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The U.S. Capitol is a grand achievement of classical architecture. A potential presidential order could make all federal building projects above a certain price be crafted in this same style. That doesn't sit well with several architects.
Heide Kaden/Unsplash

A potential Trump administration plan dubbed “Making Federal Buildings Beautiful Again” would demand that all federal building projects costing above $50 million be designed in the neoclassical style. The aim is to unify the architectural style of major federal buildings.

But the initiative has drawn the ire of architects around the country.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Somewhere at the middle-end of the 19th century, a railroad tunnel under construction in Walhalla partially collapsed and left behind a cave that tricolor bats really took to. There used to be hundreds of the small, furry bats hibernating through the winters by clinging to the rock. By February 10 of this year, there were seven.

Meg Kinnard, Jamie Lovegrove, Maayan Schechter, and Gavin Jackson.
A.T. Shire/South Carolina Public Radio

The week we've been talking about for more than a year is finally here: The South Carolina Democratic presidential primary is this Saturday. On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard, The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove, and The State's Maayan Schechter to discuss where the candidates stand heading into this weekend's election.

Biden's Soul of the Nation bus tour swings through Palmetto State, days before its first-in-the-south contest
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

About two weeks ago, when Democratic Presidential candidate Joe Biden realized his showing in the New Hampshire Primary was going to be low, the former Vice President made a trip to South Carolina for a launch party. Surrounded by a diverse crowd of energetic supporters, Biden said despite poor numbers in Iowa, and similar expectations in New Hampshire, their fight was just beginning.

“We haven’t heard from the most committed constituents of the Democratic party; the African-American community.”

WalletHub

  

A new study from personal  finance and economics website WalletHub places South Carolina third overall in the level of engagement it sees from African-American voters, making the Palmetto State the most engaged among reliably red states.

While the study found that African-American voters were noticeably more engaged in states that went blue in the 2016 presidential election, black voter engagement here ranked higher than any traditionally blue state.

But it also ranks the state low on how easy it is for black voters to get to the polls at all.

Executives of NextEra Energy appearing before S.C. Senate Finance  Committee on Feb. 19, 2020
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Next year’s state spending plan is now advancing through the legislature.  This week House budget writers approved a $10 Billion budget package that includes major spending increases in education, roads, public safety, and corrections.

The budget that’s now on the way to the full House of Representatives incorporates almost all of Governor McMaster’s proposals including for the second year in a row significant teacher pay raises.

The FBI Watergate Panel, featuring (left to right) Dr. Melissa Graves, former special agents John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano at the Citadel
Cameron Pollack/ The Citadel

They are not household names like the reporters who broke the Watergate story for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. 

But five guys, former special agents who helped the FBI break the case, have quite a story to tell.

They shared it as they reunited for the first time in nearly 50 years at the 2020 Intelligence and Ethics Conference at the Citadel in Charleston in February.

"It was approximately 8 am Saturday, June 17th, 1972," recalled lead investigator Angelo Lano.

Images of soldiers during the five-week long battle of Iwo Jima are now publically accessible
USC Moving Image Research Collections

Carrying the wounded to a make-shift hospital, taking communion, and traveling by sea are just some of the images revealed in never-before-seen films taken during the battle of Iwo Jima.

The start of this World War II battle began 75 years ago this week and lasted just over a month. After 36 days of fighting, more than 6,000 Americans were killed as well as almost all of the 21,000 Japanese who defended the island.

Leading up to the 2020 election, the 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 February 20, 2020, host Gavin Jackson takes us to recent campaign stops by former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and businessman Tom Steyer. 

ballot box
Tumisu via Pixabay

Note: This story has been amended to remove a reference to Michael Bloomberg setting up operations in South Carolina. Bloomberg is not on the South Carolina ballot.

Democrats are united on one idea. They want to unseat President Donald Trump. But past that, and even with the South Carolina Democratic Primary right around the corner, likely progressive voters are in a street fight between their ideals and who they think stands the best chance of accomplishing their main objective.

Endorsements a Historic Part of Political Process

Feb 18, 2020

Political endorsements have been around as long as campaigns have.  But are they effective?  That depends on a number of factors, according to Carol Fowler of Columbia, a member of the Democratic National Committee and a former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.  One factor, she says, is how many endorsements a candidate has:  "If you have a long list of endorsers, I might believe that you were winning the race, and I should be for you.  And if you don't have anybody vouching for you, I might think you're not doing too well."

Gavin Jackson (l) with Maayan Schechter and Jamie Lovegrove (r).
A.T. Shire/South Carolina Public Radio

The South Carolina Democratic presidential primary is fast approaching. Recent poll numbers show an ever-tightening race in a state where former Vice President Joe Biden used to enjoy double digit leads over his closest contenders. On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove and The State's Maayan Schechter to discuss the latest.

For the past several years the issue that’s dominated the state legislature has been the future of Santee Cooper, the state-owned public power utility.  Santee Cooper in effect produces electricity for over two million customers in the state. State lawmakers have been pondering what to do with the utility since the failure of the giant VC Summer nuclear project in the summer of 2017.  Many have concerns about Santee Cooper’s Management, and the almost $7 Billion debt it's now carrying following VC Summer.

A.T. Shire / South Carolina Public Radio

Leading up to the 2020 election, the 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 February 13, 2020, host Gavin Jackson sits down with Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Chester, South Carolina to talk about his campaign and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

A.T. Shire / South Carolina Public Radio

After the debacle in Iowa the Democratic playing field was incredibly murky and hard to read, BUT, thanks to New Hampshire, we finally have some real results to work with!

Host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard and The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove to discuss what the Primary's results mean and what it all means for South Carolin as cracks appear in Joe Biden's firewall.

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