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Wedding & Event Venue Near Bennetsville, SC.

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Your Magic Moment Awaits

Your wedding day. Without a doubt, it's one of the most significant events you will ever experience - when you and the love of your life officially seal the deal and get married. On this day, your friends and family will gather to celebrate the next step in your life. Photographers will be running around snapping photos, catering plates delicious food for guests to enjoy, and the DJ sets the mood for a night of fun and libation. You've worked extra hard to make everything look perfect and run smoothly. You have examined every moving part down to the tiniest detail. At the center of all your effort is your wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC.

Your event space can mean the difference between an unforgettable event and an average occasion. Capturing your uniqueness as a couple is paramount to a memorable wedding. But, without the right venue location and staff, your unforgettable event can turn into a painfully average occasion. Fortunately, at Abney Hall, you won't ever have to worry about dingy reception spaces and crummy chow halls.

Constructed in Bennetsville, SC, in 1962, Abney Hall is 15,000 square feet and sits on 500 acres of land, making it a large wedding venue unlike any other. Abney Hall was originally the home of Mrs. Josephine Abney, a Bennetsville native who was a lifelong philanthropist. Mrs. Abney devoted much of her time and effort towards supporting charities, educational institutions, hospitals, and other noble efforts. Today, Abney Hall stands tall as a symbol of love, both in our community and for the couples who choose to get married here.

Abney Hall is an exclusive event experience unlike any other, surrounded by verdant forests and sparkling ponds. Our venue is a natural fit for several occasions, including:

Special Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Weddings

 Event Venue Bennetsville, SC

Bridal Showers

 Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Bridal Portraits

 Rehearsal Dinner Venue Bennetsville, SC

Rehearsal Dinners

 Bridal Shower Venue Bennetsville, SC

Corporate Events

 Business Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Much More!

 Wedding Space Bennetsville, SC

The Top Wedding Venue in Bennetsville, SC

The beginning of your life starts at Abney Hall. With our team by your side, we can create the fairy tale wedding you have dreamed about since childhood. Whether you have 100 guests or 1,000, our waterfront ceremony locations and French-inspired courtyard are perfect for your big day. Celebrate in luxurious style surrounded by shady magnolia trees, a private forest, large ponds, and the beauty of Mother Nature. While our venue location and aesthetic have been praised far and wide, so too have the practical aspects of Abney Hall. Looking for a relaxing, comfortable spot for your bridal party to get ready in? We offer an entire floor in the Abney Hall residence to get the bridal party ready. Want to make your groomsman feel extra-special too? We've got a private, plush house just feet from a sparkling pond that is a proper hangout spot for the guys in your group.

To make life easier on you, we also offer Abney Hall as your go-to spot for rehearsal dinners. Why book an expensive restaurant or travel to another location when unmatched beauty and convenience are right at your fingertips? Abney Hall is just the place for that very important dinner the night before your big day. We are also happy to host your bridal shower at Abney Hall. Our venue makes for one of Bennetsville's most unique bridal shower settings, where your family and friends can gather to give gifts and be merry before you walk down the aisle.

With such a large, magnificent house and a vast property, Abney Hall also makes for an unforgettable location for your bridal portraits and other wedding-related photography needs. Don't take our word for it - book a tour and see for yourself why so many new brides and grooms choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bennetsville.

 Wedding Venue Bennetsville, SC

What Sets Abney Hall Apart from Other Wedding Venues in Bennetsville?

You've already found the person you want to spend the rest of your life beside. The next step? Finding the perfect wedding venue for your ceremony, reception, and celebration of your lifelong commitment to one another. Remember, the backdrop for photos, dancing, eating, and all other activities will be at your wedding venue. That's why we work so hard to set Abney Hall apart from our competitors - so you and your guests can focus on love and living your new life while we work with your vendors and photographers to make your magic night a reality.

