Caroline Balchunas, ABC News 4

Caroline Balchunas

ABC News 4

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Recent articles by Caroline:

Lindsey Graham, Lowcountry authorities call for red-flag laws to fight mass shootings

As the nation calls for action on gun reform, there’s some movement at the federal level. South Carolina Senator Lindsay Graham is calling on states to adopt red-flag laws. He’s been pushing for legislation since last year, along with President Donald Trump, who reiterated his support during Monday’s press conference following the weekend’s mass shootings. → Read More

Local advocate says breast implant recall promising sign

A breast implant linked to cancer was recalled on Wednesday. Pharmaceutical company Allergan voluntarily recalled its textured breast implant at the request of the Federal Drug Administration. On Wednesday, the FDA said new data shows a link between the company’s implant and anaplastic large cell lymphoma, a rare cancer of the immune system. It’s big news for people, including local advocates… → Read More

Hot summer posing challenges for S.C. residents without AC

It’s been an extremely hot summer, even with the air conditioning on full blast. It’s hard to beat the heat without it, but there’s plenty of people in the Lowcountry without AC. Once considered a luxury, it’s become more of a necessity. This summer has been a busy one for nonprofit groups like East Cooper Community Outreach. Resource manager Whitney Cooper said the number of requests for… → Read More

Alcohol consumption may increase sunburn risk, new study says

Here’s another reason to lather on the sunscreen—a new study suggests there’s a link between alcohol consumption and skin cancer. It comes from a small study of healthy men in Germany. The research found the amount of UV light it takes to burn the skin is significantly less after consuming a few drinks. Two other studies showed similar findings. It’s not an entirely new concept, but the findings… → Read More

New Lowcountry home gifted to injured U.S. Army veteran

It’s home sweet home for a wounded army veteran and his family. On Friday, U. S. Army Sergeant First Class Matthew Weise was given the keys to a brand-new house—completely mortgage-free. More than 100 people showed up for the dedication ceremony and ribbon cutting. It was a project spearheaded by Lennar Homes and Operation Finally Home. More than 100 people showed up for the dedication ceremony… → Read More

Fad Diets of the decade: Keto and Whole 30

They’re the latest diets flooding your social media feeds. Friends, family, even co-workers are going all-in together on the Keto and Whole 30 diet. From the Atkins Diet to the juice cleanse craze, people are always hungry for something new and usually—a quick fix. Last October 26-year-old Holly Hill and several co-workers went on Whole 30. The month-long diet wasn’t easy, it meant no sugar, no… → Read More

Taxi companies want equal standards to operate Uber, Lyft

Ridesharing companies are now a mainstay in major cities. Uber began operating in Charleston roughly four years ago. Since then, ridesharing services have exploded around the state. But in South Carolina, Uber and Lyft operate under a different set of rules and regulations than taxi and limousine transportation services. → Read More

Land trust eyeing McClellanville shrimp dock to preserve the industry

Shem Creek isn’t the only spot where shrimp docks are dwindling. McClellanville is dealing with the same issue, as growth and development slowly gobbles up pricey waterfront property where local fishermen need to dock. Believe it or not, there are only nine working seafood docks in the entire state of South Carolina. One of the major unloading wholesale facilities is Carolina Seafood located on… → Read More

Cypress Gardens to reopen after 3.5 year closure

Cypress Gardens is finally opening back up. The 170-acre preserve has been closed since October 2015, when it was wiped out during the historic “thousand-year flood”. Typically revered as a pristine oasis, Cypress Gardens has been anything but with renovations over the last 3. 5 years. Director Heather McDowell is more than ready for the noise to stop. “We did not think, we did not expect to be… → Read More

Charleston County School District switches to compostable meal trays

Charleston County schools are going green. Starting this week, all schools in the district will quit using plastic foam lunch trays. Compostable trays will be used for cafeteria food service instead. District officials said the move will keep 2. 9 million plastic foam trays from going to the landfill. The change comes after testing it out at James B. Edwards Elementary School over the last year.… → Read More

