FT Roundup

S.C. Chamber of Commerce Endorses Haley for Governor

Plus, USC President Likes NCAA Reform
By Eva Moore
Friday, August 8, 2014 |

The South Carolina Chamber of Commerce announced Thursday it is endorsing Gov. Nikki Haley for re-election, citing her focus on jobs and economic development. Four years ago, it endorsed her then-and-now opponent, S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen, the Associated Press notes.

The NCAA’s board of directors voted Thursday to lift some restrictions against colleges in the five wealthiest athletic conferences, allowing them to share profits from big-money sports with players — and even opening the door to someday paying college players. As Reuters notes, “The vast majority of student-athletes never go on to play professionally, and critics say the NCAA’s current scholarship policy short-changes athletes who risk injury and devote many hours to practice, travel and competition.” University of South Carolina President Harris Pastides gave the reform vote a thumbs-up on Twitter, saying, “Big Day at the NCAA. Reform agenda was passed 16-2. On our way to providing better resources to our student athletes.”

West Columbia Mayor Joe Owens responded to a report prepared by attorney Robert Bolchoz on behalf of West Columbia City Council that says the mayor bullies and threatens employees and let the former police chief run wild. “This is simply another step in a scheme by certain Council members and their political allies to damage Mayor Joe Owen’s reputation to the greatest extent possible in the run-up to the referendum on changing the form of West Columbia’s government coming up on Sept. 30,” Owens said in a letter to area media. Council has tried to wrest power from Owens; some residents responded by mounting a petition to change the city’s government to a strong-mayor form, giving Owens more power. Bolchoz’ report suggests Owens has abused the power he currently has. It also contains several strange and specific allegations, including that Former Police Chief Matt Edwards ordered that three non-threatening dogs roaming loose be executed in a “bizarre firing squad manner as he raised his arm and lowered it while calling ‘Fire!’”

The Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General says Columbia’s Dorn VA office does a poor job of reviewing disability claims, with numerous errors and time delays, The State reports. It’s the latest blow for the VA system, which has drawn fire for falsifying appointment data to cover up its failure to treat veterans in a timely manner.

The City of Columbia’s hospitality tax committee is at odds over whether it gives enough money to events run by minorities, The State reports.

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