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This Hour: Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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HOUSE RACE-BETHUNE

Democrats to remove Bethune from House 64 primary

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Democratic Party says it is taking steps to remove Willie Lee Bethune from the June House District 64 primary after his conviction for Medicaid fraud.

The Sumter Item reported Tuesday that Party Chairman Jaime Harrison says the party is acting after Bethune was convicted of 10 counts of Medicaid fraud. Bethune was sentenced to a year in jail last week.

The change will leave Rep. Bobby Ridgeway, D-Manning, without a challenger.

Bethune was found guilty of forging signatures on documents filed with the federal government when he was a contract social worker for a counseling services group associated with Clarendon County District One schools.

BORDER WATERS PATROLS

Officials to look at US-Canadian maritime effort

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - The Canadian ambassador to the U.S. is joining officials from both countries in South Carolina for a look at a joint maritime law enforcement effort.

The program, called Shiprider, is a joint project of the U.S. Coast Guard and the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. Law officers from both agencies work from the same vessels to enforce the law along waterways on the border.

Ambassador Gary Doer is joining U.S. Coast Guard Rear Adm. Peter Brown and others on Tuesday at the Coast Guard's Marine Law Enforcement Academy at the old Charleston Naval Base.

They will discuss the program and get a demonstration of how officers train for the Shiprider effort.

EDUCATION STANDARDS

SC Education agency pulls out of testing program

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Education Superintendent Mick Zais has withdrawn the state from testing for new standards next year.

Zais wrote the chairman of the South Carolina Board of Education on Monday saying Zais has learned he has the authority to withdraw South Carolina from a consortium that would test Common Core standards.

Zais says he decided to pull out of the Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium so South Carolina can consider alternatives to the tests.

The Common Core standards and the tests to measure their effectiveness have been criticized as an attempt to nationalize education.

South Carolina Education Association President Jackie Hicks says it's a mistake to abandon the process that had already been approved.

CAR DRAGGING DEATH

Lancaster man dies after hit, dragged by car

LANCASTER, S.C. (AP) - A Lancaster County man has died after authorities say he was hit by a car and then dragged underneath it.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported that police were called around 10 a.m. Sunday and found a car in a field that appeared to be stuck in a ditch.

Deputy Coroner Tony Broome says 34-year-old Jeremy Peay of Lancaster had been standing on the side of the road when the car backed over him. Broome says Peay was trapped beneath the car and dragged about 15 feet into a field.

An autopsy was planned. There was no immediate word on possible charges in the death.

MURDER PLEA

Man sentenced to life in Forest Acres killing

WINNSBORO, S.C. (AP) - A man has pleaded guilty in the 2009 shooting death of a woman at a bank ATM near Columbia in 2009.

The State newspaper reported that 42-year-old Kendrick Nesbitt was sentenced to life in prison without parole in court in Winnsboro on Monday.

Fifty-five-year-old Lynne Thompson of Elgin died after she was shot three times at an ATM at a bank in Forest Acres.

Nesbitt also was charged with the 2005 shooting death of Tracy Robert Lowe in his Greenville apartment. Nesbitt was charged with the Greenville killing after he was arrested in Thompson's death.

The guilty plea and life without parole sentence came in an agreement with prosecutors not to seek a death sentence in Thompson's death.

Nesbitt apologized to the victims' families before he was sentenced.

DORCHESTER COUNTY SHOOTING

Dorchester County officials say death was homicide

ST. GEORGE, S.C. (AP) - Dorchester County officials say the death of a Berkeley County man found last week was a homicide.

Coroner Chris Nisbet says 24-year-old Drew Mitsuo Shumway of Moncks Corner died from a single gunshot wound to the back of the head.

Shumway's body was found in a building Friday afternoon near the Edisto River.

An autopsy was performed Monday. Nisbet did not say when Shumway died, but he said the man had been reported missing in Berkeley County.

No arrests have been reported.

CRUZ-SOUTH CAROLINA

Texas Sen. Ted Cruz returning to South Carolina

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, a potential Republican presidential contender in 2016, is again visiting South Carolina.

Cruz is scheduled to speak Tuesday at the Free Enterprise Foundation's annual awards dinner at The Citadel. The foundation, based at the state military college, is a research institution dedicated to fostering a greater understanding of free enterprise.

It's the third time in a year that Cruz has visited South Carolina, site of the South's first GOP primary in 2016.

He spoke last November in Columbia, cultivating relationships with religious conservatives. Cruz also was in the state last May, addressing the annual state GOP dinner.

Cruz is the second 2016 GOP contender to visit the state in as many days. Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum was in the state on Monday.

SUPCO-FATAL DOG ATTACK

SC Supreme Court hears appeal in fatal dog attack

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Prosecutors want South Carolina's highest court to reinstate the conviction of a Dillon County man whose dogs attacked and killed a 10-year-old boy in 2006.

The state Supreme Court on Tuesday hears an appeal in the case of Bentley Collins. In 2012, the state Court of Appeals overturned Collins' involuntary manslaughter conviction and prison sentence, ruling a judge shouldn't have allowed prosecutors to show pictures of the boy taken before his autopsy.

The photographs showed the extent of the boy's injuries, including how the dogs mauled him so badly his bones were exposed and his ears and nose were eaten.

The judges said the pathologist testified to the injuries, so the photographs did nothing more than rile the jury's emotions.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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