South Carolina father helps police arrest man accused of looking at teen in bathroom, reports say

A group of fathers helped police arrest a registered sex offender accused of looking at a 15-year-old girl in the restroom of a Cracker Barrel in South Carolina, reports say.

Douglas Lane, 53, is facing charges of voyeurism, simple possession of marijuana and possession of drug paraphernalia stemming from a reported incident in Duncan on Sunday morning, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

Duncan police Chief Carl Long told WSPA that a 15-year-old girl at the restaurant reported seeing a man peering at her from underneath the bathroom stall.

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant's parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office)

Douglas Lane was tackled by a group of fathers in the restaurant’s parking lot, police reportedly say. (Spartanburg County Sheriff’s Office)

KANSAS CITY POLICE IDENTIFY 1-YEAR-OLD KILLED IN TRIPLE SHOOTING 

The girl told her father what happened and an employee coaxed Lane out of the bathroom, the station adds.

Long told WSPA that the girl’s father confronted Lane and a witness said he went “running, sprinting out the front door” of the restaurant “with a very bloody nose.”

Long said Lane tried to flee, but was tackled and restrained by a group until police arrived, WSPA reports.

Lane’s phone reportedly was seized by police after it was found on the bathroom floor. One witness told WSPA that the 15-year-old wasn’t the only woman in the restroom at time.

“I’ll never forget the way they looked after,” that witness said. “They were traumatized.”

Government records show that Lane, of Charlotte, N.C., has been a registered sex offender in that state since 2004 because he was convicted of secretly looking into a room with 8- and 9-year-olds inside, according to Fox5 Atlanta.

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He also was charged with crimes connected to peeping at least eight  other times, according to WSPA. Lane is reportedly being held on a $2,000 bond.

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What happens in North Carolina has ramifications for control of the White House, Senate and Supreme Court

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — By Sunday morning, less than two days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the signs were already stapled to telephone poles in this liberal college town. “VOTE!” they read, above an Uncle Sam-style image of the iconic feminist jurist.

Not that voters here needed a reminder of the stakes in this election.

North Carolina, where the changing demographics reflect America as much as the urban-rural divisions mirror its polarization, was already a crucial bellwether. The state is critical to President Trump’s re-election bid, particularly as he has slipped in the industrial Midwest and come under more pressure to retain the rest of his 2016 map.

With competitive races for president, Senate and governor and control of the State Legislature up for grabs, voters are being deluged by advertisements: More money has been spent on television commercials here than in any other state.

And now, Justice Ginsburg’s death has made North Carolina even more important. If Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans try to hastily push through a new justice before or immediately after the election, it could doom three senators in states where they were already trailing, and where Joseph R. Biden Jr. appears well-positioned: Maine, Colorado and Arizona.

That makes North Carolina not just a bellwether but a linchpin, with the fate of Senator Thom Tillis’s re-election campaign a key factor in deciding which party will control the Senate. And Mr. Tillis’s early pronouncement that he would support whomever the president selects to replace Justice Ginsburg underscored the way the future of the White House, the Senate and the Supreme Court have all become entwined with North Carolina politics.

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The White House, Senate and Supreme Court Could All Hinge on North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — By Sunday morning, less than two days after the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, the signs were already stapled to telephone poles in this liberal college town. “VOTE!” they read, above an Uncle Sam-style image of the iconic feminist jurist.

Not that voters here needed a reminder of the stakes in this election.

North Carolina, where the changing demography reflects America as much as the urban-rural divisions mirror its polarization, was already a crucial bellwether. The state is critical to President Trump’s re-election, particularly as he has slipped in the industrial Midwest and come under more pressure to retain the rest of his 2016 map.

With competitive races for president, Senate and governor and control of the State Legislature up for grabs, voters are being deluged by advertisements: More money has been spent on television commercials here than in any other state.

And now, Justice Ginsburg’s death has made North Carolina even more important this year. If Mr. Trump and Senate Republicans try to hastily push through a new justice before or immediately after the election, it could doom three senators in states where they were already trailing, and where Joseph R. Biden Jr. appears well-positioned: Maine, Colorado and Arizona.

That makes North Carolina not just a bellwether but a linchpin, with Senator Thom Tillis holding perhaps the deciding seat in who controls the Senate. The White House, the Senate and the Supreme Court, then, could hang in the balance here.

“We have more of an ability to shape the future of the state, nation and world than anybody else,” said Josh Stein, the state’s Democratic attorney general who is also on the ballot and has used that line to rally supporters at drive-in church services and other Covid-era gatherings.

