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FOX21: BBB Warns of Scams in Upstate

GREENVILLE, SC (FOX Carolina) - The Better Business Bureau is warning people of the increasing prevalence of scams relating to prizes, lotteries and sweepstakes.

The organization said the scammers claim to callers that they are with reputable organizations and they won prizes ranging from money, to trips or vehicles.

Johnny Gambrell said he was nearly a victim of one of the calls, which he said involved a series of people claiming they were with Publishers Clearing House.

"He had called me and told me I won, through Publishers clearing House, a brand new Mercedes Benz," said Gambrell.  "He said it was blue, and all I had to...was go to the bank and draft some money out."

Gambrell didn't fall for the scam, but many reportedly have.

The BBB said that, last year, $117 million was bilked out of unsuspecting victims throughout North America through these scams, which are becoming the preferred way for scammers to operate.

The organization said most of the calls originate out of Jamaica or Costa Rica, making it difficult to track down the people involved and prosecute them.  The BBB, instead, is asking people to be aware of the way many companies associated with prize giveaways operate.

"Publishers Clearing House normally comes to your house.  They don't call you or e-mail you," said Hope Evans, with the Better Business Bureau of the Upstate.

Evans added, "You shouldn't be having to put up money to win a prize."

Gambrell said his experience was with a more sophisticated scam that didn't involve recorded calls, but live people.

"I know I talked with three people," he said.

The BBB also reports that scammers are also using text messages with web links to get people to give up their information.

If you are a victim of this scam and have had money taken from you, you're advised to contact law enforcement.

If you have received the calls, it is advised you contact the Better Business Bureau.


Corps to Provide $45M to Deepen Charleston Harbor

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Some political leaders say the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is providing $45 million this year to help deepen a South Carolina harbor.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said in a news release Thursday the money will help pay to deepen Charleston Harbor to 52 feet, the deepest on the East Coast.

South Carolina State Ports Authority President and CEO Jim Newsome would not talk about the money until it's officially announced by the Army Corps. Newsome said in April the port needs $90 million in federal funds each year for three years to stay on schedule.

South Carolina lawmakers already provided the state's share of $271 million. Even with Thursday's announcement, the federal government has only provided $66 million of the $287 million it is supposed to pay.


Clemson Gardening Show Wins Telly Awards

The Emmy Award-winning “Making It Grow” gardening show has more Telly Awards to add to its slate of accolades.

Clemson’s “Making It Grow” television show wins four more Telly Awards. Image Credit: Clemson Public Service and Agriculture

Clemson University Cooperative Extension Service’s Amanda McNultySean Flynn and the rest of the crew of “Making It Grow” received four prestigious Telly Awards this year, bringing the total Telly Awards for the show to 19 since 2000.

The live, interactive “Making It Grow” show is produced by South Carolina ETV and Clemson University. McNulty said winning these awards is an honor for the show’s crew.

“Our most important mission is to help people use environmentally sustainable methods and still be successful in growing plants,” McNulty said. “To do that we emphasize identifying the problem before taking action — is it an insect or a disease? — and choosing the correct method of controlling it.

“By encouraging our viewers to make careful choices in selecting plants, in placing them properly in their landscape or garden and using thoughtful cultural practices, we help them reduce plant stress, which results in healthier plants more resistant to pests,” she said. “We are honored and excited our team was chosen by peers in the industry to receive these awards.”

Flynn, who has produced the show since 1999, agreed.

“One aspect that I am really thrilled about is that we won in four different categories,” Flynn said. “That speaks to the wide variety of topics we highlight and to the overall quality in covering different subject matter. This is great recognition for the entire team.”

The “Making It Grow” team this year won a silver award in the General-How-To/DIY for Television category for the show How to Make Pine Cone Zinnias. This show demonstrated how to use pine cones to create zinnias for a number of decorations. In the show, Rebecca Turk, director of education and events at Moore Farms Botanical Garden, shows McNulty how fun and simple it is. Turk also shares tips she has learned and different ways these tips can be used. Other crew members who made the show a success were Flynn, Mark Adams and Craig Ness.

“Making It Grow” brought home a bronze award in the General-Education for Television category for The Pawpaw Patch show. The team received another bronze award, in the General-Cultural for Television category, for The Jamestown Foundation show.  The third bronze award for the group’s show The James Beard Dinner  won in the General-Documentary: Individual for Television category. I

“Making It Grow” airs at 7 p.m. Tuesdays on SCETV and on taped-delay at 8 p.m. Tuesdays and 3:30 p.m. Saturdays on the South Carolina Channel. It also can be viewed live online by clicking here. To watch past shows, click here.

