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Finding Young Farmers to Bear the Heat and Carry the Pitchfork

Jul 18, 2019
Tomatoes are a popular summer crop sold by numerous farmers at the State Farmers' Market
Lee Wardlaw/SC Public Radio

South Carolina's farming industry remains a stalwart economic engine. With approximately 25,000 farms over 4.9 million acres of land, the Palmetto State's agricultural community maintains its relevance in South Carolinians' day-to-day lives.

In a changing world, though, South Carolina's farming industry still continues to face the same old problems that it has for years.

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 July 18, 2019, host Gavin Jackson takes us to the recent South Carolina Democratic Party Convention to hear from presidential hopefuls former Texas Congressman Beto O'Rourke, Rep. Seth Moulton (D-Mass.), Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hawaii), and Sen. Michael Bennet (D-Colo.).

Gavin Jackson (l) and Colin Demarest (r).
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this episode of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by the Aiken Standard's Colin Demarest to discuss the recent special report "Lethal Legacy," written by Demarest and the Post and Courier's Thad Moore, detailing how South Carolina is expected to be home to tons of plutonium for decades, according to an internal memo obtained by the papers. The excess plutonium is housed in a 65-year-old building at the Savanah River Site which federal regulators have rated as poor.

Catawba Riverkeeper Brandon Jones, left, and Dr. Brett Hartis, manager of Duke Energy's Aquatic Plant Management Program, inspect a bloom of alligator weed on Lake Wylie.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

South Carolina’s freshwater lakes and ponds are as vibrant as they come, full of pretty plants with pretty names like water primrose and water hyacinth. The only trouble is, these plants shouldn’t be here.

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 July 11, 2019, host Gavin Jackson takes us to the recent South Carolina Democratic Party Convention to hear from presidential hopefuls Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, former Vice President Joe Biden, and New York City, NY Mayor Bill de Blasio. Over the next several Trail Bites episodes, we'll be brining you clips from all of the candidates who spoke at the convention.

S.C. Film Commission logo
S.C. Film Commission

The film industry provides much needed economic impact for South Carolina, netting $61 million in revenue for the state in 2018. The revenue is generated through the South Carolina Film Commission, which provides a $15 million dollar annual subsidy to filmmakers. The subsidy is funneled to the state's film commission through the state's government.

Career Online High School student Kindra Tucker and program associate Phillip Windsor
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

When Columbia resident Kindra Tucker, walked into the main branch of the Richland County Library, a sign caught her attention; its words would soon change her life.

“I was coming in to drop something off from work,” the Columbia Housing Authority employee said. “When I came up here, that’s when I saw the billboard up front.”

Charles M. Duke, Jr.
NASA

A half-century ago, as the world watched in awe as Neil Armstrong took that "one small step" into history on the surface of the moon, a voice from Houston was his constant connection to humanity back on Earth.  Earlier, however, as the landing craft neared its destination, that voice had called "60 seconds," to warn the Apollo 11 astronauts - Armstrong, Buzz Aldrin and Michael Collins - that they had only one minute's worth of fuel to land, or they would have to abort the mission.  That voice belonged to future moonwalker Charles Duke of Lancaster, South Carolina.

Physicist Ronald McNair, a Lake City native, became a NASA astronaut because his brother said "Ron was the one who didn't accept societal norms as being his norms. That was for other people.  And he got to be aboard his own starship Enterprise."
NASA

The Palmetto State has produced numerous astronauts and scientists.  A South Carolinian, Charles Townes of Greenville, invented the laser, and another native, Dr. Ron McNair, was the first person to operate a laser in space in his role as a NASA astronaut.   A physicist, McNair was killed in the tragic explosion of the space shuttle Challenger in January 1986.  It was his second excursion into space. 

How South Carolina Music Producers Make Songs Music to Our Ears

Jul 9, 2019
File picture of a microphone.
vanleuven0 via Pixabay

Many famous musical artists have been heavily influenced by their audio producers, but Joe Miller, a music producer who owns and operates the Sounds Like Joe recording studio in Rock Hill, South Carolina, describes his job in humble terms. “I like to consider my artistic domain, I move air and people hear it,” he said.

Producing music is defined by taking music written by an artist or composer and transforming it into a high quality, professional studio sound. It involves several tough decisions that producers must make when there are several options available. 

Hurricane Florence, seen here as a Category 3 storm on Sept. 12, 2018, approaches the East Coast. It eventually made landfall as a Category 1 storm near Wrightsville Beach, N.C., on Sept. 14, and caused massive inland flooding.
NOAA

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

On this first South Carolina Lede Summer School special, host Gavin Jackson examines the history of hurricanes in South Carolina. From Hurricane Hugo in 1989 to Hurricane Florence in 2018, we look at the impact of these major storms with Jamie Arnold, chief meteorologist with WMBF News. Then Derrec Becker, public information officer with the South Carolina Emergency Management Division, joins us to discuss what can be done both personally and on the statewide level to adapt to and safeguard against future storms.

Journalist Recounts the Race to the Moon 50 Years Later

Jul 5, 2019
Overall view of the Mission Operations Control Room in the Mission Control Center at the Manned Spacecraft Center showing the flight controllers celebrating the successful conclusion of the Apollo 11 lunar landing mission on Jul 24, 1969.
NASA

It was the late 1950s and the nation embraced a race to space fueled by the Cold War.  Journalist Mark Bloom wasn’t yet 30 years-old.  But he would chase the story long after Apollo 11 landed and men took their first steps on the moon.

“I was in the right place at the right time, actually throughout my career,” says Bloom.  “Of course you have to know what you’re doing when you get there.”

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 July 4, 2019, host Gavin Jackson takes us to the recent South Carolina Democratic Party Convention to hear from presidential hopefuls Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, South Bend, IN Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT). Over the next several Trail Bites episodes, we'll be brining you clips from all of the candidates who spoke at the convention.

US Navy Frogmen Recover Apollo 8;  Lt. Richard Flanagan (Left) waving and Bob Coggin (Right) attaching flotation collar
Patriots Point Naval and Maritme Museum

Bob Coggin was just back from serving in Vietnam as a diver in an underwater demolition team when he got his next assignment from the Navy:  train to possibly recover Apollo 8.  The first manned spacecraft to leave the earth's atmosphere and orbit the moon would soon splash down in the Pacific Ocean.

Coggin understood the importance of the astronauts' mission.  But he didn't think much of his own role. 

"It was a big deal back then, but we couldn't understand why it was such a big deal," he says.  "It was just another day kind of thing really."

There's South Carolina Gold in Them Thar Rockets

Jul 2, 2019
Spun gold. These shiny bands are actually a fiber soft enough to make space suits with and tough enough to shield firefighters (and astronauts) from flames.
Scott Morgan/SC Public Radio

Forgive yourself if you can’t pronounce “polybenzimidizole,” much less know what it’s used for. But if you ever went to the moon, you were sure glad to have it on your skin.  

Familiarly, polybenzimidizole goes by the much more vocally friendly name of PBI. It’s a twill-like material made by, fittingly, PBI Performance Products in Rock Hill. The company makes polymers, solutions, and films for industrial purposes, but the Rock Hill plant is the only place in the world that manufactures the company’s most visible product, PBI staple fiber.

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