SC News

News stories and interviews South Carolina Public Radio.

Ways to Connect

File photo of the S.C. House chamber
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

The SC House and Senate were finally able to agree on a resolution this week that will keep state government operating beyond the end of this fiscal year on June 30th.  Lawmakers interrupted this year’s legislative session back in March because of the coronavirus outbreak before they approved a new budget for the next fiscal year. Now, the state will continue its’ current spending plan at least until September when it’s anticipated a new budget will be enacted.

3D Systems

3D Systems, an international 3-D printing equipment company with a plastics manufacturing plant in Rock Hill, is a major reason why 3-D printing is a thing in the first place. That put the company in a pretty good spot to be an early responder to the call for personal protective equipment (PPE) and small specialty parts for hospital machines like ventilators.

But with those “early brushfires” mostly under control, the company’s vice president and general manager of plastics, Menno Ellis, says 3D Systems is now focusing on the next most-needed thing in the fight to rein in COVID-19: diagnostic equipment.

Gov. Henry McMaster
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for May 14, 2020, we take a deep look into the guidelines for reopening South Carolina businesses, recap the legislative action this week to keep the state funded, and hear what National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci thinks of the steps the Palmetto State has taken. Plus, your voicemails and more!

Dealing with COVID-Related "Cabin Fever"

May 14, 2020
Cabin fever caused by sheltering at home during the coronavirus outbreak can cause some serious mental health problems, say two Columbia psychiatrists.
Jesse Yelin via Pexels

Even though many stores and restaurants are gradually opening, many people are still working from home to avoid the spread of the coronavirus.  Others are confined to their homes by self-quarantining, or by unemployment.

Rev. J.T. Barber / YouTube image

The inequities of COVID-19 are complicated, but one trend stands out above all others – African-Americans in South Carolina are affected by – and dying from – the disease at much higher rates than Caucasians.

So what does that have to do with church? 

Well, the relationship between African-Americans and most public institutions is also complicated.

Stretching the Supply of N95 Masks

May 12, 2020

With personal protective equipment in short supply, researchers are figuring out how to fill in the gaps and stretch supplies. 

One researcher at Clemson University is developing new methods to clean and sanitize medical masks that healthcare providers use.

Dr. Mark Johson, professor of material science and engineering, and director of the Center for Advanced Manufacturing at Clemson, joins Vince Kolb-Lugo to discuss ways to cleanse N95 masks as well as how the coronavirus has impacted manufacturers in South Carolina.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for May 12, 2020, we look at Gov. Henry McMaster’s decision to reopen more businesses in the state, hear about the lawsuit the ACLU has filed against the South Carolina Deptartment of Corrections, discuss why it could take longer than expected for the state's tourism industry to rebound, and more.

Mask Makers Help Keep Health Care Workers Safe

May 12, 2020
Individual seamstresses and small businesses are making face masks to help workers in hospitals, nursing homes and other facilities
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Both small businesses and individuals have enlisted in an effort to help hospitals, doctors' offices  and  employees of other institutions to protect themselves from the coronavirus by making reusable cloth masks, gowns or other protective equipment.

File photo of the S.C. Senate in session
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

This year’s session of the SC General Assembly was interrupted by the coronavirus outbreak back in March before lawmakers were able to approve next year’s state operating budget.

So, they plan to return to Columbia for a couple of days this week to pass a resolution to continue the current year’s budget beyond the end of the state fiscal year on June 30th.

Legislative leaders hope to meet again in September to enact a new budget.  By then they should have a better idea of just how much of an impact the COVID-19 pandemic has had on the state’s economy.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for May 9, 2020, we preview what lawmakers will be doing when they return to the state house next week, discuss safeguarding state primaries in June, and travel to Pendleton, SC, as Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) visits a textile plant to share his plan to reshore medical supply jobs.

51 year-old Chris Varner of Anderson found love late in life.  He's been married to Gay Stanley for nearly a year.  They've spent much of their time together, apart.  He worries he may never see her again.

"I honestly believe it would be the end of her if she catches it," says Varner.

His 48 year-old spouse is vulnerable to the coronavirus.  She has chronic obstructive pulmonary disease or COPD.  It's a lung disease that makes it hard to breathe.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The gutting of newsroom staffs, the rise of social media, the absence of solid answers during a pandemic ... All things that have made for an information environment that can be questionable at best, dangerous at worst.

So how does a media consumer become a savvy media consumer; one who can spot real information and solid journalism on news sites and equally spot bogus news, personal opinions, and general quackery on social media sites or even actual news outlets?

The South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) and CareSouth partnered to host free COVID-19 testing in Society Hill, SC, on Tuesday, May 5, 2020.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for May 7, 2020, we take you to a recent free COVID-19 testing site in the Pee Dee, recap the findings of a recent survey of South Carolina businesses, look at how the expansion of broadband access is gaining traction with lawmakers, and more.

Gavin Jackson (with A.T. Shire in insert) records from his home office on Monday, May 4, 2020.
South Carolina Public Radio

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for May, 5, 2020, we examine the latest COVID-19 numbers in the state as Gov. Henry McMaster's "work or home" order is lifted this week. We also look at Rep. James Clyburn's plan for affordable broadband internet access, speak with South Carolina Small Business Chamber of Commerce CEO Frank Knapp about how businesses are faring, and more.

Palmetto Animal Assisted Life Services during 2019 Midlands Gives Event. The nonprofit has furloughed more than half its staff due to Covid-19.
Flock and Rally

According to a recent survey by the South Carolina Community Loan fund, many nonprofits say they will run out of funding by June; 80 percent indicated they will be out money by September.

Elizabeth Houck works with Midlands Gives, an 18-hour online giving event powered by the Central Carolina Community Foundation. For the past six years, the event has raised almost 10 million dollars for local nonprofits. Houck said this year’s event, in the midst of a pandemic, the need to give organizations is even greater.