It is not just Democrats who see the looming Supreme Court battle as an opportunity to rouse their supporters.

“No one believes we can keep a Senate majority unless we win North Carolina,” Mr. Tillis said on Saturday at a rally with Mr. Trump in Fayetteville, N.C., shortly before the president took the podium and announced his plans to pick a female justice as early as this week.

“The president has the responsibility and the authority to nominate a justice,” said Mr. Tillis, before citing the list of potential Supreme Court justices Mr. Trump released earlier in the month. “He’s going to nominate one of those justices, and I’m going to vote for their confirmation.”

Mr. Tillis is calculating that the president will win North Carolina again, and that the court

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North Carolina poll shows close races for White House, Senate

Biden notched a 3-point lead in a CNN/SRSS poll published Tuesday, a 2-point lead in a Monmouth University poll published Sept. 3, and a 4-point lead in a Fox News poll published Sept. 2.

According to a RealClearPolitics average of North Carolina surveys conducted from Aug. 29-Sept. 14, Biden remains 0.9 percentage points ahead of Trump in general election polling.

Trump won North Carolina’s 15 Electoral College votes by 3.8 percentage points in 2016. The state has flipped between backing Democratic and Republican presidential candidates in previous election cycles.

Former President Barack Obama carried North Carolina in 2008, but lost there in 2012 to former Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney.

The latest Suffolk University/USA Today survey also shows Democratic Senate candidate Cal Cunningham with a narrow edge over Republican incumbent Sen. Thom Tillis.

The closely watched race is one of a handful in which endangered Senate Republicans are battling for reelection, and it could decide whether the GOP maintains control of the chamber.

Cunningham leads Tillis by 4 percentage points among likely voters, 42-38 percent.

The RealClearPolitics average of polling for the North Carolina Senate race, which includes surveys from Aug. 29-Sept. 14, shows Cunningham ahead of Tillis by 3.5 percentage points.

Tillis is widely regarded as one of the most vulnerable Senate Republicans competing for another term in November, along with Maine’s Susan Collins, Colorado’s Cory Gardner and Arizona’s Martha McSally.

The Suffolk University/USA Today poll was conducted Sept. 11-14, surveying 500 likely voters in North Carolina.

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SC House Leader Wants Raises and Bonuses, but Not Now | South Carolina News

By JEFFREY COLLINS, Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The chairman of the House committee that writes South Carolina’s budget said he also wants a small raise for teachers and a $1,000 COVID-19 hazard pay bonus for lower-paid state workers, but now isn’t the time to spend that money.

Instead, House Ways and Means Chairman Murrell Smith said Wednesday he wants to wait until January and make sure COVID-19 hasn’t wrecked the economy even more than state economists have predicted.

The Senate approved the raises and the hazard pay, totaling about $70 million in the state’s roughly $9 billion budget, on Tuesday. They then attacked House members a day later for not taking it up.

Those workers and teachers “received as a thank you from the House of Representatives a big fat zero,” said state Sen. Greg Hembree, a Republican from Horry County on Wednesday.

Smith said he is almost certain the House won’t take up the Senate’s proposal during the special session that ends Sept. 24, but the Sumter Republican is willing to talk about it with senators when the next session of the General Assembly starts in January and Smith hopes economists have a better handle on the COVID-19 economy nearly a year after the pandemic started.

“The only disagreement we have is they are rushing head in to a storm and they don’t know whether the storm is going to last for a month or is going to last for years,” Smith said after Wednesday’s House session.

Smith said he would rather be prudent and wait than spend money the state could have saved and later end up furloughing state workers or make deep cuts in budgets. Smith entered the House nearly 20 years ago and remembers what happened in the Great Recession of 2009 when $1 billion of budgeted revenue evaporated and the state agencies had to make huge cuts that caused damage that many said it took a decade to reverse.

“Let’s be careful. Let’s make sure we don’t make rash decisions we regret later,” Smith said.

The House is following the course recommended by Gov. Henry McMaster, who also wanted to copy and paste the 2019-2020 budget, spending at the same levels this budget year at least until January.

The Senate’s budget bill also mostly copied last year’s spending with a few exceptions. They said they answered fears of mid-year cuts if the economy gets worse because of the pandemic by setting aside $500 million of the $775 million left over in previous budgets in case revenue estimates are too high.

The Senate proposal set aside $50 million for education, most of it going toward funding small “step increase” raises for teachers, which amount to several hundred dollars a year given annually as teachers gain experience.

Smith said the House will give teachers those raises in January and included the six months of extra money they should have gotten if the raises were in place when contracts started July 1.

The Senate addition to

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