Here is the latest South Carolina news from The Associated Press at 11:40 a.m.

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CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) – Police in South Carolina spotted a truck surrounded by protesters over the weekend and discovered two men inside with loaded handguns, a rifle, a wooden club, knives and a stun gun, among other weapons. Charleston police say officers intervened when they saw a group of protesters leave the main crowd and surround a truck in a parking lot Sunday night. Police seized four guns from 59-year-old Richard Ray and 46-year-old Matthew Constantine. The department said officers also discovered binoculars, a tactical vest, ammunition, knives, a glass pipe and a baton. The men were charged with misdemeanor unlawful carrying of a handgun.


MAULDIN, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina city will spend $50,000 on diversity training and programs. The decision comes after one of its city council members drew objections for sharing social media posts defending the Confederate flag and criticizing racial justice protests as “getting out of hand.” The Greenville News reported the Mauldin City Council unanimously approved the funding. The money comes from a $1.6 million surplus. The newspaper says Mauldin saw protests and calls for Councilman Dale Black to resign after he shared several posts on social media this summer. The newspaper says one post said if the Confederate flag represents racism, “so do these,” listing Black organizations, the Democratic Party and a Hispanic scholarship fund.


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina is looking for input on its plans to convert one of the state’s two toll roads into a free parkway next summer. The South Carolina Department of Transportation says the Cross Island Parkway on Hilton Head Island will no longer collect its $1.25 toll next July, The road was opened in 1998 to bypass congested sections of the island. The state plans to spend $14 million to remove tollbooths and make other improvements to the road. The DOT is accepting comments on its plans online until Oct. 13. South Carolina’s other toll road is the Southern Connector in Greenville, which is about 30 years from being paid off.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A federal appeals court has reversed course and reinstated a ruling by a South Carolina federal judge that would let absentee voters do so without having a witness signature. News outlets report a majority of judges on the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals late Friday vacated a ruling from a day earlier by a three-judge panel of the appellate court to overturn a lower court ruling that struck down the requirement. The latest decision means the final outcome remains to be determined. But for now, witness signatures are no longer required. A date for the new hearing was not immediately scheduled.

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