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NBC Legal Analyst Keynote at Clemson's Tuesday MLK Event

Maya Wiley recognized nationally as a leading legal authority on racial and social justice who apprears regularly on NBC News, will be the keynote speaker Tuesday at 6 p.m. as Clemson University honors the life and legacy of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. at the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Maya Wiley, keynote speaker for Clemson University MLK Commemorative Service

Wiley’s speech will be tied to this year’s theme, “This is America: Miseducation, Re-education, Liberation.”

“The 2019 MLK planning committee wanted this year’s celebration to give voice to the experiences of people within the United States who are not often highlighted,” said Kendra Stewart-Tillman, director of the Harvey and Lucinda Gantt Multicultural Center. “Given Maya Wiley’s experience of activism in advancing civil rights, we thought she would be a great choice to serve as the keynote speaker.”

Wiley received her law degree from Columbia University School of Law and a Bachelor of Arts in psychology from Dartmouth College.

Wiley is the senior vice president for social justice and Henry J. Cohen professor at the Milano School of International Affairs, Management and Urban Policy at The New School in New York. She also co-chairs the School Diversity Working Group at the New York City Department of Education.

Wiley regularly lends her expertise as a legal analyst and civil rights activist to NBC News and MSNBC news programs. One of the more memorable on-air moments with Wiley happened in 2018 on MSNBC’s “The Beat” with Ari Melber. Wiley advised Sam Nunberg, former political adviser to Donald Trump’s 2016 presidential campaign, to comply with a subpoena from Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who heads the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections. Nunberg told Melber and Wiley he wouldn’t go to jail if he didn’t testify.Nunberg later told the Washington Post, Wiley’s advice prompted him to change his mind about cooperating with Mueller.

In addition to Wiley’s visit, the Gantt Multicultural Center will host:

  • A blood drive from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday, Jan. 21, at the Hendrix Student Center in meeting rooms A and B. Donating blood reflects King’s commitment to helping others.
  • An oratorical contest at 6 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 23, in 100 Vickery Hall. The contest gives students the opportunity to reflect and speak on the MLK celebration theme by considering Childish Gambino’s song, “This is America.”
  • The return of the Tunnel of Oppression from noon to 6 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 24, in Hendrix Student Center ballrooms A and B. The Tunnel of Oppression is a series of simulations that depict real-life scenarios of power, privilege and oppression.

U.S. News & World Report: AU Online Undergraduate Program Top in Upstate

Anderson University has the best online academic programs in Upstate South Carolina and ranks 84th nationally, according to the latest U.S. News & World Report rakings released.

In the 2019 rankings of the best online programs in the country, Anderson University’s online bachelors programs is listed as the best in Upstate South Carolina. The publication also recognized AU’s online graduate programs in business, education, criminal justice and nursing. 

“Innovation is one of the hallmarks of the educational experience at Anderson University, and we’re proud of the strides we’ve made in positioning AU as a national leader in delivering quality programs online,” said Dr. Evans P. Whitaker, president of Anderson University. 

The U.S. News & World Report online rankings for AU include:

  • Online Bachelor Programs: No. 3 in South Carolina; No. 2 among private institutions in South Carolina; No. 1 in Upstate South Carolina; No. 84 nationally (up 59 spots from 2018)
  • Online Graduate Business Programs: No. 2 in South Carolina; No. 1 among private institutions in South Carolina; No. 1 in Upstate South Carolina; No. 131 nationally (first year ranked)
  • Online Graduate Education Programs: No. 3 in South Carolina; No. 1 among private institutions in South Carolina; No. 84 nationally (first year ranked)
  • Online Graduate Criminal Justice Programs: No. 1 in South Carolina; No. 12 nationally (first year ranked)
  • Online Graduate Nursing Programs: No. 1 in South Carolina (private); No. 50 nationally (first year ranked) 

“Online students at Anderson University receive an exceptional education with access to personalized support through our Journey Coach advising program and learning opportunities led by world-class faculty,” said Dr. Ben Deaton, Vice President of Technology, Online Learning and Innovation. “This approach allows Anderson to provide value and support throughout all aspects of the student experience.” 


S.C. Lawmakers Try Again to Pass Medical Marijuana Bill

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP and Observer Reports) — South Carolina lawmakers are once again introducing legislation to legalize marijuana for treatment of critically ill patients in the state, making another go at a debate that has gradually made progress in this deeply red state in recent years.

