Thursday, August 27, 2020

Before You Go: COVID-positive rate below 10 percent; Hallmark filming Christmas movie on Yorktown; Laura hits Louisiana

Americans are spending less at the grocery store

Posted by Connelly Hardaway on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 2:36 PM

As Hurricane Laura wreaks havoc in Louisiana, South Carolinians are keeping their eyes on any upcoming Atlantic activity - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • As Hurricane Laura wreaks havoc in Louisiana, South Carolinians are keeping their eyes on any upcoming Atlantic activity
COVID-19 updates: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 424 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 deaths connected to the virus on  Thursday.

With 5,234 tests reported Thursday, the percent positive rate was 8.1 percent.

A reminder from DHEC, "When the percent positive is low, it may indicate that more widespread testing is being performed and the percent positive may more accurately reflect how much disease is present in the community."
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As of 2 p.m. Aug. 27, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:

Confirmed cases in S.C.: 113,107 (+424 new cases since Wednesday)
Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 13,399 (+22)
Negative tests in S.C.: 828,044
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 2,494 (+42)

Top Stories

Hurricane Laura brings damaging winds and flooding rainfall into central and northern Louisiana. Source: National Hurricane Center

Hallmark is filming a Christmas movie on the USS Yorktown this fall. Source: Patriots Point

What we're reading

The New Yorker: "Linking Allies to Action in the Heart of the Black-Bookstore Boom"

Wall Street Journal: "With Second Stimulus Checks on Hold, Americans Spend Less at the Grocery Store"

Vox: "Nobody saw summer 2020 coming. So how come it felt like the movies did?"

The rest from City Paper
Celebrate Indie Bookstore Day at local booksellers this Saturday
Swig & Swine will serve complimentary wings as part of national Kingsford Charcoal campaign
Charleston Currents: West Ashley's Greenway needs a little tender loving care

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The Agenda: Middleton among Bucks who sat out playoff game; Thousands of Charleston students return to schools in 2 weeks

"Write your name ... put it in a Ziploc bag in your pocket"

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 10:42 AM

PHOTO BY BIMA RAHMANDA ON UNSPLASH
  • Photo by Bima Rahmanda on Unsplash
Charleston native among Bucks players to sit out from playoff game. Charleston native and Milwaukee Bucks' Khris Middleton references Mother Emanuel and the Walter Scott shootings while talking about sitting out from the Bucks' playoff game against the Orlando Magic. The team is sitting out from the game as not to distract from protests in Kenosha, Wisconsin, in response to a police shooting of Jacob Blake. Source: P&C

A quarter of Charleston County students to start back in two weeks. With a quarter of students set to go back to in-person schooling in two weeks, Charleston School District is trying to answer parents' questions and reduce confusion. Source: P&C

Community mourns sudden loss of 16-year-old Ashley Ridge student. Amari President came home from Ashley Ridge High School football practice, was found unresponsive and later died in a hospital. President was active politically and stumped for Joe Biden, who tweeted about the young man. Source: Live 5


Louisiana sheriff to those not evacuating from Hurricane Laura: "Write your name... and put it in a Ziploc bag in your pocket." As Hurricane Laura beared down on Louisiana Wednesday, the Vermilion Parish sheriff had a dire warning for residents who didn't evacuate: "Please evacuate, and if you choose to stay and we can’t get to you, write your name, address, social security number and next of kin and put it a Ziploc bag in your pocket. Praying that it does not come to this." Source: WDSU

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Charleston Currents: West Ashley's Greenway needs a little tender loving care

Try a little tenderness

Posted by Charleston Currents on Thu, Aug 27, 2020 at 8:58 AM

ANDY BRACK
  • Andy Brack

This post was originally published in our sister publication, Charleston Currents.

If there’s one thing that the coronavirus pandemic has done, it’s made people get outside more often. The perfect testament is the West Ashley Greenway, which seems busier than ever.

But the upside of more use also means there’s more trash and wear on what essentially is a walking park that stretches for miles. This photo essay shows conditions along the greenway at various West Ashley intersections with city streets on Saturday, August 22.

If you want to let the city know what you think about its parks, the city is undertaking an update to its comprehensive plan, which includes seeking input about parks and recreation. You can have your say by clicking on this link: Take the One Charleston park survey. These photos follow the greenway from Folly Road to Arrington Drive:

Wednesday, August 26, 2020

Before You Go: McMaster assessing federal jobless benefits; Percent positive rate jumps above 20 percent as testing drops

505 new cases of COVID-19

Posted by Parker Milner on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 4:25 PM

PHOTO BY ALEX OTTO ON UNSPLASH
  • Photo by Alex Otto on Unsplash
COVID-19 updates: South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control announced 505 new cases of COVID-19 and 42 deaths connected to the virus on Wednesday.

