Thomas Ravenel confirms to the Post and Courier that he's been out collecting signatures from registered voters to mount an independent challenge to U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham this fall. (Democratic state Sen. Brad Hutto will also be on the ballot.) Formerly a Republican, Ravenel served as South Carolina's state treasurer in 2007 before being indicted on cocaine distribution charges and heading to federal prison; as a result of his run-in with the War on Drugs, he's now a Ron Paul-endorsing libertarian. He recently gained national fame as the star of reality show Southern Charm. He'll need 10,000 signatures to get on November's ballot.
Although Latta residents voted Tuesday to change the town's form of government, essentially wresting power from the mayor who'd fired a popular police chief in April, the mayor defied voters by hiring a new police chief Wednesday morning. It's still unclear whether the mayor has the authority or budgetary power to do so.
In the ongoing corruption trial of businessman and former S.C. State University trustee Jonathan Pinson, on Wednesday jurors heard a wiretapped phone call from 2011 in which Pinson said Columbia Mayor Steve Benjamin and City Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine "worked behind the scenes to help Zahn [a Florida businessman who pled guilty] and Pinson win a contract to rebuild the city’s oldest public housing complex," The State reports. The men did not get the contract to raze and rebuild the housing project, Gonzales Gardens.
The state Department of Transportation is finally opening up those long-closed lanes on Interstate 20 in northeast Columbia, ColaDaily reports. Work on the project will continue; however, as of today, "three lanes will be open to eastbound traffic along the six-mile widening project from Interstate 77 to just east of Spears Creek Church Road (Exit 82). Three lanes will be open westbound by 6 a.m. Friday as long as no weather delays occur."
Lexington County Council voted 4-2 to move forward with a November referendum to allow Sunday beer and wine sales.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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