Here are just a few reasons why guests choose Abney Hall as their wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC, along with some helpful tips from our experienced wedding venue staff:

Venue Size

Choosing the appropriate-sied venue for your desired guest count is a critical decision. A venue's capacity affects the number of people you need to consider having at your ceremony and reception. As you're first starting out, we recommend having a guest count in mind as you're searching for the right venue. Try to stick with that number. You may fall in love with a particular venue, but if its max capacity can't accommodate your guest count, it may be time to cross them off your list.

 Corporate Conference Hall Bennetsville, SC
Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

Keep in mind that this is your big day. You shouldn't feel obligated to invite the college roommate you shared a dorm with for one semester. At the end of the day, your wedding venue should be one that can accommodate those closest to you. Abney Hall is equipped for both small and large weddings, consisting of 500 acres of forest, ponds, and lush natural beauty. Whether you want an intimate wedding with only your best friends or a grand ceremony with hundreds of people, we have the right amount of room to make you comfortable.

Location and Nearby Lodging

On your big day, you're likely to have friends and family traveling in from other parts of the state or country. These folks will need a place to stay during and even after your wedding. Accessibility and ease are important factors when it comes to choosing your wedding venue for both you and your guests.

Located in Bennetsville, SC, Abney Hall is situated in a memorable, natural setting, giving your wedding a private vibe in the midst of Mother Nature. While we pride ourselves on having a secluded wedding event space, our venue is within an easy driving distance of hotels and vacation rentals.

Abney Hall Pro Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

When you contact us for a tour, make sure to speak with our experienced venue manager about nearby hotels and shuttle service options. We understand that your guest's comfort and convenience are important, and we're happy to work with you to figure out the best way to get your guests to Abney Hall.

Venue Staff

At Abney Hall, our staff has earned its reputation as one of the industry's most friendly, accessible teams. We will provide you with a purpose-minded point of contact that can help answer questions relating to timelines, preferred vendors, and every aspect of your wedding. When you tour our wedding venue in Bennetsville, SC, for the first time, we want you to feel like you have all the information you need to make an informed purchasing decision.

We would be happy to go over:
  • Venue Pricing
  • Ceremony Specifics
  • Reception Specifics
  • Catering Possibilities
  • Decorating Possibilities
  • Entertainment Options
  • Photography and Photo Opportunities
  • Venue Amenities
  • Bridal Party Needs
  • Groomsman Needs

At Abney Hall, our goal is to be your first resource when it comes to setting up and coordinating the details of your wedding day.

Decor

When it comes to your wedding's decor, you probably already have a few ideas in mind. We love it when our brides and grooms have a vision in mind because one of our greatest joys is turning that vision into a reality. At Abney Hall, our team is available to help you and your decorator fit, accent, and accommodate your fairy-tale wedding - whatever that may be.

Are you looking to dress up your wedding with decorations galore? Just want to add a few accents that tie into your preferred color palette? Abney Hall is versatile and ready to help however we are able.

 Reception Hall Bennetsville, SC
Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip:

If you're thinking about bringing in your own greenery, lighting, floral pieces, and more, we recommend discussing your vision with us on your initial tour of our event space. That way, we can get a head start on making your big day exactly how you envision it.

Photo Opportunities

10 years from now, when you and your spouse are celebrating your anniversary, you will pull out photographs from your wedding and will reminisce about the unforgettable time you spent at Abney Hall. Your wedding photos will be with you forever, and as such, we work closely with you and your photographer to suggest extra-special photo op spots that you can only find on Abney Hall grounds.

From the grand staircase and French-inspired courtyard to our manicured gardens and lovely pond, there is no shortage of photo-op locations for your photographer to choose from. As one of the most popular wedding venues in Bennetsville, SC, we have worked with dozens of photographers over the years.

Our experience has allowed us to cultivate a list of preferred photographers - all of whom have the talent to take your pictures to the next level in a setting they're familiar with. We encourage you to check out our gallery to get a sense of the scope of our wedding venue and gain inspiration from other happy couples.

