South Carolina Governor's Office

Gov. Henry McMaster said Monday that there is no longer a need for South Carolina to remain under a state of emergency for the coronavirus pandemic. Under his 2020 state-of-emergency declaration that continued into this year, McMaster issued 30 separate declarations, including his May declaration that parents can opt their children out of wearing masks in public schools. The move came on a day where the state saw zero deaths and only 79 new confirmed cases of COVID-19, but also as the pace of vaccinations declines in the state. More: AP News, WISTV

In other headlines:

S.C. circuit court weighs halting new execution law. State Circuit Court Judge Jocelyn Newman will decide “within the next few days” on whether to block the state’s new law forcing condemned inmates to die by electric chair or opt for the firing squad to allow a lawsuit from death row inmates to proceed. Two of the men are scheduled to die June 18 and June 25. More: AP News

Millions recovered from pipeline ransom hackers. After April’s attack by Russian ransomware gang DarkSide on Colonial Pipeline that disrupted fuel supplies to the East Coast, the group cashed in $4.4 million. The U.S. Department of Justice announced Monday that the FBI seized 63.7 bitcoins, worth around $2.3 million, from accessing a central account of the group. More: The New York Times, NBC News, NPR

Attempts to standardize state flag fail. Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto likened the varying commercial designs of the state flag as to pictures of his wife: “A photograph of my wife is always different, but it’s always beautiful.” More: The Post and Courier

Allendale broadband project takes root. Federal funds and local can-do initiative has spawned a rural Allendale County broadband project that offers public wifi from hubs attached to schools. Since January, the county has also brought more broadband services to residences with school-age children. More: Roll Call

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