Percent positive rate has once again climbed back above 20 percent, but testing numbers are dropping. With 2,470 tests reported Wednesday, the percent positive rate was 20.4 percent. That's down from 8,075 tests reported Aug. 1, with a 18.5 percent positive rate.

As of 1:31 p.m. Aug. 26, via S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control:

Confirmed cases in S.C.: 112,643 (+505 new cases since Tuesday)
Positive tests in Charleston County (total): 13,377 (+33)
Negative tests in S.C.: 820,967
Deaths in S.C. from COVID-19: 2,451 (+42)

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Top Stories:

Gov. Henry McMaster still hasn't applied for a federal benefits package that would provide South Carolina residents with $300 per week in additional aid through the federal government’s enhanced employment benefit system.

McMaster said he supported the package earlier this month but is "working with legislative leaders to determine what, if any, financial liability South Carolina taxpayers would possibly incur and whether the state has sufficient funds to pay for the match before applying to participate," a spokesperson said. Source: The State

A College of Charleston sorority is on probation after violating the school's COVID-19 policies. The incident report referenced photos and videos of 10 students gathering around campus without face masks. Source: P&C

What we're reading:

Live 5 News: ‘He was a phenomenal kid:’ Mother of Dorchester County high school student who died suddenly talks about tragedy

Politico: "‘Lindsey Graham questions why Jacob Blake didn't 'yield' to officers"

The Washington Post: "Two dead and one wounded in Kenosha shootings during Jacob Blake protests"

Associated Press: "How will office life be different in a pandemic?"

More from the City Paper:
- ‘I’ve already won’: Jaime Harrison seeks to dethrone Lindsey Graham
- Callie's Hot Little Biscuit's new gluten-free biscuits coming in September
- College of Charleston expands their opera program with a production of 'The Marriage of Figaro'

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Bus rapid transit is coming, but advocates continue push for alternatives

'But damn, he’s committed.'

Posted by Skyler Baldwin on Wed, Aug 26, 2020 at 11:02 AM

The proposed Lowline park will run along a 1.5-mile strip of land that stretches from Woolfe Street to Courtland Avenue. - CHELSEA HAINES FILE PHOTO
  • Chelsea Haines file photo
  • The proposed Lowline park will run along a 1.5-mile strip of land that stretches from Woolfe Street to Courtland Avenue.
The Lowcountry Rapid Transit project aims to connect Summerville, downtown and everywhere in between. But, activist William Hamilton has continued to push for other options as congestion remains a pressing issue in Charleston — and a local political leader and former member of county council thinks he has a point.

“The latest iteration of this transit plan is operating in regular traffic, but they claim it's still a rapid transit system. I don’t see it that way,” said founder of Best Friends of Lowcountry Transit William Hamilton.

Hamilton is no stranger to standing alone as a vocal, unrelenting advocate, but on this issue he has found an ally in Colleen Condon, the chair of the Charleston County Democratic Party and a former member of county council.
Attorney William Hamilton is a fixture at local community meetings - RUTA SMITH
  • Ruta Smith
  • Attorney William Hamilton is a fixture at local community meetings
“If you’ve been following Hamilton for a while, you know he’s a quirky guy,” said Condon. “But damn, he’s committed. CARTA has improved so much in the last 10 years, but we still almost exclusively have people who ride public transit by necessity, not by choice. The only way people are going to want to use it is if it provides comfort and a timely route.”

Currently, the proposed bus rapid transit (BRT) line would shuttle specialty buses in dedicated lanes along Rivers Avenue, before merging into mixed traffic to connect outlying areas with downtown. With one-way commutes over the full line estimated to be one hour, it may be a start, but Hamilton said the workers who rely on it will still spend too much time in traffic.

“The entire power structure of the Lowcountry depends on making sure the people who do the work are exhausted, and the hours of their life are consumed in long, arduous journeys to their job,” he said.
The proposal originally included dedicated bus lanes and priority traffic signaling, but the route takes buses down Meeting Street, where these aren’t a possibility.

“If we don’t have meaningful bus rapid transit, there’s no reason to even try, because this isn’t even BRT, it’s just transit,” Condon said. “We know how much traffic has changed in the last 20 years, adding more lanes only adds a temporary Band-Aid that we soon outgrow again. There needs to be meaningful change, and that has to include meaningful BRT.”

Hamilton and Condon’s alternative plan includes dedicated bus lanes running beneath I-26, where the city has planned to build a park system, the Lowcountry Lowline. However, Condon said that in her assessment of the area, there’s no reason why both couldn’t be a part of downtown’s character.

“I’m trying to reach out to my former colleagues at the county and CARTA to say, ‘Come on, guys, help me understand why we can’t put Lowline and BRT under I-26,’” Condon said.

Condon said the importance of transit advocacy stems from the ways transportation connects with other issues like housing, zoning, conservation and more.

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