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The S.C. State House
Ron Cogswell [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

In the final hours of this year’s session of the state legislature, Senate yesterday passed an economic incentives bill  aimed at persuading the NFL’s Carolina Panthers to move it's headquarters and practice facilities from Charlotte to Rock Hill.  A $250 Million investment for York County.  Rock Hill Senator Wes Climer told the Senate it’s a huge win for the state's economy.

Champ Hood, Walter Hyatt and David Ball of Spartanburg were Uncle Walt's Band, who released several self-produced albums in the 1970s and gained cult status in Texas.
Mark Michel/King Tears Music

In the 1970s and early '80s, an acoustic trio from Spartanburg made its mark with well-crafted tunes featuring beautiful harmonies.  Walter Hyatt, Champ Hood and David Ball were known as Uncle Walt's Band.  Their blend of folk, swing, and bluegrass influences attracted audiences wherever they lived - including Spartanburg, Nashville and, ultimately, Austin, Texas.  But, strangely, the enthusiasm of their fans never went beyond a faithful cult following.

The Teachers are coming: Hundreds of educators and supporters march crossing Sumter Street in Columbia to rally on Statehouse grounds for better funding and support for education.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Wednesday’s All Out May 1 Day of Reflection drew 10,000 people to the state house in Columbia.  The organization responsible, for what some are calling an historic event, is less than a year old. SCForEd was created May 30, 2018 by Lisa Ellis.

“She was really frustrated and just wasn't sure she wanted to stay in the profession,” SCForEd board member Paige Steele said.

Teachers and their supporters rally outside the South Carolina State House in Columbia on May 1, 2019.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

Some 10,000 teachers and supporters from across the state descended on the Statehouse this week sending a powerful message to lawmakers that they want more state support in funding and in education reforms, and they are not happy with the school improvement bill pending in the legislature.

Kimberly Nelson, founder of SC Parents for Vaccines.
www.cdc.gov

When Greer parent Kimberly Nelson put her 6-week old son in child care for the first time, something happened that would scare her- the flu began to spread through the center. The baby in the crib next to her son’s became severely ill and was hospitalized for a week. Nelson was inspired to start the advocacy organization South Carolina Parents for Vaccines.

The South Carolina State House
File

School Improvement Bill Pushed To Next Year

Leaders in the state legislature had hoped that the magnitude of deciding what to do with state-owned utility Santee-Cooper would not interfere with their efforts to pass a desperately needed school improvement bill this year. But with just two weeks remaining in this year’s legislative session Santee Cooper’s future is being debated on the Senate floor, and the education bill is being pushed to next year.

The future home of the Rock Hill Sports & Events Center is still under construction.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Tourism is big business for South Carolina. The state Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism (PRT) puts annual tourism revenue at about $20 billion.

Panther statue outside stadium.
Paul Brennan [CC0 1.0] via PublicDomainPictures.net

The Charlotte-based Carolina Panthers could be moving their training facilities and operations south of the border, to York County. The team is looking at a former industrial park just off I-77, among other locations in Fort Mill and neighboring Chester County.

To do so would require the state to pony up as much as $120 million in incentives – something not all members of the South Carolina Legislature have gotten behind – and to do that would require the State Senate to pass a bill that has already passed in the House.

Roots Musik Karamu Celebrates 40 Years

Apr 19, 2019
Osei Chanderl Celbrating 40 Years as host of Roots Musik Karamu
South Carolina Public Radio

When Osei Chandler’s wife Saadeka wanted to move from Brooklyn in 1977 closer to her home in Summerville,  SC, the now reggae music show host couldn’t say no.  He was smitten.

“I remember the first time we met,” he said. “She was like six feet tall, with a mini skirt and afro. I was toast,” he laughs.

Looking back, next to his marriage and kids, moving  was one of the best things he ever did.

“I couldn’t be on the radio in Brooklyn," said Chandler. " I'd be too busy hustling, trying to get to work. I’d probably have to have two or three jobs."

Sen. Chip Campsen (R-Charleston) flanked by Gov. Henry McMaster and a bi-partisan group of State Senators pushing to preempt off-shore drilling for oil and gas along the South Carolina coast.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Budget Also Contains Off-Shore Oil Prohibition

The S.C. General Assembly passes hundreds of bills and resolutions each year, but the most important measure enacted by the legislature is the annual State Appropriations Bill.  That’s the state’s operating budget for the next fiscal year which begins on July 1.  Not only does the budget provide the funding for state government to operate, it also identifies the priority needs of the state.

Lt. Col. James Doolittle and his crew on the USS Hornet April 1942. From left: Lt. Henry Potter, navigator; Lt. Col. James Doolittle, pilot; Staff Sgt. Fred Braemer, bombardier; Lt. Richard Cole, co-pilot; and Staff Sgt. Paul Leonard, engineer/gunner.
Joint Base San Antonio

77 years ago (April 18, 1942), 80 brave men did what had never been attempted: they flew 16 army B-25B Mitchell bombers off a U.S.

Former Vice President Joe Biden touches the casket of former South Carolina governor and long time U.S. Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings
The Citadel

It was one of those rare Charleston days with no humidity, only blue skies and a slight  breeze.  Rare indeed, like the Charleston native being remembered as a, “one of a kind statesman”.

The funeral of former South Carolina governor and six term U.S. Senator Ernest “Fritz” Hollings brought him back, near the neighborhood where he grew up and the school he held so dear, his Alma mater, The Citadel.

“He talked about The Citadel like it was in a literal sense, his citadel,” said former Vice President Joe Biden.  It meant, “Everything to him.”

Graphic for the funeral services of the Honorable Ernest Frederick "Fritz" Hollings.
SCETV

Watch a live, video stream of funeral coverage begins at 11:00 a.m.

Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (1922-2019) was born in Charleston, South Carolina in 1922. He graduated from The Citadel in 1942 and served as an artillery officer in World War Two. After the war, he was elected to the South Carolina House of Representatives. In 1958, at age 36, he was elected Governor. In 1966, Hollings became a U.S. Senator, an office he would hold for nearly 40 years. In 2003, Hollings retired from political service. The former senator died at the age of 97 on April 6, 2019.

Civil Rights Movement Had its Roots in World War I

Apr 16, 2019
Some of the men of the 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, sailing home on The Stockholm in 1919. Front row, left to right: Private Eagle Eye, Ed Williams; Lamp Light, Herbert Tayl.
Source: International Film Service. The National Archives.

As soldiers were fighting overseas during World War I, there was another battle going on back home:  the battle for a better life for African Americans.  Historian Janet Hudson, speaking at a recent symposium on the war presented by Lander University in Greenwood, said even as they chafed under segregation and Jim Crow laws designed to keep them back socially and policially, black leaders saw the war as an opportunity to earn their rights by cooperating with white leaders and supporting the war through volunteering to fight, raising money and other means.

The South Carolina State House
File

State lawmakers are in the final month of this year’s legislative session with most of this year's priority bills still being debated.

This week, a Senate sub-committee opted to hold until next year's session a controversial portion of the massive school improvement bill in hopes of securing passage of the remainder of the bill this year.  The bill which has already passed in the House of Representatives is viewed as the most important matter for the legislature this session.

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