Sen. Tom Davis, a Republican from Beaufort, told The Associated Press that he plans on Tuesday to file the Compassionate Care Act in the state Senate. In the House, Republican Rep. Peter McCoy of Charleston is sponsoring similar legislation.

S.C. Rep. Jonathon Hill, R.-Anderson, said earlier this month that passing a bill to allow the use of medical marijuana in the state is one of his top priorites for the year. 

If it succeeds, South Carolina's measure would be among the most restrictive in the country. Making it explicitly illegal to smoke medical marijuana, the proposal also lays out several requirements for prescribing physicians and operators of medical cannabis dispensaries and also specifies a list of illnesses to which it could be applicable, including cancer, multiple sclerosis, epilepsy, post-traumatic stress disorder and multiple sclerosis.

Marijuana-related measures have made strides in South Carolina in recent years, and advocates continue to push for more. In 2014, Davis led a successful effort to pass a narrow law allowing patients with severe epilepsy, or their caregivers, to legally possess cannabidiol, or CBD, a non-psychoactive oil derived from marijuana.

A bill similar to Davis' current effort died in committee in previous sessions, but Davis and others have said they're encouraged by polling showing that nearly 80 percent of South Carolinians support legalizing marijuana for medical use. Last summer, Democratic primary voters also opted overwhelmingly to support the legalization of medical marijuana in a non-binding ballot resolution.

Rep. Todd Rutherford, the leading Democrat in the House chamber, has said his caucus wants to move forward this year on legalizing marijuana for medical uses.

Davis' previous proposal drew opposition from the law enforcement community, with State Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel testifying about his concerns that legalizing marijuana in any form could create a "black market" for resale and potential abuse. At committee meetings, law enforcement groups distributed handouts showing visual similarities between candies marketed to children and the packaging of some edible marijuana products available in areas where recreational usage of the drug is legal.

But there has been more recent movement on the issue.

Last week, a Senate panel advanced a resolution urging Congress to open more research on medical uses for marijuana. Bill sponsor Sen. Greg Hembree, a Republican and former prosecutor, said he supports expanding the possible medical uses of cannabis with the right testing, procedures and caution, something he said he feels isn't happening in other states that have embraced medical marijuana perhaps too readily.

Patrick Dennis, general counsel for the South Carolina Medical Association, said Monday his organization had concerns about the proposal.

"Our physicians remain opposed to sections of the new bill forcing physician to be the access point for marijuana in South Carolina," Denis said. "It is important for lawmakers and physicians alike to engage in careful study if this new iteration of marijuana legislation."

A total of 33 states, the District of Columbia, Guam and Puerto Rico allow some type of medical cannabis program, according to the National Conference of State Legislatures. Discussing his proposal with AP, Davis called it a "socially conservative" bill that helps patients in need but also includes stiff penalties for recreational use.


Monday Event to Celebrate MLK Jr. at AU

Anderson University will host the 2019 MLK Day Celebration Monday at 10 a.m. at the Daniel Recital Hall of the Callie String Rainy Fine Arts Center. 

This year’s event will feature Freedom Rider and local Pendleton native, Cladys P. Harrison, as she recounts her journey as a 1961 Freedom Rider in South Carolina. Harrison said she followed the challenge of Dr. King when he said: “The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy.”  

The Rev. James C. Clark, Pastor of Wilson Calvary Baptist Church is the keynote speaker for the event, which is free and open to the public.


Mayor's Annual Breakfast to Honor MLK Jr. Set for Friday

Mayor Terence Roberts and the Anderson City Council's 12th annual “Mayor’s Martin Luther King, Jr. Breakfast” is scheduled for Friday at 8 a.m. at the Civic Center of Anderson. This year’s theme - “Echoes of a Dream: Reflections on the Dream, the Birthday, the Legacy, the Man” - will feature the mayor as keynote speaker.

“Thanks to the support of the community and the inspiring programming the City has been able to put forth, this event has become one of our most treasured traditions,” Roberts said. “I look forward to the opportunity for us to come together to reflect on lessons from past events and imagine the realization of Dr. King’s dream.”

The event is free and open to the public. Doors open at 7:45 a.m., breakfast will be served at 8:15 a.m. and the program will begin at 8:45 a.m.

Reservations can be made by phone 864-231-1135 or email


SCETV To Broadcast 2018 AU President's Gala

South Carolina Educational Televison (SCETV) will broadcast the 2018 Annual Anderson University President’s Gala Jan.21 at 8 p.m. The goal of the event, held in the Henderson Auditorium of the Callie Stringer Rainy Center on the campus, is to showcase AU’s student performers to those outside the Anderson community. 

