Around the South for July 8: SC, OK, & GOP

South Carolina: State Senate votes to remove flag. By a vote of 36 to 3, the South Carolina state Senate decided to remove the Confederate battle flag from the soldiers’ monument in front of the state Capitol. Several attempts to come up with alternatives, such as flying a less well-known and thus less provocative Confederate banner from the site, were defeated. The issue now goes to the state House of Representatives, where various proposals are under consideration ……. Oklahoma: Fallin reforming prison release procedure. Gov. Mary Fallin (R) told the state Board of Corrections to revise its process for calculating good behavior credits for serious offenders. Currently these prisoners can only begin accumulating the credits when they have served 85% of their sentences. Fallin says the board has misinterpreted the law, which contemplates the accumulation of good behavior credits from the beginning of incarceration, with eligibility for release after serving 85% of a sentence ……. GOP: Who will be in the first debate? The first Republican debate, to be hosted by Fox News in Cleveland on August 6, will be limited to the top ten candidates based on polling averages. According to an analysis of survey data by The Hill newspaper, the top ten Republican candidates at this point are, in order, Jeb Bush, Scott Walker, Ben Carson, Marco Rubio, Mike Huckabee, Rand Paul, Donald Trump, Ted Cruz, Rick Perry and Chris Christie. Left outside, at least for now, are Rick Santorum, Carly Fiorina, John Kasich, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham and George Pataki …….