Dorchester PAWS takes in dog who got caught on fence

Trips to the emergency vet are never cheap and a Summerville couple needs help after finding an injured dog over the weekend. When Lindsey Shattuck and her fiancé Daniel Cooper returned home from church on Sunday, Shattuck said she heard a dog whimpering. She followed the sound and found Ginger, a neighbor’s dog, dangling upside down, her leg caught on a metal fence. “Her head was on the ground… → Read More

Suspect wanted after shooting at man in traffic

The Charleston County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a shooting in Ladson on Monday. Officials said a man was shot while sitting in traffic shortly after 3 p. m. near Highway 78 and Ladson Road. They said an altercation happened between the driver of a dark-colored Honda Accord and the victim, who was driving a white Chevy Tahoe. They said the suspect drove away going westbound on Highway 78.… → Read More

Tire particles found in Charleston waterways, researchers say

From bags to bottles, cars and clothing, plastic is truly the fabric of our lives. Most people see some form of plastic pollution every day like water bottles or single-use straws, but it’s the plastic we don’t see that’s a larger concern. About five years ago, researchers at the Citadel and College of Charleston began looking into microplastics around the Charleston Harbor and made a new… → Read More

VIDEO | Dash cam shows deadly deputy-involved shootout in Huger

Dashcam video released on Wednesday captures the moments from a deadly deputy-involved shootout in Huger on Tuesday, Feb. 26. The footage shows the chaotic situation when a man repeatedly fired shots at a Berkeley County Sheriff’s Deputy. Officials say it all started as the deputy tried to initiate a traffic stop. It escalated when the deputy pulled into a gravel driveway where the suspect,… → Read More

State budget includes funding for school mental health counselors

Between education, salaries and healthcare, there's a lot up for debate in the state’s proposed spending plan. The $9 billion budget includes some funding for more mental health services in schools. There's $2. 2 million allocated to hire 90 mental health counselors to travel from school to school statewide. → Read More

Measles concern: Over 800 students at Lowcountry public schools exempt from vaccines

South Carolina health officials are keeping a close eye on the latest measles outbreak. Washington State has even declared it a state of emergency. By law, children must be vaccinated in order to attend public school, but there are some exceptions. Seventeen states allow exemptions based on personal or moral beliefs. South Carolina is not one of them. State law only allows exemptions based on… → Read More

One year after John's Island kidnapping/home invasion, neighborhood on edge

Wednesday marked the anniversary of a horrific home invasion on Johns Island and the subsequent kidnapping of a four-year-old girl. One year ago, a woman was brutally attacked inside her Whitney lake home. While she was unconscious, Thomas Evans, the man charged in the case, fled the area with the woman’s young daughter. It led to a massive manhunt, but miraculously, the girl was rescued the… → Read More

Berkeley County remembers longtime public servant

The Berkeley County community is remembering a long-time public servant. Jim Rozier, who served as the county Supervisor for 16 years, died Wednesday morning. He was 77. Rozier was known as a champion for the community. “Jim as passionate about people, number one, he loved people,” said Barry Jurs, Director of Economic Development for Berkeley County. Jurs said Rozier leaves behind quite a life… → Read More

Roper St. Francis phishing attack: What did hackers get access to?

Computer hackers are always laying traps for anyone and anything. Roper St. Francis Healthcare is the latest to be hit by a phishing attack. Officials say someone gained access to employee emails and patient information. They have contacted those who may have been affected and say there’s no indication any patient information has been misused. → Read More

First day on the job for S.C. Rep. Joe Cunningham

A new Congress convened on Capitol Hill Thursday, marking a historic day on several levels with the House majority now Democratic. During November’s midterm election, Democrats gained 40 house seats, including Lowcountry newcomer Joe Cunningham’s first congressional district seat. Cunningham is the first democrat to hold the seat in nearly 40 years, unseating longtime Republican Mark Sanford.… → Read More