U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, speaking to an educators' symposium in Charleston via the Internet, blasted South Carolina for opting out of controversial Common Core standards, apparently under the impression South Carolina intends to adopt less rigorous standards. He acknowledged that there are legitimate concerns about Common Core but said that most of the fuss has been motivated by politics, The Post and Courier reports.
After a harrowing year at the helm of Richland County’s historically troubled DSS office, its director, Elizabeth Stroup, is stepping down, The Statereports. Stroup entered the position last May, when the county office was in serious disarray, several months before the violent death of 4-year-old Robert Guinyard Jr. at the hands of his parents. That tragedy, which should have been prevented, propelled the Senate investigation into mismanagement of the state agency, which led to former director Lillian Koller’s recent resignation.
Richland County Council has voted to pursue development of a giant water park and an indoor athletic center on the outskirts of Columbia, part of a push from rural districts to see county tourism dollars spent in their communities. Few details have been settled, according to The State. Council also nixed three other big-ticket proposals: two amphitheaters and an aquatic center.
Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney has withdrawn from the lieutenant governor’s primary, citing deaths in the family, leaving the run-off to Mike Campbell and Henry McMaster. South Carolina Radio Network reports that McKinney narrowly had placed second after Tuesday’s vote, pending a recount.
South Carolina has the 10th highest foreclosure rate in the nation, despite a steady decline in recent months, according to GSA Business. Columbia ranks 15th among metropolitan areas with populations of 200,000 or more.
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.
A Family-Friendly New Year’s Eve Carnival
From 5-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
A Re-Imagined Christmas Carol at Trustus
Watch as five actors perform all the characters of Charles Dickens’ classic story and create a live musical score in a production that had audiences and critics raving last year. Get your tickets here!
Now Hiring in the Vista!
Hickory Tavern is opening mid-December and looking for bartenders, servers, hosts and kitchen staff. Apply in person: Click for details!
Make Your Own Beer and Wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop: 736 St. Andrews Road.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink opens Thanksgiving Day! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
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Town Center Apartment Homes in Lake Carolina THE PURSUIT OF HAPPINESS. Bran new apartments inside award-winning Lake Carolina. towncenteratlakecarolina.com