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Anderson County Dog Park to be Built Near Library

The new plans for the Anderson County Dog Park have been released. The park will be built on county-owned land bordered by North Manning Street, East Society Street, East Orr Street and North Fant Street. The property is located on land near the Anderson County Library.



Mayberry Days This Weekend in Westminster

Westminster will once again transform into the TV town of Mayberry.

The annual Mayberry Days festival kicks off on Friday and brings the characters and feel of the fictional town made famous in “The Andy Griffith Show” to Oconee County.

Tribute artists will perform as famous Mayberry residents, including headliner David Browning, who performs as Master Deputy Barney Fife at festivals and events across the US, organizers said. Other famous faces will include Allan "Floyd the Barber" Newsome, Tim "Goober" Pettigrew, and Phil "Ernest T. Bass" Fox, Jeff "Howard Sprague" Branch, Kenneth "Otis Campbell" Junkin, Bob "Briscoe Darling" Mundy, and Christy "Andylene" McLendon.

A "Memories of Mayberry" concert and talent show will be held Saturday afternoon featuring the VW Boys.

Two parades will also be held on Saturday, along with several other events.

Click here to see the full Mayberry Days event schedule.



New Test Could Replace Needle-Blood Testing for Diabetics

People with diabetes are required to self-test their blood glucose, generally requiring them to prick a finger and test their blood using chemically-coated paper and a small device -- but scientists in Wales think they've got a better device that will allow for more continuous monitoring.

Scientists at Cardiff University have designed a device that tests glucose levels through the skin using microwaves, eliminating the need to bleed and testing supplies that have an expiration date.

The device can be stuck to a person's arm and worn discreetly, allowing for continuous monitoring of blood glucose -- even over the Web, allowing doctors to monitor patient conditions from afar as well.

"Patients are very keen on this," Stephen Luzio, a professor at Swansea University who has been working with scientists at Cardiff University, said in a press release. "One of the big problems with patients measuring their glucose is they don't like pricking their finger, so there's a lot of interest."

The scientists have been working on the device since 2008 on a $1.4 million grant from the Wellcome Trust, a U.K.-based health charity, to find an easier, less invasive method of diabetes monitoring.


G News: S.C. Ranked 49th for Working Mothers

South Carolina is one of the worst states in the country for working moms, ahead of only Alabama and Nevada, a new WalletHub analysis says. The personal finance site used factors including child care, professional opportunities and work-life balance to calculate where each state landed on the list.

South Carolina, ranked No. 49 overall, got its worst ranking in professional opportunities, where it placed No. 49 out of 51 (Washington, D.C. was included in the study). Poor rural areas in the state without many job opportunities could have contributed to that low ranking, said Drucilla Barker, an anthropology and women's and gender studies professor at the University of South Carolina.

"Considering the fact that we have so many rural areas that are so extremely poor, three aren't many professional opportunities for working moms or anyone," Barker said. "Unless you live in Greenville, Spartanburg, Columbia or Charleston, there's not much opportunity for anything."

Also considered by WalletHub when evaluating states' professional opportunities is the gender wage gap and the proportion of families in poverty. While the wage gap in South Carolina is comparable to the national average, the rate of children in poverty is higher. Twenty-six percent of children live in poverty in South Carolina, compared to 21 percent nationally, data from the National Center for Children in Poverty shows.

The Palmetto State was also ranked No. 43 for child care and No. 39 for work-life balance. 

Full Story Here


Trump Reaches Out to GOP Establishment

Donald J. Trump, turning his attention to the general election, has begun quietly reaching out to key elements of the Republican establishment as he seeks to unite the party behind his candidacy before his anticipated battle against Hillary Clinton.

Mr. Trump, who is expected to run on a nonideological platform of his own design, is trying to reassure party officials that he understands there are certain norms even he needs to follow as the Republican nominee, and that he is capable of producing an organization and infrastructure that can sustain a costly general election campaign.

His team, already working to transform a lean operation into a national presidential campaign apparatus, has been reaching out to members of Congress and Washington think tanks; strategizing on how best to take on Mrs. Clinton and woo supporters of her primary opponent, Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont; and planning to head to Cleveland next week to help direct the party’s July convention, according to aides.

The campaign has also begun thinking about what a convention with Mr. Trump, a circus master and media savant, as the prime-time act will look like.

