With a whole week to participate in service missions, head out on road trips with friends or just lounge beside a backyard pool, it's easy to lose track of what's going on in the community. The Daily Gamecock has you covered with a helpful recap of all the big news from in and around Columbia and the nation over spring break 2016.
Legendary South Carolina writer passes away
Author Pat Conroy died of pancreatic cancer on March 5 at 70 years old. Conroy announced his diagnosis to fans via social media in February. He passed away at his home in Beaufort, the same Lowcountry setting in which many of his 11 storied works were set. Conroy has been a member of the South Carolina Hall of Fame since 2013. Nearly 1,200 mourners came out to remember Conroy at a memorial service on March 8.
Gamecock Women's Basketball wins the SEC Tournament
South Carolina won their second SEC Women's Basketball Tournament in a row March 6. A strong offensive performance led the team against the Mississippi State Bulldogs with a final score of 66-52. This was also the third year in a row that the team won a share of the regular season conference title. They are expected to be a number one seed in the upcoming NCAA tournament, and the field will be announced Monday evening.
Nancy Reagan dies at 94
Former First Lady Nancy Reagan succumbed to congestive heart failure at her Los Angeles home on March 6. She was buried alongside her husband, former President Ronald Reagan, at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library in Simi Valley, California, on March 11. The memorial service was attended by current First Lady Michelle Obama as well as a wide variety of politicians and celebrities. Eulogies were delivered by Reagan's Chief-of-Staff James Baker and NBC News' Tom Brokaw as well as the couple's two children, Patti Davis and Ron Reagan. The well-respected former first lady was known for her fierce protection of her husband and her activism for stem cell research in the search for a cure to Alzheimer's.
Deadly flooding hits the Gulf Coast
Nearly 5,000 homes were damaged in Louisiana following devastating flooding that hit the state throughout the first week of March. At least three people have died, and that number may rise. Nearly two feet of rain fell in the state, with more rain expected. Officials also say that current statistics about the number of evacuated and damaged homes may rise because all regions of the state have not been examined.