HEALTH INSURANCE REBATES CAROLINAS
Millions in insurance rebates coming to Carolinas
(AP) - Millions of dollars in health insurance rebates will be coming to consumers in South Carolina and North Carolina from companies the government says spent too much of premium dollars on profits and red tape last year.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services released data Thursday showing that more than 205,000 consumers in South Carolina will receive more than $13 million in rebates. That's an average refund of $92 per family.
In North Carolina, checks totaling more than $8 million in refunds will be going out in the coming weeks. More than 182,000 consumers will be benefiting and the refund amounts to about $77 per family.
Nationally, nearly 7 million consumers nationwide will receive about $330 million in refunds. The refund nationally will average about $80 per family.
CONGRESSIONAL OFFICE BUILDING-GUN
Questions surround DC gun arrest of poultry exec
WASHINGTON (AP) - There are questions this morning about the arrest of a South Carolina pork-and-poultry executive who allegedly tried to enter a congressional office building in Washington with a handgun in his bag.
U.S. Capitol Police say 59-year-old Ronald William Prestage (PRESS'-tij) of Camden, South Carolina, was arrested as he tried to enter the Cannon Building Wednesday morning. Prestage was charged with carrying a pistol without a license.
The Washington Post reports it was loaded, 9 mm Ruger.
Prestage is an executive of Prestage Farms, based in Clinton, North Carolina, and a member of the North Carolina State University Board of Trustees.
He also is president-elect of the National Pork Producers Council, a lobbying group.
Telephone messages left Thursday with U.S. Capitol Police and Prestage Farms were not immediately returned.
Orangeburg County officials identify body
HOLLY HILL, S.C. (AP) - Orangeburg County officials have identified a body found off Interstate 95 near Holly Hill earlier this month.
Sheriff Leroy Ravenell said the remains found July 8 were those of 26-year-old Adelso Corado Barrientos of North Charleston.
Chief Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle said the cause of death has not been determined. Authorities say they don't know if foul play was advised.
Barrientos' body was located off a frontage road that runs parallel to I-95. A man working on a water tower in the area called law enforcement to the scene.
2 men dead, 1 injured in SC truck rollover
SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - Two men have died and a third has been flown to a Columbia hospital after a truck rolled over and ignited in flames in Sumter County.
Emergency responders found one man apparently thrown from the vehicle who was declared dead at the scene.
Coroner Harvin Bullock said a second man appeared to have been trapped in the backseat. He also was pronounced dead at the scene.
A third man found walking around the wreck was airlifted to a Columbia hospital. His condition is not known.
Bullock says he doesn't know which person was the driver, the names of the individuals, nor the exact cause of the wreck.
The coroner said he plans to conduct autopsies before declaring causes of deaths.
HORRY STRIP CLUBS
Strip club changing brand after Horry crackdown
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - The owner of one strip club in Horry County is rebranding his business after a crackdown on strip clubs by the local prosecutor.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that Mike Rose with The Gold Club says after this month, the club will no longer feature partially dressed dancers. The club will open Aug. 1 as the Empire Nightclub and have a new dance floor, VIP tables and a game room.
Rose says he's making the change to protect the business he has run for 10 years.
Prosecutor Jimmy Richardson filed civil complaints against five strip clubs earlier this month, asking that they be permanently shut down. The prosecutor says the clubs have a reputation for lewdness and offend public decency.
More liquor to be sold on Hilton Head Island?
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Some business people who sell liquor on Hilton Head Island don't like the spirit of a proposed town ordinance.
The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that no liquor store can open within 500 feet of a property that already has a liquor store.
A proposed change would eliminate that rule which owners and town officials say has limited the number of liquor stores on the island.
They worry that changing the rule could lead to an influx of liquor stores that would change the character of the resort island and attract larger companies that would squeeze out the existing mom and pop operations.
There are currently 13 liquor stores on the island.
DSS: 200 more workers needed to improve caseload
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A deputy director at the Department of Social Services says the agency needs 200 more employees to reach goals for worker caseloads.
Jessica Hanak-Coulter said Wednesday that 202 employees would be needed to keep caseloads at or below proposed limits for the number of cases and children each worker should handle at one time.
Hanak-Coulter testified before a Senate panel reviewing operations of the agency.
The 25 percent boost in employees would cost $10 million.
Senators on the panel pointed out that DSS has made only one request for new caseworkers in the past four years.
The Senate panel began the review after child welfare advocates said DSS was missing abuse cases that led to children dying. The agency got approval earlier this year to hire 50 more caseworkers.
GREENVILLE STABBING DEATH
SC woman charged with stabbing death of man
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - A Greenville County woman has been charged with murder in the stabbing death of a Taylors man.
Twenty-seven-year-old Ramona Delores Gilmore of Taylors also is charged with possession of a weapon during a violent crime.
Thirty-five-year-old Lawrence Montrel Bress was stabbed Saturday night.
Gilmore is being held in the Greenville County jail. It was not clear if she has an attorney.
Sheriff's deputies say Bress was stabbed during an argument.
MADE IN CHARLESTON
Made in Charleston awards to be presented
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Charleston is again bestowing awards on craftsman and artisans for their locally made products.
The second annual 100 Percent Made in Charleston Awards ceremony is scheduled for Thursday at Charleston's popular City Market.
Mayor Joe Riley will be handing out the awards, which recognize locally produced handcrafted products available at the Market.
Last year, Riley presented awards for 98 products, including awards to 39 sweetgrass basket weavers.
The market is one of the oldest public markets in the nation and has 140 permanent merchants.
DHEC holding info session on EPA plans
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina environmental regulators are planning to hold a public meeting to talk about new federal regulations for power plants.
On Thursday, the Department of Health and Environmental Control is hosting an information session at the agency's headquarters in downtown Columbia.
Organizers say their agenda includes a basic overview of the EPA's Clean Power Plan, as well as a discussion on what roles various state agencies will play.
DHEC says the Clean Power Plan proposes state-specific goals for carbon reductions from existing power plants. States will be responsible for developing a compliance plan, which would be subject to federal approval.
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