Skylar Laird

Skylar Laird

Skylar Laird covers the South Carolina Legislature and criminal justice issues. Originally from Missouri, she previously worked for The Post and Courier’s Columbia bureau.

Attorneys recall chaos, bloodshed of Lee County prison riot at trial of inmate

By: - December 5, 2023

BISHOPVILLE — Five years after violence erupted at the Lee County prison, a jury will have to decide whether an inmate accused of helping stab a fellow prisoner to death acted in self defense or gang retaliation. The trial, which began Monday in Lee County, marks the first for the 47 inmates indicted in the […]

New SC sickle cell disease registry aims to fill gaps, speed up treatment

By: - December 1, 2023

COLUMBIA — South Carolinians with sickle cell disease can voluntarily add their names to an online registry that’s meant to eventually increase access to care and speed up treatment. The state’s public health agency announced the launch Friday of the secure, private registry accessible by patients, their caregivers and doctors. More than 100,000 people in […]

Local health departments in SC to offer free HIV, STD tests

By: - December 1, 2023

COLUMBIA — Free testing for sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV, will be available across the state Tuesday. Statewide, 49 locations will offer tests for the virus that attacks the immune system in honor of World AIDS Day, which is meant to raise awareness of the disease, the state’s public health agency announced Friday. Testing will […]

Proposal replaces SC High School League with legislators’ own governing board

By: - November 30, 2023

COLUMBIA — After studying for months how to level the high school playing field, a House GOP leader believes the answer is to ditch the South Carolina High School League and create a new board to govern student athletics. Calls to change the classifications of high school sports teams have ramped up for years following […]

New SC website offers help on how to talk to kids about drugs, alcohol

By: - November 28, 2023

COLUMBIA — A website encouraging parents to talk to their kids about drugs and alcohol launches Wednesday as part of South Carolina’s effort to combat substance abuse. The Open Conversation SC website will include facts about drugs and alcohol, instructional videos on how to talk to children as young as 4 and as old as […]

As school vacancies exceed 1,600, proposal requires SC legislators to substitute teach

By: - November 27, 2023

COLUMBIA — As South Carolina schools continue to grapple with teacher shortages, one legislator is calling for fellow lawmakers to spend more time inside schools. Rep. Jermaine Johnson, D-Hopkins, said he will introduce a bill next month that would require legislators to substitute teach or volunteer at K-12 schools at least five times a year […]

Donald Trump cheered on field at Clemson-USC rivalry game

By: , and - November 26, 2023

COLUMBIA — Former President Donald Trump turned the field of Williams-Brice Stadium into a giant stage as he briefly united Tigers and Gamecocks who cheered his entrance during South Carolina’s biggest rivalry game of the year. The crowd erupted as Trump walked onto the field Saturday at the start of halftime with Gov. Henry McMaster […]

Under state deadline, SC employers phase out subminimum wage

By: - November 22, 2023

COLUMBIA — Angela Greene spent 20 years making as little as pennies an hour for cleaning houses.  The Columbia resident worked for a so-called sheltered workshop, which are employers allowed to pay people with disabilities less than minimum wage under a federal waiver. Her biweekly paychecks ranged from 50 cents to $3.50, depending on how […]

Prison officials seek $34 million to shut off SC inmates’ illegal cellphones

By: - November 21, 2023

COLUMBIA — After state investigators discovered an inmate using a contraband phone to instruct his girlfriend to molest her toddler, some of the state’s top law enforcement officials are again calling for millions of dollars to hunt down cellphones in the prison system. Department of Corrections officials are asking legislators for $34 million to install […]

Look up! Traffic enforcement takes to the skies in SC for holiday travel

By: - November 20, 2023

COLUMBIA — Planes will fly over South Carolina’s interstates to help troopers enforce traffic laws during the Thanksgiving holiday’s busy travel days. The planes will patrol the state’s highways Wednesday — when people are typically driving to their Thanksgiving destinations — and Sunday, when many are driving back home. Because of the number of people […]

Free vaccines offered through Autism Society of SC, with focus on elderly and disabled

By: - November 17, 2023

NORTH CHARLESTON — Free COVID-19, flu and shingles vaccines will be available Monday in North Charleston as part of a federally funded program meant to increase access to immunization.  The Autism Society of South Carolina is working to vaccinate more people who may otherwise hesitate. After Monday’s event at the North Charleston Library, the next […]

$1M put in SC budget to kill feral hogs that destroy crops and property

By: - November 15, 2023

COLUMBIA — As Congaree National Park closes overnight to get rid of feral hogs, state and federal officials are coordinating plans to reduce the number of pesky pigs statewide.  A pilot program in South Carolina overseen by the U.S. Department of Agriculture reduced the population of feral hogs on monitored land by about 70%, reining […]