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Composer, double-bassist, Doug Balliett
metropolisensemble.org/

From playing double bass, to teaching historic performance at Julliard, to writing poetry and works of music, contemporary American composer Doug Balliett stays busy. As composer-in-residence for the chamber music series of the forty-second Spoleto Festival USA, Doug is not only providing original works, arrangements, and guidance on their interpretation, but is also a performer in a majority of the series’ thirty-three concerts. The series runs through June 10th, with all performances held at the Dock Street Theatre in Charleston.

Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company presents Cimarosa's opera at the Emmett Robinson Theatre at College of Charleston, May 28 to May 30. Members of the Westminster Choir will accompany the opera.
Photo courtesy of Carlo Colla and Sons Marionette Company

With its humorous situations, tangle of love interests, and recognizably-flawed characters, Domenico Cimarosa’s Il Matrimonio Segreto (The Secret Marriage) is an emblematic example of eighteenth-century opera buffa. A feel-good production of its day, Il Matrimonio Segreto was the type of work that had those in an audience laughing as much at themselves as the cast members before them. In other words, relatability was one of its hallmarks.

As electric cars increase their range, which in new models is around 150 miles between recharges, and offer more variety of models, which is also on the way, they will become even more common, experts say.
mmurphy [CC0 1.0] via Pixabay

Traffic can be pretty noisy, but one component of the nation’s traffic is growing quietly.  The component is the electric car.  Sold by Chevrolet, Nissan, Tesla and other makers, Nissan alone has sold a quarter-million electric vehicles since 2011.    Mac Martin, who sells the electric Leaf model by Nissan, says it’s so quiet the manufacturer actually installed a speaker to project artificial speed-up and slow-down noises so that pedestrians will  be aware of their presence. 

Spoleto 2018 is Officially Underway

May 26, 2018
Gravity and Other Myths performs at Spoleto 2018 Opening Ceremony in downtown Charleston.
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

On a day that is notoriously hot, a refreshing breeze swept down Broad Street in downtown Charleston and a forecast calling for rain seemed to have been delayed.  A velvet voice welcomed the crowd with the song, "Carolina" and the bells of St. Michael's Church rang, signally the beginning of the opening ceremony for Spoleto USA 2018.  The mayor walked out the doors of city hall, all smiles.  It was the perfect day to kick off one of the world's most renowned arts festivals.

The state’s primary election is June 12. All executive office positions are up for election as well as all seven seats of the US House of Representatives. The eight candidates vying for the state’s top job recently fielded questions on various topics during two, hour-long debates. Republicans debated May 23 and Democrats on May 24. Democratic candidates Phil Nobel, Marguerite Willis and James Smith answered questions on the failed V.C. Summer Nuclear power station, education, legalizing marijuana, protecting students from school shootings and more.

Spoleto Festival USA Chamber Music director, Geoff Nuttall.
Spoleto Festival USA

For violinist Geoff Nuttall, finding the right performers for the Bank of America Chamber Music Series is critical. 

"Everybody that comes is not only amazing and an incredible player," Geoff says, "but also super-easy to work with and a joy to hang out with."

The eastern diamondback rattlesnake is found in South Carolina, along with other venomous species.  Wearing proper clothing and keeping your eyes open when in the woods or hiking on trails can help people avoid being bitten by a snake.
Georgia Wildlife Resources Division via Flickr

With the coming of warm weather, more people are getting outdoors.  It’s a great idea – unless you’re bitten by a snake.  The number of snakebite calls to the Palmetto Poison Center has increased the past two years, to about 200 per year.  It’s probably not because more snakes are out there, but more emergency room doctors are calling the center for advice, because they don’t see that many snakebites, says center Director Dr. Jill Michels. 

Why Does the Turtle Cross the Road?

May 23, 2018
Two Eastern Box Turtles cross the road.
Chesapeake Bay Program / Flickr

Now that summer is approaching, it’s a common occurrence to see turtles crawling across roadways in South Carolina (and many other states). Ever wondered why that is? In honor of World Turtle Day, I spoke with Cris Hagen, Director of Animal Management at the Turtle Survival Center, a program of the Turtle Survival Alliance, in Charleston.

The Hansen Twins Record their Story with Robert Harding in Chicago
Scott Hanson

It's been three years since Carter and Jack Hanson were featured on CBS news for their rare friendship with a World War II veteran who served aboard the USS Yorktown.  That's when the  network set up a surprise meeting on the  ship just outside of Charleston.   They had gotten to know Robert Harding through email.  It was quite a moment as the three came face to face, and their bond has grown stronger ever since.   Now 13 years-old, the twins recently attended the Yorktown's 75th anniversary with their family, celebrating Harding who could not  be there.

