Rev. Clementa Pinckney | File photo

Years after a gunman shot and killed nine worshippers at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston — including the state senator who was its pastor — the S.C. House approved a hate crimes bill. Now it moves to the state Senate where senators didn’t vote on a similar measure last year.

“This bill will tell the state and the world we are brothers in South Carolina. We stand for progress. We stand for unity,” said S.C. Rep. Wendell Gillard, D-Charleston, who has pushed for the bill since the church shooting. 

The bill, named in honor of the late S.C. Sen. Clementa Pinckney, will allow a judge to sentence offenders to up to an additional five years in prison if they are indicted and convicted on a state charge that their violent crime was motivated by hate against the victim’s race, religion, sex, gender, sexual orientation, national origin or physical or mental disability.

In other headlines:

‘Southern Living’ names Charleston best city in the South. Readers of Southern Living voted Charleston the South’s Best City during the magazine’s 2023 South’s Best awards. This marks the sixth year in a row the Holy City has taken the title.

New play celebrates life, impact of Clark. Septima will open at Pure Theatre March 9 and run through April 1. The play honors and celebrates the life and work of S.C. activist Septima P. Clark, a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights movement.

First EMS facility to be built along S.C. Highway 61. Charleston County has partnered with St. Andrews Public Services District to build a replacement facility for the current District 3 site on Old Parsonage Road off Ashley River Road in West Ashley.

New changes could be coming to Charleston Place hotel. The City of Charleston’s Board of Architectural Review unanimously granted conceptual approval for proposed changes that include a new entryway off Meeting Street and notable changes along Market Street. Meanwhile, four other Charleston hotel deals were up for review March 8, including a plan to redevelop a long-vacant 10-story office building near the peninsula’s hospital district.

Civil rights activist Gray passes away at 65. Kevin Alexander Gray, a longtime South Carolina civil rights activist, author, editor and co-owner of Railroad BBQ in downtown Columbia died March 7 at 65. He spent most of his life as a fixture of Columbia politics and activism, serving on the American Civil Liberties Union’s national board and was South Carolina coordinator for the Rev. Jesse Jackson’s presidential campaign in the 1980s.

Longtime state education chief visits, evaluates Charleston schools. Retired Mississippi Superintendent of Education Dr. Carey Wright came to Charleston to evaluate the Charleston County School District’s work in reading, math, college and career readiness, taking note of the culture, relationships and the instruction across the district.

  • To get dozens of South Carolina news stories every business day, contact the folks at SC Clips.

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