Abney-Hall-Pro-Tip

Abney Hall Pro Tip

The gallery on our website is extensive but be sure to check out our Facebook and Instagram pages as well. We keep our social pages updated with recent wedding photographs, giving you an incredible resource that you can use for your own photography purposes.

Special Event Space Bennetsville, SC

The Premier Corporate Event Venue in Bennetsville, SC

Abney Hall is known across the United States for our stunning weddings, but we also play host to some of the largest corporate events in South Carolina. Why choose a bland, lifeless meeting space when you can enjoy the beauty of Mother Nature coupled with a professional atmosphere? If you have an important team-building event or corporate conference that you have to coordinate, look no further than Abney Hall.

The epitome of class and style, our corporate event space is large, lavish, and chock-full of onsite amenities for you and your co-workers to enjoy. If your team needs a morale boost, don't bring them to the local Olive Garden for a cheap lunch. Treat them to a refreshing experience in our main dining room, where we can work with you to incorporate your catering options with the goals of your event.

When the hard work is done, and your team needs a breather, what better way to relax than with a quick dip in our pool? To burn off a little steam, head over to our brand-new tennis court - the perfect place to get some exercise in an ultra-private setting while you enjoy the sights and sounds of nature. Don't forget to bring your fishing poles for a couple of hours of fishing. There's even an opportunity to go hunting if you wish.

 Event Venue Bennetsville, SC

Elegance at Its Finest - Only
a Phone Call Away

If you're ready to learn more about Abney Hall as your wedding venue, don't hesitate to reach out. We would love to hear more about your plans, your vision, and your needs. We know that planning a wedding isn't easy. It takes time, attention to detail, and a whole lot of patience. Our goal is to help provide you with all the info you need to learn more about our venue. Once you decide on a date, we'll work closely with you and your vendors to craft a wedding experience that you will treasure for the rest of your life.

Our available dates for your big day are going quick, especially during peak seasons like spring and fall. We look forward to hearing from you soon!

Contact us today for a FREE initial consultation
 Event Space Bennetsville, SC

Latest News in Bennetsville, SC

9 incarcerated men receive college credentials at Bennettsville prison

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WPDE) — Nine incarcerated men at Evans Correctional Institution received workforce certificates in business and industrial technology from Northeastern Technical College (NETC) at a graduation ceremony held on Aug. 9.A press release from Cheraw college stated the ceremony was the second of its kind for the college and the prison, made possible by the Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experiment....

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WPDE) — Nine incarcerated men at Evans Correctional Institution received workforce certificates in business and industrial technology from Northeastern Technical College (NETC) at a graduation ceremony held on Aug. 9.

A press release from Cheraw college stated the ceremony was the second of its kind for the college and the prison, made possible by the Department of Education’s Second Chance Pell Experiment.

The experiment allows incarcerated people to receive federal financial aid for higher education, to increase their access to college; in 2016, NETC was selected as one of 67 colleges in the United States to participate in a pilot program.

One of the men who graduated spoke at the ceremony and talked about his pride in completing the program along with his appreciation for the opportunity presented through the program.

Today is a historic day at Evans Correctional, we are acknowledging the success of a few believers, who became achievers in their educational pursuit. History has shown that success is not achieved by doing nothing, but the result of exercising belief, perseverance, and endless efforts to accomplish what seemed impossible,” he said. “Northeastern Technical College provided us the opportunity to obtain educational credentials that will indeed enhance our possibilities for success in life as productive returning citizens.

He continued to say, "Knowledge that is earned, is knowledge that cannot be discredited or even taken away. I stand proud with these men graduating today, we have accomplished our goals through belief, perseverance, and effort."

Due to the success of the experiment, the press release shared that funding eligibility will expand in 2023 to include incarcerated individuals in correctional facilities throughout South Carolina.

NETC has now expanded its curriculum to include stackable workforce programs in order for students to gain workforce skills, employable knowledge, and lifelong learning opportunities that “stack” upon other educational opportunities to create Associate and Bachelor degrees.

