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The South Carolina State Fair celebrates its 150th birthday this year.
Nathan Harper [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

There may be no greater stimulator of all five senses simultaneously than the South Carolina State Fair.  Sight, hearing, feel, smell and taste are all bombarded by the delights that have drawn millions to the fairgrounds in Columbia for 150 years.  

The Flag of the State of South Carolina as approved by A.S. Salley. Printed by the State Co., 1915. A legislature-appointed committee is working to set standards for the South Carolina state flag.  There has not been an official state flag since 1940.
SC Dept of Archives and History

The South Carolina flag is considered to be one of the most beautiful of the 50 flags representing the country's states.  But if one observes closely, he can sometimes detect differences between flags at various state offices and locations.  That's because the state does not have a standard for the production of its flags.  

The situation is finally being remedied, however, by the formation of a committee which will make recommendations to the legislature for official standards for the flag. 

Leading up to the 2020 election, South Carolina Lede is keeping you up to speed on what the candidates are saying on the campaign trail in the Palmetto State with these "Trail Bites" mini-episodes.

On this edition for the week of October 10, 2019, host Gavin Jackson takes us to the Charleston County Democratic Party's recent Blue Jamboree event to hear from Democratic presidential candidates Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif), and Tom Steyer. 

Sketch of woman FBI says Samuel Little has confessed to killing in  the Charleston area

The FBI calls him the most prolific serial killer in U.S history.  Now agents have released a sketch they say Samuel Little drew of a Charleston woman he claims to have killed and left near a military base. 

Authorities say Little, now 79 years-old, has confessed to killing 93 people, mostly women, in more than a dozen states between 1970 and 2005.  They believe his admissions are credible with local authorities  confirming as many as 50 cases.

SC State Library at 1500 Senate St., Columbia SC
Linda Nunez/SC Public Radio

The South Carolina State Library has come a long way from its roots in the early 20th Century as a single office tucked inside the South Carolina Statehouse. As of 1969, it’s now a 5-story building two blocks down from the Statehouse at 1500 Senate St., celebrating its 50th anniversary this year. But despite its growth, the goal of the South Carolina State Library has remained steadfast: to develop, support, and sustain a thriving statewide community of learners committed to making South Carolina stronger.

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson speaks with The Greenville News' Daniel Gross about his in-dept project, "Lethal Force," examning the 145 lethal shootings by South Carolina police officers over the last 10 years. Among other revelations, the report found that deputies with the Greenville Sheriff's Office used their weapons at higher rates than officers in other more crime-ridden counties.

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, we look at a recent report by The Post and Courier which found that an Upstate law firm was connected to a scheme that preyed upon financially struggling military veterans while leading to alleged millions in profits. Host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Post Courier's Andy Brown to discuss his story, "Red, White and Fooled."

You can read the story on this Post and Courier's website here.

Tapping Into York County's Booming Craft Beer Scene

Sep 30, 2019
Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Even just three or four years ago, one of the biggest complaints people had about York County was that there wasn't much to do there if you were looking for a night out.

Brewhouses have certainly helped changed that. The six brewpubs and breweries that now operate in Rock Hill and Fort Mill bring thousands (and thousands) of visitors a year. Most are looking to sample the IPAs and sours and Belgian ales and stouts. Some are looking to get a T-shirt.

"Y'all" may be the most common word associated with the Southern accent.  Several varieties can be found in South Carolina, say experts.  (Sign at Table Rock State Park near Pickens, SC.)
Stef [CC BY-NC-ND 2.0] via Flickr

In South Carolina, one would naturally expect to hear what could be called a classic Southern accent spoken by its residents.  But not every South Carolinian sounds the same, according to linguist Paul Reed, who earned his PhD in the study at the University of South Carolina. 

Protecting Gullah Culture

Sep 27, 2019
"Our Love" Gullah painting
Victoria Smalls/ artist

Nearly two hours south of Charleston, over Beaufort's Woods Memorial Bridge, South Carolina's Sea Islands stretch out adorned with palms trees and pines, and grassy marshes that glitter at twilight.

The area has long been home to the direct descendants of slaves known as Gullah Geechee.  Once freed, they remained isolated on the islands, living off the land and holding on to their African traditions and language. 

Gavin Jackson (l) with Meg Kinnard and Jamie Lovegrove (r) in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Tuesday, September 24, 2019.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard and The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove to discuss recent South Carolina campaign stops by 2020 Democratic presidential candidates Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). They also remember the late Emily Clyburn, wife of Congressman Jim Clyburn, who passed away last week.

Then, South Carolina Public Radio's Russ McKinney stops by to quiz the three of them about South Carolina history in this week's Did You Know segment.

Plus, the week's top news, campaign trail updates, and more!

The South Carolina Senate Chamber
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The next session of the S.C. General Assembly doesn’t convene until January, but Republicans in the State Senate are already working to try and pass a bill that essentially would prohibit abortions in the state.  It’s known as the Fetal Heartbeat Bill.

It won easy passage in the House of Representatives earlier this  year, and Republican Governor Henry McMaster has said if the bill passes he’ll sign it into law.  Because the bill is expected to have a harder time passing in the Senate its' backers are already at work trying to give it a head start in next year’s session.

In 2014, Congressman James E. Clyburn posted this picture to his Twitter page, sharing that he met his wife in a SC jail and that she reminds him to fight for women's rights and equal pay.
Twitter: @ClyburnWhip

Dr. Emily England Clyburn, wife of Congressman James Clyburn, Thursday morning. Dr. Clyburn was 80 year old.

Known as a driving force behind her husband’s political rise, the Berkeley County native was also a community activist in her own rite. Dr. Clyburn was a former librarian, often establishing programs at the schools she was employed. She also raised money for students to attend college. When Congressman Clyburn hosted his annual charity golf weekend in Santee, Dr. Clyburn also hosted her annual luncheon.

On this mini episode of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson takes us to Horry County as a number of 2020 Democratic presidential hopefuls visited the Galivants Ferry Stump Meeting this week. The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard and The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove join Gavin at the long-running Pee Dee event to discuss speeches given by New York City Mayor Bill de Balsio, former Vice President Joe Biden, South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.).

McCellanville South Carolina after Hurricane Hugo struck
Mike Burton [CC BY-ND 2.0] via Flickr

It's been 30 years since Hurricane Hugo made landfall in South Carolina, pounding the coast on Sept. 22, 1989 before coming inland and causing damage all the way to the North Carolina line and beyond.  The storm remains fresh in the minds of many adults who were in the state at the time.  In that sense, 30 years doesn't seem that long, but in terms of emergency response, it's a big gap.