Monday, September 1 2014 1:31 PM EDT2014-09-01 17:31:17 GMT
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morning.Troopers say the crash occurred on Bookman Rd. about three miles west of Elgin at about 6 a.m. The motorcycleMore >>
The South Carolina Highway Patrol says a man on a motorcycle was killed in a crash Monday morningMore >>
STATE RADARINTERACTIVE RADARWEATHER ON YOUR MOBILE PHONE
Take a real-time look at where it's raining here in the Midlands and across the state with WIS First Alert radar.More >>
COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) -
Big changes at the Department of Mental Health have happened following the escape of a patient in January.
Jason Carter, 39, walked away from a paid work program after he was left unsupervised.
Carter is accused of killing his parents in Seneca in 2006, but was ruled insane, not guilty, and placed in state custody.
Carter was taken into custody in January at a Tennessee hotel, a day after he drove away from the forensic unit at Bryan Psychiatric Hospital in Columbia. Neither Columbia police nor the Richland County Sheriff's Department was initially notified. That's where the changes start.
"We've essentially turned that on its head, now all staff that have anything to do with patients whether they're inside the hospital or outside the hospital as soon as they realize a patient is missing, the first call goes to the Office of Public Safety," said Mark Binkley with the Department of Mental Health.
In addition to public safety being the first called, the nurse in charge, and the Chief of Security for GEOCARE should know within 15 minutes of a disappearance.
It was 45 minutes before anyone was alerted in Carter's case.
Public safety will notify outside law enforcement agencies, moving the responsibility away from administrators.
Carter was given a lot of freedom, treated almost like staff and that's also changing.
"There's won't be any more patient work opportunities outside the hospital, but even for those staff who are working in the future with patients in the work program, inside the hospital, they need to know what's this patients background what are some things to watch out for, what are their responsibilities in terms of supervising that individual," Binkley said.
Only staff with clinical experience can be job site supervisors. Work hours have been reduced, just two hours a day, a maximum of 10 hours a week, and job sites are now limited to inside the facility they're assigned and changed every 90 days.
Mental Health's Public Safety Officers will also have their own set of files on every patient in their offices.
"They'll have access to height weight, hair color, a photograph and they'll be able to immediately make notification to local law enforcement and any other law enforcement agencies that need notification," Binkley said.
The patient work program that Carter was a part of remains suspended, pending the approval of these new policies. He's back in the forensic unit in Northeast Columbia.
We also know one employee was disciplined as a result of Carter's escape. That individual still works at the facility however.
WIS is still waiting on SLED's criminal investigation, but it is expected soon.
Sunday, August 31 2014 4:12 PM EDT2014-08-31 20:12:10 GMT
CONWAY, SC (WMBF) – Dozens of videos are all over Twitter from parties held at Coastal Carolina University. Many of the posts lead back to a group called I'm Shmacked. It makes videos at universitiesMore >>
Dozens of videos are all over social media from parties held at Coastal Carolina University.More >>
Friday, August 29 2014 12:21 PM EDT2014-08-29 16:21:29 GMT
An Alexander County woman is facing charges after deputies say she molested a four-year-old at a church while services were happening. According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old CarolMore >>
According to the Alexander County Sheriff's Office, 52-year-old Carol Diane Britto, of Taylorsville, was charged with one count of first degree statutory sex offense and one count of indecent liberties with a child.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:58 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:58:33 GMT
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.Prices are about $3.11 in the area on Labor Day, which, when compared toMore >>
You've likely noticed a spike in gas prices across the Midlands. They have jumped almost 15 cents after a steady drop nationwide.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 8:32 PM EDT2014-09-02 00:32:26 GMT
With a severe thunderstorm moving its way through the Midlands, customers across Richland and Lexington counties currently find themselves without power. South Carolina Electric & Gas is reporting overMore >>
Over 4,000 outages have been reported across the Midlands according to SCE&G.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 7:54 PM EDT2014-09-01 23:54:12 GMT
Whitney Hempsey remembered what doctors told her before she gave birth to her second child years ago. "It's like, 'Hey, are you tired of being pregnant?" Hempsey recalled. "'We can give you this and youMore >>
Mothers come together at Improving Birth Rally in an effort to stop rushed births.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 6:18 PM EDT2014-09-01 22:18:34 GMT
Under a bright Carolina sun, citizens across the state enjoy going out and making a few waves on the lakes. Some like Johnathan Crossland enjoy fishing as a method of recreation and relaxation for a while.More >>
Boaters and law enforcement officials provide safety advice when making waves on the lakes.More >>
Monday, September 1 2014 3:55 PM EDT2014-09-01 19:55:16 GMT
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing. Among those heroes are the thousands of troops who brought Hitler's EuropeMore >>
As America's population of World War II veterans continues to shrink, respect for their role in history appears to be growing.More >>