At the graduation, the South Carolina Department of Corrections Director, Bryan Stirling said, “Our department couldn’t have success with recidivism without education and job skills programs like this one. I want to thank our colleagues at Northeastern Tech and the staff at Evans for making this program so successful. It wasn’t always easy to work through the limitations of the pandemic, but they stayed the course and provided the leadership and structure to help build a better life for our graduates and their families.”

A study from RAND, first conducted in 2013 and updated in 2018, found that access to postsecondary education in prison can reduce recidivism by up to 48%, which ultimately leads to safer communities and less of a financial burden for taxpayers.

DON DAVIS: Thank God for the experiences

Earlier this year, the Spring Edition of Pee Dee Life was delivered along with my Herald Advocate Newspaper. I commend Mr. Heath Milligan for the excellent selection of feature articles, the professional penmanship and high quality of descriptive photos which broadens the minds of the readers. As I read the feature articles, I decided to dovetail some of the Pee Dee Life Profiles, which sent me back to earlier years of my life.In 1955, a close friend and I were stationed at Francis E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. One Sunday, we at...

Earlier this year, the Spring Edition of Pee Dee Life was delivered along with my Herald Advocate Newspaper. I commend Mr. Heath Milligan for the excellent selection of feature articles, the professional penmanship and high quality of descriptive photos which broadens the minds of the readers. As I read the feature articles, I decided to dovetail some of the Pee Dee Life Profiles, which sent me back to earlier years of my life.

In 1955, a close friend and I were stationed at Francis E. Warren AFB in Cheyenne, Wyoming. One Sunday, we attended a Baptist church downtown and were introduced as guests from Bennettsville, South Carolina. When the services were over, a couple of local men welcomed us and told us they had attended flight training at Palmer Field near our hometown.

They indicated it was a long way from Cheyenne, but they really enjoyed the friendliness of the people and how we made them feel like they were part of us. It would have been interesting to know the stories of more of those Army Air Corps Cadets and their World War II experiences.

There was also an article about “A Gathering Place” in Pageland, South Carolina, which was of interest to me. My daddy’s store, Davis Cut-Rate Furniture, handled new, used and antique furniture. My dad attended many auctions in search of second-hand stuff (Dad called it junk.).

He learned the value of antique pieces’ sales appeal if they were made of the right vintage and wood. Before the sales began, he scraped many coats of paint or varnish to get to the bare wood to determine which pieces were bid-worthy. When he returned home, my job was to strip off those many “coats of color.” The profit made it worth the effort.

Having been a railroad enthusiast since childhood, The Hamlet Depot and Museum piece was a good read as my mind returned to the past when I caught a train from that location. In 1957, I was on leave from my duty station in England and had flown from London to New York to make the last leg of my trip via Grand Central Station to Hamlet, North Carolina.

After my stay at home for 30 days, I returned to England. I will never forget that on the return trip, my mother had packed a grocery bag of Southern fried chicken. I was a little embarrassed but knew I had to eat something. When it came time to eat, I opened the bag and asked those around me if they would like to share with me. You guessed it, my chicken was gone in a Brooklyn minute. I learned from that day that if God gives you food, thank God, eat it and enjoy it.

The Lewis Hine Project about child abuse in the different industries caught my eye because one of the elderly couples in my church had explained in detail what they faced while working in the cotton mills in North Carolina.

Mr. and Mrs. Dancy had been working in different cotton mills across our state since they were small children. Mr. Dancy started at age 10. I think they said they married at 14 years old and both stayed in the mills until retirement. I cannot remember all the details, but it was too horrible to imagine.

This couple did not complain but thanked God for having employment for all those years. Mr. and Mrs. Dancy would ask me to take their tithes to the church and said they had been giving God his share since they became Christians. After each visit, she asked me to sing her favorite hymn with her, with these words: “Wait a little longer, please Jesus, there are so many wandering out in sin, just a little longer, please Jesus, a few more days to let our loved ones in.”

