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Senate Delays Vote to Allow True Early Voting in S.C.

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of senators wants more time to look at true early voting in South Carolina.

A Senate subcommittee Wednesday did not vote on a proposal allowing a week of early voting for statewide primaries and general elections, ending the Saturday before an election.

Currently, South Carolina allows absentee voting in person, but voters have to give a reason why they can't cast a ballot on the day of the election.

The bill would require at least one polling place open in each of South Carolina's 46 counties.

State Election Commission Executive Director Marci Andino says she supports the bill. She says voters would have to show an ID and it would reduce lines and waits on Election Day.

Previous efforts to start early voting in South Carolina have failed.


S.C. Senator Cash Bill Would Outlaw Use of Fetal Tissue

South Carolina Sen. Richard Cash, R-Anderson, a member of the Senate Medical Affairs Committee, today introduced legislation, Senate Bill 648, to put an end to the sale, purchase, donation, or acceptance of the fetal remains of aborted babies for experiment or research. 

The bill states that no person shall conduct research upon or experiment upon the remains of a child or an unborn child resulting from an abortion, not including autopsies performed according to law. Further, no person shall perform or offer to perform an abortion for which all or part of the justification is the research, experimentation or transplantation for the unborn child or any part of the unborn child. One found guilty is convicted of a felony and must be imprisoned not more than five years. 

The impact of S.648 echoes the findings in the Select Investigative Panel of the U.S. House Energy & Commerce Committee Report of 2016, which was formed to investigate the Planned Parenthood scandal involving the sale of fetal tissue from aborted babies. The 400-page report noted a number of universities involved in purchasing fetal tissue from aborted babies, including the University of South Carolina.


Anderson Leaders Define, Discuss Feminism as Part of Women's History Month


Finalists Chosen to Follow Booth as Leader of Tri-County Tech

Three candidates have been named as finalists to be the next President of Tri-County Technical College. 

Dr. William C. Brothers, Vice President and Chief Financial Officer, Southwestern Community College; D. Galen DeHay, Senior Vice President, Tri-County Technical College; and Dr. Shannon L. Kennedy, Executive Vice President, Cleveland Community College, are the three finalists for the position.  

The finalists were announced by John Powell, chair of the Tri-County Technical College Commission, at a faculty/staff meeting Tuesday. 

The finalists were selected by a screening committee that included Powell, Oconee County businessman and chair of the Tri-County Technical College Commission; Anthony G. Barker, member of the S.C. Board for Technical and Comprehensive Education; and Dr. Marilyn Murphy Fore, president of Horry-Georgetown Technical College. 

The Tri-County Technical College Commission will interview the three finalists during the next several weeks and select the next president. A final decision is expected by May, 2019. The new president will assume his/her responsibilities July 1, 2019.

“I speak on behalf of the entire Commission when I pledge to you that our highest priority is to select the right person to lead this College on its future path,” said Powell.

Dr. Ronnie L. Booth announced last fall that he will retire as the third president of Tri-County Technical College effective June 30, 2019, after serving sixteen years as President. 

Additional details about the finalists:

Dr. William C. Brothers serves as Vice President and Chief Financial Officer for Southwestern Community College in Sylva, NC.  He is responsible for the business, human resources, and compliance functions of the college, including fiscal integrity, effective budget utilization, and adherence to applicable laws and regulations. His previous experience includes serving as Dean of Career Technologies, Accounting Program Coordinator, and Business Administration Instructor, also at Southwestern. His private sector experience includes Assistant Controller for Bank of Travelers Rest and Accountant for SC Telco Federal Credit Union. He holds a B.S. from Southern Wesleyan University, M.B.A. and M.E. degrees from Western Carolina University, Ed.S. and C.A.G.S. from Nova Southeastern University, and P.M.G.C. and C.A.G.S. from University of New England. 

D. Galen DeHay serves as Senior Vice President for Tri-County Technical College. He provides leadership for all academic, student support, enrollment, and workforce development functions of the College, including Academic Affairs, Student Support and Engagement, College Transitions, Marketing, Research and Evaluation, and Integrated Workforce Solutions. His previous experience includes serving as Assistant Vice President for Instruction and Institutional Effectiveness, Interim Provost and Vice President for Academic Affairs, Director of Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, Science Department Head, and Biology Instructor, all at Tri-County Technical College. He holds B.S. and M.S. degrees from Clemson University and is a Dissertation Candidate (ABD) toward a Ph.D. from Clemson University.

