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

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SC Statehouse (file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – South Carolina senators will likely consider whether to restore the annual raises most teachers get each year to the state budget when they return to Columbia next week for a special session amid the COVID-19 pandemic. The Senate Finance Committee is working on a proposal to spend $40 million out of about $775 million saved up over the past two years on what are called step increases. Those are pay raises of usually about several hundred dollars a year given to teachers as they gain experience. Lawmakers suspended the raises in the spring because of the uncertainty of what the COVID-19 pandemic might do to the economy.


JUPITER, Fla. (AP) – President Donald Trump is seeking to claim the mantle of environmental steward as he announces an expansion of a ban on offshore drilling and highlights conservation projects in Florida. But his administration has overturned or weakened numerous regulations meant to protect air and water quality and lands essential for imperiled species. Speaking Tuesday beside the Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse, Trump signed paperwork to extend and expand a ban on new offshore drilling sites off the Florida coast as well as Georgia and South Carolina. The existing moratorium covers the Gulf of Mexico. Trump says the new ban also covers the Atlantic coast – a significant political concern in coastal states like Florida.


MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) – Authorities said two people were wounded during a fight at a South Carolina mall. Myrtle Beach Police Cpl. Tom Vest said authorities were called to the food court area of Coastal Grand Mall Tuesday because of a reported fight. Vest said police found two people suffering from “severe lacerations,” but it’s unclear if the wounds are from a stabbing or a shooting. One person is in custody in connection with the incident. Vest said the suspect’s name will be released once charges are filed. Vest said police were searching for a small black four-door sedan that fled the scene. Anyone with information should call the department.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – The University of South Carolina says it has drawn among its largest freshman classes in history, along with increases in enrollment numbers at its flagship campus for the fall semester, beginning amid the coronavirus pandemic. The Post and Courier cited university data on Tuesday in reporting that the state’s largest four-year college welcomed its second-largest freshman class. About 35,400 undergraduate and graduate students are enrolled at the flagship. According to the data, about 7,750 new students are on the Columbia campus and more than half of the new students are South Carolina residents. The numbers come as colleges aim to close budget holes after spring closures triggered financial losses.

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