Articles written by James Pollard

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  • Columbia protesters say they're at an impasse with administrators and will continue anti-war camp


    NEW YORK (AP) — Columbia University students who inspired pro-Palestinian demonstrations across the country said Friday that they have reached an impasse with administrators and intend to continue their encampment until their demands are met. The announcement after two days of exhaustive negotiations comes as Columbia's president faces harsh criticism from faculty. The development puts more pressure on university officials to find a resolution ahead of planned graduation ceremonies next month — a problem that campuses from California to Mas...

  • A grainy sonar image reignites excitement and skepticism over Earhart's final flight

    JAMES POLLARD and BEN FINLEY|Jan 31, 2024

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — A grainy sonar image recorded by a private pilot has reinvigorated interest in one of the past century's most alluring mysteries: What happened to Amelia Earhart when her plane vanished during her flight around the world in 1937? Numerous expeditions have turned up nothing, only confirming that swaths of ocean floor held no trace of her twin-tailed monoplane. Tony Romeo now believes his new South Carolina-based sea exploration company captured an outline of the iconic American's Lockheed 10-E Electra. Archaeologists and e...

  • A US pine species thrives when burnt. Southerners are rekindling a 'fire culture' to boost its range

    JAMES POLLARD|Dec 15, 2023

    WEST END, N.C. (AP) — Jesse Wimberley burns the woods with neighbors. Using new tools to revive an old communal tradition, they set fire to wiregrasses and forest debris with a drip torch, corralling embers with leaf blowers. Wimberley, 65, gathers groups across eight North Carolina counties to starve future wildfires by lighting leaf litter ablaze. The burns clear space for longleaf pine, a tree species whose seeds won't sprout on undergrowth blocking bare soil. Since 2016, the fourth-generation burner has fueled a burgeoning movement to f...

  • Americans' fun road trip to Mexico became days of horror


    LAKE CITY, S.C. (AP) — It was supposed to be a fun road trip to Mexico, a post-pandemic adventure for a group of childhood friends. One was treating herself to cosmetic surgery after having six children. It was a 34th birthday celebration for another. They rented a white van in South Carolina and set out on the nearly 22-hour trip, shooting silly videos and driving straight through to Brownsville, on the tip of Texas. "Good morning, America!" Eric Williams said into the camera in the early morning hours after the all-night drive. "Mexico, h...

  • Eyes on the sky as Chinese balloon shot down over Atlantic


    MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (AP) — Eyes were locked on the Carolina skies Saturday as a suspected Chinese spy balloon ended its weeklong traverse over the U.S. when it drifted over the Atlantic Ocean and was shot down by a fighter jet. In Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, a crowd lining the beach boardwalk cheered as a missile from an F-22 fighter struck the balloon. It quickly deflated and plummeted to the ocean. "That's my Air Force right there, buddy!" a person exclaims just after the missile's impact, in a video taken by tourist Angela Mosley. Mosley s... Full story

  • South Carolina Supreme Court strikes down state abortion ban

    JAMES POLLARD|Jan 6, 2023

    COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a ban on abortion after cardiac activity is detected — typically around six weeks — ruling the restriction enacted by the Deep South state violates a state constitutional right to privacy. The 3-2 decision comes nearly two years after Republican Gov. Henry McMaster signed the restriction into law. The ban, which included exceptions for pregnancies by rape or incest or pregnancies that endanger the patient's life, drew lawsuits almost immediately. Justice Kaye Hearn...