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Edisto Beach Begins Project to Replenish Sand

Jan 31, 2017
Alexandra Olgin\South Carolina Public Radio

Bulldozers on Edisto beach move and shape sand that is being pumped onto beach. The dark watery mixture is spewing out of a series of connected metal pipes that go more than a mile out in the Atlantic Ocean. Those pipes lead to a dredge – the large machine stirring up the sand on the bottom of the ocean Thomas Payne, with Marinex Construction explains.

Payne is managing part of the beach renourishment project. He says the man operating the dredge will start by pumping water through the pipes.

Gov. Henry McMaster with his wife Peggy, and son Henry is sworn into office by S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Donald Beatty at the Statehouse on Tuesday, January 24, 2017.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Henry McMaster becomes Governor of South Carolina, and the State Senate elevates Sen. Kevin Bryant to the post of Lieutenant Governor.

SC residents from Darlington, Dillon, Florence and Marion Counties attend Team SC PeeDee Day in October 2016 to get information about disaster recovery following Hurricane Matthew.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

In three months, the South Carolina Disaster Recovery Office (SCDRO) will close its mobile and fixed intake centers. To date, SCDRO has taken over 2,000 cases of people who still have unmet needs following the 2015 flood. South Carolina Public Radio learns, as this deadline draws near, the intake process for a program to help Hurricane Matthew victims is also approaching.

Haley to the U.N., McMaster to the Governor's Mansion

Jan 24, 2017
Lt. Governor Henry McMaster places his hand on the Bible as Chief Justice Don Beatty swears him in to be the 117th governor of South Carolina.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Shortly after 6pm Tuesday  the United State Senate voted to confirm Governor Nikki Haley as the United States Ambassador to the United Nations. The Senate voted 96 to 4 to confirm Haley despite her inexperience on the international stage.

Upon confirmation Haley officially resigned from the governorship, which she has held since 2011, and Lieutenant Governor Henry McMaster assumed the role. She leaves with two years left in her second term. McMaster was sworn in by Chief Justice Don Beatty to be the 117th governor of South Carolina.

Recovery for Some South Carolina Farmers from 2015 Flood Is On-Going

Jan 24, 2017
Joe Jones tends his sheep, turkeys and chickens on his Blythewood farm.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Some farmers are just beginning to shake off the effects of the historic flood of October 2015, though others will take longer to come back.  One of those recovering is Eric McClam of City Roots, an urban farm in Columbia.  Because the farm is divided into two locations, one plot  was able to escape heavy damages and continue operating to help lift up the damaged second property. 

Home-monitoring keeping some High-risk Patients out of the Hospital

Jan 24, 2017
Home health nurse watching over patient as she sends vitals in to be analyzed.
Taylor Crouch

A home-monitoring program is allowing high-risk patients stay out of the hospital. With telehealth, patients submit vital signs to their doctor, in the comfort of their own home. Through daily measurements the doctors monitor any sudden changes, while patients adopt healthy habits to last a lifetime.

Vanessa Torres gets the active participation of her Spanish students at Nursery Road Elementary School.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Vanessa Torres is a passionate advocate for teaching foreign language to elementary school children.  She says research proves that early education in foreign languages improves deductive reasoning skills, memory, self esteem and more.  Her enthusiasm in the Spanish classes she teaches is contagious, says her principal, Love Ligons.  And her fellow teachers and students’ parents are not the only ones who have noticed. 

Irmo Resident Karen Elliot cuts a ribbon to welcome neighbors, rebuild volunteers and friends into her repaired home.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

In the span of 24 hours, two survivors of the 2015 flood celebrated rebuild milestones. Both residents entered the United Way of the Midlands 2-1-1 disaster case management intake system and both were contacted by rebuild organizations. 15 months after the flood, returning home has become a reality.

When Karen Albert cut the the ceremonial ribbon to mark the completion of repairs to her flood-damaged home, she acknowledged the possible sever between her and the volunteers with Reach Global Crisis Response.

