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Jeffrey Collins/Associated Press

  • Some South Carolina lawmakers who oppose abortion are being cautious when it comes to tightening the state's already restrictive laws even further. The U.S. Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade in June, paving the way for states to enact total bans if they choose to do so. South Carolina currently has a law banning abortion after cardiac activity is detected, at about six weeks of pregnancy. Lawmakers called a special session after the high court's decision in June to discuss the issue. But some are hesitating after seeing voters in conservative Kansas overwhelmingly reject a measure that would allow the legislature to tighten restrictions or enact a total ban.
  • A trial is starting in South Carolina where lawyers for several death row prisoners are arguing the electric chair - as well as the newly established, but so far unused, firing squad - are cruel and unusual punishments. South Carolina hasn't executed anyone since 2011 because the state's lethal injection drugs expired and pharmacies have refused to sell it more. The General Assembly passed a law in 2021 requiring condemned inmates to choose between electrocution or firing squad if the lethal injection drugs weren't available. Four prisoners either out or nearly out of appeals to their death sentences sued and their execution dates were postponed.
  • Police say an investigation into two brothers for a killing in South Carolina led to videos of them and others beating up at least five people at homeless camps in Greenville. Greenville County deputies released parts of the videos Thursday showing several men repeatedly punching and kicking at least three different people inside tents or outside. Deputies say they are still investigating and there may be more victims.
  • A House committee reviewing South Carolina's abortion law suggested Tuesday the state ban almost all abortions other than when the life of the mother is at risk.
  • The downfall of disgraced South Carolina attorney Alex Murdaugh can be traced through people whose lives crossed his. There was his wife, found dead along with their youngest son in June 2021. That led to a half-dozen investigations into his finances. There is the 19-year-old woman killed in a boating crash. Prosecutors say Murdaugh's slain son was drunk and drove the boat into a bridge pier. A wrongful death lawsuit by the teen's family threatened to expose Murdaugh's schemes to steal money from his law firm and clients. There also was the Murdaugh housekeeper, who died in a fall, and the one-time client who prosecutors say ran a drug and money laundering scheme with the disbarred attorney.
  • Federal prosecutors in South Carolina say "Tiger King" star Bhagavan "Doc" Antle has been charged with buying or selling endangered lemurs, cheetahs, and a chimpanzee without the proper paperwork. The latest charges released Thursday are on top of money laundering counts, where authorities said Antle tried to hide more than half a million dollars made in an operation to smuggle people across the Mexican border into the United States. The U.S. Endangered Species Act requires permission to buy or move any endangered species in captivity and prosecutors said Antle, two of his employees and owners of safari tours in Texas and California all broke the law.
  • Once prominent and soon-to-be disbarred South Carolina lawyer Alex Murdaugh has been indicted again. This time prosecutors say his crimes extended to an eight-year money laundering and painkiller ring with a friend and former client charged with trying to help him commit suicide. Prosecutors say Murdaugh wrote 437 checks worth $2.4 million that Curtis "Eddie" Smith cashed over eight years, keeping some of the money for himself and giving some to a distribution network for the painkiller oxycodone.
  • Conservative think tank CEO Ellen Weaver has won the Republican nomination for South Carolina education superintendent. Weaver was the second-place finisher in the primary earlier this month, but vaulted past Palmetto State Teachers Association Executive Director Kathy Maness on Tuesday. Weaver will face Democratic teacher and SC for Ed founder Lisa Ellis in November. Weaver could still face a rough road to the job. A new South Carolina law requires education superintendents to have at least a master's degree. Weaver doesn't have one, but started a program in April. Election officials said there is no precedent for what happens if she wins in November without an advanced degree. A lawsuit is likely.
  • The South Carolina General Assembly has overturned many of Gov. Henry McMasters budget vetoes. But they did agree with the biggest one, taking $25 million out of the $13.8 billion spending plan to try to help bring a super computer to Columbia. The money was set aside for what supporters called a quantum computing operation and set up a nonprofit to rent time on the machine to researchers and others. Both the House and Senate continued Tuesday afternoon to consider the 73 vetoes issued by the governor, taking about $53 million from from the nearly $14 billion budget set to start July 1.
  • The South Carolina General Assembly is returning to Columbia on Tuesday to consider nearly $53 million in local projects that Gov. Henry McMaster wants out of the $13.8 billion state budget. All the money went toward items put in by lawmakers for local concerns, like $25 million to help pay for a quantum computer facility in Columbia, $7 million for a cultural welcome center in Orangeburg and $500,000 to improve the stadium at Summerville High School. McMaster says he allowed projects where lawmakers detailed exactly who got the money and where it was going.