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Associated Press

Posted on September 20, 2013 at 11:01 AM

Updated Friday, Sep 20 at 11:00 AM

UNEMPLOYMENT-SC

August SC unemployment unchanged at 8.1 percent

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's unemployment rate isn't getting any worse, but it also isn't getting any better.

The Department of Employment and Workforce said Friday that the August unemployment rate remained unchanged from July at 8.1 percent. The unemployment rate has been either 8 percent or 8.1 percent each month since April. It was 9.1 percent a year ago.

Officials say the number of people working in South Carolina fell by about 360 people to just under 2.2 million in August.

The state saw an 800-job gain in government in August as people went back to school, and a 700-job decline in leisure and hospitality as the summer vacation season ended.

Marion County had the state's highest rate at 15.1 percent, while Lexington County had the lowest rate at 6.5 percent.

CAROLINA FOREST FIRE

Horry County working to reduce fire risk

(Information in the following story is from: The Sun News, http://www.thesunnews.com/)

CONWAY, S.C. (AP) — Horry County is working to reduce wildfire risks following the disastrous fire at the Windsor Green condominiums in Carolina Forest earlier this year.

The March 16 wildfire was fed by winds of 30 mph that destroyed 26 condominium buildings, killing 80 pets and causing almost $12 million in damage.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reported that the Carolina Forest Civic Association has asked the county to take steps to reduce the wildfire risk.

The county's assistant administrator for public safety, Paul Whitten, says making such a program effective will require cooperation between law enforcement, planning and zoning officials, and community members. He says he will update county officials on progress.

WILSON-GUN RALLY

Attorney general holds rally with ex-NRA president

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's top prosecutor is celebrating the Second Amendment with a former president of the National Rifle Association.

Alan Wilson's campaign is holding a rally Friday with former NRA president David Keene.

Keene has been active with the NRA for decades, starting as a board member before being elected the group's president in 2011. James Porter took over as president in May.

The Republican Wilson is up for re-election next year. Friday's rally is at the Palmetto State Armory in Columbia.

BOATER FOUND

Body of missing SC boater recovered

(Information in the following story is from: The Beaufort Gazette, http://www.beaufortgazette.com)

BEAUFORT, S.C. (AP) — The body of a man missing for more than a week when he fell from a boat in northern Beaufort County has been recovered.

The Beaufort Gazette reports that the body of 51-year-old Carl Mulligan was found Thursday afternoon.

Mulligan had been fishing with a friend Sept. 11 when the steering wheel broke as Mulligan was holding it. That boat made a sharp turn and threw him into the water.

Sheriff's deputies say his body washed ashore near where the Combahee River runs into St. Helena Sound.

The state Department of Natural Resources is investigating the accident.

SC EARTHQUAKES

Small earthquakes reported near Summerville

SUMMERVILLE, S.C. (AP) — Some windows rattled and the ground shook a bit, but there was no damage reported when a small earthquake rumbled near Summerville.

The quake was reported Thursday afternoon and the National Earthquake Information Center confirmed it was a magnitude 2.5 quake. That's the smallest magnitude that can generally be felt by humans.

The U.S. Geological Survey reported a second small quake near Ladson on Friday morning. It was a 2.2 in magnitude quake that usually cannot be felt.

It's not unusual for small quakes to be felt in the Summerville area. The area is near the fault that caused a magnitude 7.3 earthquake that killed 110 people in 1886.

COLONIAL LAKE

Iconic Charleston park to get makeover

(Information in the following story is from: The Post and Courier, http://www.postandcourier.com)

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — One of Charleston's most iconic parks, Colonial Lake, is getting a $5 million makeover.

The Post and Courier of Charleston reports the city and the Charleston Parks Conservancy and the Historic Charleston Foundation kick off the effort this weekend with a fundraiser.

Plans call for new granite facing around the shore of the lake, new trails and new pipes to improve the water quality in the lake that connects to the Ashley River. Work is expected to begin next year and be finished in 2015.

The Parks Conservancy was started five years ago with a $10 million gift from financier Darla Moore.

Moore says the idea for the Colonial Lake renovation began after she and her husband bought a house in Charleston.

COCAINE EATING DEATH

SC man guilty after brother dies from cocaine

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — A North Charleston man has pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter after his brother died from eating cocaine.

Twenty-six-year-old Deangelo R. Mitchell also pleaded guilty Tuesday to possession with intent to distribute cocaine.

Mitchell has been sentenced to 15 years in prison.

Mitchell was accused of causing the death of 20-year-old Wayne Joshua Mitchell.

The brothers were arrested in 2011 on cocaine trafficking charges. They can be seen discussing their arrest in the back of a patrol car. Wayne Mitchell is later seen chewing something given to him by Deangelo Mitchell.

Wayne Mitchell died less than an hour later.

Charleston County Coroner Rae Wooten said an autopsy and toxicology tests determined he died from acute cocaine poisoning.

MCKISSICK-CIVIL RIGHTS

USC McKissick Museum hosts exhibit on civil rights

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The McKissick Museum at the University of South Carolina is scheduled to hold a gala event to help further its mission of telling the story of Southern life through its art and exhibitions.

University spokeswoman Frenche Brewer says Friday's annual fundraising gala takes place from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. at the museum.

The exhibit on view is titled, "If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus."

The museum is joining in the ongoing year of events marking the 50th anniversary of the integration of the university on Sept. 11, 1963.

The "If You Miss Me at the Back of the Bus" exhibit is meant to illustrate how the 1960s civil rights movement reshaped the Southern experience in communities, culture and environment.

MUSEUM MILE WEEKEND

Museum Mile Weekend being held in Charleston

CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Parks and historic homes are opening their doors this weekend for their annual Museum Mile Weekend in Charleston.

From Friday through Sunday, one pass allows visitors to see museums along and near a one-mile stretch of Meeting Street through the heart of the city.

The weekend pass is $25 for adults and $10 for children 12 and under. But it allows admission to historic homes and museums that normally would cost more than $100 for adults.

There are six museums, five nationally important historic homes, four parks and the Charleston Powder Magazine along the Museum Mile.

The Museum Mile Weekend was started back in 2009 as a marketing tool for the nonprofit museums and other attractions.

CHARLESTON-POWS

Joint Base Charleston remembers POWs, MIAs

JOINT BASE CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Members of all military branches are coming together at Joint Base Charleston to help honor those who were prisoners of war or are still missing in action.

Base spokesman Staff. Sgt. William O'Brien says a 24-hour vigil run will include some 200 members of the Air Force, Navy, Army, Marine Corps and Coast Guard. Department of Defense civilian employees and their families are also taking part, as groups run in 30-minute increments.

Former POW and retired Air Force Lt. Col. Tom Hanton is scheduled to speak at a noon lunch on Friday. He is being joined by 17 former POWs and their spouses.

A retreat ceremony and wreath laying ceremony is slated for the afternoon.

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