News

A freshly buried sewer line parallels Gills Creek in Forest Acres. Some people and agencies are still recovering from the historic flood of October 2015.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The aftermath of the October 2015 flood continues to occupy the business of many people and agencies in South Carolina, such as the East Richland County Public Service District (ERCPSD), which operates the sewer system for a section of the county heavily damaged by the flood.  ERCPSD Deputy Director Ed Schooler said the flood changed the route of the system’s pipes, knocking many right out of the ground. 

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Lawmakers head toward a perfunctory session with work stalling on next year's state budget and V.C. Summer Nuclear bills.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. Gen. Bolden has donated his personal archives of papers, personal items and professional artifacts for curation by the University's Caroliniana Library.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

Students from three local Columbia high schools got a rare opportunity Monday—to see real life astronaut and former NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr. speak about space, science, and the future. For Bolden, who hosted the talk at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library in honor of the gift of his personal archives to the university, it was also an opportunity—to share his journey with students of his own alma mater, C.A Johnson High School.

Lowcountry Bridge Will Remain Closed Four More Weeks

May 17, 2018
South Carolina Department of Transportation Announces Plans for Wando Bridge with Local City Officials
Victoria Hansen

It’s about four inches wide, 1,000 feet long and it shut down a critical, bridge in the Lowcountry Monday after it snapped. Now state transportation officials say it will take four weeks to repair the steel cable, one of eight, that connects the concrete segments of the James B. Edwards Bridge, better known as the Wando. The west bound lanes of I-526 over the bridge have been closed ever since, snarling traffic in the Charleston area.

abstract mental health symbol
GDJ via Pixabay

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and there is much that most people are not aware of about mental health.  Just more than 43 million Americans experience a mental illness in a given year, including millions of cases of depression, anxiety disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.  USC psychiatrist Dr. Meera Narasimhan says many illnesses are caused by the stresses of everyday life, such as unemployment or divorce, or more jarring experiences such as war.  

Starting a Mobile Business class travels to different bases throughout the state.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

One of the ways the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides assistance to small businesses is through education. SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses. In South Carolina, a fairly new education program for military spouses teaches how to start a mobile business. South Carolina Public Radio talks with the creator of the class to learn how a successful small business can help military spouses, their families and the economy.

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. 

A month ago, Gov. Henry McMaster offered to send SC National Guard troops to Texas to help fight illegal immigration along the Mexican border. Friday, the Governor officially announced one Army National Guard helicopter and approximately nine Soldiers and crew will leave for the area the week of May 13. Here’s what we know.

The Crew

Drew Wynne at a party.  He died while using a paint stripper containing methylene chloride at his business.
Wynne family

His voice sounds excited, yet hesitant.  Brian Wynne has just learned the Environmental Protection Agency will take action on a proposed ban from the Obama administration that would keep a potentially deadly chemical from being used in paint strippers commonly found on store shelves.  He met with the EPA chief two days ago, sharing the story of his younger brother from Charleston who died after being exposed to that very chemical, methylene chloride.

file photo of water pouring into a drinking glass
StockSnap via Pixabay

May 6-12 is national Drinking Water Week, a time to appreciate the high quality water found throughout most of the Palmetto State.  Jennifer Satterthwaite, communications coordinator for the Columbia Water Works, says while the city has two excellent sources of water, Lake Murray and the Columbia Canal, many people don’t realize that what they use on land, such as use certain fertilizers, automobile oil or pet waste, can find its way via stormwater runoff  into the water supply.  Fortunately, Water Works Superintendent Clint Shealy says the city does more than it’s required to to keep its

Education majors at the College of Charleston gather to talk about ways to improve student safety at schools
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Professor Anne Gutshall teaches psychology courses to future educators at the College of Charleston.  Her students have a lot on their minds.   From teacher walkouts nationwide over low pay to deadly mass shootings at schools, it’s a wonder they want to teach at all.  But they do.  They really do.

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is on display at Historic Camden
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

A scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on display at Historic Camden. Its called the Wall That Heals and features all the names of the 58,318 who served and died in Vietnam. South Carolina Public Radio spoke with students, teachers, veterans and community members during a recent visit to the exhibit.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The SC General Assembly heads towards its' final week of the 2018 session. Key bills have yet to pass, but Democrats in the State Senate managed to kill a sweeping anti-abortion bill.

Industrial robots on an automobile assembly line.
ISAPUT [CC BY-SA 4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Automation has been increasing in the Palmetto State’s factories for a long time, bringing with it fears of job losses for people whose jobs are vulnerable to being replaced by machines.  But Roger Varin of Staubli Robotics, which makes robots for industry, says jobs are changing, but not necessarily vanishing.  In fact, he asserts, automation creates jobs in some areas. 

Richland County celebrates the first new mobile home given to a 2015 flood survivor.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

For the past two years, South Carolina has been in recovery mode. Long-term recovery for families, business and municipalities, following the historic rain event and flood of October 2015, is seen in almost every county. Recently, during National Community Development Week, Richland County celebrated the first home in its flood recovery program given to a flood survivor. The event marked a major milestone in the County’s recovery program and also presented a second chance at recovery for those still living in unsafe and conditions.

Healthcare Power of Attorney illustration
James D. Sims [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

May is National Elder Law Month, a time lawyers endeavor to spread the word that their specialty provides legal advocacy, guidance, and services to enhance the lives of seniors and people with disabilities. Columbia elder law attorney Lauren Wasson says there are three basic financial documents that should be in place for every senior citizen: a will, a durable power of attorney and a health care power of attorney, which assigns a trusted person to speak for the elderly client if he/she is unable to speak for him/herself.

