S.C. Sen. Vincent Sheheen said at a press conference this week that Gov. Nikki Haley is fudging the welfare-to-work numbers she's touting in her re-election campaign. While Haley says her Department of Social Services has moved 20,000 people off welfare and into jobs, Sheheen argued that DSS sets very low standards for what counts as a job. "If a person gets paid 20 bucks once a week to mow a lawn, Nikki Haley counts that as a job," he said. He also said many of the people who are moved off Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF — what most call "welfare" these days) still remain on food stamps and in need of other government assistance. A call to the governor's office seeking comment was not returned.
However, despite Sheheen's efforts, at a University of South Carolina symposium Thursday night political experts from across the state said Sheheen is unlikely to beat Haley in their rematch this fall. Here's Free Times' report.
The night before classes began at the University of South Carolina, a student was robbed at gunpoint near the historic Horseshoe in the heart of campus, the university announced Thursday. Because the student didn't have any money on him, the gunman accompanied the student to his dorm room at East Quad. Cops have released photos of the suspect.
Anti-tax Republican activist Don Weaver, who is challenging Democrat Norman Jackson for his seat on Richland County Council this fall, is trying to make an issue out of Jackson's handling of sewer issues in Lower Richland, The State reports. Many residents are upset by a new sewer system in Hopkins to which they'll have to pay to connect.
The latest news outlet to chronicle South Carolina's struggling schools, which have for decades failed the state's poorest students? Al Jazeera America.
South Carolina Electric and Gas Co. plans to build a 20-acre solar array next to its headquarters in Cayce, the company announced Thursday.
There was a bit of a showdown at West Columbia City Hall on Thursday, WIS reports: Supporters of Mayor Joe Owens held a press conference to refute a recent report by attorney Robert Bolchoz that suggest Owens abuses his power. Before the presser, Owens got into an argument with Councilman Tem Miles, his chief critic on Council, and locked him out of the room. Miles summoned a police officer to unlock the door. "Both Miles and Owens called each other liars and ultimately the meeting was called off after they continued to argue back and forth," the station reports.
Wal-Mart has opened five primary care clinics in stores across South Carolina, most recently Florence and Sumter. As The Post and Courier reports, it's part of a pilot project by the company to offer affordable care for both employees and customers. The company has long drawn criticism for not offering health benefits to many of its employees.
Ice Skate on Main Street
Columbia’s famously hot skating rink is now open! Additional information and discounts can be found here.
Hickory Tavern Is Now Open!
Find us on Facebook, Twitter (@TheHickoryTav), Instagram (@HickoryTavern), and visit our website for more info. 907 Senate Street in the Vista!
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 6-11 PM on December 31st on Main Street, enjoy rides, games, karaoke, food, drinks and more! More information here.
Great Gifts for the Whole Family
Don’t miss Half Moon Outfitters’ holiday sale! Up to 30% off Prana, Patagonia, The North Face, and other great brands. Location and hours here.
Relaxation, Pain Management, and Stress Relief
Licensed massage therapist Allison Morris of AMR Massage offers 50% off your first session and every 5th session free of charge. Click here for location, hours, and more information.
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Holiday Wish ListWhere to shop for gift ideas in Columbia this season:
U.S. Security Associates
Now hiring immediately for armed and unarmed security officers. WE TRAIN YOU! Columbia & surrounding areas. ussecurityassociates.com
F/T and P/T avail. Must have a clean driving record, organized and have a prof appearance. Please call for an interview or email resume to Kerry@crystalpool.com. Must bring a copy of your Driving record and a list of all past employers with duration of employment listed as well as telephone numbers for references. Call 803-865-1200
Real Estate Spotlight
Mungo Homes. Celebrating 60 years of our family building for your family. mungo.com