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Crime-and-courts
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Springfield shooting victim identified

A 26-year-old Salley man is facing multiple charges after the shooting death of a Springfield man on Sunday morning.

Tydavian Lamontre Pough, of 528 Waterwheel Road, is charged with murder, possession of a weapon during the commission of a violent crime and possession of a weapon by a person convicted of a violent felony.

“This was a senseless act of violence resulting in the loss of life,” Orangeburg County Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said.

Tevin Daniels, 29, of Springfield Road, “died of a gunshot wound to the chest,” according to Orangeburg County Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle.

Orangeburg man shot in back

An Orangeburg man was shot in the back on Wednesday afternoon at First Street location, near the intersection with Sprinkle Avenue.

The shooting occurred around 12:30 a.m., according to warrants.

Sheriff’s office spokesman Richard Walker said the incident happened at a party.

Investigators took Pough into custody on Thursday. His first court appearance is scheduled for Friday afternoon.

A candlelight vigil and balloon release event honoring Daniels will take place at 7 p.m. Friday at Goodland Park, located at 1404 Springfield Road.

Candles and balloons will be provided, according to event organizers.

Individuals may also bring their own candles and balloons.

If Pough is convicted of murder, he faces up to life in prison.


International
AP
US special envoy to Haiti resigns over migrant expulsions

The Biden administration’s special envoy to Haiti resigned in protest of "inhumane" large-scale expulsions of Haitian migrants to their homeland as it is wracked by civil strife and natural disaster, U.S. officials said Thursday.

Daniel Foote was appointed to the position only in July, following the assassination of Haiti’s President Jovenel Moise. Even before the migrant expulsions from the small Texas border town of Del Rio, the career diplomat was known to be deeply frustrated with what he considered a lack of urgency in Washington and a glacial pace on efforts to improve conditions in Haiti.

Foote wrote Secretary of State Antony Blinken that he was stepping down immediately “with deep disappointment and apologies to those seeking crucial changes.”

“I will not be associated with the United States inhumane, counterproductive decision to deport thousands of Haitian refugees and illegal immigrants to Haiti, a country where American officials are confined to secure compounds because of the danger posed by armed gangs to daily life,” he wrote. “Our policy approach to Haiti remains deeply flawed, and my policy recommendations have been ignored and dismissed, when not edited to project a narrative different from my own.”

The State Department criticized Foote for resigning at a critical juncture and pushed back against suggestions that his policy prescriptions were overlooked.

“This is a challenging moment that requires leadership,” spokesman Ned Price said in a written statement. “It is unfortunate that, instead of participating in a solutions-oriented policy process, Special Envoy Foote has both resigned and mischaracterized the circumstances of his resignation.”

He added that the role of the president's advisers is to provide him with the best possible advice. “No ideas are ignored, but not all ideas are good ideas,” Price said.

Foote’s sudden departure leaves a void in U.S. policy toward Haiti — U.S. Ambassador Michele Sison is expected to depart soon after being nominated to serve in another State Department post — and adds another critical voice to the administration’s response to Haitians camped on the Texas border.

Criticism has been fueled by images that went viral this week of Border Patrol agents on horseback using aggressive tactics against the migrants. Democrats and many pro-immigration groups say efforts to expel thousands of Haitians without giving them a chance to seek asylum violates American principles.

The migrant camp has shrunk considerably since surpassing more than 14,000 people on Saturday, with many of them expelled and many others released in the U.S. with notices to report to immigration authorities.

The expulsion flights to Haiti began Sunday and there were 10 by the end of Tuesday, according to Haitian officials. U.S. officials say they are ramping up to seven flights a day, which would make it one of the swiftest, large-scale expulsions from the U.S. in decades.

At least one top official in Haiti cheered Foote’s resignation while accusing the Biden administration of violating the rights of Haitian migrants.

“This is the first time we see a U.S. diplomat who has decided to go against the will of the U.S. government,” Mathias Pierre, Haiti’s election minister, told The Associated Press. “We salute that.”

Pierre also criticized Haiti’s elite, saying they have turned a blind eye because migration fuels the economy. He noted that 35% of Haiti’s gross domestic product is remittances, with the diaspora, much of it in the U.S., sending roughly $3.8 billion a year.

Haitian Prime Minister Ariel Henry has barely discussed the expulsions in public, saying only that his government is worried about conditions that migrants face on the U.S. border and that it will help those sent back to Haiti. Pierre was far more critical of the U.S.

“While they’re receiving (thousands) of Afghan people, they’re rejecting Haitians while Haiti is in the middle of a crisis: a crisis with the earthquake, a crisis with the assassination of the president and a poverty crisis that is clearly one of the major issues why people are leaving,” Pierre said.

Foote served previously in Haiti as deputy chief of mission and is a former ambassador to Zambia. In his new position, he worked with the U.S. ambassador to support Haiti after the president's assassination.

For weeks, he had been quietly pushing in Washington a plan to boost U.S. security assistance to Haiti to pave the way for new presidential elections. But Haiti watchers said he became increasingly disappointed with the pace of decision-making in the administration.

“When someone who is tasked with Haiti policy at the highest level resigns because 'recommendations are ignored and dismissed’ it’s not only troubling, but shows you this administration does not tolerate anyone who won’t go along with their distorted view of the facts,” said Damian Merlo, a Republican strategist who has worked for years on Haiti policy and is now a registered lobbyist for the country’s government. “Dan Foote is a world class diplomat who refuses to be told what do. I wish more foreign service officers had his courage to stand up and call out their bosses.”


