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August 18, 2019 - 12:00 am


Senate panel to discuss reducing number of USC trustees

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A group of state senators is meeting this week to discuss a bill that would cut the number of trustees overseeing the University of South Carolina by nearly half to 11.

The bill was introduced in April and will likely get even more attention after trustees were nearly split on hiring retired Army Gen. Bob Caslen as the school's new president

A Senate Education subcommittee will discuss the proposal Tuesday that would reduce the number of trustees elected by legislator from 16 based on judicial districts to seven based on the state's U.S. House districts.

Four seats would remain unchanged — two selected by the governor, the state education superintendent and the president of the school's alumni association.

Faculty and students would still not have a seat on the board.


3 family members shot in apparent break-in

(Information from: The Sumter Item,

CHERRYVALE, S.C. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after three South Carolina family members were shot when someone broke into their mobile home.

The Sumter Item reports a man, a woman and a 7-year-old girl were shot during the Friday night break-in. A younger boy who was at home was not injured.

Sumter County Sheriff's spokeswoman Adrienne Sarvis says deputies are looking for two suspects. Officials are giving no further information on the suspects.

The man had been in critical condition Friday after the shooting, while the girl had been in serious condition. The woman's condition was only described Saturday as stable.

The mobile home park is near Shaw Air Force Base.



Sanders' criminal justice plan aims to cut prison population

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is proposing a criminal justice overhaul that aims to cut the nation's prison population in half, end mandatory minimum sentencing, ban private prisons and legalize marijuana.

He says the current system does not fairly treat people of color, addicts or the mentally ill.

If elected president, Sanders says he'd abolish mandatory minimum sentencing, end the "three strikes law" and expand the use of alternative sentencing.

The plan would legalize marijuana and expunge previous marijuana convictions, and end a cash bail system that Sanders says keeps hundreds of thousands who have not been convicted of a crime languishing in jail because they cannot afford bail.

On capital punishment, Sanders' plan formalizes his call to end the federal death penalty and urges states to eliminate the punishment.


Police say South Carolina driver dies while fleeing

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) — A driver has died in upstate South Carolina after authorities say he tried to flee a sheriff's deputy.

Anderson County Sheriff's Sgt. J.T. Foster tells local news outlets a deputy tried to stop a tan SUV early Sunday morning for speeding, failing to stop at a traffic signal and reckless driving.

Instead, the SUV sped away. As the deputy chased the vehicle, it left road near Anderson, striking an embankment and a tree around 1:45 a.m. The driver was not wearing a seat belt and was ejected. Taken to a hospital, the driver died there from injuries suffered in the crash.

Authorities are not yet naming the person who died.


College of Charleston arts building set for $45M overhaul

(Information from: The Post and Courier,

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A major building at a South Carolina university is set for a $50 million overhaul.

The Post and Courier reports the state's Joint Bond Review Committee agreed last month to borrow $45 million to renovate the College of Charleston's main arts building, the Albert Simons Center. Another $5 million will come from a onetime state appropriation.

Architects are still designing the building's new exterior. A previous renovation planned in the mid-1990s stalled amid exterior design disputes.

School of the Arts Dean Valerie Morris says the renovation will create a black box theater for student productions, plus upgraded classrooms, bathrooms and heating and cooling. Mold problems are promised to be fixed.

Work could begin in summer 2020, with the art school temporarily relocating. The overhaul could be complete by fall 2022.



SC woman killed with butcher knife during argument

CALHOUN FALLS, S.C. (AP) — A woman has been killed with a butcher knife during an argument inside a South Carolina home.

News outlets report the Abbeville County coroner's office was called to a home in Calhoun Falls around 11:30 p.m. Friday about a domestic stabbing incident.

Authorities say 29-year-old Jessica Ekholm tried to cut her husband with a pocket knife and he retaliated by killing her with a butcher knife. The man, whose name was not released, was taken by medical helicopter to Anmed Health Medical Center for treatment and later released.

Officials say an autopsy is scheduled on Monday to determine Ekholm's exact cause of death.

Police have not said what sparked the argument.

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