News

Finding Young Farmers to Bear the Heat and Carry the Pitchfork

Jul 18, 2019
Tomatoes are a popular summer crop sold by numerous farmers at the State Farmers' Market
Lee Wardlaw/SC Public Radio

South Carolina's farming industry remains a stalwart economic engine. With approximately 25,000 farms over 4.9 million acres of land, the Palmetto State's agricultural community maintains its relevance in South Carolinians' day-to-day lives.

In a changing world, though, South Carolina's farming industry still continues to face the same old problems that it has for years.

Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones, left, and Dr. Brett Hartis, manager of Duke Energy's Aquatic Plant Management Program, inspect a bloom of alligator weed on Lake Wylie.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

South Carolina’s freshwater lakes and ponds are as vibrant as they come, full of pretty plants with pretty names like water primrose and water hyacinth. The only trouble is, these plants shouldn’t be here.

Miss Camden Teen, Maggie Knotts
SC Public Radio

The Miss South Carolina Teen pageant was held June 28th and the Miss South Carolina Pageant took place on June 29th. However, the journeys of pagent contestants began long before and each one goes to great lengths to prepare for a statewide stage.

Aside from the pageant night, contestants put in many hours behind the scenes in their communities. Most of the contestants’ work takes place off the stage as they give back to the communities that have helped them. And each contestant must develop a platform that exemplifies a cause she cares about within her local area.  

Tropical Storm Barry Forms in the Gulf of Mexico

Jul 11, 2019

The National Hurricane Center says the tropical system in the Gulf of Mexico is now Tropical Storm Barry, and it could become a hurricane before hitting Louisiana this weekend.

S.C. Film Commission logo
S.C. Film Commission

The film industry provides much needed economic impact for South Carolina, netting $61 million in revenue for the state in 2018. The revenue is generated through the South Carolina Film Commission, which provides a $15 million dollar annual subsidy to filmmakers. The subsidy is funneled to the state's film commission through the state's government.

Charles M. Duke, Jr.
NASA

A half-century ago, as the world watched in awe as Neil Armstrong took that "one small step" into history on the surface of the moon, a voice from Houston was his constant connection to humanity back on Earth.  Earlier, however, as the landing craft neared its destination, that voice had called "60 seconds," to warn the Apollo 11 astronauts - Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins - that they had only one minute's worth of fuel to land, or they would have to abort the mission.  That voice belonged to future moonwalker Charles Duke of Lancaster, South Carolina.

Physicist Ronald McNair, a Lake City native, became a NASA astronaut because his brother said "Ron was the one who didn't accept societal norms as being his norms. That was for other people.  And he got to be aboard his own starship Enterprise."
NASA

The Palmetto State has produced numerous astronauts and scientists.  A South Carolinian, Charles Townes of Greenville, invented the laser, and another native, Dr. Ron McNair, was the first person to operate a laser in space in his role as a NASA astronaut.   A physicist, McNair was killed in the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986.  It was his second excursion into space. 

How South Carolina Music Producers Make Songs Music to Our Ears

Jul 9, 2019
File picture of a microphone.
vanleuven0 via Pixabay

Many famous musical artists have been heavily influenced by their audio producers, but Joe Miller, a music producer who owns and operates the Sounds Like Joe recording studio in Rock Hill, South Carolina, describes his job in humble terms. “I like to consider my artistic domain, I move air and people hear it,” he said.

Producing music is defined by taking music written by an artist or composer and transforming it into a high quality, professional studio sound. It involves several tough decisions that producers must make when there are several options available. 

Likely Tropical Development in the Gulf

Jul 8, 2019

A low that is over South Carolina and Georgia on Monday morning is likely to become a tropical depression later this week as it moves south into the northern Gulf of Mexico.

US Navy Frogmen Recover Apollo 8;  Lt. Richard Flanagan (Left) waving and Bob Coggin (Right) attaching flotation collar
Patriots Point Naval and Maritme Museum

Bob Coggin was just back from serving in Vietnam as a diver in an underwater demolition team when he got his next assignment from the Navy:  train to possibly recover Apollo 8.  The first manned spacecraft to leave the earth's atmosphere and orbit the moon would soon splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

Coggin understood the importance of the astronauts' mission.  But he didn't think much of his own role. 

"It was a big deal back then, but we couldn't understand why it was such a big deal," he says.  "It was just another day kind of thing really."

There's South Carolina Gold in Them Thar Rockets

Jul 2, 2019
Spun gold. These shiny bands are actually a fiber soft enough to make space suits with and tough enough to shield firefighters (and astronauts) from flames.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Forgive yourself if you can’t pronounce “polybenzimidizole,” much less know what it’s used for. But if you ever went to the moon, you were sure glad to have it on your skin.  

Familiarly, polybenzimidizole goes by the much more vocally friendly name of PBI. It’s a twill-like material made by, fittingly, PBI Performance Products in Rock Hill. The company makes polymers, solutions, and films for industrial purposes, but the Rock Hill plant is the only place in the world that manufactures the company’s most visible product, PBI staple fiber.

Charles F. Bolden, Jr.
NASA

Columbia native Charles Bolden has had a remarkable career: Marine fighter pilot, commanding general in Operation Desert Thunder in Kuwait, deputy commandant of midshipmen at the U.S.

Thousands of South Carolina public school teachers descended on the Statehouse on May 1, 2019 demanding improvements in  the state's public schools.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

With this year’s session of the state legislature now officially over, lawmakers are already turning their attention to next year’s session, and like this year the top priority will be passage of a massive School Improvement Bill. 

How the Golf Industry Drives South Carolina's Economy

Jun 19, 2019
File photo, close-up of golf ball and golf club head.
File photo: HeungSoon/Pixabay

The golf industry is big business for the state of South Carolina, generating $2.59 billion in sales for the state in 2018.

The sport generated 31,434 jobs, $857 million in wages and income, and $309 million in federal, state, and local taxes, according to an economic impact study created by the South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation, and Tourism.

Yoga. Now with Bleats

Jun 19, 2019
Downward-facing... doe? Don't laugh, it happens a lot in goat yoga.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Until a few years ago, nobody really thought to put goats and yoga together. And yet, here we are, living in a world where the sight of downward-facing yogis and bouncing baby goats in the same place looks as natural as mac and cheese.

For Jim and Terri Gustin, owners of Critter Creek Farm in Rock Hill – primarily a flower farm, but one with lots of animals around – the idea just worked itself out.   

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