The Telly Awards were founded in 1979 to honor excellence in local, regional and cable television commercials.


CDC: U.S. Suicide Rate Up 30 Percent Since 1999

Suicide rates have increased in nearly every state over the last two decades, and half of the states have seen suicide rates go up more than 30 percent.

Suicide is a major public health issue, accounting for nearly 45,000 deaths in 2016 alone. That's why the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta decided to take a comprehensive look at suicides from 1999 to 2016.

"Suicide in this country really is a problem that is impacted by so many factors. It's not just a mental health concern," says Deborah Stone, a behavioral scientist at the CDC and the lead author of the new study. "There are many different circumstances and factors that contribute to suicide. And so that's one of the things that this study really shows us. It points to the need for a comprehensive approach to prevention."

She and her colleagues collected data on suicide deaths from all states. In addition, to better understand the circumstances surrounding suicide, they turned to more detailed information collected by 27 states on suicides that occurred in 2015.

If you or someone you know may be considering suicide, contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255 (En Español: 1-888-628-9454; Deaf and Hard of Hearing: 1-800-799-4889) or the Crisis Text Line by texting 741741.

The rise in suicide rates was highest in the central, northern region of the U.S., with North Dakota, for example, seeing a 57.6 percent increase since 1999. Nevada was the only state that saw no increase, and Delaware saw the smallest increase which was 5.9 percent.

The findings were published in the CDC's Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.

Guns were the most common method used for suicide, accounting for almost half of the people who died.

More Here


What You Need to Know about the June 12 S.C. Primary

With the June 12 South Carolina primaries five days away, a lot of voters have raised questions about the details and process.

The best way to find out more, and to veiw a personalized sample ballot, is to visit The Anderson County Board of Voter and Registration office can also answer basic questions at (864) 260-4035.

Each voter must decide whether to vote in the Republican primary or Democratic Primary. 

When South Carolina voters head to the polls for the primaries next Tuesday, they will have the option to vote on more than just the candidates. Both will include the governor's race, and where you live determines what other offices will be on your ballot. The ballot will also include non-binding advisory questions on their ballots.

Those questions on the Democratic ballot are:

'Do you support a state law allowing doctors to prescribe medical marijuana to patients?'


'Do you support passing a state law requiring the governor of South Carolina to accept all federal revenues offered to support Medicaid and Medicaid expansion efforts in the state?'" 

And on the Republican ballot:

"Do you support President Trump's tax agenda?"


"Should South Carolinians designate party affiliation when registering to vote?"

None of the questions carry any legal power.


Anderson County Administrator on the Budget, County Growth


States Look to Sports Gambling after High Court Ruling

June 6 (UPI) -- After the Supreme Court ruled last month against a law banning sports betting in the United States, an industry likely worth billions of dollars will soon come to several states -- and everyone's holding out their hands for a cut of the payout.

Though the May 14 ruling immediately struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, each individual state must first pass its own legislation before residents lawfully can bet on sporting events like the U.S. Open or the World Series.

Research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming predict legalized sports betting could be a $6.03 billion business annually by 2023. Offshore sports books are bringing in between $2.5 billion and $3 billion annually from Americans making illegal bets.

The American Gaming Association has even higher expectations, predicting a $41.2 billion industry.

What kind of impact could that have once states begin legalizing the practice?

States' status

Delaware, Montana, Nevada and Oregon already allow some degree of sports betting -- grandfathered in as their law preceded the 1992 federal ban. All other states would need to install a new legal framework. Nevada was the only state that allowed full sports betting before the Supreme Court ruling.

New Jersey led the fight against the PASPA and likely will be among the first states to legalize sports betting. Home to Atlantic City, it's the only state other than Nevada that allows statewide gambling at casinos. The New Jersey Senate and Assembly hope to pass legislation by Thursday and have Gov. Phil Murphy sign it shortly after.

Delaware, which allowed limited sports betting before the ruling, expanded its law Tuesday to allow single-game sports wagering, and Oregon and Montana could also expand what they allow. Connecticut, Iowa, Mississippi, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia all either have passed legislation to allow it or have started the process.

Lawmakers in California, Illinois, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Oklahoma, Rhode Island and South Carolina have introduced legislation.