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley is a step closer to being confirmed as the next United Nations Ambassador, and the State Supreme Court weighs in on the matter of the state's next Lieutenant Governor.

Archived video of Nikki Haley's confirmation hearing.

South Carolina's Third Constitution, Ratified in 1790
Josh Floyd

South Carolina's original constitutions are breaking down. The several hundred-year-old parchments are tattered with frayed edges, browning corners, and stiff pages. In an effort to save the documents, archivists are seeking to preserve them permanently. For now, the documents lay unseen in a temperature-controlled room. 

"Everything in here is 60 degrees, less than 50% relative humidity," says Eric Emerson, Director of the South Carolina Department of Archives and History.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, or EPA, it is estimated that radon is responsible for more than 21,000 lung cancer-related deaths. As part of Radon Action Month, the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (SCDHEC) is providing free kits for residents to test their homes for the invisible, odorless, tasteless gas.

The second phase of jury selection starts today in the federal trial of Dylann Roof. He’s the white man charged with hate crimes in the shooting deaths of nine black parishioners at a historic Charleston, South Carolina church. If convicted, the federal government plans to seek a rare death penalty. 

Day 4 of testimony in the Slager Trial

Jan 17, 2017

The second week of the murder trial of Walter Scott started with testimony from law enforcement personnel. Scott was shot and killed by then North Charleston police officer Michael Slager. 34-year-old Slager is charged with murdering Scott on April 4, 2015. Slager was captured on cellphone video firing repeatedly at Scott as he fled a traffic stop for a broken brake light.

 

Day 12 of testimony in Slager Trial

Jan 17, 2017
Grace Beahm/Post and Courier via Pool

Defense attorneys are calling experts for the third day in the case of Michael Slager. The former North Charleston cop on is on trial for the murder of Walter Scott. In April 2015, a bystander captured cell phone video of Slager shooting Scott after he fled a traffic stop.

The defense called William Schneck, a trace evidence and crime scene reconstruction expert. He testified that paint from a road at the crime scene, which was painted yellow. Schneck found that paint from the road matched the particles found on Walter Scott’s phone and Slager’s Taser.

Tele-Psychiatry Emerges as Innovative Solution for Hospitals in S.C.

Jan 16, 2017
Sitting in her office, in Aiken, S.C., Dr. Ratliff conducts a telepsychiatry consultation to a patient sitting in a private room located at one of the emergency departments in S.C.
Marina Ziehe

In South Carolina, rural communities are struggling with access to mental health care. In many places, there is a shortage of psychiatrists to attend people in need of services. To serve those with mental illness in distant, rural communities, the South Carolina Department of Mental Health adopted an innovative solution: tele-psychiatry.

Faces of past U. S. Presidents carved into Mt. Rushmore in South Dakota.
Aline Dassel/Pixabay

Comedian Jay Leno and others have long pointed out many Americans’ inability to identify people they should know, whether they be politicians, celebrities or historical icons. According to University of South Carolina historians Lauren Sklaroff and Kent Germany, attitudes are changing about whether there should be a certain set of people or information that all Americans should know.

Gov. Nikki Haley giving her State of the State Address, Wednesday night.
SCETV

S.C. Governor Nikki Haley bids farewell to the General Assembly.

BMX Supercross is a rapidly expanding sport that few have facilities for.  Rock Hill is one of those few, and reaps economic benefits because of it.
Wendy Waddle

Rock Hill was a big textile town in the 1970s.  But when that industry started to go away, the city began to look for ways to diversify and to revitalize its economy.  It found the answer in amateur sports.  Beginning with baseball and softball, the city has built facilities that have attracted teams from across the country and around the world for sports such as lacrosse, soccer, tennis, cycling and more. 

A federal judge in South Carolina formally sentenced Dylann Roof to death on Wednesday, one day after a jury recommended that he be executed for murdering nine people in a Charleston church.

Under federal sentencing laws, the death penalty can be imposed only if all 12 jurors agree on it, and the judge cannot overrule the jury's decision.