“Broadcasting the 2018 President’s Gala is terrific next-step for our annual year-end pops celebration,” said Dr. David Larson, dean of the South Carolina School of the Arts at Anderson University. “It is also a great opportunity to share the strength and vitality of our performance programs with the rest of South Carolina.”

The show features performances by Anderson University’s musical theatre dance team; commercial music ensembles; orchestra and choirs; and student soloists. The show is an hour-long program available on SCETV channels statewide via cable at SCC or SCETV or channel 29.2 on digital antenna.

Larson encouraged all lovers of the arts, as well as supporters of the South Carolina School of the Arts, to tune in for the broadcast and to attend the 12th annual President’s Gala, scheduled for April 27 at 8 p.m. Tickets for this year’s performance are available online.

For more information on how to view the broadcast, visit South Carolina Educational Television online at


Golden Harvest Offers Free Milk in Abbeville Monday

Golden Harvest Food Bank will be hosting a drive-through milk give-a-way for those in need Monday from 2-4 p.m. at the Abbeville Community Outreach Center, 204 Halgler Street.

Golden Harvest has 4,000 half-gallons of milk (whole, 2%, 1%, skim varieties) which will be distributed to all S.C. residents who meet income eligibility requirements. (guidelines below). Milk will be distributed on a first-come, first-serve basis.

A picture ID is required, and income eligibility is self-declared.


S.C. African-American Museum Already Expanding

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A new black history museum planned in South Carolina is leasing more space to accommodate its expanding staff.

The Post and Courier reports the International African American Museum in Charleston has entered into a lease with the city that opens a section of the Charleston Maritime Center for museum use.

The Charleston City Council unanimously voted to lease the waterfront space to the museum. The city-owned building is adjacent to the museum site.

The museum will pay $3,000 a month for use of the second-floor space. The lease begins Monday and lasts through 2020.

Despite a recent announcement that construction costs will be $10 million more than anticipated, CEO Michael Boulware Moore says organizers still plan to break ground midyear on the museum and open to the public in mid-2021.


Main Highway Into Myrtle Beach May Be Moved

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Officials are holding a meeting Tuesday to discuss relocating South Carolina's historic main highway into Myrtle Beach. The South Carolina Department of Transportation wants to move the final few blocks of U.S. 501 into Myrtle Beach where it curves into U.S. 17 Business near the old Pavilion.

The new alignment will move the highway to a straighter alignment along 7th Avenue North.

The work is part of Horry County's Ride 3 program to improve roads in the area with an extra 1 percent sales tax passed by voters in 2016.

The county also plans to widen U.S. 501 from Coastal Carolina University toward Myrtle Beach.

The information session on relocating the highway is from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Tuesday at the Myrtle Beach Train Depot at 851 Broadway St.


Government Shutdown Passes Record; No End in Sight

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A partial U.S. government shutdown over President Donald Trump’s demand for $5.7 billion to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border entered its 22nd day on Saturday, making it the longest shuttering of federal agencies in U.S. history, with no end in sight. 

Trump, holed up in the White House with Congress adjourned for the weekend, warned of a much lengthier impasse and blamed the Democrats. 

“We will be out for a long time unless the Democrats come back from their ‘vacations’ and get back to work,” he tweeted. 

Democrats say Trump shut the government in a “temper tantrum” by refusing to sign bipartisan funding legislation last year that did not include money for his wall. 

The closure, which began on Dec. 22, broke a decades-old record by a 1995-1996 shutdown under former President Bill Clinton that lasted 21 days.

Federal workers affected missed their first paychecks on Friday, heightening concerns about mounting financial pressures on employees, including air traffic controllers and airport security officials who continue to work without pay. 

Roughly 800,000 federal workers did not receive paychecks that would have gone out on Friday. Some have resorted to selling their possessions or posting appeals on online fundraising sites to help pay their bills. 

Miami International Airport said it will close one of its terminals early over the next several days due to a possible shortage of security screeners, who have been calling in sick at twice the normal rate. 

A union that represents thousands of air traffic controllers sued the Federal Aviation Administration on Friday, saying it had violated federal wage law by failing to pay workers. It is at least the third lawsuit filed by unions on behalf of unpaid workers. 

The head of the U.S. Secret Service, which is responsible for protecting Trump, has warned employees that financial stress can lead to depression and anxiety. “Keep an eye out for warning signs of trouble,” Director R.D. “Tex” Alles wrote in a memo seen by Reuters. 