Dr. Shannon L. Kennedy serves as Executive Vice President for Cleveland Community College in Shelby, NC. She is responsible for providing leadership to the Library, Planning and Institutional Effectiveness, Business Office (CFO), Public Information, Marketing, and Physical Plant. Her previous experience includes serving as Executive Vice President of Instruction and Student Development, Dean of Community Relations and Institutional Advancement, Associate Dean of Community Relations and Development and Director of Public Information and Grants Development, all at Cleveland Community College. Previous experience includes serving as director of Foundation and Corporate Relations for Gardner Webb University and adjunct faculty teaching positions.   She holds a B.A. from Millersville University; M.A. from Gardner-Webb University, and Ed.D. from North Carolina State University.  


Statewide Tornado Drill at 9 a.m. Today

The annual statewide tornado drill is set for 9 a.m. today. The drill is conducted in close coordination with the South Carolina Broadcasters Association.

The State Superintendent of Education is encouraging schools statewide to participate. South Carolina has received a waiver from the Federal Communications Commission to use the Tornado Warning product on NOAA tone-alert weather radio when the drill is conducted.

During the drill, the National Weather Service will use a real-event code, TOR. The “TOR” code will activate tone-alert weather radios that are set to receive tornado warnings, and those radios will broadcast the exercise message.

Public schools, state and local Emergency Management, the South Carolina Broadcasters Association, and others will participate in this annual event.

The purpose of the drill is to test communication systems, safety procedures, mitigation processes, etc.

For more information about Severe Weather Preparedness Week, visit:…/2019_SC_Severe_Weather_Preparedne…


Kamala Boosts S.C. with Anderson Native

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Kamala (KAH'-mah-lah) Harris is boosting her staffing in the early-voting state of South Carolina, adding two experienced operatives who'll be key to navigating the home of the first 2020 primary in the South.

The California senator's presidential campaign announced Wednesday that Reggie Abraham has come on as deputy state director. The Orangeburg native worked for Hillary Clinton's unsuccessful 2016 presidential campaign and was political coordinator for Stacey Abrams' unsuccessful 2018 Georgia gubernatorial campaign.

Anne Bailey is Harris' state organizing director. The Anderson native is a former national field director for NARAL Pro-Choice America and served as marketing director for the grassroots advocacy firm Winning Connections.

Harris has made three trips to South Carolina since launching her campaign. Last weekend, she held several town hall meetings focused on rural issues.


Duke Anderson Meeting on Rate Hike Set for Tomorrow

A meeting to review Duke Energy's request for a 12.1 percent residential rate hike - which would cost an average residential customer $15 monthly - is scheduled tomorrow in Anderson at 6 p.m. in the county council chambers of the historic courthouse downtown. State officials will be on hand to field questions about the proposed increase.

The average customer, who Duke says pays $117 per month, would see an increase to $132 per month

Duke is also seeking a 238 percent increase in the base rate for residential customers, raising the monthly cost from $8.29 to a minimum of $28 per month.

If approved, thrate hikes would go into effect later this year.

Meetings are also scheduled in March in Greenville and Spartanburg to get customer feedback. 

For more information on the proposal, visit here.


Pillsbury Recalls All-Purpose Flour

The producers of Pillsbury Unbleached All-Purpose Flour, used by many home bakers, have voluntarily recalled 12,245 cases sold to retailers, after a random inspection revealed traces of salmonella in one bag.

The cases, each of which contains about eight five-pound bags, were mostly sold to the Publix supermarket chain and to Winn-Dixie markets, both of which have branches throughout the Southeast. The cases have best if used by dates of either April 19, 2020, or April 20, 2020.

The Food and Drug Administration posted a notice on its Twitter and Facebook accounts Monday. But a spokesman noted that the F.D.A. had so far identified this as a Class 2 recall, which means that the agency is monitoring the situation but has not issued a more formal alert, because no one has reported becoming ill from the flour.


Belton's Latimer Wins $100,000 FLW Event

In one of the most dramatic finishes in recent FLW Tour history, fourth-year FLW Tour pro Brian Latimer of Belton, South Carolina, brought a five-bass limit to the scale weighing 21 pounds, 3 ounces to win the FLW Tour at Lake Seminole presented by Costa Sunday and the first-place prize of $100,000.

Latimer's four-day total of 20 bass totaling 80 pounds, 15 ounces edged out Day One leader Braxton Setzer of Montgomery, Alabama (78-14), who finished second and 21-year-old pro Sheldon Collings of Grove, Oklahoma (76-2), in third place.