Towns Recover along the Lumber River: Nichols, SC

Jan 11, 2017
Josh Floyd / SC Public Radio

Hurricane Matthew brought considerable damage and devastation across the east coast, but it’s hard to find a town affected more than Nichols, South Carolina. A month after the storm, debris was piled up so high along the roads that it was like driving through a tunnel. Today, nearly three months after the storm hit, most of that debris is gone, but the damage can still be seen. Every house has damage and there’s not a single citizen in sight. The town feels empty, but it’s not abandoned. If you find someone to talk to, there’s a smile on their face.

Freezing Temperature Expected Through Sunday

Jan 7, 2017

Forecasters predict freezing temperatures in parts of South Carolina through Sunday. The latest forecast from National Weather Service in Columbia shows the temperature dipping below the freezing point this evening in the Upstate and parts of Midlands, with Sunday’s high just below 40 degrees.

Governor Nikki Haley has declared a State of Emergency in preparation of hazardous wintry weather. The order activates the Emergency Operations Plan, directing all state agencies to coordinate emergency resources should local safety assets request aid. Additionally, the order activates the National Guard and other state resources. 

Russ McKinney
Rob Sprankle

    The 2017 session of the S.C. General Assembly begins Jan. 10th with lawmakers facing a number of un-answered questions.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division asks residents to prepare themselves and their homes for possible winter weather. Forecasters with the National Weather Service expect a wintry mix of snow, ice and rain for much of the state beginning Friday evening and lasting through Saturday.

State and local agencies are reviewing emergency plans for winter weather and are urging everyone in South Carolina to consider preparations to keep your home, community, family, vehicles and pets safe.

Before a Winter Storm

An information packet from USC's 2016 Economic Outlook Conference.
Tut Underwood/ SC Public Radio

Construction means progress for South Carolina’s economy.  Experts speaking at the University of South Carolina’s annual Economic Outlook Conference in December made their forecasts for how the state’s economy should shape up in the new year.  According to research economist Joseph Von Nessen, the trends will include a leveling off of economic growth (after several years of steady increase, so it’s not a bad thing), a tighter labor market (which is good for job seekers), and a strong housing demand.   

A tiny pink peanut is not a white rhinoceros. Nor is it a green turtle or a Bengal tiger. But until a few years ago the Carolina African runner peanut — at one time, the South's most praised peanut, packed with flavor and rich with oil — was much like the rhinoceros and turtle and tiger. That is, it was nearly extinct.

Fort Jackson VolunTEENS Serve in the Midlands

Dec 19, 2016
Mary Reardon

VolunTEENS is school-year programs connecting students with the Red Cross. Based in the Fort Jackson community, the group promotes the Red Cross mission through service projects, such as supporting the South Carolina Special Olympics, public education initiatives about health or fire safety, and disaster recovery. For example, their November event was to help the Red Cross clean, inspect, and pack away the cots used in the shelters during Hurricane Matthew. After the October floods in 2015, the VolunTEENS came out for multiple days of service in the Midlands.

Towns Recover along the Lumber River: Lumberton, NC

Dec 17, 2016
Josh Floyd / SC Public Radio

It’s been two months since Hurricane Matthew devastated cities across the east coast. In Lumberton, North Carolina, a Robeson County town hit especially hard by the storm, people are still seeking relief aid. Many families are still displaced from their homes, but many more are starting the steps to rebuild. That’s where the Robeson Church and Community Center comes in. Outside the building, a line of people await any help they can get. Inside, the center and the Red Cross have joined forces to offer any help they can give.

Illumineer worker installs Christmas lights on home of Columbia flood victim
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Nonprofits working in the Midlands of South Carolina are hoping Christmas lights will shine focus on flood recovery. They also hope charitable giving will boost donations during the gift-giving season. 14 months after the flood, South Carolina Public Radio talks with two homeowners, celebrating the holidays on opposite sides of recovery.

A Lot to Celebrate This Christmas

A jury in Charleston, S.C., has found Dylann Roof guilty on all 33 counts of federal hate crimes he faced for murdering nine people and attempting to kill three others in the basement of a historically black church.

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