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GRAND STRAND WEEKEND

Grand Strand packed with Easter weekend visitors

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) - The Grand Strand is expecting a crowd for the Easter weekend, and officials hope it's a sign of what's ahead for the upcoming tourist season.

The Sun News of Myrtle Beach reports Taylor Damonte of Coastal Carolina University's Center for Resort Tourism expects lodging occupancy to hit about 93 percent because Easter occurs later this year.

The busy Easter weekend could be the highlight of an up and down spring for the beach. While lingering cold weather hurt some weekend occupancy, the harsh winter in many parts of the country may be helping as people have called local lodging properties.

Myrtle Beach also hosts the Harley-Davidson rally in mid-May, That's followed by Atlantic Beach Bikefest and Military Appreciation Days, both scheduled for Memorial Day weekend.

DEPUTY-FATAL WRECK

1 killed in wreck involving Anderson Co. deputy

ANDERSON, S.C. (AP) - The Anderson County Sheriff's Office says one of its deputies has been involved in a wreck that killed a person in another vehicle.

Sheriff's office officials tell WYFF television that a deputy was driving a patrol car with a reserve officer as a passenger when the wreck occurred late Friday. Officials say the patrol car collided with a pickup truck coming from the opposite direction.

Anderson County Coroner Greg Shore says one of the passengers in the truck, 45-year-old Frances Elaine Smith of Seneca, died at Anderson Medical Center. Officials say the deputy is expected to recover. The conditions of the reserve officer and two others in the pickup truck weren't available

Officials say the deputy was responding to a call about a man barricading himself in a hotel room.

CLEMSON-CIGARETTES

Clemson University considers tobacco ban

CLEMSON, S.C. (AP) - The chairman of Clemson University's Board of Trustees says a task force is discussing a policy that would ban the use of all tobacco products, inside or outdoors.

The Greenville News reported that trustees' Chairman David Wilkins says a task force is considering whether to present such a policy to the board. The policy would ban smoking, dipping, chewing and e-cigarettes.

Outgoing Faculty Senate President Kelly Smith says faculty members generally support the policy but also want it to be humane to those who use tobacco products.

The newspaper said the school didn't release a draft of the proposal when it requested one. Clemson spokeswoman Cathy Sams says the task force hopes to have a proposal for the administration to consider soon

TEXTING BAN

SC towns and counties spur state to ban texting

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A statewide texting-while-driving ban might soon be a reality for South Carolina, though many wonder whether it will be effective.

Both legislative chambers passed separate bills last week that supporters say will create consistency and replace the current hodgepodge of bans in cities and towns across the state. Each bill now crosses over to the other chamber for consideration.

However, bill sponsor Sen. Larry Martin of Pickens says the increasing number of ordinances being passed in municipalities and counties denotes that local leaders don't share legislators' faith in the bill.

Greenville councilman David Sudduth says he hopes the final bill will include penalty points on drivers' licenses but doesn't expect the ban will have stiff enough fines to deter texting.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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