It’s South Carolina’s highest civilian honor, but have governors devalued it by handing out too many?

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s highest civilian honor has been awarded to athletes, state lawmakers, religious leaders, retired military personnel and police officers. It’s been used to curry favor with voters and to reward longtime employees and agency directors. Rosa Parks, Ray Charles, author Pat Conroy, L.A. Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda and two-time presidential candidate Ross Perot each have one. So does the “Terminator” and former governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger. The state’s Order of the Palmetto was created to honor and recognize a native or resident South Carolinian’s...

Uncontrolled rocket debris expected to hit Earth soon. Could it land in the US?

Another large Chinese rocket body is falling uncontrollably toward Earth, U.S. space experts said, and is expected to hit soon. The Long March 5B rocket was launched in China on July 24 to deliver a module to China’s Space Station, according to a news release from the Aerospace Corporation, a nonprofit research center funded by the U.S. government. Now, the rocket body is making an uncontrolled reentry in Earth’s atmosphere, the release said. Predicting a time and location of reentry is difficult, experts of the Aerospace Corporation said in a news conference this week. The most recent predict...

South Carolina man charged in Jan. 6 Capitol riot had Nazi images on phone

COLUMBIA, S.C. — A South Carolina man charged in the Jan. 6 Capitol riot is back in the hot seat after federal prosecutors say the man’s cellphone included 80 Nazi and white supremacist images, according to a government sentencing memorandum in the case. Prosecutors are seeking 30 days in jail for Elliot Bishai, 22, of Fort Mill in York County, for his participation in the riot, during which he climbed through a broken window and encouraged rioters to invade the Capitol. Inside he yelled, “Civil War 2!” according to the government memorandum. At the time of the riot, Bishai was a member in the...

Mike Pence to talk ‘post-Roe world’ in another visit to early voting state SC

Former Vice President Mike Pence, who is eyeing a possible 2024 Republican presidential run, will be back in South Carolina this month to address the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade ruling at a Florence Baptist church. The church, Florence Baptist Temple, said on Facebook and advertised on its website that the former vice president will speak on the “post-Roe world” at 7 p.m. on July 20. Pence has made several visits to the state since the Trump administration, most recently headlining a May fundraiser at a Spartanburg crisis pregnancy center and speaking at another Baptist church in Rock Hill, ne...

Sen. Lindsey Graham is scared of a Georgia grand jury subpoena. What’s he got to hide?

Why doesn’t Sen. Lindsey Graham want to talk to investigators? Is he living by the code of the streets now? Will he soon reveal a chest tattoo that declares “Snitches Get Stitches?” Graham is challenging a subpoena to appear before a Georgia grand jury that’s looking into possible criminal interference in the state’s 2020 election. In my years covering cops and prosecutors, I learned a phrase that applied to unsavory types who didn’t want to help investigators — folks who were protecting criminals, to be more blunt. Cops and prosecutors would say “the witness is not cooperating with the invest...

Antisemitic flyers found throughout South Carolina city tied to nationwide propaganda campaign

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Antisemitic flyers in plastic sandwich bags were distributed to homes throughout the Columbia-area city of Forest Acres earlier this month. The local police department is now investigating. The material is thought to be part of a nationwide harassment campaign against Jewish residents, according to the police department. “We at the Forest Acres Police Department are very disturbed about these flyers and do not want them anywhere in our city,” reads a statement from the police department posted to Facebook Friday afternoon. An image shared by the police department shows a flyer...

From a SC jail, Alex Murdaugh tried to get his son back into law school

Sitting in the Richland County jail on financial fraud charges, once powerful Lowcountry lawyer Alex Murdaugh fretted about getting his surviving son, Buster, back into the University of South Carolina’s law school. “He’s got to make it a full-time job,” Murdaugh told his brother, John Marvin Murdaugh, in a phone call in late December. “He’s got to study five and six hours every day, six days a week.” That discussion is among more than 100 recorded phone conversations of thejailed Murdaugh talking to relatives he remains closest to. The conversations, recorded late last year and early this yea...

‘Rotting away’: Recorded phone calls depict Alex Murdaugh’s life in Richland County jail

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Alex Murdaugh’s voice rose as he talked to a family member about the remote control he had acquired for the television in the Richland County jail. Murdaugh had been there about two weeks when he got to know a “one-legged” trusty, who made a deal with him for the remote. It was a precious possession for Murdaugh, a man looking for something to relieve the monotony. “I can watch more than one channel,” Murdaugh said. ”Cost me a honey bun, three packs of Pop-Tarts, deck of cards and a bag of ramen noodle soup.” That discussion with his son, Buster, is among more than 100 recordi...

