Here is the latest South Carolina news from The Associated Press

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — More people died on South Carolina roads in 2012 than the previous year, the second year in a row the state saw a year-over-year increase. The Highway Patrol’s preliminary reports show 833 deaths on state highways and roads last year, compared with 827 deaths in 2011.

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Health officials say flu season is early this year — and the Carolinians are feeling the pain. It’s already one of the worst flu seasons in a decade. The flu season usually hits in January and February. But 14 people already have died in North Carolina, and 13 have died in South Carolina.

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (AP) — An 8-year-old boy has been shot to death in a home in Bennettsville. Investigators say someone called 911 around 8:30 p.m. Sunday to say Easton Brueger had been accidentally shot at his father’s house. He died at the hospital. No charges have been filed.

EASLEY, S.C. (AP) — Authorities say a registered sex offender lured a 4-year-old girl from her Easley home into the woods, where he sexually assaulted and beat her. Pickens County deputies say 42-year-old Jerry Dudley was arrested shortly after the Friday attack. The girl remains in the hospital, but is recovering.

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