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


SC schools likely to close through April because of virus

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina schools will likely be closed through the end of April because of the coronavirus. Gov. Henry McMaster stopped short of issuing an order to close school for more than four more weeks, but said Tuesday he is almost certain he will have to do it. Schools were first closed March 16. Also Tuesday, the Spoleto Festival USA in Charleston canceled its 2020 season and state health officials reported two more deaths, raising the death toll to seven. South Carolina had more than 340 coronavirus cases as of Tuesday afternoon's daily update.


Deputies cleared in deadly domestic dispute shootout

ANDREWS, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina say three sheriff's deputies won't face any criminal charges after they fatally shot a man during a domestic dispute. The State Law Enforcement Division said they found no evidence of wrongdoing on the part of Georgetown County Deputies Drew Wynans, William McWethy and Jerome Maybank in the fatal shooting of 31-year-old Kreed Bateman. Deputies responded to a domestic disturbance call in December and had probable cause to arrest Bateman for second-degree domestic violence for assaulting the mother of his children in their presence. SLED said Bateman fired at deputies first and was intent on shooting the officers even after he was shot and wounded.


Oversize load damages and closes SC bridge over I-85

COWPENS, S.C. (AP) — State transportation officials say an illegal, oversize load damaged a bridge over Interstate 85 in South Carolina so badly it had to be closed. The state Department of Transportation said the load hit the deck of the state Highway 110 bridge over I-85 near Cowpens on Monday afternoon. Officials say the bridge had to be closed and the southbound lanes of I-85 near mile marker 83 were also closed for several hours as engineers inspected the highways. Crews building a new bridge for state Highway 110 as part of the I-85 widening project say they will now work to finish that bridge as quickly as they can.


Men accused of creating explosions to rob ATMs in 2 states

TAMPA, Fla. (AP) — Authorities say two men are facing federal charges in Florida for using small explosions to rob ATMs in the Tampa Bay area. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Tampa has charged 33-year-old Mawdo Sallah and 34-year-old Kirk Johnson with conspiring to commit arson. They each face up to 20 years in prison. A criminal complaint says Sallah and Johnson took nearly $70,000 from several Florida ATMs between November and January and vandalized others without taking any cash. Investigators believe the men injected some type of flammable fuel into the machines. Prosecutors say the men were arrested Sunday after setting off an explosion at an ATM in Georgia.


Child, 7, injured by gunfire at apartments in South Carolina

BAMBERG, S.C. (AP) — Authorities are investigating after a 7-year-old child was shot and injured at a South Carolina apartment complex. Bamberg Police Chief James Smoak said the child suffered “superficial injuries” when struck by gunfire late Sunday. Paramedics took the child to a hospital for treatment. Authorities said the shooting incident happened at the Villa Apartments in Bamberg, about 60 miles south of Columbia. No other details were immediately released.


Volunteers sew masks for health workers facing shortages

CHICAGO (AP) — People are banding together to sew face masks for hospitals running desperately short of personal protective equipment as the coronavirus pandemic intensifies. Hospitals and health care workers say the do-it-yourself face masks are a last resort but better than nothing. And those sitting at home worrying as the virus strains hospitals and the economy teeters say sewing masks makes them feel less helpless. Efforts in the U.S. mirror those happening around the world, including Belgium and Spain where volunteers are sewing masks and making other protective equipment for health care workers as confirmed infections continue to rise.