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Gavin Jackson (r) speaks with Jamie Lovegrove (l) and Maayan Schechter at Growler Haus in Spartanburg, SC, on Thursday, November 14.
A.T. Shire/South Carolina Public Radio

On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, recorded live at Growler Haus in Spartanburg, SC, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove and The State's Maayan Schechter to discuss recent South Carolina political news. They look at Mark Sanford ending his 2020 presidential bid, South Carolina's $2 billion budget surplus, and former governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley's new book.

Plus, South Carolina trivia, campaign trail updates, and more!

Charleston's first poet laureate Marcus Amaker
Marcus Amaker

Charleston's first poet laureate has been called a Renaissance man.  Marcus Amaker boasts many talents.  He's a poet, a musician, a videographer, as well as a graphics and web designer.

But perhaps it's not what he does; instead how he does it, that distinguishes him.

The 43 year-old takes the mic at the Free Verse Poetry Festival he conceived three years ago.  Applause fills the halls of the Gibbes Museum of Art in Charleston, mixed with the hypnotizing beat of drums. Behind the sticks is Quentin Baxter of the chart breaking group Ranky Tanky.

The Post and Courier

More than half of all Americans are living with at least one chronic condition such as diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, or cancer. On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson speaks with the Post and Courier's Tony Bartleme about one of the major factors contributing to those health issues: what we eat, and specifically how we cook that food. Bartleme recently spoke with researchers in South Carolina who continue to find evidence that substances called advanced glycation end products (AGEs), created by high heat cooking, are linked to the chronic disease epidemic in America.

South Carolina Veterans Project Wins National Award

Nov 11, 2019
Trado Mayson and Bernie Shankman
South Carolina Veterans Oral History Collection

On this Veterans Days, students at the University of South Carolina are celebrating a national award they received for recorded conversations they conducted with veterans. The project is called The South Carolina Veterans Oral History Project.  It is a 2019 Oral History Association Elizabeth B. Mason Award winner.

Jan "Satchmo" Satcher displays the muscle she's built fighting Parkinson's Disease through Rock Steady Boxing.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

"You get fit, but you don't get hit."  That's the way David Rispress of 9 Rounds Gym in Forest Acres describes the workout plan for Rock Steady Boxing.  It's a non-contact program of boxing exercises for people with Parkinson's Disease that has seen steady growth since its introduction around 2006. 

Silk flower Chinese lantern display at Magnolia Plantation and Gardens in Charleston
Victoria Hansen

America's oldest gardens will blossom this winter with an ancient Chinese tradition; a lantern festival.

A glowing 20 foot dragon will greet visitors as Magnolia Plantations and Gardens opens at night for the first time since becoming a Charleston tourist attraction in 1870.  The Zigong Lantern Group of China has been busy building more than 20 displays that will illuminate nine acres.

Shea Sanders / Grace Church, Greenville. Used with permission.

Jasmine Road. Think of it as a path towards healing for women who once thought their lives of prostitution and other sex work were normal.

The women who come to Jasmine Road – a Greenville nonprofit that serves as a kind of rehab for mostly city women caught up in the revolving door of the criminal justice system – have had lives that are anything but normal. Most, says founder Beth Messick, began their lives in the sex trade when they were children; often sold in exchange for drugs when they were still single-digit ages.

Often by their mothers.

Gavin Jackson (l) and Jamie Lovegrove in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, November 4, 2019.
A.T. Shire/South Carolina Public Radio

The US House of Representatives voted last week to formalize its impeachment inquiry of President Donald Trump. On this episode of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by the Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove, fresh off a reporting trip to Washington, to discuss the latest on the inquiry.

 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 31, 2019, we hear remarks from President Donald Trump from his speech at Benedict College, a historically black college, about criminal justice reform.

Six Receive Prestigious Humanities Awards

Oct 30, 2019
2019 SC Humanities Award Winners

Six people across South Carolina recently joined the ranks of recipients of two prestigious state awards; the SC Governor’s Awards in the Humanities and the Fresh Voices in the Humanities Award.

In 1991, SC Humanities started honoring people who have made a career working in the humanities with the Governor’s award. In 2018, the organization started honoring those, just starting to make an impact in the field, with its Fresh Voices award. Executive Director Randy Akers shares what the organization looks for in each year’s winners.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Doug O'Neal spent 24 years in prison for the murder of a woman police still can't identify. But the evidence against him was so questionable that even the man who helped put him away says he's innocent.

Row of men at the New York City docks out of work during the depression, 1934
National Archives/Lewis Hines

90 years ago, panic gripped the New York Stock Exchange as the stock market crashed on "Black Tuesday," Oct. 29, 1929.  In four days, the market plummeted 25 percent, and investors lost $30 billion - 10 times the federal budget, and more than the United States spent on World War I.  

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by Maayan Schechter, of The State newspaper, and Meg Kinnard, of the Associated Press, to talk about the criminal justice reform summit held at Benedict College that was attended by 10 Democratic candidates as well as President Donald Trump.

This 2016 file photo taken on the banks of Lake Hartwell shows the impacts of drought on South Carolina's natural resources.
Clemson University Relations

Despite recent rain across the state the drought continues.  The U.S. Drought Monitor says that almost half of the state is in what it calls a "severe drought."

Leonard Vaughan of the National Weather Service in Columbia says with the exception of coastal counties the rest of the state continues to be very dry. 

Vaughan says the problem is not just this year’s dry summer and fall, but the repeated cycles of drought South Carolina has been experiencing.  Over the past twenty years drought in the state has been significant. 


National Suicide Prevention Lifeline logo / National Suicide Prevention Lifeline

Each October and early Novemeber a series of walks called "Out of the Darkness" call attention to the problem of suicide in South Carolina.  Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the state and the nation, but among South Carolina residents aged 15-34, it's the second.  

Helen Pridgen, statewide director of A.F.S.P., the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, said 838 South Carolinians were lost to suicide in 2017, the most recent year from which statistics are available.  She said the most common method of suicide is, as one would suspect, firearms.