SC agency: 15 carriers extending canceled policies
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's insurance agency says 144,000 people with previously canceled health insurance policies can renew their plans, following President Obama's reversal last month on part of the federal health care law.
Insurance Director Ray Farmer says 15 companies have told his agency they will participate in the optional extension of plans the federal law considers substandard. But 14 carriers are not participating. That leaves about 53,000 people with policies ending in 2014.
A backlash over termination notices received by millions of policyholders nationwide prompted Obama to declare that insurers could extend coverage for a year. The state Insurance Department then issued guidelines for doing so, which included a Dec. 2 notification deadline.
Farmer says that deadline is flexible. Insurers can still choose to extend coverage.
SMALL FARMS-BIG BUSINESS
Report examines ways to boost SC farm revenue
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Getting South Carolinians to spend just $5 more a week on local farm products would go a long way toward boosting the state's small farm economy.
That's one of the conclusions of a new report released this week that was commissioned by the state Department of Agriculture. The report examines ways of turning small farms into big business for the state.
The report says that while South Carolinians spend $11 billion on food each year, more than 90 percent of that money goes for food products produced outside the state.
Other suggestions included include getting farms to share food production infrastructure and establishing food hubs to manage the collecting, distribution and marketing of products from individual farms.
FOOD FOR FINES
York County libraries accepting food for fines
ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - York County libraries are accepting food for fines for late books.
The Herald of Rock Hill reports that from now through the end of the year, people with a library fine can pay it off by bringing in nonperishable food.
The food collected at the county's five library branches will go to feed the needy during the holiday season.
For every food item patrons bring in, they get a dollar knocked off their library fine.
It's the seventh year for the program.
Horry County cracks down on 7 adult clubs
MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Horry County police are cracking down on clubs said to violate the county's new adult business ordinances.
The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports that since midnight Wednesday, citations have been issued at seven adult businesses. New ordinances for the businesses approved earlier this year took effect Wednesday.
The rules govern everything from where adult businesses may operate to how far dancers must be from club patrons. The violations in the police reports cite such things as a semi-nude dancer, playing loud music and women dancing on stage in a sexual manner.
At least one club owner said he should not have been cited because the dancers at his club wear bikinis. A January court date is set for those charged.
Haley worried about Savannah River Site waste
AIKEN, S.C. (AP) - Gov. Nikki Haley has told the U.S. energy secretary she wants something done with 37 million gallons of waste at the Savannah River Site near Aiken.
Haley talked with the Aiken Standard about a discussion with Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz in Washington D.C. earlier this week.
Haley says Moniz is committed to try to improve funding for the old nuclear weapons complex to deal with the waste.
The governor said the Moniz said it will be harder to find funding for an operation to turn old weapons-grade plutonium into fuel for commercial nuclear reactors.
The mixed-oxide fuel plant is part of an international effort to dispose of weapons-grade plutonium.
The Obama administration has said that high costs for the plant may make it unaffordable.
Oconee jail inmate beaten
WALHALLA, S.C. (AP) - An inmate at the Oconee County jail has been charged with attempted murder in the beating of another inmate.
The Anderson Independent Mail reported that 38-year-old Millard Jerome Strickland of Seneca was charged Thursday after an attack on another inmate.
Walhalla Police Chief Ronald Wilbanks says 25-year-old Joshua Charles Campbell of Mountain Rest is being treated at Greenville Memorial Hospital for a head injury.
Oconee sheriff's spokesman Jimmy Watt said Campbell's injuries were originally reported as the result of a fall.
Campbell had been in jail since Sunday on charges including petty larceny, shoplifting, burglary, and receiving stolen goods.
Strickland was being held on a variety of drug charges. It was not clear if he has a lawyer on the latest charge.
Berkeley County fugitive captured in Pennsylvania
MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) - Berkeley County sheriff's deputies say a woman accidentally released from the jail in Moncks Corner has been arrested in Pennsylvania.
Capt. Rick Ollic says 26-year-old Neely Blanchard was taken into custody Thursday by the U.S. Marshals Service in the Pittsburgh area. Ollic says Blanchard was found at a friend's house and is being held in the Allegheny County, Pa., jail, where she awaits extradition to South Carolina.
Blanchard was allowed to walk out of the Berkeley County jail on Nov. 25 while awaiting trial on a variety of charges.
Blanchard told The Post and Courier of Charleston she did not know there was anything wrong when she was allowed to leave the jail. She said she always intended to return to face trial.
Coastal Carolina to take on cold, Griz
MISSOULA, Mont. (AP) - Coastal Carolina football coach Joe Moglia says only one of his players had ever been to Montana, very few have actually seen snow and a lot of them don't own coats.
That's all going to change this weekend when the Chanticleers (11-2) take on eighth-seeded Montana (10-2) in the second round of the FCS playoffs in Missoula.
The temperature for Saturday's noon kickoff could be below zero, making it the coldest game ever played at Washington Grizzly Stadium.
The Chanticleers traveled 2,500 miles from Conway, S.C. - where temperatures have been in the 70s - to Missoula on Thursday. When they practiced Thursday evening the temperature was 2 degrees.
Moglia said he wanted to give his players a better understanding of what to expect from the weather. They also discussed the importance of layering clothes and possibly serving chicken broth at halftime.
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