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29 minutes | 4 days ago
SC's Civil Rights history, through the lens of Cecil Williams
Cecil Williams had a front-row seat to South Carolina's Civil Rights history. Look up photos of major events from the Civil Rights Movement, and his name will be on the photos. Starting in his very early teens, he captured images of iconic people and moments: Thurgood Marshall getting off a train in Charleston, protestors marching outside All-Star Bowling Lanes before the Orangeburg Massacre and hospital workers in Charleston striking for fair pay. In 2019, Williams opened his own Civil Rights museum in his hometown of Orangeburg. His photos fill the walls. He'd become frustrated after advocating for years to have a museum like that built and figured if he was going to see it happen, he probably had to do it himself. This week on the show, Cecil Williams reflects on his experience capturing history in real time and shares why he thinks Black South Carolinians who fought for equal rights during that era haven't been given their due in the history books.Listen now for more.To learn more about the Cecil Williams Museum or to take a virtual tour, visit cecilwilliams.com.Post and Courier coverage celebrating Black History Month can be found at postandcourier.com/BlackHistory. Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of our newsroom to help you better understand South Carolina. This episode was hosted and edited by Emily Williams.
33 minutes | 11 days ago
Uncovering corruption in South Carolina
When people aren't looking, corruption can run rampant. That's why The Post and Courier launched "Uncovered," a project shining a light on misconduct in South Carolina, especially in small towns.For the first installment of the ongoing investigative series, reporters sifted through thousands of pages of spending records and ethics complaints, interviewed whistleblowers and consulted researchers and watchdogs about solutions. And the work has just started. This week, reporters from the "Uncovered" team shared a behind-the-scenes look at their reporting and what it has brought to light so far.Tony Bartelme explained the origins of the project and walked us through what an extravagant conference trip with board members from one of the state's five natural gas authorities looks like. And he broke down why the loss of local news sources can make it more possible for public officials to get away with questionable conduct. Avery Wilks shared some background on South Carolina's ethics laws and why many have called for them to be strengthened. Listeners will also learn what to expect next from "Uncovered," and how they can get involved. Listen now for more.You can listen to the first episode of The Post and Courier's new podcast, "12 Black Leaders to Know" here or learn more about that series here.
33 minutes | 18 days ago
SC poised to pass 'heartbeat bill' banning most abortions
A bill that would effectively ban most abortions in South Carolina has been advancing quickly through the Statehouse. After past failed attempts, this appears to be the year the so-called "heartbeat bill" will be signed into law in the Palmetto State. Similar laws have been passed in almost a dozen other conservative states, but none are enforced because of court challenges. The same is bound to happen with South Carolina's ban, if it's passed, so the policies won't take effect anytime soon — if ever. Political reporter Jamie Lovegrove has been following the bill's progression, and he explained why GOP gains in the General Assembly have allowed the bill to advance farther than it has before.Mary Ziegler, a law professor at Florida State University and author of the 2020 book, “Abortion and the Law in America: Roe V. Wade to the Present,” explained the legal implications of the bill, which is expected to start off a lengthy court battle as soon as it's signed. And reporter Sara Coello, who covers criminal justice in the Lowcountry, shares why Charleston County's new sheriff weighed in on one portion of this abortion ban in particular. Listen now for more.
28 minutes | 25 days ago
New, faster-spreading COVID variants in South Carolina
South Carolina was the first state in the U.S. to have a confirmed case of a new strain of the coronavirus first found in South Africa. And it wasn't just one case but two, found in different regions in the state, and health officials said the cases aren't connected. So, what does that tell us about the prevalence of this variant in the state, and what does the presence of this strain mean for the effort to vaccinate South Carolinians against the coronavirus? We spoke with health reporter MK Wildeman about what we do and do not yet know about this strain, which has been found to be more easily spread than earlier versions of the virus. Projects reporter Thad Moore explained what the state is doing to identify cases of these variants and how South Carolina and the rest of the nation compare when it comes to sequencing the virus's genetic material.And entertainment and food and beverage reporter Kalyn Oyer breaks down how a local Chick-fil-A manager helped a vaccine distribution location run as smoothly as one of one of his fast food stores during a lunch rush. Listen now for more.For the latest news and data on the coronavirus in South Carolina, visit our COVID-19 dashboard. To follow coverage from the health and science team, subscribe to this weekly newsletter for free.
