Here is the latest South Carolina news from The Associated Press at 8:40 a.m.

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SC Statehouse (file)

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – President Donald Trump’s decision to extend a ban on offshore drilling could give a boost to Republican senators in tough reelection races. South Carolina’s Lindsey Graham and Georgia’s Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue are all on the ballot and competing in states where governors have long opposed Trump’s initial plans to expand drilling off their coasts. But Trump this week took the issue off the table by moving to prohibit drilling in the waters off the coasts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina for 10 years. Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden accused Trump of “conveniently” changing his mind as the election draws near.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A South Carolina third grade teacher who was last in her classroom less than two weeks ago has died from COVID-19. Officials with Richland School District 2 say 28-year-old Demi Bannister was diagnosed with the virus on Friday and died Monday. Bannister was a third grade teacher starting her fifth year of teaching at Windsor Elementary School in Columbia. Officials say Bannister was at the school on Aug. 28, during a week of teacher workdays before the school year began. No other teacher deaths from COVID have been reported in the state.


HILTON HEAD ISLAND, S.C. (AP) – Officials in a South Carolina island town are proposing an ordinance that would ban beachside homes from disturbing sea turtles by casting light from their properties onto the beach. The Post and Courier reports that the Hilton Head Island Town Council will consider the proposal next month. It aims to protect sea turtle hatchlings by allowing them to find a more direct path to the ocean without interference from light pollution. The ordinance would prohibit homes from shining light onto the beach through windows, doors and outdoor fixtures, requiring them to install tinted windows, light-blocking curtains or other measures. The ordinance would become effective May 1.


COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) – A small raise for teachers and a hazard pay bonus for many state employees who couldn’t work from home during the COVID-19 pandemic are in the spending plan heading to the South Carolina Senate floor next week. The Senate will consider $40 million to provide small raises to teachers that were frozen earlier this year. The “step increases” usually amount to several hundred dollars a year. The proposal also includes a $1,000 hazard pay bonus for about 12,000 state workers who make less than $50,000 a year. That would include workers such as state troopers, clerks and health department employees.

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