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

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1.5M to travel in Carolinas this holiday weekend

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - An estimated 1.5 million people in the Carolinas will be traveling this Labor Day to enjoy the last weekend of the summer season.

AAA Carolinas says that's up about 1.5 percent from a year ago and the highest number in the past six years. Almost 90 percent of those traveling will be driving.

And there's good news for motorists at the pump with gas prices down almost a quarter in South Carolina and down 22 cents a gallon in North Carolina since the Fourth of July.

The statewide average for gas in South Carolina is $3.14 a gallon - the cheapest gas in the nation. The North Carolina average is $3.34 a gallon. The difference is the much lower South Carolina state gasoline tax.


SC woman charged in alleged nursing home abuse

SUMTER, S.C. (AP) - A 24-year-old Summerton woman is charged with abuse and neglect of two vulnerable adults at a Sumter nursing home.

The Sumter Item reported Thursday that Andria Martice Lawson was arrested Monday and charged with one count of abuse of a vulnerable adult and one count of neglect of a vulnerable adult.

Deputies say they were called to the Sumter Valley Health and Rehabilitation Center on July 25.

A 70-year-old woman told deputies Lawson allegedly struck her in the chest when she asked Lawson to change her clothes. A 71-year-old man told deputies Lawson allegedly abandoned him nude from the waist down in a wheelchair.

Sumter County Sheriff's spokesman Lt. Robert Burnish says Lawson is no longer employed at the home. It wasn't immediately clear whether she has an attorney.


3 charged in assault on disabled SC veteran

ROCK HILL, S.C. (AP) - Three people have been charged - including the victim's granddaughter - in a home invasion that resulted in the shooting and wounding of a disabled Vietnam veteran in Rock Hill.

Area media outlets report the incident happened last Saturday and 70-year-old Wayne Whiteside remains in fair condition at Carolinas Medical center in Charlotte.

On Wednesday, York County Sheriff's deputies charged Whiteside's 21-year-old granddaughter Kaylan Elaine Whiteside with attempted murder and burglary. Authorities say 32-year-old Wolfgang William Liewald of Rock Hill and 41-year-old Ben Patrick Smith of Charlotte also face the same charges. It was not immediately clear if they had attorneys.

Wayne Whiteside served two tours in Vietnam and his home flies the Marine Corps and American flags and has other Marines regalia.


Major construction project in Myrtle Beach delayed

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - It's called gumbo and its delaying traffic on a busy highway in Myrtle Beach

The Sun News reports the material is a sticky soil about 60 feet beneath the ground. And it's delaying completion of a new interchange where the U.S. 17 bypass crosses South Carolina Route 707.

The $122 million project has been years in the making and highway officials had hoped to have the bridge crossing 707 open by now.

But because of a wet spring and summer, the ground hasn't settled and crews have been unable to pave the bridge approaches.

Highway officials now hope to have the bridge open in October. It will carry about 70,000 vehicles a day during the summer season.

Myrtle Beach is the heart of the state's $18 billion tourism industry.


Viers due in federal court for arraignment

FLORENCE, S.C. (AP) - A former South Carolina House member is scheduled to be in court for a hearing on charges he helped a businessman hide assets from an insurance company and lied to IRS agents.

Thad Viers' arraignment is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday in federal court in Florence.

Prosecutors say the 36-year-old former Republican lawmaker from Myrtle Beach helped Marlon Weaver hide his assets after he defaulted on a $6 million contract to pave part of Interstate 95. Weaver pleaded guilty to money laundering in 2013.

Viers is also accused of lying to IRS agents.

Viers served in the state House from 2003 until 2012. He was considered a front runner for an open U.S. House seat before being charged with stalking a former girlfriend.


Rocket launch from Wallops Island tests new tech

WALLOPS ISLAND, Va. (AP) - NASA is reviewing data from a rocket launch that tested a new sub-payload deployment method for suborbital rockets.

NASA says a Black Brant IX suborbital rocket was launched at 5 a.m. Thursday from the agency's Wallops Island Flight Facility on Virginia's Eastern Shore.

The new deployment method uses small rocket motors to eject sub-payloads from a rocket's main payload. Thursday's test included releasing vapor traces in space.

The agency says vapor clouds resulting from the test, along with the launch, were seen as far away as southern New Jersey, western Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina.

The NASA Sounding Rocket Program Office is reviewing data on the test's performance.


Pedestrian dead after wreck involving SC deputy

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) - Authorities say a Greenville County deputy was involved in a deadly pedestrian accident.

The South Carolina Highway Patrol says the crash happened at around 5:30 a.m. Thursday south of Interstate 85. Highway Patrol Cpl. Bill Rhyne says a deputy struck the pedestrian, and then there was another crash involving two other cars.

Rhyne says there were no other injuries.

Deputy Coroner Jeff Fowler says the person killed was a man who was in the roadway when he was struck. The man's name has not been released.

Troopers are investigating the wreck. The Greenville County Sheriff's Office is conducting an internal investigation to determine if there were any policy violations.


7 adults charged as 15 kids removed from SC home

WOODRUFF, S.C. (AP) - Seven adults face child neglect charges in upstate South Carolina after 15 children were removed from a dirty, trash-strewn doublewide mobile home where they all lived.

Area media outlets report the adults were charged Wednesday after Spartanburg County sheriff's deputies came to the home in Woodruff to investigate allegations of sexual abuse.

The children were taken into protective custody by the state Department of Social Services.

The adults were released on personal recognizance bonds Wednesday evening and told to have no contact with the children.

A report from the Sheriff's Office said investigators found animal feces, urine, medicine bottles and unsecured guns in the house. The report said that six of the kids were playing in an above-ground pool that was green with algae because it had not been cleaned.


Researchers to seek wharf where slaves landed

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) - Archeologists in South Carolina will look for remaining evidence of a wharf where tens of thousands of slaves first set foot in the United States.

Officials announced last month that a $75 million International African American Museum is planned for the site in Charleston where the wharf once stood.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports Mayor Joseph P. Riley Jr. says researchers will in the coming weeks begin looking for whatever may remain of Gadsden's Wharf. He said there may be timbers or other material under layers of fill.

From 1803 to 1807 more than 70,000 enslaved Africans were brought to the wharf at a time when Charleston's population was only 20,000. The first slaves arrived in Charleston in 1670, the year the Carolina colony was founded.

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