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SC Aquarium Joins Effort To Prepare For Sea Level Rise

Jul 19, 2016
Alexandra Olgin

Standing in front of a 15,000 gallon floor to ceiling fish tank inside the South Carolina Aquarium, President and CEO Kevin Mills pulls out a tape measure. He stretches it just over his head to the six foot mark. That is how much scientists at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration predict the waters could rise in the next century.

“No one or nothing will escape from the effects of sea level rise,” he said.

Mills announced Thursday the aquarium is embarking on a three year project to educate and prepare the region for the rising waters.

HHDR Prepares For Increase in Flood Recovery Cases

Jul 14, 2016
Flood victims talk with HHDR case managers
Thelisha Eaddy / SC Public Radio

At the end of June, Hearts and Hands Disaster Recovery (HHDR), the nonprofit in charge of long-term, disaster case management services following October’s flood, had over 2300 open cases. The nonprofit is connecting with more flood survivors during community outreach events. Executive Director Falon Alo said as more communities learn about HHDR services, she expects the number of open cases to grow tremendously.

Much Of South Carolina Now In Drought

Jul 12, 2016
Courtesy of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources.

Nine months after October’s historic floods, parts of South Carolina are in a drought. The state Drought Response Committee designated most of the central, south and western counties in threat of a drought Friday. Four counties in the Northwestern part of the state are much drier and are considered in moderate drought. Dennis Chastain from Pickens has been on this committee for 14 years.  

“I don’t think I have ever seen a drought cycle develop and deteriorate as quickly as this has,” he said. “Pastures are not just dry, they are scorched. The grass actually looks dead.”

Rescued By Jon Boat, One Family Tries to Return to Normal

Jul 12, 2016
Julie (left) and her children, Megan (center) and Davis (right), sit down to talk about the morning they were rescued from their home.
Vince Kolb-Lugo/SC Public Radio

There was a before and an after. On the evening of October 3rd, 2015, Julie Latham thought the rain would be like the hundreds she’s experienced. To be safe, the family moved to the second story of their home, and brought snacks to eat in case the power went out. By 4:30 a.m. the following morning, the backyard was inundated.

On a cloudless summer afternoon, Julie Latham and her children, Davis and Megan, are glad to be sitting in the living room. One month earlier, contractors were putting up the last of the new drywall and trim. Today, they share their story.  

Flooded home

During a recent flood-recovery update press conference, Governor Nikki Haley stated the flood created 741 million dollars in housing losses. Nine months after October’s flood, many South Carolinians have yet to move back into their homes. United Way of the Midlands Senior Director Jennifer Moore shares how nonprofits and volunteers are working to help flood victims recover.

State Troopers removing the Confederate battle flag from display on the grounds of the South Carolina State House, July 10, 2015.

  One year ago, on July 10, 2015 the confederate flag was lowered from its place of honor in front of the Statehouse in Columbia signaling the end of a contentious period of state history. Over fifty years of contention to be exact.

New Temporary Hospital To Be Built In Williamsburg

Jul 7, 2016
A model of what the temporary hospital in Kingstree, South Carolina will look like.
Courtesy of Williamsburg Regional Hospital

Williamsburg County is getting a temporary hospital. The modular building is scheduled to be completed and ready to serve patients by the end of September. The Williamsburg Regional Hospital closed its doors six months ago, after flooding damaged more than half the building.

Ever since the closure, hospital CEO Sharon Poston has been working to get a temporary hospital up and running.

“To be able to provide direly needed medical services to our community is everything for us.  The absence of full service medical attention has been extremely detrimental,” she said.

SC Film Institute Stronger after 8 Month Hiatus

Jul 7, 2016
Terry Davis and the summer interns at the SC Film Institute.
Cooper McKim

In residential Columbia, a small business is finally back on its feet after eight months in hiatus. The South Carolina Film Institute is now located in a brown home filled with lighting equipment, cameras, and painted chairs in their interview space.  October's historic flood devastated their previous office with four feet of water, destroying the property and most everything inside. Cooper McKim speaks with the co-founder, Terry Davis, about how they recovered.

Smart, Post-Flood Rebuilding Pt. 2

Jul 7, 2016
Construction is underway at Elementary School 20 in Richland County. This retention pond is one of several designed to control stormwater runoff before, during, and after construction is complete.
Vince Kolb-Lugo/SC Public Radio

Last October, a school was under construction in northeast Columbia. They weren’t expecting a massive flood, but it didn’t end up destroying their hard work. And that’s thanks to new construction techniques. While in the past, a flood like this would’ve destroyed their work, nowadays, they have methods to make use of the water.

  Ten people drown every day in the United States. Many of them thought they could swim, but according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 37 percent of American adults can’t swim the length of a pool. The U.S. Masters swimming organization has begun a national campaign to teach adults to swim. The program has come to Charleston, where aquatics manager Jennifer Ayers-Millar says that while adults are more fearful of water if they don’t learn to swim as children, the program is teaching adults to manage their fear.

  In a vault at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library reside numerous collections of rare books and papers from some of the world’s great writers – F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ernest Hemingway and Robert Burns, to name a few. Elizabeth Suddeth, director of Rare Books and Special Collections, takes us to the vault and talks about how the library attracted these collections, and its growing reputation as a destination for researchers and a magnet for prestigious literary collections.

A white-tailed stag; the white-tailed deer is the only type of deer present in South Carolina.
Henry Mulligan

In 2015, hunters killed 7,922 deer less than the year before.  The deer season fell short for several reasons -- from August to December, South Carolina saw flooding, unseasonably warm temperatures, season closings, and inaccessible roads. Cooper McKim speaks with experts to learn what made 2015's deer season so unique.

Melissa Stern

  Hailing from New York City, Melissa Stern has brought her traveling exhibition, The Talking Cure to Redux Contemporary Art Center in Charleston SC. The show is a multi-media project featuring clay sculpture and a drawing blend with creative writing, the spoken word and mobile technology. Viewers are encouraged to look, listen and read while considering their own interpretations of the work.

The Talking Cure is on exhibit at Redux Contemporary Art Center ,136 St Philip St, Charleston, through August 6, 20016.

The South Carolina Cornbread Festival features a cornbread eating contest among other fun events that help celebrate a favorite staple of the Southern diet.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

South Carolinians celebrate elements of the state’s culture in festivals all over the state, and especially its foodstuffs, from peaches to peanuts.  So it’s natural that they would establish a festival to proclaim their love for another traditional culinary favorite – cornbread.  In today’s report, a visit to the South Carolina Cornbread Festival  reveals that there’s more to it than the traditional buttered variety found in many homes.  Festival organizer Sabrina Odom tells us that people make cornbread in a large variety of styles and flavors, from pineapple cornbread to sweet potato cor

Classes have resumed at the Pavlovich School of Ballet after October’s flood nearly destroyed the building.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

On October 3, 2015, the Pavlovich Ballet School in Columbia was enjoying its newly-renovated facility, including state-of-the-art sound equipment and a new dance floor completed just two months earlier.  The next day owner Radenko Pavlovich watched eight feet of water send the piano floating through the studio, destroying it and everything else. On the first of April, the dance studio finally re-opened. Tut Underwood reports on its process of recovery.