Saturday AU "Bring Them Hope" Event Tackles Human Trafficking

Anderson University is hosting a human trafficking event Saturday, "Bring Them Hope," on Saturday. The even is in response to a growing problem in the state. 

Officials know human trafficking in South Carolina is a growing problem. A new system to collect data will be a big step toward helping prosecutors, law enforcement, and private groups understand exactly what they are facing, state Attorney General Alan Wilson said Friday.

Wilson released his Human Trafficking Task Force's report for 2018 , which found the state has made big strides in fighting the exploitation of people for sex or labor since the panel was created in 2012.

Prosecutors closed 64 human trafficking cases in 2018 with about half of them being forwarded to federal law enforcement. Almost all the rest ended in guilty pleas in state court, according to the report.

The task force's chief goal in 2019 is to implement a new data collection system that Wilson said will finally give his office the full scope of the problem in South Carolina.

Human trafficking for sex is especially bad in tourist areas, where vacationers seek out casual sexual encounters, said Wilson, adding that the task force found the most arrests at massage parlors and spas.

The victims of traffickers are often poor people in rural areas along with people in this country illegally, who are scared to reach out to law enforcement, Wilson said.

The task force has also expanded beyond just law enforcement. In the past year, the group has enlisted the help of hospitals, where doctors and nurses can often detect abuse during examinations, and the South Carolina Trucking Association, which has been a valuable help to police, Wilson said.

"You don't think about truckers, but where do you think these traffickers and the victims that are being peddled as prostitutes are going? They are going to the truck stops," Wilson said at a Statehouse news conference releasing the report.

Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette was also at Friday's event, marking her first appearance on behalf of Gov. Henry McMaster since being sworn into office Wednesday. Evette is the first lieutenant governor to run on the same ticket as the governor after a change in the state constitution and will be charting a new course for that office.

She said McMaster, a former prosecutor, is making fighting human trafficking one of his administration's top priorities and the first lady, Peggy McMaster, plans to make it her own cause as well.

Evette said the new data collection system will likely lead to a sharp increase in trafficking cases reported in 2019.

"We know this number pales in comparison to what is actually going on," Evette said.


Friday Arts Center Exhibit to Feature Photos of Cuban

The Anderson County Arts Center will host the Cuatro Caballeros (Four Knights) photo exhibit featuring the country of Cuba, Friday from 6:30-8:30 p.m.

Sponsored by Bill Rush Photography of Atlanta and the Tiger Sports Shop, the event will include photos and three other photographers: Tom Mathias of Ohio, and locals Craig Johnson and Tom Gibson.

Johnson, who visited Cuba in May said the country is an excellent place for photographers and tourists.

"The people were gracious, felt safer there than I do in Anderson on the streets at night," said Johnson, who focused chiefly on the colonial architecture.

Tom Gibson's Cuba photgraphs feature the nation's 70,000 colorful vintage cars.

Admission is free, and live Cuban music and Cuban food.

Another exhibit. "Celebrating Women in Art," will also be on display Friday night in the Art Center's Atrium Gallery.


Shutdown Could Cut Back FDA Food Safety Inspections

WASHINGTON — The Food and Drug Administration has stopped routine food safety inspections of seafood, fruits, vegetables and many other foods at high risk of contamination because of the federal government’s shutdown, Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the agency’s commissioner, said on Wednesday.

F.D.A. inspectors normally examine operations at about 160 domestic manufacturing and food processing plants each week. Nearly one-third of them are considered to be at high risk of causing food-borne illnesses. Food-borne diseases in the United States send about 128,000 people to the hospital each year, and kill 3,000, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Domestic meat and poultry are still being inspected by staff at the Agriculture Department, but they are going without pay. The F.D.A. oversees about 80 percent of the nation’s food supply, as well as most overseas imports.

In a series of tweets, Dr. Gottlieb said he was taking steps to restore food safety surveillance inspections and to cover more of the high-risk sites as the shutdown continued. He said he hoped to bring back about 150 inspectors who had been furloughed during the shutdown, perhaps as early as next week.

Dr. Gottlieb said he was still trying to figure out how that could be achieved. “These are people who are now furloughed and can collect unemployment insurance or take a second job,” he said. “If we pull them in and tell them they have to work, they can’t collect. I have to make sure I’m not imposing an undue hardship.”

Food safety advocates said they were worried that outbreaks would not be prevented without inspections, or would not be caught at the earliest warning signs.