National report says child poverty worsened in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina still ranks near the bottom in the overall wellbeing of its children.

That's a finding from the latest Kids Count survey released Tuesday by the Annie E. Casey Foundation.

The ranking of 45th overall in children's ability to succeed is the same as last year's report.

The report uses a variety of indicators to come up with a state's ranking, like economics, education and health.

The findings show that poverty among South Carolina's children has gotten worse. About 23 percent of the state's children were in poverty in 2005, rising to 27 percent in 2012.

The report shows that 23 percent of children across the United States are living in poverty.

4th Greenville patient with rare infection dies

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — A fourth patient at Greenville Memorial Hospital is dead from a rare infection that may have been spread by health workers using tap water before surgery.

Greenville Health System medical quality director Dr. Robert Mobley Jr. said Monday the fourth patient died last week and all suffered complex medical conditions. He says just how the patients were infected by the tap water remains a mystery.

Officials said June 20 that 14 patients tested positive for atypical Mycobacterium abscessus. Most of them had cardiac surgery, while two had abdominal surgery and one a neurological operation.

The first patient recognized with the infection tested positive in March.

Part of the problem is the long incubation period for the bacteria, with some patients having no sign of infection until months after an operation.

Ex-Westminster police chief sentenced to 2 years

WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) — A former police chief in Westminster has been sentenced to two years in prison for embezzling money that was supposed to be used to buy officers protective vests.

Forty-six-year-old Johnny Scott Bannister pleaded guilty Monday in Walhalla to embezzlement and misconduct in office.

Circuit Judge Alexander Macaulay also ordered Bannister to pay restitution of nearly $114,000.

Bannister apologized in court. He had been police chief in Westminster for 11 years. Defense attorney Druanne White said her client could not explain his actions.

Bannister was arrested in March 2013 after an investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division.