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Lowcountry real estate developer Pat McKinney has withdrawn from the lieutenant governor’s primary, citing deaths in the family, leaving the run-off to Mike Campbell and Henry McMaster.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.
Trustus Theatre Presents Evil Dead, The Musical
This musical version of Sam Raimi’s cult classic films promises to serve up more humor than horror. You can read more and purchase your tickets here.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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