Sen. Joel Lourie called on the governor to fire Department of Social Services director Lillian Koller yesterday, saying the director has “has violated state statues and endangered the lives of children in DSS care.” Koller told senators last week that her agency’s doing pretty well, and refused to resign.
A hearing is set for next week in the grand jury investigation of whether House Speaker Bobby Harrell improperly used his position to benefit his company and used campaign funds for personal use. Harrell’s attorneys tell the Post and Courier they’ll ask the circuit judge to rule that Harrell should be investigated by a panel of House members instead of by the grand jury. But a key reason the Harrell investigation was taken up by the attorney general and forwarded to a grand jury in the first place was out of fear that, as speaker, Harrell wields too much influence over the House Ethics Committee.
An audit by a Michigan firm called Funston Advisory Services has found the state’s pension agency “doesn't overpay in investment fees but rather reports those fees more thoroughly than any other public pension fund in the nation,” according to the Post and Courier. State Treasurer Curtis Loftis has spent years arguing the fund is mismanaged, pays too-high fees and performs poorly. Auditors say the fund is actually quite transparent. They did admit, however, that it pays higher-than-average management fees, though they say that’s because the fund deals in a lot of alternative investments. In fact, reports the Post and Courier, “Funston's nearly-300-page report says the dysfunctional relationship between the commission and Loftis, a member of the agency's board, is one of the most significant risks to the $27 billion portfolio that benefits more than 550,000 public workers, retirees and their beneficiaries.”
The New York Times profiled the College of Charleston's recent travails yesterday, notably the state Legislature's rage over students having been assigned Alison Bechdel's memoir, which deals in part with her coming out; and the college's hiring of Confederacy-lovin' Lt. Gov. Glenn McConnell as its next president. According to the Gray Lady, these incidents "have thrust this oldest college south of Virginia into protracted turmoil as the latest flash point in the nation’s culture wars."
Richland County cops also say a man jumped off the I-20 bridge into the Broad River during a traffic stop Tuesday. Department of Natural Resources patrollers have been unable to locate his body. The man who bystanders say jumped off the Gervais Street bridge last week has not been found, either.
Richland County sheriff's deputies shot at a suspect Tuesday, hitting him in the arm. WIS says the man is accused of selling drugs, and that he threw marijuana out of his car during a chase.
The first major task of Skip Holbrook, Columbia’s new police chief, will be hiring a bunch of new cops to fill vacancies at the department, The State reports. He’d particularly like to focus on hiring minorities and females so the department’s demographics better represent the Capital City.
Lexington County Council is considering raising taxes for the fourth year in a row, The State reports.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce endorsed Sen. Lindsey Graham for reelection Tuesday, surprising nobody.
New Downtown Dessert and Coffee Bar!
Tony’s Italian Eatery has teamed up with Southern Charm Sweets to bring you the highest quality dessert selection in the downtown area. 1120 Washington St., Suite 2. Find us on Facebook!
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage is offering 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
A Healthy Happy Hour
4-7 p.m at Good Life Cafe on Main St. Try our $4 local draft beers, $4 organic wine, 1/2 off select bottles of house wine and $5 handcrafted house cocktails with juices cold pressed and made daily. Click here for more info.
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
Real Estate Spotlight
Concord Park From the $150’s. Off 12th St. Extension. 803.419.2227. mungo.com
Click here for more real estate.
ST. ANDREWS COMMONS APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Close to everywhere YOU WANT TO BE! 1200 St. Andrews Rd., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
WATERFORD APARTMENTS 1 & 2 BR’s available with many amenities. Prime location, and plenty of space. Live large at Waterford Apartments. Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 1340 Longcreek Dr., Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
GABLE HILL APARTMENTS 1, 2 & 3 BR’s available with many amenities. Surround yourself with Southern comforts at Gable Hill Apartments! Bring in our ad in Free Times for $50 off your application fee. 310 Ross Rd, Columbia, SC. Click here for more info.
Donate Plasma Today & Be Somebody’s Hero For Life. You could earn up to $400 a month! Program and fees vary per location. Contact your local center today. 803-736-5888. Click here for more info