The Agenda: Fraser firs facing rot; S.C. could fine feds $150M+ over nuclear cleanup; 526 hurdles

Hillary reaching out to African Americans ahead of 2016

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A Fraser fir tree farm in western North Carolina - FLICKR USER SOILSCIENCE
  • Flickr user soilscience
  • A Fraser fir tree farm in western North Carolina

]The State of South Carolina is threatening to fine the federal government more than $150 million over missed deadlines on cleanup at the Savannah River Site in what's become a "$38 billion nuclear waste fiasco," as Politico puts it. [New York Times, Politico]

S.C. is one of a handful of states to pursue mental health reforms in the wake of last year's Sandy Hook school shooting. [Politico]

A project agreement on I-526 between state DOT and Charleston County is likely to be approved soon, but funding and legal issues still remain unresolved nearly a year after the county's last action on the highway. [P&C]

All bars in unincorporated Charleston County must close at 2 a.m. as of last weekend, bringing county rules in line with many municipalities' ordinances. [AP]

Root rot among Fraser fir trees, the traditional Christmas pine, has some tree farmers looking to other species as alternatives that are resistant to mold. [Times and Democrat]

Inez Tenenbaum finished up her term as head of the Consumer Products Safety Commission over the weekend with the New York Times ushering her out saying, "Consumer safety chief leaves a small agency with bigger powers." [The State, NYT]

Looking ahead to 2016, the Hillary Clinton camp is reportedly working on mending fences among voters and electeds still sour on the former secretary of state over her husband's dismissal of then-candidate Barack Obama's 2008 win in the S.C. Democratic primary, an issue that may be more on the minds of pols than voters. [New York Times, WaPo]

At least one international company with an outpost in S.C. is importing apprenticeship techniques from Europe to compensate for the shortage of American workers available for labor forces in their S.C. plant. [NYT]

Congressman Trey Gowdy, discussing the Supreme Court taking up birth control coverage changes as a part of health care reform, told Fox on Wednesday that he thought President Barack Obama "won election in part by deceiving women and the so-called war on women." [Politico]


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