After Weather Delay, SC Troops En Route to Texas Border

May 22, 2018
Soldiers from the South Carolina Army National Guard headed to Texas May 21, 2018, in support of Operation Guardian Support, President Trump's mission to secure the southern border.
Tech. Sgt. Jorge Intriago/ SC National Guard

Nine soldiers from the South Carolina National Guard are expected to arrive in Texas to support Operation Guardian Support, the President's mission to secure the southern border. The mission includes three flight crew aboard a UH-72 Lakota helicopter and six maintenance soldiers who traveled by ground.

SC Lede: No Cable For Old Bridge

May 22, 2018
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

It's been a week since the westbound lanes of the Wando River Bridge in Charleston were closed due to one of the eight cables holding the concrete segments together snapped, slowing traffic throughout the Lowcountry.

A freshly buried sewer line parallels Gills Creek in Forest Acres. Some people and agencies are still recovering from the historic flood of October 2015.
Tut Underwood/SC Public Radio

The aftermath of the October 2015 flood continues to occupy the business of many people and agencies in South Carolina, such as the East Richland County Public Service District (ERCPSD), which operates the sewer system for a section of the county heavily damaged by the flood.  ERCPSD Deputy Director Ed Schooler said the flood changed the route of the system’s pipes, knocking many right out of the ground. 

State House Week
SC Public Radio

Lawmakers head toward a perfunctory session with work stalling on next year's state budget and V.C. Summer Nuclear bills.

Maj. Gen. Charles F. Bolden at the University of South Carolina's Thomas Cooper Library. Gen. Bolden has donated his personal archives of papers, personal items and professional artifacts for curation by the University's Caroliniana Library.
Olivia Aldridge/SC Public Radio

Students from three local Columbia high schools got a rare opportunity Monday—to see real life astronaut and former NASA Administrator Major General Charles F. Bolden Jr. speak about space, science, and the future. For Bolden, who hosted the talk at the University of South Carolina’s Thomas Cooper Library in honor of the gift of his personal archives to the university, it was also an opportunity—to share his journey with students of his own alma mater, C.A Johnson High School.

abstract mental health symbol
GDJ via Pixabay

May is Mental Health Awareness Month, and there is much that most people are not aware of about mental health.  Just more than 43 million Americans experience a mental illness in a given year, including millions of cases of depression, anxiety disorder and Alzheimer’s disease.  USC psychiatrist Dr. Meera Narasimhan says many illnesses are caused by the stresses of everyday life, such as unemployment or divorce, or more jarring experiences such as war.  

Starting a Mobile Business class travels to different bases throughout the state.
Thelisha Eaddy/ SC Public Radio

One of the ways the Small Business Administration (SBA) provides assistance to small businesses is through education. SBA provides free individual face-to-face, and internet counseling for small businesses, and low-cost training to nascent entrepreneurs and established small businesses. In South Carolina, a fairly new education program for military spouses teaches how to start a mobile business. South Carolina Public Radio talks with the creator of the class to learn how a successful small business can help military spouses, their families and the economy.

The mandolin is a central of many Bluegrass groups. (Mandolin player with the Jeff Austin Band, on stage at the 80/35 music festival in Des Moines, July, 2016.)
Max Goldberg via Flickr [CC BY 2.0}

Bluegrass music has always been popular in South Carolina, but Willie Wells thinks it’s about to break out to a new, mass popularity.  Every Friday night, Wells holds a bluegrass jam at his store, Bill’s Music Shop and Pickin’ Parlor.  Fans and musicians enjoy a performance before getting out their guitars, banjos and fiddles to play country, gospel and bluegrass tunes with each other. 

SC Lede: So Long And Thanks For All The Bills

May 15, 2018
Gavin Jackson (r) speaks with Andy Brown (l) and Jamie Lovegrove in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, May 14, 2018.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by Post and Courier Statehouse Reporters Andy Brown and Jamie Lovegrove to look back on the 2018 South Carolina legislative session.

While lawmakers managed to pass several high profile bills to the governor's desk this session, they will reconvene later this month and in June to continue debate over the $8.2 billion state budget and bills dealing with the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

A month ago, Gov. Henry McMaster offered to send SC National Guard troops to Texas to help fight illegal immigration along the Mexican border. Friday, the Governor officially announced one Army National Guard helicopter and approximately nine Soldiers and crew will leave for the area the week of May 13. Here’s what we know.

