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Calls to lift ban on SC school mask mandates intensify, governor says it’s up to SC General Assembly

Educators, lawmakers, doctors, and parents are writing letters, signing petitions, and showing up to meetings to express their concern with the lack of mask mandates at South Carolina public schools.

However, Gov. Henry McMaster says what many are asking him to do isn’t within his power.

“The law is the law, we must be careful, we must be smart, but parents know what’s best for the children,” McMaster said. “Under the state law, the school district can’t enforce such a mandate.”...

South Carolina could see the impacts of Tropical Depression Fred next week

Tropical Depression Fred has weakened as it moved over land Wednesday night.

Thursday shows Fred heading back into the water just off the coast of Haiti and likely restrengthening back to a tropical storm by Friday.

The latest track continues to show the storm moving onto Florida's southern peninsula by Saturday, but should it shift just slightly to the west, then the forecast could change...

'Disgusting display': Laurens police chief says man charged with tattooing child inside McDonald's

An Upstate man faces charges for tattooing a child inside a McDonald's restaurant, according to the Laurens Police Department.

Brandon Presha, 28, of Laurens, was arrested Tuesday and charged with illegal tattooing, underage tattooing, according to Chief Chrissie Latimore.

A judge set bond on both charges at $25,000, according to Latimore.

Latimore said the Aug. 6 incident came to the attention of the police department last Saturday after some of her detectives were tagged in social media posts that showed video of the child being tattooed.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo resigns over sexual harassment

NEW YORK (AP) — Gov. Andrew Cuomo has resigned over a barrage of sexual harassment allegations in a fall from grace a year after he was widely hailed nationally for his detailed daily briefings and leadership during the darkest days of COVID-19. The third-term Democratic governor is increasingly isolated as state Assembly members move toward impeachment and allies desert him following last week’s report from state Attorney General Letitia James that detailed 11 women’s claims of sexual harassment. Cuomo has denied behaving inappropriately with any of the women who have accused him of harassment. He has resisted calls for his resignation from top Democrats including President Biden.

Heat, humidity return to Upstate; Tropical system strengthens in Atlantic

(WYFF) Potential Tropical Cyclone Six continues to strengthen and is expected to become a tropical storm Tuesday as the Upstate's heat and humidity ramp up.

The National Hurricane Center issued tropical storm warnings for the U.S. Virgin Islands and Puerto Rico, where forecasters expected the potential cyclone to strengthen Tuesday into the sixth named storm of the Atlantic hurricane season.

As it heads west, this tropical system will weaken as it moves over the Dominican Republic Wednesday and across southern Cuba Thursday...

Greenville Municipal Court to hear cases on front lawn

Greenville Municipal Court will begin hearing cases on the front lawn of 426 N. Main 8 a.m. Monday, according to city spokeswoman Beth Brotherton.

It comes after sewage flooding damage last month.

Repairs will continue inside the building.

The judge anticipates all sessions to be on schedule throughout the week, Brotherton said.

Citizens whose cases were postponed last week will receive a new subpoena in the mail with a rescheduled court date.

What you can and can’t save on during South Carolina’s ‘tax-free weekend’

The best time to go shopping for your student’s back-to-school essentials is now. The state’s tax-free weekend went into effect at the stroke of midnight Friday morning and lasts through Sunday night. Parents can save on things like clothes, shoes and school supplies as the state 6% sales tax and any local applicable sales taxes are waived.

“One thing for parents to keep in mind is that there are some big purchases out there like computers, and printers. And even just depending on how many clothing items you buy, that could help you save more money,” said Bonnie Swingle with the South Carolina Department of Revenue...

South Carolina capital’s mayor Steve Benjamin mandates masks in Columbia schools

The mayor of South Carolina’s capital city has mandated the use of masks in city schools where some students are too young to be vaccinated against the coronavirus, a move he says will protect vaccine-ineligible children amid the pandemic’s resurgence.

“What we’re facing right now is a pandemic of the unvaccinated,” Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin told The Associated Press on Wednesday, ahead of a news conference to discuss his plans. “Adults can make decisions for themselves. ... Children do not have that ability or autonomy, and it's important that we do what we should do, as a mature, compassionate, civilized society, and provide for our children.”...

CDC issues new eviction ban for most of US

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention issued a new eviction moratorium that would last until Oct. 3, as the Biden administration sought to quell intensifying criticism from progressives that it was allowing vulnerable renters to lose their homes during a pandemic.

The ban announced Tuesday could help keep millions in their homes as the coronavirus’ delta variant has spread and states have been slow to release federal rental aid. It would temporarily halt evictions in counties with “substantial and high levels” of virus transmissions and would cover areas where 90% of the U.S. population lives...

Sen. Lindsey Graham tests positive for COVID-19 despite being vaccinated

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said Monday he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Graham tweeted the announcement and it was also sent as a news release from his office.

