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Real Deal Countertops | 818 Central Ave Unit A, Summerville, SC 29483

866-707-1414 843-832-0819 sales1@realdealcountertops.com

Mon - Fri: 8:30AM - 5:00PM Sat: 8:30AM to 1PM

The best countertops make a statement in your home that other features cannot. You've worked hard to incorporate unique designs and flavors throughout your home, so why should your countertops be any different?

At Real Deal Countertops, we aspire to combine the beauty and durability of natural stone with unrivaled, personalized attention to all customers. With the highest quality materials and the most helpful customer service, we give our clients the opportunity to make informed decisions that they feel good about for years. Our story in the countertop fabrication and manufacturing industry began more than 19 years ago, when Rafael Quedevez started out as a sales representative in Massachusetts. Working his way up through the ranks, Rafael soon made his way to South Carolina to open and manage his own companies. In 2013, we created real Deal Countertops. Since that time, we are proud to have served more than 5,000 customers in South Carolina and beyond.

Our leadership team combines more than 40 years of experience in the home remodeling service industry. Always striving to create a better product for our customers, we use the latest in robotics technologies and the sharpest minds in the business to craft countertops of unparalleled quality. Unlike other countertop companies in Sumpter, SC, we only source the finest stone slabs in the world.

At Real Deal Countertops, we offer a wide range of styles and materials to choose from, including:

Kitchen Countertop Installation Sumpter, SC

Quartzite

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Sumpter, SC

Caesarstone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Sumpter, SC

Silestone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Sumpter, SC

Marble

 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Sumpter, SC

Sensa

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Sumpter, SC

Pollar White

 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Sumpter, SC

Vicostone

 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Sumpter, SC

Quartz

We are committed to ensuring that granite, marble, and other unique, exotic stones are attainable to all who desire them. If you're in search of a trustworthy counter company with a team of knowledgeable, helpful experts, you have come to the right place!

Most Popular Countertops in Sumpter, SC

Choosing the best countertops for your kitchen is an important decision, but it doesn't have to be a hard one. One of the best ways to narrow down your search is to find out what kind of countertop material you'd like to use. While it's true that material and style trends change over time, there are several counters that have always been top sellers.

Some of the most popular countertops we sell include:

Marble Countertops in Sumpter, SC

There's no way around it - marble adds jaw-dropping beauty to just about any room and is known for its good looks. It is a dense stone that comes in many different hues like greens, browns, pinks, greys, whites, and more. While marble countertops often have otherworldly beauty, they can be susceptible to stains and cracks. Marble is also considered one of the most expensive counters to choose from, though the truth is marble comes in a wide range of qualities and prices.

  • Pros: Stunning beauty, plenty of beautiful choices.
  • Cons: Not always used in kitchens due to chance of staining.
  • Popular Colors: Portinari, Shadow Storm, Super White, Lumen, Calacatta Linconni, Nobulato Honned, Shadow, Grey Imperiale Honed.
Kitchen Countertop Installation Sumpter, SC
 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Sumpter, SC

Granite Countertops in Sumpter, SC

When it comes to popularity, granite countertops take the cake. Granite countertops usually contain a blend of quartz, feldspar, mica, and other minerals. Granite can add an edge of elegance and even a country-chic feel to your kitchen, making it a well-rounded stone. Granite is durable and scratch-resistant, though it can require sealing and DIY chip repair.

  • Pros: Luxurious, rich look featuring natural stone that is durable, heat resistant, and scratch-resistant.
  • Cons: Hard material that may require DIY chip repair and sealing.
  • Popular Colors: Blue Jeans, Creama Pearl, Alure, Galaxy White, Luna Pear, Steel Grey, Ubatuba, Oro Brazil.

Quartz Countertops in Sumpter, SC

Quartz is a manufactured material that represents one of our favorite four-letter words: easy! If you're looking to add a high-end feel to your kitchen or bathroom, quartz is an excellent material to consider. Like granite, quartz countertops can add a decadent vibe to any room. Unlike granite, you may not have to seal quartz quite as often (if ever).

  • Pros: Quartz countertops come in plenty of colors to choose from and are easy to clean. They are also strong, scratch-resistant, and don't require sealing.
  • Cons: Quartz is not as heat resistant as other materials like granite counters. Sharp corners tend to crack, but that can be remedied with rounded corners.
  • Popular Colors: Noble Grey, Raw Concrete, Frosty Carrina, Shitake, Pebble, Pietra Grey, Sierra Madre, Arctic.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Sumpter, SC
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartz Countertops Sumpter, SC

Silestone Countertops in Sumpter, SC

A manufactured material made from quartz crystals, Silestone countertops are equal parts gorgeous and practical. Known for being a durable, non-porous choice, Silestone is resistant to stains, scratches, and even some forms of bacteria. Homeowners who choose Silestone do so because they can get a high-end look without having to worry too much about maintenance. Silestone counters look great in many different homes, from contemporary abodes with modern accents to vintage-looking kitchens.

