SC Features

Interviews, profiles, and and informational programming about the Palmetto State.

StoryCorps: White House Correspondents

Nov 23, 2016
StoryCorps

At StoryCorps recording booths across the country, friends and loved ones interview each other about their lives. Here Susanne Schafer and her husband Charles Bierbauer speak about their careers as journalists and their time as White House correspondents during the Reagan administration. A pioneer in her field, in 1989 Susanne Schafer became the first female Associated Press correspondent covering the Pentagon.

StoryCorps will be recording in Columbia from November 17 to December 19.

SCETV President and CEO Linda O'Bryon talks with two of StoryCorps facilitators outside the MobileBooth in Columbia.
Tabitha Safdi/SCETV

StoryCorps' mobile recording booth opened to story tellers in Columbia, SC, on October 18th, beginning its one-month stay. Columbia Mayor Stephen BenjaminSCETV's President and CEO Linda O'Bryon, and StoryCorps MobileBooth Manager Stacey Todd spoke to a crowd near Edventure near the SC State Museum.

StoryCorps in Columbia, South Carolina

Nov 18, 2016
The StoryCorps mobile recording booth outside Edventure in Columbia, SC.
Tabitha Safdi/SCETV

StoryCorps’ mission is to preserve and share humanity’s stories in order to build connections between people and create a more just and compassionate world. They acheive this by recording and celebrating the stories of everyday Americans. They are partnering with South Carolina Public Radio to record, preserve, and share the stories of Columbia, South Carolina, from November 17 – December 19, 2016.

StoryCorps: Christmas on Daufuskie Island

Nov 15, 2016
Dr. J. Herman Blake and Dr. Emily Moore, Charleston, 2012
StoryCorps

StoryCorps is an oral history project based on the idea that the stories of everyday people are the most important and interesting of all. In 2012, the StoryCorps mobile booth came to Charleston. Here’s Dr. J. Herman Blake talking with his wife and co-researcher Dr. Emily Moore.

Poster for "Eight Days a Week."
Apple Corps

The recent Ron Howard documentary film “The Beatles: Eight Days a Week - The Touring Years” highlights the cultural phenomenon of Beatlemania in the 1960s.  The movie captures America’s excitement as John, Paul, George and Ringo stormed the country at the forefront of the most popular musical revolution of the century, the British Invasion.   

Bela Fleck Talks About the Juno Concerto

Nov 10, 2016
Bela Fleck
Courtesy of the artist

Alfred Turner had a chance to talk with musician and composer Béla Fleck a few days before his visit to Columbia, SC, to perform his new banjo concerto, the Juno Concerto. Beck was scheduled to perform the work on November 13, at the Koger Center, with the South Carolina Philharmonic, under music director Morihiko Nakahara. Just in case you aren't familiar with Béla Fleck, there are some who say he's the world’s premier banjo player. 

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
Richard Rothwell, via Wikimedia Commons

“Frankenstein” is a classic of fiction, movies, and other media, and also a Halloween staple. The novel has not been out of print in the two centuries since it was published in 1818. USC English Professor Paula Feldman, an authority on the life of Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, the author of “Frankenstein,” talks about the real- life tragedies in Shelley’s life that caused her to wish she could bring the dead to life again, and the dreams that inspired the writing of the classic book that is regarded as the first science fiction novel.

Narrative: "It's Like Starting All Over Again"

Oct 25, 2016
Margaret and Harry Plexico spent months trying to clean up and salvage their flooded home before decided to start over elsewhere.
Ryan Plexico

Margaret and Harry Plexico were away celebrating their anniversary the weekend of October 4th, 2016. They couple celebrated 36 years of marriage in Charleston. When they returned to their home in Irmo, they found it ravaged by flood. With no flood insurance, the Plexicos made the difficult choice to build a new home elsewhere, using their retirement savings to do so. Both Margaret and Harry had just retired.

City of Columbia Police Officers Erskin Moody (left) and Ivan Birochak.
Jennifer Timmons/City of Columbia Police Department

Sergeant Erskine Moody and Officer Ivan Birochak of the Columbia Police Department were assigned to a twelve hour night shift on October 3 and 4, 2015. They wondered whether the forecasted rain would "live up to the hype," and soon realized that it would. From managing barricades to saving families from their homes, a normal shift quickly became one to remember. 

