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By Eric Weisfeld

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) _ South Carolina legislators this week criticized the state's unemployment agency for what they called lavish, taxpayer-funded trips. The following details four conferences on veterans' services held during the tenure of outgoing Director Abraham Turner, as provided by the agency. The events were funded by $100,000 annual grants the agency receives from the U.S. Department of Labor for training and incentives for veterans services:

_Sept. 12-14, 2011: Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach. 110 DEW employees attended the training and incentives conference. Recognitions went to the most productive offices, by size, and those providing exceptional services to employers and the homeless. Cost: $75,467.

_June 27-29, 2012: Pawleys Plantation, Pawleys Island. 54 DEW employees attended the training conference. Cost: $28,247.

_Nov. 15-16, 2012: Embassy Suites, North Charleston. 100 DEW employees attended the awards conference, which included motivational workshops and an awards dinner with a defense contractor as keynote speaker. Recognitions went to the most productive offices, by size, and those providing exceptional services to employers and the homeless. Cost: $25,567.

_Feb. 4-6, 2013: Embassy Suites at Kingston Plantation, Myrtle Beach. 95 DEW employees attending the training conference. Projected cost of $65,000.

Source: The SC Department of Employment and Workforce

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