on I-85 and Goggin was a front-seat passenger in a Ford Focus that was being driven south by her husband...

Body of promising basketball player from Greenville found 3 months after Georgia boating accident

The body of a Greenville man missing in a Georgia lake since April was found Wednesday, according to the Georgia Department of Natural Rresources.

DNR game wardens located the body of Dorian Adonis Pinson, 24, about 11:20 a.m. in Lake Lanier, in Hall County, DNR Public Affairs Officer Mark McKinnon said in a release. They recovered the body more than an hour later, he said.

McKinnon said Pinson's body was found in 117-feet of water by a nonprofit company out of Wisconsin, called Bruce's Legacy, that specializes in locating and recovering hard-to-find drowning victims across the country...

SC Republicans voice opposition to legalizing marijuana, McMaster says medical use ‘a different story

Top Republicans in South Carolina have voiced strong opposition to a proposition to legalize marijuana.

Gov. Henry McMaster, however, left some room open when discussing the legalization of medicinal marijuana Tuesday.

Democrat Joe Cunningham announced Monday that, if he is elected governor, he would move to legalize both medicinal and recreational marijuana.

That day, the state GOP chairman, Drew McKissick, sent out a strongly worded press release entitled: “Democrats want to raise crime, health problems by legalizing marijuana.”

The Republican leader said Colorado is an example of a state where crime has risen following the legalization of marijuana...

Hobby Lobby, Five Below to set up shop in new Greenville County shopping center

Hobby Lobby and Five Below will be in a new shopping center off North Pleasantburg Drive and Furman Hall Road in the Cherrydale area, according to Greenville County Councilman Joe Dill.

The lot, now under construction, has been the center of curiosity in recent weeks.

The owner of the property, which is Carolina Holdings, Inc., posted a site plan on its website which indicates the center will encompass more than 100,000 square feet of retail space.

One building in the site plan is set for 55,000 square feet and another will be 21,000 square feet, among other others.

“It’s just a big empty space, so I was hoping something would go in there eventually, but more business in this area is always needed,” said Brock Kirchner, who was at the nearby Cherrydale Point shopping center Monday afternoon...

Portion of busy Business 85 to be closed for 2 years, officials say

Drivers can expect delays Monday due to bridge replacements along Business 85 in Spartanburg County.

I85-B from Exit 3 to 4B will be closed (North and South Bound) for bridge replacements, that’s according to Spartanburg County Emergency Management.

The bridges over Buffington Road/Norfolk Southern Railroad & Howard Street will be replaced, according to Spartanburg County Emergency Management.

Officials said vehicles should not be passing under the bridge while the work is being performed...

Upstate venue closure leaves customers scrambling weeks, days before events

A downtown Greenville restaurant and venue is leaving several brides and bridesmaids scrambling to make new plans.

A sign on the door of Mary's at Falls Cottage in downtown Greenville says the building is closed and needs a new floor, but the sign doesn't say if and when the building will reopen.

“What went from a happy time has just become a nightmare,” said Sunnie Scott, who's supposed to be getting married at Mary's in August.

Scott is in the military and is currently stationed in Texas. She has been trying to plan her wedding for months from miles away.

One woman is holding a bridal shower next weekend. On Thursday, she came by and was greeted by the signs saying it was closed...

Tropical Storm Elsa, back over water, takes aim at Florida

The conditions in southern Florida have begun to deteriorate as Tropical Storm Elsa took aim at the Florida Keys early Tuesday, prompting a hurricane watch for portions of the west coast of the state, according to the National Hurricane Center.

In addition to damaging winds and heavy rains, the Miami-based center said the peninsula was in danger of life-threatening storm surges, flooding and isolated tornadoes. A hurricane watch was issued for the west-central and Big Bend coast of Florida from Egmont Key to the Steinhatchee River...

2021 Independence Day events in the Carolinas

Are you wondering if your city or community is holding a Fourth of July celebration?

Here’s a list of Carolina events with dates, times and links for more information.

Anderson

  • July 3
  • Big Water Marina in Starr
  • Fireworks begin at 9:30

Greenville

  • Wells Fargo Red, White, and Blue Festival in downtown Greenville was canceled this year

Click the title of this article for more events throughout the Upstate and WNC

South Carolina gas tax to increase July 1

Starting July 1, every South Carolinian will likely pay a little more at the gas pump.

The statewide gas tax increase, which was implemented in 2017, will increase another two cents per gallon as it does each year through 2022.

In total, the tax will rise to 26 cents a gallon statewide on Thursday.

The money, headed to the South Carolina Department of Transportation, will be used to pave about 1,000 miles of roads across the state.

“We got to pay taxes, anyway, I mean that’s part of the government,” Allen McBee said. “I don’t like it but, hey, somebody got to pay. The state's got to run.”

