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  A recent survey by WalletHub, a website that helps consumers and small businesses to make better financial decisions, found South Carolina’s tax system to be the third fairest in the nation. While it’s nice to be complimented, two tax experts say the survey may be stretching a bit, and not considering certain factors. S.C. Department of Revenue Executive Director Rick Reames says the state has the highest individual income tax in the South.

What had been Lindsay Langdale's Columbia home October 3, 2015 was a flooded ruin the next day.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Nearly six months after the catastrophic floods of Oct. 4, 2015, Columbia residents whose homes were ruined are still coping with the aftermath. Lindsay Langdale of the Glenhaven Manor neighborhood revisits the tri-level house that was devastated by the flood, and to which she will not return. Next door, neighbor Mark Rowland also has no plans to come back to the two adjacent houses he owns. But while Rowland has found a new home, Langdale has not, after looking at scores of houses.

Started in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina, St. Bernard Project offers low-cost home rebuilding services for people impacted by a natural disaster. That’s good news for a Richland County resident Vernon Kelly and his family.

After nearly a year of debate, the South Carolina Senate has passed a roads funding bill, and a new abortion law is about to take effect.  Russ McKinney has these headlines in this edition of State House Week.

Third Round of Grants Applications Open for One SC Fund

Mar 9, 2016

This week, the One SC Fund opened their third round of applications for flood recovery projects assisting counties that were declared disaster areas by FEMA after the October floods. Grants are available to organizations across the country that want to help South Carolina communities recover.

Mosquito Season Post-Flooding in Richland County

Mar 9, 2016

The 2015 mosquito season should have been over by October, but the historic flooding caused a late season boom in the mosquito population.  Now entering the spring of 2016, standing water from the flood and recent rains are impacting the mosquito population in Richland County yet again.

In the spring of 1936, when it was first published, Margaret Mitchell's Gone With The Wind was an instant success. Mitchell's book won the Pulitzer Prize in 1937 and in 1939 the film adaptation won eight Academy Awards.

Now Pat Conroy, best-selling author of The Prince Of Tides, has written the introduction to a 75th anniversary commemorative reprinting of the epic American story. He tells NPR's Mary Louise Kelly that he's had a lifelong connection with the book.

Pat Conroy has always sought refuge in books. As a child growing up in a military family, Conroy learned from his mother that books could be his constant companions as the family shuttled from Marine base to Marine base.

"What I remember about her, from the very earliest time of my life, is her reading to me," Conroy tells NPR's Scott Simon. "She had a great tone, a warm style, a terrific Southern accent. She read us lots of poetry ... I can still hear her voice."

Novelist Pat Conroy, who announced last month that he was suffering from pancreatic cancer, has died, according to a statement from his publisher. Conroy was 70.

He announced his diagnosis on Facebook almost three weeks ago, saying "I intend to fight it hard."

Today's statement from Todd Doughty, executive director of publicity at Doubleday included comments from Conroy's wife and his longtime editor:

On this edition of State House Week, Russ McKinney looks at a breakthrough for a roads funding bill in the SC Senate and passage of a new gun rights bill in the House.

The Gills Creek area in Columbia received over 20 inches of rain during the historic October 2015 flood. As residents continue the cleanup and re-building process, many are also battling another item of concern.

Richland County Council has many important decisions to make about Flood Recovery in the coming months. Laura Hunsberger talks with Richland County Recovery Chief about the Blue Ribbon Committee, which was formed to work with the County and to help represent the community.

Temporary location of Forest Lake Fabrics, near Columbia, SC, two doors down from the original location, which is under repair.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

Many small businesses were heavily damaged by the catastrophic flood that hit Columbia in October 2015.  Working through a mass of forms from insurance companies, FEMA, the Small Business Administration and others, some are beginning to dig their way out toward recovery.

  Forest Lake Fabrics is one of these.  Founded 52 years ago in the old Forest Lake Shopping Center by the grandfather of present owner Michael Marsha, it has been in its current location on Forest Drive for more than two decades.

Harper Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007.
White House photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

  With today's news of the death of Pulitzer Prize-winning novelist Harper Lee, at age 89, we offer two encore episodes of Walter Edgar's Journal, each dealing with her book To Kill a Mockingbird.

State and County Office Closings and Delayed Openings

Feb 16, 2016
South Carolina Emergency Management Division logo
SCEMD

  Opening of state government offices in Spartanburg County today will be delayed by two hours.

State government offices and their employees will follow the same weather hazard decisions made by the county government officials where the state office is located. For example, if county officials delay the opening or close of county government offices, that means state offices in that county will follow the same schedule.

Complete listings here.

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