The City of Columbia named William “Skip” Holbrook its new police chief on March 21. Holbrook, who most recently was police chief of Huntington, W. Va., steps into a politically charged situation marked by turmoil during the search for a chief and controversy over allegations surrounding the past two chiefs.
— Dan Cook
Baseball Vote Set for April 8
Columbia City Council has delayed a second and final vote on whether to fund a minor-league baseball stadium at Bull Street. The vote will probably come April 8. Councilman Cameron Runyan, the likely swing vote, says he’s still doing his due diligence — last week, he visited Greenville to discuss its recent baseball experiences with city officials there. — Eva Moore
The College of Charleston hired Lt. Gov Glenn McConnell to be its new president — over the protests of faculty and students who don’t take kindly to McConnell’s love for all things Confederate, not to mention his lack of education experience. — Eva Moore
S.C. House Votes to Restrict Abortion
A bill that would ban abortions in South Carolina after 20 weeks of gestation easily cleared the House of Representatives on Wednesday, 84 to 29. Supporters of the bill argue it’s necessary because a fetus can feel pain after 20 weeks, a claim hotly disputed by a majority of doctors and scientists. — Porter Barron Jr.
Dog Bites Man, Plays Online Poker
Politico is now reporting what’s been making the rounds of gambling news sites the past few weeks: U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina suddenly wants a federal ban on online gambling — after billionaire casino mogul Sheldon Adelson started fundraising for him. Graham has never taken much of a position on online gambling in the past, but he’s introducing a bill to ban online gambling any day now, Politico reports. — Eva Moore
Locals Weigh In on Contraceptives Coverage Case
The U.S. Supreme Court is taking up the question of whether private employers are required under the Affordable Care Act to offer health insurance that covers contraceptives. South Carolina’s conservative Palmetto Family Council sent an email newsletter yesterday praising the efforts of several Nelson Mullins attorneys who filed an amicus brief on behalf of theologians, the Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, the Coalition of African-American Pastors and others arguing that the requirement was a violation of religious freedom. Meanwhile, some observers are asking which version of Justice Antonin Scalia will show up on this case, considering that he once argued strongly that granting liberal religious exemptions to civil law could create “a slippery slope to lawlessness.” — Dan Cook
Old mistakes are haunting the City of Columbia: The city has to pay the federal government $215,000 for accounting mistakes in a summer youth program back in 2000, Clif LeBlanc reported in The State. The city neglected to keep proper payroll records on teenagers it hired. — Dan Cook
Changes Come to the Radio
Some upheaval on the radio dial for fans of classic and modern rock: Columbia’s Fox 102.3 and Rock 93.5, both owned by Portland’s L&L Broadcasting, have merged to become the new Fox 102.3, a broad mainstream rock station. In a press release, L&L promises that “Columbia’s Rock Station” will retain favorite on-air personalities from both entities while seeking to bridge four decades of rock music by playing “superstar artists like AC/DC, Pearl Jam, Tom Petty, Led Zeppelin, and The Red Hot Chili Peppers.” As for Rock 93.5, it will now become the new Q93.5, “Columbia’s Hit Music” station. A press release promises that this new format will include “Hit music” from the last 15 years — “Maroon 5, Pink, Imagine Dragons, Train, and Katy Perry.” You know, the essentials.
— Jordan Lawrence
Law Would Broaden Use of DUI Ignition Locks
Under a bill passed by a state House subcommittee, drivers convicted of driving with an alcohol level of 0.15 or higher would be required to have ignition locks placed on their car; the special locks contain a breathalyzer that would keep drivers from starting their car if it detects alcohol. The subcommittee weakened the original bill, which called for ignition locks on anyone arrested (but not necessarily convicted) with a level of 0.12 or higher. The bill is called Emma’s Law after a 6-year-old girl who was killed by a drunk driver. — Dan Cook
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.
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!
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.
Columbia’s Largest Sidewalk Sale
Shop local this tax free weekend! Devine Street and Five Points are teaming up for a massive sidewalk sale featuring great in-store specials from all your favorite retailers and a Saturday art stroll. Read more hereand here!
Tax-Free Weekend at Best Mattress
With big savings from July 31st-August 2nd, you can afford handcrafted quality. Free bed frame and pillows on any Full, Queen, or King set $599 and above! Click for locations and hours.
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.
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