USC economists: SC jobs, income will grow in 2014
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Two University of South Carolina economists predict jobs and residents' income will increase statewide next year, if there are no major changes in the U.S. Federal Reserve's bond-buying program.
Business school economists Douglas Woodward and Joseph Von Nessen said Monday they expect job growth to increase by 1.7 percent in South Carolina next year. They are making the forecast Monday during the school's 33rd annual Economic Outlook Conference.
Von Nessen says the state's economy is growing faster than it did before the Great Recession, which officially began in December 2007.
The economists cautioned that uncertainty about Federal Reserve practices are clouding their predictions. If the Fed pulls back on its massive economic stimulus program, interest rates could rise.
Gov. Nikki Haley is making her first appearance at the conference.
Ex-SC jail guard to plead guilty to federal charge
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A former South Carolina guard has agreed to plead guilty to federal charges in a case connected to the jailhouse beating of a handcuffed homeless man.
Court documents show 38-year-old Robin Smith is scheduled to plead guilty next week to using excessive force. He faces up to 10 years in prison.
Smith was a guard at the Richland County jail when Robert Sweeper III was arrested in February on a trespassing charge. Court documents state that Smith admits that he went into Sweeper's cell, twisted his arm and kicked him.
Sweeper spent months in the hospital recuperating from his injuries. Smith was fired, and county-level assault charges against him are still pending.
Sweeper's lawsuit against the county is ongoing. Smith's lawyer did not immediately respond to a message Monday.
Unclaimed remains of 10 vets to be interred Friday
BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) - The unclaimed remains of 10 military veterans will be interred this week during a ceremony at the Beaufort National Cemetery.
The state coordinator for the Missing in America Project, Steve Goulet, tells The Beaufort Gazette that the unclaimed, cremated remains will be interred Friday.
They include veterans from Charleston, Horry and Lexington counties who served in the Air Force, Army, Marine Corps and Navy between 1951 and 1974.
The Missing in America Project buries the remains of veterans that end up in storage at funeral homes or coroner's offices because there are no family members to claim them.
It will be the sixth time in two years that the South Carolina chapter has interred veterans' remains. Earlier burials took place at Florence National Cemetery and Fort Jackson National Cemetery.
A THOUSAND CANDLES
Brookgreen Gardens lights thousands of candles
MURRELLS INLET, S.C. (AP) - It's not an easy to get thousands of candles going at the same time.
But workers at Brookgreen Gardens light 5,500 candles for the annual "Nights of a Thousand Candles" at the gardens in Murrells Inlet near Myrtle Beach.
Helen Benso with the gardens tells The Sun News of Myrtle Beach that it takes about an hour for workers to light all the candles. There are also thousands of electric holiday lights on display at the gardens.
Brookgreen has added two more days to the festival this year.
The display runs from 3 p.m. through 10 p.m. this Thursday through Saturday and again at the same times Thursday through Saturday of next week.
Sanford discusses immigration with reform group
HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - U.S. Rep Mark Sanford says he would support a stronger work visa program as a way to deal with the nation's immigration issues.
The South Carolina Republican met with more than 200 people on Hilton Head Island on Sunday for a session set up by the Lowcountry Immigration Coalition that supports comprehensive immigration reform.
Many in the crowd let Sanford know their fears about being deported and their hopes for citizenship.
Sanford does not support a comprehensive bill passed by the Senate last June that would increase border security and create a 13-year wait for citizenship for those living in the country illegally. Sanford says his view is shared by a majority in the 1st Congressional District.
GREENVILLE POLICE SHOOTING
Greenville police shoot driver heading toward them
GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Two Greenville police officers have been placed on administrative duty after a shooting involving a vehicle that began accelerating toward the officers.
Police spokesman Johnathan Bragg says the officers were at a hotel investigating a narcotics complaint Saturday night when a vehicle nearly hit two pedestrians and headed toward the officers.
Bragg says one of the officers shot at the vehicle.
The vehicle left but a suspect was arrested around 4 a.m. Sunday. Bragg said the suspect was suffering from gunshot wounds that were not life threatening. Carlton Staggs has been charged with attempted murder. It was not clear if he has a lawyer.
The State Law Enforcement Division is investigating the shooting. Bragg says there is no indication the officers did anything wrong.
SC Governor's Mansion holds Christmas open house
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley and her family are inviting South Carolinians to visit the Governor's Mansion to see the property's Christmas decorations.
The open house Monday evening is free and open to the public, although attendees are encouraged to bring canned goods for Harvest Hope Food Bank and school supplies for Haley's nonprofit to distribute to public school students. The donations will be accepted at the home's entrance.
The Columbia Garden Club has decorated the Governor's Mansion yearly since 1981. Haley's two children helped decorate the trees in the Charleston Garden.
The event includes tours of the Lace House, which is decorated by the Iris Garden Club.
Carolers, a saxophone player and pianist are performing.
Guided Christmas tours are also available Dec. 10-12 and Dec. 17-19 by reservation only.
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