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Pumps gobble cash for Thanksgiving; gas prices up in Orangeburg over last year

Traveling during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend will be a little more expensive this year. The price of gasoline is up about 14 cents a gallon since the 2017 holiday.

The price of regular gasoline is about $2.381 a gallon in Orangeburg, according to a survey of 21 area gas stations.

The least expensive gasoline sold for $2.299 a gallon at the Murphy U.S.A. in front of the Walmart on North Road.

Last year, the average price of regular unleaded was $2.24 a gallon during the Thanksgiving holiday weekend.

Rowesville resident Kimberly Ott says she doesn’t worry about gasoline prices that much since they fluctuate.

"They have been better and they have been worse," she said. "I think they are too high. They could always be lower."

The price of gasoline two years ago was $1.96 a gallon around Thanksgiving. Three years ago, the average price was $1.83 a gallon.

This is the highest Thanksgiving price since 2014, when it hit $2.61 a gallon.

Allendale resident Terry Hall said the price of gas tends to go up around the Thanksgiving holidays, “but it really does not affect my travel that much."

Hall said gasoline prices do impact his day-to-day life.

"I don't just drive around unless I have to," Hall said.

He would like to see gasoline prices down around the $2 mark.

Statewide, the average is about $2.35 a gallon, according to GasBuddy's daily survey of 3,028 stations in South Carolina. South Carolina has the fifth-lowest gas prices in the nation behind Missouri, Delaware, Oklahoma and Texas.

Nationally gasoline prices are averaging $2.62 a gallon, according to GasBuddy.

Gasoline prices have gone down since Labor Day weekend. The price of gasoline was around $2.526 for a gallon at that time.

The Thanksgiving holiday weekend can be deadly on the roads and highways. The Thanksgiving holiday travel period is defined as Wednesday, Nov. 21, to Sunday, Nov. 25.

Last year, there were 14 fatalities across the state during the holiday weekend. None were in The T&D Region.

Family dry cleaner closing doors; Bruner’s served community more than 50 years

A family-owned and operated dry cleaning and laundry business is closing its doors after half a century of serving Orangeburg.

Bruner's Dry Cleaners and Laundry at 1395 St. Matthews Road is closing its doors Nov. 27.

"I greatly appreciate everything all the customers did and the support we had over the years," owner Greg Bruner said. "I wish them everything that their future will allow."

Even though the 51-year-old is sad to let the business go, Bruner says he “is ready to do something different in life.”

Rent for the building he occupies continues to go up, making it costly to stay in business.

The business was co-founded in 1965 by his father, the late Robert Calhoun "Bobby" Bruner Sr., and Charles Rhoad as One Hour Martinizing. There was a single location at the Orangeburg Mall.

The store expanded to four locations: the mall, the A&P Shopping Center on Russell Street, Edisto Village and Chestnut Square, where it also had a laundromat.

In the early 1980s, Bruner and Rhoad split up the business with Bruner keeping the Orangeburg Mall and the Chestnut Square locations.

The other two locations were taken by Rhoad and his son.

In the early 1990s, the Bruners consolidated the dry cleaners and laundromat under one roof.

Bruner Sr. was joined by his sons, Greg and Clay.

Clay and Bruner Sr. passed away 10 months apart from each other in 2010.

The business became Bruner's Dry Cleaners and Laundry in 2012.

Greg took over in 2013, becoming the last remaining family member in the business.

Beyond serving customers’ day-to-day needs, Bruner's has often gone beyond the call of duty.

Over the years, the business has donated its services to the First Presbyterian Church Women’s Lunch Bunch Circle ministry “Our Father’s Closet.'

The ministry aimed to provide clean coats to those without in the community. It is estimated at least 400 individuals were able to benefit from the ministry on an annual basis.

The coats were delivered to local charitable organizations including CASA, Hospice of the Regional Medical Center, Samaritan House, Cooperative Church Ministries of Orangeburg and the Orangeburg County Council on Aging, as well as area schools.

As the business winds down, Bruner is encouraging everyone who has clothes at Bruner's to pick up their items before the Nov. 27 closing date.

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Rep. drops challenge to Clyburn; congressman now unopposed in run for majority whip

WASHINGTON – Congressman Jim Clyburn is now running unopposed for House majority whip.

Rep. Diana DeGette, D-Colorado, was Clyburn’s lone challenger before she withdrew from the race Monday.

DeGette released a statement saying fellow Democrats have been under pressure to re-elect the Democratic Caucus’s three top leaders, including Clyburn.

She said, “We have enough work to do without this internal pressure.”

“Therefore, I am withdrawing my bid for whip at this time. I look forward to continuing as chief deputy whip with this exciting new majority. We have a lot to do, and I am eager to get started,” she said.

Three days prior to her announcement, Rep. G.K. Butterfield, D-North Carolina, announced via Twitter that Clyburn gained enough votes to be elected as majority whip.

Clyburn announced he would be running for the House’s third-highest position on Nov. 8, just two days after the Democrats won the majority in the U.S. House.

In the statement that announced his candidacy on Nov. 8, Clyburn said, “I am prepared to work with every corner of our diverse caucus to shape policies that allow us to achieve consensus.”

“The American people are demanding solutions on healthcare, an inclusive economy, student debt and many other pressing challenges. However, the overriding concern I have heard on the campaign trail is that the fundamental goodness and decency of America is under threat,” Clyburn said.

“Our victory on Tuesday night was about restoring the goodness of America to our government. The goodness of America is her greatness.”

Once he is officially elected, it will be Clyburn’s second stint as majority whip. He first served in the capacity from 2007 until 2011.