The positive test comes after Graham said he was previously vaccinated.

The Republican senator from Central said he started having flu-like symptoms Saturday night.

"I feel like I have a sinus infection and at present time I have mild symptoms," Graham said.

He said he would be quarantined for 10 days.

“I am very glad I was vaccinated because without vaccination I am certain I would not feel as well as I do now," Graham said...

'I’m devastated,' Greenville pole vaulter Sandi Morris injured in Tokyo Olympics

A University of Arkansas alum from Greenville, Sandi Morris, injured her hip and broke her pole during warmups at the Tokyo Olympics Monday morning, ending her chances of taking the podium during the 2020 Games.

"I’m devastated… but I’m going to be ok," Morris said in a tweet.

Morris took a warmup vault during a break in the rain at Tokyo's Olympic Stadium. The track was wet and slick and when she attempted her vault, she crashed down near the edge of the mat. Her pole broke at a 90-degree angle...

SC governor Henry McMaster leads GOP govs, lawmakers in supporting Mississippi anti-abortion law

A dozen Republican governors and more than 200 GOP members of Congress are wading into a court fight over a Mississippi law to restrict abortion, the outcome of which could have implications for similar measures across the country.

On Thursday, attorneys for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster, leader of the gubernatorial effort, submitted an amicus brief to the U.S. Supreme Court in support of Mississippi, which wants to enforce its 2018 law that would ban abortion after 15 weeks of pregnancy. Mississippi’s Republican attorney general filed papers last week asking the Supreme Court to overturn Roe v. Wade, the landmark 1973 court decision that legalized abortion nationwide...

SC education superintendent urges masks, vaccines to avoid 'disruption' in school year

South Carolina State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman says coronavirus is already hitting some South Carolina schools.

“One superintendent I spoke with whose schools went back into session last week said they are already beginning to quarantine some students,” Spearman said.

And she is concerned there will be a lot more kids getting sick in the weeks to come.

“What we see going across the country-- South Carolina will be the same way,” she said. “Yes, I think there will be an increase in numbers.”...

All lanes blocked on I-85 southbound in Georgia

Traffic is backed up into South Carolina after a crash on Interstate 85 in Georgia this morning.

The crash happened around at 6:30 a.m. near the Highway 17 exit near Lavonia.

All southbound lanes from Highway 17 to Highway 106 are blocked.

Sky 4 reported at 8:15 a.m. that traffic was backed up into South Carolina.

There is no word of there are any injuries...

Simone Biles pulls out of team final at Olympics

Simone Biles came to Tokyo as the star of the U.S. Olympic movement and perhaps the Games themselves. It all came to a stunning halt in the women’s gymnastics final on Tuesday night with an uncertain vault.

In a flash, the rest of the American star's Games came into question. And the United States' long run at the top of the sport came to an end.

The team representing the Russia Olympic Committee surged past the shorthanded U.S. to the top of the podium, posting a score of 169.258 to win the country's first Olympic team gold in nearly 30 years.

The Americans, with Biles serving as head cheerleader while clad in a white sweatsuit and dealing with what USA Gymnastics called a “medical issue,” hung on for silver...

'Don't be an idiot': Greenville Drive GM addresses foul language used at games this season

"Simple rule: don't be an idiot."

That's the message from Greenville Drive General Manager Eric Jarinko.

Jarinko sent out tweets on Saturday to address foul language being directed at players so far this season.

One tweet said:

"We’ve removed more fans from the ballpark over the last two games for foul language (directed at players) than I recall over the previous 14 seasons combined! Did no 2020 season make everyone lose their damn minds?!"

He said the language goes beyond "you suck" being yelled here and there...

'You have to be willing to work really hard': Nurses needed in SC

WYFF News 4 Investigates is looking into the need for nurses in South Carolina. We've reported that there are more job openings for nurses than any other position in the state. For this report, WYFF News 4 Investigates surveyed more than 50 nurses who work at facilities around the Upstate.

The nurses tell WYFF News 4 Investigates that the work is demanding.

"The biggest thing I think is the burnout," said Jason Burgess, an ICU nurse.

"You have to be willing to work really hard," said Christina Dye, a bedside nurse.

"We are stressed. It's hard, it's hard to watch people even if you're not related to them, it's hard to watch people pass away from COVID or pneumonia or natural causes," said Joslin Williams, who works with disabled adults...

Massive wildfires in US West bring haze to East Coast

Smoke from more than 100 wildfires in the Western United States and Canada is drifting into our area.

While not a major problem, it will make air quality poor at times in the mountains and Upstate and allow for more vibrant sunsets and sunrises.

Folks with respiratory problems may want to avoid peak heating of the day when the smoke can settle closer to the surface....

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