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Not leaving a will is considered the biggest "sin" of estate planning.  Even an online form, not the best of ideas, is better than no will at all.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Perhaps as much as 50 to 60 percent of South Carolinians do not have a will.  According to attorney Bert Brannon, a will is a person’s last chance to say what he or she wants to happen to his/her possessions, so it should be taken seriously.  Brannon and Richland County Probate Judge Amy McCullough name some reasons why people put off making a will, and why not leaving a will is a really bad idea.  While It has no effect on the deceased at all, it can cause untold distress and trouble for those left behind.

Aerial view of the Charleston, S.C. area, Oct. 5, 2015.
U.S. Coast Guard/Petty Officer 1st Class Stephen Lehmann

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) will conduct a survey in June and July to assess the medical needs and emergency preparedness plans of coastal county residents. 

"The goal of this survey is to determine just how well-prepared people are for emergencies and to provide information to develop or enhance their individual emergency plans," said Jamie Blair, Deputy Director of the DHEC Office of Public Health Preparedness. "By knowing on the front end if residents in an area may require special attention we are more aptly prepared to serve."

Last month, Richland County began accepting applications for the Returning Home program, which will use funds from the CDBGR-DR (Community Development Block Grant - Disaster Recovery) to assist residents who lost their homes in the 2015 Floods. The county is accepting applications through June 15 (or until they receive 600 applications). To assist residents in completing the application, four community meetings are scheduled in June.

Gilles Vonsattel
gillesvonsattel.com

South Carolina Public Radio’s Bradley Fuller talks with pianist Gilles Vonsattel, who is performing in the Spoleto Chamber Music Series. In recent year Vonsattel has made his Boston Symphony, Tanglewood, and San Francisco Symphony debuts, while performing recitals and chamber music world-wide. He is a newcomer to the Spoleto Festival, and he discusses his upcoming performances of Wilhelm Friedrich Ernst Bach “Das Dreyblatt” for Six Hands (Chamber Music Program X) and Thomas Adès “Catch”(Program XI).

Joshua Roman
Hayley Young

Joshua Roman's versatility and adventurous spirit as both a cellist and a composer have gained international attention. He performs his own composition, Riding Light, at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music Series. He talks with Bradley Fuller about the piece, about the challenges of playing his own work, and about why he calls himself a "curator."

A still from Mighty Like a Moose, staring Charley Chase.
Spoleto Fesitval USA

Pianist Stephen Prutsman is well known to chamber music audiences at Spoleto Festival USA. This year, in addition to playing at the Bank of American Chamber Music Series, he will also be conducting his original scores—with select members of the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra—for three silent film shorts from the 1910s and ‘20s.

The Rolston String Quartet: Jonathan Lo, Cello; Hezekiah Leung, Viola; Jeffrey Dyrda, Violin; Luri Lee, Violin.
rolstonstringquartet.com

First Prize winner of the prestigious 2016 Banff International String Quartet Competition, the Rolston String Quartet has become Canada's newest ensemble attracting attention on the international stage.  As Germany's Südwest Press stated of their recent performance, "an impressive, deeply serious interpretation...highly sensitive, delicately transparent. A musical sound treasure, blissful."

Cellist Jonathan Lo talks with Bradley Fuller about the quartet's performances at the 2017 Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music series.

Fire Ants
Marufish via Flickr [CC BY-SA 2.0]

    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. 

Rachel Troublefield
racheltroublefield.com

17 Hours is a new American musical written by and featuring Nashville recording artist, South Carolina native, and College of Charleston Alumna Rachel Troublefield (2010).

Druid's Aaron Monaghan, Garrett Lombard, and Marty Rea in Samuel Beckett's Waiting for Godot; Druid Artistic Director Garry Hynes brings this production to the Dock Street Theatre through June 11, 2017.
Matthew Thompson

Director Garry Hynes and her Irish theater company Druid bring to Spoleto a fresh take on Samuel Beckett’s Waiting for Godot, the quintessential 20th-century play about life’s great questions. Shane Stephens is the Irish Consul General in Atlanta. He tells Jeanette Guinn that he's in Charleston to be a "cheerleader" for Druid's Spoleto Festival USA production. Stephens sees Beckett as "deeply European," but, "inherently an Irish writer--but not what you'd expect..." 

Marcus Amaker
Reese Moore

The 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival is presenting the world premiere of a jazz setting of the poetry of Marcus Amaker, the first poet laureate of Charleston. The In-Between, featuring classical soprano Jill Terhaar Lewis, saxophonist Robert Lewis, and pianist Gerald Gregory, explores repertoire that resides in and in between classical and jazz genres. Joined by Amaker, the musicians will perform new versions of Amaker's poems. The performance takes place June 5 at the City Gallery.