29 minutes | a month ago
South Carolina's quickly evolving COVID vaccine rollout
Since COVID-19 vaccinations first became available in South Carolina last month, there has been a lot to follow.Who is eligible to get a vaccine? How many shots is the state getting? And how many of those vaccines have already been administered? Like every part of the country, the demand for vaccines in South Carolina outweighs the supply, but it’s been difficult to even get the supply that is in-hand into the arms of eligible health care workers and seniors who are 70 and older. This week on the podcast, Assistant Columbia Bureau Chief Seanna Adcox breaks down how coronavirus vaccines from Pfizer and Moderna are being distributed in the state. Editor Lauren Sausser also explains how the Post and Courier's new health team is going be covering COVID-19 — and the existing health and science related issues the pandemic has exposed. Listen now for more.For the latest news and data on the coronavirus in South Carolina, visit our COVID-19 dashboard. To follow coverage from our health and science reporters, subscribe to this weekly newsletter for free.
29 minutes | a month ago
Nancy Mace's 'Hell Week' in Congress & Tom Rice's vote for impeachment
The United States has just sworn in its 46th president, Joseph R. Biden, and Kamala Harris, the first woman and first woman of color to be Vice President.House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn, the lone Democrat in South Carolina’s Congressional delegation, tweeted Wednesday afternoon that Biden and Harris “represent a new era of opportunity for unity, not just in the United States but across the globe.”That theme of unity was expressed throughout the ceremonies Wednesday, but, just two weeks prior, America watched as the Capitol was stormed by a mob of supporters of President Trump. A week later, lawmakers impeached Trump for a second time, this time for inciting an insurrection.So, how did South Carolina’s congressional delegation — which is largely made up of Republicans who backed President Trump during his years in office — respond?On two key votes, a Republican member of Congress from South Carolina broke ranks from their GOP colleagues in the House of Representatives. This was done by two different people on two separate votes. In today's episode, we explain those votes. First, we spoke with U.S. Rep. Nancy Mace, a freshman member of Congress who unseated Democrat Joe Cunningham in November to represent the Lowcountry, about her vote to uphold the results of the presidential election and her chaotic first days in Washington. Then, we spoke with Post and Courier Myrtle Beach reporter Tyler Fleming about a vote on impeachment that shocked Republicans in South Carolina and beyond last week.For more politics coverage from The Post and Courier, sign up for our Palmetto Politics newsletter.
26 minutes | a month ago
The 'moving target' of reaching COVID herd immunity
Reaching herd immunity — the point at which enough of the population is immune to COVID-19 that new outbreaks can't occur — is still far away in South Carolina. Based on a Post and Courier analysis and insight from experts, just about 4.6 percent of the state's population is immune or partially immune to the coronavirus.The goal is for about 70 to 85 percent of the state to be immune.So, how did we get there? This week on the show, Post and Courier Greenville reporter Anna Mitchell shared what she learned during her deep dive into that question of what it will take to reach herd immunity in South Carolina.News developer Bryan Brussee explained how they used data to determine an approximate percentage of the state's population that has immunity at this point in time. He also broke down how daily COVID-19 data is recorded on The Post and Courier's coronavirus dashboard and what recent numbers tell us about the state of the pandemic in South Carolina.Listen now for more.View data on the spread of COVID-19 in South Carolina on our dashboard here. Graphics illustrating the state's progress toward herd immunity can be found here. Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of our newsroom to help you better understand South Carolina. This episode was hosted and edited by Emily Williams and Matt Rasnic.
25 minutes | 2 months ago
The South Carolina flag design that everyone hated
South Carolinians are very familiar with their flag. The simple but well-loved combination of the indigo backdrop, the crescent and the palmetto tree is everywhere. It doesn't just hang from flag poles. It's on t-shirts and beer koozies and neckties. But not many people knew that the state actually hasn't had a standardized flag design for about 80 years.That's why a group of historians set out to create an official design, based on the state's history and the flag's origins. After exhaustive research, they shared their final design choice with The Post and Courier. And . . . people hated it. Reporter Avery Wilks broke down for us why people disliked the design so much and what that might say about the state's connection to its flag. We also heard from Scott Malyerck, who was part of the committee that chose the design, about why they chose the design they did and how the deluge of criticism could actually be a good thing for their effort. Listen now to hear more about the flag design South Carolina can't stop talking about.
