VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA SCHOOLS
Gov announces closure of all South Carolina public schools
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster on Sunday announced temporary closures for schools across the state as more cases of coronavirus continue to emerge.￼ During a news conference on Sunday, McMaster announced that all K-12 schools, colleges, universities and technical schools would close beginning Monday and going through the end of March.￼￼ Food centers will be set up for students reliant on food provided in schools.
UNIVERSITY ASSAULT ALLEGATIONS
University regrets not telling victim to go to police
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Bob Jones University in South Carolina says it regrets not encouraging a teenager to go to police after she said she was sexually assaulted on campus by a former pastor. The woman reported the assaults to college officials in 2005. The Greenville News reports she said four years earlier when she was 16, a then 37-year-old pastor took her to a university-owned apartment while visiting Greenville and attacked her. Police charged 56-year-old Jonathan Weaver with two counts of first-degree assault and battery last month. A Bob Jones University spokesman said school officials should have encouraged the girl to notify police and would handle the situation much differently today.
SOUTH CAROLINA HOUSE-BREAK
South Carolina House takes 1st of typical 2 weeks off
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina House is taking the week off. The House started the first of what is usually two weeks off during the 18-week session after Speaker Jay Lucas gaveled the end of Wednesday's session. Lucas said House members deserved the break after working hard on the $10 billion state budget approved last week and other matters. The House is scheduled to return March 24. House leaders said taking time off also saves taxpayer money. It's estimated it costs about $50,000 in mileage reimbursement and pay for meals and lodging for each week the House is in session. The Senate plans to meet for its regular three day week starting Tuesday.
Historic SC Senate panel of 4 women OK Equal Right Amendment
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A history making group of female senators has approved a resolution to have South Carolina approve the Equal Rights Amendment. The subcommittee that voted Wednesday was made up of all four women in the state Senate. The 46-member Senate has never had more women. Virginia became the 38th state to pass the 1970's era proposal calling for equal rights for both sexes. That's the number needed to add an amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But Congress set a 1982 deadline and has not waived it. The four women in the South Carolina Senate are Democratic Sen. Mia McLeod of Columbia, Republican Sen. Katrina Shealy of Lexington, Democratic Sen. Margie Bright Matthews of Walterboro and Republican Sen. Sandy Senn of Charleston.
SHACKLED PREGNANT INMATES
SC Senate passes bill banning shackling of pregnant inmates
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Senate has approved a bill banning jails and prisons from using leg, waist and ankle restraints on pregnant women while they give birth. South Carolina is among only six states that don't ban shackling pregnant inmates. The bill passed by the Senate earlier this month would also require pregnant inmates to only be handcuffed in front so they can try to brace themselves if they fall. The House passed the bill last year. The Senate made changes, including banning body cavity searches of pregnant inmates and allowing inmates time out of restraints to have skin-on-skin bonding with a newborn. The House can accept those changes or the bill will go to a conference committee. The governor says he will sign the bill if it gets to his desk.
US govt OKs letting S Carolina tribe build N Carolina casino