South Carolina lawmakers poised to pass stricter abortion laws

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Legislature looks well positioned to pass more restrictive abortion legislation this year should the U.S. Supreme Court overturn its 1973 landmark decision Roe v. Wade. But top lawmakers from the South Carolina Senate and House differ on the timeline and how restrictive that ban should be. Roe v. Wade, the landmark Supreme Court case that protects abortions federally, could be overturned this month after a leaked draft opinion reported by Politico in May revealed a majority of Supreme Court justices voted to do so. In preparation for this move, the South Car...

2 killed, 2 more injured in shooting at South Carolina nightclub, sheriff’s office says

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Two men were killed and two other people were injured Sunday in an early-morning shooting at a South Carolina nightclub, the Colleton County Sheriff’s Office said. Deputies responded to reports of a shooting at the Hang Time Grill & Lounge, at 1109 Rivers St., in Walterboro at about 2:40 a.m., the sheriff’s office said in a news release. At the scene, deputies found two men who had been shot and began rendering aid, according to the release. Colleton Fire-Rescue took both men to the Colleton Medical Center where they died, the sheriff’s office said. The Colleton County Coroner...

Republican Nancy Mace defeats Trump-endorsed challenger Katie Arrington in SC primary

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Republican Nancy Mace defeated Katie Arrington in one of South Carolina’s most hotly-contested primary congressional races Tuesday night, delivering another setback to Donald Trump’s primary endorsement record. Mace’s win over Arrington, who was once Mace’s colleague in the State House, dashes Arrington’s second attempt to represent the 1st Congressional District after she won her primary in 2018 only to lose to Democrat Joe Cunningham. The Associated Press called the race for Mace at 11:13 p.m., showing Mace with about 53 percentage points to Arrington’s nearly 45%. Mace decl...

Russell Fry ousts Rep. Tom Rice from Congress as Trump impeachment vote loomed large

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. — South Carolina state Representative Russell Fry — an ambitious young conservative from Surfside Beach — trounced U.S. Rep. Tom Rice in his bid for Congress on Tuesday, snagging a re-election win from a five-term incumbent who had committed Republicans’ one cardinal sin: crossing Donald Trump. It was Rice’s vote to impeach the former president last year after the Jan. 6 riot at the U.S. Capitol that angered GOP voters across his district, which gave two-thirds of its vote to Trump in 2020. Unofficial results on Tuesday showed Fry winning 51% of the vote in the GOP primary, ...

These 3 things this doctor learned from his stroke could save your life

Dr. Julian Kim was teaching a minor surgical procedure in Cleveland when he started walking funny. He didn’t notice it, but someone else in the operating room did. “I actually had a bleed into my brain … related to high blood pressure,” Kim said. “I didn’t even know I had high blood pressure.” Kim had a stroke that day. He survived in part because he was in a hospital and received immediate care with medication to lower his blood pressure. It still took him six months of physical therapy to recover but, five years later, he’s working as a cancer surgeon at Prisma Health in Columbia and says he...

Former VP Pence visits South Carolina, says overturning Roe would be a 'fresh start on life'

SPARTANBURG, S.C. — While touting his anti-abortion credentials, former Vice President Mike Pence said the country could see a "fresh start" if the Supreme Court follows through on a leaked draft opinion and overturns Roe v. Wade. But Pence, a 2024 potential presidential candidate, added that he's not thinking about the political implications of such a court decision ahead of the 2022 midterm elections. "Having been involved in the cause of the right-to-life for all of my adult life, politics is the least of my concerns, that we have a historic opportunity to restore the sanctity of life to th...

SC House GOP agrees to redistricting redraw over lawsuit alleging racial gerrymandering

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina House Republican leaders have agreed to adjust the boundaries of the controversial and contested state House map lawmakers adopted in December and will use in the 2022 election cycle, according to new court filings. The map changes come as the result of a settlement reached in a federal lawsuit brought last October on behalf of the South Carolina chapter of the NAACP that alleged the map intentionally discriminated against Black voters and diluted their voting power. The suit challenged 29 of the 124 recently adopted state House districts, as well as the redrawn...