Man tried to grab mail, police say

A man was arrested Wednesday morning after a postal worker accused him of trying to take the mail.

About 10 a.m., North Charleston police were flagged down by the carrier. He said he was on Reynolds Avenue when a man approached him, asked if he had any mail and then tried to grab it, said Spencer Pryor, police public information officer. The carrier sprayed the man with pepper spray.

Carlton Akeen Bryan, 24, of Charleston, was arrested and charged with strong-arm robbery, Pryor said.

The carrier was not injured.

Parents urged to write first lady

Charleston County PTA Co-President Clifford Fulmore is asking parents to write to first lady Michelle Obama to request that she speak at the Parents Leading the Way Conference scheduled for February 2010 on the campus of South Carolina State University.

Letters can be mailed through Friday to: Mrs. Michelle Obama, The White House, 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., NW, Washington, DC 20500.

For more information, contact Fulmore at clifford_fulmore@ccsdschools.com.

DHEC receives readiness grant

COLUMBIA — The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control said it will receive a nearly $3.7 million federal grant to bolster its preparedness and ability to respond to potential public health emergencies.

Agency spokesman Jim Beasley said Wednesday the funds from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services primarily will be used to prepare for the upcoming flu season and enhance the state's swine flu response capabilities.

DHEC has confirmed more than 450 swine flu cases in South Carolina.

Rock tour making way across state

SPARTANBURG — A rock tour of a different sort is making its way around South Carolina.

The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported Wednesday that an ancient rock in the shape of the Palmetto State is on display at a Spartanburg museum as part of a traveling exhibit.

Greenville native Christopher Williams said he discovered the rock more than a year ago at a garden center. He bought the rock for $10 and started a traveling tour called S.C. Rocks in March.

Williams says he will continue the tour through January, then take the rock into South Carolina classrooms.

The rock has fossils in it. Geologists say the natural formation is between 200 million and 540 million years old. To see photos and find out more, go to www.scrocks.com.

Learjet crash suit back to state court

COLUMBIA — A lawsuit over a fatal Learjet crash that killed four people and injured two music celebrities should be handled in state court, a federal judge ruled this week.

U.S. District Judge Matthew J. Perry Jr. on Monday granted the request by the jet's owner, Inter Travel & Services Inc. of Irvine, Calif., and its operator, Global Exec Aviation Inc. of Long Beach, Calif., to return the case to a state court.

A Learjet managed by the two companies hurtled off the end of the runway of the Columbia Metropolitan Airport on Sept. 19. Four people were killed. Former Blink-182 drummer Travis Barker and celebrity DJ AM, whose real name is Adam Goldstein, were injured.

Inter Travel and Global Exec Aviation sued the airport, arguing that the design of the area beyond the runway contributed to the seriousness of the crash.