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

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Coroner: Heart issue may have killed SC student

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - The Spartanburg County coroner says a high school student who collapsed on the track and died may have had a heart-related issue.

Coroner Rusty Clevenger says in a news release Thursday that a microscopic analysis will have to be performed before he can provide a more definitive cause for the death of Chaquantei Qualiq Fowler of Cowpens.

The 14-year-old freshman at Broome High School died Wednesday. He was pronounced dead at Mary Black Hospital in Spartanburg.

Clevenger said preliminary indications are that Fowler suffered from a heart-related issue. He says there's no indication of foul play.


$231M contract for I-85/I-385 in Greenville

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Department of Transportation has just signed a contract for the biggest road project in the state in more than a decade.

Transportation officials said in a news release they awarded the $231 million contract to improve the interchange of Interstates 85 and 385 in Greenville to Flatiron-Zachry Joint Venture.

The project is the biggest one in South Carolina since the $631 million construction of the Ravenel Bridge linking Mount Pleasant and Charleston that was awarded in 2001.

The DOT says the Greenville project will eliminate tight loops to go from one interstate to the other and increase the number of lanes on I-385 through the project.

Transportation officials say the I-85 and I-385 interchange is the third busiest in South Carolina.


Anderson man gets 3 years for asbestos pollution

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - An Anderson man will spend more than three years in prison for demolishing a mill full of asbestos without properly protecting his workers or the people living in the area.

U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said in a press release that state health officials repeatedly told 37-year-old Scott Farmer that he had to stop the demolition work in the spring of 2013 and he ignored the orders.

Prosecutors say Farmer was demolishing the Haynsworth Mill and selling scrap metal from the building.

A judge sentenced Farmer on Thursday to 41 months in prison and three years of probation on a charge of knowing endangerment by release of asbestos.


SCE&G plans solar farms in Cayce, North Charleston

CAYCE, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina Electric & Gas is moving ahead with plans to put two solar farms on land it owns in the Lowcountry and the Midlands.

The utility announced Thursday that it is seeking requests for proposals to put solar arrays at sites in North Charleston as well as adjacent to its corporate headquarters in Cayce.

The North Charleston site will be located off Interstate 526 on a three-acre site at the company's former gas operations facility. It will have a solar generating capacity of between 300 and 500 kilowatts.

The array in Cayce will be on 20 acres off Interstate 77 and will have a generating capacity of up to 4 megawatts.

The utility expects both sites to be operational next year.


Retired dentist dies in Sumter house fire

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - Sumter County authorities say a retired dentist has died in an early morning house fire.

Coroner Harvin Bullock said 61-year-old Dr. Edmund McDonald Jr. died in the fire which broke out just after midnight Wednesday at his residence in Sumter.

Fire officials say three people were in the home when the blaze began, but two women were able to escape.

It took firefighters an hour to get the smoke and flames under control.

Officials found McDonald in a lower-level living room after they searched the building. They think the fire started in the kitchen, but the cause of the fire has not been determined.


Habitat finishes 120th Horry County home

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) - Habitat for Humanity is celebrating the completion of its 120th house in Horry County.

The new home near Conway is being dedicated on Friday. Fran Soles and her family, the new occupants of the home, invested more than 600 hours working on it as a requirement for becoming Habitat homeowners.

The Horry County affiliate of Habitat for Humanity is one of 1,500 in the United States that helps build affordable housing for those with low incomes.

According to the organization's web site, the nonprofit has helped build or repair more than 800,000 homes worldwide.

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