Columbia Moves Closer to 100% Renewable Energy

May 31, 2017
Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of 26 mayors to particpiate in the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin is one of over 60 mayors across the U.S. who has joined with the Sierra Club's Ready for 100 Campaign. The goal is to get 100 cities to switch from fossil fuel to clean energy. During a press conference Wednesday, Mayor Benjamin said decisions made by President Trump highlights the need for local governments to work together on environmental policy making.

"It only underscores the importance of the true leadership at every level of government, pushing to make sure that we hand over to our children the country and the world that they deserve."

Geoff Nuttall, Artistic Director of the Bank of America Chamber Music Series at Spoleto Festival USA.
Julia Lynn Photography

Spoleto Chamber Music Series Director, Geoff Nuttall, also plays in many of the 33 concerts in which he acts as host. Geoff finds it particularly challenging to jump from his role as MC into the chair of first violinist for the St. Lawrence Quartet. Geoff talks with Bradley Fuller about how "old music speaks and benefits from being pushed up against new music, and vice versa."

Festival Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities John Kennedy leads the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra.
Julia Lynn, 2015

John Kennedy is a familiar face at Spoleto Festival USA. As Resident Conductor and Director of Orchestral Activities, John has a pivotal role some of the festival's biggest performances. He talks with Bradley Fuller about the opera Quartett, Mahler's 4th Symphony, his love of Charleston, and the atmosphere of Spoleto USA.

Jaroslaw "Jarek" Kapuscinski
music.stanford.edu

Jaroslaw "Jarek" Kapuscinski is this year’s composer-in-residence for the Spoleto Festival’s Chamber Music Series. With a strong interest in technology, Jarek takes his work beyond mere notes on a page to create a multimedia experience. He tells Bradley Fuller that a childhood dream of being a sorcerer, a life long devotion to music, and his discovery in his early twenties of computer technology, all combine in his multi-media performances.

Manny Houston
YouTube/Creative Commons

Jeanette Guinn talks with Charleston musician Manny Houston about Take Me to Church​, a Piccolo Spoleto event taking place Wednesday, May 31, 6:00 p.m., at the City Gallery.  The program is billed as "an all ages, cabaret styled, exploration in gospel music and traditional Broadway show tunes."

Megan Scharett, a new high school graduate from the Lowcountry, looks forward to a career in the food industry.  She has apprenticed with a prestigious restaurant in Charleston and taken many college courses at Trident Technical College through the Youth
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Today's job market is changing rapidly, and whether the field is health care, advanced manufacturing or information technology, there are high paying jobs for trained workers with a two-year associate’s degree from one of South Carolina's technical colleges. The Youth Apprenticeship Program at the state’s tech colleges acts as a "middleman" between businesses needing trained workers and students looking for meaningful careers. But not just college students.

Jovial Joe Pinner has been a familiar face, and voice, in South Carolina broadcasting for more than a half century.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Joe Pinner has been a fixture on South Carolina television since 1963. He's known from one end of South Carolina to the other - and beyond, not only as a weatherman and familiar children’s show host "Mr. Knozit" for 37 years, but as a commercial spokesman and emcee at scores of parades and festivals statewide. Today Pinner, who still pitches in at WIS-TV on Fridays at age 80-something, talks about his beginnings in radio, how he developed his familiar, booming voice, and the origins of the Knozit show.

Na Fidléirí.
Taylor Music Group

The Taylor Music Group will present two concerts as part of the 2017 Piccolo Spoleto Festival's Celtic Art Series.  Mary Taylor leads Na Fidléirí ("the fiddlers") in Something Old, Something New! at the Ciruclar Congregational Church, June 5 and June 9. Robert Taylor conducts the Taylor Festival Choir in a program titled Hope and Healing at St. Phillip's Church, June 9 and 10.

Dancer Bill T. Jones, one of the performers in David Michalek's moving-image installation Slow Dancing, which will be shown May 27 through June 8 nightly from 9:00pm to 11:00pm in Marion Square, Downtown Charleston.
Spoleto Fesitval USA

Nigel Redden, General Director of the Spoleto Festival USA, talks with Jeanette Guinn about the extraordinary range of offerings for 2017. 

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.

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. 

Broadband Access for Telehealth Continues to Vary

May 17, 2017
Palmetto Care Connection's Technology Director assembles a telehealth cart in Columbia, South Carolina.
Taylor Crouch/SCETV

When it comes to telehealth implementation, broadband access can be vital for a quality connection. Local and federal officials weigh in on its significance and some efforts to reduce reported disparities.

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.

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