WIS's Jack Kuenzie spoke with the Louisiana developer who plans to renovate the historic Babcock building on the Bull Street campus into a 200-room hotel. According to the developer, the renovation depends upon a bill now pending at the State House that would increase the state tax credit for historic revitalization projects like Babcock. He also discussed the high costs of renovation, saying, "I like to say that the building is worth a negative $20 million dollars. ... that's about what it's going to take to get the asbestos out, the lead paint, and restore the structure where it's actually collapsing in certain areas of the building. We have obsolete windows. It goes on and on and on. So it's $20 million dollars to get this building to a shell state."
A Tennessee-based company bought the recently vacated AgFirst Farm Credit Bank Building in downtown Columbia and plans to convert it into apartments — and will preserve the iconic "Tunnelvision" mural that local artist Blue Sky painted on the side of the building in 1975, The State reports.
The GOP candidates for superintendent of education met in a televised debate Tuesday night, answering questions about science education, the Common Core education standards and other topics. Most of the fireworks were between uber-conservative abstinence-only sex ed activist Sheri Few and former deputy superintendent Meka Childs: "Few, who turned nearly every question back to her opposition to Common Core, repeatedly targeted Childs, criticizing her for having worked for the state," The State reports. Contrasts seem to have emerged between Molly Spearman, executive director of the S.C. Association for School Administrators, and the other candidates, with Spearman taking more moderate positions on many topics.
Charleston City Council took the first of three votes last night to enact a zoning law that would prevent future businesses downtown from selling alcohol after midnight. In a letter to his colleagues, Mayor Joe Riley, who supports the zoning overlay, wrote, "we believe we are close to a tipping point in terms of the late night and early morning bar related challenges in our city." Surrounding neighborhoods support the bill, which drew the support of all but one council member.
House Speaker Bobby Harrell has beefed up his legal team, hiring "three of the state’s most experienced appeals lawyers" ahead of late June arguments before the state Supreme Court about who should hear ethics charges against him.
U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham, who is facing a primary in a few weeks, will appear in Spartanburg and Columbia today with Ron Dermer, the U.S. ambassador to Israel, at events sponsored by Christians United for Israel.
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.
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.
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!
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
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