Afternoon fire destroys home on Smith Street
A Smith Street home is a total loss after a Saturday afternoon fire, according to the Rock Hill Fire Department.
No one was injured in the fire that started before 2:45 p.m. Saturday, said Capt. Herbie Lowery of the Rock Hill Fire Department. The residents were out of town, Lowery said.
Fire caused major damage to the front of the home, 1137 Smith St., Lowery said. Heat and smoke damaged the rest of the residence, he said.
The damage is estimated at $60,000. The fire remains under investigation.
-- Kimberly Dick
S.C. Senate debates banning 'live checks'
COLUMBIA -- South Carolina lawmakers are considering restricting or even banning so-called live checks -- those unsolicited mailings that require only a signature to be cashed at the bank.
Opponents say the mailings are ripe to use in identity thefts and allow lenders to hook unsuspecting, and perhaps overly optimistic, recipients with high-interest loans when the people think they've won prizes.
"They're taking advantage of people in a weak moment," said state Sen. Jake Knotts, R-West Columbia.
Advocates say the offers are vital in an ecomomy that's clamped down on credit. In the middle are some South Carolina lawmakers who want to beef up required warnings on the checks but consider banning them too paternal.
The back and forth over the checks is expected to continue on the Senate floor this week.
Immigration law targets students
MYRTLE BEACH -- The South Carolina Illegal Immigration Reform Act became law in June and, among other measures, banned illegal immigrants from attending colleges and universities that receive state money.
Supporters of the ban feel strongly that taxpayers' money should not fund a school that is educating lawbreakers. Opponents said it's unfair to punish children for their parents' crimes.
South Carolina is the first to legalize such a ban, although other Southern states have restrictive policies.
In defense of the legislation, Gov. Mark Sanford said: "You got to draw a line in the sand somewhere and that is, are you an illegal immigrant or are you a legal immigrant? There are certain rights and privileges that seem to me would go with being a legalized citizen versus not. To me, the age of the young person is less in question than the legality of their citizenship."
Budget cuts force Clemson to sell animals
CLEMSON -- State budget cuts are affecting more than just humans at Clemson University.
The research farm services, which include five animal farms, an aquaculture farm and crop farms, cut back 30 percent to 40 percent this year, said Garland Veasey, director of the farms.
That has meant selling animals, buying less feed and plans to plant fewer crops, he said.
None of the 40 full-time employees have been let go, and the research and education programs still are being offered, Veasey said. As many as 60 students also work at the farms.
The farms work with Clemson scientists who might need animals for research and with students who are learning farm management and taking other agriculture-related classes that require hands-on work at the farms.