“The site has been chosen and the arena is fine, but I’d want to have — you know, the last Republican convention was extraordinarily boring,” Mr. Trump said in one of two phone interviews Wednesday. “And we’re going to come up with some things that will make it interesting and informative, but also smart and different.”

Full Story Here


Bush Ex-Presidents Refuse to Endorse Trump

Neither George HW nor George W Bush, the only two living former Republican presidents of the United States, will endorse Donald Trump.

In statements released to the Guardian on Wednesday evening, spokesmen for both former presidents said they would be sitting out the 2016 election. Freddy Ford, a spokesman for George W Bush, told the Guardian: “President George W Bush does not plan to participate in or comment on the presidential campaign.”

The statement by the 43rd president was echoed in one released by his father. Jim McGrath, a spokesman for George HW Bush, told the Guardian: “At age 91, President Bush is retired from politics. He naturally did a few things to help Jeb, but those were the ‘exceptions that proved the rule’.”

The non-endorsements come as Trump has become the presumptive nomineeand many party figures have tried to come to terms with the fact that the demagogic reality television star will be their party’s standard-bearer in November.


California Raises Smoking Age to 21

Gov. Jerry Brown on Wednesday signed a pack of bills that will raise the smoking age in California from 18 to 21, restrict the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and expand no-smoking areas at public schools.

However, Brown vetoed a bill that would have allowed counties to seek voter approval of local tobacco taxes to pay for healthcare expenses for those with tobacco-related illnesses.

“Although California has one of the lowest cigarette tax rates in the nation, I am reluctant to approve this measure in view of all the taxes being proposed for the 2016 ballot,” Brown wrote in his veto message for a bill authored by Assemblyman Richard Bloom (D-Santa Monica).

Brown did not comment on the other bills that he signed, but state Sen. Ed Hernandez (D-West Covina) said approval of his bill raising the smoking age will save lives.


Haley Not Interested in Vice President Slot

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley says she's "not interested" in serving as a vice presidential nominee.

Haley said in a statement provided to The Associated Press Wednesday that she's "flattered" to be mentioned as a possible running mate but that her "plate is full" governing South Carolina.

Haley's star has risen due in part to her response to the Charleston church shooting and South Carolina's historic flooding. She gave this year's Republican response to President Barack Obama's State of the Union address.

The statement came in response to questions about whether Haley would support Donald Trump as the GOP's nominee, now that other candidates have left the race.

Asked previously, Haley has said she'd back the eventual nominee, which she hoped would be Marco Rubio and then, after his departure, Ted Cruz.



DOJ Says N.C. Bathroom Bill Violates Civil Rights

Federal authorities told North Carolina's governor on Wednesday that a new state law limiting restroom access for transgender people violates the U.S. Civil Rights Act.

In a letter to Republican Governor Pat McCrory the Justice Department said North Carolina was "engaging in a pattern or practice of discrimination against transgender state employees." The letter, seen by Reuters, said the state had until Monday to say whether it would remedy the violations.

McCrory said in a statement that his office will review the letter "to determine the next steps."

"The right and expectation of privacy in one of the most private areas of our personal lives is now in jeopardy," McCrory said.

Republican state legislative leaders said they still supported the law despite the federal warning.

In March, North Carolina became the first U.S. state to require transgender people to use restrooms in public buildings and schools that match the sex on their birth certificate, not their gender identity.


Clemson Gets $10.5 Million NIH Grant

An interdisciplinary team of Clemson University researchers focused on fighting organisms responsible for infectious diseases that threaten the health of billions of people globally has been awarded $10.5 million from the National Institutes of Health (NIH).

The Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) grant will enable Clemson’s Eukaryotic Pathogens Innovation Center (EPIC) to develop a critical mass of scientists and research infrastructure that could accelerate the rate of discovery in the fight against pathogens that cause some of the world’s most devastating and intractable infectious diseases, including amoebic dysentery, African sleeping sickness and fungal meningitis.

This is Clemson’s second COBRE award and the first to the university outright. In 2009, a $9 million grant helped establish the South Carolina Bioengineering Center of Regeneration and Formation of Tissue (SC BioCRAFT), a collaboration with the Medical University of South Carolina. In 2014, SC BioCRAFT received a follow-up grant from the COBRE for $11 million.