31 minutes | 2 months ago
A view from the front line of SC's COVID battle, plus a look back at 2020
Health care workers had a view of the battle against COVID-19 in South Carolina unlike any other: right on the front line. Those workers are The Post and Courier's Newsmakers of the Year.They've risked their lives for months to care for people sick with COVID-19. They work 12-hour shifts wearing layers of plastic, masks and face shields. They became the last and only companions to people who died of the virus, unable to be surrounded by family in their final moments. Without actually being there, it may be difficult to understand what health care workers have experienced this year. This week on the podcast, Dr. Kent Stock, an infectious disease physician at Roper St. Francis Healthcare, shared what hospital workers witnessed as they fought the novel coronavirus this year. Stock spoke about what it was like to treat patients during the region's summer surge, how this year affected him and his colleagues and what his concerns are for the beginning of 2021 as cases and positivity rates continue to be high in South Carolina. We also revisit a few moments from this podcast from throughout the year, featuring some of 2020's big newsmakers, like a well-timed conversation on the significance of a statue's removal in Charleston and a reflection on the year of protests and calls for change from a newly-elected sheriff intent on reform. Listen now to hear our interview with Dr. Stock and highlights from a year of helping you Understand SC.
29 minutes | 2 months ago
How COVID-19 changed the holidays in SC
Like so many parts of 2020, the holiday season looks different this year. High COVID-19 case numbers have led health experts to warn people that doing many of things strongly associated with the season — hopping on a flight to see family, gathering in church, sharing a meal inside with people you love — comes with the risk of contracting and spreading coronavirus.This week, we're looking at the ways the pandemic has changed this time of year in South Carolina. Military and politics reporter Thomas Novelly tracks how Fort Jackson sent 6,000 soldiers home to see their families over the holidays, a difficult task even before factoring in safety concerns during the pandemic. Rickey Dennis, who writes about religious communities in the Lowcountry, explains the difficult question that pastors have faced this season: whether to host in-person services for Christmas. And food editor Hanna Raskin talks about one of the tangible ways that the loss of loved ones to COVID-19 will be felt: the absence of the dishes those people would make at this year's holiday table. Listen now, and have a safe and happy holiday.To receive this podcast in your inbox every week, sign up for our weekly newsletter here.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Lessons from a year reporting on sea rise and flooding in Charleston
When it comes to Charleston's flooding problem, things can get complicated pretty quickly. The issue touches many facets of life in the region, from business and real estate to public health and racial equity. But sometimes, seeking solutions that are effective means turning to ideas that may seem somewhat simple.Projects reporter Tony Bartelme returned to the podcast to talk about Rising Waters, a series that has documented the affects of sea rise and flooding in the Charleston region in real-time throughout this year. He shared lessons learned from the reporting, key takeaways for readers and five practical things Charleston can do to keep itself above water as it faces a rising sea and more frequent severe weather events. Engineer and College of Charleston professor Joshua Robinson also joined to explain why protecting trees and planting new ones is vital to efforts to address the Lowcountry's flooding issues.Listen now to learn more.If you're looking for even more coverage of Charleston's changing climate, we have months' worth of stories, photos, graphics and other tools — even a climate-themed comic — on our Rising Waters homepage.
32 minutes | 3 months ago
COVID-19 cases rising rapidly in SC; first vaccine doses expected soon
The number of coronavirus cases being reported in South Carolina is rising, and health officials are pleading with residents to take precautions. At the same time, states are readying themselves to receive the first doses of a COVID-19 vaccine, a hopeful sign of an eventual end to the health crisis.But an end is still pretty far off, health experts say. It will likely be months until a vaccine is widely available in South Carolina.Meanwhile, the state's task now is quelling its spiking case numbers. For the six days leading up to Wednesday, more than 2,000 new cases were recorded each day, and over 1,200 people were hospitalized with the virus. Dr. Krutika Kuppalli, an assistant professor with the Medical University of South Carolina's infectious diseases faculty, answers our questions about how spread in South Carolina compares to other parts of the U.S., how the new coronavirus vaccine works and why this isn't the time to ease up on COVID-19 precautions.Reporter MK Wildeman gives an update on the vaccine doses expected to come to the Palmetto State, and Jerrel Floyd shares his reporting on a new study that aims learn more about how COVID-19 affects the brain. Listen now to learn more about the state of the pandemic in our state.
30 minutes | 3 months ago
Columbia police's response to protests sparked by George Floyd's death
Early in the summer, protests were held in cities across the country, sparked by the killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. South Carolina was no different. Activists in Columbia and Charleston, in particular, took the streets, and while large-scale protests in both cities started peacefully, they escalated. Dozens of arrests were made in both cities. This week on the podcast, we're taking a look back at the protests in the capital and discussing what reporters found when they investigated law enforcement's characterization of protesters, which included claims that the group was stoked by outside agitators. Last month, a report from Jessica Holdman and Joseph Cranney concluded that some of the descriptions from police don't stick. Roughly 100 people were arrested the weekend of May 30-31 in connection to the protests. Most protesters face no more than a misdemeanor. But The Post and Courier's review identified 10 protesters charged with felonies even though arrest records note only curfew violations. Columbia law enforcement filed no fewer than 245 criminal charges — roughly twice the number of charges than law enforcement in Charleston where more than 150 businesses looted and 20 police vehicles damaged the same weekend.Listen now to learn more about the fallout from those protests.
