VIRUS OUTBREAK-SOUTH CAROLINA
Via video hearing, SC court mulls absentee voting expansion
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court has heard arguments concerning the difficulties of voting in this year’s elections due to the coronavirus outbreak in its first-ever oral argument held via teleconference. Last month, two lawsuits were filed in state and federal courts asking judges to require South Carolina to relax rules on absentee voting for the June 9 statewide primaries. Absentee voters currently must fall under certain requirements such as being disabled, unable to get to the polls because of work, out of state or over age 65. Ballots also must be signed by a witness. The lawsuits said absentee rules don’t include isolating from a pandemic, which also could be a problem with the witness requirement.
LEGISLATURE RETURNS-SOUTH CAROLINA
SC Legislature OKs delaying budget; plans big Sept. return
COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina lawmakers have passed a resolution allowing state government to keep spending after the fiscal year ends and a proposal giving them a wide range of items they can take up in a special session. They then ended te regular session and may not be back before mid-September. The budget bill passed Tuesday sets aside $175 million in money for emergency COVID-19 spending, including safety for the June 9 primary and contact tracing of new COVID-19 cases. The General Assembly also passed a bill allowing it to come back to write a new budget to deal with economic problems from the coronavirus, any other COVID-19 matters and any bill passed by either the House or Senate.
SCUBA DIVER RECOVERED
S. Carolina authorities recover body of missing scuba diver
BAY POINT ISLAND, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina have recovered the body of a missing scuba diver nearly two weeks after he was reported missing. News outlets report Alan Devier’s body was discovered on Bay Point Island on Sunday afternoon. Authorities had called off the search for Devier several days after he was reported missing from Port Royal Sound on April 28. A state information official told the Island Packet that two boaters found Devier's body washed up on the beach of the barrier island. The official says Devier had on diving equipment when his body was recovered by authorities. An autopsy has been scheduled to determine the cause of death.
VIRUS OUTBREAK-LOTTERY REBOUND
Georgians reach for lotto tickets amid pandemic blues
ATLANTA (AP) — Georgians may be spending a lot of time at home, but it’s not stopping them from playing the state lottery. Georgia Lottery Corp. Vice President Brad Bohannon says lottery sales set a monthly record in April after dropping in March. The increase is continuing, with Bohannon telling the state House Higher Education Committee on Tuesday that two of the five highest sales weeks in lottery history have come in May. He credits much of the increase to a 50% jump in use of the lottery’s online options. Yearly profit projections have rebounded by $50 million to $1.11 billion, but remain below last year for now. Lottery proceeds finance college aid and preschool classes.
POLICE CHASE-OFFICERS TARGETED
Police: Man charged after attempting to run over officers
CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A man in South Carolina who allegedly attempted to run police officers over with his car has been arrested after a car and foot chase. An arrest report from the North Charleston Police Department says 33-year-old Antonio Rivers, Jr. tried to hit officers with his car early Sunday morning in Charleston after they found him sleeping inside a running car with a rifle. Police say Rivers then fled the scene and started running on foot after his car hit a fence. WCIV-TV reports he was arrested after he tried to escape through a pond. He has been charged with several charges, including attempted murder.
POLICE SHOOTING-PIPE ATTACK
S.C. deputy wounds man who officials say attacked with pipe