SC unemployment falls to lowest rate in 5 years
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's unemployment has dropped to its lowest rate in five years.
The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the state's jobless rate fell to 8% in April.
That's the lowest that unemployment in South Carolina has been since October 2008. The workforce agency says the drop from 8.4% in March represents the state's largest month-to-month decrease since May 1987.
Jobs in the leisure and hospitality sector grew by 8,700 as the state continued to prepare for its busy summer tourist season. The state agency said most of those new hires were in accommodation and food services.
Professional and business services and construction jobs went up by 4,000. Trade, transportation and utilities jobs grew by 2,300.
S CAROLINA-RADIO DEAL
South Carolina strikes radio deal for athletics
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - IMG College and Cumulus Broadcasting are staying with the official flagship station of South Carolina athletics with a new 4-year contract.
The pact was announced Friday with WNKT-FM (107.5) runs through 2017. Financial details of the agreement were not made public.
The deal means the station will continue to broadcast all South Carolina football, men's basketball and baseball games. It will also broadcast coach's call-in shows. WNKT also will carry women's basketball games when there's not a conflict with a broadcast for another Gamecock sport.
South Carolina athletic director Ray Tanner said the school was pleased to continue its relationship to keep the radio station as the Gamecocks' home. The station was in the final year of a 5-year deal that made WNKT the school's flagship.
Richland County to pay $150k to couple's estate
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Richland County has agreed to pay $150,000 to the estates of a couple killed in a 2008 train collision.
The State newspaper reported the county did not admit fault but is paying the estates of Derald Hill Sr. and his wife, Nichole.
The couple was killed in 2008 when a sport utility they were in was crushed by a Norfolk Southern train at a crossing near Blythewood. The driver and another passenger were hospitalized.
The settlement came amid a civil trial that also includes Norfolk Southern and The Mungo Company as defendants. Lawyers for the Hill family say in court papers that the crossing was hazardous and in need of improvements.
There was no word on the other defendants' settlement.
A county spokeswoman would not comment.
Gray Court man gets life in jail for wife's death
LAURENS, S.C. (AP) - A Laurens County jury has found a Gray Court man guilty of murder in the shooting death of his estranged wife.
Forty-7-year-old Willie Marvin Williams was sentenced to life in prison Thursday.
Williams also was found guilty of attempted murder, a weapon's charge and illegal conduct toward a child.
He had told jurors he went to Natasha Kerns' home to check on her and her children when he was attacked by a gunman in the home.
Prosecutors say Williams was upset that he had been ordered to stay away from Kerns and that she was seeking child-care payments for her two children.
Prosecutor Judy Munson told the jury Williams shot Kerns while she was calling 911 to report that he was outsider her home.
The jury deliberated five hours.
GULLAH GEECHEE CORRIDOR
Plan approved, Gullah Geechee panel moves forward
CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - The commission working to preserve the culture of slave descendants on the Southeast coast will be hiring an executive director now that the federal government has approved its management plan.
Commissioners from the Carolinas, Florida and Georgia applauded warmly Friday when the letter approving the plan was read during the panel's meeting in Conway.
The 272-page management plan for the Gullah-Geechee Heritage Corridor was more than a dozen years in the making.
Chairman Ron Daise says the next step is to hire an executive director and seek partners to help educate people about the culture, documenting sites important to it and developing economic opportunities for those in the corridor.
The culture is known as Gullah in the Carolinas and Geechee in Georgia and Florida.
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