FCC Commissioner Mignon Clyburn
Federal Communications Commission

For the past nine years, South Carolina native Mignon Clyburn has served as commissioner with the Federal Communications Commission (FCC). She was sworn into office, on August 3, 2009 at the Matthew J. Perry, Jr. Courthouse in Columbia and since then has become a strong supporter of net neutrality, media ownership reform and lowering prison phone rates. This month, Clyburn announced she was leaving the agency.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The State House and Senate remain at odds over reducing SCE&G's nuclear charge, and the state will soon have a new Child Advocate.

Sexaual assault awareness and prevention efforts extend into the military. This T-shirt was on display during a Sexual Assault Awareness and Prevention Month event at Kandahar Airfield in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, April 1, 2013.
U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ashley Bell

The instance of sexual assault in the United States is growing at a rate that would surprise, even alarm, many people.  According to Shannon Nix, associate director of sexual assault and violence intervention and prevention at the University of South Carolina, one in four women - and one in six men – will be sexually assaulted at some point in their lives.   This high number doesn’t mean more assaults are happening, however.  Nix said it seems that way because more people are reporting it. 

The new Four Paws Animal Clinic recently opened a few blocks from its former location after more than two years of operations in a temporary building while it recovered from the 2015 flood and sought the right place for its new home.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

For some, the so-called “thousand-year rain” and the floods that followed it in October 2015 may seem an event long past, but many are still recovering from the storm’s devastation.  For some businesses in Richland County, the after effects of the floods continue to pose particular difficulties. Take the Four Paws Animal Clinic, which was forced to operate out of a temporary location for more than two years after the flood, when the business' original building bordering Gills Creek was ruined.

Beth Drake, United States Attorney, with officials from SLED, SC Departent of Corrections, and the FBI.
Laura Hunsberger

The United States Attorney's Office announced the arrest of fourteen employees of South Carolina correctional facilities who are now facing Federal charges to bribery and bringing contraband in the state’s prisons. U.S. Attorney for the District of South Carolina, Beth Drake, says the charges resulted from an investigation that has been ongoing for years.

Popular State Park Reopens after Hurricane Damage

Apr 25, 2018
Hunting Island State Park Campground area.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

There’s a stop sign for campers pulling into Hunting Island State Park.  But visitors have likely slowed down long before.  The island has been closed for nearly two years following Hurricanes Matthew and Irma.  To the right of the entrance, campers once enjoyed breath taking beachside views.  Now storm damage takes their breath away.

The Williamsburg Regional Hospital's building in Kingstree was irreparably damaged during the 2015 floods.
Laura Hunsberger

For more than a year, the Williamsburg Regional Hospital has been serving patients from a temporary facility located right next to their old building. The hospital was damaged beyond repair during the thousand-year floods. Eventually, the hospital determined that they had to move out of the old building.

The stage at the eighth annual River Rocks Music Festival. Damages caused by the floods of 2015 forced the festival to relocate from its usual location at Riverfront Park.
Laura Hunsberger/SC Public Radio

On a sunny patch of open space along the Congaree River in Columbia, the eighth annual River Rocks Festival brought hundreds of residents out last weekend to enjoy the spring weather and learn about the conservation efforts of the region’s Congaree Riverkeeper and their partners. In between acts, a man took the stage to pump up the crowd.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The S.C. General Assembly has moved to cut SCE&G's nuclear rate, and prison violence sparks calls for action.

North Inlet - Winyah Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve. Aerial view of meandering tidal creeks and extensive pristine marshes in North Inlet Estuary. Vicinity of Georgetown, South Carolina.
NOAA Photo Library/Flickr

Earth Day is held each April to remind people of the importance of caring for our world, according to USC Environmental Health Sciences Professor Joe Jones.  He practices what he preaches, as he regularly takes his students outdoors to pick up trash that has washed into a campus creek from Columbia’s Five Points area, where many students eat and drink.  He tells them that if trash could wash from one part of town to another, it could also get into the Congaree River and thus to the coast, and, ultimately, wash up on the shores of other countries. 

Volvo Car Open on Daniel Island.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

You know it’s spring in Charleston when the cars are thick with yellow pollen, as well as  a colorful array of out of state license plates.  Porta- Potties line the streets, novice runners sport bright, new shoes and college kids seeking sun and warmth stretch out behind the beach dunes.  Typically, the signs appear in April, alongside two annual events; the Cooper River Bridge Run and the Volvo Car Open.

A.T. Shire, SC Public Radio

When the celebrated maker of string instruments Antonio Stradivari put the finishing touches on the violin now known as the Ex-Nachez, Bach and Handel were barely into their toddler years and the invention of the piano was still more than a decade away. 

The rare violin has passed through the hands of many an owner and virtuoso performer since that time, but, as Yuriy Bekker of the Charleston Symphony Orchestra can attest, the instrument is still in excellent playing condition.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The SC Senate approves next year's $8 Billion state budget, and a major setback for proponents of solar energy in the state.

At State Education Department in Columbia, Superintendent Molly Spearman announces state of emergency in Williamsburg County School District.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman declared a state of emergency in the Williamsburg County School District and will now take over day-to-day operations. During a press conference in Columbia, Spearman cited financial mismanagement, systemic programmatic issues, and poor student academic performance for her decision.

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