These ladies have the responsibility of judging baked goods at the South Carolina State Fair, and they take their work seriously.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Eating cupcakes, pies, cakes, and cookies is a pleasure for most folks, but for judges at the South Carolina State Fair, it’s also a responsibility.  Judges Laurie Aker and Mae Wells say because baking contestants work hard to prepare their entries, they should also be diligent in evaluating each entry to get the fairest (no pun intended) and most accurate result in determining winners.  Here they give their criteria for judging food, and for a judge’s qualifications.      Aker lists some common mistakes made by some cooks, and judge supervisor Brenda Turner tells what impresses her in a ba

West Columbia's Elizabeth Gray is running marathons in all 50 states to call attention to the problem of domestic violence.   Her story has made her a finalist for the cover of Running World magazine.
Courtesy of Elizabeth Gray

Elizabeth Gray of West Columbia is a former Marine, but that didn’t protect her from domestic violence at home.  But as she escaped an abusive marriage, she discovered running, and as she crossed the finish line of her first marathon, she decided to use her running to call attention to the problem of domestic violence.  To that end, she has set a goal of running a marathon in all 50 states, and will be halfway to her goal by December.  Her efforts may gain her additional attention, as her compelling story has made her a finalist in a competition to be featured on the cover of Running World

Vince Kolb-Lugo/SC Public Radio
Vince Kolb-Lugo/SC Public Radio

Rafting Creek is a quiet stream that winds behind a cemetery, under a road, then through the woods - it's idyllic. But when rain began last year during the historic flood, the Sumter waterway started to fill up. As the storm continued, the area began to flood, sweeping diagonally over the cemetery, road, and woods themselves. The ground under the cemetery became saturated; the pressure of it caused the caskets to pop out of graves. Three thousand-pound vaults with coffins inside were carried several hundred feet into the woods across the road.

This drone is ready to fly.  Drones have many applications ,but the law hasn't caught up with some of them yet.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Drones are becoming more and more common, with possibly a million or more sold in 2015.  As recreation, they’ve been used as an extension of the traditional model airplane.  Newer uses in business, government and other enterprises have seen them used for traffic monitoring, inspecting farm crops and even collecting information from whale spray.  In this report, law professor Bryant Smith talks about legal concerns brought about by the use of drones, and oceanographer George Voulgaris and graduate student Doug Cahl discuss the drone’s role in various areas of research.

2015’s Historic Flood: Past, Present, and Future

Sep 28, 2016
Rachel Larratt stands among the wreckage in her community after the flood of October 4, 2015.
Courtesy of Rachel Larratt

Over the course of the year since the historic floods of October 2015, South Carolina Public Radio has shared with you numerous stories ranging from repairing homes and businesses, fixing roads and dams, to the personal stories of loss and survival.

On 2015’s Historic Flood: Past, Present, and Future we’ll bring you up-to-date on some of the people we’ve met … and some of the stories we’ve chronicled.

All Stations: Fri, Sep 30, 12 pm | News Stations: Sun, Oct 02, 4 pm

Aiken County cotton farmer Carl Brown overlooks one of his field.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

American consumers buy nearly 20 billion new items of clothing a year, many of them made of Southern cotton, but 98 percent made overseas.  A University of South Carolina professor wondered about the journey of cotton from South Carolina to China and back, and produced a documentary film about the people who grow the cotton and make the garments.  In this story, Prof. Laura Kissel talks about what she learned about the cotton-to-cloth-to-clothing process while making the film, and Aiken County farmer Carl Brown discusses the changes in cotton farming over the course of his career. 

  Fire ants are a perennial problem in the South, and in South Carolina, but science is working to control them.  Aiken County Clemson Extension Agent Vicki Bertagnalli and former Richland County Clemson Extension Agent Tim Davis both have tested ant baits before they were marketed, and say they can be 85-90 percent effective in controlling fire ants when used in the spring and fall. 

Mopeds at Hawg Scooters, Rosewood Drive, Columbia. 2.	More South Carolinians are riding mopeds, and there are numerous reasons why.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    With the opening of the fall semester at colleges across the state, a multitude of students can be seen negotiating the streets on mopeds. But they are by no means the only riders. The use of these low-power scooters is exploding across South Carolina, and the nation. Today we talk with two dealers who explain the phenomenon, as well as a rider who tells of the advantages he gets from his moped.

Elizabeth Webb and Louise Cruea both experienced two flood evacuations with their respective children, pictured here.
Elizabeth Webb

        Elizabeth Webb and Louise Cruea survived South Carolina's flood last October before surviving a second massive flood in West Virginia this summer. Their children, who were with them in both evacuations, have struggled with trauma from these disasters, like so many of the elementary-age children that Elizabeth and Louise teach.

Tens of thousands of purple martins return to Bomb Island at dusk.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Purple martins have roosted on Bomb Island in Lake Murray every summer for decades to prepare for their annual migration to South America. Numbering at least in the tens of thousands, if not more, the birds gather at dusk in great clouds around the island as they return from a day’s hunting for beetles, dragonflies and other high-flying insects.

