A federal grand jury has indicted James Metts, sheriff of Lexington County for the past 43 years, on charges of accepting bribes and abuse of office. Specifically, it’s alleged he took payments from the owner of the San Jose Mexican restaurants to release illegal immigrants from jail. Gov. Nikki Haley suspended Metts on Monday and appointed his former second in command, Lewis McCarty, as interim sheriff. Metts is fighting the charges. The State has the most comprehensive coverage of this story, including a companion piece on San Jose boss Greg Leon.
And, oh yeah, the former police chief of South Congaree, also located in Lexington County, has been indicted by state officials for accepting bribes to turn over illegal video gambling machines his department had seized, WIS reports. The Lexington County video gambling saga has been simmering for years, as Corey Hutchins reported in 2012, and had observers waiting for the other shoe to drop.
The South Carolina Senate has delayed a vote to select its next leader as Republican members try to prod one of their own to be the sacrificial lamb. Because Glenn McConnell is about to abandon the lieutenant governor’s office to become president of the College of Charleston, the Senate’s next president pro tempore soon will ascend directly to that office, according the state’s rules of succession, but only for the remainder of the year, as voters will select another lieutenant governor in November. So the next Senate leader basically is agreeing to surrender his legislative seniority for a short term in an office that everybody agrees is largely useless. Sen. Yancey McGill (D-Kingstree) is the only member to have publicly volunteered so far.
The DMV in Anderson County forced away a teenager, who is gender non-conforming, to remove his make-up to be photographed for a driver’s license. Chase Culpepper, 16, wears make-up and women’s clothing on a regular basis, and sought to be photographed for his driver’s license in such attire. A DMV official reportedly justified the action, saying Culpepper “did not look the way a boy should.” Culpepper says he was told he couldn’t wear a disguise for the photo. The Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund is asking the Anderson DMV to issue another photo ID with Culpepper appearing as he regularly does. The Washington Post and others are all over this story.
Always good to see a Sandlapper kicking ass on Jeopardy. Way to go, Andrea Prospero West of Columbia!
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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