Originally created 03/04/03

Across South Carolina



King holiday decision is unlikely by deadline

GREENVILLE -The chairman of a county study committee says his panel is unlikely to come up with a recommendation on a Martin Luther King Jr. holiday by a March 18 deadline set by black leaders.

Paul Wickensimer said he hopes the panel will have a recommendation by the end of April.

The committee will consider a paid holiday for workers, in addition to using floating holidays or proclamations to honor the slain civil rights leader.

A coalition of black leaders has promised "massive" protests and attempts to drive away industry from Greenville County if the council doesn't give county employees a paid holiday to honor Dr. King.

Director bows out of entrepreneur session

CHARLESTON -Filmmaker Spike Lee, who was to speak to black South Carolina entrepreneurs Saturday on creating economic opportunities, has canceled because of a family emergency, event sponsors say.

Music mogul Russell Simmons will replace Mr. Lee as the guest speaker at the Charleston Black Expo, said Darrin Thomas, the vice president of Thomas-McCants Media/Black Pages USA, the host of the expo.

Mr. Simmons helped define the hip-hop industry by founding Def Jam Records and playing host to HBO's Def Comedy Jam and more recently Def Poetry. He also has been successful in the clothing industry, founding Phat Farm.

Candidates raised $52 million in 2002

GREENVILLE -The 2002 elections were richly contested as South Carolina candidates raised $52 million on their bids.

Statewide candidates for state offices raised the most, $29.27 million, followed by the U.S. Senate and House contenders at $16 million, according to an analysis by The Greenville News.

State House and Senate candidates raised $6.7 million, with most of that for House seats. The full Senate is not up for election until next year.

The figures don't include soft money that political parties and other groups plow into campaigns.

Military contracts hit $2 billion in 2002

CHARLOTTE, N.C. -The U.S. military spent more than $2 billion on work contracts performed in North and South Carolina in 2002, a number that should go even higher this year with the prospect of war in Iraq.

Federal records show a total of $1.3 billion of business was performed for the military in North Carolina in fiscal year 2002, which ended in September. Another $1.1 billion was spent in South Carolina. Both states are in the middle of the pack nationally for military spending.

Federal spending on Carolinas military contracts increased by nearly 4 percent from the 2001 to the 2002 fiscal year.