  • Pros: Silestone countertops are non-porous, meaning germs and bacteria can't lodge themselves inside this material. This makes Silestone counters great for kitchens and bathrooms alike. This material also comes in a wide variety of colors and resists scratches and chips. Overall, Silestone is an excellent choice if you want to make a solid long-term investment without much upkeep.
  • Cons: While Silestone is great if you're looking for a low-maintenance counter option, it can be sensitive to harsh chemicals like bleach and ammonia. Silestone is also not recommended for outdoor use since the resins used to make the material do not do well with UV light.
  • Popular Colors: Daria, Gray Expo, Lagoon, Calacatta Gold, Arctic, Blanco City, Gris Expo, Desert Silver

Quartzite Countertops in Sumpter, SC

Not to be confused with quartz countertops, which are manmade, quartzite is a naturally occurring stone that is quarried much in the same way that granite is. If you're a fan of marble counters, quartzite mimics its looks without as much upkeep. Like granite, it is a very durable choice and adds an upscale feeling to almost any room you choose.

  • Pros: Since it doesn't require any special cleaners, quartzite looks great without much maintenance. When it gets dirty, soap and water should be all you need to clean. Quartzite is also a great long-term option since it doesn't wear down quickly at all.
  • Cons: Heat is required to form quartzite. However, you should avoid putting hot pots and pans on your quartzite countertops. Because quartzite comes in many different varieties, some forms of quartzite need to be sealed more often than others.
  • Popular Colors: Maya, Fusion, Locomotion, Callacata, Airy Concrete, Cocada White
 Kitchen Remodeling With Laminate Countertops Sumpter, SC

Which Countertop is Right for You?

If you're just beginning your search for new countertops, it can be a little overwhelming trying to whittle down your options. We've got good news - with over 19 years in the industry, our team of experts has learned a thing or two about countertops. When you come to the Real Deal Countertops showroom, one of our goals is to educate you about our products and your countertop options, so you can make an educated purchasing decision.

 Kitchen Remodeling With Marble Countertops Sumpter, SC

How Will You Use Your Countertops in Sumpter?

The first and perhaps most crucial part of your countertop choice should stem from how you and your family use your countertops. For example, if you have kids, your counters will probably see a lot of activity. Between standard eating times and "in-between" meals that teens are known for, your counters might double as food prep stations. As such, you might need a countertop material that is resistant to most food and beverage stains. If you own a rental property that sees a lot of foot traffic from strangers, you might want to consider an economical material that is also durable.

  • Do you cook a lot?
  • Do you host a lot of parties?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
  • How long will you be living in your home?
Once you figure out exactly how you'll be using your countertops, you can begin to narrow down your choices.
 Kitchen Remodeling With Quartzite Countertops Sumpter, SC

How Much Upkeep Is Too Much?

Be realistic and honest with yourself about this question. Before you fall in love with how a countertop material looks, be sure you understand how much upkeep is needed. Some materials require more care, while others don't need much at all.

Keep these points in mind:
  • Materials like quartz only need to be wiped down occasionally.
  • Materials like granite, marble, and limestone will need to be sealed at least once a year.
  • Some materials may be durable but aren't stain resistant.

The bottom line is this: Assess the maintenance demands that come along with the materials you're looking at. Marble countertops in Sumpter, SC are elegant, but if you'e unwilling to keep them looking their best, why bother buying the material?

You should be aware that most countertop materials will require some form of upkeep, even if it' minimal. To help keep your counters in pristine condition, consider these care and precaution tips:

  • Many common foods contain acids that will dull or even damage the surface of stone countertops.Use coasters to protect your counters, especially if you'e drinking something with citrus juices or alcohol.
  • Do not place scalding hot pots or pans directly on your countertops.
  • Use mats or trivets to place under hot dishes.
  • If you spill liquid on your countertops, blot the spill with a paper towel ASAP. Wiping the spill will cause it to spread.
  • Use mild soap and plain water to clean up stains.

Which Colors and Materials Match Your Home's Aesthetics?

For many homeowners, this question is almost always top-of-mind. After all, you want to choose colors and materials that fit well with other features in your home. When selecting your countertop materials, try to choose a tone that contrasts with your other amenities, like your cabinets. Don't go for a perfect match. As an example, black granite is a beautiful contrast to white cabinets.

