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

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SUPCO-KICKBALL-WORKERS' COMP

SC court: Workers' comp OK for kickball injury

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's high court says a man is entitled to workers' compensation benefits for injuries he suffered during a company kickball game.

The state Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that Stephen Whigham was required to attend the game as part of his job.

Whigham worked for Jackson Dawson Communications and organized a kickball game as a team-building event for employees. During a game, the court wrote that he shattered two bones in his leg and ultimately needed a knee replacement.

Workers' compensation commissioners initially denied Whigham's claim, saying he didn't have to attend the game. That decision was held up on appeal.

But the high court said Wednesday that Whigham had to be at the game because he had organized it, so it had become part of his job duties.

NORWAY-ARSON

SC business owner charged in arson of own shop

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - The owner of a Norway auto repair shop has been charged with third degree arson after prosecutors say he hired a man to burn his business.

The Times and Democrat of Orangeburg reported Wednesday that prosecutors say Thomas Blake hired 52-year-old Ernest Leland Smith of Norway to burn his property. Authorities say Blake gave Smith the gasoline to burn the building.

Blake's attorney Gerald Davis said his client was in frail health, but he would return to court.

The Aug. 6 fire burned the Blake Auto Sales shop, a ministry and another shop. No one was hurt.

Smith has been charged with two counts of third-degree arson for the auto shop fire. It was not clear if he has a lawyer.

CHILD ABUSE SENTENCE

Man sentenced to 20 years for abusing SC girl

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - A Spartanburg man has been sentenced to 20 years in prison for physically abusing a nearly 2-year-old girl.

Prosecutor Barry Barnette said that 21-year-old Robert Lee Steadman was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to felony child abuse.

Barnette says Steadman lived with the girl and her mother and said that he hurt the child last October.

Hospital workers called authorities after they found bruises on the girl's face, arms, legs and torso. She also had bite marks, a swollen mouth and possible arm and leg fractures.

Barnette says Stedman told authorities he tried to pick the girl up by an arm and leg, pulled her hair and pulled her leg when she wouldn't stop crying.

LEGISLATURE RETURNS

SC House returns for 1-day session

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina House members will decide whether to override two of Gov. Nikki Haley's vetoes left over from the session that ended in June.

The House returns Wednesday afternoon for a special, one-day session.

The chamber will take up two bills that Haley vetoed in June. One is intended to help South Carolina's public libraries keep out disrupters. The other is a local bill allowing a tax hike for firefighting in coastal Murrell's Inlet and Garden City.

The House had already gone home when the Senate voted overwhelmingly during an extended session to override Haley's opposition. An override takes a two-thirds majority of both chambers.

The extra session won't add to legislators' annual $10,400 salary. But attending House members each receive $176 to cover meals and lodging, plus mileage reimbursement.

PROSECUTOR COMPLAINT

Prosecutor, defender cleared of ethics complaint

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Ethics complaints against Charleston prosecutor Scarlett Wilson and Public Defender Ashley Pennington have been dismissed after a state panel found no evidence against them.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reported the complaints were dismissed after a review by the Office of Disciplinary Counsel and the state Commission of Lawyer Conduct.

Wilson says she's not surprised. She said the complaints were a political smear.

Columbia lawyer Desa Ballard and attorney Bobby Frederick of Myrtle Beach filed complaints with the state Supreme Court earlier this year.

They said there were ethical problems in handling evidence and criminal defendants. There was also a complaint that Pennington required his staff to consult with him before alerting state court officials about any alleged misconduct by the prosecutor's office. Pennington denied the allegation.

EXPORT BANK

SC business leaders call for renewing Export Bank

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - Business leaders in the Rock Hill area are calling for reauthorization of the federal Export-Import Bank.

Representatives of local chambers of commerce as well as the state and the national Chamber of Commerce are joining representatives of other business groups at a news conference on Wednesday in Rock Hill to discuss the issue. They want to see the bank reauthorized without modifications.

The bank helps with financing for U.S. exports to developing countries where there is not enough financing from local commercial banks or financing is unavailable.

In a statement, the business groups said that, last year alone, the bank supported over $2 billion in exports from South Carolina.

MYRTLE BEACH ACCOMMODATIONS

Myrtle Beach, state agree on using bed tax money

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Myrtle Beach is changing the way it allocates accommodations taxes after a 10-year feud with the state that went to the South Carolina Supreme Court.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports the city will no longer put the tax accommodations tax into its general fund and will submit more detailed reports on how the money is used.

The city had said that as a tourist town, it should be able to use the money for public services such as police and fire protection. The state wanted to make sure it was being used as required for tourism-related expenses such as advertising.

The Supreme Court ruled earlier this year that the state rules were not being followed. Myrtle Beach is the center of South Carolina's $18 billion tourism industry.

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