Columbia Free Times
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SLED, FBI Deliver Report on Columbia Police “Black Ops”

Local Solicitor Johnson Recuses Himself
By Porter Barron Jr.
Thursday, December 12, 2013 |
Findings from a joint SLED-FBI investigation into alleged “black ops” at the Columbia Police Department have been forwarded to an outside solicitor to avoid the appearance of impropriety, 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson told The State. The operation in question supposedly involved top city cops trying to plant drugs on an assistant city manager.

Charlotte police arrested a man suspected of fatally shooting Mayor Steve Benjamin’s brother-in-law, Donald Gist Jr., 38, on Tuesday, The Associated Press reports. Police said the killing did not appear random as Gist and suspect Arthur Givens, 40, had known each other.

The Republican National Committee has been quietly moving to overhaul its presidential nominating process in 2016, CNN reports, but the bellwether states of Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina and Nevada would keep their early primaries in February. The RNC hopes to push most states’ primaries to late June and punish any states that attempt to leapfrog, prompting further reshuffling, by threatening to strip the state-level Republicans of convention delegates.

SLED Director Mark Keel has requested a $15 million budget increase in order to hire 65 additional agents, which would return SLED’s manpower to pre-recession levels, The Associated Press reports. Keel also requested permission to spend $3.5 million on a new helicopter.

South Carolinians signed up for health insurance via in November at five times the rate they did in October, but the two-month total of 2,761 falls far short of projected activity, The State reports.

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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

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

The Southern Belly BBQ

1332 Rosewood Dr., 803-667-9533


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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