Consider these questions when choosing your countertop materials:
  • Are there one or two colors that you love more than others?
  • Does your choice go well with the color of your kitchen's walls?
  • Do you want to switch up your kitchen's style or keep it the same?
  • Will you be painting your kitchen a different color in the future?
  • Will you be replacing your appliances soon?
 Kitchen Remodeling With Stone Countertops Sumpter, SC
Kitchen Countertop Installation Sumpter, SC

Real Deal Countertops Pro Tip:

Because your home's accessories and paint job may change with time, your countertops should have a versatile color. That way, you won't have problems matching them with new paint colors or appliances.

 Custom Countertops For Kitchen Remodeling Sumpter, SC  Kitchen Remodeling With Granite Countertops Sumpter, SC

Countertop Remodeling Done Right

At Real Deal Countertops, our #1 priority is your satisfaction. Unlike some countertop companies in Sumpter, we make it a point to exceed our customer's expectations. We strive for excellence with every transaction we complete and pledge to faithfully implement innovative techniques to ensure that our products remain affordable. With the help of Real Deal Countertops, remodeling your kitchen and bath will be painless and easy.

The appearance of a kitchen or bath depends on the right countertop selection, proper fabrication, and expert installation. Are you interested in granite countertops in Sumpter, SC? Maybe quartzite is a better choice for your family. Whatever you choose, know that our skilled installers and fabricators will make a template so that all custom pieces fit perfectly in your home.

What Clients Say About Us

Ready to get started? Have questions about our inventory?

We're here to help answer all your questions. Please feel free to give our office a call today at 866-707-1414 Before you know it, you will be ready for your new set of Real Deal Countertops!

Contact Us

Latest News in Sumpter, SC

Susan Thomas Lecture Speaker Brings Stories to Life with Technology

678-891-2544St. Helena Island, South Carolina holds an often-forgotten history that Althea Sumpter loves bringing to light.Stories of formerly enslaved people who ran public schools and city administration; tilled their own land; conducted business; married interracially and voted freely—all during the years of the Civil War.Sumpter, the featured speaker for the Susan Thomas Lectureship will bring those stories and others to life in a multimedia presentation in the Cole Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 7....

678-891-2544

St. Helena Island, South Carolina holds an often-forgotten history that Althea Sumpter loves bringing to light.

Stories of formerly enslaved people who ran public schools and city administration; tilled their own land; conducted business; married interracially and voted freely—all during the years of the Civil War.

Sumpter, the featured speaker for the Susan Thomas Lectureship will bring those stories and others to life in a multimedia presentation in the Cole Auditorium at 11:30 a.m. Tuesday, March 7.

A researcher and scholar who focuses on ethnographic documentation and cultural preservation of the Southern story in the United States, her talk will cover the preservation of culture using multimedia 360-degree technology to capture family histories.

But it was her own history that captured her imagination.

As a member of the Clark Atlanta University faculty in the 1990s, she received research funding from the Georgia Center for Advanced Telecommunications Technology—a division of the Georgia Research Alliance – to design a multimedia and interactive courseware development laboratory. The aim of the lab was to tell stories using multimedia while incorporating history and culture, she said.

As part of her project, she began chronicling the lives of her family’s elders creating an interactive multimedia project that combines oral histories, still photography and video in St. Helena.

Sumpter was amazed at what she learned.

“I grew up not knowing where I was—not knowing this was my heritage,” she said.

While the Sea Island area was well-known for its Gullah Geechee heritage, she found that the place where she grew up was also the model site for post-war Reconstruction. It surprised her, she said. “After all, the island sits practically next door to Charleston, S.C., where the Civil War began,” she said.

“The whole idea of Reconstruction began in 1862— and it was called the Port Royal Experiment,” Sumpter said. “Beaufort District was taken over by the Union and remained that way through the end of the Civil War. As the North held that territory, they started implementing this in terms of (anticipating) what would happen post-war throughout the South, getting freed men and woman on their feet, with programs, education, land ownership and voting rights,” she said.

Penn Center, located in the Beaufort District, was established as the first school in the South for formerly enslaved West Africans and became a model of education.

By the beginning of the 1900s, Reconstruction was dismantled by the ‘Southern Redeemers,’ and the narrative of the Lost Cause began, she said. The remnants of the Reconstruction Era are still on St. Helena Island to this day, and Beaufort County was named by Presidential Proclamation in 2017 as a Reconstruction Era National Historic Park. Penn Center still stands.

Sumpter hopes that her talk will inspire others to delve into their hidden family histories and create their own multimedia stories.

SC high school basketball playoff scores, updated SCHSL and SCISA schedules

The S.C. High School League and SCISA basketball playoffs are under way.The SCHSL championships are set for March 2-4 at USC Aiken and SCISA championships will be held in Sumter on Feb. 24-25.Here is a look at the latest scores and updated playoff schedules.Class 5AWednesdayUpper StateLexington 64. TL Hanna 56Dorman 66, Fort Mill 33Lower StateConway 44, River Bluff 20Goose Creek 62, Summerville 59Class 4AFriday...

