South Carolina businesses are turning recycled plastic into a variety of products, including carpet, car parts, furniture stuffing and sprinkler heads. They could ramp up production if people would stop trashing their recyclables, according to Commerce. But the key is recycling correctly. 

In this rural county of less than 23,000 people just north of Columbia, the latest high-profile hit landed like a gut punch to a community already reeling from a series of economic blows in recent years that have gutted its job market and rained on an ambitious turnaround plan.

Being a farmer is hard enough. But imagine trying to figure out on the fly how to cultivate a crop not legally grown in South Carolina since at least World War II and bankrolling the experiment yourself with no ability to get insurance in case it flops. That's what it's like to grow hemp in this inaugural year of South Carolina's pilot program.

Critics of a proposal to take $3.5 billion of college revenue off legislators' budget spreadsheets fear the move could exacerbate rising costs in a state where college expenses already rank highest in the Southeast. House Ways and Means Chairman Brian White counters it does nothing other than remove confusion over what the numbers represent and a misperception that legislators control them.

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