US-GAY MARRIAGE-SOUTH CAROLINA
Gay couples denied marriage licenses in S.Carolina
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Five same-sex couples have been turned down for marriage licenses in a South Carolina county.
The couples had expected their requests would be rejected Wednesday in Greenville County because the state's ban on gay marriage still stands.
The couples are part of Campaign for Southern Equality's "We Do" project. Supporters of gay marriage get together for a rally and request marriage licenses they know will be turned down. This was the third event in Greenville County. Similar events have been held across the South.
The Greenville event happened two days after the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that Virginia's ban on gay marriage is unconstitutional. South Carolina is in the same judicial circuit, but the state plans to continue fighting a lawsuit to overturn its gay marriage ban.
SALES TAX HOLIDAY
SC among 12 states offering sales tax holiday
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Shoppers in South Carolina are about to their annual break from sales taxes.
The sales-tax holiday extends from 12:01 a.m. Friday to midnight Sunday. It shaves state and local sales taxes from clothes, computers and other back-to-school items.
That means shoppers will save up to 8.5 percent, depending on local taxes. The state tax rate is 6 percent. In all, South Carolina shoppers are expected to save an estimated $3 million.
According to the Federation of Tax Administrators, 16 states are offering tax-free holidays this year, 12 of them this weekend, including neighboring Georgia. North Carolina ended its sales tax holiday last year.
While the weekend is touted as savings for back-to-school items, the list of exempt items can be confusing. While wedding dresses and diapers are exempt, iPads aren't.
RICHLAND DEPUTY FIRED
Richland deputy fired for running light, wreck
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Richland County sheriff's deputy has been fired after running a red light and causing a wreck last weekend.
Sheriff Leon Lott said Cpl. Ken Proffitt was fired Tuesday after an investigation and a review of the deputy's driving record.
The South Carolina Highway Patrol cited Proffitt for running the red light Friday night. The patrol car flipped and Proffitt was taken to a hospital for treatment.
The driver of the other car was not hurt.
The sheriff's department said Proffitt has been found at fault in three driving incidents since joining the department in 2004.
MYRTLE BEACH AMUSEMENT PARK
Tennessee company plans SC amusement park
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - A Tennessee company that operates a family amusement park in the Smokey Mountains is planning a similar park in Myrtle Beach.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that the company that operates The Track in Pigeon Forge wants to open a Myrtle Beach location to be operating by the end of 2016.
The proposal calls for an elevated go-cart track, bumper boats, an arcade, a shop and a Ferris wheel. The site is on about 6 acres along Restaurant Row at the north end of Myrtle Beach.
The Myrtle Beach Planning Commission is holding a public hearing next month on the project.
The Track Family Recreation Center also operates a family amusement park in Destin, Florida.
HILTON HEAD DEATH
Body found in Hilton Head Island home
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - The State Law Enforcement Division and local authorities are investigating the death of a man found in a home in a gated community on Hilton Head Island.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports authorities were called Wednesday afternoon after receiving a call asking them to check on the man.
Beaufort County Coroner Ed Allen said the man had been dead for some time. An autopsy is scheduled Thursday to determine the cause of death. The name of the man won't be released until relatives are notified.
Woman sues Spartanburg sheriff over chase death
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A grandmother is suing the Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office after her granddaughter died in a crash during a chase by deputies nearly two years ago.
The Herald-Journal of Spartanburg reported that Trena Rice has also sued Sheriff Chuck Wright and the deputy involved.
Queniya Tykia Shelton died after her mother, Erikka Dominique Shelton, crashed her SUV while running from deputies.
Circuit Judge Derham Cole ruled this week the lawsuit should be moved to federal court.
Queniya was 7 years old when she was thrown from an SUV after her mother ran from authorities on Aug. 6, 2012. Erikka Shelton was sentenced last year to 13 years in prison for her role in the chase.
Attorneys for Wright, the deputy and the department would not talk about the case.
USC alumni group holds 'topping' for new center
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - An 18-foot, 500-pound beam is being placed at the top of the new, privately funded University of South Carolina Alumni Center in a special ceremony in downtown Columbia.
The celebration of the completed framing for the building begins at 9 a.m. Thursday with remarks by President Harris Pastides, My Carolina Executive Director Jack Claypoole and My Carolina Alumni Association President Paula Harper Bethea.
The $26 million center is the first permanent home for the alumni association and is slated to open next summer. It will include a ballroom, conference spaces and an outdoor patio.
Charleston mapping out plans for upper peninsula
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The City of Charleston has scheduled a meeting to discuss plans for redevelopment on the city's upper peninsula.
A meeting set for Thursday will focus on development along Morrison Drive, the street that runs along the Cooper River on the upper peninsula. Visitors pass through the upper peninsula on their way to the city's historic district downtown.
City officials say the population on the upper peninsula is growing and the area is expected to transition from heavy industrial and commercial businesses to offices, retail, restaurants and denser housing.
The city wants to hear from residents as it makes plans for the area.
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