The S.C. High School League and SCISA basketball playoffs are under way.

The SCHSL championships are set for March 2-4 at USC Aiken and SCISA championships will be held in Sumter on Feb. 24-25.

Here is a look at the latest scores and updated playoff schedules.

Class 5A

Wednesday

Upper State

Lexington 64. TL Hanna 56

Dorman 66, Fort Mill 33

Lower State

Conway 44, River Bluff 20

Goose Creek 62, Summerville 59

Class 4A

Friday

Upper State

Greenville vs. Lancaster at Bob Jones University, 7:30 p.m.

Lower State

Irmo vs. Hartsville at Florence Center, 7:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Saturday

Upper State

Wren vs. Travelers Rest at Bob Jones University, 7:30 p.m.

Lower State

Crestwood vs. Orangeburg-Wilkinson at Florence Center, 7:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Wednesday

Upper State

Gray Collegiate 74, Eau Claire 45

Keenan 50, Columbia 41

Lower State

Andrew Jackson 59, Woodland 53

Oceanside 101, Mullins 48

Class A

Tuesday

Upper State

Christ Church 68, Calhoun Falls 44

Great Falls 70, Denmark-Olar 68

Lower State

Scott’s Branch 62, Burke 49

Estill 59, Baptist Hill 54

Saturday

Upper State

Christ Church vs. Great Falls at Bob Jones University, 2 p.m.

Lower State

Estill vs. Scott’s Branch at Florence Center, 2 p.m.

Class 5A

Wednesday

Upper State

Mauldin 46, Lexington 43

Spring Valley 61, Dorman 59

Lower State

Sumter 64, Stall 42

Stratford 44, Summerville 34

Class 4A

Tuesday

Upper State

North Augusta 49, Pickens 25

Wade Hampton 63, Eastside 46

Lower State

Westwood 62, James Island 34

AC Flora 57, Ridge View 24

Friday

Upper State

North Augusta vs. Wade Hampton at Bob Jones University, 5:30 p.m.

Lower State

Westwood vs. AC Flora at Florence Center, 5:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Tuesday

Upper State

Southside 76, Walhalla 58

Wren 49, Blue Ridge 41

Lower State

Camden 82, Loris 47

Lower Richland 59, Crestwood 51

Saturday

Upper State

Southside vs. Wren at Bob Jones University, 5:30 p.m.

Lower State

Camden vs. Lower Richland at Florence Center, 5:30 p.m.

Class 2A

Tuesday

Upper State

Gray Collegiate 52, Fairfield Central 21

Keenan 60, Silver Bluff 46

Lower State

Andrew Jackson 64, Kingstree 54

Bishop England 53, Timberland 30

Friday

Upper State

Gray Collegiate vs. Keenan at Bob Jones University, noon

Lower State

Andrew Jackson vs. Bishop England at Florence Center, noon

Class A

Wednesday

Upper State

St. Joseph’s 75, High Point Academy 72

Denmark-Olar 80, McBee 26

Lower State

Lake View 67, Carvers Bay 63 (OT)

Military Magnet 88, Allendale-Fairfax 23

Class 4A

Thursday

Cardinal Newman vs. First Baptist at Sumter Civic Center, 5 p.m.

Hammond vs. Augusta Christian at Sumter Civic Center, 8 p.m.

Class 3A

Wednesday

Hilton Head Christian 71, Shannon Forest 58

Hilton Head Prep 49, Christian Academy 34

Class 2A

Tuesday

Andrew Jackson Academy 74, Bethesda 53

Cathedral Academy 54, Patrick Henry 51

Calhoun Academy 67, Dillon Christian 55

St. John’s 68, Beaufort Academy 53

Thursday

Andrew Jackson Academy vs. Cathedral Academy at Wilson Hall, 7 p.m.

Calhoun Academy vs. St. John’s at Wilson Hall, 7 p.m.

Class A

Tuesday

Faith Christian 61, Laurens Academy 33

W.W. King Academy 33, Our Lady of Rosary 19

Charleston Collegiate 43, Newberry Academy 33

Richard Winn 57, Ragin Prep 28

Thursday

Faith Christian vs. WW King at Hammond, 5 p.m.

Charleston Collegiate vs. Richard Winn at Hammond, 8 p.m.

Class 4A

Thursday

Heathwood Hall vs. First Baptist at Sumter Civic Center, 6:30 p.m.

Northwood vs. Trinity Collegiate at Sumter Civic Center, 3:30 p.m.

