South Carolina Military and Veterans

Stories about South Carolina veterans, the history of the conflicts in which they served, and those on the home front.

When Robert Mercer accepted a lifetime achievement award from a technology group in 2014, the Renaissance Technologies co-CEO summed up his career modestly.

"What I am is simply a computer programmer," he told the crowd.

In fact, both professionally and politically, Mercer is much more than that.

At 70, Mercer is an American success story, having helped turn Renaissance into one of the most profitable hedge funds in the world, and by all accounts becoming very rich in the process.

Copyright 2017 Fresh Air. To see more, visit Fresh Air.

DAVID BIANCULLI, HOST:

Impulsive children become thoughtful adults only after years of improvements to the brain's information highways, a team reports in Current Biology.

A study of nearly 900 young people ages 8 to 22 found that the ability to control impulses, stay on task and make good decisions increased steadily over that span as the brain remodeled its information pathways to become more efficient.

The title of Cate Shortland's new film, Berlin Syndrome, is a sly riff on "Stockholm syndrome," that condition in which a hostage begins to feel sympathy for her captor. It's never clear what sets the Berlin version apart, and in some ways Shortland and the screenwriter, Shaun Grant, seem to be figuring it out as they go along.

Two owners of diesel-powered General Motors vehicles are accusing the car maker of producing an engine that exceeds U.S. standards for pollutant emissions under normal driving conditions, in a lawsuit that targets more than 700,000 Silverado trucks and Sierra SUVs.

The class-action lawsuit accuses GM of using "at least three separate 'defeat devices' to increase engine power and efficiency" in its Duramax diesel engines, citing tests on vehicles during several minutes of driving as well as at temperatures outside of the certification range of 68-86 degrees Fahrenheit.

Sean Hannity is not going away.

Well, scratch that. He is going away — but only on a planned vacation, and only briefly. Then, after that, you can be sure: He is not going away.

It may not be possible to imagine a more terrible crime.

Courtney Pieters, a 3-year-old girl from a suburb of Cape Town, went missing on May 4. Her body was found nine days later, buried in a shallow grave about two-thirds of a mile from her home. She had been raped twice.

"This is one of the saddest incidents I've come across," South African President Jacob Zuma said May 18.

AHA!

9 hours ago

In this final round, every answer contains the letters A-H-A in consecutive order, somewhere in the answer. For example, if the clue was, "Ashton Kutcher replaced Charlie Sheen on this CBS sitcom," the answer would be, "Two and A HAlf Men."

Heard On Tank And The Bangas: Tiny Desks And Disney Musicals

Wisdom Of The Crowd

9 hours ago

It turns out that the Tiny Desk Contest isn't the only competition Tank and the Bangas vocalist Jelly Joseph has participated in. Jelly tells us about making Jennifer Lopez tear up on "American Idol," then we invite her to play a round of Wisdom of the Crowd. Jelly has to determine whose wisdom she trusts more: a recent live audience we polled or, the wisdom of puzzle guru Art Chung.

Then the band joins her onstage to play their song "Walmart."

What & Where Did I Eat?

9 hours ago

In this game, contestants help Ophira remember what she ate and where she ate it. The trick is, wherever she goes, she only eats foods that rhyme with her geographic location. For instance, if Ophira said, "I ate a spiral-cut Honeybaked while getting baked in the capital of the Netherlands," the answer would be, "You ate ham in Amsterdam."

Heard On Tank And The Bangas: Tiny Desks And Disney Musicals

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Piano Jazz

Jazz legend Marian McPartland hosted Piano Jazz for over 30 years. The show continues showcasing the top musicians of all time with broadcasts and podcasts from the archives.

Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto Coverage

For 17 days and nights each spring, Spoleto Festival USA and Piccolo Spoleto fill Charleston with performances by renowned artists as well as emerging performers.

South Carolina News

Anita Singleton-Prather at SC Public Radio Studio
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

 Several sites in Beaufort County are now a part of the National Park Service. These sites include Darrah Hall and Brick Baptist Church (within the Penn School National Historic Landmark District); the Camp Saxton Site, on U.S. Navy property in Port Royal; and The Old Beaufort Firehouse  located in the midst of downtown Beaufort.

Memorial Day weekend, visitors to the Annual Original Gullah Festival in Beaufort, will have the opportunity to learn about the importance of these places.

The first historic home to be given city approval to elevate to meet flood requirements sits near Colonial Lake in downtown Charleston.
Alexandra Olgin/SC Public Radio

Jack Margolies is somewhat of a pioneer in Charleston historic preservation circles. He is the first to get approval to elevate his 1859 two-story yellow home to meet flood requirements.

“Basically they’re going to jack it up," he said. "They’ll put rods underneath house and all the rods will be synchronized to go up certain height at same time.”

Margolies got the go ahead by the Board of Architectural Review– a body that ok’s any changes to historic homes. This is the second time he has tried to get approval to elevate his home. Margolies believes this year he had the right circumstances because much of his home was destroyed during a fire and the place required major construction. 

Under the approved elevation proposal he will be raising his home about two more feet which includes altering the red brick steps and iron banister that lead to his Charleston style southern facing piazza. But he’s is careful to explain that the entrance will look straight out of the 19th century.

“An expert could come by and could possibly notice the difference. But the average tourist walking by the average Charlestonian wouldn’t notice any difference.”

Lexington Rep. Rick Quinn, (R) talking with news reporters at the Richland County Courthouse in Columbia
Jim Covington/SC Public Radio

For the past three years a special state prosecutor has been methodically conducting a corruption probe involving members of the S.C. General Assembly. To date, four sitting legislators have been indicted. The indictments so far involve violations of state ethics laws, and the reporting of income and campaign contributions. Some say these laws are so weak that they allow lawmakers to skirt them and use their offices for personal financial gain.

Publicity photo of angel wings prop from the play "Angel."
Courtesy of Henry Naylor

2014, Kobanî, Northern Syria: there is a siege as fierce as Stalingrad. ISIL, having steam-rolled through Iraq, expects to take the town easily. The desperate Kobanis have only their determination and aging Russian rifles. Defeat seems inevitable, but a heroine emerges: a crack shot sniper—a member of a band of Kurdish female fighters—with 100 kills to her name. She is the angel of Kobanî. Inspired by a true story, Henry Naylor’s one-woman monologue won prestigious awards at the Adelaide and Edinburgh Fringe Festivals, as well as critical praise.

2017 Piccolo Spoleto poster
Courtesy of City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs

  Piccolo Spoleto prioritizes accessibility for both artists and performers, presenting professionalwork of the highest standard, while ensuring that nearly half of Piccolo’s events are admission free,

and the balance are offered at affordable ticket prices.Scott Watson, Director of the City of Charleston Office of Cultural Affairs, talks with Jeanette Guinn about the offerings of the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival.

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