Columbia Free Times
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Columbia Police Chief Job Nets At Least 40 Candidates

Plus, Potato Farm Causes Angst
By Eva Moore
Wednesday, December 11, 2013 |
Wednesday is the last day to apply for the job of Police Chief of Columbia. City Manager Teresa Wilson told City Council on Tuesday that 40 people have applied for the job so far. Eleven are from South Carolina; the others are from states across the country. Twelve are minorities. No women applied. Despite the broad search, Mayor Steve Benjamin and Councilman Cameron Runyan were still pushing Tuesday to have an outside consultant perform a national search, something the Greater Columbia Chamber of Commerce has offered to pay for. But Wilson and Councilwoman Tameika Isaac Devine pushed back, saying search firms tend to have a slate of candidates they bring in for every search, and that the search committee Wilson has assembled has unique knowledge of Columbia's troubled history of revolving police chiefs and systemic issues. The search committee will begin interviewing candidates in January, after some initial screening.

A massive potato farm that would draw "potentially billions of gallons of water" from the scenic Edisto River is causing concerns among environmentalists. Michigan-based Walther Farms already has one of the two state permits it needs — DHEC granted it last year — but the Department of Natural Resources is raising questions about whether the farm will deplete the river. The company supplies potatoes to Frito-Lay.

The officer who pursued Gamecocks defensive end Jadeveon Clowney for speeding got up to speeds of 142 mph himself, according to newly released dashcam video, The Daily Gamecock reports. Clowney was ticketed for driving 110 mph. "The trooper drove above 100 mph for at least a minute and 15 seconds, the video shows," according to the Gamecock.

Costco is not coming to Piney Grove Road. The discount superstore ran into unexpected cost overruns and asked Richland County Council for economic incentives — usually reserved for manufacturers, as The State notes — but although Council agreed to offer some tax incentives, the amount wasn't enough for the company. According to The State, "council was told governments in other states had offered up to $10 million in incentives and Costco’s cost overruns were less than $3 million."

Shaw Air Force Base removed a nativity scene after a complaint from the Military Religious Freedom Foundation — or, as Fox News put it, "The Baby Jesus has been kicked off Shaw Air Force Base in South Carolina, according to an organization who relishes any opportunity to eradicate Christianity from the U.S. military."

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Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:

Blue Marlin

1200 Lincoln St.
, 803-799-3838

The Vista, Columbia

The Southern Belly BBQ

1332 Rosewood Dr., 803-667-9533


100 State St., 803-791-3443
West Columbia

Il Giorgione
 Pizzeria & Wine Bar

2406 Devine St., 803-521-5063

Cafe Strudel

300 State St., 803-794-6634

West Columbia

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