As forecast, the Midlands are blanketed with snow and ice Wednesday, with the forecast showing plenty more ice on the way. State troopers are asking drivers to stay off the roads. There've already been plenty of accidents, many of them single-car sliding episodes. If you do have to drive, though, here's the state Department of Transportation's road conditions website. (As of 8:30 a.m., it lists all major highways as covered with snow and ice.) The rest of the day could bring ice accumulations of 1/2 to 1 inch, which would mean downed branches and power outages as the day progresses. The Comet bus system is shut down. Amtrak is shut down across the Southeast. City, county and state offices are shut down. Schools are shut down. You get the idea.
As a result of the weather, this week's Free Times might not be in its customary rack as early as we'd like. Downtown boxes are stocked, but papers to outlying areas will be delivered when conditions allow. (But here you are on the website, so it's OK!)
Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill Tuesday that allows concealed weapon permit holders to carry their guns into bars and restaurants, unless the business owners post a sign banning it. The signing actually drew some last-minute protests. Here's a story we wrote on how bars and signmakers are preparing for the law. Haley also said she supports a so-called Constitutional Carry law, under which people could carry guns, concealed or otherwise, without a permit or training.
WIS takes a look at the IT security improvements the state has made since a massive hacking of the Department of Revenue two years ago. Bottom line: It's better, but not great.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Going someplace cool this weekend?
Let The Backpacker help you go lightweight, comfortable and in style! Patagonia, Prana, Merrell, The North Face and more! Click for location, hours and more info.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
New Year’s Eve at Social
Don’t miss this Black and White Affair featuring Kap Slap. Tickets available online!
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
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Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
Real Estate Spotlight
Capital Kitchen & Bath One stop solution for all your remodeling & new construction needs. CAPITALKB.COM