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File photo of Hurricane Irene, 2011.

  June 1 marks the beginning of hurricane season in South Carolina.  To note Hurricane Awareness Week, Gov. Nikki Haley held a press conference at which she and various agency heads discussed the expectations for this season.  Though the season is predicted to be average, Haley stressed that every family should have a hurricane plan. 

A performance of "The Little Match Girl."
Julia Lynn Photography

Hans Christian Andersen’s story The Little Match Girl tells the tragic tale of a young girl trying to survive in the bitter cold, striking matches for warmth and reflecting on her life’s memories. Composed from 1990 to 1996, Helmut Lachenmann’s opera of the same name uses two singers to play the match girl. 

Spoleto Festival USA, Opened Friday, in Full Swing

May 31, 2016
During the opening ceremony for Spoleto Festival USA, Charleston, SC,  the Bill T. Jones/Arnie Zane Company perform an excerpt from “D-Man in the Water.”
Alexander Olgin/SC Public Radio

The 40th Spoleto Festival U.S.A. is in full swing. The music and arts festival opened Friday and runs through the middle of June. In his speech opening the event, Charleston Mayor John Tecklenburg says Spoleto holds a special place for him because he grew up going.

“I was like a little kid in a candy store. I was a chemistry major, but I loved music and played the piano. Every day deciding what event we were going to go to. It was just terrific.”

The Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet will perform at the Wells Fargo Jazz Series, Spoleto Festival USA.
George Braunschweig


   Pianist Randy Weston and his African Rhythms Sextet combine the sounds of traditional African music with American jazz.

  Pianist Randy Weston was born in Brooklyn, New York, where he absorbed the influence of jazz greats such as Duke Ellington and Count Basie. He later moved to Africa to better understand his heritage and to learn how the traditional music of Africa is inherently connected with American music. He first heard the music of Africa mixed with jazz as he grew up in Brooklyn, which led him to his biggest influence, Thelonious Monk. The Randy Weston African Rhythms Sextet performs Thursday, June 2nd at 7 pm at the Charleston Gill-Yard Center.

Heather Buck, soprano.
Lisa-Marie Mazzucco

  Soprano Heather Buck describes George Crumb’s 1970 composition Ancient Voices of Children as a “hyper-colored world” of sound. With a score that includes tongue clicks and other extended techniques for the voice plus unusual instrumentation, the work has remained at the forefront of 20th century vocal chamber works. The performance is part of Spoleto Festival USA’s Music in Time series on June 1st.

Manual Cinema performs AVA/ADA.
Yi Zhao and Howard Ash

  Manual Cinema’s Drew Dir joins SCPRS’s Kate McKinney for a conversation about Ada/Ava, a multimedia work that combines Dir’s shadow puppetry with an original score. Live actors and musicians share the stage with shadow puppets to tell the story of sisters Ada and Ava while exploring the human struggles of loss and self-discovery. Ada/Ava marks performance collective Manual Cinema’s Spoleto Festival USA debut. 

Cecile McClorin Salvant
Mark Fitton

  Winner of the 2010 Thelonious Monk Competition, Cecile McLorin Salvant performs her interpretations of the standards and shares some original songs, too.

Steven Sloane conducts the 40th-Season Celebration Concert at Spoleto Festival USA.
Christoph Fein

Steven Sloane is a former music director of Spoleto Festival USA. He returns to the festival this year to conduct over 140 musicians for the 40th-Season Celebration Concert. The concert involves performers from all areas of Spoleto Festival USA including the Spoleto Festival USA Orchestra, the Westminster Choir, and musicians from the Wells Fargo Jazz series and the Bank of America Chamber Music series. Steven joins South Carolina Public Radio’s Kate McKinney to discuss the event and its program, which features music of historic significance for the festival.

Barricades block portion of Wilson Blvd.
Thelisha Eaddy / SC Public Radio

When October’s historic rain event and flood caused lake Elizabeth dam to fail and create massive damaged to Wilson Boulevard in Columbia, local business owner Gregory Peter thought things would be back to normal in a few months.

Known for his kinetic sculptures and light installations, Redl’s work easily catches the eyes.
Rainer Hosch

Erwin Redl investigates the process of “reverse engineering” by (re-)translating the abstract aesthetical language of virtual reality and 3D computer modeling into architectural environments by means of large-scale light installations. In his current show at the Halsey Institute of Charleston, his work displays strict methodologies which employ binary logic as well as tropes of minimalism to exuberant extremes.