Discolored water issue in Bennettsville upsets business owners, residents

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WPDE) — Many people have reached out to ABC15 to complain about discolored water in some parts of the City of Bennettsville.They said the water is brown with a muddy tint.One woman said she’s had to close her business for the time being until the problem is fixed and the water is clear again.TRENDING: 23-year-old Robeson Co. man charged f...

BENNETTSVILLE, S.C. (WPDE) — Many people have reached out to ABC15 to complain about discolored water in some parts of the City of Bennettsville.

They said the water is brown with a muddy tint.

One woman said she’s had to close her business for the time being until the problem is fixed and the water is clear again.

TRENDING: 23-year-old Robeson Co. man charged following bank robbery investigation

Several other community members said the discoloration has been happening for almost two days and they didn’t hear anything from the city until they started complaining about it on social media.

The City of Bennettsville released the following statement:

We have experienced a problem at our Lyalls Street Water Treatment Plant that has resulted in discolored water in certain areas of the city. We are currently working to resolve this problem. It will be resolved as quickly as possible.

However, some community members question if it is safe to drink or cook with the water.

NEW TODAY: Former USPS employee with ties to Pee Dee sentenced in pandemic fraud scheme

The city administrator sent the following statement regarding the issue:

The City of Bennettsville is currently experiencing a problem with one of its pumps located at the Lyalls Street Water Treatment Facility. Due to the pump shutting on and off due to electrical problems, it has stirred up soils in the area causing turbidity. The City of Bennettsville is currently working on flushing the lines to clear the water. We have also spoken with DHEC to get guidance on the problem. As a result of our communication with DHEC, an official boil water advisory is “not” been issued at this time but we encourage citizens who are experiencing discolored water at their location to use caution when using the water. The process of flushing the system could take several hours and the City of Bennettsville will post an update to the matter at 3:00 pm today.

Residents are asked to call (843) 479-9001 or email info@bennettsvillesc.com with any questions or concerns.

Many people living in the 'Diabetes Belt' are plagued with medical debt

Delores Lowery remembers vividly the day in 2016 when she was working in a weaving plant near her home in Bennettsville, S.C., and the world around her seemed to go dim.She turned to her co-workers. "And I asked, I said, 'Why y'all got it so dark in here? They said, 'Delores, it's not dark in here.' I said, 'Yes it is. It's so dark in here.'"She landed in the hospital. Her A1C level, which shows the average percentage of sugar in someone's blood over the past few months, was 14.A reading of 6.5% or higher indic...

Delores Lowery remembers vividly the day in 2016 when she was working in a weaving plant near her home in Bennettsville, S.C., and the world around her seemed to go dim.

She turned to her co-workers. "And I asked, I said, 'Why y'all got it so dark in here? They said, 'Delores, it's not dark in here.' I said, 'Yes it is. It's so dark in here.'"

She landed in the hospital. Her A1C level, which shows the average percentage of sugar in someone's blood over the past few months, was 14.

A reading of 6.5% or higher indicates diabetes.

Lowery's home in Marlboro County is at the heart of what the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention calls the "Diabetes Belt" — 644 mostly Southern counties where rates of the disease are high.

And of those counties, NPR found that more than half have high levels of medical debt. That means at least 1 in 5 people have medical debt in collections.

That's much higher than the national rate, which is 13%, according to the Urban Institute, a social-policy nonprofit. In Marlboro County, 37% of people have medical debt in collections.

NPR measured the overlap of Diabetes Belt counties and high medical debt counties by merging the institute's medical debt database with the CDC's list of Diabetes Belt counties.

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Institute economist Breno Braga says medical debt, like diabetes, is concentrated in the South.

"The single most important predictor of a county's medical debt is the prevalence of chronic conditions. So it's basically the share of the population that has disease, such as diabetes, hypertension and other types," he says.

Lowery has been dealing with both the medical and financial challenges of Type 2 diabetes, and much more. The years since her diagnosis have been extremely difficult, with one life-changing event having overwhelming health and financial consequences.

