Richland will get $2 million housing grants

Richland County will receive more than $2 million in housing program grants, U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, R-S.C., announced Friday.

Richland County will receive a $1,389,848 Community Development Block Grant. That grant program develops communities and provides housing by expanding economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income households.

Richland County also will receive $641,092 from the HOME Investment Partnership. The program creates affordable housing by allowing communities to design and implement strategies tailored to their own needs and priorities.

The grants were awarded by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Coast Guard says oil in harbor cleaned up

CHARLESTON - The Coast Guard says it appears crews have cleaned up almost all the oil spilled into Charleston Harbor earlier this week.

Officials said Friday no new oil sheen has been seen on the harbor waters, and there is little oil left on nearby beaches on Sullivan's Island, Folly Beach and Kiawah Island.

The oil spill was first reported Tuesday. The Coast Guard says it hasn't heard any reports of the oil causing problems for fish or wildlife.

Authorities say they have not determined the source of the oil, but have several samples to test. That process likely won't be finished until late next week.

Sanford replaces indicted school board member

Gov. Mark Sanford has chosen a longtime school volunteer to replace a Horry County school board member who was arrested earlier this year.

Sanford named Loris engineer Neil James to the board Friday, 4 1/2 months after he suspended Lewis Christopher Shannon of Loris. The term expires in November 2010.

Sanford said James will bring a "positive and unique voice" to the board. James is chairman of the Loris schools advisory board and is an athletic booster club board member. His wife is a teacher in the district.

Shannon was arrested in March on charges of breach of trust with fraudulent intent. Authorities accuse him of taking about $100,000 from stores where he worked as financial manager. He has pleaded not guilty. Shannon's attorney, Bert von Hermann, says he maintains his innocence.

Joe Wilson's wife recovering from swine flu

The wife of U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson, R-S.C., is recovering from swine flu.

A spokesman for Wilson said Friday that Roxanne Wilson is doing much better after being diagnosed with the H1N1 virus earlier in the week. Ryan Murphy said she was not hospitalized.

Joe Wilson gained national attention when he heckled President Barack Obama last month by shouting "You lie!" during a speech on heath care before a joint session of Congress. The outburst came after Obama said illegal immigrants would not be covered under a health care overhaul.

Wilson will be back home this weekend and plans to meet with constituents today in Aiken.

He has said he's willing to get the swine flu vaccine but wants Americans who are more susceptible to get it first.

Graham: Energy, cleanup go together

CHARLESTON - U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham said cleaning air pollution and achieving energy independence must go together.

The Republican lawmaker told reporters here on Friday he wants to write a bill to do both.

An energy industry group, the American Energy Alliance, is running radio ads in the state criticizing Graham's position on cap-and-trade carbon taxes. The ads say that approach will cost jobs.

Graham said none of the House or Senate bills now is good for business, but he said there has to be some sort of carbon control.

If carbon is not controlled, Graham said, people will keep building coal plants. He said the nation needs to make it worthwhile to invest in wind, solar and nuclear power.