Geoff Nutall, the Charles E. and Andrea L. Volpe Director of Chamber Music for Spoleto Festival USA.
Julia Lynn Photography

  After seven years as director of the wildly popular Bank of America Chamber Music series, violinist Geoff Nuttall has no plans to tinker with his formula for success. The series, which spans the length of the festival, treats audiences to both staples of chamber music repertoire—like Haydn’s “The Joke” quartet—and new works. This year, Osvaldo Golijov returns as composer-in-residence for the series. Geoff Nuttall joins SCPR’s Kate McKinney to talk about his work and the many parts that make the series a success. 

René Marie
Janice Yim

  From Dina Washington to Earth Kitt, René Marie embodies the spirit and sophistication of the great female jazz vocalists. This Spoleto Festival, Marie will perform set including new original music.

Arturo O'Farrill
John Abbott

Arturo O’Farrill and the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra bring big-band jazz from across the globe to the Spoleto Festival USA Jazz series during the festival's opening weekend.

Flood Moves Columbia Composer to Write Jazz Tune

May 25, 2016
Mark Rapp performing at the Rio Mar Jazz Festival.
Courtesy of the artist

  Columbia-local and Jazz musician Mark Rapp saw the impacts of October's flood firsthand.  It was devastating, forcing people out of their homes and businesses captured on the news and social media.  Along with the devastation though, Rapp watched the flood bring out generosity and empathy -  seeing volunteers, charities, and rescue teams lend a hand. Cooper McKim speaks with Rapp to investigate the meaning behind Water Be Still.

Scientists Project Record Shrimp Season

May 24, 2016
Alexandra Olgin

Bird calls at the Shem Creek docks mean the shrimp boats are back.

Shrimper Phuoc Tang and his crew are hauling about 1,000 pounds of white shrimp in colorful plastic fishing baskets off his boat and onto the dock.

“We did good today,” he said. 

Tang is excited because this is projected to be his best season. According to state scientists, 2016 is expected to yield the biggest roe white shrimp crop in 37 years.  

Construction workers elevate a house on Lake Katherine in Columbia that was heavily damaged in October’s flood.(File photo)
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

October's historic flood brought massive damage to homes and businesses across South Carolina. While the storm brought economic difficulties, one sector is experiencing a boom: the construction business.  Tut Underwood talks to experts in the field about the heightened demand for contractors and how long it will last.

    Reaching displaced flood victims and getting those victims to use the Disaster Recovery Database (2-1-1) were major items of discussion during a Richland County Blue Ribbon Committee meeting.

During the May 19 meeting, 10 members of the committee discussed difficulties in reaching some flood victims. Michael King is Richland County disaster recovery chief. He said the county is reaching victims by phone and in-person visits.

A flooded field in rural South Carolina, in October, 2015.
SC Dept. of Agriculture

  This week the South Carolina House and Senate each voted to override Gov. Nikki Haley's veto of a bill to help farmers who suffered losses in the counties that were declared Disaster Areas in October's floods.

The back walk/ bridge at Swan Lake Iris Gardens during the flood of October, 2015.
Swan Lake Iris Gardens

Thousands of people will visit Swan Lake Iris Gardens in Sumter for the 76th Annual Iris Festival. Seven months ago, Sumter’s mayor Joseph McElveen, Jr. wasn’t sure if damages from October’s flood would be fixed in time for the event. McElveen said the collaborative effort of park staff and city leaders helped accomplished what seemed to be a massive reconstruction project.

  The S.C. House of Representatives Tuesday voted to override Gov. Nikki Haley's veto of a $40 million Farm Aid Bill. The bill is to provide state assistance to South Carolina farmers who were hard hit during last fall's major flooding. South Carolina Public Radio's Russ McKinney has more on the House action.

Elliot New

  For more than 20 years, Elliott and the Untouchables have been entertaining audiences throughout South Carolina and beyond with traditional and original blues music that jumps and swings. In this report, Elliot New talks about his passion for this “real” music and how he writes his songs. He also demonstrates his homemade “diddley bow,” a primitive instrument early bluesmen made from nails, baling wire and broomsticks. Untouchables bassist J.T. Anderson also comments on what motivates his friend and fellow musician.

