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This Hour: Latest South Carolina news, sports, business and entertainment

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SC justices order new sentencing hearing

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new sentencing hearing has been ordered for a man on South Carolina's death row for killing the mother of his child.

The state Supreme Court on Wednesday ruled that John Edward Weik of Moncks Corner should have a new hearing that would give him a chance to leave death row.

Justices said Weik's attorneys had not presented enough evidence about his background and mental health history.

Weik was convicted in 1999 for the shotgun slaying of 27-year-old Susan Hutto Krasae at her home in Knightsville. She was the mother of Weik's son, Daniel.

Weik confessed that he fired at least four shotgun blasts into Krasae. He previously appealed that he was not competent to stand trial, but the justices disagreed and had affirmed his conviction and sentence in 2002.


Converse basketball coach accused of shoplifting

SPARTANBURG, S.C. (AP) - The head basketball coach at Converse has been arrested and accused of shoplifting.

Deputies say employees at a Kohl's department store in Spartanburg on Tuesday saw 35-year-old Kaye Waldrep and a man, 38-year-old Ricky Dean Ponder, hiding merchandise and trying to leave without paying.

Deputies say the items included shoes and perfume. Authorities say the items totaled just over $500.

Waldrep and Ponder are both charged with shoplifting under $2,000. It wasn't immediately known if they had attorneys.

A Converse spokesman confirmed to WSPA-TV that Waldrep is the head coach for the Division II college.

Waldrep is in her second year at the school.


SC National Guard flies over Columbia, Florence

MCENTIRE JOINT NATIONAL GUARD BASE, S.C. (AP) - Fighter jets from the South Carolina Air National Guard are conducting an air defense exercise over the Columbia and Florence areas.

Senior Master Sgt. Edward Snyder says people might see F-16 fighter jets escorting a civilian aircraft Wednesday over the central part of the state.

Snyder says the Air National Guard exercise includes members of the 169th Fighter Wing from McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Eastover.

The jets are conducting the exercise with the South Carolina Civil Air Patrol. The unit coordinates its exercises with the Federal Aviation Administration.

Pilots and crew members conduct such exercises to practice responding to potential airborne threats over the United States.


Fortune 500 firm Sealed Air moving HQ to Charlotte

CHARLOTTE, N.C. (AP) - North Carolina has convinced Fortune 500 packaging company Sealed Air Corp. to move nearly 1,300 jobs to the Charlotte area by relocating its New Jersey headquarters and consolidating management operations from several other states.

A North Carolina committee that approves corporate tax breaks on Wednesday approved up to $36 million over 12 years if the company meets job and investment targets. The Elmwood Park, New Jersey, company was expected to announce the move with North Carolina officials later Wednesday.

North Carolina Commerce Department spokeswoman Kim Genardo said the company will consolidate some operations from Connecticut, Wisconsin, Massachusetts and New Jersey into a new headquarters complex in the Charlotte area costing more than $50 million.

Genardo said the company also considered Greenville, South Carolina, before choosing Charlotte.


Number of sea turtle nests down sharply in SC

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - The number of loggerhead sea turtle nests on the South Carolina coast is down sharply this year but apparently there is no cause for concern.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports there have been only about 1,700 loggerhead turtle nests recorded this year compared with a record of almost 5,200 a year ago. The nesting season for the threatened turtles ends in mid-August.

Myrtle Beach State Park ranger Ann Malys Wilson says she's not concerned and it's a natural lull because turtles don't nest every year. She says new federal protections will help protect nests in the future.

Earlier this month almost 700 miles of coastline and nearly 200,000 square miles of the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico were declared critical turtle habitat by the federal government.


Summerville man dies in pond at sand mine

WALTERBORO, S.C. (AP) - A 29-year-old Summerville man has died after he fell into a pond at a sand mine in Colleton County.

Emergency responders were called to the mine on state Highway 61 around 4 p.m. Monday.

Colleton County Fire-Rescue director Barry McRoy said an employee at Murray Mines Inc., Kyle Martin, fell into the pond where he and other employees were pumping out sand.

McRoy said it was not clear why Martin fell into the water.

Martin was pronounced dead at a hospital. Coroner Richard Harvey ordered an autopsy to determine the cause of death.


Gov. Christie visits Colorado for fundraiser

DENVER (AP) - New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is visiting political battleground Colorado for a fundraiser with the state's GOP gubernatorial candidate, Bob Beauprez, before heading to Aspen for events with other party leaders.

Christie will be at a noon fundraiser in Denver on Wednesday for the Republican Governor's Association, which Christie chairs. Afterward, he'll be visiting a downtown Denver restaurant with Beauprez. Republican voters last month picked Beauprez to challenge Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper in November.

Christie will be in Aspen on Wednesday evening and Thursday for RGA events. One of them is a discussion with Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, Florida Gov. Rick Scott and Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.


Clemson shows off rebuilt SC Botanical Gardens

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - Clemson University is showing off the repairs made to the South Carolina Botanical Gardens after torrential rains last July destroyed trails and swept away more than 1,000 varieties of plants.

The garden turned to students in the university's architecture program to help rebuild bridges and trails. They wrapped up their work just a few days after the anniversary of the storm, which hit July 14, 2013.

The garden has restored its Natural Heritage Garden with its more than 1,000 varieties of native plants in their natural habitats. It also has put in place protections to guard against another huge flood.

Eight inches of rain fell in four hours on the garden, causing at least $200,000 in damage.

The garden plans a tour on Wednesday to show off the work.

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