Scott Morgan

Producer, Reporter

Scott Morgan is the Upstate multimedia journalist for South Carolina Public Radio, based in Rock Hill. He cut his teeth as a newspaper reporter and editor in New Jersey before finding a home in public radio in Texas. Scott joined South Carolina Public Radio in March of 2019. His work has appeared in numerous national and regional publications as well as on NPR and MSNBC. He's won numerous awards for his work including two regional and one national Edward R. Murrow. He prefers to do crossword puzzles in ink, but is frequently wrong.

Ways to Connect

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey doesn’t want his county to make the news because it’s on fire.

“I don’t want [Chester] to look like burning buildings,” he said. “I want the world to see Chester as unified.”

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

On Saturday morning, about 1,000 residents of all ages and races gathered in Rock Hill’s Fountain Park to protest the death of George Floyd, a black man who died in the custody of four white police officers  in Minneapolis, Minn.

Floyd’s death sparked protests in cities across the U.S. over the past week, calling for racial justice and an end to what protesters say is a history of police abuse and mistreatment of black citizens.

While some protests have turned violent, including one in Charlotte Friday afternoon, the Rock Hill march was one conceived in peace as a way to bring attention to the plight of black communities.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Fabiana Troxler spent a decade and a half in primary care nursing, but she wanted a little more from her work. In February, she made the leap to in-home, visiting nurse practitioner for geriatric patients. She joined Prospero Health in Charlotte to do so and gleefully set about her new career path.

“My heart was always with geriatrics,” she said.

About three weeks into that new career, it was March of 2020.

Pixabay

When the U.S. Treasury released its list of jurisdictions that would be getting money from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security, or CARES, Act, someone had to tell the Greenville County Council that the county was on it.

“Somebody said, ‘Hey, I think I saw you guys on a website,’” said Council Chairman Butch Kirven. “We looked and printed out the list, and sure enough, there we were.”

Along with the listing was the amount of money the county would be receiving to help recharge its COVID-choked small business economy – $91.4 million.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The Medical University of South Carolina’s hospitals in Lancaster and Chester are mostly back to being fully staffed. A little more than a month ago, around 75 of MUSC Health’s 900 layoffs happened at these two Upstate locations, but Scott Broome, the CEO for the Lancaster and Chester locations, said he expects a fully returned staff by July 1.

It’s a far cry from where the hospitals were just weeks ago.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Earlier this month, the South Carolina Forestry Commission estimated the that tornadoes that hit the state on April 13 destroyed close to 4,300 acres of trees. In dollars, that adds up to about $4 million in losses to South Carolina’s timber industry.

While that’s less than 1 percent of the state’s timber economy overall, it’s not an evenly distributed sum. Smaller landowners, with 20 to 40 acres and who lost a few acres of trees on April 13,  could face some significant losses, says Patrick Hiesl, assistant professor of forestry operations at Clemson University.

3D Systems

3D Systems, an international 3-D printing equipment company with a plastics manufacturing plant in Rock Hill, is a major reason why 3-D printing is a thing in the first place. That put the company in a pretty good spot to be an early responder to the call for personal protective equipment (PPE) and small specialty parts for hospital machines like ventilators.

But with those “early brushfires” mostly under control, the company’s vice president and general manager of plastics, Menno Ellis, says 3D Systems is now focusing on the next most-needed thing in the fight to rein in COVID-19: diagnostic equipment.

Rev. J.T. Barber / YouTube image

The inequities of COVID-19 are complicated, but one trend stands out above all others – African-Americans in South Carolina are affected by – and dying from – the disease at much higher rates than Caucasians.

So what does that have to do with church? 

Well, the relationship between African-Americans and most public institutions is also complicated.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The gutting of newsroom staffs, the rise of social media, the absence of solid answers during a pandemic ... All things that have made for an information environment that can be questionable at best, dangerous at worst.

So how does a media consumer become a savvy media consumer; one who can spot real information and solid journalism on news sites and equally spot bogus news, personal opinions, and general quackery on social media sites or even actual news outlets?

Laekwon Oliver / Unsplash

The coronavirus quarantine’s effect on rents in South Carolina and bordering metros has largely been one of flattening out, according to data released Thursday by ApartmentList.

ApartmentList’s April market report shows that over 13 sampled areas in South Carolina, North Carolina, and Georgia, average rent prices since March have moved little more than a half-percent at most in either direction, a trend mirrored in statewide rent prices over the three states.

Volunteers at Golden Corner Food Pantry in Oconee County prepare bundles of food for drive-through clients. It's one of the many adjustments the pantry, and others in the Upstate and Pee Dee, have had to make because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Food pantries in the Upstate and Pee Dee have had to adjust to the coronavirus pandemic on the fly, like everyone else. They’ve seen need for food increase with spikes in South Carolinians out of work, as much as they seem increased demands on their time, energy, resources, and budgets.

But they’re also learning a lot about themselves, about the people who visit, and about the ones who help them with their missions. Here are three pantries and what they’re facing in the pandemic.

David Martin / Unsplash

Update: The South Carolina Supreme Court announced it would extend the state eviction moratorium after this story published. It will extend the stay on evictions and foreclosures for another two weeks.

South Carolina’s state moratorium on evictions for unpaid rent is set to expire on Friday. While the federal moratorium continues until at least Aug.24, the expiration of the statewide stay on evictions could translate into thousands of lawsuits, says Adam Protheroe, a housing attorney at SC Appleseed Legal Justice Center in Columbia.

CDC

The exact numbers keep changing, but the percentages have remained relatively steady. And they show that African-Americans are South Carolina’s most disproportionately affected group when it comes to COVID-19 cases and deaths.

But they also show that men and women overall are disproportionally affected (though less so than African-Americans), in two different ways.

Sven Scheuermeier / Unsplash

Word that a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota, where 5 percent of the nation's pork is processed, sent ripples across the U.S. food industry. It didn't help that just a few days later, another Smithfield plant – this one much closer to home, in Tar Heel, North Carolina – shuttered after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The closures prompted a far-reaching question: How secure is the food supply? 

provided by Steffi Kong

Steffi Kong grew up in Singapore. At the onset of the century, the country was in the path of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a coronavirus similar to COVID-19. Kong contracted SARS, and beat it, but "because of that, my immune system was very compromised," she says.

Three years later, she caught H1N1, which was the swine flu that proved much deadlier and much more far-reaching. 

So to say that Kong was looking forward to seeing her family and walking in Converse College's commencement ceremony next month is an undestatement. But now that the Spartanburg-based college has shifted graduation to a virtual ceremony, Kong and her classmates -- the second-to-last class to ever graduate from an all-female Converse College -- will have to attend online in May.

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