All day long Latimer, Setzer and Collings traded blows, landing one big one after another much to the thrill of the thousands of viewers that tuned in to watch the day's action on FLW Live. As the broadcast came to an end at 2 p.m. Latimer was in third place, but only had three bass in his livewell. Latimer added two more keepers late in the day to overtake Setzer and Collings and earned the South Carolina pro his first career victory.

"I have fished for so long, and I always knew that I could do this," an emotional Latimer said on the weigh-in stage. "I didn't do well, for a long time. This is not an easy sport. But I knew I could do it, and I kept going. All I've ever wanted to do was fish for a living. To win the $100,000 is great, but to finally have my trophy… that is so awesome."

Latimer caught his fish on Day One Thursday by cranking a current seam in the Flint River with a Bill Lewis MR-6 crankbait, bringing a solid limit weighing 19-1 to the scale. Friday, he caught a few fish cranking, but the majority came from a run down the river to a flat with isolated clumps of grass. He scrapped up a limit weighing 17-11, then decided to stick it out on the flat for the final two days of competition, weighing in 23-0 and 21-3 to slam the door and earn the win.

"Friday is when I figured out that I was on the winning school of fish," Latimer said. "I did the majority of my damage at a big hydrilla and milfoil flat. I told my wife that if I can get five bites there, every day, I could win this tournament. I stuck it out there, and that's what happened.

Latimer's one-two punch on the flat was flipping a Texas-rigged Z-Man Palmetto Bugz with a 1/2-ounce weight or finessing them out with a wacky-rigged Zoom Trick Worm.

"It was stressful – probably the most stressful thing that I have ever been through," said Latimer. "I lost quite a few fish this week, but I kept my composure. I wasn't getting many bites. I had to stay focused, and I'm just so blessed that I caught what I did.


Anderson County Jobless Rate Up to 3.4 Percent in January

Anderson County posted an unemployment rate of 3.4 percent for January, up from 3 percent in December. Every county in South Carolina posted rises in the jobless rate.

Of Anderson County's workforce of 89,646, 86,608 were employed, leaving 3,038 jobless.

“The unemployment rate rose in every South Carolina county from December to January, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce," said Steve Newton, governmental affairs director for Andreson County. "In Anderson’s case, we saw a fairly sizeable drop in the labor force coupled with an even greater decline in employment.  The rise in the unemployment rate from December to January is a fairly consistent trend that has been observed for at least the past seven years."

“I suspect ripple effects from the federal government shutdown may partially explain some of the behavior we see this year, but regardless of cause it is important to note that we have 700 more people employed now than we did last January," Newton said.  "In fact, this year’s December-to-January decline is less severe than it has been in recent years.  But it is clear that we have work to do if we want to ensure that every person who wants a job can find one.”

Statewide, the unemployment rate remained unchanged last month at 3.2 percent of the workforce, which reflects seasonally adjusted numbers in ways counties do not.

The national unemployment rate is 4 percent.

The agency said the trade, transportation and utilities segments of the economy added the most jobs, with more than 2,600 in January. The construction segment was down about 800 jobs.

Overall, more than 2.2 million people were working in South Carolina last month.

Bamberg County had the highest unemployment rate at 6.6 percent. Charleston and Lexington counties had the lowest rate at 2.9 percent.


10th Saluda River Rally Set for June 1


S.C. House to Debate Use of Lottery Money 

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In South Carolina's nearly $9 billion budget, one small pile of $61 million is likely to get a lot more attention than any other when the House starts debating Monday.

The money comes from income taxes the state should get after the Mega Millions lottery pays a lump sum of $878 million to the person who turned in the winning ticket days ago from last October's drawing.

The plan in the Republican-dominated House is to add $35 million to the lottery tax windfall and give each of South Carolina's 2 million income tax payers a $50 rebate check.

Other lawmakers have different ideas for the money that serendipitously fell into their laps.

Democratic Rep. Gilda Cobb-Hunter of Orangeburg proposes a 2 percent raise to all state workers making under $50,000.


Weather Cancels Saturday's Free Clinic "Walk with the Docs"

The Anderson Free Clinic "Walk with the Docs" which was scheduled for tomorrow has been cancelled due to rain in the forecast.

No makeup date has been scheduled yet.

Please visit for more informaiton or to donate to this great community organization.