Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EDT

July 02, 2018 - 12:00 am

NUCLEAR REACTORS-SOUTH CAROLINA-THE LATEST

The Latest: South Carolina utility rate cut gets board's OK

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Customers of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. appear likely to get a 15-percent rate cut after the state's Public Service Commission voted to enact the reduction ordered by lawmakers following a multi-billion dollar failed nuclear project.

The utility had sought to use a higher rate to recover the costs of the project.

The State newspaper of Columbia reports commissioners voted unanimously Monday to put the cut into effect. SCE&G had wanted a federal court to stop state regulators from cutting the rates it charges to recover the costs of the failed project.

The commission is expected to move forward with slashing SCE&G's electric rates at a hearing on Tuesday, barring a successful legal challenge by the utility.

SCE&G says it's unfair to cut its rates and change the rules for collecting ratepayers' money for the project a decade after work stated. It says the law passed last week amounts to the state unconstitutionally taking its property and denying it the due process of law.

CAMPER DEATH

Man arrested after woman found dead in South Carolina camper

FOUNTAIN INN, S.C. (AP) — A man has been arrested and charged with murder after a woman was found dead in a camper in South Carolina.

The Laurens County Sheriff's Office said in a news release that 34-year-old Anthony Cruz Garcia of Fountain Inn was arrested Sunday and charged with his girlfriend's death.

The woman's name has not been released yet.

Deputies were called to a home in Fountain Inn about a shooting around 2 p.m. Sunday. They found a woman dead in a camper parked on the site.

Deputies say Garcia was not at the home when they arrived, but he was found a short time later.

Garcia is being held in the Laurens County jail. It was not known if he has an attorney yet.

LEGISLATOR-ONLINE THREAT

Man arrested for threatening South Carolina lawmaker online

(Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Law enforcement officials have arrested a man who they say threatened a South Carolina lawmaker on his Facebook page.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports South Carolina Law Enforcement Division says 28-year-old Ian Nicholas Nix is charged with threatening the life, person or family of a public official. According to SLED, Nix sent a death threat to Spartanburg Republican state Rep. Steven Long.

According to authorities, Nix sent a message on June 1 which refers to Long as "right wing scum" and told him "Your party's days are numbered."

In the same message, authorities said, Nix told Long in the same message, "You're a (expletive) dead man."

Nix is being held in the Spartanburg County jail. Online records don't say whether he has an attorney.

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GAS TAX-SOUTH CAROLINA

South Carolina's gasoline tax up 2 cents per gallon

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Gasoline prices are up in South Carolina and it has nothing to do with Mideast oil prices, or American production of hurricane threats.

South Carolina gas tax increased 2 cents per gallon Sunday, year two of six planned years of increases to provide more funding for roads and bridges.

South Carolina's gas tax is now 20.75 cents per gallon, one of the lowest in the country. Georgia's tax is 31.6 cents per gallon. North Carolina's is 34.3 cents.

Last July's initial 2-cent hike was South Carolina's first gas tax increase in 30 years.

With Sunday's increase, AAA says South Carolina has the second lowest gas prices in the country, just behind Alabama.

South Carolina Transportation Secretary Christy Hall says the state has a record level of roadwork underway.

SHORE SALUTE

Salute from the Shore set for July 4 in South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — The ninth Salute from the Shore flight of military aircraft over South Carolina is set for July 4.

This year's flight will include a flyover at Lake Murray northwest of Columbia.

The flyover includes modern planes like F-16s jet fighters from the 169th Fighter Wing at McEntire Joint National Guard Base, as well as vintage military aircraft.

Because of their differences air speeds, the planes may be staggered as they reach various points.

The flight will begin at Cherry Grove, north of Myrtle Beach, around 1 p.m. Wednesday. The aircraft should be over Charleston's beaches about 1:15 p.m., followed by Hilton Head Island around 1:30 p.m.

The aircraft should be over Lake Murray around 1:45 p.m.

DEPUTIES-STANDOFF

Deputies arrest South Carolina man after 7-hour standoff

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Sheriff's deputies in South Carolina have arrested a man after a seven-hour standoff stemming from a domestic dispute.

The Lexington County Sheriff's Office said in a news release Sunday 24-year-old Jonathan Qunitell Johnson of Lexington is charged with first-degree domestic violence involving his live-in girlfriend.

Lexington County Sheriff Jay Koon said deputies responded to the house about 2:30 a.m. Saturday. During the standoff, Koon said Johnson showed a firearm and threatened to harm himself.

Koon also said the victim pleaded with Johnson until she was able to get out of the house and get help.

Johnson is being held at the Lexington County jail under $105,000 bond. Online records didn't indicate whether he has an attorney.

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