Utah is unlikely to change its stance on sports betting, as measures banning all gambling are in the state's constitution. All other states have laws against sports gambling and haven't shown any significant attempts to change that in the wake of the Supreme Court ruling.

Money, money, money, money

The major incentive, of course, for states to legalize sports betting is the additional tax revenue. New Jersey Treasurer Elizabeth Muoio on May 14 projected the state could see $13 million in revenue from sports betting in the fiscal year beginning July 1.

That's a fraction of Murphy's proposed $37.4 billion budget.

Democratic New Jersey Senate President Stephen Sweeney told NJ.comalthough Muoio's figure sounds "real low," it's better to be "more conservative than overoptimistic."

"This is our first time out," he said. "We don't know what to expect."

An analysis by Fitch Ratings predicts the ruling will have "only a small impact on overall gaming revenue and is unlikely to have a material adverse impact on Las Vegas' sports betting activity." Data from the analysis shows Nevada saw nearly $4.9 billion in sports betting in 2017, with $249 million in gross gaming revenue and $17 million in state tax revenue.

A Moody's Investors Service report said sports betting accounts for about 3 percent of all gambling in Nevada.

Jake Williams, legal counsel at Sportradar, a company that collects and analyzes data for bookmakers, sports leagues and media companies, agreed any new betting revenue won't be a large windfall right away, but it has potential to drive tangential revenue.

"It seems like some people think it'll be a massive boon for tax revenue," he told UPI. "I think that's probably not the case."

Williams advised state lawmakers to first take time to implement regulations that will benefit the industry. He said there might be a tendency for states with casino infrastructure to "piggyback" from it, which would help get laws in place quickly. He noted sports betting should be treated as a separate entity because, unlike most casino gaming, it has no built-in house advantage.

Williams also warned states against over-taxing and ultimately snuffing out sports betting. He pointed to a plan in Pennsylvania to tax sports betting winnings at 36 percent, compared to 7 percent in Nevada and between 10 and 20 percent in other states.

"Basically anyone who went there would be losing money on sports betting," Williams said, adding that casinos should treat sports gambling as a feeder for other games.

"It's certainly something that ... is a feeder and driver for [customers] coming in, eating, staying at hotels" and playing other games, he said.

Experts say that's exactly what businesses in the Gulf Coast are hoping for -- an influx in tourism and travel dollars as people flock to casinos to take advantage of sports betting.

"You've got the ability to cross-sell hotel rooms, entertainment, other gaming opportunities at the casino," said People's Ban President Chevis Swetman at a meeting of the Gulf Coast Business Council last month. "You have the restaurant industry here on the coast. All facets of tourism should be able to grow."

Mississippi's State Gaming Commission is expected to vote on sports betting inside its casinos on June 21 -- and if it's approved, betting could start 30 days after that.

"Some of our slowest times here on the coast are during the fall and winter months, during the Saturdays of college football, the Sundays of professional football," Ashley Edwards of the Gulf Coast Business Council told told WLOX-TV. "So, the ability now to bring in a whole new market of people into our gaming industry is significant. It can be a game changer for the coast."


Local and state businesses aren't the only ones that stand to benefit from the Supreme Court's decision. Experts believe television viewership and advertising for professional sports likely will also see a boost.

Nielsen Sports study from 2016 found adults who bet on NFL games watched 19 more league games in 2015 than those who didn't. And more eyes on the game mean more eyes on advertising.

"That's meaningful," Williams said. "TV networks and broadcasters will benefit indirectly."

Media companies could cater programming to bettors, providing stats and partnering with online betting platforms.

"The number of revenue streams that come out of this are endless," ESPN anchor Scott Van Pelt told The Wall Street Journal after the Supreme Court ruling.

Experts say ultimately it will depend on how many states approve sports betting and whether they place restrictions on ad purchases that mention or promote gambling.

"I think it probably will lead to some incremental spending," Brian Wieser, a senior analyst at Pivotal Research Group cautioned to the Journal.

It also remains to be seen how the ban's dismissal could impact professional sports in places like Nevada. For years, leagues have been hesitant to place teams in Las Vegas due to the city's heavy sports wagering atmosphere. One of the United States' fastest-growing cities, Las Vegas has just one pro team -- the NHL's Golden Knights.