The new grant was announced during Wednesday’s Clemson University Research Symposium at the Watt Family Innovation Center on campus.

“This grant is a force multiplier for advancing research by positioning our junior faculty and young investigators to compete for complimentary funding and by enhancing collaboration between other programs at Clemson,” said biological sciences professor and EPIC co-founder Lesly Temesvari.

The grant will provide funds for five junior faculty, four research technicians, 11 Ph.D. graduate students and administrative personnel. A portion of the grant will be used to create a network of external mentors to provide guidance and expertise to junior scientists. The funds will also help support efforts in Clemson’s Light Imaging Facility and Institute of Translational Genomics.

“The mentors’ ultimate goal is to shepherd junior researchers to a point of independence where they can secure their own funding and make even greater contributions to the science of fighting these diseases,” said Kerry Smith, EPIC director and professor of genetics and biochemistry.

While the diseases caused by parasitic and fungal pathogens seem a world away, Smith said recent Ebola and Zika outbreaks, also caused by emerging pathogens, prove otherwise.


S.C. House OKs Cell Phone Fee to Subsidize Land Lines

The South Carolina House has approved legislation that spreads the cost of phone services to cellphone customers, lowering fees on landline bills.

The 103-2 vote Wednesday follows a Public Service Commission ruling requiring cellphone companies to pay into the state's Universal Service Fund, which the Legislature created in 1996 to extend and maintain lines in rural areas.

More than 20 local telephone companies sought last fall's hearing after the bill stalled in the Legislature.

The legislation would cap rural companies' supplements at $40 million. It also requires cellphone customers to begin contributing toward services for hearing- and speech-impaired residents. That would be capped at 10 cents monthly.

House Labor Commerce and Industry Chairman Bill Sandifer says it's only fair to extend the fees to everyone who benefits from landline connections.



Senate $7.5 Billion Budget Includes Raises

The South Carolina Senate has approved a $7.5 billion state budget that puts an additional $300 million into K-12 education, covers the state's expenses from last fall's historic flooding and provides $40 million in grants to flood-devastated farmers.

Senators voted Wednesday to return their spending plans for the fiscal year beginning July 1 to the House.

The Senate version spent $11 million more on school buses, bringing the total to $28 million. But senators cut in half the amount spent on replenishing sand along South Carolina's coast, to $20 million.

The chambers' plans also differ in state employees' salaries. The Senate doubled workers' cost-of-living increase to 4 percent. That would be the largest raise given to all workers since 2005.

Senators also added $2.4 million for police body cameras.



Poll: Sabbath Losing Religious Significance in America

The percentage of Americans who believe that the Sabbath is a religiously significant day has sharply declined since 1978, according to a recent poll.

In a survey conducted by YouGov on behalf of Deseret News, 50 percent of respondents said the Sabbath had a religious or spiritual significance. This contrasts to a 1978 Gallup poll when 74 percent of respondents said the same.

In their report, titled "Sabbath Day Observance in the U.S.," Deseret noted that the trend was most prominent among the millennial generation.

"Additionally, millennials are the least likely cohort to attend church. Only 22 percent of millennials report attending church. In fact, 18 percent report working on a typical Sunday."

For the research, YouGov interviewed 1,691 individuals from April 13-15, and then matched down the sample to 1,000 with a 3.1 margin of error.

Kelsey Dallas of Deseret noted that the findings also show members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and evangelicals are disproportionately more observant of the Sabbath than the general population.

"Mormons are 28 percentage points more likely than average to spend time in religious meditation and more than 40 percentage points more likely to attend church," wrote Dallas.

"Evangelical Protestants are 15 percentage points more likely than average to go to church and read the Bible on the Sabbath, the survey reported. They are also less likely than others to work in or around the home or to participate in sports or outdoors activities."

Deseret's report on Sabbath observance and perception was part of its annual "Ten Today" series which examines how modern American society treats the Ten Commandments.

"The new survey depicts the modern Sabbath as a day focused on relaxation and errand-running rather than religious commitment," continued Dallas.

"More than 7 in 10 U.S. adults (73 percent) today say they 'take rest and relaxation' on the Sabbath, compared to 63 percent in 1978. Thirty percent of people go shopping, an 11 percentage point increase over nearly 40 years."