Louise Cruea (left) and Elizabeth Webb took refuge in West Virginia after Webb's Lake Katherine area home was flooded in October, 2015. Then, in June, they found themselves victims of that state's record-breaking floods.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

  Elizabeth Webb and Louise Cruea both experienced South Carolina’s “thousand-year flood” firsthand. Last October, both women and their families were evacuated from their Lake Katherine homes as the rain bore down on Columbia. They believed that they had lived through an once-in-a-lifetime disaster, but when Webb and Cruea went with their children to stay at a family home in White Sulfur Springs, West Virginia, they were caught once again in a devastating flood.

Just southwest of bustling Charleston, S.C., lies a lush and rural gem called Wadmalaw Island, one of the Sea Islands that dot the shoreline. This is the home of the Charleston Tea Plantation, the only large-scale commercial tea plantation in America.

Food tourists get good food and a history lesson during a food tour on Columbia's Main Street.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

    While most folks know that tourism is South Carolina’s number one industry, many do not know that food tourism is a growing phenomenon around the state. Brian Cole operators a food tourism business in Columbia, and conducts his clients each weekend on visits to about six different restaurants to sample the fare and learn about the eateries’ specialties and history.

Narrative: When Saviors Came by Boat

Aug 16, 2016
Marwan Marzagao and other men in his neighborhood used pontoon boats like these to navigate the water and deliver neighbors to safety.
Marwan Marzagao

  In the neighborhoods surrounding Lake Katherine, one of the most heavily flooded areas in Columbia last October, locals went from house to house on Jon boats and pontoons to rescue neighbors who were trapped in their flooded homes. Marwan Marzagao recalls working as a team with other men as they saved others from harm’s way.

A statue of Shoeless Joe Jackson in Greenville.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  He was one of the greatest baseball players of all time. “Shoeless” Joe Jackson of Greenville carried the third highest lifetime batting average with him when he was banned from baseball for allegedly helping throw the 1919 World Series with other members of the Chicago White Sox. We talk today with Rob Young, president of the Shoeless Joe Jackson Museum in Greenville. Jackson’s banishment from baseball has been controversial for nearly a century. Young is a proponent of Jackson’s innocence, a position which Jackson maintained until his death.

Rachel Larratt stands among the wreckage in her community after the flood of October 4, 2015.
Courtesy of Rachel Larratt

In the South Beltline and Gills Creek area of Columbia, many homes were extensively damaged by last October's flood. Rachel Larratt, a survivor turned volunteer from this area, reflects on the water rising in her own home, as well as the deflated spirits of other survivors who are still struggling to recover from the disaster. 

For healthy summer eating a Columbia chef has prepared a barbecue sandwich substituting jackfruit for pork.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  People think of certain foods more often in the summer – barbecue on the grill, or maybe ice cream or watermelon. They can actually crave certain foods during various seasons, according to nutritionist Trisha Mandes and USC Public Health Professor Brie Turner-McGrievey. The reason is often that people can have low-grade addictions to some foods because they release chemicals in the brain that make them feel good – an opiate-like effect, says Mandes. High on the list of addictive foods is cheese.

Narrative: While the Rain Poured, Wedding Bells Rang

Aug 1, 2016
Blair and Hal Lindsey outside their wedding reception venue on Senate street in Columbia, while the rains of the beginning stages of the flood poured around them.
Amy Jo Photography

    On Friday, October 2, 2015, Blair Minick listened heartbroken to the next day’s weather forecast. On Saturday, she was supposed to marry her fiancé, Hal Lindsey, by the Saluda River. As the rain began to fall, all of her carefully laid plans seemed doomed to fall through, but in fact the flood only proved Blair and Hal’s commitment to one another.

Jeremy and Lacie Cannon in their family’s Turbeville farmhouse.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

  A fourth generation farmer, Jeremy Cannon was always confident in what his family’s future held. But when October’s flood decimated many of his crops, the Cannons’ future was suddenly called into question. In this episode of Narrative, Jeremy and his wife Lacie reflect on the struggle for their business pull through the loss of their crops in 2015.

Thomas Lauderdale
Thomas Lauderdale

If you listen to NPR on your way home from work, you're probably familiar with the voice of Ari Shapiro. He's reported around the world and as of last year, he's one of the hosts of All Things Considered.  But when he's on vacation, he uses his voice in a different way. For the past seven years, Shapiro has been a regular guest singer with the "Little Orchestra" known as Pink Martini.  Cooper McKim talks with Ari Shapiro about his career as a performer.

Sweet, delicious South Carolina peaches are as good as it gets in the summer.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Hot summer nights and high humidity may be annoying to humans, but they’re great for one of the state’s favorite agricultural product: juicy, delicious peaches. Peach farmer Chalmers Carr of Ridge Spring tells us with pride that while Georgia may call itself the “peach state,” his farm alone grows more peaches than the entire state of Georgia. And according to Matt Cornwell of the state Department of Agriculture, researchers are investigating the use of technology such as drones to aid farmers in determining things such as number of peaches on trees, or potential problems with them.

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