The NFL's Oakland Raiders will move there in 2019 or 2020, but the NBA and Major League Baseball have never been close to granting a franchise in Las Vegas. Former baseball star and manager Pete Rose was banned from Major League Baseball in 1989 for betting on baseball. As a result, he is not eligible for the Hall of Fame.


New Law Protects Pregnant Women in S.C.

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A bill recently signed into law by Governor Henry McMaster is giving expectant mothers in the Palmetto state more comfort in the workplace. 

The law is called the South Carolina Pregnancy Accommodations Act and was signed into law in mid-May. It prevents the employer from hiring someone as a replacement, and from refusing to hire a pregnant woman or new mother, or limit them or segregate them on the job.

"Many pregnant women are single mothers or the primary breadwinners for their families; if they lose their jobs then the whole family will suffer," the bill says. "This is not an outcome that families can afford in today's difficult economy." 

The law also requires workplaces to provide longer and more frequent breaks to pregnant women, alotted spaces and times for breastfeeding, sitting accommodations for working moms on their feet and more. 

"It is the intent of the General Assembly by this act to combat pregnancy discrimination, promote public health, and ensure full and equal participation for women in the labor force by requiring employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees for medical needs arising from pregnancy, childbirth, or related medical conditions," the bill says. "Current workplace laws are inadequate to protect pregnant women from being forced out or fired when they need a simple, reasonable accommodation in order to stay on the job." 


D-Day Invasion Turned Tide in WW II

On June 6, 1944, the Allies invaded German-occupied western Europe by way of Normandy, France, during World War II.A U.S. Army 1st Infantry Division monument stands at Omaha Beach today, at the top of the green hills overlooking the beach.

From D-Day through August 21, the Allies sent more than two million soldiers into northern France and suffered more than 226,386 casualties. The Allied countries included the United States, Great Britain, France, Canada, Australia and China.

There are countless monuments across Normandy’s beaches and inland to honor those who lost their lives. There is also the Normandy American Cemetery.

More than 160,000 Allied troops landed along the 50-mile stretch of French coastline on D-Day to fight Nazi Germany on the Normandy beaches.

Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower called the operation a crusade in which “we will accept nothing less than full victory.” 

More than 5,000 ships and 13,000 aircraft supported the invasion.

By the end of the day, the Allies had gained a foothold in Europe.

But it came at a high price.

More than 9,000 Allied soldiers were killed or wounded.

Although thousands died, that day paved the way for more than 100,000 soldiers to begin the trek across Europe and ultimately defeat Nazi Germany and Adolf Hitler.

The U.S. Army Divisions involved in D-Day were the 1st Infantry Division, 4th Infantry Division, 29th Infantry Division, 82nd Airborne Division and the 101st Airborne Division, as well as other non-divisional units.

U.S. Allies included the 3rd Infantry Division (U.K.), 50th Infantry Division (U.K.), 6th Airborne division (U.K.), elements of the 79th Armoured Division (U.K.), elements of the 8th Armoured Brigade (U.K.) and the 3rd Canadian Division.

The beaches of Normandy were selected for the invasion because they were within range of air cover and were less heavily defended than the obvious objective, which was the Pas de Calais – the shortest distance between Great Britain and the continent.

Airborne drops took place at both ends of the beachheads to protect the flanks and open up roadways to the interior.

Six divisions – three U.S., two U.K. and one Canadian – landed the first day, and they were later joined by two more U.K. divisions and another American division.

The airborne landings were badly scattered, and the initial wave of units that took the beaches was also rather chaotic. But the troops adapted and fought hard, and the objective was ultimately achieved.

In addition to the airborne assault, assaults took place on Utah Beach, Omaha Beach, Gold Beach, Juno Beach and Sword Beach.


Charter to Offer Cell Phone Service

from BGR Report

Charter is planning on launching its own cell phone plans, following on the success that Comcast has had with Xfinity Mobile. Charter recently sent a consumer survey to some of its customers gauging their interest in a new product called Spectrum Mobile. From the looks of the survey, the service will have unlimited and per-GB options, and start at just $12 per month.

Spectrum’s service will lean heavily on Verizon’s cellular network for connectivity, although the idea is to use Charter’s existing network of Wi-Fi hotspots, and fill in the gaps with Verizon service. In practice, that means you might piggyback on Wi-Fi in dense urban areas, but any time you’re more than 50 feet from a Charter household, you’ll be on Verizon. The advantage of Charter’s service will be the price: per-GB options start at $12 per GB, which also include unlimited talk and text. An unlimited plan is $45 from Spectrum Mobile, while the equivalent Verizon plan is $75.

