The State, This Week: “Dreamers” leaving South Carolina + Minor league baseball returns

·4 min read

Happy Friday, everybody. It’s Chase Karacostas.

Got your vax? Congratulations! Now you’re probably wondering — after all this time stuck at home and away from humanity — what should you do? Well, we’ve got you covered with a list of 50 things you need to see and do around the state. Did we miss anything? Shoot me an email.

Here are this week’s top stories from around the state.

1. Living in SC is like a “toxic relationship” for “Dreamers”

Jessica Bonilla Garcia, 27, stands for a portrait on April 15, 2021 in her apartment in Ridgeland, S.C. with her DACA renewal paperwork in hand. Nine years ago, Garcia used the photos and rewards surrounding her, collected from her life in South Carolina since she was 4, to apply for DACA for the first time. She fills out new forms and pays $495 to renew her status every 21 months.
Jessica Bonilla Garcia, 27, stands for a portrait on April 15, 2021 in her apartment in Ridgeland, S.C. with her DACA renewal paperwork in hand. Nine years ago, Garcia used the photos and rewards surrounding her, collected from her life in South Carolina since she was 4, to apply for DACA for the first time. She fills out new forms and pays $495 to renew her status every 21 months.

Some immigrants brought to the U.S. as children and protected under the federal government’s “DACA” rules are leaving South Carolina.

For some, the reason is simple: “South Carolina never wanted me.”

The state has some of the most restrictive rules in the nation surrounding jobs and education for these young immigrants.

  • DACA recipients can’t get in-state tuition for college.

  • They are not eligible for a host of state-funded college scholarships and grants.

  • And they can’t acquire professional licenses in more than 100 different careers, including teaching.

These restrictions have led some to decide that leaving the state is the only option.

The State’s Chiara Eisner and The Island Packet’s Lucas Smolcic Larson spoke with seven “Dreamers” about their lives in the state, the challenges they face and what their future holds.

2. Myrtle Beach Bike Week rolls back into town

Thousands of bikers descend on Myrtle Beach today for the annual Bike Week Spring Rally. For the next 10 days, they’ll take over the city, filling hotels, restaurants and bars. It’ll bring much-needed tourism dollars to the region, but it’s also a traffic nightmare for locals.

Here’s the latest on what’s planned for Bike Week.

Wear a helmet and have fun!

3. As Horry GOP resets, some call for unity, others want RINOs out

Ever since Republicans lost the presidency and U.S. Senate to Democrats, the GOP has faced an identity crisis. Should it maintain loyalty to former President Donald Trump, the man many blame for the Capitol riot?

In January, the fracturing of the Republican Party in America was on full display inside a hotel dining room in North Charleston, The State’s Caitlin Byrd wrote.

Now it’s Horry County turn, The Sun News’ Dale Shoemaker reports. Some say the party needs to stick together to survive. Others want to purge the so-called “RINOs” — Republicans in Name Only.

“I got involved because I didn’t like the infighting … and I want the Horry County GOP to stand for something other than chaos,” said Jeremy Halpin, a former candidate for County Council and the local party’s new vice chairman. But, he added, “If we have some RINOs in office, maybe we need to find some good people to run for office to run against them.”

4. ‘Starved for baseball’: For fans, Charleston RiverDogs opener is more than a game

Brian Sharkey, far right, prepares to high-five his dad Ben Sharkey, center, and his friend’s father, Brendan Sweeney, after the first home run of the Charleston RiverDogs 2021 season-opener.
Brian Sharkey, far right, prepares to high-five his dad Ben Sharkey, center, and his friend’s father, Brendan Sweeney, after the first home run of the Charleston RiverDogs 2021 season-opener.

Last year, Major League Baseball’s season was delayed for months. The minor league season never even happened. For Charleston RiverDogs fans, that meant going 611 days without a single game.

RiverDogs fans couldn’t wait to get back to the game, to see live sports in person, Byrd reports. Their first game was Tuesday.

“We’ve been starved for any sense of normalcy, which is what the RiverDogs bring,” one fan told Byrd.

Charleston doesn’t get to have all the ballpark fun. The Greenville Drive also started its season Tuesday. The Myrtle Beach Pelicans and Columbia Fireflies have their home openers next week.

5. The latest on our South Carolina Idol

John Stamos, left, gave American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy some advice at stage presence.
John Stamos, left, gave American Idol contestant Caleb Kennedy some advice at stage presence.

South Carolina’s young country star has made it another week on American Idol with a lively rendition of the song Real Gone from the Pixar movie “Cars.”

  • Caleb Kennedy, a 16-year-old from Roebuck, S.C. is now in the show’s top 7 with three weeks left.

His thoughts on making it this far? “Cool.” That’s how Kennedy describes getting to perform on the “Idol” stage and getting to meet his idol, Jason Aldean, one of the show’s judges.

One more thing

Talk about a flight delay: A small jet ran off a Jasper County runway Wednesday and landed in a mud pit. No one was injured.

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