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Charleston's Emergency Management Director Shannon Scaff preparing for a  live interview with The Weather Channel
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

There's a brief lull in the heavy rain that's hit Charleston as Hurricane Dorian lingers off the coast.  The city's Emergency Managment Director Shannon Scaff takes a deep breath. 

He's about to interview live, nationally with The Weather Channel.  He's also relieved.  The storm isn't over yet and already he knows it could have been much worse.

"We got lucky with the tides," he tells the reporter. "The storm surge wasn’t as bad as what was forecasted originally."

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The City of Chester is in crisis. Shootings are on the rise and so are shooting-related deaths. So far this year, police have taken more than 130 calls about shots being fired. That’s 20 more than all of last year.

Since April there have been almost a dozen confirmed shootings, including the recent deaths of 36-year-old Andrew Johnson and the drive-by killing of 14-year-old Jada Jones. Thirty homes, vehicles, and people have been hit by gunfire in Chester so far in 2019. That number was 25 for all of 2018.

Those numbers might not sound like much, but in a city of less than 5,500 people, statistics like these get attention.

2019 Galivants Ferry Presidential Stump
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

Democratic presidential candidates have consistently campaigned in South Carolina since the beginning of the year. They’ve visited the midlands, Upstate and the Lowcountry. Monday, four of these candidates returned to South Carolina, this time in the Pee Dee.

Gavin Jackson with Jamie Lovegrove (l) and Jeffrey Collins (r).
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove and the Associated Press' Jeffrey Collins to look at the fetal heartbeat bill South Carolina state senators recently received testimony on, despite being out of session. They discuss this initial hearing for the House-approved bill that would ban virtually all abortions in the Palmetto State.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Why don’t people leave when a hurricane hits where they live? And how do news outlets and emergency officials and even governors make people understand that they should?

Those are two questions that vex all of the above-mentioned groups during a storm. In the first week of September, Hurricane Dorian menaced the South Carolina coast for days and triggered evacuation orders for every beach community in the state.

And yet, more people than not in some evacuation zones just didn’t evacuate.  

David Ball (second from left) and his band.
Courtesy of the artist

Country music has made and broken careers for close to a century now.  David Ball of Spartanburg is one of the survivors, enjoying a long career in the field.  In high school he joined the legendary acoustic trio Uncle Walt's Band, playing a blend of bluegrass, blues, swing and folk, "and then that of course led me into Jimmie Rodgers, the Carter Family," he recalls of his introduction to country. 

Columbia Native's Country Music Dream Lasts a Lifetime

Sep 12, 2019
Bemo Prince, at the mic, with some of his band members.
Courtesy of the artist

Country music finds fans in a variety of ways, most often by either hearing the music on the radio or seeing country artists play live.  That's the way Bemo Prince of Columbia became a country music fan.  "My daddy took me to hear...Snuffy Jenkins and the Hired Hands, and I was hooked."

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

If you’re the type who likes to say you knew someone back in the day, you might want to remember the name Kamron Venable.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The Rock Hill Boxing Club is the kind of old school gym real boxers come out of – Golden Glove contenders, burgeoning pros, Olympic hopefuls …. There’s nothing corporate or pretentious about this place. It’s decorated with spray paint and duct tape-wrapped bags; it’s beastly hot; it’s packed with young men looking to make a name in the ring.

But look past the trappings of a small-city boxing gym and you’ll see what the Rock Hill Boxing Club really is for the people who train here – a community. Dare one say a family.

Gavin Jackson (l) and Meg Kinnard in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, September 9, 2019.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by the Associated Press' Meg Kinnard to discuss two storms which recently affected the Palmetto State — one political, the other an actual hurricane. They talk about former South Carolina Congressman and Gov. Mark Sanford's announcement that he is running as a Republican challenger against incumbent President Donald Trump in 2020, as well as look at South Carolina's reponse to Hurricane Dorian.

Gavin Jackson (l) speaks with Sen. Bernie Sanders following a campaign stop in Florence, SC on August 29, 2019.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

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 September 5, 2019, host Gavin Jackson sits down for an interview with Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Sanders made several campaign stops around South Carolina this week.

Houses boarded up along the Battery in downtown Charleston
Victoria Hansen

Charleston city officials say they're ready for whatever Hurricane Dorian brings our way.  But what about the people who decided to stay? 

Many were still checking out the winds and waves along the historic city's battery wall late Wednesday, just hours before the storm's anticpated arrival.  An evacuation order for the entire coast has been in place since Monday.

“I want Charleston to be a ghost town," said Mayor John Tecklenburg Wednesday afternoon, as he tried again to get people to leave.

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by the Associated Press' Meg Kinnard and The State's Maayan Schechter to discuss the shape of the Republican party in the Palmetto State. We look at a recent visit by Vice President Mike Pence to rally the GOP base, Pence's relationship with former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, and what could be in store for former Rep. Mark Sanford's political future.

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 August 30, 2019, host Gavin Jackson takes us to recent campaign stops by Democratic presidential hopefuls Joe Biden and Beto O' Rourke.

  This summer we're dedicating several episodes of South Carolina Lede to in-depth topics we felt needed futher exploration.

On this South Carolina Lede Summer School special, host Gavin Jackson turns a spotlight on the issue of criminal domestic violence in the Palmetto State. We look at how domestic violence can start, and help you identify and stop it before you or someone you love becomes a statistic.

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