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Greenville Business Magazine

The Business Narrative: The Historical Legacy

Jun 19, 2024 10:05AM ● By Donna Walker

Celebrating Juneteenth!

Juneteenth celebrates the end of slavery in the U.S. as issued by President Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. In 2021, it became our newest national holiday.


The U.S. Census Bureau, citing The American Presidency Project, said: “On June 19, 1865 — months after the Civil War ended and more than 2 years after President Lincoln signed the Emancipation Proclamation freeing enslaved people — Union troops arrived in Galveston, Texas, to free 250,000 people still held in bondage. The arrival of Major General Gordon Granger and his troops signaled that the Federal Government would not relent until the last enslaved people in America were free.”   


It added: “On Juneteenth, we commemorate that day and honor the tireless work of abolitionists who made it their mission to deliver the promise of America for all Americans.”


Census officials, citing the National Archives, said, “Although the Emancipation Proclamation did not end slavery in the nation, it captured the hearts and imagination of millions of Americans and fundamentally transformed the character of the war. After January 1, 1863, every advance of federal troops expanded the domain of freedom."


They added, "Moreover, the Proclamation announced the acceptance of Black men into the Union Army and Navy, enabling the liberated to become liberators. By the end of the war, almost 200,000 Black soldiers and sailors had fought for the Union and freedom.”

Attorney General Announces Efforts to Raise Awareness of Crimes Against Vulnerable Adults

South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson on June 18, 2024, announced efforts his office is making to raise public awareness of crimes against vulnerable adults, including a name change of the unit that investigates and prosecutes the crimes.


The announcement comes in recognition of World Elder Abuse Awareness Day on June 15th.


Wilson acknowledged the work his office’s Vulnerable Adults and Medicaid Provider Fraud Unit does to investigate and prosecute these crimes.


“This office historically has investigated and prosecuted crimes against vulnerable adults, but a lot of people have no idea we even do that. So today, we are doubling our efforts by increasing awareness through outreach,” Wilson said.


The unit that investigated and prosecuted these crimes had been called the Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.


However, many law enforcement officers had no idea the unit handled crimes against vulnerable adults so the unit changed its name to the Vulnerable Adults and Medicaid Provider Fraud Unit, state officials said.


South Carolina’s vulnerable adult population, consisting mainly of older citizens and those with intellectual impairments, are suffering from abuse, neglect, and exploitation, often in plain sight, the officials said. 


The Vulnerable Adults and Medicaid Fraud Unit has increased outreach efforts to local law enforcement over the last two years and has seen a 30 percent increase in reports coming from law enforcement. 


The specialized unit works with law enforcement on cases, provides training, and takes referrals. The strategy addresses the experience, training, and manpower issues faced by local law enforcement agencies, according to state officials. 


Identified cases throughout the state range from nurses stealing prescription medicine and replacing it with over-the-counter medications to facility administrators locking residents in their rooms with no food, water, prescriptions, or air conditioning, the officials said.


They said if you suspect something is wrong, call the hotline, 1-888-NO-CHEAT, and make a report. 

College of Charleston Honors College Receives $1 Million Gift

The College of Charleston Honors College received a $1 million gift from the Guffey Family Foundation for scholarships supporting the Charleston Fellows.


Officials said the commitment will advance the Honors College’s efforts to recruit and retain high-achieving students who will go on to leadership roles in their communities.


Charleston Fellows have a long history of leadership and success. In the past decade, nearly 50 nationally competitive awards have been awarded to a Charleston Fellow, including 11 Goldwater Scholarships, eight Fulbright Awards, four Rotary Ambassadorial Global Grants and four NOAA Hollings scholarships.


While Charleston Fellows represent less than one percent of the College of Charleston student body, they have won more than 30 percent of the college’s nationally competitive awards since 2013.


Said Beth Meyer-Bernstein, dean of the Honors College: “Life-changing scholarships like the Guffey Family Foundation Scholarship are making the College of Charleston a destination for the country’s most impressive young minds. They’re coming to a world-class city and experiencing a world-class education."


Meyer-Bernstein added, "And thanks to people like the Guffeys, they’ll receive the personalized guidance and resources needed to develop into innovative and empathetic leaders of tomorrow.”


Charleston Fellows tend to be leaders not only on campus, but in the local community.


The program’s student-led executive board regularly coordinates community engagement projects, including an ongoing partnership with the local Ronald McDonald House, where each month a group of fellows cooks meals for the 40 or so guests.


Recently, Fellows helped found organizations and initiatives like Cougar Votes, a voting advocacy program, and a local chapter of the Backpack Project, a support program for those experiencing homelessness.


“We are honored to be able to support the College of Charleston, an exemplary partner in our vibrant local community, and to provide more young leaders with the opportunity to benefit from the rigor and richness of its outstanding Honors program,” said Lawrence and Lucy Guffey.


“We are so fortunate to have Lawrence and Lucy Guffey in the Lowcountry,” said college President Andrew T. Hsu. “Their commitment to their community is laudable, and their philanthropic investment in the Honors College will lead to more engaged, globally curious students who will graduate and assume leadership roles in the Lowcountry and beyond.”  

Computer, Internet Use in the United States

Most U.S. households had at least one type of computer (95 percent) and had a broadband internet subscription (90 percent) in 2021, an increase from 2018 (92 percent and 85 percent, respectively), according to a new report released by the U.S. Census Bureau.


The report examines trends in computer use and internet access at the national, state and county levels based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (ACS).


Other report highlights: 


Smartphones were the most common computing device in U.S. households (90 percent), followed by desktop or laptop computers (81 percent) and tablets (64 percent) in 2021.


Urban households (96 percent) were more likely than rural ones (93 percent) to own computers; they were also more likely to have a broadband internet subscription (91 percent vs. 87 percent, respectively).

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