35 minutes | 3 months ago
Listen Again: How the elusive black rail may be threatened by climate change
On Wednesday, Oct. 7, 2020, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service listed the eastern black rail as threatened under the Endangered Species Act giving the bird new protections. The move, delayed by nearly a year, comes after The Post and Courier's special report on the plight of the bird. A little black bird may be here, underneath these bouncing dragonflies, somewhere in these sparkling green waves. A rare bird called the eastern black rail. A bird so difficult to see that John James Audubon never saw one in the wild. A bird so stealthy that even the most ardent birders haven’t seen one, though they may have heard their calls. So rare that Christy Hand, a biologist, asks — no, pleads — that you not reveal where you are because she knows mysteries are irresistible.Listen to learn more about black rails in South Carolina.
58 minutes | 3 months ago
Uncovering untold stories at 4 historic sites in Charleston
Charleston's historic city center is filled with carefully preserved buildings and bronze markers detailing major moments in its now 350 years — but much of the city's history still isn't visible.There are less-told stories that aren't recognized with plaques or talked about on walking tours. There are sites and buildings that no longer exist and places that are well-known, though only for select parts of their past. This week, we're peeling back some of those layers of Charleston history to visit four places featured in "Forsaken History," a project from The Post and Courier's watchdog and public service reporter Jennifer Berry Hawes.Each is explained by a descendant or a historian who details the true events of what happened there, why it's been forgotten and what that place reveals about Charleston's past. Listen now to hear their stories. To learn more about these sites and others, read "Forsaken History" and sign up for this 5-part newsletter course to learn about key historical moments that have largely been left out of Charleston's narrative.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Charleston's next sheriff talks reform after wave of new sheriffs elected in SC
Kristin Graziano marked several milestones when she successfully won her campaign last week to be Charleston County's next sheriff.She will be the first woman and first openly gay person to serve as sheriff in the state. Her election also marks the first time in more than 30 years that the office will see a change in leadership. Republican Al Cannon has been Charleston County's sheriff since he won a 1988 special election. Graziano's campaign was the first time Cannon faced a major challenger at the ballot box. We spoke with Graziano about why she ran and what actions she plans to take during her first weeks in office. She's pledged to launch financial and racial bias audits of the department and make the office more transparent.Marcus McDonald, the young leader of the Independent Black Lives Matter Chapter of Charleston, weighed in on why the group supported Graziano's bid and what changes they hope to see. Sheriffs elections also told a statewide story: Residents in more than a quarter of the state’s counties voted out incumbents, likely the largest turnover of sheriffs South Carolina has seen. We called up reporter Joseph Cranney who followed those races and wrote about misuses of power among South Carolina sheriffs in the 2019 project "Above the Law." We talked about why it's unusual to see sheriffs voted out of office and what newly-elected sheriffs had to say about reforms they are pledging to implement once they're in office. Listen now to hear our fifth and final episode in our Election 2020 series. You can find the rest of the episodes here and sign up for our free weekly newsletter here.
