Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 11:20 a.m. EDT
SC lawmakers address prenatal substance abuse through bill
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Some South Carolina lawmakers are considering legislation that would require doctors, nurses or other medical professionals to report to child welfare services if a child is diagnosed with neonatal abstinence syndrome or a fetal alcohol spectrum disorder.
Members of a House subcommittee endorsed the measure Thursday.
Medical professionals already must report abuse. The new measure would require them to submit a report to the Department of Social Services if they find that a child less than a year old is medically affected by prenatal substance abuse or withdrawal.
Republican Rep. Russell Fry of Surfside Beach said it’s an emerging and increasingly problematic issue and said reports will help speed efforts to promote the health of the baby and mother.
The bill now goes to a full House committee.
CITY SUES NONPROFIT
SC city sues nonprofit over $23 million loan re-payment
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina city is suing a nonprofit over nearly $23 million city leaders say is owed taxpayers.
Charleston, Mayor John Tecklenburg and former Mayor Joe Riley on Thursday sued Charleston LDC, which they say received the money when the developer of Charleston Place paid off a loan.
The city said Charleston LDC was created and given $10 million in loans in 1983 to hire a developer for the hotel.
The city says there was an understanding the money would be returned when the loan and interest was re-paid in 2016. The city says Charleston LDC is refusing to give the money to the city, which planned to use it for affordable housing.
Charleston LDC attorney Beth Richardson said the nonprofit is prepared to resolve the dispute without litigation.
ELEMENTARY SCHOOL FIGHT
Vigil held for girl who died in elementary school fight
(Information from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com)
WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) – Residents of Walterboro, South Carolina, came together this week to honor a fifth grader who died from injuries she suffered in a fight at her elementary school.
The Post and Courier reports at least 200 people packed into Pinckney Park on Thursday night to pray for 10-year-old Raniya Wright. Wright was knocked unconscious Monday at Forest Hills Elementary School during a fight with another fifth grader and later died.
The circumstances surrounding the fight are unclear. Schools Superintendent Franklin Foster says student privacy laws and the ongoing investigation limit what information can be released. Authorities say more information may be released after Wright’s autopsy, which is set for Friday.
The newspaper says Walterboro is a small city where most residents know each other, making Wright’s death that much more devastating.
RUN OVER DEPUTY
Sheriff: Deputy hit, injured while directing I-95 traffic
ST. PAULS, N.C. (AP) – A North Carolina sheriff says one of his detectives was directing traffic on Interstate 95 near St. Pauls when he was run over by a car and severely injured.
The News and Observer reports Robeson County Sheriff Burnis Wilkins says 31-year-old Stephen Matthew Lassiter has been airlifted to a South Carolina hospital with severe head trauma and other injuries.
Wilkins says driver Lawrence Adair II, of Hope Mills, has been charged by state authorities with failing to reduce speed. It’s unclear if Adair was taken into custody.
The sheriff says Lassiter was one of several deputies directing interstate traffic around construction on a bridge near St. Pauls.
Man dies after being thrown off Charleston bridge in crash
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Police say a man whose vehicle broke down on a Charleston bridge has died after another driver hit his car and knocked him off of the bridge.
Charleston Police spokesman Charles Francis said the man was outside his Ford sedan checking on it when he was sent over the barrier of the Interstate 26 East ramp to the Ravenel Bridge around 8 p.m. Wednesday.
Francis says the man struck the ground a few dozen feet below the bridge and died at the hospital several hours later.
Francis said in a statement a passenger in the Ford was not hurt.
The man’s name hasn’t been released.
Francis says the wreck is still under investigation and no charges have been filed.
Federal bills would let state prisons jam cellphone signals
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Proposed federal legislation would give state prison officials the ability they have long sought to jam the signals of cellphones smuggled to inmates within their walls.
The Associated Press has learned U.S. Sen. Tom Cotton of Arkansas and U.S. Rep. David Kustoff of Tennessee on Thursday introduced companion bills to allow jamming.
State prison officials across the country have long argued for the ability to jam the signals, saying the phones are dangerous because inmates use them to carry out crimes and plot violence both inside and outside prison.
The Federal Communications Commission, which regulates the nation’s airwaves, has said a decades-old prohibition on interrupting the airwaves at state-level institutions prevents the agency from permitting jamming at state prisons.