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Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Isn’t it interesting how differently the following two phrases sound:

  • A little house in the country.
  • Affordable rural housing.

They’re the same thing, really. But perceptions about life in the country depend almost entirely on whether someone with choices opts to buy a house there or someone without choices tries to buy in.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The mental health crisis among healthcare workers in the pandemic is, in large part, one of moral crisis.  

We’ve reported on the emotional toll COVID-19 can take on frontline healthcare workers. But what about the toll it’s taking on professionals at the further reaches of the healthcare continuum?

Feliphe Schiarolli / Unsplash

One of the upsides to having children back in a physical classroom is that the state's child protective services workers can talk to kids again. A lot of them are dealing with abuse or neglect and it's easier to catch up with several of them when they're in one place, away from the people abusing and neglecting them.

Laurie Helms / City of Rock Hill

Rock Hill’s shiny new Sports & Event Center was all set to be a big deal. It was just slated to open at a colossally unfortunate time – March, 2020.

To be fair, it did open, briefly. There was a soft launch; a few events happened. But the city’s newest economic driver, a facility humming with revenue-raking sports and contests, ringed by businesses and restaurants poised to make a killing, never got its hoopla-launch. COVID-19 shut the center’s doors for two months, before it even had a chance to prop them open.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

A lot of people see frontline healthcare workers as heroes in the coronavirus pandemic.

That might actually be kind of a problem.

Cheedy Jaja

Cheedy Jaja grew up in Sierra Leone. He came to the United States to study medicine and became a nurse practitioner.

So it’s not much of a stretch to see what drew him back to Sierra Leone when the Ebola crisis broke out in 2014. He felt a call to go home and help.

He wasn’t prepared for the things he saw.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Voters with disabilities have always faced a lot of obstacles, but they’ve also always had a choice – voting absentee.

Now, a combination of the coronavirus pandemic and the politicization of the U.S. Postal Service is forcing a different kind of choice onto disabled voters – do they risk going out among people to vote during a pandemic or risk having their votes not count?

Holly Duncan / Converse College

The coronavirus sent everyone at Converse College in Spartanburg packing early in the spring. Graduating seniors barely had time to say their good-byes before the campus shut down and restructured.

As the college reopens to residents this week, it brings a few changes, and not just in the COVID-19 protocols. For the first time, male freshmen are moving in as well. Converse, one of the last all-female colleges in South Carolina, decided that the fall of 2021 would be when it would go coed. But, as it has for a lot of things, the coronavirus pandemic has moved a few things around.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Right now, around the country, communities are asking hard questions about the role of police – does policing need an overhaul? How can officers better serve communities? And how can departments ratchet down tensions that can lead to aggression by and against police officers?

Well before the flashpoint that was the George Floyd incident, scholars and social reformers were posing an answer to questions like these: female officers.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

Admittedly, we don’t often profile residents of Arizona here at South Carolina Public Radio.

But we’ve never gotten a visitor quite like Jessica Cox.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The walk out to the dam at Lake Conestee is a short downhill/uphill, past the remains of an old mill that died decades ago. That mill is the reason this dam – 585 feet across, 28 feet tall, and up to 10 feet thick – exists in the first place. It was a power generation system for an Industrial Age business that, like thousands of other dams in the United States, still stands, far beyond its intended lifespan.

What worries Dave Hargett, a retired engineer and co-founder of the Conestee Foundation, is not just that this 128-year-old dam sitting six miles south of Downtown Greenville might break and send a lot of water rushing down the Reedy River. What bothers him most is what is piled up on the north side of the dam’s wall.

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

The weekend after George Floyd’s death, a thousand-or-so people took to the streets of Rock Hill. At the heart of their march was a call to develop a citizen’s review board – a mechanism that allows residents to weigh in on claims of police misconduct. By the end of the march it was announced, to booming applause, that the city would start to develop one.

A few days later, a couple hundred people bowed their heads at a prayer vigil in Chester. The city’s mayor, Wanda Stringfellow, helped pull the vigil together with Chester County Sheriff Max Dorsey. During the vigil, Stringfellow said she would personally shepherd a citizen’s review board to the City Council.

By June 22, the ordinance for such a board passed its first of two hearings with the council.

It might be tempting to end the story there.  

Scott Morgan / South Carolina Public Radio

South Carolina small businesses received $1.87 billion through the federal Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, and were able to revive 280,000 jobs by accessing the loans, according to newly released data from the U.S. Small Business Association.

The SBA’s public database identifies businesses that received $150,000 or less in PPP loans. The money went to 55,554 businesses in the state.

Provided by Juwan Williams

Attending a Historically Black College/University (HBCU) is not quite the same as attending college elsewhere. There’s a lot of history and culture that goes with the HBCU experience – and that can be surprisingly intimidating for young African-American intellectuals.

The only thing scarier is the prospect of not being on campus.

And that is what students at Clinton College in Rock Hill are facing, thanks to the coronavirus. Juwan Williams is one of them.

Mika Baumeister / Unsplash

On Thursday morning, the Spartanburg County Council held a special meeting to vote on whether to ask residents and visitors to wear face coverings – not just masks – at grocery stores and pharmacies in the county. The resolution adopted 3-1 was largely symbolic, as most measures by county and local governments have been amid a stunning spike in confirmed COVID-19 cases and escalating death totals.

There will be no enforcement, in other words, if someone walks into a supermarket without a mask on.

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