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Local Updates from ABC News Radio for Charleston.


Retired Public Workers to Begin Receiving Electronic Monthly Payments

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- Retired public workers will no long receive their monthly annual payments in the form of paper checks beginning July 1; instead, the payments will be done electronically.

In an announcement Thursday, the South Carolina Retirement Systems said recipients have been informed about how they can sign up for direct deposit to have the payments go straight to their bank accounts. Those unable to arrange for direct deposit will receive their payment through a prepaid debit card.

Officials say the switch to electronic payment is being done to improve efficiency, reduce costs to retirement plans and also to reduce risks to both recipients and the state.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Aflac to Hire 400 New Employees by End of 2012

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- More jobs are coming to South Carolina after supplemental insurance company Aflac announced Wednesday that it will hire 400 employees to their Palmetto State team.

The State reports that the Columbus, Ga.-based company will make the hires in the Midlands by the end of the 2012.

The new hires will nearly double Aflac’s South Carolina workforce, bringing the total state employees to 825.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Former Lawmaker's Law License Suspended

(MYRTLE BEACH, S.C.) -- On Wednesday, the South Carolina Supreme Court suspended former Myrtle Beach Rep. Thad Viers’ law license.

Viers resigned on March 21 after he faced charges of first degree sexual harassment and stalking in connection with incidents with his 28-year-old ex-girlfriend.

Viers is prohibited from accessing his law firm’s accounts, but his lawyer says Viers has not been disbarred from practicing law in the state, reports the Myrtle Beach Online.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


SC World War II Vets Take Honor Flight to DC

(WASHINGTON) -- A hundred World War II veterans from South Carolina got a chance to visit the nation's capital on Wednesday and stopped by the memorial, which was established in their honor.

The group flew to Washington, D.C. on an Honor Flight, and reportedly visited the World War II Memorial, among other attractions.

One veteran was unable to make the trip as he passed away 12 days earlier. The group dedicated a South Carolina flag to him.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Internationally Renowned Anti-Nuke Activist Visits SC 

(COLUMBIA, S.C.) -- An internationally renowned anti-nuclear activist is in South Carolina this week, promoting awareness about the dangers of nuclear power.

The State reports that Helen Caldicott was in Columbia at University of South Carolina on Tuesday to discuss the hazards behind harnessing nuclear energy.

“It is a carcinogenic industry,’’ Caldicott said of nuclear power. “These are cancer factories, pure and simple. You provide a little bit of electricity for 30 years, but cancer for the next million years.’’

Caldicott’s visit to Columbia was part of a national tour to spread awareness.

South Carolina is the nation’s third largest generator of nuclear energy, harnessing 6.5 percent of the nation’s nuclear-generated electricity.

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio