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Selecting the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra

Jun 7, 2019
Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra members carry their insturments in downtown Charleston
Victoria Hansen

They are sure signs of Spoleto in downtown Charleston; instrument toting musicians and scorching heat.  Among the jostling violin cases, is Shannon Fitzhenry.  She’s back for her second year with the annual Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, one of 92 musicians chosen to play.

“The goal is to get up in time to warm up before rehearsal,” she laughs.  The Charleston native grew up with Spoleto, but admits she didn't fully appreciate it until she  moved away to study music at the Peabody Conservatory in Baltimore, Maryland.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

That the NFL’s Carolina Panthers would eventually move the team’s practice facility and operations out of Charlotte and south of the border to Rock Hill was really just a matter of when the South Carolina Legislature would greenlight a set of tax breaks (worth somewhere between $115 and $120 million, by most estimates) that would allow the team to set up shop in York County. And when Panthers would officially say they were coming.

On June 5, the Panthers, the state, and City of Rock Hill made the official announcement that the team will be moving in over the next couple years.

Down the ramp of a Coast Guard Landing barge Yankee soldiers storm toward the beach-sweeping fire of Nazi defenders in the D-Day Invasion of the French Coast. Troops ahead may be seen lying flat under the deadly machine gun resistance of the Germans.
National Archives

75 years ago - June 6, 1944 - 156,000 Allied troops on nearly 7000 ships and landing craft and supported by 11,590 planes dropping both bombs and paratroopers, landed on the beaches of Normandy, France.  The top-secret invasion of Europe was code-named Operation Overlord, but is more broadly known the world over as D-Day.  That day began the battle to free the continent from the grip of Nazi Germany.  

Pianist David Virelles and percussionist Roman Diaz teach a class at the Charleston Jazz Academy
Victoria Hansen

Scribbling notes on a dry erase board just won't do.  So David Virelles plays them instead, on a piano.  The Cuban composer and pianist is teaching a masters class at the Charleston Jazz Academy in North Charleston, as part of the Spoleto arts festival's community outreach program.

In just a couple of hours, he's performing too.

"I hope the students walk away with what it takes to play music," Virelles says.  "It takes a lot of discipline, perseverance and love.  You have to be passionate about it and really spend time to be any good."

Tina Davis, GIS specialist, and Mike Lewis, recovery specialist, take in some training at the York County OEM, to better know how to handle an emergency.
Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Emergency management coordinators in South Carolina have a lot to think about. A lot to think about.

On any given day, a normally quiet command center, like the one deep in the ground below Greenville City Hall, could fill up with representatives from a whole pile of agencies in a matter of minutes.

“County Public Works, the American Red Cross, the Department of Social Services, DHEC, law

Paul Wiancko
paulwiancko.com

Paul Wiancko started playing cello at age five. By age eight, he had composed his first piece of music.

“If you can call it a piece,” Wiancko says. “I think it was maybe a thirty-two measure little tune, mostly in C major, mostly consisting of a couple of triads. And I believe it was called “Breeze.” I had one of my parents’ friends print out the sheet music for it."

But for a long time following that early effort, Wiancko would shift his musical talents elsewhere.

Spoleto Festival Hopes to Inspire Children through Music

May 30, 2019
Chamber Music musicians plays for kids at Sanders Clyde Elementary School in downtown Charleston
Victoria Hansen

Chamber music and children may seem like an unusual combination.  But don't tell that to Geoff Nuttall.  The director of Spoleto’s Chamber Music Series works a room of fourth and fifth graders like the strings of his violin, with charisma and class.

“Music has been such a huge part of my life, said Nuttall.  “If there’s any way we can just open the ears and the eyes of a few of these kids it would be a great thing.”

Street view of Abbeville's Trinity Episcopal Church
BIll Fitzpatrick

South Carolina is famous for many of its structures, especially the houses of worship that dot the varied landscape of the Palmetto State. The existence of many of these structures go back over a hundred years or more. But, whether grand and ornate, or small and simple, they all require a regular amount of maintenance. However, some of those houses of worship have fallen into disrepair due to dwindling membership, or a lack of finances, causing those structures to become at risk of possibly being lost and forgotten forever.

Six Flags Over Marlboro County

May 24, 2019
Vive le Marlboro! France's flag is one of six that commemorate South Carolina's history of sovereign states.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

The Marlboro County Courthouse is a pretty unique place. The building itself is essentially a replica of Philadelphia’s Independence Hall, right down to the clock tower.

The courthouse grounds are also host to a stalwart set of palm trees – and to the flags of six nations, former and current, that have had a major influence on South Carolina. Listen to a conversation with Jeff Dudley, past president of the Marlboro County Historical Society (and member of several other area historical organizations) and learn how and why Marlboro County’s six flags came to be.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

For most people, social media is hardly a darling of the digital age.

The deaf would like to respectfully disagree.