In 2017, she came home one day to find her daughter, Ella Shantrica, on the floor, stabbed to death. The body of her granddaughter, 8-year-old Iyana, was found 12 days later in a nearby creek. In February, a man was found guilty in the killings and sentenced to life in prison.

In an interview in the front room of that tidy single-family home in Bennettsville, Lowery says it took some time before she could bring herself to return to the house.

"Every day, 24 hours a day, that incident is in my head," she says. "It will never, ever go away."

She credits her church's pastor with helping her go back to the home, which she shares with her grandson Tyreon, a teenager on the autism spectrum. With her daughter gone, Lowery says she is Tyreon's sole caregiver.

Paying for diabetes care along with bills for food and housing has been a constant financial strain that eventually put her in debt.

"The cost of living was so extremely high in trying to raise my grandson that I just got behind," she says.

She's not alone. In addition to NPR's findings, research from the American Diabetes Association says people with the disease have more than twice the medical expenses annually as those without the disease.

"Because diabetes is a chronic illness, there are always six-month appointments," says Donna Dees, who lives in Georgia and was diagnosed with Type 2 diabetes in 2008. "Every six months, go to the doctor, you've got lab work. So that's how the costs keep building up and building up."

Dees built up thousands of dollars in medical debt and got help from RIP Medical Debt, a nonprofit group that says it has wiped out more than $8 billion in medical debt.

Lowery will tell you that she gets high-quality and compassionate health care from a local provider. But the financial challenge of living with diabetes has put her health into decline.

A drug that once helped her, Ozempic, is now too costly for her.

She says the medicine had been helping bring her diabetes under control. She was getting it delivered to her home, but she didn't meet her copays and the bills piled up as unpaid debt.

Soon, the deliveries stopped and Lowery tried to renew the prescription at the local pharmacy.

"I went to get it and the woman told me, 'I don't think you're going to be able to afford this.' I said, 'Why not?' She said, 'Because it's seven hundred and some dollars.'"

Worse, as the drug's profile skyrocketed in recent months as a "Hollywood" treatment for weight loss, demand increased and a shortage developed.

Lowery said earlier this year that she hadn't been able to get Ozempic for several months and that her diabetes was getting worse. Her insurance company has been no help.

"Nobody is willing to work with me with Ozempic. I don't know what to do," Lowery says. "They won't send me the medicine."

She and her provider even talked about getting physician samples, but given Ozempic's growing popularity, that didn't work.

In Lowery's hometown, others are struggling too.

More than 1 in 3 residents of the surrounding county have medical debt in collections, and 1 in 3 live in poverty.

It wasn't always this way, locals tell NPR. The area once hummed with manufacturing companies, restaurants and other amenities. There were plenty of good jobs to go around.

But one by one, employers moved out. Today, downtown Bennettsville is pretty quiet. South Carolina as a whole has nearly 100,000 fewer manufacturing jobs than it did in 2000.

"Bennettsville used to be a more thriving community years ago," says Lowery's health care provider, nurse practitioner Pat Weaver. "With a lot of our plants leaving for, you know, overseas in the last 15-20 years really made a devastating impact. We used to have a hospital here and now we no longer have that. It is very poor."

Weaver works for CareSouth, a nonprofit health center that has a federal government designation as a safety net provider.

As she walks the halls of the clinic, checking on colleagues and patients, she says that of the 3,300 appointments she takes every year, more than 90% of them have Type 2 diabetes.

She and others point to Bennettsville's changing economic fortune as a source of health problems in the community. Half the households in the city have an income less than $32,000.

She says lower-income residents often can't or don't choose the kinds of healthy meals that would help them control their diabetes.

"The fast foods don't help at all, and a lot of people just eat it every day, and that's a problem. It truly is," Weaver says. "But we have programs to help them. We even have a program where we take patients to the grocery store and we teach them what to buy."