42 minutes | 4 months ago
Breaking down Mace, Graham wins and South Carolina's GOP sweep
The day after election night held a lot of uncertainty, but in South Carolina, one thing was very clear: Republicans in the state had come out on top. South Carolina's Senate race, considered a toss up in the weeks leading up to the election, was handily won by Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham. He defeated Democrat Jaime Harrison — a candidate who had raised more than $100 million and, along with that, the hopes of Democrats in this state and beyond — by double digits, showing the contest was not as close as the experts had thought. And in the 1st Congressional District, Nancy Mace came out on top, despite predictions that Democrat Joe Cunningham would win a second term. Mace, the Citadel's first female graduate, is now the first Republican woman to be elected to Congress in South Carolina. In the Statehouse, Republicans expanded their majorities to historic levels, securing GOP control in the state for years to come. In this week's episode, we're talking about the results and what they mean for South Carolina Republicans and Democrats. Reporters Thomas Novelly and Jamie Lovegrove come back on the show to give updates one more time on the races they've been following for the 1st District and the Senate, respectively.Gibbs Knotts, dean of the College of Charleston’s School of Humanities and a political science professor, joins us to break down who voted for Joe Biden and who voted for President Donald Trump and what that says about South Carolina's political landscape in 2020. And reporter Avery Wilks explains why Dorchester County has been hand-counting about 14,000 misprinted ballots this week. Listen now to hear our fourth episode in our Election 2020 series. You can find the rest of them here. Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of our newsroom to help you better understand South Carolina. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and Gavin McIntyre and edited by Matt Rasnic.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
What South Carolinians need to know as Election Day nears
The tally of South Carolina voters who cast their ballots early in this year's election surpassed 1 million this week. That alone makes 2020 a history-making year for elections, largely driven by changes states have made to help voters cast their ballots while staying safe during the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Voters have also been motivated to get to the polls by high-stakes races on the national, statewide and local levels. Understand SC put out a call to listeners for their questions about voting. This week, we called up several reporters from our Palmetto Politics team and one local election official to get some answers.What COVID-19 safety precautions are being taken at voting locations?How many South Carolinians are voting early by mail versus in-person? Do mailed absentee ballots have to have witness signatures, and why has guidance on that been changing? We answered these questions and more and got some insight into how the record-breaking early voter turnout will play out on and after Election Day.Whether you already have your "I Voted" sticker, are waiting to cast your ballot on Election Day or want to take advantage of the last days of early voting, listen now to learn more about what the Palmetto State's election season looks like in 2020.To get the state's most up-to-date numbers on early voting, check here for figures that are updated twice a day, every weekday. Follow along with the Post and Courier's election coverage by subscribing to the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Get this podcast's newsletter here. The first two episodes of our Election 2020 series — a dive into the Senate race between Lindsey Graham and Jaime Harrison and a closer look at the 1st Congressional District contest with Joe Cunningham and Nancy Mace — can be found on the Understand SC homepage.
31 minutes | 4 months ago
A closer look at Cunningham and Mace's race for SC's 1st district
Two years ago, U.S. Rep. Joe Cunningham surprised South Carolina by winning its race for the 1st Congressional District, becoming the first Democrat in about four decades to do so. The seat was quickly eyed by the GOP as one to win back in 2020, and now the freshman Congressman is in a high-stakes race against Republican state Rep. Nancy Mace to represent the region stretching from Charleston to Hilton Head.If Cunningham wins, he would become the district's longest serving Democratic congressman since 1981. But if the seat goes to Mace, it could be a signal that 2018 was more of anomaly than a harbinger of a political shift. Fresh off a walk on Sullivan's Island with Cunningham and a cup of coffee at the Ladson Waffle House with Mace, reporter Thomas Novelly joined us on the show to give listeners a closer look at who these candidates are and what is at stake. We also revisited a couple moments from their first debate, when each candidate took a swing at their opponent's voting record, and went over their responses to some key questions about issues like climate change and healthcare. Listen now to learn more.
33 minutes | 4 months ago
Breaking down the Senate race between Graham and Harrison
A lot has changed since April. That's the last time political reporter Jamie Lovegrove was on the podcast to talk about South Carolina's Senate race. At that time, political analysts still saw a clear path to victory for Republican incumbent Lindsey Graham.But it was already shaping up to be a record-breaking race for fundraising. Democratic challenger Jaime Harrison was out-fundraising Graham, and it was starting to generate buzz for the race. Now, just a few weeks out from Election Day, Harrison's campaign says he raised $57 million in the third quarter — more than any other U.S. Senate candidate in history. Cook Political Report recently moved the contest from Lean Republican to Toss Up, and, for the last couple of months, polls have shown the candidates tied. In this episode, we break down what has happened from the spring to the fall that made this such a competitive race, how each candidate is trying to court voters and the ways everything from the COVID-19 pandemic to the effort to confirm Judge Amy Coney Barrett to the U.S. Supreme Court could affect the outcome. Listen now to learn more.And for even more background on this race, listen to our episode from the spring about this race and check out our series that poses policy questions to both candidates on topics ranging from climate change to foreign policy. This episode is the first in a three-week series focused on the 2020 Election. Do you have questions about voting or a specific South Carolina race? We want to hear them. You can submit your questions in two ways:Write to us. Send an email with your election question.Record your question. Submit an audio recording — a recording on your cellphone is fine — of you asking your question, and you may hear your voice on the show.All questions and recordings should be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org before Oct. 15. Understand SC is a weekly podcast from The Post and Courier that draws from the reporting resources and knowledge of our newsroom to help you better understand our state. This episode was hosted by Emily Williams and edited by Matt Rasnic.
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