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Many seaports and airports along the southeastern U.S. coastline have been shut down, more than 1,000 flights have been canceled, and some highways and bridges in low-lying coastal areas could close soon, as Hurricane Florence gets closer to making landfall.

Authorities in coastal areas that lie in the path of the massive storm are urging residents one last time to evacuate.

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's message is pretty blunt: If you live in an evacuation zone, hit the road soon.

A sign for the Lumber river in Nichols, SC.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Flooding will be a major concern for parts of South Carolina, possibly during and after Hurricane Florence makes landfall. The town of Nichols, in Marion county, experienced severe flooding in 2016 during the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Disaster Recovery Coordinator Michaela Hufford shares what the town is doing to prepare for Hurricane Florence.

"Everyone, rightfully so, is nervous about it. It is a really big storm and a lot of newscasters are comparing it to Hugo," Hufford said.

State officials in North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia are calling Hurricane Florence “extremely dangerous” and “life-threatening.”

Here & Now‘s Robin Young gets the latest from NPR’s Greg Allen (@gallennpr) in North Carolina.

Updated at 5:10 a.m. ET on Thursday

The outer rain bands of Hurricane Florence were beginning to be felt in North Carolina, according to the National Hurricane Center, as the Category 2 storm, with sustained winds of 110 mph and the likelihood of "life-threatening storm surge and rainfall," ranged closer to a landfall.

Updated at 6:15 a.m. ET on Wednesday

The severity of Hurricane Florence, a Category 4 storm, is intensifying and triggering hurricane warnings along the coasts of the Carolinas, the National Hurricane Center announced in its 5 a.m. Wednesday update.

File photo
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Evacuation Order Remains in Effect for Edisto Beach and all Central and Northern Coastal Counties

Residents in the southern most parts of South Carolina no longer need to evacuate due to Hurricane Florence. Due to updated predictions from the National Hurricane Center, Governor Henry McMaster, in coordination with state and local officials, has lifted the mandatory evacuation order for zones in Beaufort, Colleton, and Jasper counties, with the exception of Edisto Beach. The mandatory evacuation executive order remains in effect for all zones in Horry, Georgetown, Charleston, Berkeley, and Dorchester counties and for Edisto Beach.

SC Lede: I Know What You Did Last Summer

Sep 11, 2018
Gavin Jackson speaks with Post and Courier Reporters Andy Brown (l) and Jamie Lovegrove (r) in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, September 10, 2018.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by Post and Courier Statehouse Reporters Andy Brown and Jamie Lovegrove to discuss updates about the governor's race, the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project, and Dominion Energy's planned purchase of SCE&G's parent company, SCANA.

South Carolina Public Radio's own Statehouse Reporter Russ McKinney also stops by to quiz Gavin with South Carolina trivia in this week's Did You Know segment.

This stadium is the centerpiece of a re-vitalized North Augusta riverfront.
City of North Augusta, SC

This summer thousands of people have attended home games of the Augusta Green-Jackets, Augusta Georgia’s minor league baseball.  The team plays in a brand new stadium, SRP Park.  The stadium however is located across the Savannah River in South Carolina in the City of North Augusta.  The new, state-of-the-art stadium is the centerpiece of a re-vitalized North Augusta along its riverfront.

North Augusta is just one of a number of smaller cities in the state bringing their downtowns to life by creating new work, living, and play spaces and strengthening their local tax bases.

File photo
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Governor Henry McMaster, in coordination with local officials, has issued Executive Order 2018-29, which orders the evacuation of coastal South Carolina residents for their personal safety as Hurricane Florence approaches. Residents in all hurricane evacuation zones must evacuate beginning no later than noon, Tuesday, Sept. 11.

Florence rapidly intensified into a "potentially catastrophic" Category 4 storm Monday morning, the National Hurricane Center said in a special statement at 12 pm. This was based on data from a NOAA Hurricane Hunter aircraft's most recent pass through the eye, which found maximum sustained winds near 130 mph and a central pressure of 946 mb. The storm was located 925 miles south-southeast of Bermuda, or 1230 miles southeast of Cape Fear, North Carolina, and moving west at 13 mph. mph.