CareSouth takes other steps, too, to fight the effects of poverty and disease in Bennettsville. The center has a sliding fee scale based on ability to pay and an in-house pharmacy that uses a federal program to keep drug prices down.

For Lowery, having a medical provider like Weaver has been a lifeline. "She's seen me through so much," Lowery says. "She tried different medicines to get my diabetes intact."

Finding Weaver came at a time when her family's murders threw her into depression, her finances spiraled out of control, and her diabetes worsened. Weaver, she says, helped get her into counseling.

"When she found out what had happened, I honestly believe in my heart that she cried just like I cried," Lowery says. "She did so much for me."

While there is no easy solution for Lowery, who is over 65 and on Medicare, the Urban Institute and others say a simple policy change could prevent others from getting to such a difficult stage in their disease and finances: Expand Medicaid.

"Seventy-nine out of the 100 counties with the highest levels of medical debt are in states that have not expanded Medicaid under the ACA," the Urban Institute's Braga says.

The ACA is the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which offered states the option to expand their health insurance programs for the poor.

South Carolina is one of 10 states that have declined, and where NPR identified more than two dozen counties that fall within the Diabetes Belt and have high rates of medical debt. There's evidence from other states that people became healthier and owed less money to medical providers after Medicaid expansion.

The centers in states that did expand Medicaid than those in states that didn't expand the program, and the effect was quick — within three years of the expansion.

Those improvements happened consistently among Black and Hispanic patients, who have higher rates of diabetes.

A study in Louisiana found that people who gained Medicaid coverage after an expansion there had reduced medical debt.

Lowery says going forward she will continue to rely on her faith and her church community to help her through the tough times.

Still, she worries about the possible worsening of her diabetes and the financial stress of daily life.

"I wish things would get better," she says. "I think I would sleep a little better, because sometimes it's kind of hard for me to try to keep some food on the table."

This story was edited by Robert Little and Kamala Kelkar. It was produced by Meg Anderson. Photo editing by Virginia Lozano.

Copyright 2023 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Arauco and Cyngn Select South Carolina Facility to Spearhead Electrification and Automation Rollout

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cyngn Inc. (Nasdaq: CYN), a developer of AI-powered autonomous driving solutions for industrial applications, and ...

MENLO PARK, Calif., Aug. 23, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- Cyngn Inc. (Nasdaq: CYN), a developer of AI-powered autonomous driving solutions for industrial applications, and Arauco, a global sustainable forestry products, pulp, and engineered wood supplier to the furniture and construction industries, today announced the plan to deploy Cyngn's first DriveMod Forklifts to Arauco's Bennettsville, South Carolina facility.

On August 8, Cyngn announced that Arauco had signed an agreement for a paid pre-order of 100 DriveMod Forklifts to help them automate their material handling workflows at wood and pulp manufacturing facilities. The companies plan the initial delivery of DriveMod Forklifts to Arauco starting in mid 2024 in Bennettsville, South Carolina. Cyngn and Arauco plan to work together to expand the DriveMod autonomous fleet across Arauco's 40+ global sites.

Arauco is a well-known and established wood products supplier with over $7 billion in revenue in 2022. Arauco supplies high-quality wood products to global customers and is committed to sustainability and carbon neutrality. With the intention of electrifying their fleet of forklifts and integrating autonomous capabilities, Arauco expects to support its environmental goals, while maximizing operational productivity, efficiency, and safety.

"Arauco's decision to deploy its first autonomous vehicles in an American facility underscores the urgency with which these technologies need to be deployed in costly markets like those in North America. In the United States, it can be particularly difficult to hire and retain skilled employees. We are excited at the opportunity to be Arauco's vehicle automation partner and to work in support of their admirable efforts to continue striving for ESG excellence," said Lior Tal, Chief Executive Officer of Cyngn.

Cyngn Inc.650-204-1551

Skyya PR for Cyngn Inc. (Nasdaq: CYN)651-283-8700

Cyngn Inc. 214-587-8533

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