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March 25, 2019 - 12:00 am

SOUTH CAROLINA OFFICE-WASHINGTON

South Carolina has reopened an office in Washington, DC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina is rejoining the National Governors Association and has hired a staff member in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Henry McMaster told cabinet members earlier this month the benefits outweigh the costs to reopen the office and rejoin the association.

The state's office in Washington was closed by Gov. Mark Sanford in 2010 to save money during the recession. Gov. Nikki Haley did not reopen the office during her time in office.

The man who ran McMaster's 2018 election campaign, Jordan Marsh, will run the Washington office to help state agencies as they deal with federal agencies. He'll earn $75,000 a year.

Marsh also previously worked for U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham. He also worked on the South Carolina Alliance to Fix Our Roads, a group that supports increased state highway funding.

ELECTION 2020-COMMENCEMENT ADDRESS

Booker to give commencement at historically black university

ORANGEBURG, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker is set to give the commencement address at a historically black university in the critical early primary state of South Carolina.

South Carolina State University announced Monday that Booker will speak to graduates on May 10. The senator from New Jersey visited the Orangeburg school last year to host a forum on the importance of voting in the 2018 midterm elections.

Booker recently made his third trip as a 2020 presidential candidate to South Carolina, which holds the first primary balloting in the South.

Most of the state's Democratic primary electorate is black, and Booker has spent much of his time on the campaign trail here speaking to racially diverse audiences, hitting on issues like health care inequality, criminal justice reform and job creation.

THEATER SHOOTING

Police: Man shot in dispute over seating at movie theater

CONCORD, N.C. (AP) — Police in North Carolina have arrested a man who they say shot another moviegoer in a dispute over seating at a movie theater.

News outlets report Concord police say officers were called to a theater showing the horror film "Us" at Concord Mills mall around 6 p.m. Sunday and found a male with a single gunshot wound which was not life-threatening.

On Monday, investigators announced that 18-year-old Bryant Gregory Eaves Jr. had been arrested at his home in Indian Land, South Carolina. He is charged with one count of assault with a deadly weapon inflicting serious injury with intent to kill.

Police do not believe that Eaves and the victim knew each other prior to the shooting.

Eaves is awaiting extradition. It's unclear whether he has an attorney who could comment.

PORCH SHOOTING DEATH

Man convicted of killing South Carolina man on porch

LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man has been sentenced to life in prison without parole after he was convicted of murder in the shooting death of a police officer's brother in 2017.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported a jury in Lancaster returned a guilty verdict late last week against 31-ytear-old Demarcus Obrien Foster.

Foster had been charged in the Sept. 27, 2017, shooting of 29-year-old Joel McLemore as he stood on the front porch of a home in Lancaster. McLemore died several days later.

Foster is not be eligible for parole because of past convictions on manslaughter and other charges.

McLemore was the younger brother of Ryan McLemore, a drug unit supervisor with the Lancaster County Sheriff's Office. It was not clear whether that relationship played a role in McLemore's death.

DUI ARREST-BODY SPRAY

Police: Man tried to hide alcohol on breath with body spray

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina say a man sprayed Axe body spray in his mouth to cover the smell of alcohol as deputies approached during a traffic stop.

The State newspaper reports that Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies stopped 49-year-old Efren Mencia-Ramirez on Saturday night after they say he sped past a deputy on Interstate 85 and swerved into another lane.

The incident report says there was a 12-pack of beer on the floor and 10 of the beers were nearly empty. The report says Mencia-Ramirez had an open bottle between his legs, exhibited signs of intoxication and failed field sobriety tests.

He faces charges including driving under the influence.

Online records showed Mencia-Ramirez was in custody. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney who could comment on the charges.

DRIVING WITHOUT PANTS-ARREST

Police: Man drove on college campus without pants

(Information from: The State, http://www.thestate.com)

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina man accused of driving around a college campus without pants on has been arrested.

Winthrop University police Lt. Charles Yearta tells The State newspaper that 23-year-old David Nathaniel Atkinson was arrested Saturday and charged with indecent exposure.

Yearta said two students looking out the window of their dorm before 8 p.m. saw a man without pants in a car.

Yearta said Atkinson isn't a student at Winthrop University and has no known affiliation with the school in Rock Hill.

York County Sheriff's Office spokesman Trent Faris told the newspaper that Atkinson was released Sunday after posting $10,000 bail. It wasn't immediately clear whether he had an attorney.

The newspaper reports that Atkinson was previously convicted of indecent exposure in December 2016 in Alamance County, North Carolina.

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