Wednesday, April 25, 2012

City employee arrested on embezzlement charge

Posted by Paul Bowers on Wed, Apr 25, 2012 at 5:12 PM

A Charleston city employee was arrested today on a charge that he embezzled about $4,000 from the city.

Antonio Leroy Rutledge, 29, of Lowell Drive in North Charleston, worked for the Building Inspection Division between January 3 and April 11. He is being held at the Sheriff Al Cannon Detention Center and will have a bond hearing at 2 p.m. Thursday.

The investigation is ongoing, according to the Charleston Police Department.

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Thursday, April 19, 2012

Charleston named No. 22 best city for hipsters

Savannah is No. 11. Seriously?

Posted by Paul Bowers on Thu, Apr 19, 2012 at 10:27 AM

Travel + Leisure magazine has ranked Charleston the No. 22 best city in the country for hipsters, presumably based on the number of handlebar mustaches and fixed-gear bicycles per capita.

No, seriously, according to the magazine, the rankings were done according to the results of the annual America's Favorite Cities survey, and important factors included "culturally relevant features like live music, coffee bars, and independent boutiques." Tech-savvy and offbeat locals, as well as good microbrews, were also considered.

Seattle took first place (surprise, surprise), and other top cities from the Southeast included New Orleans, La., (No. 4), Savannah, Ga. (No. 11), Nashville, Tenn. (No. 19), Memphis, Tenn. (No. 23), Miami, Fla. (No. 28), Atlanta, Ga. (No. 32), and Orlando, Fla. (No. 33).

Here's what they had to say about our fair city:

It didn’t make the top 20, but this Southern city has plenty of its own civic pride. The hot zone may be Upper King Street, where you can see why the city ranked No. 3 for shopping—especially for décor and antiques. For contemporary commodities, check out Affordabike, with its custom-made beach cruisers, or Magar Hatworks, which creates bespoke headgear.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Body at Yorktown identified as that of woman who left car idling on Ravenel Bridge

Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 8:59 PM

The body that was found Tuesday afternoon in the water in front of the U.S.S. Yorktown has been identified as that of Elizabeth Ashley Ward, the woman who last drove the car that was found idling on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge Saturday morning, according to the Charleston County Coroner's Office. Ward, 23, lived on Wadmalaw Island.

Sgt. Chad Womack of the Charleston Police Department Harbor Patrol found Ward's body near the historic military ship around 3:15 p.m. Tuesday, according to a police spokesman. The coroner will perform an autopsy Wednesday to determine the cause of Ward's death.

Agencies including the U.S. Coast Guard and the S.C. Department of Natural Resources had been conducting a search for Ward ever since her black Honda Accord was found empty and running on the bridge around 5:30 a.m. Saturday.

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Body found near USS Yorktown

Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 4:01 PM

UPDATE: The body has been identified as that of Elizabeth Ashley Ward, the Wadmalaw Island woman who left her car running on the Arthur Ravenel Jr. Bridge Saturday morning. Read the full story here.


A member of the Charleston Police Department Harbor Patrol found the body of a woman in the water in front of the USS Yorktown at Patriots Point around 3:15 p.m. today, according to Charleston Police Department spokesman Charles Francis. The coroner has not yet determined the woman's identity.

Stay tuned for updates.

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Tony the Peanut Man's equipment catches fire

Posted by Paul Bowers on Tue, Apr 17, 2012 at 2:20 PM

UPDATE: This isn't the first time Anthony Wright has had to start from scratch. Read the full story here.

Anthony Wright, the local entrepreneur better known as Tony the Peanut Man, lost what he estimates to be $10,000 worth of equipment in a fire that start early this morning behind his house in West Ashley. His house and the surrounding houses were unharmed, despite the fact that he saw propane tanks exploding as nearly 1,000 pounds of peanuts went up in flames.

If you would like to help Tony recuperate his losses or offer a word of encouragement, you can reach him at

More details and photos of the damage soon.

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