South Carolina's unemployment rate dropped to 7.1 percent in November from 7.5 percent the previous month, the state Department of Employment and Workforce reported. Richland County's unemployment rate dropped to 6.2 percent from 6.9 percent, and — as usual — Lexington County had the lowest unemployment rate in the state, at 5.2 percent. Statewide, the largest job gains were in the trade, transportation and utilities sector (4,600 jobs), followed by government (2,700) and manufacturing (1,100).
The Columbia-based Edens firm landed a major capital investment of $1.5 billion, The State reported, $1 billion of it from investment firm Blackstone. Edens develops shopping centers — including Cross Hill Market locally — nationwide. The new investment will boost the company's potential to grow and its national profile.
A conference committee of state lawmakers met Dec. 19 to discuss government restructuring proposals, Adam Beam reported. Among the ideas under discussion is abolishing the Budget and Control Board and replacing it with a Department of Administration. They came to no agreement and agreed to reconvene in January.
The University of South Carolina men's basketball team continues to struggle, the latest manifestation being a humiliating loss to USC-Upstate. The women's team, however, is 9-1 and ranked No. 10 nationally in the most recent AP poll.
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!
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.
Happy Hour and Sushi Specials All Week
Red Bowl in Lexington now has great early bird and late night sushi specials 7 days a week, as well as 99-cent kids meals on Saturdays! Click here for special information and hours.
Trustus Theatre Presents Evil Dead, The Musical
This musical version of Sam Raimi’s cult classic films promises to serve up more humor than horror. You can read more and purchase your tickets here.
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.
Make your own beer and wine!
Come get started on your “liquid hobby” and help us celebrate our 46th year in the Columbia area. Bet Mar Liquid Hobby Shop, 736 St. Andrews Road. Click to find out how!
SEARCH FREE TIMES
Local restaurants serving locally grown food during Palmetto Tasty Tomato Restaurant Feast, July 11-18:
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