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      SC military booster panel: $200,000 to 4 sites

      South Carolina's state military support panel is distributing $200,000 to four regions to help them maintain military installations in their communities.

      COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) -- South Carolina's state military support panel is distributing $200,000 to four regions to help them maintain military installations in their communities.

      State Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom said in a release Thursday the money appropriated by the General Assembly will help Charleston, Beaufort, Columbia and Sumter protect nearby bases.

      Eckstrom said $50,000 goes to each community. He says it is designed to help them maintain the military sites amid budget cutting pressures and potential base closure moves.

      A 2012 study by the state Department of Commerce estimated South Carolina's eight military bases, the S.C. National Guard and state defense contractors generated $15.7 billion in economic activity in 2011. The report also showed the military sector supported 138,000 jobs in the state.