Class 3A

Wednesday

Hilton Head Christian 55, Pee Dee Academy 24

Shannon Forest 33, Orangeburg Prep 31

Class 2A

Thursday

Cathedral vs. Dorchester at Wilson Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Beaufort Academy vs. Patrick Henry at Wilson Hall, 5:30 p.m.

Class A

Thursday

Curtis Baptist vs. Cambridge Academy at Hammond, 6:30 p.m.

Laurens vs. Wardlaw at Hammond, 3:30 p.m.

This story was originally published February 16, 2023, 11:48 PM.

As pre-pandemic Medicaid rules return, some worry Missourians will lose coverage

Nia Sumpter, a student, mother and patient advocate, calls herself a sickle cell warrior. People with the disease — which affects red blood cells — need to see doctors all the time. Before she enrolled in health insurance, her treatment racked up thousands of dollars in hospital bills.“With sickle cell disease, that meant I was now responsible for affording … transfusions and all of the other types of medicines,” said Sumpter, who lives in St. Louis County. “And so now I'm stuck on the hook for tha...

Nia Sumpter, a student, mother and patient advocate, calls herself a sickle cell warrior. People with the disease — which affects red blood cells — need to see doctors all the time. Before she enrolled in health insurance, her treatment racked up thousands of dollars in hospital bills.

“With sickle cell disease, that meant I was now responsible for affording … transfusions and all of the other types of medicines,” said Sumpter, who lives in St. Louis County. “And so now I'm stuck on the hook for that. And my credit is literally like, shot.”

Sickle cell disease can be tough on a patient’s body, and it’s a lot of work juggling doctors, insurance and paperwork. That’s particularly the case for people on Medicaid, like Sumpter.

Sumpter enrolled in Missouri’s Medicaid program last year when the state expanded coverage to low-income adults. For someone like her with costly medical bills, Medicaid can be a lifesaver.

She’s one of a record 1.4 million people now enrolled in Missouri’s Medicaid program — the government-funded health insurance for disabled and low-income people and families. Missouri was one of only two states that expanded its program, Mo HealthNet, during the pandemic. That made more than a 250,000 people eligible for Medicaid coverage statewide.

The federal government barred states from kicking anyone out of the program during the coronavirus pandemic. But that provision ends this spring. State officials have said they expect hundreds of thousands of people to lose their coverage. And as the state starts to review patients, it’s possible those who need health coverage will lose their insurance.

Lost in the mail

In Missouri, people enrolled in Medicaid have in the past had to prove their eligibility every year by providing the state with documentation of income, disability and other qualifying factors. Federal lawmakers in 2020 halted that requirement as part of a legal package that protects families from the financial effects of the pandemic.

The state will soon begin reviewing Medicaid data, and starting in May recipients will once again need to prove eligibility each year to keep coverage. That could include filling out information online or sending forms to the state Social Services Department through the mail.

St. Louis Regional Health Commission CEO Angela Fleming Brown and other health advocates are worried people will fall off the rolls even if they’re still eligible. Before the state expanded Medicaid, the commission administered a similar health coverage program for low-income people in the region.

Fleming Brown said even for that smaller-scale program, it was difficult for administrators to contact people with forms or information about their coverage.

“This is because many of the people that we find in the safety net population tend to change addresses and phone numbers frequently,” she said. “And so they'll usually get lost or they do not receive immediate termination forms.”

As a result, many don’t receive mailed or phone notices that their coverage is expiring. Some don’t know they may need to submit information to the state to keep it.

That includes Nia Sumpter. When she learned that Medicaid enrollees need to re-up their coverage every year, she put her head on the table.

“I didn't realize I had to reenroll,” she said. “Is that a thing?”

Sumpter said she hasn’t yet received any mail from the state about the need to renew coverage after the pandemic provisions end, but she has seen sporadic text messages from the state about applications. She thought they didn’t apply to her family’s situation.

“I thought once I applied I was gonna be OK,” Sumpter said. “So I kind of disregarded the text messages about reenrolling or possibly enrolling.”

Sumpter, who’s chair of the Regional Health Commission’s Patient Advisory Board, said that the constant paperwork and bureaucratic processes put people like her with chronic health conditions at risk of losing vital health coverage. She thinks people with disabilities should have continuous coverage.

She considers herself lucky she’s had a doctor who pushes her insurer to cover her treatment and keeps her updated.

“If you do not have a physician who cares about you, it can be very dangerous,” Sumpter said.

‘Not the best track record’

Missouri’s history of managing Medicaid patients worries Sheldon Weisgrau, vice president of health policy at the Missouri Foundation For Health. This year, many Missourians are on Medicaid for the first time because of the state’s expansion. They aren’t used to the annual renewal process, he said.

