State Superintendent of Education Molly Spearman announced the state will take control of the school district in poverty-ridden Allendale County. “Management decisions that put self-interest ahead of our students’ achievement are unacceptable,” Spearman said, per The Post and Courier. “I will not stand by while students get left behind because of the poor decision making of adults.” Spearman said the academic performance in the district constitutes a “state of emergency.” This is the second time the state has seized control of the rural district, the first time being from 1999 to 2007. The district currently receives $17,000 per student in government funding, among the highest per-student totals in the state. But Spearman worries the funding is not getting invested in student instruction. “Allendale County schools have received significant increases in funding yet continue to have some of the worst results. These students deserve better and we must remain accountable to the taxpayers,” she said.
Cops Say Local Southern Rocker Died After Breaking Into Home
Authorities have a ruled the death of a local Southern rock musician a “justifiable homicide” after he reportedly broke into an ex-girlfriend’s home on Lake Murray and accosted her with a gun. According to The State, Keith Dominick, of the Keith Dominick Band, died of blood loss and strangulation in the incident. Dominick allegedly “severely cut his arm” while breaking a glass to get in the home. He reportedly threatened the woman with a gun. A struggle ensued in which the victim was able to knock the gun away from Dominick and pin him to the floor.
Part of Pinson’s Sentence Overturned
Greenville businessman and former South Carolina State University board chairman Jonathan Pinson’s racketeering conviction has been overturned by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, but other criminal convictions against him were upheld. The appeals court issued its ruling on Monday. According to The State, government officials say a retrial on the racketeering charge is unlikely, and that the various other criminal convictions against Pinson are sufficient for prison time. Pinson used his position on the SCSU board to take kickbacks and skimmed federal money from development projects, including Columbia’s The Village at River’s Edge.
Palmetto Health, Greenville Health Systems Partnering
Columbia’s Palmetto Health and Greenville Health Systems are combining to create the largest health system in the state. According to The Greenville News, “the newly created and yet-to-be-named company will see 1.2 million patients a year, generate $3.9 billion in annual net revenue and become one of the 50 largest health systems in the nation.” The report says no money is changing hands in the arrangement, and that a new parent company will be formed to guide the organization. GHS and Palmetto Health will remain separate legal entities.
Unemployment Rate Hits 17 Year Low
The unemployment rate in South Carolina hit 4.1 percent in May, the lowest mark since 2000. That mark was also lower than the 4.3 unemployment rate in April. According to state labor statistics, the labor force in South Carolina has increased by 31,655 people since May 2016.
Lt. Gov Calls Out Treasurer for Tweet
State Treasurer Curtis Loftis and Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant got into it a little bit on Twitter. Early June 15, Loftis sent out a tweet in reference to reports of a possible “dirty bomb” at the Port of Charleston. Authorities determined there was no threat at the port. “It was not a DIRTY BOMB. It was a PRETTY BLONDE. Her shift is over and she has gone home All is well,” Loftis tweeted. Bryant soon responded, tweeting, “What does this mean? Belittling a potential threat? Demeaning women?” Loftis then responded back, “Don’t sound so desperate Senator. The primary election for governor is a year away.”
SC Seeks AG Jeff Sessions’ Help With Prison Cellphones
South Carolina prisons chief Bryan Stirling is asking for U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ help in jamming the signals of cellphones that are surreptitiously smuggled into state prisons. Stirling wrote a letter to Sessions earlier this month outlining his concerns with inmates using the secret phones. “The most effective and cost-efficient way to stop the threat to both prisons and public safety is by jamming the signals of cellphones used in prisons,” Stirling wrote to Sessions, according to The Associated Press. “I respectfully again request your support for this important issue, and your help achieving our goal of ending contraband cell phones by allowing the jamming of cell phones.”