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

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SC senators consider how to attract, keep teachers

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Senate panel will consider increasing teachers' salaries and strengthening student loan programs as a way to elevate the profession in South Carolina.

The newly created Senate Committee on Public School Teachers took testimony Tuesday on how the state can encourage more students to become public school teachers, keep good teachers in the classroom and more quickly remove incompetent teachers.

According to the Center for Educator Recruitment, Retention and Advancement, South Carolina's colleges are not producing enough teachers to fill classroom vacancies. Agency director Jane Turner says there are 4,000 openings yearly, but only 2,000 graduates to fill them.

Turner says many teachers leave the profession after a few years.

She suggests revising a college loan forgiveness program to ensure it benefits students and schools as intended.


Police: Ex-officer communicated with Iowa girl

DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) - A former South Carolina police officer has been convicted of engaging in lascivious acts with an Iowa girl.

Pleasant Hill Police said in a news release Tuesday that 31-year-old Allen Haney was accused of communicating with a 13-year-old Des Moines girl via the Internet. Police say the communication was sexual in nature.

The Des Moines Register reports Haney was terminated from his job in October. He faces a mandatory prison sentence of five years and will be required to register as a sex offender.

Police say 32-year-old Brian Harcourt, of Massachusetts, was also found guilty of lascivious acts with a child. He was found with a 13-year-old Des Moines girl in Iowa, and was accused of communicating with her online for weeks. It's unclear if the cases are related.


Police seek help solving Bikefest weekend slayings

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - Myrtle Beach police are visiting the Charleston area as they seek the public's help in solving the shooting deaths of three people last Memorial Day weekend during the Atlantic Beach Bikefest.

Police have scheduled a news conference in Summerville on Wednesday to discuss the case.

Three people from the Summerville area were killed and a fourth person injured in a shooting that resulted from a large fight outside a motel in Myrtle Beach. Authorities have said they think the killings may have been gang related.

There was a rash of violence in communities near Atlantic Beach during this year's bike festival. The violence and the negative publicity that followed prompted Gov. Nikki Haley to call for an end to the annual Bikefest.


Miss Teen USA returns to Chapin for homecoming

CHAPIN, S.C. (AP) - Miss Teen USA K. Lee Graham is going home to Chapin for an event in her honor.

Lexington-Richland School District 5 officials say the 17-year-old Graham is scheduled to attend a homecoming event on Wednesday at Chapin High School.

Graham won the crown earlier this year in the Bahamas. She has said she plans to spend her yearlong reign promoting her Beauty Secrets campaign, emphasizing that being beautiful is about being happy with who you are and how you treat others instead of striving for an impossible model of perfection.

She has her own blog at where she writes about her journey to the national pageant and her life.


Man pleads in Rock Hill apartment shooting

YORK, S.C. (AP) - A second man charged with murder in a robbery and killing at a Rock Hill apartment complex last year has pleaded guilty to lesser charges.

The Herald of Rock Hill reported that 21-year-old Desmond Lamont Cunningham has pleaded guilty to armed robbery and other charged in the November death of 20-year-old Jordan Poirier.

Prosecutor Willy Thompson says Cunningham will face up to 15 years in prison if he cooperates with prosecutors against a co-defendant.

Twenty-one-year-old Latarious Ashley is awaiting trial on a murder charge.

Thompson says Cunningham went to Florida after the shooting. Keynan McClinton also went to Florida and has pleaded guilty to armed robbery and other charges in exchange for helping with the prosecution of Ashley.


Mobile home subdivision proposed for Hilton Head

HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) - Hilton Head Island, with its gated communities and upscale homes, may be getting a subdivision of mobile homes.

The Island Packet of Hilton Head reports that Hardeeville developer Enrique Lopez wants to break ground on a 14-lot subdivision on the resort island.

Each lot would cost about $70,000 and buyers could either build a house or buy a mobile home. Lopez says a four-bedroom, two-bathroom mobile home would cost $35,000.

Some town officials and real estate agents have pushed for more affordable housing on the island where the median home price is almost $350,000.

The newspaper reports that some real estate agents have pushed for the town to amend its zoning ordinance to allow more affordable subdivisions.


Aerospace industry impact in SC pegged at $17B

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A new report says the aerospace industry in South Carolina accounts for 54,000 jobs with a total economic impact of $17 billion.

Media outlets report that the research released Monday during a conference in Columbia measures the impact of both civilian and military aerospace jobs.

University of South Carolina research economist Joey Von Nessen said there are 466 civilian companies employing more than 17,000 people across the state. The single largest company is Boeing, which employs about 6,500 in North Charleston.

The rest of the jobs are military and are located at Joint Base Charleston, Shaw Air Force Base in Sumter, the Beaufort Marine Corps Air Station and McEntire Joint National Guard Base near Columbia.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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