“Missouri does not have the best track record in this area, which is why a lot of us are watching really carefully what the state is doing,” Weisgrau said.

In 2018 and 2019, more than 100,000 Medicaid recipients — many of them children — dropped off the rolls when state officials reviewed the Medicaid program.

After Missouri struggled to process Medicaid applications for people who became eligible after the state expanded access, federal officials directed the state to improve its efforts to sign people up.

Pro-Medicaid advocates said Missouri could have better educated residents about the changes or helped newly eligible people sign up for coverage. As state enrollment lagged, local clinics, nonprofits and religious groups helped people enroll.

Weisgrau said the program's expansion to more low-income adults means state officials are now faced with an unprecedented task.

“They've never had to do it at a point where the Medicaid program has this many people enrolled in it,” he said. “I mean, we are far above the highest number of Medicaid beneficiaries than we've ever been in Missouri.”

It's one thing for someone to lose eligibility who no longer meets the eligibility guidelines for Medicaid, but “it's another thing to lose eligibility for administrative reasons,” Weisgrau said. “You fall through the cracks, somehow you didn't get the letter from the state you opened it and didn't understand it. You submitted a piece of documentation that wasn't complete. And I think the real worry is that there's going to be a lot of people that fall into that category.”

Churning through the system

Todd Richardson, Missouri Department of Social Services director, told state lawmakers in a legislative hearing earlier this month that he expects close to 200,000 people to lose Medicaid coverage over the next fiscal year.

“I don’t think there’s any doubt that Missouri, like every other state in the country, expects to see enrollment come down once a full set of the redeterminations are done,” Richardson said, as reported in the Missouri Independent.

Kim Evans, the director of the Social Services Department’s Family Support Division, said she’s certain Medicaid enrollment will drop during 2023. For one thing, some people have had continuous coverage even though they may be making too much money to qualify or have moved to a different insurance plan, she said.

But “we're trying to reduce what we call churn,” she said. “Churn is where [people] close because they failed to return some information to us. And then within the next 60 to 90 days, they come back in and have to reapply. We're trying to reduce that and take the burden off the participants.”

A recent study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that two-thirds of those who lost Medicaid coverage had a period without health insurance. It also found more than 40% of people disenrolled eventually reenrolled in Medicaid within a year, indicating that they had lost coverage that they still needed.

How to prepare

However, the state has known this change was coming for a long time, and state officials say they’re in a much better position to handle renewals now than a few years ago.

“We don’t want people to panic. We’re here to help,” Evans said.

The department has made changes since 2019, she said. The agency has automated some of its systems to determine eligibility. For example, it can now use SNAP data and other information already on file to see someone’s income and determine if a person still qualifies.

“Missouri has really expanded the resources, that we have the external resources to verify information,” Evans said. “And this will be the first time that we've automated that and used it.”

The state will review eligibility gradually over more than a year, she said, going month by month. For example, if a person was enrolled in August 2022, the renewal will be in August 2023. People on Medicaid should be on the lookout for any forms coming in the mail around two months before their annual renewal date, she said.

The best way to avoid losing coverage is for patients to update their contact information at mydss.gov/renew and to pay attention to texts and mail from social services, even if people usually regard them as spam, she said.

SC Conservation Districts ‘in the same boat’: Commissioners provide feedback from State Conservation Partnership Conference

Highlights of the 81st annual South Carolina Conservation Partnership Conference were provided at the Jan. 31 Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District (BSWCD) meeting at the Learning Center in Old Santee Canal Park.Among the guest speakers at this year’s conference in Greenville — attended by representatives of all 46 conservation districts and numerous state officials — was Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, who in addition to updating listeners on the state budget, also imparted thoughts on waste reduction.“...

Highlights of the 81st annual South Carolina Conservation Partnership Conference were provided at the Jan. 31 Berkeley Soil and Water Conservation District (BSWCD) meeting at the Learning Center in Old Santee Canal Park.

Among the guest speakers at this year’s conference in Greenville — attended by representatives of all 46 conservation districts and numerous state officials — was Lt. Gov. Pamela Evette, who in addition to updating listeners on the state budget, also imparted thoughts on waste reduction.

“Her platform is a grab-a-bag,” recounted BSWCD Chairperson Diane Edwins. “I shared [information] with her about our volunteer group (Earth Team) that goes out and helps pick up trash at boat landings and things of this nature. Of course, she was very interested in that type of thing. She said we need to keep South Carolina clean. We need to educate our young people. She has an open-door policy with environmental protection

“So, she’s very interested in the farmers and promoting farms, so the children know where bread comes from, where eggs come from, where steak comes from and bacon, and those types of things.”

It was later noted that the Conservation District hopes to invite Evette to a future meeting or related event later in the year.

