Spartanburg County holding violent crime vigil
SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - Law enforcement officers in Spartanburg County are giving people a chance to come together and remember crime victims.
Sheriff Chuck Wright is set to host a 23rd Annual Candlelight Service of Remembrance and Hope on Thursday at Morningside Baptist Church in Spartanburg.
A service is scheduled for 7 p.m. with a reception to follow.
The sheriff's office says the event is a yearly opportunity for friends, relatives and the community at large to remember the lives of people who have been killed in violent crimes in Spartanburg County.
Keep the Midlands Beautiful hosting annual gala
WEST COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Money raised at a gala scheduled for West Columbia this week is going toward beautification projects throughout the Midlands.
On Monday, Keep the Midlands Beautiful is hosting its second annual Gala for a Greener Midlands.
Winners of the Midlands Green Awards are being announced at the event. The awards recognize the people, groups and businesses that are "green" standouts in fields like nonprofit work and elected office.
A "green" law enforcement officer will also be recognized, as will Keep the Midlands Beautiful's volunteer of the year.
MADD vigil remembers SC drunken driving victims
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A vigil is scheduled to remember people hurt or killed in drunken driving crashes across South Carolina.
On Thursday, Mothers Against Drunk Driving South Carolina is set to hold its annual candlelight vigil at the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy in Columbia.
Organizers say the event gives people a chance to remember their loved ones. There will be poetry readings and a reading of victims' names.
In 2012, MADD says there were 358 alcohol-impaired driving deaths in South Carolina. That's an increase of 16 percent over 2011.
Director: Medicaid spending less than projected
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's Medicaid director says his agency is on track to spend about $250 million less this fiscal year than allotted in the state budget.
Director Tony Keck told a Senate panel on Wednesday the Department of Health and Human Services is projected to spend $6.2 billion in state and federal money.
But he cautioned that the federal health care law makes estimates uncertain. His initial budget request for 2014-15 is $6.9 billion.
More than 1 million people in South Carolina have health coverage through the government program. South Carolina is among those states that have not expanded Medicaid eligibility as the federal law intended. The U.S. Supreme Court ruling upholding the law made it an option rather than a mandate.
Still, the Medicaid rolls are expanding.
STATE REP-DUI CHARGE
Jury problems delay SC Rep. Vick's DUI trial
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina state Rep. Ted Vick's trial on a 2012 drunken driving charge has been delayed because of problems with potential jurors.
Columbia Municipal Court Judge Dana Turner decided Wednesday to postpone the trial after several potential jurors discussed the case in the jury room.
Turner said she worried there wouldn't be enough impartial people to fill out the six-juror panel.
Vick wasn't present. His lawyer, state Rep. Todd Rutherford, said the Chesterfield Democrat was at training for the South Carolina Army National Guard. Rutherford said Vick could have made it to court if he wanted to testify.
Vick's driving under the influence arrest in May 2012 in Columbia derailed his run for a U.S. House seat. Vick was charged with DUI this year in the garage under the Statehouse.
Taxpayers to fund $286K of Clemson chief's salary
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A state board has approved paying $286,000 toward the salary of Clemson University's incoming president.
Clemson announced last month that Jim Clements will take the job in January. The board agreed to match Clements' salary of $775,000 at his current job as president of the University of West Virginia.
Tuesday's vote by the Agency Head Salary Commission means taxpayers will fund about a third of that. Private funds will provide the rest.
Clements will be the state's highest-paid university chief.
Clemson's retiring president, Jim Barker, makes about $470,000. Of that, nearly $246,000 - or about half - comes from taxpayers.
The commission that sets the pay for state agency heads also approved Tuesday a $137,000 salary for Richard Gough, incoming president of the Technical College of the Lowcountry in Beaufort.
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