birth control

Gov. Henry McMaster has vetoed a portion of the state budget that would provide birth control for children of state employees covered under the state’s health plan. The tab for providing birth control to children of state workers is about $8 million a year. The Post and Courier reports the state would pick up half that cost, with the federal government paying the rest. “It’s an $8 million mandate and if you ask [the Public Employment Benefit Authority], they don’t have the money for it and they are going to have to go into their reserves to pay for it,” McMaster’s spokesman Brian Symmes said. “This is a bad budgeting practice.” State Rep. Beth Bernstein calls the veto “disappointing,” saying “it does not make any sense that the plan would allow a spouse to be covered but not a dependent.” — Chris Trainor 

USC Nabs New Baseball Coach

The University of South Carolina hired Mark Kingston as its new baseball coach. Kingston has been the University of South Florida’s coach in recent years. He led the Bulls to the NCAA Tournament two of the last three years, and the team had a 42-19 record in 2017. Before he was at South Florida he was the coach at Illinois State. He has a 253-180-1 career record. The South Carolina baseball coaching job came open after coach Chad Holbrook resigned in June following a particularly disappointing season. The Gamecocks entered the season as one of the top-10 ranked teams in America, but would, at one point, lose eight consecutive Southeastern Conference series and ultimately missed the NCAA Tournament for the second time in three seasons. Kingston will reportedly be paid $600,000 per year to lead the Gamecocks. — Chris Trainor 

Samsung Will Open a Plant in Newberry

South Korean electronics giant Samsung will open a plant in Newberry, making an investment of $380 million and employing 950 people. The company will occupy a facility that was once home to a Caterpillar factory. The Samsung site will produce home appliances, like washing machines. Santee Cooper is providing Samsung $2.75 million in incentives to locate in Newberry. “As a global leader in technology, Samsung could have gone anywhere to locate its new facility, but chose to invest in South Carolina because it is a great place to do business,” U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said. “Samsung’s new plant will inject millions of dollars in Newberry and serve as a catalyst for further investment across the Palmetto State.” — Chris Trainor 

No Ruling Yet in FITSNews Case

A judge in Lexington County did not rule June 28 as to whether popular Palmetto State political blogger Will Folks, of FITSNews, should be jailed for not revealing his sources. Judge William Keesley asked Folks’ lawyers and lawyers for former state Rep. Kenny Bingham, who is suing Folks, to submit arguments by this week. The judge will make a ruling at a later date. According to The Post and Courier’s Maya Prabhu, court filings show Bingham is suing Folks for defamation for a series of articles published in 2014 and 2015 concerning an ethics investigation and State House corruption probe. Folks used anonymous sources in his reporting, and has steadfastly refused to reveal those sources.

Chris Trainor 

Final Phase of CanalSide to be Developed

Sola Station, a $58 million, 399-unit apartment complex, is set to be built along the riverfront in Columbia, completing the final phase of CanalSide Lofts. According to The State ’s Jeff Wilkinson, the Sola Station project will be completed in 2018. The paper reports that, “with Sola Station, The Beach Co. of Charleston is building two four-story apartment buildings overlooking Columbia Canal and the Congaree River. A third building behind them will be three stories.” The site where CanalSide sits was once the Central Correctional Institution prison. — Chris Trainor 

USC Might Honor Spurrier at 2017 Game

The University of South Carolina is considering honoring former football coach Steve Spurrier at a game at Williams-Brice Stadium during the upcoming season. “There is nothing set, but if something happens that they want to do that, it would be fine with me, probably,” Spurrier told The State. Spurrier is the winningest coach in USC history. He led the Gamecocks to an SEC East title in 2010, then followed that up with three straight 11-win seasons. He also beat Clemson five years in a row at one point during his USC run. However, things ended sourly for the “Old Ball Coach” at USC, as he abruptly stepped down in the midst of the 2015 season, a disastrous 3-9 campaign. He is now a consultant in the athletic department at his alma mater, the University of Florida. — Chris Trainor 

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