Edwins further acknowledged this year’s recipient of the Outstanding Conservation District Commissioner Award, which went to the Conservation District’s own Barry Jurs.

Back in 2018, Edwins herself did Berkeley County proud by also winning the prestigious recognition.

Jurs — who boasts 40 years of dedicated service towards conservation in South Carolina — graciously thanked his colleagues for nominating him and communicated a palpable positive momentum among the state conservationists at this year’s gathering.

“I’ve been going to these conferences since about 1984 and I have watched the whole conservation effort — South Carolina has evolved. A lot has changed,” began the BSWCD Vice Chair, who has served in that role since 2011.

“The districts have grown, but what I’ve noticed is, I think, the whole machine is stronger now than it ever has been. Through time, what I’ve seen is we’ve been individual satellites revolving around the topic of conversation, not always working hand-in-hand together. What I saw this year ... I saw a true partnership. At least, I felt it was much closer to that. Instead of separate planets, it was one big effort — everybody was in the same boat. Now there are differences in the boat, but we’re in the same boat. I just see that the effort has gotten stronger. I think the motion is in one direction. I think that there’s a difference. I think there’s a lot more in the future. I think we have a chance to go make a lot more impact than we ever have.”

The popular buzzword at the Jan. 23-24 conference was “sustain,” per Jurs, who defined that concept as each county taking stock of their respective environmental resources and not only capitalizing on them, but using them in such a way that the base of those resources stays intact.

“Let me tell you, that’s another word for conservation. Conservation districts have been doing that same very thing since 1937. For us that’s nothing new. If you want to know how to do it, then you need to look at the resources that you have and our organizations can help guide that when we talk about sustainable resources,” added Jurs.

Other conference speakers that Edwins touched on included Sterling Sadler, who reported how the South Carolina Conservation Districts Foundation (SCCDF) awards five $5,000 scholarships to students who participate in the Envirothon. Grant monies can be dispensed through the SCCDF non-profit and down to the individual districts.

Attendees were further made privy to a speech issued by Clemson University Sports Psychologist Milt Lowder, who regularly addresses the school football team, as well as other athletic programs on campus.

Edwins, who knows Lowder since he was a baby in Sumpter, relayed how the noted counselor spoke about conservationists “finding themselves” and “heading in the right direction” to help make them what they need to be.

“He’s a ball of fire. He brings up the Scripture and God and how you need to look at yourself and how you ought to be and how you want to get there.”

Four more Midlands teams earn spots in SC basketball state semifinals

Cam Scott made school history and Lexington used a big fourth quarter to advance in the Class 5A playoffs on Wednesday.Scott had a game-high 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the Wildcats’ 64-56 win over TL Hanna. Lexington advances to the Upper State championship and will face Dorman at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Bob Jones University.Scott set the record after he was fouled as time expired at the end of the first half. He hit all three free throws and passed former two-sp...

Cam Scott made school history and Lexington used a big fourth quarter to advance in the Class 5A playoffs on Wednesday.

Scott had a game-high 21 points, grabbed 10 rebounds and became the school’s all-time leading scorer in the Wildcats’ 64-56 win over TL Hanna. Lexington advances to the Upper State championship and will face Dorman at 7:30 p.m. on Monday at Bob Jones University.

Scott set the record after he was fouled as time expired at the end of the first half. He hit all three free throws and passed former two-sport standout Shaq Roland’s mark of 1,772 as the school’s all-time scorer.

Scott, a junior, has 1,786 points with one and possibly two games left this season.

“He was Mr. Everything and being one of the best athletes to come through Lexington,” Scott said of Roland. “Him being at the top and me climbing that mountain and reaching over him is special.

“Knowing the history that’s come through Lexington and the impact I have applied here in the amount of time since I have been here, it is just amazing to be here and be surrounded by these fans.”

Scott’s three free throws gave the Wildcats a 28-27 lead at halftime. But the second half was back and forth with the teams tied at 43 going into the fourth quarter.

Lexington scored the first six points of the fourth before the TLH answered back to cut it within 51-49. The Wildcats got a big three-point play from Kmadi Maxwell, who had to sit out last game because he was ejected in a first-round playoff game, to make it 54-49. Maxwell scored seven of his nine points in the second half.

Maxwell came up with another big play later in the quarter, stealing the ball and feeding Scott for a layup to make it 60-52 and put the Wildcats into the final four for the first time since 2019.

“We didn’t do everything perfect tonight, but we did a lot of things well. That is an incredibly physical and talented TL Hanna team,” Lexington coach Elliott Pope said. “They earned the right to be here. We were just fortunate enough to come out on top today.”

Kaleb Evans scored 17 points and Jaxon Prunty added 11, all in the first half for the Wildcats.

