Here is the latest South Carolina news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m.

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GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina authorities said a Georgia man was arrested and accused of fatally shooting two people in a club. Jarquez Kezavion Cooper, of Athens, Georgia, was charged Tuesday with several counts of murder and attempted murder. Cooper was being held at a Georgia jail. The Greenville County Sheriff’s office said Cooper was involved in the Sunday shooting at Lavish Lounge that left 23-year-old Mykala Bell and a 51-year-old security guard Clarence Sterling Johnson dead. Authorities said about 200 people were at the club to see rapper Foogiano. Authorities said there were at least two shooters. Three other men in the Atlanta area with ties to Foogiano were being sought for questioning.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina hospitals could have to implement medical surge plans to add thousands of additional beds as COVID-19 infection and hospitalization numbers keep rising. The state hospital association said Monday that hospitals will initiate a bed surge plan if statewide bed utilization reaches 80%. The utilization rate has at times exceeded 75% since the start of the pandemic. State health officials announced 1,505 new confirmed COVID-19 cases and six additional deaths Monday, following the holiday weekend. Some children’s hospitals have already begun to admit adults to help make room for COVID-19 and other patients.


SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) – Authorities said a white South Carolina man was arrested and accused of sending racist messages to a black neighbor, who is a Black Lives Matter activist. The Spartanburg Herald Journal reports 47-year-old Christopher Brian Surratt was charged Friday with unlawful communication by telephone and second-degree harassment. The Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office said the neighbor told deputies he began receiving racially-charged messages from Surratt Friday evening. According to an arrest warrant, Surratt “threatened to kill” his neighbor and watch the neighbor’s home to cause him mental distress. It’s unclear whether Surratt had an attorney who could comment on his behalf.


MOUNT PLEASANT, S.C. (AP) – Authorities said a South Carolina police sergeant was fired after he was found passed out in a department vehicle with a can of beer “between his legs.” Mount Pleasant Police Chief Carl Ritchie said Sgt. Matt Kinard was fired Friday after he was found intoxicated while on the job. Police responded to a call around 11:20 a.m. about a man passed out in a vehicle near the East Cooper Airport. Officers found Kinard asleep in a marked police SUV with an “open beer can between his legs.” Kinard was also charged with public intoxication. He was released with a courtesy summons. It’s unclear whether Kinard had an attorney.

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