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

SOUTH CAROLINA LEGISLATURE BEGINS

Contentious education debate previewed on day 1 of SC Senate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate spent its first day of the 2020 session preparing for what could be a long and contentious debate over education. Senators voted 40-4 on Tuesday to place a 60-plus-page education bill up for debate starting Wednesday. The bill was passed by the House last March. But even in that vote, there was evidence of disagreement. The bill deals with schools of every type and grade level. Democratic Sen. Mike Fanning of Great Falls renewed a vow on Tuesday to do whatever he can to kill this version of the bill and start from scratch. Fanning first made the pledge after talking with teachers.

TEACHER-STUDENT-SEX

Teacher accused of having sex with student arrested

DARLINGTON, S.C. (AP) — A high school teacher in South Carolina has been arrested after being accused of having sex with a student. News outlets report the Darlington County School District said Monday that Anna Elizabeth Jeanette Patton is on administrative leave. Authorities say she sent explicit images and messages to the 16-year-old student beginning in October. She's also accused of having sex with the student multiple times. An arrest warrant says probable cause was obtained through evidence and statements from the teen. It's unclear whether Patton had an attorney who could speak for her. She was in jail without bond.

WOMAN INSIDE-TRASH COMPACTOR

Police: Worker heard screams, found woman in trash compactor

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) — A sanitation worker's routine trash pickup in South Carolina turned into an investigation when he heard screaming coming from the compactor. The Rock Hill Herald reports a city worker collecting trash from outside an elementary school Monday morning found a woman inside the garbage truck's compactor. Rock Hill police say the man activated the compactor, heard screams and stopped. Police say the woman freed herself and fled on foot.  It's unclear if the woman was in the dumpster that was emptied in the truck or if she was already in the compactor. As of Monday afternoon the woman had not been found. The investigation is ongoing.

AP-US-PROLIFIC-MAIL-THIEF

Targeting rich neighborhoods, man stole 1,300 people's mail

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — Federal prosecutors in North Carolina say a man has been sentenced to more than 3 years in prison for a methodical scheme to steal checks and credit cards from people's mailboxes while they slept. Erik Magana was sentenced to 42 months in prison Tuesday for the scheme that defrauded banks of more than $77,000. They say he stole mail from at least 1,300 people from 2016 until late 2018. Authorities say he hoarded numerous pieces of mail that filled every room of his apartment. Officials say they found items ranging from theater tickets to passports inside the stolen mail that never got to the intended recipients.

TV SHOW CASTING-OVERTIME

TV casting director sues production firms after SC filming

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A former casting director for the television series “Mr. Mercedes" says she wasn't paid for overtime work for the show that filmed in South Carolina and aired on Audience. Taylor Campbell says in a recently filed federal lawsuit that she was an extras casting director during part of 2018. Her lawyer says she worked many hours beyond a 40-hour week and was never paid for the overtime work. The lawsuit was filed in U.S. District Court in Charleston. Representatives of four companies named as defendants did not immediately return messages seeking comment.

INMATE LAWSUIT-HEP C

Mandated hep C treatment for SC inmates gets initial consent

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A federal judge granted preliminary approval of a proposed settlement mandating testing and treatment for hepatitis C of all inmates in South Carolina correction facilities. Several inmates filed a lawsuit in 2017 against the Department of Corrections over a lack of treatment for hepatitis C. A proposed class-action settlement was submitted after the lawsuit was filed. A judge gave preliminary approval to the proposed settlement Tuesday. It will cost between $4,000 and $15,000 to identify inmates with hepatitis C and treat them. Testing for all inmates is on schedule to be completed by June. Hepatitis C is a viral infection that is spread through exposure to blood or blood products.