The S.C. Emergency Management Division has started a program, the Citizens' Academy, to help the public understand what state and local governments do to respond to emergencies, such as the historic 2015 flood.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The past few years of historic floods and hurricanes has amply demonstrated how subject South Carolina can be to severe weather emergencies.  To help the public better understand how the state reacts to and deals with these situations, the S.C. Emergency Management Division has created a new program, the Citizens' Academy.

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 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."

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.

The Good Samaritan-Waverly Hospital has been closed since 1973. The building is now owned by Allen University and is scheduled for a massive renovation and projected ribbon cutting in the Fall of 2020.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

In 1944, Columbia resident and civil rights activist Modjeska Monteith Simkins was put in charge of raising money for the construction of a new hospital to primarily serve the African American population of the Midlands. While completing this task, she wrote:

“It is our grand privilege and our duty; yours and mine; to help build and equip ourselves with a modern hospital owned and operated by Negroes.”

Symposium Examines Women's Roles During World War I

Apr 9, 2019
From The Electrical Experimenter, October, 1916. The original caption reads: "Here Are Some of the Patriotic Young Women Studying Radio-telegraphy At One of the Summer Preparedness Camps."
Public Domain

Lander University recented hosted a symposium on World War I, which ended just over a century ago.  The symposium drew scholars and authors primarily from the Southeast to discuss various aspects of the war, which then was known as "The Great War."  One aspect covered by a panel of experts examined the role of women during the war.

A file photo of the late Sen. Ernest "Fritz" Hollings.
U.S. Congress

Former S.C. Governor and U.S. Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings died on Saturday, April 6, 2019 at the age of 97.  A Democrat, he held elective office for over fifty years.

South Carolina Public Radio's Russ McKinney has this look back at Hollings's life and political career.

File photo of an L.E.D. lightbulb.
Shawn Harquail [CC BY-NC 2.0] via Flickr

When the “light emitting diode,” or “LED” light was first developed, it was primarily used as an indicator light in lab equipment. But as the low energy consumption of LEDs was observed, and costs for manufacturing LEDs went down, the new lighting technology found its way into the hands of consumers. Users of the more modern light bulbs not only began to see lower power bills, but also noticed how rarely they needed to replace their LED bulbs.

Diana Krall was one of the many guests Marian McPartland welcomed to Piano Jazz over its long run.
SCETV

For many years, jazz great Marian McPartland welcomed some of the biggest names in - and out of - jazz to her NPR program, Marian McPartland's Piano Jazz.  March 20, on the 101st anniversary of her  birth, an evening of McPartland's music inaugurated a new music series, Live in the Lobby, offered by Columbia's Koger Center for the Arts.  

Pondering Plastic - Wildlife, Bans and Trash

Mar 26, 2019
Voldemort, a loggerhead being treated at the South Carolina Aquarium's Sea Turtle Hospital
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

He weighs less than five pounds, but Zazu had big belly problems when he was rescued off the Isle of Palms coast nearly three months ago.  The tiny, green sea turtle had eaten plastic, all kinds of plastic; part of a balloon, clear sheets of plastic and material from a grocery bag. 

The juvenile  turtle is the 23rd patient admitted to the South Carolina Aquarium’s sea turtle hospital because of sea debris.  He swims in a private tank next to 17 others now in recovery, including a 260 pound loggerhead named Voldemort who got caught up in crab traps nearly a year ago.

Cerrusite, an ore of lead, from the Gibbes Collection.  This and many other natural specimens can be seen and researched on  McKissick Museum's new online site.
Courtesy of McKissick Museum, University of S.C.

A growing new website is now available that enables both scholars and the public to access photos and information about the natural history of South Carolina. 

File graphic "no cell phones" symbol
Pixabay

Just as business is conducted with cell phones every day in the Palmetto State, illegal business is also conducted daily - by convicts with cell phones smuggled into South Carolina prisons.  

The “Lincoln School” was the first public school for black students in Sumter. The school was built in the late 1800s and started as a frame cottage with four classrooms. By the 1950’s, the school acquired an additional twenty classrooms, a cafeteria, a gymnasium, a library, and a band room. The last graduating class under the name of Lincoln High School was the class of 1969.  But nine years before the name change, in 1960, Lincoln would be one of 17 high schools in the state to participate in a national survey.

IAAM president Michael Moore at Gadsden's Wharf in Charleston
Victoria Hansen

For as long as he can remember, Michael Boulware Moore has known the story of Robert Smalls;  a slave who not only gained his freedom by commandeering a Confederate ship and turning it over to Union forces, but later served in the South Carolina State Legislature and the U.S. House of Representatives.

Moore didn’t read about Smalls in school. Such bravery by slaves during the Civil War wasn’t always taught.  Instead, he grew up hearing personal stories from relatives like his grandmother.  Robert Smalls was his great-great grandfather.

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.

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.

File
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.

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