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South Carolina ACLU names new executive director

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's chapter of a national civil right's group has found a new leader. The American Civil Liberties Union says Frank Knaack will become its executive director in South Carolina on Jan. 21. Knaack first worked at the ACLU as an intern in 2001. He said his emphasis is with criminal and racial justice, government surveillance and the rights of immigrants. Knaack takes over for Shaundra Young Scott. Knaack also spent time as the executive director of both the Montana Innocence Project and the Alabama Appleseed Center for Law and Justice.


SC Governor's Mansion open house to show off Christmas decor

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is opening the doors of his home to show off its Christmas decorations. The open house will be at the mansion in downtown Columbia from 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Monday.  Admission is free, but first lady Peggy McMaster is asking guests to bring gifts of canned goods that will be donated to Harvest Host Food Bank. The first lady says Santa will be there, along with Christmas trees and poinsettias grown in Lexington. There also will be a gingerbread farm made by  governor's mansion executive chef Jared Hudson.


AP Interview: Warren says voters are ready for female ticket

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Elizabeth Warren says Americans are ready for a presidential ticket with two women at the top. “Sure, why not?” the Democratic presidential candidate tells The Associated Press. She notes women notched historic wins during the 2018 midterms, suggesting voters are worried less about gender than the message a candidate is offering. Still, Warren says she is also open to asking Joe Biden to be her running mate. She says whoever emerges from the primary will have to appeal to Republicans who have become disenchanted with President Donald Trump.


Judge: South Carolina hemp farmer's crop must be protected

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A judge has ruled that a South Carolina hemp farmer's crop must be protected as he awaits trial on a charge he grew the crop in the wrong place. The State Law Enforcement Division destroyed 10 acres of John Pendarvis' hemp crop in Dorchester County after his arrest on charges he was growing it in a field not registered with the state. The farmer reported an additional 2 acres of hemp in Marion County. A judge said it must be harvested and sold and the money held in a trust until Pendarvis' criminal case is resolved.


SC lawmaker wants to expand media literacy teaching

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A South Carolina lawmaker wants education officials to develop plans to teach students to be more critical of what they read and post online. Democratic state Rep. Seth Rose of Columbia says his bill would expand the current state curriculum that teaches media literacy because it's not adequate in today's social media environment. The state Education Department says media literacy is already taught in several courses. For example, in U.S. government classes, students learn about the roles of media, political parties and interest groups in shaping public opinion.


Haley: Killer 'hijacked' Confederate flag meaning for some

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley says in an interview that a man who gunned down nine worshipers at an African American church in 2015 ‘hijacked’ the ideals some connected to the Confederate battle flag. Haley told conservative political commentator and Blaze TV host Glenn Beck that the flag had meant “service, and sacrifice and heritage” to some in South Carolina. An interview excerpt on social media drew criticism from many who said the flag represents treason and racial hatred. As governor, Haley openly backed removal of the flag from the South Carolina Statehouse following the murders in Charleston.