The Crew

Drew Wynne at a party.  He died while using a paint stripper containing methylene chloride at his business.
Wynne family

His voice sounds excited, yet hesitant.  Brian Wynne has just learned the Environmental Protection Agency will take action on a proposed ban from the Obama administration that would keep a potentially deadly chemical from being used in paint strippers commonly found on store shelves.  He met with the EPA chief two days ago, sharing the story of his younger brother from Charleston who died after being exposed to that very chemical, methylene chloride.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

This year's session of the General Assembly has adjourned, but lawmakers will return to Columbia for unfinished business.

file photo of water pouring into a drinking glass
StockSnap via Pixabay

May 6-12 is national Drinking Water Week, a time to appreciate the high quality water found throughout most of the Palmetto State.  Jennifer Satterthwaite, communications coordinator for the Columbia Water Works, says while the city has two excellent sources of water, Lake Murray and the Columbia Canal, many people don’t realize that what they use on land, such as use certain fertilizers, automobile oil or pet waste, can find its way via stormwater runoff  into the water supply.  Fortunately, Water Works Superintendent Clint Shealy says the city does more than it’s required to to keep its

SC Lede: Finals Week 2018

May 8, 2018
Gavin Jackson (c) speaks with Russ McKinney (l) and Jamie Lovegrove in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, May 7, 2018.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

This week is the final week of the 2018 South Carolina legislative session.

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson is joined by Post and Courier Statehouse Reporter Jamie Lovegrove and South Carolina Public Radio Reporter Russ McKinney to break down what the last three days of the session may hold, including the dozens of bills state lawmakers still have on their calendars.

Education majors at the College of Charleston gather to talk about ways to improve student safety at schools
Victoria Hansen/SC Public Radio

Professor Anne Gutshall teaches psychology courses to future educators at the College of Charleston.  Her students have a lot on their minds.   From teacher walkouts nationwide over low pay to deadly mass shootings at schools, it’s a wonder they want to teach at all.  But they do.  They really do.

For conductor Suzanna Pavlovsky, keeping younger audiences engaged in the world of classical music doesn’t require a complete overhaul so much as a repackaging.

“We don’t need to change the repertoire. We don’t need to change the music itself,” Suzanna says. “But we need to come up with some sort of idea to keep the younger generations more active.”

A replica of the Vietnam Memorial Wall is on display at Historic Camden
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

A scaled replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial is on display at Historic Camden. Its called the Wall That Heals and features all the names of the 58,318 who served and died in Vietnam. South Carolina Public Radio spoke with students, teachers, veterans and community members during a recent visit to the exhibit.

State House Week
SC Public Radio

The SC General Assembly heads towards its' final week of the 2018 session. Key bills have yet to pass, but Democrats in the State Senate managed to kill a sweeping anti-abortion bill.

Industrial robots on an automobile assembly line.
ISAPUT [CC BY-SA 4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Automation has been increasing in the Palmetto State’s factories for a long time, bringing with it fears of job losses for people whose jobs are vulnerable to being replaced by machines.  But Roger Varin of Staubli Robotics, which makes robots for industry, says jobs are changing, but not necessarily vanishing.  In fact, he asserts, automation creates jobs in some areas. 

SC Lede: Six More Days

May 1, 2018
Gavin Jackson (r) speaks with Russ McKinney (l) and Andy Shain in the South Carolina Public Radio studios on Monday, April 30, 2018.
A.T. Shire/SC Public Radio

There are six working days left in the 2018 South Carolina state legislative session, and the stage has been set to make these final two weeks a bit chaotic, with debates over budget spending, SCE&G rate reductions, and more.

On this edition of South Carolina Lede, host Gavin Jackson looks at the biggest stories coming out of the statehouse with Andy Shain, Columbia bureau chief for The Post and Courier, and South Carolina Public Radio Reporter Russ McKinney.

Richland County celebrates the first new mobile home given to a 2015 flood survivor.
Thelisha Eaddy/SC Public Radio

For the past two years, South Carolina has been in recovery mode. Long-term recovery for families, business and municipalities, following the historic rain event and flood of October 2015, is seen in almost every county. Recently, during National Community Development Week, Richland County celebrated the first home in its flood recovery program given to a flood survivor. The event marked a major milestone in the County’s recovery program and also presented a second chance at recovery for those still living in unsafe and conditions.

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