The details come from a survey that Charter sent to some of its existing cable and internet customers, and might not reflect the final pricing. However, previous reports have suggested that the service is going to launch on June 30th, so there’s a very good chance the pricing and plans Charter is trying out now are the final versions.

Of course, there are a few caveats. Just like Comcast’s Xfinity Mobile service, you’ll have to be an existing Charter cable or internet customer, which limits potential customers to anywhere that gets Charter/Spectrum/Time Warner Cable service. It’s also unclear whether customers will be able to bring their own device, or if not, what device options Spectrum Mobile will have. The survey only said “the hottest and most popular phones,” and judging by what Xfinity Mobile offers, that will mean iPhones and Samsung Galaxy flagships.

Still, those details aside, Spectrum Mobile is likely to be extremely popular for anyone who qualifies. $45 per month for unlimited data is a much better deal than any of the big carriers, and with Verizon handling the cellular data, coverage will be excellent. The option to mix-and-match per-GB and unlimited plans on the same account is also valuable, as lighter data users in a family won’t be forced onto a plan that they’ll never use.


Homeland Security Wants New Drone Laws

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on Wednesday will urge Congress to approve legislation giving the federal government new powers to disable or destroy threatening drones, according to testimony viewed by Reuters. 

A sign at a downtown city park informs people the area is a no drone zone in San Diego, California, U.S., May 17, 2018. REUTERS/Mike Blake 

David Glawe, DHS’s undersecretary for intelligence and analysis, and the department’s deputy general counsel Hayley Chang, will tell the Senate committee that oversees the department that it needs new authority. 

“Terrorist groups overseas use drones to conduct attacks on the battlefield and continue to plot to use them in terrorist attacks elsewhere. This is a very serious, looming threat that we are currently unprepared to confront,” the officials’ testimony said. “Right now we can’t test mitigation methods, determine the full scope of the threat or develop counter measures because of outdated legal restrictions.” 

A bipartisan group of senators including Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Ron Johnson, a Republican, and the committee’s top Democrat, Claire McCaskill, last month introduced legislation to give DHS and the Justice Department authority to “to protect buildings and assets when there is an unacceptable security risk to public safety posed by an unmanned aircraft.” 

Johnson said in prepared remarks for the hearing that a bipartisan group of senators backs the legislation. 

“The federal government does not have the legal authorities it needs to protect the American public from these kinds of threats. The threats posed by malicious drones are too great to ignore,” Johnson said. 

“It is not enough to simply tell operators of unmanned aircraft not to fly in certain areas; we must give federal law enforcement the authority to act if necessary.” 

Johnson said the number of drone flights over sensitive areas or suspicious activities has jumped from eight incidents in 2013 to an estimated 1,752 incidents in 2016, citing federal statistics. 

The DHS testimony noted a number of recent incidents involving drones. In March, a Coast Guard helicopter in California was forced to take evasive action to avoid a drone in Washington States, while recently a drone landed on the deck of the Coast Guard Cutter Sea Lion in San Diego harbor. 

DHS said despite upgraded security efforts in the Washington, DC area “we are still experiencing (drone) incidents ... that require an appropriate response — even if they are nuisance or non-compliant operators who disregard the rules.” 

In 2017, a small civilian drone struck a U.S. Army helicopter near New York City damaging a rotor blade. Since 2017, federal officials have banned drones over U.S. military bases, national landmarks, nuclear sites and other sensitive areas. 

The bill would cover high-profile events like the Super Bowl and presidential inaugurations as well as federal installations and the protection of officials. It would authorize officials to disrupt communications of threatening drones, seize control or destroy them if needed. 

The Federal Aviation Administration said in January that more than 1 million drones have been registered. In May, the U.S. Transportation Department picked 10 pilot projects allowing drone use at night, out of sight operations and over populated areas. 

The FBI and FAA will also testify at the hearing. 


FDA Warns Websites Selling Illegal Caffeine Products

June 5 (UPI) -- The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has sent warning letters to two websites the agency said are selling illegal highly concentrated caffeine products.

The FDA on Tuesday warned and Dual Health Body and Mind to find ways to make their products more safe, based on previous warnings of potential dangers to consumers.

In April, the FDA announced it was taking steps to remove highly concentrated caffeine found in dietary supplements.

