Officials say a man dies while trying to outrun police officers in Spartanburg County. Tom Hayes reports.
Officials say a man dies while trying to outrun police officers in Spartanburg County. Tom Hayes reports.
There is a new top dog in South Carolina. He is a bulldog puppy named Mac.
Gov. Henry McMaster introduced the 11-week-old puppy to reporters after a bill singing ceremony Monday morning at the Governor’s Mansion.
South Carolina had been without a First Dog since March when the governor’s other bulldog Boots died from lymphatic cancer.
“He’s filling the big hole in our heart that was left by our wonderful English bull, Boots, who passed away not too long ago,” McMaster said in a video released on Twitter on Sunday. McMaster said he is a great little pup.
Mac is named after the governor’s father in law McMaster said.
The state Senate unanimously advanced legislation Wednesday to fix South Carolina’s struggling pension fund. SC Radio Network’s Matt Long breaks down the somewhat complicated legislation that may be the most important bill to pass the General Assembly this year.
–Under the bill, state workers would pay slightly more than their current 8.66 percent contribution into the system but would have the amount capped at that level in the future.
— Government agencies on the other hand would see their contribution rates go from 11.66 percent to 18.56 percent by fiscal year 2023.
— The Senate version notably included a provision that would eventually phase out the pension system in favor of a “defined contribution” plan for new employees.
President Trump spoke in North Charleston Friday afternoon to workers at the Boeing plant as the company debut its 787-10 Dreamliner variant.
In a quick 15-minute speech, the president touched on many of his campaign themes. “America is going to start winning again, winning like never ever before,” he told an estimated 5,000 people at the rollout ceremony. “We’re not going to let our country be taken advantage of anymore.”
“We’re here to celebrate American engineering and manufacturing. We’re here today to also celebrate jobs,” Trump said.
“Our country is all about making dreams come true. Over the last number of years that hasn’t been necessarily the case. But we’re going to make it the case again,” Trump said.
Trump praised Boeing and its workers. “We dream of things then we build them. We turn vision into reality,” Trump told the cheering crowd.
It was Trump’s first visit to South Carolina since winning the state’s Republican presidential primary nearly a year ago.
An audit of the agency which runs South Carolina’s juvenile prisons found undertrained staff and ineffective police who are not able to properly respond to violent incidents at the state’s main youth prison.
The Legislative Audit Council (LAC) report released Thursday documented gaps in Department of Juvenile Justice (DJJ) officer training and what auditors viewed as inadequate responses to deaths or other incidents in DJJ facilities. House lawmakers asked LAC to review the agency after a series of violent incidents, capped by a February 2016 riot that caused serious damage to several buildings at the DJJ holding facility in Columbia.
The report noted only slightly more than one out of every four correctional officers (28 percent) assigned to work at DJJ’s detention center in Columbia in October were certified by the state Criminal Justice Academy, even though they are required to attend the academy’s three-week basic detention training. DJJ staff said it was not aware of the requirement until 2014. While the agency offers in-house training for its corrections officers, that training has also never been approved by the academy.
“Unlike basic training provided at (the academy), DJJ’s training curriculum for juvenile correctional officers does not include defensive countermeasures, pressure point control, tactical handcuffing, or spontaneous knife defense,” the report noted. “We concluded that officers working with juveniles inside DJJ’s long-term, secured residential facilities need this level of training to protect juveniles and staff.” [Read more…]
Former South Carolina Republican Party Chairman and national GOP staffer Chad Connelly is considering a run for Congress to fill the seat of South Carolina 5th District Congressman Mick Mulvaney. The Newberry County native told South Carolina Radio Network he is talking about it with his family over the holidays.
The decision, however, would require he leave his post as the Republican National Committee’s first National Director of Faith Engagement, a role that he says, “was a key” in the election of Donald Trump as president.
“We set a record for evangelical turnout, the highest ever,” Connelly said. “And I know that a lot of it was the message and the candidate but I really believe there’s been a lot of groups–and of course our efforts being out there and talking to pastors and faith leaders about the importance of engaging.”
Connelly has held the RNC post for three and a half years. He recently spoke with South Carolina Radio Network about his time in national politics and his possible interest in a run for Congress.
SCRN: He was not a traditional evangelical candidate. Did you have any issues in trying to convince evangelicals to listen to Trump?
Connelly: The truth of the matter was, there was such a feeling of Hillary was a real problem. I had more pastors tell me something on the order of ‘I am not exactly sure of what I get with your candidate, but I’m terrified of what I get with the other side’s candidate.” There was some of that, where people heard what Hillary Clinton had said in regard to religious freedom and life issues, marriage, even debt and taxation, and the way the Democrat Party is now treating Israel by and large… it was all over the country and a lot of them just really brought it down to the Supreme Court: ‘Hey I’d rather have conservatives who are advising Donald Trump pick the next Supreme Court justices than Hillary Clinton.”
Connelly says that, when he took the job, he told RNC Chairman Reince Preibus that he was not going to back a certain candidate. He then visited Christian voters in 40 states, including 25 in 2016 alone.
“I was talking that there is a Biblical obligation to vote and a Biblical obligation to be informed and vote for the person that most represents your values…you may not get the candidate you want at local, state and national or whatever. But, if people who are sitting in churches are informed, they are going to vote our way most of the time.”
SCRN: How did you respond to questions about your role and the separation of church and state?
