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


SC marks 1st coronavirus death; lawmakers plan short return

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina has reported its first death from the new coronavirus. Health officials said Monday that a patient who contracted COVID-19 at a Lexington County nursing home died at a hospital. He was one of 28 cases being tracked in the state. Cruise ship passengers returned to Charleston on Monday after a four-day cruise to the Bahamas on the Carnival Sunshine. They said they had their temperatures frequently taken while on board, but not as they left the ship Monday morning. The state Senate plans to meet Tuesday to approve $45 million in emergency health funding with the House following up on Thursday.


Kamala Harris backs Harrison's quest to unseat Graham in SC

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — In his campaign against U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, Democrat Jaime Harrison is picking up the support of a former 2020 presidential hopeful he hopes will ultimately be his congressional colleague. In a statement to The Associated Press, California Sen. Kamala Harris on Monday called Harrison an “advocate for the people” whom she’s officially backing. Graham, a popular Republican, is seeking his fourth term representing South Carolina in the U.S. Senate. Harrison is an associate chairman with the Democratic National Committee and former chair of South Carolina's Democratic Party. He's also backed by U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn and another former 2020 hopeful, Sen. Cory Booker.


South Carolina unemployment stays at 2.4% in January

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — State officials say that South Carolina’s unemployment rate was unchanged over the month of January, as state employment reached a new record high. The Department of Employment and Workforce said Monday that unemployment in South Carolina remained at 2.4%, the same as a revised figure for December. The number of working South Carolinians grew by more than 4,000 from December and was up more than 43,000 compared to January 2019. Sectors with the most over-the-month gains were education and health services and professional and business services, which added a combined 2,800 jobs.


New Greenville County Sheriff Hobart Lewis sworn in

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Greenville County's new sheriff has been sworn into office. Sheriff Hobart Lewis took the oath Monday morning in front of a small group of family and deputies. Lewis' term is until the end of this year as he fills the unexpired term of Sheriff Will Lewis. Will Lewis was booted from office after being found guilty of misconduct in office for using his power to arrange an affair with a sheriff's office employee. Republican Hobart Lewis received more than 75% of the vote in last week's special election over Democrat Paul Guy. Lewis says he will run for re-election for a full four-year term later this year.


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 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.