News In Brief - October 19, 2007

Edwards to make campaign stop in Rock Hill

Democratic presidential hopeful John Edwards will visit Rock Hill next month for the first time since the 2008 campaign began.

Edwards is scheduled to lead a walk down Main Street at 3 p.m. on Nov. 2, said York County Democratic Party Chairman Jim Watkins. Edwards will make a few stops in local businesses along the way.

Despite his third-place standing in most polls, Edwards hopes early victories in the Iowa caucuses and in his home state of South Carolina will propel him to the nomination. But he lags far behind Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama in fundraising, and polls show him a distant third in his home state.

Edwards was born in Seneca but spent most of his childhood and adult life in North Carolina, where he was elected to the U.S. Senate in 1998.

Ag secretary designates drought-stricken counties

The U.S. secretary of agriculture has responded to a request from U.S. Rep. John Spratt, D-S.C., to issue a Secretarial Disaster Designation for 13 counties hit hard by severe drought.

Spratt last month urged Secretary Mike Johanns to act after visiting 5th District farmers and seeing crops damaged by heat and drought.

Previously announced disaster declarations do not cover the period after Feb. 28, when farmers lost crops to the drought.

The new designation makes farmers who have suffered crop losses eligible for low-interest emergency loans.

The following 13 counties in Spratt's district are included: Cherokee, Chester, Chesterfield, Darlington, Dillon, Fairfield, Florence, Kershaw, Lancaster, Marlboro, Newberry, Sumter and York.