500 people in SC have overdosed from counterfeit pill, two Upstate counties are hot spots, OERT says

Problematic pills are popping up across the Palmetto state.

South Carolina’s Opioid Emergency Response Team (OERT) says 500 people have overdosed from a little blue pill called counterfeit Roxicodone, also known as fake roxis.

The agency says many of the deaths are people ages 20 to 29.

Most have gotten it from a family member or friend who, apparently, did not know what they were giving out.

(Video above: Overdose death leads to 'mass production' of counterfeit pills in Greenville County, DEU says)

It looks just like the real prescription of Roxicodone, but it is not.

Instead, officials say it is packed with cocaine and meth or fentanyl...

Bragging about assaulting woman on Facebook lands North Charleston man in jail, authorities say

A South Carolina man is facing an assault charge after authorities say he and two women attacked someone, then bragged about it on social media.

Montiez Damien King, 31, is charged with third-degree assault and battery by mob, according to jail records.

The charges stem from an incident Monday at approximately 6:40 p.m. at the Marathon Gas Station on Dorchester Road.

The victim told police she was pumping gas when King pulled up behind her vehicle and called to her, and then two people with him charged at her, an affidavit states.

Police say the victim was beaten and that her wig was ripped off during the fight.

When she attempted to get into her car to drive off, King’s car blocked her, court documents state, leading her to strike the driver’s door of his car....

President Biden orders airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups

President Joe Biden directed military forces to conduct defensive precision airstrikes against facilities used by Iran-backed militia groups in the Iraq-Syria border region on Sunday evening, according to a news release from the Department of Defense.

"The targets were selected because these facilities are utilized by Iran-backed militias that are engaged in unmanned aerial vehicle (UAV) attacks against U.S. personnel and facilities in Iraq. Specifically, the U.S. strikes targeted operational and weapons storage facilities at two locations in Syria and one location in Iraq, both of which lie close to the border between those countries," Pentagon press secretary John Kirby said in the release...

Anderson School District 5 begins summer feeding program

Anderson School District 5 has begun its summer feeding program, providing free meals for all Anderson School District 5 students under 18. The meals are available Monday through Friday from June 21 through July 30.

"We know that, when school lets out, we have a lot of children who are at risk of going hungry," Anderson School District 5 food services director Sharon Hunt said. "So, the summer feeding program is designed to help fill that nutritious gap during the summer. If those children aren’t fed then it can affect their learning when they go back to school."

Greenville County's Paris Mountain State Park hosts Family Friday Hikes

Paris Mountain State Park is helping families enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise all while making summer memories.

Saturday marks the first Creek Ranger Family Hike, according to the park's Ranger Cathy Taylor.

The park, located off State Park Road north of the Cherrydale area of Greenville County, plans to hold the hikes on most Fridays through Aug. 13, Taylor said.

The adventures start at 10 a.m. this summer and last until noon.

Hikers take a nature walk with a ranger and wade into Mountain Creek, or they can use one of the park’s nets to search for dragonfly nymphs and salamanders. They may even get a glimpse of some of the other animals that call Paris Mountain home.

Anderson County deputy arrested, fired after being charged with DUI, sheriff's office says

An Upstate deputy has been fired after he was arrested.

Staff Sgt. JT Foster, with the Anderson County Sheriff's Office, said the deputy was arrested and charged with driving under the influence.

Joe Hovis, with the South Carolina Highway Patrol, identified the trooper as Donnie Lee Blassingame.

Hovis said troopers were called about 9:15 p.m. Saturday to Highway 24 and Michelin Boulevard about a crash.

He said Blassingame was driving one of the vehicles involved.

No one was injured.

Highway Patrol: Greenville Co. tied for having most traffic deaths in 2021

This time of year marks the deadliest out on the roads, according to Highway Patrol. Troopers call it the 100 Deadliest Days of Summer.

The 100 Deadliest Days of Summer runs from Memorial Day to Labor Day.

“We have more visitors in South Carolina, there’s more traffic, kids are out of school, more people are vacationing," Highway Patrol Master Trooper David Jones said. "The 100 Deadly Days of Summer historically and over the years past, has been our deadliest time of the year.”

This past weekend alone, the South Carolina Department of Public Safety says 11 people died on the roadways. That doesn't include one deadly crash in Greenville County that happened around 1:30 a.m. Monday...

Man killed in crash on Interstate 385 in Greenville County, coroner says

A man was killed in a crash involving a tractor-trailer on Interstate 385 Southbound in Mauldin Monday morning, according to the Greenville County Coroner's office.

The coroner said the crash happened near exit 31 around 1:30 a.m. It involved at least one tractor-trailer and an SUV.

As of 8 a.m., crews continue to clean up a hazardous materials spill after the crash, according to the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

The WYFF News 4 photographer at the scene said the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control was there...

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