Now, the attention turns to Dorman in a much-anticipated matchup. Lexington was preseason No. 1 and Dorman was No. 2 to start the season.

Dorman is coached by former Lexington standout Thomas Ryan.

“It’s the game of the year right here,” Scott said.

The Gators were held to a season low in points as they lost in the Class 5A Lower State playoffs.

Conway advances to its second Lower State championship in four seasons.

Lauren Crosland’s had the go-ahead steal and basket with 48 seconds left to give the Vikings a come-from-behind win and earn a spot in the Class 5A Upper State championship.

Spring Valley plays Mauldin at 5:30 p.m. on Monday at Bob Jones University.

Spring Valley trailed by 17 at halftime and was down 57-47 with 2:28 left but outscored the Cavaliers 14-2 the rest of the way.

The score was tied at 58 before Crosland’s steal and basket.

Crosland finished with 15 points. Zie’l Ratchford led SV with 17 and JaiDah Liebert scored 15.

The Wildcats’ bid for an Upper State championship appearance came up just short on the road at Mauldin.

Trinity Jones scored 25 points to lead the Mavs and had the go-ahead basket to put Mauldin up 44-43 late in the fourth quarter. Lexington had a chance to tie it but missed a 3-pointer at the buzzer.

Trai White scored 14 points and Ellis Graham had 12 as the War Eagles earned a spot in the Class 2A Upper State final.

Gray will play region rival Keenan at 2 p.m. on Friday at Bob Jones University. It will be the third meeting between the two teams with each winning on each other’s home floor.

Avantae Parker added 10 for GC.

The loss ends Eau Claire’s surprising postseason run. The Shamrocks finished fourth in Region 4-2A but knocked off Strom Thurmond and Greer Middle College to make the third round for the first time in more than a decade.

Chrisean Oree scored 18 points and Jaylen Golston had 14 as the Raiders advanced to the Upper State championship.

The Raiders outscored Columbia, 17-5, in the second quarter to take control of the game and defeat the Caps for the third time this season.

Deshawn Smith and Zay Buckley each scored 12 to lead the Caps.

The loss ends Columbia’s postseason run. The Capitals knocked off Silver Bluff and region champion Landrum to make it to the third round.

SCHSL

Wednesday

Class 5A Boys

Lexington 64, TL Hanna 56

TLH: Martin 12, Tolly 4, Patterson 10, Edwards 21, Hogan 2, Williams 7. L: Kaleb Evans 17, Figueroa 5, Bell 2, Cam Scott 21, Jacob Prunty 11, Maxwell 9

Conway 49, River Bluff 20

Class 2A Boys

Gray Collegiate 74, Eau Claire 45

GC: Trai White 14, Ellis Graham 12, Avantae Parker 10

Keenan 50, Columbia 41

C: Dashawn Smith 12, Butler 2, Aymir Caldwell 11, Zay Buckley 12, Swinson 4. K: Sumpter 7, King 3, Chrisean Oree 18, Anderson 16, McCullough 4, Jaylen Golston 14.

Class 5A Girls

Mauldin 46, Lexington 43

Spring Valley 61, Dorman 59

D: Nakiyah Kelly 17, White 8, West 7, Cothran 5, Ferguson 8, Wallace 4, Cathcart 9, Jones 1. SV: Zie’l Ratchford 17, Lauren Crosland 15, Johnson 3, JaiDah Liebert 15, Imari Humphrey 10, Entzminger 1.

Friday

Class 2A Girls

Keenan vs. Gray Collegiate at Bob Jones University, noon

Class 2A Boys

Keenan vs. Gray Collegiate at Bob Jones University, 2 p.m.

Class 4A Girls

Westwood vs. AC Flora at Florence Center, 5:30 p.m.

Class 4A Boys

Irmo vs. Hartsville at Florence Center, 7:30 p.m.

Saturday

Class 3A Girls

Camden vs. Lower Richland at Florence Center, 5:30 p.m.

Monday

Class 5A Girls

Spring Valley vs. Mauldin at Bob Jones University, 5:30 p.m.

Class 5A Boys

Lexington vs. Dorman at Bob Jones University, 7:30 p.m.

SCISA

Thursday

Class 4A Boys

Cardinal Newman vs. First Baptist at Sumter Civic Center, 5 p.m.

Hammond vs. Augusta Christian at Sumter Civic Center, 8 p.m.

Class 4A Girls

Heathwood Hall vs. First Baptist at Sumter Civic Center, 6:30 p.m.

Class A Boys

WW King vs. Faith Christian at Hammond, 5 p.m.

Richard Winn vs. Charleston Collegiate at Hammond, 8 p.m.

This story was originally published February 22, 2023, 10:25 PM.

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