The FDA has given the two companies 15 days to notify the agency about specific ways it will address the violations -- that is, make it easier for consumers of their products to avoid ingesting dangerous or toxic amounts of caffeine -- and prove that the violations will not occur again.

The agency said it may take additional action, such as seizure and/or injunction, if the companies fail to promptly correct these violations.

"Despite being informed of the dangers of highly concentrated and pure caffeine, we're still finding companies that are disregarding consumer safety by illegally selling products with potentially dangerous and lethal amounts of caffeine," said FDA commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb. "The FDA recently took action to explain which pure and highly concentrated caffeine products cannot be lawfully marketed because they pose an unacceptable risk to consumers."

Gottlieb noted there has been at least two deaths linked to pure or concentrated caffeine.

"We've let consumers know that they should avoid pure caffeine sold in bulk, and we've issued guidance to help firms understand when these kinds of products are considered adulterated and shouldn't be sold," he said. "We'll continue to take action against companies who sell these risky products despite the agency's prior warnings."

The FDA's recommended safe serving size of highly concentrated or pure caffeine products is 200 milligrams of caffeine, which equates to 1/16 of a teaspoon of pure powder or about 2 1/2 teaspoons of a liquid product.

A life-threatening dose of caffeine is typically estimated at between 10 and 14 grams, though in children and others a smaller amount can be life-threatening, according to the agency.

In the case of, a 16-ounce package of the product contains multiple toxic doses.

Although consumers are required to measure safe servings, rather than a potentially toxic amount, the product labeling said separating out a safe serving from a potentially toxic amount can be done with a pump sold with the product.

In addition, also makes available two-gallon containers of liquid caffeine, or approximately 128 grams of caffeine, which is the equivalent of several lethal doses.

The Dual Health Body and Mind product contains 8 ounces of pure powdered caffeine, which is more than 1,000 servings. The product is also sold in containers as large as 5 1/2 pounds.

The FDA noted the 200 milligram serving size recommended on the labeling of the Dual Health Body and Mind caffeine powder needs a special scale. Even if consumers were to have a tool that measures one-sixteenth of a teaspoon, the FDA said it would still not be adequate to accurately measure a 200 milligram dose.

The tools can scoop out different amounts depending on factors such as how tightly the powder is packed and whether a "heaping" scoop is used, the agency said.


The State Picks Winners and Losers in GOP Debate

The State newspaper asked three S.C. political scientists — plus a debate expert from the University of Michigan — for their assessments of Tuesday's Republican gubernatorial debate.

The debate at the University of South Carolina was the last before the June 12 primary. It was also just the second contest that featured all five candidates: Gov. Henry McMaster, Mount Pleasant attorney Catherine Templeton, Greenville businessman John Warren, Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant of Anderson and former state Sen. Yancey McGill of Kingstree.

Here is how the debate went, through the eyes of the University of Michigan's Aaron Kall, Winthrop University's Karen Kedrowski, College of Charleston's Gibbs Knotts and the University of South Carolina's Robert Oldendick.

Best line or moment:

Kall: "Templeton's line: 'When the liberal media has more integrity than Henry McMaster, it's time for a new governor.' 

"John Warren's line that 'Catherine Templeton is a triple-threat to the conservative movement' was the second best debate zinger of the evening. In a light moment of honesty, Kevin Bryant saying 'none of the people on my left have attacked me because they like me.' 

Kedrowski: "My nod goes to Yancey McGill when discussing the allocation of transportation funds with his line, 'Most of my bridges got fixed.' Of course, his advocacy as a state senator exemplifies what his opponents find problematic. 

"My No. 1 runner up is John Warren's come back to Governor McMaster when he said 'Fixing one bridge? That's what you're bragging about?' Really nice retort that McMaster could not respond to. 

"My No. 2 runner up is Catherine Templeton's line, 'When the liberal media has more integrity than the governor it's time for a new governor.' It was catchy and focused on the Republicans' favorite bete noir, the media. Her follow-up line when she imitated McMaster's accent with 'fair 'nuff' was very funny, too."

Knotts: "The best line of the night was John Warren’s response to a question about roads and the Department of Transportation. He said: 'If you like the way our roads are currently, you should continue to vote and support Gov. McMaster. But if you’re not happy with your roads, if you want a strategic vision and strategic plan on how to fix them, then you should turn to the rookie like me. I’m a rookie when it comes to government, but I’m not a rookie when it comes to business and leading people in combat.'

