Benedict students moving to apartments

The process of moving 251 Benedict College students began over the weekend, with students being relocated to Garners Crossing apartments.

A explanatory letter to parents from college President David Swinton was going out in Monday's mail, according to Steve Morrison, a member of the college board of trustees.

Morrison said by e-mail that 64 students moved Sunday, with an additional 50 moving Monday from a former hotel the college renovated into a dorm near Two Notch Road.

Since early August, the college has been negotiating with Richland County over fire-safety issues at the dormitory. Friday, the college agreed to move the students until improvements were completed.

The apartment complex is at 7651 Garners Ferry Road.

Arts panel honors Conroy, Green

CHARLESTON - Writer Pat Conroy and artist Jonathan Green have been awarded lifetime achievement awards by the South Carolina Arts Commission.

The commission also announced Monday it will resume the Elizabeth O'Neill Verner arts awards next year after they were suspended this year because of a tight budget.

The awards are presented to state businesses, organizations and individuals for their artistic work or contributions to the arts.

The awards, including those to Conroy and Green, will be presented at a State House ceremony next April.

Conroy, who lives on Fripp Island, recently published his ninth book, "South of Broad."

Green, who lives on Daniel Island, is known worldwide for his vivid paintings depicting life in coastal South Carolina.

Service held for Vietnam-era soldier

SPARTANBURG - Around 500 people attended the memorial service of a South Carolina soldier whose remains were found four decades after he disappeared in Vietnam.

The Saturday observance for Army Spc. Thomas Rice Jr. included a flyover by a Spartanburg County Sheriff's Office helicopter. His remains were found last March.

Rice and three other servicemen were conducting a mission in 1965 when their Huey helicopter disappeared. The 23-year-old Rice was later declared killed in action, and a memorial service was held in 1967 in Spartanburg.

Family members say a service will be held at Arlington National Cemetery for all four men, but a date for the burials has not been set.

Volunteers clean lower Saluda banks

About 100 volunteers Saturday cleaned the banks of the lower Saluda River, picking up an estimated 1,780 pounds of trash at the annual Beach Sweep/River Sweep cleanup.

Working at Riverbanks Zoo, they collected 90 bags of litter and recycled 701 aluminum cans, 744 glass bottles and 460 plastic bottles, according to a news release from Keep the Midlands Beautiful. Represented were the Columbia Friends, Columbia College, Boy Scout Troop 100 and the Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Columbia, among others.

Report: S.C. had 190,014 immigrants

ANDERSON - Census figures show immigrants make up more than 4 percent of South Carolina's population, and Latinos and Asians have a significant effect on the state's economy.

The Independent-Mail reported that the figures are cited in a recent report from the Immigration Policy Center based in Washington, D.C.

South Carolina had 190,014 immigrants in 2007, the latest year for which figures are available. The U.S. Census Bureau said the percentage of the foreign-born population rose to 4.3 percent in 2007 from 2.9 percent in 2000.

According to the Selig Center for Economic Growth, which is part of the University of Georgia, the purchasing power of South Carolina's Latino population totaled $3.3 billion in 2008. The center also said the buying power of the Asian population that year was $1.9 billion.

Sports competition set for Myrtle Beach

MYRTLE BEACH - A new sporting event that could draw 3,000 to 4,000 youth athletes and 6,000 to 12,000 spectators is coming to Myrtle Beach in 2010, officials from the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce and the Amateur Athletic Union of the USA Inc. announced.

The four-day AAU East Coast Summer Sports Games will take place during the Memorial Day weekend and are open to children under age 18 to compete in boys' basketball, girls' basketball, tae kwon do, judo, wrestling, beach wrestling, golf, baseball and track and field, said Roy Edmondson, sports sales manager for the Myrtle Beach Area Chamber of Commerce.

The chamber and AAU have worked on creating the event for six months, Edmondson said. The announcement was made last week.

Chamber officials also recently announced that USA Judo, the national governing body for judo that is responsible for the selection of the USA Olympic Teams, picked Myrtle Beach for its 2010 Senior National Championships. The event will be held Nov. 6, 2010, and is expected to bring in 400 adult athletes.