Across South Carolina


Bill would create military honor

COLUMBIA — The state Senate has approved a bill to create a South Carolina medal recognizing fallen military service members with ties to the state.

“It’s an appropriate recognition of the sacrifice of that individual who gave and recognition of the families and their loss. We are a grateful state,” the Medal of Valor bill’s sponsor, Sen. Thomas Alexander, said Friday. “It’s way overdue for us to have this recognition.”

Senators unanimously approved the measure Thursday. Another perfunctory vote is needed to send it to the House.

The medal would be awarded posthumously for South Carolinians killed in action. Their families would receive the award “on behalf of the people of the state,” the bill reads.

The state National Guard will help design the medal, Alexander said.

Measure targets safety of kid rides

COLUMBIA — The Legis­lature has given final approval to a bill setting new standards for miniature train rides – a response to last year’s crash in Spar­tan­burg that killed a 6-year-old boy and injured 28 others.

The House unanimously approved “Benji’s Law” this week. The Senate unanimously approved it last June. The measure will soon head to the governor’s desk.

It is named for Benji Easler, who was killed in March when the ride at Cleveland Park derailed into a ditch. Investigators blamed the crash on excessive speed. The train was going 22 mph, nearly three times what was recommended.

The bill, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harvey Peeler, requires such rides to have a speedometer and a device that regulates its speed below the recommended maximum. Annual inspections must include a speed test.

– Associated Press