Crime-and-courts
editor's pick alert featured
SLED outlines case against officer
  • Updated

A S.C. Law Enforcement Division agent outlined the allegations against a former Orangeburg Department of Public Safety officer during a preliminary hearing on Thursday.

Former ODPS officer David Lance Dukes, 38, is facing the charge of first-degree assault and battery.

Dukes is accused of placing his boot on the back of Clarence Gailyard’s head/neck area and pushing him to the ground in a July 26 incident on Colleton Street. ODPS terminated Dukes.

Dukes was not in attendance at his hearing. He was represented by attorney Shaun Kent.

During Thursday’s hearing in Orangeburg County magistrate’s court, SLED Special Agent Ryan Kelly said the agency believes Dukes “forcibly stomped” Gailyard. SLED claims Gailyard was on his hands and knees at the time.

Gailyard sustained a contusion on his forehead, according to Kelly.

Someone had called officers to the area, claiming they saw a person with a gun.

Officers weren’t able to find a gun.

Kelly said investigators don’t believe anyone had a gun before officers arrived.

A defendant can request a preliminary hearing to see if the prosecuting agency can show reasonable grounds for alleging a crime was committed.

Kelly said footage from several cameras, with some being worn by officers and others on patrol cars, show the encounter.

Orangeburg County Chief Magistrate Derrick Dash presided at the hearing.


Local
editor's pick alert top story
City of Orangeburg
City of Orangeburg: COVID bonuses OK’d for employees

City of Orangeburg employees will get a bonus if they receive the coronavirus vaccine, plus a hazard pay bonus.

“A lot of our frontline workers have put themselves in harm’s way given the current state of the pandemic over the past two years,” City Administrator Sidney Evering said Tuesday.

City Council voted 6-1 to provide a one-time, $500 vaccine incentive stipend to all full-time city and Department of Public Utilities employees who are fully vaccinated.

A $250, one-time vaccine incentive stipend will be given to part-time city and DPU employees who are fully vaccinated.

Employees will have to show proof of vaccination before the close of business on Nov. 15 to qualify for the money.

52 new coronavirus cases in T&D Region

There are 52 new cases of coronavirus in The T&D Region, according to figures released Thursday by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control.

Frontline city and DPU employees will also receive a one-time hazard pay stipend of $1,000. All other city and DPU employees will receive a one-time COVID stipend of $500.

Part-time city and DPU employees will receive stipend payments at a rate of 50% of full-time employees, according to city council’s resolution.

The status of employees will be determined by the city administrator and DPU manager.

Evering said the money is being provided because of the increasing number of COVID cases and COVID-related illnesses.

The $236,220 cost will come out of the city’s share of federal American Rescue Plan Act funds. The city is receiving about $6.3 million in COVID-relief money.

Prior to the vote, Councilman Bernard Haire voiced his opposition to the incentives.

“We should not have to pay for individuals to get the shot,” Haire said.

He said individuals who do not receive the vaccine should be terminated from their positions unless there are special health or religious reasons for not getting vaccinated.

“There have been too many deaths, too many individuals who have expired because of not taking the shots,” Haire continued.

“We just need to buckle down and mandate that either the employees will get their shots at a certain point in time or they will be terminated.”

“It is not fair for those who have had shots to work around people who have not taken the shots,” Haire said. “If we allow our employees to not take the shots, I think that is a bad thing for the city. It is high time that we get a handle on this virus in our city, in our state and our country. We are still just playing around with it.”

Haire also expressed concerns that he has not been properly informed how the $6.3 million will be spent or if the incentives are within the federal guidelines of how the money can be spent.

“I think council has to have a better understanding of what these dollars are going to be for,” Haire said.

Evering said he sent the guidelines either the day before or earlier in the morning.

“That is not being fair to council members when you say you mailed them out at the 11th hour,” Haire said.

Haire voted against the incentives.

Council members Dr. Kalu Kalu and Jerry Hannah said they were for the incentives, but agreed that council needs to be better informed in a timely fashion about how the city plans to spend the federal money going forward.

“This is a council run type of government,” Kalu said. “We need to, not the city manager or DPU, oversee the distribution of $6.3 million. As a council, we have to have the knowledge of where the money is going.”

Kalu said council members should be able to tell the public how the money is going to be spent.

Evering said he will provide a plan to city council about possible ways the money can be spent.

Councilman Richard Stroman said he believes frontline workers should be given $1,200.

Councilwoman Liz Zimmerman Keitt said she was all for the incentives.

“Those persons that are frontline have been out there working all of this time,” Keitt said. “It is God given that they are able to keep going and we thank them so very much.”

“The incentive is not paying anyone,” Keitt said. “It is just an incentive to help them go on.”

Keitt said those who do not get the vaccination will not get anything.

“I think it is just fair for us to give those persons that have taken the time, effort and thanking the Lord for letting them still be alive,” Keitt said. “I am for the incentive for employees. They have done a fantastic job.”

Keitt thanked employees for all they have done during COVID.

Orangeburg Mayor Michael Butler said the city is well within the federal guidelines by providing the incentives, noting that the Orangeburg County School District and the Regional Medical Center have used federal money give employees an incentive to get vaccinated.

“It a blessing to have employees who are willing to work,” Butler said. “They have shown their bravery by going out to work in the midst of all of this. They are on the frontlines.”

“I am for it,” he said. “These employees are worth it. We have to do something for these employees.”


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