SCETV/SC Public Radio

South Carolina ETV (SCETV)/South Carolina Public Radio and WUFT, Gainesville-Ocala, Florida, announced today a partnership that will provide heightened hurricane, tropical storm and other weather emergency content to South Carolina residents and visitors across the state. 

Governor McMaster Declares State of Emergency

Sep 8, 2018

Governor Henry McMaster today issued an executive order declaring a state of emergency and, along with the S.C. Emergency Management Division, has urged South Carolinians to prepare for the possibility of Hurricane Florence impacting the state. The executive order enables all state agencies to coordinate resources in preparation for Hurricane Florence.

A copy of the governor’s executive order can be found here.

SC Lede: Season 2 Preview

Sep 6, 2018

As South Carolina Lede prepares for our new season, join host Gavin Jackson for a preview of some of the topics we'll be covering this fall.

South Carolina Lede returns Tuesday, September 11. 

Retired Rear Admiral Ann Phillips U.S. Navy talks about the impact of climate change on the military
Victoria Hansen

Three years of back to back hurricanes and record floods have left many across the Lowcountry flood weary.  Now the height of hurricane season is here.  Scientists say climate change is to blame for increased flooding, creating more intense storms and rising sea levels.  But it’s not just coastal homeowners who are worried.  Some military leaders warn climate change is a threat to national security.

Vanessa Wyche
http://women.nasa.gov / NASA

NASA Johnson Space Center (JSC) Director Mark Geyer recenly announced that Vanessa Wyche was thethe next deputy director of JSC in Houston.

Wyche is a native on Conway and a graduate of Clemson University. As Deputy Director, she will assist Geyer in leading one of NASA’s largest installations (JSC has nearly 10,000 civil service and contractor employees – including those at White Sands Test Facility in Las Cruces, New Mexico). It also has a broad range of human spaceflight activities. Wyche talks with South Carolina Public Radio about current and future projects JSC is working.

S.C. farmers are expecting a bumper soybean crop this year.  However the global trade war has caused a 20 percent drop in expected prices.
SC Department of Agriculture

With the November elections just two months away, business leaders and political candidates are juggling the economic and political realities of the growing global trade war.  South Carolina is one of three states in the country expected to be most affected by new tariffs on imports and exports.

Marsh Tackies Make a Come Back on Dafuskie Island

Sep 4, 2018
Estelita is the first Marsh Tacky foal born on Dafuskie Island in decades
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

With her windows rolled down, Erica Veit gives me a lift  at the ferry boat landing on Dafuskie Island.  The other passengers, mostly tourists, scramble for golf carts.  There are few paved roads and no grocery store, hospital or police.  The hour long ride from Hilton Head Island was a sign.  This place is remote and intriguing.

Crowds gather at the Columbia Convention Center for a previous Soda City Comic Con.
www.sodacitycomiccon.com

In 2011, Donald Brock, Jr. found an old comic book on a shelf,  inside one of his father's properties. "I looked at it. It look reasonably old."

Brock said, the conditons in the warehouse were not that great, so "I swiped it and said I would go online and see if its worth anything."

Citadel Employee Accused of Sexually Abusing Former Cadet

Aug 23, 2018
Kenneth Gregory Boes
Charleston County

An employee with Charleston’s military college, the Citadel, is accused of giving a former cadet alcohol and pills, and sexually assaulting him.  Kenneth Gregory Boes is charged with third-degree criminal sexual conduct following an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

File
Helena Lopes from Pexels

As Baby Boomers retire, their children, the Millennial generation, are coming into the workplace, behind the in-between Generation X.  University of South Carolina Sociology Professor Rob Ployhart says millennials differ from their predecessors in some key ways:  they are the first generation to grow up completely in the digital age, and they expect the companies they work for to be technologically savvy.  Certain ideas about millennials picture them as spoiled, self-obsessed techno-nerds that don’t want to work normal hours and need playtime at work, as evidenced by giant tech companies li

Photographing Veterans after Capturing Combat

Aug 21, 2018
Elizabeth Barker Johnson holds her 1943 Army portrait
Veterans Portrait Project images by Stacy L. Pearsall

Stacy Pearsall's office is tucked away in an upstairs bedroom of her Charleston area home.  Her service dog Charlie checks in occasionally, tail wagging, making sure she's alright.  Above her desk, hangs a collection of spoons; small, some silver, simple and ornate.  Stacy says she handpicked them for a loved one during her travels overseas, someone who has since passed away.  They reflect her love of service and a discerning eye.

