Updates from the Upstate

Police stop couple over a barrel

Two people face charges after police saw them driving with two construction barrels in the bed of their pickup truck, police say.

James Faile, 26, of Summerville and his passenger Elizabeth Duncan, 26, were each charged with receiving stolen property after police saw them driving away from a construction zone with two big orange barrels in the back of their Dodge pickup, according to a police report.

Police pulled Faile over around 1:20 a.m. Sunday and asked where he got the barrels. He told officers the owner of an area restaurant gave them to him.

The barrels had the same markings as those being used in the construction zone.

Both were charged with receiving stolen property, and the construction barrels were returned to the area under construction.

Be on lookout for hot trash can

Burglars broke in to the Bear’s Den bar again this weekend, according to sheriff’s office report.

When an employee went to open the bar Sunday, he noticed a lock on the door was broken, the report states. He found items out of place and the coolers and machines tampered with. The thieves took nine cases of beer, various bottles of liquor, a Bear’s Den flask and a trash can, the report states.

Tea Party honcho liberates software

The president of the Grand Strand Tea Party and his son were arrested on charges of selling counterfeit software to a Loris man, according to a police report.

Anthony Trinca, 61, and Michael Trinca, 23, both of Myrtle Beach, spent about two hours at J. Reuben Long Detention Center Tuesday, each charged with trafficking in counterfeit trademarks by an individual, according to jail records. They were each released on $5,000 bail.

A Horry County police report showed that a 46-year-old man called police June 17 about six Rosetta Stone language software packages he purchased from Anthony Trinca and learned the items were counterfeit. The man said that at the end of May he bought the products for $125 each after seeing an ad on Craigslist.

The man said he picked up two of the software packages after meeting Trinca in a parking lot on May 29. The next day the man purchased the other packages from Trinca’s home, which is where Trinca operated a computer business known as “Computer Repair Dirt Cheap.”

The man told police he saw several other computer software products inside the home, which he also believed were counterfeit, according to the report. The man said he sold two of the software packages on Ebay and learned it was counterfeit.

The man said he tried 10 times to get his money back from Trinca, who refused to return it.

Huge burger eaten in 30 — no, 45 — minutes

Rock Hill’s Nick Mucciarone, a self-proclaimed “heavy eater,” became the first person to take on the McHale’s five-pound burger challenge Saturday.

The challenge? Eat an entire five-pound hamburger — topped with four eggs, eight slices of cheese, onions, lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise — and two pounds of french fries in 30 minutes or less.

The burger was prepared by kitchen manager Sam McKee, who said the giant meal would typically serve groups of four or more. McKee got the idea for the challenge from “Man vs. Food,” a reality television show on the Travel Channel.

As Mucciarone approached the 30-minute mark of the challenge, McHale’s offered another 15 minutes.

Patient takes patience too far

Candida Miller said she was just being patient as she waited in an examining room at a Rock Hill doctor’s office Wednesday afternoon. A nurse had checked her blood pressure and other vital signs. Then the door was shut.

But after more than two hours, when her son started knocking on the outside window, Miller realized the doctors and nurses had closed up the office and gone home.

“I heard knocking on the window,” Miller, 61, said Thursday through tears. “It scared me. He said, ‘Are you in there by yourself?’ I said, ‘I haven’t seen the doctor yet.’ Then I realized I’m here by myself.

“Oh my God, how am I going to get out? I don’t know what to do.”

Miller has been in a wheelchair since a hip replacement surgery in 2007. She is having problems with her hip again and had made a pre-surgery appointment with a surgical specialist at Novant Medical Group.

One of her sons, Michael Miller, drove her to the appointment. He wheeled her into the examining room at about 4:15 p.m. and waited with her until he left around 5:30 to pick up his son from summer camp. His mother would call when her appointment was over.

When Michael Miller returned to the doctor’s office around 6 p.m., the doors were locked.

“The building was closed,” he said. “I started calling everyone to see if anybody had picked her up.”

He checked his mother’s house and began to worry that something had happened and she’d been taken to the hospital.

He returned to the doctor’s office, walked to the back window, and started knocking. After he located his mother, Miller called his brother Gary and Gary’s wife, Karen Crockett.

Karen Crockett said her husband was so upset he could hardly tell her: “Mom is inside of the building and everybody’s gone.”

“I was about to knock the door down,” he said. “It really threw me. I was going out of my mind. I just knew my mom had been in there for a long time.”

He called the office’s after-hours number and 911 when he realized what was going on.

Inside, Candida Miller wasn’t worried until she realized she was alone.

“I had heard footsteps and been waiting a long time but didn’t know they had closed,” she said. “Then I panicked. I was really scared. It was awful.”

She said she was hesitant to wheel out of the room and try a door, fearful an alarm would go off and someone would think she was breaking in to the office. She was also scared to stand lest she fall out of her wheelchair.

Eventually, she wedged the room door open and pushed herself through. She reached the lobby. The front doors unlocked from the inside, and she was able go outside about 7:30 p.m.

“Oh Lord, I felt everything just lift to the Lord,” she said.

Crockett said her family doesn’t understand how something like that could happen. Crockett was concerned because Miller couldn’t eat before she went to the doctor’s appointment.

“She missed her medicine, and her blood pressure was high,” Crockett said. “She could have had a heart attack or stroke. Anything could have happened.”

Practice manager Brenda Madsen of Novant said the incident is a miscommunication with the staff.

On Thursday morning, she called a meeting and talked about what they can do to make sure nothing similar happens again. One of the options staff members discussed was walking through every room and bathroom at the end of the day to make sure no one is still there.

S.C. governor claims she’s white

What box should Gov. Nikki Haley check when it comes to her race?

The South Carolina Democratic Party pointed out Thursday that Haley checked “white” as her race on her 2001 Lexington County voter registration application.

But the application had no specific option for “Indian.” Her options were white, black/African-American, Asian, Hispanic, Native American or other.

Haley, the daughter of Indian immigrants, has never emphasized herself as South Carolina’s first female and minority governor and the country’s second Indian-American governor, but the fact has earned national notoriety.

Todd Shaw, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina and an expert on African-American studies, said deciding which box to fit a person in is a very Southern concept. To him, race is a matter of self-identification, or allowing a person to check the boxes that apply.

Chris Whitmire, spokesman for the State Election Commission, said he knows of no state election law or a definition by the agency for the term “white.”

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