Ian flooded streets in downtown Charleston. Photo by Samantha Connors/Charleston City Paper.

staff reports | President Joe Biden this week declared a great catastrophe is at hand in Charleston, Georgetown and Horry counties following Hurricane Ian in late September. The statement opens up federal assistance to complement state and local recovery efforts.

According to that White House“Assistance may include grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property damage, and other programs designed to help individuals and business owners recover from the effects of the disaster.

“State and eligible local governments and certain private non-profit organizations also receive federal funding on a cost-sharing basis for emergency work and the repair or replacement of facilities damaged by Hurricane Ian in Berkeley, Charleston, Clarendon, Georgetown, Horry, Jasper and Williamsburg counties. “

Other news this week:

SC House members push for ban on gender change Conservative members of the State House announced they would introduce legislation banning sex-altering medical procedures on minors.

The state legislature is expected to lead the House Budget Committee. SC Rep. Bruce Bannister, R-Greenville, is expected to be named chairman of the House of Representatives’ powerful committee that writes the state budget.

Graham is testifying in the Georgia investigation. U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham, RS.C., testified in a Georgia court Tuesday morning as part of an investigation into former President Donald Trump’s efforts to overturn the 2020 election.

SC-4: US Congressman’s wife files for divorce. Sarah Timmons, wife of GOP Rep. William Timmons, has filed for divorce after nearly three years of marriage. The case was sealed by a judge.

Unemployment rate rises in SC South Carolina’s unemployment rate rose to 3.3% in October, according to data from the state Department of Unemployment and Labor.

State parks now offer free entry. As an incentive to lure people into nature, state parks now offer free admission.

Laffitte guilty of six federal counts. In a case that has captivated the nation, a federal jury in Charleston thought for almost 11 hours Tuesday before former Hampton banker Russell Laffitte is found guilty of six counts of federal fraud for assisting former attorney Alex Murdaugh in a financial plan that has seen millions of dollars in client accounts hijacked. Laffitte is expected to appeal the verdict, which followed a three-week trial. Laffitte’s conviction makes him the first person associated with Murdaugh to be convicted of a crime. Murdaugh is also accused of murdering his wife and son. Meanwhile, Murdaugh will be questioned this week Evidence of blood spatter on a shirt associated with Murdaugh.

Experts worried about pandemic in holiday travel. Health experts across the country are concerned that mass vacation travel and large family gatherings could accelerate the current “triple pandemic” of RSV, flu and Covid-19. Meanwhile, officials from South Carolina reported 2,790 new Covid cases and 16 deaths in the last week.