South Carolina authorities have identified a teenager killed after being struck by a vehicle. Jay Harper reports.
Archives for December 2018
State lawmakers are looking at legislation to change the way mental health patients are transported after two women drowned when a sheriff’s van was washed off a highway by floodwaters during Hurricane Florence.
The Post and Courier reports that four senators on a subcommittee are considering increasing the training requirements for law enforcement officials who transport mentally ill patients a common practice across the state.
They are also considering allowing family members to take individuals who are seeking treatment.
Monday’s meeting was the second one since Nicolette Green and Wendy Newton were killed after a Horry County sheriff’s van drove into flood waters on U.S. Highway 76.
Two Horry County sheriff’s deputies, who have been fired, were able to escape the van. The two women could not escape from the reinforced back of the vehicle.
According to Sen. Marlin Kimpson, D-Charleston, who is leading the subcommittee, the goal is to make sure the state is treating mental illness as a health issue and not an issue for law enforcement.
Small businesses, farmers’ co-ops and some nonprofits affected by Hurricane Michael in October may be eligible for low-interest loans from the federal government.
In a release last week, the U.S. Small Business Administration says that Economic Injury Disaster Loans are available in 25 eligible counties in South Carolina to qualifying business and non-profit organizations.
The eligible counties are Aiken, Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Beaufort, Berkeley, Calhoun, Charleston, Clarendon, Colleton, Darlington, Dorchester, Edgefield, Fairfield, Florence, Georgetown, Hampton, Kershaw, Lee, Lexington, Newberry, Orangeburg, Richland, Saluda, and Sumter.
The loans may be used to pay fixed debts, payroll, accounts payable and other bills that could have been paid had the hurricane not occurred. The loans are not intended to replace lost sales or profits.
The loans available for eligible individuals that suffered financial losses as a direct result of the hurricane. With the exception of aquaculture enterprises, the Small Business Association cannot provide disaster loans to agricultural producers, farmers, and ranchers.
Go to Disasterloan.sba.gov.
If you need to enroll for health insurance under the federal exchanges established by the Affordable Care Act, the deadline is December 15. If you currently have coverage through the federal marketplace, you still need to re-enroll for coverage for 2019.
Health insurance coverage is no longer mandatory for American citizens.
Blue Cross Blue Shield is one of two companies offering marketplace coverage in South Carolina. Although people can enroll online, BCBS spokesperson Shawn Skillman encourages people to talk to a representative about their coverage needs.
“Speak to someone because your life changes,” he said. “You might like yours that you have now but . . . maybe something’s changed in your life and you want to take a look and see what else is out there. So we want to have that one-on-one attention.” [Read more…]
Clemson University students are partnering with industry leaders in an effort to create sustainable solutions for the lifecycle of vehicles. Sponsored by ExxonMobil, graduate automotive engineering students in the university’s flagship Deep Orange program will develop a next-generation sustainable concept vehicle.
Deep Orange 11 will is led by Srikanth Pilla, Jenkins Endowed Professor of Automotive Engineering at Clemson University and director of the Clemson Composites Center
Pilla told South Carolina Radio Network that it’s hands-on learning for the students. “The students will also do market analysis.”
Clemson said in a release that the Deep Orange is a flagship program of Clemson University’s two-year master’s program focused on systems integration in automotive engineering. The program provides students with experience in market analysis, target customer profiles, vehicle design, prototyping, and manufacturing while balancing costs and design targets in an aggressive timeline. The innovative vehicle prototype program encourages students to push the boundaries of conventional design and engineering.
“The concept car we are talking about right now is the eleventh edition of the program,” said Pilla.
The goal of the project is to develop an ultra-efficient, lightweight, highly durable mobility solution. The project emphasizes the integration of sustainability in the entire product lifecycle from manufacture and operation with circular economy considerations. Students will have a unique, hands-on experience working with ExxonMobil and skilled engineers throughout the design and development process.
Winter storm warning remains in effect until 2 pm this afternoon.
A new study argues South Carolina’s tax incentives meant to encourage out-of-state businesses could be causing a significant shortfall on school funding.
The advocacy group Good Jobs First said the state is missing out on $318 million each year from the breaks it offers to new corporate economic investments in South Carolina. That is the second-highest total in the country, according to the report.
“When economic development subsidies are given in order to attract jobs, they end up depleting school finances,” group spokesman Scott Klinger said. “Which we think undermines the long-term economic competitiveness of states which rely heavily on this.”
Klinger argues the lost tax revenue could have paid for 6,300 teachers at a $50,000 minimum salary or More than 3,800 new school buses. He argued the lost property tax revenue falls particularly hard on school boards, who are powerless against the state or county governments which often approve the incentives.
The data comes from a relatively-new accounting rule which requires governments report total tax incentives they offer to businesses.
However, state commerce officials argue South Carolina needs the incentives to be competitive since its property taxes are comparatively high. They gamble the new jobs created will bring in new tax money to help offset the breaks. It’s also unlikely SC would ever charge its full 10.5 percent manufacturing property tax to new companies it attracted, since the rate is one of the highest in the region. The state passed an exemption last year which would allow any manufacturer to effectively reduce that rate to 9 percent.
South Carolina trailed only New York for total incentives offered to businesses which opened inside state borders. Those incentives are almost always predicated on the benefactor company reaching specific job targets or investment levels. Those breaks are then complicated by a 2006 state law which prohibits county governments from using homeowners’ property taxes to pay for education.
Klinger said the actual financial impact was likely higher, since fewer than half of all school districts nationwide reported their estimated losses from tax incentives, in violation of the new standards. The group said the high rate of non-reporting means the report cannot be viewed as a comparison of all 50 states.
A change South Carolina’s child abuse law has led to a better response for young human trafficking victims, according to state officials
“There was no way for law enforcement to engage, for the most part, DSS (Department of Social Services) to help with the child unless that involved a parent or a guardian,” state Attorney General’s Office Human Trafficking Task Force chair Kathryn Moorehead said. “The legislation has changed that so that now minor sex trafficking victims can receive services directly from DSS and law enforcement can reach out to get those resources for the child.”
Moorehead said the legislation passed in April changes the DSS definition of child abuse and neglect. [Read more…]
Federal officials appear close to granting a key permit for a proposed railroad line which would serve a new Volvo automotive plant in Berkeley County.
The Surface Transportation Board’s draft environmental assessment of the 28-mile Camp Hill line states “impacts on the resources evaluated… were all considered minimal, with the exception of impacts on… wetlands and noise/vibration.”
State-owned Palmetto Railways would operate the line to carry roughly 50,000 finished Volvo automobiles at the Ridgeville plant to a distribution center in Columbia. The vehicles must currently be taken more than 80 miles northwest by truck. [Read more…]
Included in the evening’s final newscast:
— Six counties along the North Carolina border will be under a winter-storm watch starting Saturday evening
— Texas woman sentenced to 32 years after deputies found nearly $7 million in heroin hidden under her child’s car seat
— Authorities say emergency response driver who caused a fatal Beaufort County crash had been on duty for 22 hours
— University of South Carolina students play music they wrote with inmates at Lee Correctional Institution