South Carolina

6,000 jobs are unfilled across South Carolina agencies

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- For South Carolinians who need a job, there are lots of openings in state government. The State newspaper reports Saturday (http://bit.ly/2mCr4ts ) that low pay and increased workloads contribute to agencies' roughly 6,000 vacancies. According to the Department of Administration, 14 percent of the state's full-time jobs are vacant. That excludes positions at public universities and in the judicial and legislative branches.

Mississippi, Georgia couples named outstanding young farmers

WEST POINT, Miss. (AP) -- Couples from Mississippi and Georgia are among four couples who have been recognized as among the nation's best young farmers. Brad and Molly Judson of West Point, Mississippi; and Ben and Julie Anna Boyd of Sylvania, Georgia, took home the awards from the National Outstanding Young Farmers Awards Congress last month in Greenville, South Carolina.

Black man arrested in South for writing racist graffiti

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- Police in South Carolina say a 19-year-old black man spray-painted racist, misogynistic and anti-gay graffiti on three buildings, including a library named for one of the black victims of the Charleston church shootings. A police report says the graffiti left at the Cynthia Hurd Library on March 13 targeted black women, the police and white people.

Beats behind bars: Carnegie Hall musicians back at SC prison

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Musicians from one of America's top concert halls have returned to South Carolina this week, making beautiful music in one of the state's most dangerous prisons in a collaborative process that helps the inmates with more than just harmony. A chamber ensemble affiliated with Carnegie Hall has been at Lee Correctional Institution this week, working with about 40 inmates to create music of their own.

Unloaded gun found in backpack at South Carolina high school

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities say they found an unloaded gun in a backpack being carried by a student at a South Carolina high school. Greenville County Sheriff's spokesman Sgt. Jimmy Bolt said in a news release that someone told officials at Berea High School about the gun around 1:30 p.m. Thursday. Bolt says the principal and school police officer approached the student, who handed them the backpack and ran.

South Carolina unemployment rate unchanged in February

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's unemployment rate has remained unchanged as the number of people working in the state has risen. The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that South Carolina's unemployment rate in February was 4.4 percent, the same as January. Employment went up more than 10,000, to more than 2.2. million people. The state's labor force rose for the second consecutive month, to more than 2.3 million people.

Teen burned in January fire in Spartanburg County dies

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) -- Spartanburg County officials say a teen burned in a fire in January has died. Coroner Charles Clevenger said in a news release Friday morning that 14-year-old Abby Lynn Sampson of Inman died at the Joseph M. Still Burn Center in Augusta, Georgia. The girl, her two brothers and her father were all hurt in a fire at their home Jan. 29. Clevenger says the teen died Thursday morning.

House panel proposes borrowing $500 million for projects

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina lawmakers have come up with a plan to borrow millions of dollars to make repairs at various colleges, universities and state-owned buildings. The State newspaper reported (http://bit.ly/2njUdZb) the House Ways and Means Committee on Thursday trimmed $2 billion in requests to $500 million. Colleges, universities and technical schools would get about half of the money. Anderson Rep.

Man arrested in 2016 killing of Savannah teenager

ST. HELENA ISLAND, S.C. (AP) -- A 58-year-old Columbia man wanted in connection with a 2016 killing in Savannah was arrested on St. Helena Island. Media outlets report Kevin Bentley was wanted by Savannah-Chatham Metropolitan Police Department in connection with the 2016 death of 16-year-old Altonise Jones. The Beaufort County Sheriff's Office says the girl was reported missing on March 21, 2016 and was found dead inside the home she shared with her grandmother.

Tax returns show McMasters earned almost $426,000 in 2015

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster and his wife's reported earnings have risen from a nearly $122,000 loss in 2000 to an almost $426,000 profit in 2015, his first year as lieutenant governor. That's according to 16 years of income tax returns reporters for The Associated Press and other media outlets were allowed to view in the governor's office Thursday. His 2016 returns are not yet prepared.

Judge: Charleston church survivors' lawsuits can keep going

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) -- A judge says Charleston church shooting survivors can continue pursuing lawsuits accusing the FBI of negligence they say enabled Dylann Roof to buy the gun used in the attack. U.S. District Judge Richard Gergel ruled Thursday. The FBI had sought to dismiss lawsuits filed by lawyers for three people who survived the attack and the estates of five slain inside Emanuel AME Church in June 2015.

Police: Real estate broker fired after audit shows $3M taken

NORTH MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) -- Authorities say a woman stole more than $3 million from the South Carolina real estate company she worked for more than a decade. A police report obtained by WMBF-TV (http://bit.ly/2o9t3l6 ) said an audit at Hoffman Corporation determined 48-year-old broker in charge Alicia Altman took the money between 2007 and 2017. Court records show Altman was charged with breach of trust Wednesday.

Arson ruled out in fire that killed mother, father, 2 kids

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) -- Investigators have not been able to determine what caused a fire that killed four family members in South Carolina, but they say it doesn't appear to have been intentionally set. State Law Enforcement Division spokesman Thom Berry said in a Thursday news release that investigators couldn't pinpoint a source for Tuesday's blaze that killed a mother, father and two children.

FCC approves measures intended to combat prison cellphones

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- Federal officials took a step Thursday toward increasing safety in prisons by making it easier to find and seize cellphones obtained illegally by inmates. The Federal Communications Commission in Washington voted 3-0 to approve rules to streamline the process for using technology to detect and block contraband phones in prisons and jails across the U.S.

Coastal Carolina University says it lost $1 million in scam

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) -- Coastal Carolina University in Conway says it's been scammed out of more than $1 million. The school said in a news release Tuesday that two incidents occurred in December when someone claiming to represent a company under contract with the university requested a change in the company's banking account information. Coastal said the request appeared to have official documents with the company's logo, tax identification numbers and names of company officials.

Lockheed Martin moving F-16 production to South Carolina

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) -- Lockheed Martin is moving production of F-16 fighter jets from Texas to South Carolina. News media outlets report the company is moving production of F-16s to Greenville, South Carolina, to make room for expanded production of the newer F-35 jet fighters in Fort Worth, Texas. A company spokeswoman says the move will create about 250 jobs in Greenville. Defense One (www.defenseone.