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Christensen family Portrait, Abbie 3rd from right
The Christensen family

Anne Christensen Pollitzer lives at the end of a dirt road on Saint Helena Island.  The view from her back porch is as stunning as her story.

White egrets wade along the marsh as Anne unfolds two large, cardboard displays beside her, spreading them out like wings.  Each is filled with old photographs.

The retired schoolteacher is prepared to talk about her great-great grandmother Abbie Holmes Christensen, a celebrated suffragist, folklorist and educator.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for August 29, 2020, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard to recap speeches by prominent South Carolinian political leaders at the Democratic and Republican National Conventions. Also on this episode: the latest unemployment data; new CDC guidance on asymptomatic testing; a look at the mental health challenges faced by frontline medical workers; and more.

Laurie Helms / City of Rock Hill

Rock Hill’s shiny new Sports & Event Center was all set to be a big deal. It was just slated to open at a colossally unfortunate time – March, 2020.

To be fair, it did open, briefly. There was a soft launch; a few events happened. But the city’s newest economic driver, a facility humming with revenue-raking sports and contests, ringed by businesses and restaurants poised to make a killing, never got its hoopla-launch. COVID-19 shut the center’s doors for two months, before it even had a chance to prop them open.

Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) closed out the first night of the Republic National Convention on August 24, 2020.

This episode of the South Carolina Lede for August 27, 2020, features remarks from Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) and former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley at the Republican National Convention, new information on how mask mandates are reducing the spread of COVID-19 in the Palmetto State, Gov. Henry McMaster tells us about the latest federal effort to expand unemployment benefits, and more.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

A lot of people see frontline healthcare workers as heroes in the coronavirus pandemic.

That might actually be kind of a problem.

Cheedy Jaja

Cheedy Jaja grew up in Sierra Leone. He came to the United States to study medicine and became a nurse practitioner.

So it’s not much of a stretch to see what drew him back to Sierra Leone when the Ebola crisis broke out in 2014. He felt a call to go home and help.

He wasn’t prepared for the things he saw.

Charleston Suffragist Helped Save Historic Architecture

Aug 25, 2020

Susan Pringle Frost was born to a prominent Charleston family and seemed destined for a life of leisure until her father's fertilizer business fell apart after the Civil War.  She left boarding school to help her family, first by working as a secretary for an architect and then as a stenographer for the U.S. District Court.

"It seems presumptuous to say I understand Miss Sue, but I sort of get some things about her and I just admire her deeply," says Betsy Kirkland Cahill.

State GOP Leaders: It's All About the Issues

Aug 25, 2020
SCGOP Chairman Drew McKissick during 2016 RNC in Cleveland, Ohio.

Day one of the Republican National Convention was full of the expected, the party officially nominating Donald Trump and Mike Pence as President and Vice President for its presidential ticket, and the unexpected, surprise visits from both Pence and Trump.

State party Chairman Drew McKissick said, despite the significantly-scaled back production, members are still extremely engaged and excited.

“They are excited because of the things the President has done and the things that he will be able to do in another four years.”

COVID Inspires Lowcountry Chefs to Get Personal

Aug 25, 2020
File photo of chef's hands cutting green onions
Jakub Kapusnak [CC0 1.0] via Rawpixel

COVID-19 has caused many a business to adapt to changing circumstances in order to survive.  Such is the condition of many chefs in the Charleston area.  Since the advent of COVID has shut or slowed many restaurants, some chefs in the Lowcountry - and elsewhere - have found work doing private cooking for small groups or families right in their homes. 

Gov. Henry McMaster cast all 50 delegate votes for President Donald Trump on the first day of the Republican National Convention in Charlotte, NC, on August 24, 2020.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for August 25, 2020, we hear comments from South Carolina Congressional delegation on the issues facing the U.S. Postal Service, speak with state Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman, look at Gov. Henry McMaster's role in the Republican National Convention, and more.

Dredging of Charleston Harbor to 52 feet, the deepest on the East Coast, continues. The project's final two contracts will soon be awarded and the dredging is set to complete by mid-2022.
South Carolina Ports Authority

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for August 22, 2020, we discuss what needs to be done to safeguard the vote in November, get an update from the South Carolina Ports Authority on the massive dredging project, speak with an MUSC psychologist about caution fatigue, and much more.

Congressman Jim Clyburn (D-SC) delivered his virtual Democratic National Convention speech from Charleston on August 17, 2020.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for August 20, 2020, we take you to the virtual Democratic National Convention to hear from some prominent South Carolina lawmakers, continue to explore concerns over the postal service, hear from a financial advisor on how to handle the current market, and more.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Voters with disabilities have always faced a lot of obstacles, but they’ve also always had a choice – voting absentee.

Now, a combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the politicization of the U.S. Postal Service is forcing a different kind of choice onto disabled voters – do they risk going out among people to vote during a pandemic or risk having their votes not count?

An Unexpected Advantage of a Virtual Convention

Aug 18, 2020

In 1988, Catherine Bruce’s father attended the Democratic National Convention in Atlanta, Georgia; she still has his program booklet. This Year, Bruce is following in her dad’s footsteps as she attends the DNC’s virtual convention that was supposed to take place in Milwaukie, Wisconsin. Bruce, a delegate for former Vice President Joe Biden, has attended the party’s national conventions before; first in 2012 in Charlotte North Carolina and again in 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. But this year, as a delegate, things were supposed to be different.

Sen. Kimpson pictured in Feb. 2020 shaking hands with Joe Biden

The second night of the National Democratic Convention will feature South Carolina Senator Marlon Kimpson as one of 17 “rising stars” within the party.  They will deliver a joint speech on why leadership matters.

Kimpson, who represents Charleston and Dorchester counties, was an early supporter of Joe Biden. His endorsement of the former vice president came almost two months before the state’s Democratic Presidential Primary, this past February.

“I thought he was the best positioned Democrat to lead this country in a totally different direction.”