"This was a good line because it was a direct challenge to one of the Gov. McMaster’s key arguments, 'When we are winning like this you don’t fire an experienced coach and hire a rookie.' It is hard to argue that we are winning in terms of roads and infrastructure, and this is a place where experience hasn’t seemed to help improve conditions for most South Carolinians."

Oldendick: "The best moment of the night was Templeton’s response to McMaster’s assertions about her 'no bid' jobs. Her response was forceful and provided a reasonable explanation as to how these positions came about. There were a number of good lines, but the best probably belonged to Templeton: 'When the liberal media have more integrity than the Governor of South Carolina, it’s time for a new governor.'

Warren also had a good line when he said of Templeton, “Don’t use guns as a prop to attack fictitious snakes.”

Bryant’s best was when he said to McMaster, “When I move in in January, Henry, you’re welcome to come see me.”

Worst line or moment:

Kall: "I thought it was a mistake for John Warren to refer to himself as 'the rookie' early in the debate. It's smart to stress a solid business background, but the winning candidate must be battle-tested and ready to perform the duties of the office on day one. Henry McMaster probably shouldn't have used the phrase 'I'm catching fire' in response to being rhetorically tag-teamed by several other opponents. Rather than admit to being under siege in real time, Mr. McMaster should have gone on the attack in an attempt to reverse the narrative and political dynamic he was facing. 

"After watching the two debates, it appears the only thing both political sides agree on is that South Carolina ranks dead last as a state in terms of education. Unfortunately, there didn't seem to be any consensus on how both sides can work together to improve this abysmal ranking."

Kedrowski: "The candidates' chronic, genetic, inability to answer the questions that were asked. This was pervasive."

Knotts: "One of the worst lines of the night was when Catherine Templeton talked about being fired form the State Ports Authority. She said she was fired because she reported corruption, but in her explanation, she said, 'I gave up a quarter of a million dollar [per year] job because I did the right thing.' This was a bad line because it reminded voters that she left a government position as head of the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control and walked through the revolving door to take a quarter million dollar a year job at the State Ports Authority. It was also a bad line, because according to the 2016 U.S. Census, the state’s per capita income is $25,521, considerably less than Templeton was making at the Ports Authority."

Oldendick: "The worst moment of the night was Gov. McMaster's response to the ethics question. In this segment several of the other candidates had mentioned Richard Quinn, but he avoided this path and chose to mention his 'law and order' experience and to attack Ms. Templeton for her 'no-bid' jobs. 

"There were two other moments that perhaps were not 'worst,' but certainly seemed strange. One was Gov. McMaster talking about having children at the governor’s mansion and “having Burt Bacharach up there.” This seemed unrelated to any of the questions being addressed.

"The second was Yancey McGill’s response to the question about things that were said about him in his opponents’ ads. This elicited a response in which he mentioned a number of people in the audience and wound up talking about his wife embracing him — neither of which were related to the question."

Who won, and why?

Kall: "I think Catherine Templeton narrowly won tonight's debate. She continually touted her outsider status and positive working relationship with popular former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. Henry McMaster was a close runner-up and finished strongly by talking about how strong political partnerships can deliver a lot of new jobs to the state."

Kedrowski: "My pick is Kevin Bryant. He actually answered the questions that were asked and had some of the best one liners. He stayed above the fray and looked dignified, especially when his opponents were attacking each other. Mr. Bryant used his legislative record effectively and framed it as "action" rather than promises or pledges."

Knotts: "I thought Catherine Templeton and John Warren fought to a draw. They were both well prepared for the debate, worked in their key talking points, and added some new material. In addition, both Templeton and Warren went after the incumbent, Henry McMaster, but also got in some good jabs at each other. If there is a runoff, the polling indicates that it will be McMaster and either Warren or Templeton. As a result, it was important for Templeton to attack Warren and for Warren to attack Templeton."

Oldendick: "There was no clear-cut winner in the debate, but Catherine Templeton gave the best overall performance. Her answers were consistently strong and she was able to continue to promote themes that seemed to have served her well in the campaign — her 'Buzzsaw' label, her ties to Nikki Haley, and the fact that she has government experience without having been an elected official.

"John Warren was a close second. He also was able to re-emphasize the themes that have contributed to his rise in the polls — if you learned nothing else in the debate, you know that he is a businessman, a Marine, and a conservative. But will this be enough to convince Republican primary voters to make him their candidate?"