SC News

News from and about the Palmetto State.

Imperial storm troopers have become instantly recognizable "bad guys" in the wake of the phenomenal success of the Star Wars films.
Pixabay/gromit15

With indelible characters such as Luke Skywalker, Darth Vader, Han Solo and R2D2, George Lucas’s “Star Wars” hit theaters on May 25, 1977, and the world of pop culture would never be the same.  The phenomenal success of the film has created an industry that includes books, toys, clothing and much more, in addition to a series of monster hit movies.  Looking back on the movie’s beginnings in this report, “Star Wars” aficionado Aaron Nicewonger relates how initial doubt about the film’s chances for success allowed Lucas to retain a large percent of the merchandising for the film, making him

The mandolin is a central of many Bluegrass groups. (Mandolin player with the Jeff Austin Band, on stage at the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines, July, 2016.)
Max Goldberg via Flickr [CC BY 2.0}

Bluegrass music has always been popular in South Carolina, but Willie Wells thinks it’s about to break out to a new, mass popularity.  Every Friday night, Wells holds a bluegrass jam at his store, Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor.  Fans and musicians enjoy a performance before getting out their guitars, banjos and fiddles to play country, gospel and bluegrass tunes with each other. 

This full-scale replica of Christopher Columbus ship the Nina serves, with its partner, the Pinta, as a floating museum and classroom, as it proved to students and tourists on a recent weeklong stop in Charleston.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Christopher Columbus's historic voyages have come alive through full-size replicas of two of his famous ships, the Nina and the Pinta, which sail the east coast and internal river systems of the United States as floating museums.  On a  recent visit to Charleston, school classes and tourists got a feel for what life would be like on such a ship, called a caravel, on a trans-oceanic voyage.  Romantic, yes.

Parking Outside Richland County Administration Building May 15.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Day two of intakes for Richland County’s homeowner flood recovery program brought in almost half the number of registrations that county will accept. Around Midday Tuesday, the county had accepted ‘just shy of 300” registrations, that’s according to Public Information Coordinator Natasha Lemon.

The county was expecting a large influx of residents on day one of intakes. South Carolina Public Radio spoke with the County’s long-term disaster recovery director Mike King at Noon; he said there was more of a steady stream.

photo of an old college campus in spring
David Mark, via Pixabay [CC0 1.0]

High schools all over the state graduate students at this time of year. But this time next year, Charleston County will begin graduating some students with a high school diploma and a college associate’s degree at the same time. Following a national trend already begun in other counties, Charleston has approved an “early college” program beginning this fall. According to Charleston County School District official Kim Wilson, the program will start with a class of 100 this fall and add 100 more each fall for the next three years.

Josh Floyd

On May 8th and 9th, the Columbia Metropolitan Airport housed a two day training exercise to test emergency preparedness and response. The event was organized by the South Carolina Forestry Commission with the National Disaster Medical System. The exercise involved a mock disaster which would require people to be flown in for distribution to area medical facilities for further treatment. After facing two consecutive years of natural disasters, the 1,000-year flood in 2015 and Hurricane Matthew in 2016, it’s important for South Carolina to be prepared for whatever event might come next.

Two years after the historic 1,000-year flood, and one year after Hurricane Matthew, it’s hard to imagine that being too dry is a threat for South Carolina, but that is the case when it comes to the spread of wildfires. While April usually sees the end of fire season, more and larger wildfires are expected this year due to a severe drought in the upstate, says Doug Wood, Director of Communications for the South Carolina Forestry Commission. While wildfires can pose a very real danger, there are also ways to prevent serious damage.

S.C. DOT Secretary Christy Hall watching the House of Representatives final vote on a $600 Million road funding bill.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The S.C. General Assembly adjourns for the year, passing a critical road funding bill in the final hours.

Sumter Fire Department Reopens Flooded Training Facility
Sumter Fire Dept. Facebook Page

It's been 19 Months since the October 2015 flood. During this time, the Sumter Fire Department has held classroom training exercises in a portable acquired from the local school district. The classrooms in the department's training facility took on over 20 inches of water and sustained $500,000 in damages. The department recently celebrated the reopening of the facility. Battalion Chief Joey Duggan said it's a mixture of old and new that will better serve the area.

The horn section of the band at Lee Correctional Institution.  Musicians work on original songs to perform with members of DeCoda, a New York-based chamber music group.   The annual week of collaboration is something new for everyone involved.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Lee Correctional Institution in Bishopville counts numerous musicians among its inmates.  Such is their talent that they have attracted the attention of DeCoda, a New York-based chamber music group.  For four years now, the prison has sponsored a program with the group in which DeCoda comes to work with the prisoners at Lee for a week to write and play music for an annual performance.

