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Nick Youngson [CC BY-SA 3.0] Alpha Stock Images

  South Carolina  Governor Henry McMaster announced this week that some retail businesses in the state are being allowed to re-open.  McMaster hopes the loosening of restrictions on certain retail businesses will re-ignite the state’s economy which prior to start of the pandemic was booming.  With thousands of businesses closed, and thousands of people out of work business transactions have slowed tremendously. As a result, anticipated tax revenues for local and state government are expected to drop dramatically.

Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 23, 2020, we head to the coast to see how cities are handling the reopening of beaches after local governments were given the ability to lift bans this week. We also break down annoucements by Gov. Henry McMaster and Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman that schools will remain closed for the rest of this academic year. Plus, your voicemails and more!

Sven Scheuermeier / Unsplash

Word that a Smithfield pork processing plant in South Dakota, where 5 percent of the nation's pork is processed, sent ripples across the U.S. food industry. It didn't help that just a few days later, another Smithfield plant – this one much closer to home, in Tar Heel, North Carolina – shuttered after an employee tested positive for COVID-19.

The closures prompted a far-reaching question: How secure is the food supply? 

Mary Ashley Barbot of Charleston was born with congenital nephrotic sydrome.  She's been on a kidney transplant list for seven years.
Stacy Pearsall

Mary Ashley Barbot of Charleston was supposed to be in Los Angeles, California this week; not for vacation but for a potentially lifesaving treatment.  The coronavirus pandemic put the brakes on her plans and accelerated the concerns of her already worried parents.

The 16 year-old was born with congenital nephrotic syndrome which required she undergo a kidney transplant at just 20 months old.  The condition also caused development delays and hearing loss.  Mary Ashley's body later rejected the kidney.  She's been on a transplant waiting list for seven years.

Gavin Jackson (with A.T. Shire in insert) records from his home on Monday, April 20, 2020.
South Carolina Public Radio

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 21, 2020, we discuss Gov. Henry McMaster's announcements this week that certain stores and beaches in the state can reopen. We also visit the McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence, SC, to learn about the healthcare challenges COVID-19 poses to rural areas, listen to your voicemails, and more.

Coronavirus Takes Heavy Toll on Retail Industry

Apr 20, 2020
File photo of produce in a grocery store
Santeri Viinamäki [CC BY-SA 4.0] via Wikimedia Commons

For several weeks now, the coronavirus has kept people at home, socially distanced and away from work. Among the other disorienting effects, it also has brought to a halt the busy hum of commerce at many businesses in South Carolina and across the nation. 

Though it is temporary - but of unknown duration - the national shutdown has had a predictably devastating effect on many facets of the economy.  One of the hardest hit sectors has been the retail industry.  In South Carolina, retail contributes a whopping $31 billion to the state's economy. 

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 18, 2020, we breakdown comments by Gov. Henry McMaster and other state officials about how and when the state's economy could reopen. We also look at substance abuse and addiction during these challenging times, listen to your voicemails, and more.

provided by Steffi Kong

Steffi Kong grew up in Singapore. At the onset of the century, the country was in the path of the outbreak of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome, or SARS, a coronavirus similar to COVID-19. Kong contracted SARS, and beat it, but "because of that, my immune system was very compromised," she says.

Three years later, she caught H1N1, which was the swine flu that proved much deadlier and much more far-reaching. 

So to say that Kong was looking forward to seeing her family and walking in Converse College's commencement ceremony next month is an undestatement. But now that the Spartanburg-based college has shifted graduation to a virtual ceremony, Kong and her classmates -- the second-to-last class to ever graduate from an all-female Converse College -- will have to attend online in May.

Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 16, 2020, we examine the impact of severe weather on the Palmetto State in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, and visit Seneca, SC, to speak with residents whose lives were changed by the damage caused by tornadoes earlier this week. We also learn about the complications faced by those living with cancer during this virus crisis, speak with a financial adviser about what people should do with their stimulus checks, and more.

File photo: Medical University of SC Hospital, Ashley River Tower, Charleston, SC
TheDigitel [CC BY 2.0] via Flickr

In South Carolina’s battle against the coronavirus, hospitals across the state are at the forefront.  But as the first line of defense they are incurring huge financial losses, and having to layoff thousands of workers.

The Basilica of Saint Peter in Columbia, SC, hold Easter services in an empty church on Sunday, April 12, 2020.
Gavin Jackson/SCETV

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 14, 2020, we take you to The Basilica of Saint Peter in Columbia, SC, to see how coronavirus changed the way this Catholic church held its Easter Sunday services. We also look at the impact of the pandemic on local teachers, listen to your voicemails, and more.

Town of Clemson

At 19, Sudarshan Sridharan is no stranger to the business world. The Fort Mill native served as the director of the Youth Project before he turned 18, overseeing projects by young people to combat homelessness in the Southeast.

He then cofounded a cryptocurrency and blockchain consulting firm before moving on to his current for-profit business, Second Reality Interactive, which powers digital watch parties for eSports events.

The Clemson University student runs another company as well: a not-for-profit online business that just launched less than a month ago as a way to help Clemson’s downtown restaurants survive the weight of a quarantine that has left the usually bustling city quiet.

 Tornado damage near Cedar Island and Fairlawn in Moncks Corner, about 30 miles north of Charleston, S.C.
Reagan Prince

It's being called the most significant severe weather outbreak in South Carolina in 12 years and already it's claimed nine lives.

"This is a very rare situation that I've only faced working in different parts of the country several times in my career," said Richard Okulski, the meterologist in charge for the National Weather Service in Columbia.

On this episode of the South Carolina Lede for April 11, 2020, we examine the state legislature's failure to pass continuing resolution this week, discuss what increasing unemployment numbers could mean for our economy moving forward, and explore how lack of adequate high-speed internet is affecting many South Carolinians' access to healthcare, e-learning, and other services. We also look at the latest case numbers, listen to your voicemails, and more.

Schools Continue Online as Coronavirus Spreads

Apr 10, 2020
A Columbia art teacher prepares an art history lesson to be taught remotely as part of the online classes being taught by schools and colleges throughout South Carolina.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The spread of COVID-19 has forced schools and colleges to offer all classes online for the first time in history to keep them at home and avoid the coronavirus.  Online learning has been going on for a few weeks now, and students and teachers are making the adjustment.  Kierra Gabriel, a student at Richland Northeast High School in Columbia, reported "it's pretty different from being in a classroom environment, although we're always on our Chromebooks in class doing work online.  It's different not having the teacher in there."