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South Carolina

  • Until recently, the story of the Charleston Work House received little recognition in the city's collective memory. That changed a little when Mayor John Tecklenburg unveiled a plaque detailing its past. The Charleston Work House, was located next to The Old Charleston Jail on Magazine street. It was a place where slave owners could pay the city to punish enslaved people. The plaque erected July 13 includes research reviewed by the Charleston Commission on History.
  • Across the U.S., state lottery systems use that revenue to boost education, tourism, transportation and much more. Now that the giant Mega Millions lottery jackpot has ballooned to more than $1 billion, state officials are hoping increased national interest in securing the top prize will result in more funding for their own causes. However, critics of these lottery-funded programs note that lower-income players foot the bill for benefits they won't proportionately reap.
  • Abortion bans are temporarily blocked in Louisiana and Utah, while a federal court in South Carolina says a law sharply restricting the procedure can take effect there immediately. The decisions emerged as the battle over whether women may end pregnancies shifted from the nation's highest court to courthouses around the country. The U.S. Supreme Court's decision Friday to end constitutional protection for abortion opened the gates for a wave of litigation.
  • The lawyer for a man arrested in connection with a mass shooting at a South Carolina mall tells news outlets his client fired in self-defense. Attorney Todd Rutherford represents Jewayne Price, who currently faces a charge of illegally carrying a pistol. A judge said Sunday that Price could be released on house arrest with a $25,000 surety bond. Saturday's shooting in Columbia was one of two Easter weekend shootings in South Carolina with multiple victims, and one of three in the nation. Nine people were hurt early Sunday in a Hampton County, South Carolina, nightclub shooting. Gunfire at a Pittsburgh party caused multiple injuries and killed two minors.
  • Weather forecasters planned to survey damage from several possible tornadoes in Georgia and South Carolina, but said that effort could be interrupted by the potential for more storms Wednesday. Tuesday's storms killed at least two people — one in Texas and another in Georgia — and left thousands of people without power across the South. According to the website PowerOutage.us, more than 7,000 customers in Texas and more than 5,000 in Georgia remained without power early Wednesday. The national Storm Prediction Center says several tornadoes are expected across a large part of the South on Wednesday.
  • Florida and 20 other states (including South Caroliona) have sued to halt the federal government's pandemic requirement that people wear masks on planes, trains and other public transport. The lawsuit was filed Tuesday in federal court in Tampa, Florida. It contends that the mask mandate exceeds the authority of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The CDC rule took effect Feb. 1, 2021. It requires "the wearing of masks by people on public transportation conveyances or on the premises of transportation hubs," according to the agency website. The rule has been relaxed somewhat but was recently extended until at least April 18 for domestic and international travel in general.
  • The parents of a mentally ill Black man who died in a South Carolina jail are calling for state lawmakers to pass both a hate crimes law and a bill specifying excessive force by officers is illegal. Jamal Sutherland's parents appeared Wednesday with members of the Black Legislative Caucus who are unhappy the proposals have stalled in the General Assembly. Sutherland died in January 2021 after he was shocked by employees who then kneeled on his back until he stopped breathing. The hate crime bill passed the House but is stalled in the Senate. Another bill supported by Sutherland's family would specify officers using excessive force is a crime.
  • South Carolina remains one of only two states without a hate-crimes law, and proponents worry that efforts in the Legislature are stalling to increase penalties for crimes committed against minorities and others victimized by prejudice. The push for a state hate crime law started in 2015 after nine African Americans were killed in a racist attack during a Bible study at Emanuel AME church in Charleston. A bill calling for harsher penalties for hate crimes has passed the House, but will fail to become law if it doesn't pass the Senate. Several Republicans are blocking the bill, saying it is unnecessary since there is a federal hate crimes law.
  • Civil rights activists worry that a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling could embolden Republicans to take aim at splitting majority-Black districts and ultimately reduce Black voters' influence on Capitol Hill. In Florida, GOP Gov. Ron DeSantis took the unusual step last month of asking the state Supreme Court whether a Democrat's plurality-Black congressional district could be broken into whiter — and more Republican — districts. That type of request might typically face steep hurdles under laws meant to protect representation of marginalized communities. But the ground rules may be shifting after the high court sided with Republicans in Alabama to block efforts to add a second majority-Black district.
  • In a virtual press conference Thursday, doctors from Prisma Health, Upstate and Midlands, asked South Carolinians to take steps to mitigate Omicron's spread — which is flooding emergency rooms everywhere.