Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment at 9:20 p.m. EST

XGR-EDUCATION OVERHAUL

South Carolina Senate begins education overhaul bill debate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina senators have started their debate on a massive public education overhaul bill with a lengthy explanation of what all is in the proposal. Senate Education Committee Chairman Greg Hembree promised Wednesday to take as much time as needed to explain all 59 sections of the bill. He spent two hours talking and will be back Thursday. Hembree says the bill isn't sweeping reform, instead cleaning up education rules. The Horry County Republican says bigger changes can come later in separate bills. Hembree also wants senators to wait to suggest amendments until next week. The House passed its own education overhaul bill last March.

ELECTION 2020-SENATE-SOUTH CAROLINA

Democratic Party unity gets boost in effort to unseat Graham

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — As South Carolina Democrats seek to unseat U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, their party unity got a boost when one of their candidates dropped out to support the campaign of a former state party chairman. In a news conference Wednesday at the Statehouse in Columbia, Gloria Bromell Tinubu announced that she would suspend her campaign and back Democratic National Committee associate chairman and former state party chairman Jaime Harrison in his effort to unseat the three-term Republican. Bromell Tinubu said Harrison “has the decency and character to be the kind of Senator we need at this critical time.”

OFFSHORE DRILLING BAN

Group of SC senators send along offshore drilling ban

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A small group of South Carolina senators wasted no time in passing a bill that would likely halt drilling for oil or natural gas off the state's coast. A subcommittee voted 4-1 Wednesday to send the bill to the full Senate Agriculture Committee. The proposal prevents state and local governments from issuing permits to build pipes, refineries or other equipment needed for offshore drilling, making it impractical to drill even if the federal government allows it. The Senate passed a similar ban in 2019 in the budget, but that was temporary. The House has not acted on a similar proposal.

CHRISTMAS PARTY SHOOTING

No charges for shooter who killed man at Christmas party

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) — Authorities in South Carolina say a man who fatally shot another man at a company Christmas party won't face criminal charges because he acted in self-defense. Lexington police say no charges will be filed against 46-year-old Glenn Wilbur Rowe Jr. in the death of 26-year-old Wesley Warren-Camp. Police were called to Southern Dreams Realty on Dec. 20 where they found Warren-Camp with a fatal gunshot wound to the chest. Police say Warren-Camp and his father William Douglas Camp Jr. attacked Rowe at the party. Rowe shot Warren-Camp in the chest. Camp was charged with second-degree assault and battery. Another man at the party is also facing charges.

ELDERLY BANK ROBBER

Police: 86-year-old man robs SC bank; caught shortly after

GREENVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Police in South Carolina say an 86-year-old South Carolina man robbed a bank at gunpoint but only got about a mile away before he was caught. News outlets quote authorities as saying that Gilbert Ware robbed a branch of the Bank of America in the city of Greenville on Monday morning. He has been charged with bank robbery, possession of a weapon during a violent crime, attempted murder and discharging a firearm. He's being held on $40,000 bond. It is not known if he has an attorney who can speak on his behalf.

SOUTH CAROLINA-ABORTION

SC supporters of abortion restrictions vow to keep fighting

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Supporters of a bill that would ban almost all abortions in South Carolina want some leaders in the South Carolina Senate to know they won't let he proposal quietly die. Hundreds of supporters packed a Statehouse lobby Wednesday to call for a vote on the bill. The proposal would ban all abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected, typically around the sixth week of pregnancy. Opponents say most women don't even know they're pregnant at that time. Senate leaders say they don't have the two-thirds vote needed to overcome a procedural hurdle. Supporters said they should still bring the bill up anyway.