Connelly: “I did get a lot of questions about, “Is this legal?” I would tell pastors if there is no First Amendment freedom of speech in the pulpit, then there is no freedom of speech anywhere else either…I had to overcome some of the legal hurdles and really a large misinformation that I think some folks have foisted on some pastors. Frankly some denominations hide behind that whole thing, [by saying] ‘well, we cannot talk about politics.’
I would steer them toward whether this is political or is it spiritual. Show me in the Bible where we are to be salt and light everywhere except politics, that’s just not true. We are commanded, we are instructed, we have an obligation to engage in the arena. Salt can only be tasted when there is something that lacks salt.”
SCRN: There is stress between Trump and the Muslim community as a faith community. How do you handle that?
Connelly: “They came to me, Muslim Republican Groups, Jewish Republican groups. When I was in D.C. or out in different organizations, I would run into people from every walk of life you can name. I had those discussions. They were quick to denounce terrorism, they did not like being fit into a mould. I obviously set up some of those meetings with people in leadership and people in Republican leadership around the country as well.”
SCRN: Mr. Trump is drawing pretty heavily on pro-Israel appointments and today there is also a tension about where and how the we do diplomacy over there. In your role, what is your take on that?
Connelly: “I’ve always been heavily involved in pro-Israel groups and I think most of the folks I’m around, certainly the pastors, are very excited to see his appointments and our (GOP) platform called for moving the capital to Jerusalem.
Connelly says he is in discussion about the future of this job with Preibus, who will become President-elect Trump’s chief of staff.
“The public has spoken. They believe in conservative ideals and want to move our nation back to conservative principles and I feel certain that Reince wants me to stay there and expand it or –if I run–find somebody to replace me.”
Nearly two dozen public schools across South Carolina have achieved designation as “America’s Healthiest Schools” status.
The designation is from the Alliance for a Healthier Generation. Alliance CEO Howell Wechsler told South Carolina Radio Network that the schools must meet a panel of strict criteria to earn the status.
He said this year only 300 schools reached those criteria. “The standards are very, very rigorous,” Wechsler said. “And I am excited to tell you that this year out of only 328 schools across the country that met the standard, we’re honoring twenty South Carolina schools.”
The schools must meet or exceed stringent standards set by the Alliance’s Healthy Schools Program that include: serving healthier meals and snacks, getting students moving more, offering high-quality physical and health education and empowering school leaders to become healthy role models.
“If they want the kids to learn, they got to have the kids healthy,” said Wechsler. “Healthy kids are better learners. They get better grades, they do better on tests, they have better attendance, they have better classroom behavior.”
The South Carolina schools to earn the designation are:
Brockman Elementary School, Columbia
Carver-Lyon Elementary School, Columbia
Columbia High School, Columbia
Cowpens Elementary School, Cowpens
Dreher High School, Columbia
E E Taylor Elementary School, Columbia
Gadsden Elementary School, Gadsden
Horrell Hill Elementary School, Hopkins
La France Elementary School, La France
Liberty High School, Liberty
Newberry Elementary School, Newberry
Pendleton Elementary School, Pendleton
Pendleton High School, Pendleton
Pine Grove Elementary School, Columbia
Riverside Middle School, Pendleton
Sangaree Elementary School, Summerville
Southside Middle School, Florence
Sullivans Island Elem School, Sullivans
Townville Elementary School, Townville
“These schools and their leaders have proven that they are the real deal. They are doing so much for our kids,” Wechsler said.
Governor Nikki Haley has issued an executive order declaring a State of Emergency in South Carolina and on Tuesday asked residents to prepare for a potential coastal evacuation in advance of any impact from Hurricane Matthew.
“We’ve dotted every ‘i’ and crossed every ‘t,’” Haley told reporters Tuesday. “And that doesn’t mean there won’t be hiccups, but we’re ready, comfortable and we know that everything is in place to go so that everybody can get to go where they need to go, safely.”
State Emergency Management Division director Kim Stenson said roughly 1.1 million South Carolinians live in the zones being considered for evacuation that will start Wednesday afternoon. “Right now, it looks like (Evacuation) Zone A across the board will be evacuated. And we’re going to look at some of the others in the Charleston area.”
Haley is urging residents to help each other out. “So this where I’m going to ask South Carolinians to really do what we’ve always done. It’s neighbors taking care of neighbors,” said Haley. [Read more…]
A prayer service and funeral are set later this week for a Beaufort County girl who died from a rare amoeba infection after swimming in a Lowcountry river last month.
State health officials say the species of amoeba is very common in South Carolina, but requires a rare worst-case scenario to get into the brain — usually by water forced up the nose and into the nasal cavity.
According to The Beaufort Gazette, Jeff Collins informed officials that he took his daughter Hannah to the Edisto River in late July where she enjoyed jumping into the river from a rope swing repeatedly. Detecting the disease is not easy and primary amebic meningoencephalitis can go weeks without showing symptoms. Despite being in the hospital for some time, the disease overtook Hannah Collins at 10:2o p.m. on Friday night, according to family.
The family plans a prayer service Thursday evening from 5-7 p.m. at Anderson Funeral Home with a prayer service at 6:30 p.m. A funeral will follow at 10:30 a.m., the next morning at St. Peter’s Catholic Church on Lady’s Island.
Matt Long contributed to this report.
South Carolina’s 6th District Congressman James Clyburn will be speaking at a Democratic National Convention for a fourth time when he addresses delegates in Philadelphia. Convention organizers have not confirmed a day and time as of this posting.
Ashley Byrd spoke to Clyburn when he arrived Sunday.