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Executives of NextEra Energy appearing before S.C. Senate Finance  Committee on Feb. 19, 2020
Russ McKinney/SC Public Radio

Next year’s state spending plan is now advancing through the legislature.  This week House budget writers approved a $10 Billion budget package that includes major spending increases in education, roads, public safety, and corrections.

The budget that’s now on the way to the full House of Representatives incorporates almost all of Governor McMaster’s proposals including for the second year in a row significant teacher pay raises.

The FBI Watergate Panel, featuring (left to right) Dr. Melissa Graves, former special agents John Mindermann, John Clynick, Paul Magallanes, Daniel Mahan and Angelo Lano at the Citadel
Cameron Pollack/ The Citadel

They are not household names like the reporters who broke the Watergate story for the Washington Post, Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein. 

But five guys, former special agents who helped the FBI break the case, have quite a story to tell.

They shared it as they reunited for the first time in nearly 50 years at the 2020 Intelligence and Ethics Conference at the Citadel in Charleston in February.

"It was approximately 8 am Saturday, June 17th, 1972," recalled lead investigator Angelo Lano.

Images of soldiers during the five-week long battle of Iwo Jima are now publically accessible
USC Moving Image Research Collections

Carrying the wounded to a make-shift hospital, taking communion, and traveling by sea are just some of the images revealed in never-before-seen films taken during the battle of Iwo Jima.

The start of this World War II battle began 75 years ago this week and lasted just over a month. After 36 days of fighting, more than 6,000 Americans were killed as well as almost all of the 21,000 Japanese who defended the island.

Leading up to the 2020 election, the 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 February 20, 2020, host Gavin Jackson takes us to recent campaign stops by former Vice President Joe Biden, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), and businessman Tom Steyer. 

ballot box
Tumisu via Pixabay

Note: This story has been amended to remove a reference to Michael Bloomberg setting up operations in South Carolina. Bloomberg is not on the South Carolina ballot.

Democrats are united on one idea. They want to unseat President Donald Trump. But past that, and even with the South Carolina Democratic Primary right around the corner, likely progressive voters are in a street fight between their ideals and who they think stands the best chance of accomplishing their main objective.

Endorsements a Historic Part of Political Process

Feb 18, 2020

Political endorsements have been around as long as campaigns have.  But are they effective?  That depends on a number of factors, according to Carol Fowler of Columbia, a member of the Democratic National Committee and a former chair of the South Carolina Democratic Party.  One factor, she says, is how many endorsements a candidate has:  "If you have a long list of endorsers, I might believe that you were winning the race, and I should be for you.  And if you don't have anybody vouching for you, I might think you're not doing too well."

Gavin Jackson (l) with Maayan Schechter and Jamie Lovegrove (r).
A.T. Shire/South Carolina Public Radio

The South Carolina Democratic presidential primary is fast approaching. Recent poll numbers show an ever-tightening race in a state where former Vice President Joe Biden used to enjoy double digit leads over his closest contenders. On this edition of the South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove and The State's Maayan Schechter to discuss the latest.

For the past several years the issue that’s dominated the state legislature has been the future of Santee Cooper, the state-owned public power utility.  Santee Cooper in effect produces electricity for over two million customers in the state. State lawmakers have been pondering what to do with the utility since the failure of the giant VC Summer nuclear project in the summer of 2017.  Many have concerns about Santee Cooper’s Management, and the almost $7 Billion debt it's now carrying following VC Summer.

A.T. Shire / South Carolina Public Radio

Leading up to the 2020 election, the 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 February 13, 2020, host Gavin Jackson sits down with Democratic presidential candidate Tom Steyer in Chester, South Carolina to talk about his campaign and the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries.

A.T. Shire / South Carolina Public Radio

After the debacle in Iowa the Democratic playing field was incredibly murky and hard to read, BUT, thanks to New Hampshire, we finally have some real results to work with!

Host Gavin Jackson is joined by The Associated Press' Meg Kinnard and The Post and Courier's Jamie Lovegrove to discuss what the Primary's results mean and what it all means for South Carolin as cracks appear in Joe Biden's firewall.

For York County, Recycling Means Business

Feb 11, 2020
York County Photo

Besides bottles, cans, and paper, York County residents can recycle lots of things that might surprise them -- fluorescent bulbs, for instance; shoes; cooking oil. 

But while you can’t put that stuff at the curb, you cantake it to one of the county’s 16 collection centers. Find out what you can take and where you can take it by clicking here.

University of South Carolina sign
Real Tough, Real Stuff [CC BY-NC-SA 2.0] via Flickr

Four weeks into this year’s session of the state legislature there has been lots of debate, but little movement on several education bills.

The Senate is slowly working its way through the massive School Improvement Bill with no end of debate in sight.

Senators have turned in several late nights debating the bill and it seems the longer its debated, the more complicated some of the issues become.

Photographer and museum founder Cecil Williams
SC Public Radio

A new museum in Orangeburg county celebrates South Carolina residents who fought racial injustice. The Cecil Williams Civil Rights Museum features over 500 photographs, most of which were taken by Williams. After years of trying to get local support for a civil rights museum in the area, Williams said he used thousands of dollars of his own money to create a place where the images and stories of those who helped shape American history can displayed.

Dr. Bernard Powers founded the Center for the Study of Slavery at the College of Charleston
Victoria Hansen/ SC Public Radio

As the College of Charleston celebrates its 250th birthday, at its center is Randolph Hall.  Built in 1820, students still gather here. 

Less prominent, an organization that tries to help the school comes to terms with  its past, the Center for the Study of Slavery.

"You are sitting in the office of the center right now," says Dr. Bernard Powers.  He founded the center two years ago after retiring from the history department.

The Real I.D. is dentified by the gold star in the upper right corner.
Photo courtesy S.C. Dept. of Motor Vehicles

Beginning October 1st of this year, anyone who wishes to fly on a commercial aircraft, access a federal facility, or enter a military installation will be required to present their passport, military ID, or their Real ID. Back in 2005, Congress passed the “Real ID Act” in response to the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that the Federal Government set the standard for the issuance of IDs, like driver’s licenses. To date, all 50 states and territories are fully compliant with the Real ID requirements.