VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA
South Carolina capital adopting curfew against coronavirus
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A citywide curfew goes into effect Wednesday night in Columbia to help fight the spread of the new coronavirus in the South Carolina capital. The Columbia City Council voted Tuesday to impose the restrictions from 11 p.m. to 6 a.m. Mayor Steve Benjamin said the curfew will be similar to one established after the 2015 flood. It will include exceptions for people going to work or needing medical treatment. The curfew will automatically expire after 61 days unless the city council repeals it earlier. Health officials reported 13 new COVID-19 cases in South Carolina on Wednesday, bringing the total number of cases to 60.
STATE BUDGET-SOUTH CAROLINA
Virus makes $10B budget passed by SC House mostly moot
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Earlier this month, the South Carolina House passed a budget that spent nearly $2 billion in additional money on raises for teachers, security upgrades at prisons and tax breaks. Thanks to the coronavirus, less than a week later, that $10 billion budget is likely worthless. The Senate says it will start nearly from scratch when it takes up the budget after returning from a break over the virus. House Speaker Jay Lucas says his members understand the unprecedented changes and will review the Senate's work as always. The last time the state faced financial problems like this was the Great Recession of 2008.
POLICE LAWSUIT SETTLEMENT
South Carolina city to pay $750,000 over false arrest claim
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina city has agreed to pay $750,000 to a man who sued over being jailed for more than four months on charges that he hit an officer, even though a police supervisor said the accusation wasn’t true. Demetrius Jamison's attorney said the Orangeburg City Council approved the settlement Tuesday. The case stems from Jamison’s 2018 arrest on charges of head-butting and assaulting officers. Jamison's lawyer says a police lieutenant's memo said Jamison didn’t strike an officer, but his assault case was still taken to court, where a judge found him guilty. Between his arrest and sentence, Jamison spent 128 days behind bars.
GANG RULING OVERTURNED-SOUTH CAROLINA
Court overrules sentence for man who shot college student
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court has unanimously overturned the attempted murder conviction of a gang member who shot and critically injured a college student. The court Wednesday ruling says Michael Juan Smith did not intend to shoot Martha Childress and can not be convicted of attempted murder. The 27-year-old Smith is now entitled to a new trial. Smith was originally sentenced in 2015 to 40 years in state prison for the shooting that left Childress paralyzed from the waist down. During the original trial, Smith testified that he fired his gun in self-defense and intended to shoot a rival gang member when he shot Childress.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA
SC Senate OKs $45M to fight virus; gov issues sweeping order
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators have approved $45 million in emergency funding for state health officials to fight the new coronavirus. As senators debated Tuesday, Gov. Henry McMaster ordered all bars to close and restaurants to stop dine in service. The governor also delayed tax deadlines until June. Senators on Tuesday also debated, but delayed a decision on whether to pass a plan to keep government operating if they can't meet enough to pass a budget by July 1. State health officials will spent the extra $45 million on additional employees and overtime, protective equipment, a public education campaign and other items.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA-JUVENILE JUSTICE
SC's public schools closed - except for students in jail