The Columbia Fireflies host the Greenville Drive at a recent game at the new Spirit Communications Park in Columbia.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

  Minor league baseball contributes to a community’s quality of life, as well as its economy. And there’s a lot to like. Whether it’s the game itself, the food, the whacky between-innings promotions, or the social aspect, everybody has a favorite thing about baseball, even the people who work every day to put the game on the field. We hear in this report from two broadcasters, a general manager and a team owner about what they think minor league baseball adds to life in South Carolina. One says the stories, one says the opportunity for service.

A view of the United Way’s 2-1-1 Call Center, which handles thousands of calls each month.
Laura Hunsberger/SC Public Radio

  More than seven months after the thousand-year flood, many residents are still struggling to recover from the disaster. This spring, the state selected an organization called Hearts and Hands Disaster Recovery to take on long-term disaster case management. Falon Alo, Executive Director of Hearts and Hands, says disaster case management involves helping flood-affected residents get on a path toward complete recovery.

Church Group Helps South Carolinians Rebuild

May 16, 2016
Alexandra Olgin

Faye Washington is looking forward to moving back home. Her three-bedroom red brick house with yellow trim looks the same from the outside, but the inside is completely new.

Volunteers are drilling nails into drywall and taping together new air ducts. Washington has lived at this home for 56 years.

“This house was built in 1960 and I was born in 1960,” she said.

Washington fled her Georgetown home last October when nearly 12 inches of water seeped in the doors and windows. She said it felt like her house was in a river.

Mussels Survive as Road Crossings are Repaired

May 12, 2016
Obstructed culverts on the east side of Gills Creek Road.
Cooper McKim/SC Public Radio

Below Gills Creek Road in Lancaster County, a stream has stopped flowing. It’s become a pond, stuck behind four metal pipes blocked with branches, garbage, and debris. There's barely any water making its way through to the other side. Cooper McKim speaks with experts on how outdated culverts are impacting both humans and the stream's ecosystem.

A white former North Charleston police officer has been charged with federal civil rights violations for shooting and killing an unarmed black man last year. 

Michael Slager has been indicted with violating Walter Scott’s civil rights. He’s also charged with obstruction of justice for knowingly misleading authorities investigating the incident.

Slager was charged with unlawful use of weapon during the commission of a crime. He also faces a state murder trial scheduled for October. Last fall, North Charleston approved a $6.5 million civil settlement with Scott's family.

Lindsay Langdale surveys the stripped-down lumber supporting her house after required mold remediation had been done.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

In the wake of the devastating flood of October 2015, both Richland County and the city of Columbia are seeking to help victims in the flood plains whose homes were ruined. The city and county are looking for funding to buy the homes of qualified landowners and return the property to green space, never to be developed as housing again. They’ve applied to the Federal Emergency Management Agency for funding to make the buyouts, which will be completely voluntary. Criteria must be met for homeowners, and the governments themselves must put up a 25% match.

Alexandra Olgin

Farming is all Jamie Burgess knows. He has worked this same land since kindergarten.

“I’ve been driving a tractor since I was six years old. My daddy used to get me out of school to drive a tractor.”

And 44 years later he is still driving one.

He’s already planted corn and is getting the fields, 80 miles north of Charleston, ready for the rest of the crops.

“Behind that corn, I’ve already sprayed and weeds are dying.  And it's going to be grain sorghum back there.”

  Most of us are aware, especially in this political season, of the reports about inequality in the workplace for women.  Our next guest's organization has just released a report on this subject that she says will be important for corporations who want high profitability, local governments who want to attract businesses, and community members who want to see our state’s economy strengthen.

Mike Switzer interviews Amy Brennan, executive director of the Center for Women in Charleston, SC.

Locked gate at Phase 2 of Cayce Riverwalk
Vincent Kolb-Lugo / SC Public Radio

In 2002, the City of Cayce started work on its river walk project. Through the years, the greenway has grown to eight miles, one of the largest within any municipal limits in the Midlands.  A portion of the walk, Phase 2, has been closed since the October flood. Special Projects and Grants Coordinator Tara Greenwood said getting Phase 2 re-opened to the public is the city’ top priority.

Greenwood said many residents use the walk to get from their neighborhood to the main corridor of the city.