Former Mayor Joe Riley celebrates the announcement the money needed to build the International African American Museum has been raised
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

The Charleston Maritime Museum was packed Thursday with a who’s who of community leaders, as well as local and state dignitaries.  Former, long time Charleston City Mayor Joe Riley could barely contain his excitement as he stepped up to the podium. 

“Today we’ve asked all of you to join us to tell you that the dream of the International African American Museum shared by so many will be a reality,” he said.  “We have met our $75 million fundraising goal.”

File photo: Soccer balls
Joe Shlabotnik [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Evidence of soccer’s enormous growth in America is the September kickoff of the inaugural season of the Midlands’ new semi-pro soccer team, the Soda City Football Club.  It’s the third team in the state in the 170-plus team United Premier Soccer League, joining Spartanburg and Charleston.  Coach and co-owner Patrick Burnette says soccer is exploding in the U.S., and thanks to small but dedicated clubs around the state, the talent pool is strong.  Player Hunter Haynes says it’s all he’s ever wanted to do, and like teammate Nestor Jaramillo (and the rest of the team, for that matter), he aspi

Richland Library's Tony Tallent displays a newly-dispensed short story from one of three new short story dispensers at the library's main branch in downtown Columbia.
Clayton Sears

During its recent Learn Freely Fest, Richland Library launched newly-acquired short story dispensers for the public to try. The sleek, black and organge device allows people to select a one, three or five minute story to print. Richland Library is one of only four libraries across the country to receive the dispensers. Its a part of a program called Fostering Creative Community Connections, a project to promote reading; community engagement; library programs and services; and creative expression from diverse writers.

Beyoncé and Jay-Z will perform at Williams-Brice stadium on August 21 as part of their On the Run II Tour.
Wikimedia Commons

August 21 will bring the first concert in five years to Columbia’s Williams-Brice Stadium  when Beyoncé and Jay-Z make a stop on their On the Run II Tour.

For Columbia local and Beyoncé superfan Merrell Johnson, this is an especially big event.

V.C. Summer Units 2 and 3 Aerial View, Jan. 2017.
SCANA

It was the first week of August, 2017 when then SCANA and SCE&G CEO Kevin Marsh told state regulators that the $9 Billion V.C. Summer Nuclear Reactor project was being scrapped before it could produce a single kilowatt of power. The magnitude of the action set off a tumultuous year that has left the futures of SCE&G and its partner in the project, state owned utility Santee-Cooper in doubt.

There are more than 400 different license plate designs for autos in South Carolina.  They range from the standard "While I Breathe I Hope" tags to include colleges, veterans, Parrotheads and vanity plates like this one.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Most, if not all, states offer a variety of license tags for automobiles. South Carolina offers more than 400, many to support causes or organizations, from colleges to gold star families, or wildlife and habitats, from trees to turkeys and elk. Some are offered out of support and respect, such as veterans or POWs. Some are more whimsical features of South Carolina culture, like the shag dance, or even Parrotheads, the fanatical followers of Jimmy Buffett.

U.S. Air Force/Pascual Flores

For the past couple of months a group of state regulators, utility executives, representatives of the state’s fledgling solar energy industry, and environmentalists have been meeting in Columbia trying to come together on a new plan that could determine the future of residential solar energy use in the state.

Korean War Veterans Monument at Memorial Park in Columbia, SC
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Over 100 soldiers from South Carolina are still missing and unaccounted for, from the Korean War. July 27 marks the 65th anniversary of the armistice that ended the war. The war started in June of 1950 and over the span of three years, more than 36,000 American soldiers were killed. Friday, remains believed to be of 55 US troops killed during the War, were returned to the United States by North Korea.

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