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Since the fall of 2015, Columbia College has celebrated the centennial of the nearly-one-year teaching residence at the Midlands women’s college of one of the giants in American art – Georgia O’Keefe.  Jackie Adams, the college’s art gallery coordinator, notes the importance of that year.  That was the year that her style changed, from one influenced by her New York teachers to the direction that would win her worldwide acclaim.  Columbia artist Judy Hubbard, who mounted an O’Keefe-themed exhibit at the college’s gallery, believes that O’Keefe’s “isolation” in Columbia gave her the space to

Bobby Richardson of Sumter has lived a life studded with diamonds – baseball diamonds, that is.  After a distinctive 12-year career with the New York Yankees in their 1950's – 60's prime – a time in which he set some records that still stand – he returned to South Carolina and coached at both the University of South Carolina and Coastal Carolina University, as well as a stint at Virginia’s Liberty University.  In this segment of South Carolina Focus, Richardson recalls how he chose to sign with the Yankees, his biggest thrill in baseball, and an exhibition game that built up the Gamecocks’

  Paleontologist Dave Cicimurri digs up fossils 34.5 million years old, not in some wilderness spot, but almost in downtown Aiken. The ancient sharks, rays, barracudas and more tell him not only that the area was once the bottom of the ocean, but the very sediment they’re buried in contains information about the environment of past eras. This information, in turn, may point to where the environment is headed in the far-flung future.

Marjory Wentworth
Andrew Allen/

  Not every state has a poet laureate, but Charleston’s Marjory Wentworth is South Carolina’s. She’s written numerous books and hundreds of poems, at various times humorous, romantic and serious. She serves not only as an advocate for the arts in the Palmetto State, but can occasionally speak for the state’s soul, as when she was called upon for a poem to mark the occasion of the slayings of the Emmanuel Nine. Her poem “Holy City” was not only featured on the front page of the Charleston Post and Courier, but the BBC recorded her reciting it, for inclusion in its covering of the story. That was a solemn occasion, but Wentworth also discusses the joy of writing, and why she can’t live without it.

  As the search for a suspected terrorist spread to Brussels, Belgium following the recent attack on Paris, a group of scholars from South Carolina got an experience it never expected – a close-up look at an international manhunt. Dr. Brent Nelson, a political scientist, and his students talk about being in the city where the dragnet took place. The tension in the air, precautions they took, and not caving in to fear were part of their daily routines.

A coyote

  Wildlife does not recognize borders, and so in 1978, a non-native species, welcomed or not, moved into the Palmetto State – the coyote. It has not only caused problems for hunters (where it has affected the deer population) and livestock farmers (where it preys on cattle, goats and more), but also has moved into cities, causing concerns among people not used to seeing these wild predators. Jay Butfiloski of the S.C. Dept. of Natural Resources gives advice about how to deal with these furry beasts, whether it’s trapping or hunting in rural areas, or making urban settings less hospitable for them.

  More than $2 million is lost to fraud in South Carolina every year, says Juliana Harris of the South Carolina Department of Consumer Affairs. The department tracks scams in the state, and receives 3,000 to 4,000 reports of these crimes each year. Harris lists some of the more common scams, tells how consumers can spot them, and how people can avoid being taken in by scammers.

  The Federal Emergency Management Agency is offering Disaster Unemployment Assistance to eligible survivors who lost their jobs or businesses as a result of the recent floods in South Carolina. 

The deadline to file a claim is Wednesday, November 4, for Charleston, Dorchester, Georgetown, Horry, Lexington, Orangeburg, Richland, and Williamsburg Counties. The deadline is November 5 for Berkeley, Clarendon, and Sumer Counties; and Friday, November 6 for Calhoun, Darlington, Florence, Kershaw, and Lee Counties.

Saturday, November 7 is the deadline for Bamberg, Colleton, and Greenwood Counties; Thursday, November 12 is the deadline for Newberry County, and Thursday, November 19, for Fairfield and Marion Counties.

To apply for assistance, call Disaster Unemployment Assistance at 866-831-1724, or apply at For more information, call 888-834-5890.

The South Carolina Emergency Management Division also has a list of agencies and organizations offering help for flood recovery here.


   The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control will continue to offer free tetanus vaccinations on Monday, Oct. 12, and Tuesday, Oct. 13, to South Carolina residents affected by heavy flooding.

Disaster Help Information

Oct 7, 2015
Raging waters of the Columbia Canal, Tue, Oct 6. Flood waters eventually breached the canal, which is the source of Columbia's drinking water.
Linda O'Bryon/SC Public Radio

  As South Carolinians assess rain and flood damage, and look for help in recovery, you may find these phone numbers and web links useful.

Phone numbers you may need:

South Carolina Prepares for Severe Flooding

Oct 2, 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Friday, October 2, 2015, 11:50 a.m.) – At 12:00 p.m., the South Carolina Emergency Management Division increased the state’s operational condition to Level 3. OpCon3 means a disaster or emergency situation is likely in our state and that state agencies have been notified to staff positions at the State Emergency Operations Center in West Columbia. The SEOC is currently operating on a 24-hour schedule for the duration of the incident.