NPR News coverage of Michael Cohen’s testimony to the House Oversight Committee will begin at
10:00 a.m. ET on Wednesday, Feb 27.

Presidents of South Carolina's eight HBCUs
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

There are eight historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU) in South Carolina. These institutions of higher education in the United States were established before the Civil Rights Act of 1964 with the intention of primarily serving the African-American community.

S.C. Superintendent of Education Mollie Spearman flanked by Gov. Henry McMaster (L) and House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) at the Statehouse Feb. 20, 2019.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

South Carolina’s teachers have made their voices heard at the Statehouse as lawmakers debate a major public education reform bill. 

From the moment House Speaker Jay Lucas and dozens of fellow House members introduced the 84 page omnibus bill last month, teachers have been demanding changes. 

This week, Republican leaders in the legislature sought to re-assure them.

A House education committee is now moving to incorporate some teacher backed changes to the bill.

Congressmen JimClyburn and Joe Cunningham hold a press conference on gun reform inside Emmanuel A.M.E. Church in Charleston
Victoria Hansen

House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and Congressman Joe Cunningham have proposed legislation to close the so called, “Charleston Loophole” by extending the waiting period for federal gun background checks.  Clyburn said Thursday he has the votes to pass it in the House.

The state’s two democratic congressmen joined more than a dozen others, including former and current Charleston mayors Joe Riley and John Tecklenburg, inside Emanuel AME Church in downtown Charleston.  That’s where nine parishioners were shot to death in 2015 in what's been called a hate crime.

The Real I.D. is dentified by the gold star in the upper right corner.
Photo courtesy S.C. Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Many people enjoy traveling by air.  But after Oct. 1, 2020, they won't be able to board a commercial airplane in the United States, UNLESS they have the new "Real ID."  The new ID will replace current drivers' licenses and ID cards, and will be needed for people to gain entry to certain secured federal buildings and all military posts, as well as to board planes.

Scientists at NOAA's Climate Prediction Center have officially declared an El Niño. It is a natural warming over the water in the eastern and/or Central Pacific Ocean that occurs every 2 to 7 years. The El Niño is expected to be weak and forecasters at the government agency say there's only slightly greater than an even bet that it will even last through the spring.

Trump says he’s declaring emergency to build border wall

Feb 15, 2019

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump announced Friday that he will declare a national emergency to fulfill his pledge to construct a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Trump said he will use executive powers to bypass Congress, which approved far less money for his proposed wall than he had sought. He plans to siphon billions of dollars from federal military construction and counterdrug efforts for the wall. The move is already drawing bipartisan criticism on Capitol Hill and expected to face rounds of legal challenges.

Sen Mike Fanning (D-Fairfield) in a recent meeting with public school teachers at the Statehouse.
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Comprehensive bills to improve the state’s troubled public education system are being debated in both the State House and Senate.

Last month House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-Darlington) and dozens of other lawmakers introduced an 84 page bill aimed at improving student readiness for the workplace, help for rural school districts that are struggling, and perhaps most importantly increasing teacher retention.

African American Legislators Call Judicial Elections a 'Travesty'

The fallout from the 2017 V.C. Summer Nuclear failure continues at the Statehouse. This year lawmakers are dealing with what may be the hard part of unwinding the debacle;  what to do about state owned utility Santee Cooper.

iAmMrRob via Pixabay

As hackers become more sophisticated at burrowing into business computers to steal everything from money to social security numbers and medical records, the need for protection grows ever more dire.  One way to help mitigate the damage, if not protect information from being stolen, was virtually unknown a decade ago.  But in the past five years or so, cyber insurance has become a must-have bulwark against hackers.

Courtesy of the Artist

Greenville artist Renato Moncini is a native of Italy, but between his journey from his homeland and his long residence in the South Carolina Upstate, he served more than a decade as what some call the "first artist of space."

S.C. Senate President Harvey Peeler, R-Cherokee (L).
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

When sworn in as the state’s new Lieutenant Governor last month Pamela Evette made history. She  became the first Lieutenant Governor elected as a Governor’s running mat instead of running for the office independently of the Governor.

The primary duty of the Lieutenant Governor is to step-up to the Governor’s Office if necessary as Henry McMaster did when Gov. Nikki Haley resigned the office in 2017.

Instead of being an elected state official the Lieutenant Governor is in essence now a member of the Governor’s staff.

File: Gov. Henry McMaster
Mark Adams/SCETV

Legislative Battle Over Medical Marijuana Ahead

Members of the S.C.  House and Senate gave Gov. Henry McMaster a number of standing ovations Wednesday night (Jan. 23rd) during his second State of The State Address.  

For the first time in years, a Republican Governor and a Republican legislature are in sync on the major issue facing the state; reforming the state’s public education system.  That is a sign that meaningful reform may be within reach during this year’s legislative session.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren at Columbia College
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Senator Elizabeth Warren spoke at Columbia College Wednesday night, during a question and answer forum. The potential presidential candidate spoke to a crowd of almost a thousand about fighting corruption, creating more affordable housing and ending the government shutdown.

Thursday marked day 34 of the partial government shutdown and also the day that the Senate is scheduled to vote on two bills, one proposed by the Democrats, the other by the GOP. 

Sen. Bernie Sanders talks with Benedict College students in Columbia.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

One day after delivering a speech about combatting racism, poverty and war, Senator Bernie Sanders spoke with students at Benedict College in Columbia encouraging them to “think big, not small.”

“When we live in a competitive, global economy, does it make sense to tell young people whose families don’t have a lot of money that they can’t go to college?”

Sanders spent about a half hour answering questions during the event, called a Conversation with students. He said he believes public colleges and universities should be tuition-free.