Here is the latest South Carolina news from The Associated Press at 5:40 a.m.

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SC Statehouse (file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette has returned to public life after being diagnosed with COVID-19 earlier this month. Evette came to the South Carolina House chambers on Tuesday, meeting with members, giving hugs telling the story of how she recovered from the virus over and over again. She was wearing a mask. The 53-year-old lieutenant governor had a sore throat and a headache on Sept. 10 and sought out a coronavirus test that came back positive a day later. Also Tuesday, state officials announced Augusta University Healthcare didn’t share the results of 15,000 COVID-19 tests for South Carolinians between March and September. Two-thousand of them were positive.


RIDGELAND, S.C. (AP) – Environmental groups are threatening to sue a wood pellet factory in South Carolina, accusing it of releasing more than 100 tons of air pollution each year in violation of the Clean Air Act. A legal notice filed Tuesday against Jasper Pellets says the plant in Ridgeland is operating equipment without a federal permit that is required because of the amount of pollutants it emits. The factory turns raw wood into compressed pellets to fuel power plants, many of them overseas. The notice is mean to encourage the factory to fix the violations before a lawsuit is filed. The company did not immediately respond to a request for comment.


DUNCAN, S.C. (AP) – Authorities say a group of parents tackled and restrained a registered sex offender accused of spying on a 15-year-old girl in the bathroom of a South Carolina restaurant. Duncan police say 53-year-old Douglas Lane has been charged with voyeurism, as well as possession of marijuana and paraphernalia. Court records show that Lane has several past convictions for similar behavior in both North and South Carolina dating back more than 20 years. News outlets report that the incident occurred Sunday when the girl was using the bathroom at a Cracker Barrel and noticed a man looking out from under the stall beside her.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – Few members of the Republican Party have taken a political journey as long as Lindsey Graham’s. He’s gone from ridiculing Donald Trump as a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” to becoming one of the president’s fiercest defenders in Congress. This November may be Graham’s toughest test yet as he seeks reelection. He’ll have to explain to voters how, as the Senate Judiciary Committee chairman, he’ll push for Trump’s Supreme Court nominee on the president’s aggressive timetable, even though the senator opposed moving ahead with Democratic President Barack Obama’s election-year nominee. Graham says “the rules have changed as far as I’m concerned.”

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