Originally created 11/05/01

Across South Carolina



Tax-free holidays don't always save

COLUMBIA -Shoppers save less than expected during sales tax-free holidays, according to a University of West Florida study.

Pupils buying 95 selected items saved about $100 during a tax-free week in Florida, according to the study. But because retailers offered less-generous markdowns and cutback on promotional sales, the savings were less than the $125 they would have saved on similar items a week earlier.

Although there were savings during the tax-free time, shoppers also could have saved money the week after the holiday. Many items that didn't sell during the tax-free period were marked down, said Richard A. Hawkins, a professor at University of West Florida and one of the authors of the study.

The Florida study comes as more tax-free shopping days are considered in South Carolina.

South Carolina had three-day tax-free events in August 2000 and 2001. Legislation that would have added a second tax-free weekend in the spring was introduced earlier this year but was not acted on.

Food safety experts worry about terrorism

CLEMSON -Food safety experts at Clemson University are calling for increased restrictions at farms, orchards, packing houses and shipping points as farmers prepare for the threat of agroterrorism.

Although much of the threat has focused on anthrax, people and crops could be harmed by crop-dusters, said David Winkles, the president of the South Carolina Farm Bureau.

Fire levels buildings at lumber company

PAMPLICO -A fire Friday swept through Marsh Lumber Co. and took more than three hours to put under control.

The blaze destroyed five buildings, said Laura Walkup, who oversaw the Pamplico Fired Department's operations during the fire.

Officials urge rework of university's board

ROCK HILL -Winthrop University's board should be reshaped so that its members come from all over the state, York County legislators told the board.

With budget cuts looming for colleges around the state, fears are rising that colleges without statewide influence won't have the clout when deeper cuts are considered.