SC Features

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

Language immersion teachers at a recent conference held with the SC Department of Education.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  As foreign businesses such as BMW, Volvo and Michelin invest more in the Palmetto State, their languages (German, French, Swedish and more) will increasingly expose young South Carolinians to cultures their parents didn’t encounter. The S.C. Department of Education has begun, at the request of parents around the state, language immersion programs for students, focusing on Kindergarten through grade 5, though some continue into high school.

The Latham family was rescued by neighbors in jon boats like this one. The water rose high enough to cover cars and street signs, and flowed so fast that only jon boats could navigate the water.
Vince Kolb-Lugo/SC Public Radio

  Julie Latham lives with her family in the Lake Katherine community of Columbia, SC, where her home was destroyed by floodwaters. Julie reflects on her family’s rescue by jon boat and her elderly neighbor’s harrowing struggle for survival as the waters continued to rise.

  Ten people drown every day in the United States. Many of them thought they could swim, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a pool. The U.S. Masters swimming organization has begun a national campaign to teach adults to swim. The program has come to Charleston, where aquatics manager Jennifer Ayers-Millar says that while adults are more fearful of water if they don’t learn to swim as children, the program is teaching adults to manage their fear.

  In a vault at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library reside numerous collections of rare books and papers from some of the world’s great writers – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Robert Burns, to name a few. Elizabeth Suddeth, director of Rare Books and Special Collections, takes us to the vault and talks about how the library attracted these collections, and its growing reputation as a destination for researchers and a magnet for prestigious literary collections.

The South Carolina Cornbread Festival features a cornbread eating contest among other fun events that help celebrate a favorite staple of the Southern diet.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

South Carolinians celebrate elements of the state’s culture in festivals all over the state, and especially its foodstuffs, from peaches to peanuts.  So it’s natural that they would establish a festival to proclaim their love for another traditional culinary favorite – cornbread.  In today’s report, a visit to the South Carolina Cornbread Festival  reveals that there’s more to it than the traditional buttered variety found in many homes.  Festival organizer Sabrina Odom tells us that people make cornbread in a large variety of styles and flavors, from pineapple cornbread to sweet potato cor

Classes have resumed at the Pavlovich School of Ballet after October’s flood nearly destroyed the building.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

On October 3, 2015, the Pavlovich Ballet School in Columbia was enjoying its newly-renovated facility, including state-of-the-art sound equipment and a new dance floor completed just two months earlier.  The next day owner Radenko Pavlovich watched eight feet of water send the piano floating through the studio, destroying it and everything else. On the first of April, the dance studio finally re-opened. Tut Underwood reports on its process of recovery.

Betsy Fleming
Courtesy Converse College

  Betsy Fleming, outgoing president of Converse College in Spartanburg, talks with Walter Edgar about her 11 years leading the 125-year-old institution dedicated to offering women a high quality, liberal arts education. Fleming became President of Converse in October 2005.  After reducing the tuition by 43 percent, the school became a national leader in affordability and value. Fleming has said that the tuition reset was an important marker in transforming the college's future.

  A familiar sight on Southern country roads, and sometimes in towns, is kudzu.  The ubiquitous and fast-growing vine was imported from Asia as a decorative plant in the late 19th century, and promoted during the 1930s and 40s as forage for livestock and control for erosion.  According to Clemson Extension agent Dr. Tim Davis, it didn’t quite work out that way.  The plant, which can grow up to a foot a day, spread rapidly throughout the South.  But Davis and Dr.

Great Horned Owl
Greg Hume

  On select weekend nights throughout the year, Congaree National Park in Richland County offers the public a glimpse – or, more accurately, usually an earful – of nature when it conducts its popular Owl Prowls.

A coyote
ForestWander.com

    Wildlife does not recognize borders, and so in 1978, a non-native species, welcomed or not, moved into the Palmetto State – the coyote. It has not only caused problems for hunters (where it has affected the deer population) and livestock farmers (where it preys on cattle, goats and more), but also has moved into cities, causing concerns among people not used to seeing these wild predators. 

This year’s session of the S.C. General Assembly has come to an end.  In the final days state lawmakers finally passed a major roads funding bill.  Russ McKinney has this round up of the week of this year's session.

With only a few weeks left in this legislative session, this week has seen a flurry of action on various gun bills in the South Carolina General Assembly.  Host Russ McKinney has this look back on the week in the South Carolina Legislature.

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