Columbia Star

1963        Celebrating 60 Years      2023


We have – Charleston doesn’t

Columbia’s S.C. Philharmonic is continuing its concert season at the Koger Center as planned. The Charleston Symphony has suspended operations because it doesn’t have enough revenue to continue its concert season as planned. Charleston’s Players Association is in the process of filing a complaint with the National Labor Relations Board. The union local signed a five–year collective bargaining agreement that runs through May 2012. The agreement cannot be changed unilaterally.

Charleston has – we don’t

According to Charleston Business, for the fifth consecutive year, the Charleston RiverDogs Minor League Baseball team is rated among the country’s best for retail sales. For the third consecutive year, royalties exceeded $2 million for sales of casual clothing, souvenir baseballs, sweatshirts and other merchandise. The team kicks off the 2010 season this Thursday night at Joe Riley Stadium.

Tax preparation the wrong way

Two Upstate tax preparation businesses filed more than 10,000 federal income tax returns between 2006 and late 2009, claiming more than $22 million in refunds for their clients. After $13 million had been refunded, criminal investigators at the IRS discovered most of the returns filed were fraudulent. Seguros Internacionales of Spartanburg and Forest City, N.C., and Poz Servicios Para Hispanos of Boiling Springs have been shut down. Ten individuals illegally in the country pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and for entering the U.S. without authorization.

400,000 jobs needed

According to the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the economy needs to create 23 million new jobs in the next decade to absorb the current unemployed and those entering the work force. S.C.’s share of that 23 million is 400,000. More than eight million jobs have been lost during the current recession.

$23 million short

The City of Columbia and Richland County coughed up $35 million to build two parking garages in USC’s Innovista. The State of S.C. kicked in $58 million to help construct two buildings, and that $58 million was in matching funds, meaning Innovista needs another $23 million to add to the $35 million from the city and the county to total $58 million. Where to find the remaining $23 million is still a bit of a mystery.

Capitalist gig

Isabel V. Sawhill, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, will discuss her book, “Creating an Opportunity Society,” on Monday, April 12, from 12:30 until 2 pm. The lecture will be in Lumpkin Auditorium on the eighth floor at the Darla Moore School of Business. It is part of the BB&T “Foundations of Capitalism” lecture series.

Carolina First’s parent looking for more money

The South Financial Group (TSFG) is expected to ask its shareholders at their annual meeting in May to authorize 1 billion shares of common stock in a public offering. To boost its share price above Nasdaq requirements, South Financial is also expected to ask permission to enact a reverse stock split. South Financial’s stock price fell below $1 in October, and if it fails to rise above $1 by early June, the stock could be delisted. As of the close of Tuesday, April 6, a share of TSFG was worth $0.79. In a reverse stock split, shareholders exchange their shares for a reduced number of shares still with the same combined value. South Financial is asking its shareholders to authorize the reverse stock split for any time before Nov. 30. The split would offer somewhere between one–for–five and not more than one–for–50.

Tax–free mini bonds

Santee Cooper opened its spring 2010 mini–bond sale April 1, offering investors low–risk municipal bonds for as little as $200. The sale will continue through April. The last date to request an information packet is April 23. Order the information packet online,, or call 1.877.246.3338. The bonds are exempt from federal and S.C. state taxes. Interest rates vary according to bond maturity dates, ranging from 2013 through 2030. The maximum combined purchase is $50,000 per individual.

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