COLUMBIA – Gov. Henry McMaster announced that Robert M. Hitt III will continue serving in his role as Secretary of Commerce at the South Carolina Department of Commerce.

Hitt was appointed to the position by former Gov. Nikki Haley in 2011 and has led the Department of Commerce for nearly eight years, during which time the state has seen more than $29.5 billion in capital investment and more than 106,000 new jobs announced through job recruiting efforts.

Since McMaster took office in January 2017, the Governor’s Office and the Department of Commerce have jointly announced over $8.1 billion in capital investment and 25,015 new jobs. Those announcements have been highlighted by companies relocating and expanding in every region of the state.

“Secretary Hitt has been a highly effective partner in South Carolina’s economic development efforts for two governors, and I am grateful that he will continue to work with me in building on the successes our state has experienced and take those efforts to even greater heights,” McMaster said. “Every job we’re able to announce makes a difference in someone’s life, and that will always motivate Secretary Hitt and I to work every day to bring companies, big and small, to our state and take care of them when they get here so they can thrive and grow here.”

“I am extremely proud of the work that Team South Carolina has done to bring opportunities to every corner of the state,” Hitt said. “When I accepted this position in 2011, I did so with the belief that every person who wants a job should have one. And everyone who wants a better job should have that opportunity as well. I still believe that today. I am honored that Gov. McMaster has asked me to continue serving in the role of secretary of commerce, and I look forward to building on the momentum we’ve achieved together over the last few years.”

DeepBD launches in Charleston

COLUMBIA – DeepBD, a developer and operator of artificial intelligence platforms, announced new operations in Charleston County. The company’s $1.6 million investment is projected to create 30 new jobs.

DeepBD’s technology is a comprehensive software system for the acquisition, absorption and curation of large-scale datasets integrated with data analytics, using the latest advancements in artificial intelligence. The company’s platform uses cutting-edge technology to remove physical computing limitations, allowing DeepBD to inspect and analyze vast amounts of data as it is collected.

The company has established its offices at the South Carolina Research Authority/Medical University of South Carolina Innovation Center. Hiring for the new positions is already underway.

KV Final locating in Spartanburg

COLUMBIA -- KV Final, a Czech developer and producer of metal parts for the automotive industry, is locating its new operations in Spartanburg County. The company’s $2.5 million investment is projected to create approximately 50 new jobs during its first phase of operation.

KV Final is a premiere manufacturer and supplier of stamped, machined and welded parts and assemblies for the automotive industry. With existing locations in China and the Czech Republic, the company’s new Spartanburg County plant will feature welding, clinching and degreasing processes, as well as local customer support.

$160K lost to scammer posing as Dierks Bentley

ROCK HILL — A South Carolina woman has lost $160,000 in a Twitter scam involving someone posing as a country music star.

The victim's sister told Rock Hill police on Tuesday that she thought she had been sending cashier's checks and gift cards to Dierks Bentley for around two years.

Capt. Mark Bollinger tells The Herald of Rock Hill it appears as if someone posed as Bentley on social media. According to the incident report, the victim met the suspect on Twitter and exchanged text messages.

Rock Hill police took the report, but said federal authorities would have to investigate the case.

Dierks Bentley's verified Twitter account has more than 2.6 million followers.

Same-sex abuse cases tossed

YORK — Prosecutors in a South Carolina county say they may bypass magistrates who dismiss domestic violence charges involving same-sex couples.

The Herald reports that at least six domestic violence cases involving same-sex defendants living together have been dismissed recently by York County magistrates for lack of probable cause, citing a South Carolina law that defines a couple in such cases as a "man and a woman."

The state Supreme Court ruled that law unconstitutional in 2017, in a ruling upheld by the attorney general.

But in a hearing on Tuesday, public defender Jeff Zuschke argued that the Supreme Court ruling applies only to Family Court protection orders, not criminal cases.

Prosecutor Jenny Desch says they may avoid magistrates in these cases and seek grand jury indictments instead.

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