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More than 50 local airmen received the prestigious Distinguished Flying Cross award at Joint Base Charleston on Monday for their contributions during Operation Allies Refuge in August 2021, the largest non-combatant evacuation operation in American history. The Distinguished Flying Cross is the Air Force’s highest honor awarded for acts of heroism or extraordinary achievement during aerial operations. 

Capt. Rhea McFarland, a 14th Airlift Squadron C-17 pilot, became the first Black woman to earn the distinction.

“It’s hard to believe in 2022 you’re still crossing boundaries and breaking barriers,” she said to The Post and Courier. “It really just makes me excited for the future and the role that diversity and inclusion plays in the Air Force.”

In other headlines:

Charleston set to roll out pilot program to stop underage drinking, fake IDs. Charleston City Council could soon approve a new program that will allow late-night establishments on King Street to crackdown on fake IDs and underage drinking. The 6-month program would partner with Intellicheck to spot fake IDs. City Council member Mike Seekings said participation in the program is voluntary.

New Berkeley Co. superintendent said he didn’t know about position until meeting. The new superintendent for Berkeley County schools said he learned he was hired at the school board meeting last week. Dr. Anthony Dixon’s sudden replacement of former superintendent Deon Jackson has caused concerns over the new board’s conduct and behavior.

Thanksgiving travels could boost passenger numbers at Charleston airport. Charleston International Airport is expected to break record passenger numbers during this Thanksgiving holiday season. In other holiday traveling news, gas prices dropped nearly 10 cents ahead of the Thanksgiving weekend. The state average is now $3.17 per gallon. 

Doctors urge flu vaccinations as cases are at 10-year high. S.C. flu cases are at a 10-year high, according to state health officials. Infections are 100 times higher than last year, while hospitalizations are 50 times higher.

Unemployment rate rises in S.C. South Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3% in October, according to data from the state Department of Unemployment and Workforce.

Jurors set to begin deliberating Laffitte trial. Prosecutors and former bank CEO Russell Lafftitte’s lawyers made their closing arguments Nov. 21. Laffitte maintained the argument that he was a pawn in former lawyer Alex Murdaugh’s schemes.

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

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