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will be seen along a roughly 70-mile wide path through South Carolina from the Upstate through Greenville and Columbia to Charleston.
NASA/Hinode/XRT, via Wikimedia Commons

This summer’s total solar eclipse is a rare event for the Palmetto State.  Normally a total eclipse doesn’t return to the same spot for close to 400 years, but this will be the second in only 47 years for the folks in Sumter and the surrounding area.  Hap Griffin remembers seeing the last eclipse as an 11-year-old on March 7, 1970.  He said he still recalls how "blown away" he was in the backyard of a friend.   Nearby, the Rev. Joel Osborne climbed a forest tower to take in the awesome celestial  event, and it was a push along his spiritual journey, he said.

My Telehealth logo
SCETV

South Carolina law limits what medicines a doctor can prescribe to a patient who has only been seen via telemedicine. Doctors can request individual exceptions from the board of South Carolina Board of Medical Examiners to prescribe certain controlled substances. A reproductive psychiatrist at the Medical University of South Carolina is asking for an exception to prescribe some opioid medications to pregnant women who need treatment for chronic pain or addiction.

South Carolina ETV is a member of the South Carolina Telehealth Alliance.

Members of the House-Senate Conference Committee debating a road funding bill on May 4, 2017.
S.C. Senate

With one week remaining before adjournment, the S.C. General Assembly still has some heavy lifting to do.

Residents affected by the historic October 2015 floods are encouraged to attend one of six public meetings Richland County will hold May 1 - May 11. Residents will receive information about housing rehabilitation and mobile home replacement assistance during this series of community meetings, which are being held in advance of the registration intake process scheduled to begin May 15. Click here for more information and a list of meetings.

Narrative: A Reading by Author Ron Rash

May 4, 2017
Samples of Rash's personal archive, on display at the University of South Carolina Libraries.
Laura Hunsberger/SC Public Radio

This edition of Narrative features audio recorded live at the University of South Carolina Thomas Cooper Library, at a talk by South Carolina writer Ron Rash.

Elder law attorneys try to meet with their senior clients regarding services such as wills and powers of attorney before they are needed, so the clients' wishes are carried out without confusion when the need arises.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

May is Elder Law Month, which seeks to increase awareness of a relatively new area of legal practice.   Elder law came into being in the last 20 to 30 years to help senior citizens, and more recently, people with special needs, regardless of age.  Elder law attorney Lauren Wasson says the specialty often helps older people navigate the hurdles to qualify for Medicaid or VA benefits, but it also frequently involves services to seniors and their families such as wills, powers of attorney and guardianship/conservatorship.  Her colleague, Andy Atkins, also warns of the biggest legal problem fac

White-hat hackers keep up with the latest tricks of cyber criminals to help them fight these "black hats" and protect the information of businesses.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Hacking, whether it’s into a bank, insurance company or an individual’s records, is a serious, and growing crime in the 21st century.  The damages inflicted by hackers in the United States alone can reach into the billions of dollars annually.

Two portable buildings, previously used as office space, are being used as classrooms for Harmony School's preschool and kindergarten program.
Laura Hunsberger

As the end of the 2016-17 school year approaches, South Carolina Public Radio's Laura Hunsberger visited Harmony School in Forest Acres to find out how they are doing, now more than a year and a half after damage from the historic floods closed their preschool building.

Chef Kristian Niemi and other top chefs will prepare a four-course meal to help support Veteran farmers
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

A national organization working to mobilize veterans to become successful farmers is getting support from some of South Carolina’s top veteran chefs.  Chef and army veteran, Kristian Niemi talks with South Carolina Public Radio about the first annual Operation Harvest and how it will help veterans transition from protecting America, while in service, to feeding America from the farm.

Officials with the state’s Forestry Commission, Forestry Association, Commerce Dept. and other agencies planted a Loblolly pine tree on the eastern grounds of the state house.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

The South Carolina Forestry Commission announced the industry has $21 Billion dollar impact on the state’s economy. Speaking during a press conference on the State House grounds, agency director Gene Kodama said the figure exceeds the "20-by-15 Project" goals set by the Commission, the Forestry Association of SC and other partners of the project.

"It was designed to help the forestry industry recover as quickly as possible from a recession that was just getting started," Kodama said.

