Across South Carolina

GOP Sens. Graham, DeMint concede health care loss


COLUMBIA, S.C. - South Carolina's U.S. senators know they've lost this round on the health care fight but say final approval of the massive bill is no sure thing.

U.S. Sens. Lindsey Graham and Jim DeMint prepared for Thursday's final vote that's expected to send the bill to a conference committee to get a final version.

Graham says the legislation still faces challenges as legislators work out differences on benefits, taxes and taxpayer money for abortions.

DeMint and Graham say the ultimate costs of the legislation aren't known because of what they call accounting gimmicks that overstated potential savings.

But U.S. House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn says the savings will be greater than reported because people will have easier access to health care and won't use emergency rooms as much.

Huckabee endorses Bauer in GOP bid for SC gov

COLUMBIA, S.C. - Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee is backing Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer in the Republican's so-far unannounced bid to become South Carolina's next governor.

Bauer's camp released a statement Tuesday on Huckabee's support.

Huckabee narrowly lost South Carolina's 2008 presidential primary contest to John McCain. Huckabee garnered 30 percent of the vote, to the Arizona senator's 33 percent.

Bauer has opened a campaign account and begun raising money. He's not expected to formally announce his bid until early next year.

Bauer had offered to stay out of the race if he became the state's top official by the end of October because Gov. Mark Sanford resigned, or legislators removed him, in the fallout from his affair with an Argentine woman and ethics investigations.

SC school cop who killed suicidal teen to return

CONWAY, S.C. - The South Carolina school police officer who shot and killed a teen who stabbed him in what authorities said was a suicide attempt plans to return to work at the same high school.

Horry County schools spokeswoman Teal Britton told multiple media outlets that Marcus Rhodes will return to Carolina Forest High School in Conway after the winter break is over.

Britton wouldn't give Rhodes' exact return date in January, saying school officials wanted it to be easier for the officer and students to resume a normal routine.

Prosecutors cleared Rhodes in the shooting of 16-year-old Trevor Varinecz, saying the student came to school with two knives on Oct. 16, and attacked the officer because he wanted Rhodes to kill him.