Solar eclipse - November 13, 2012.
NASA Goddard Space Flight Center

On Aug. 21, a total solar eclipse will cover a 70- mile-wide strip of South Carolina from Greenville through Columbia to Charleston. University of South Carolina Astronomy Professor Steve Rodney is already making plans for the event. The last few days have seen the sun in the same place in the sky it will be on Aug. 21, so Rodney and his students can prepare well for the once-in-a lifetime event in the Midlands. They’ve located where the sun will be to make sure there will be no obstructions, and he’s got students scouting the best locations on campus for eclipse watching.

A Charleston-based geneticist discusses results with a family that is located two hours away in a Florence clinic.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

  In 2016, the Greenwood Genetics Center began using telehealth to combat a national and local geneticist shortage. Through video conferencing, patients and families are able to schedule appointments when a geneticist might not be available otherwise.

The South Carolina Senate
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

With the adjournment clock ticking, the S.C. Senate is finally debating a bill to fix the state's deteriorating roads and bridges.

Orders in hand, Navy Capt. Marc A. Mitscher, skipper of the USS Hornet (CV-8) chats with Lt. Col. James Doolittle, leader of the Army Air Forces attack group. This group of fliers carried the battle of the Pacific to the heart of the Japanese empire.
U.S. Navy

75 years ago, on April 18 1942, 80 brave men did what had never been attempted: they flew army bombers off a U.S. aircraft carrier on their way to bomb Tokyo.  The attack, which has become known to history as the Doolittle Raid, was America’s first strike back at Japan after the infamous sneak attack on Pearl Harbor that brought the United States into World War II.  In this report, Mount Pleasant author James Scott talks about the significance of the raid to the war, and its great psychological effect both on the American and Japanese publics. 

(April 21, 1972) Astronaut Charles M. Duke Jr., Lunar Module pilot of the Apollo 16 mission, is photographed collecting lunar samples at Station no. 1 during the first Apollo 16 extravehicular activity at the Descartes landing site.
NASA

On April 16, 1972, with the deafening blast of a Saturn V rocket, the Apollo 16 mission carried three Americans to the moon.   Five days later, Charles M. Duke Jr. of Lancaster, South Carolina became the 10th man of only 12 in history to walk on the surface of the moon.   In this report Duke, a retired Air Force general, talks about his historic mission, including the difficulties of landing and the advances in science made because of the space program, as well as his role as communications liason on the Apollo 11 mission, which put the first men on the moon.  

Healthcare Sites Using Video Technology for Diabetes Education

Apr 17, 2017
A virtual meeting with an educator for a diabetes self-management course.
Marina Ziehe/SCETV

It is estimated that about 400,000 of the 4.8 million people in South Carolina have diabetes. That’s about 10% of the population. Diabetes self-management education is a critical element of care for people with diabetes. To help overcome transportation and distance barriers for people in rural areas of the state, some healthcare sites have adopted an innovative solution.

Again this year, the fate of a bill to fix state roads and bridges will be determined in the S.C. Senate.

Golf club next to golf ball.
[CC BY 2.0], via Wikimedia Commons

Golf is an economic juggernaut for the South Carolina, accounting for a $3 billion economic impact on the state.  A large part of that will be felt in one week; the week between the Master’s and the Heritage golf tournaments.  Duane Parrish, director of the S.C. Dept.

Tim Tebow at a Columbia Fireflies press conference.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Former Heisman Trophy winner and NFL quarterback Tim Tebow has taken on a new challenge: breaking into baseball at age 29.  Signed to the New York Mets organization, Tebow has begun working his way through the minor league ranks beginning in South Carolina’s capital city.  Tebow has been assigned to the single A Columbia Fireflies, and the fans have turned out in large numbers.  Hopes are not only that Tebow will be an asset on the field, but the Fireflies’ president and a University of South Carolina sports management professor predict he will have a positive economic impact on the team a

During a 2016 town hall meeting, Williamsburg County residents learn about the state's flood recovery program. Officials report the program is on track to help 1500 households.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

When the state’s 2015 flood recovery program was created, Program Director, retired Army Col. J.R. Sanderson knew $96 million dollars was not going to be enough money to recovery every resident who would have remaining unmet needs. SC Public Radio spoke with Col. Sanderson about how the new program is helping residents in 22 counties and what options will be left to those who the program cannot help.

“We’re at a point now in the program where I think we can show some substantial growth,” Col. Sanderson said. “I would say that right now, we feel good about where we’re at.”

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