Columbia Star


by John Temple Ligon

SCE&G employees rate hazardous duty pay

Last Saturday night, July 15, two SCE&G employees in Charleston ducked a bullet fired by S.C. Representative Wallace Scarborough, Republican. No one was hurt, and Scarborough claimed his pistol accidentally went off on the back porch while he was telling the SCE&G employees to get out of his backyard. They were in his backyard searching for storm damage. Scarborough was charged with two counts of assault with intent to kill.

Get out there and sell

USC has named the head of a newly created office for marketing and communication. Gary D. Snyder, director of communications and marketing for Ohio State University’s College of Medicine for the past five years, will start in September as USC’s associate vice president for marketing and communication.

To some, cotton is still king

During 2004-05, cotton farmers in South Carolina and elsewhere in the U.S. received about $4.2 billion in government subsidies. The United States is the world’s largest exporter of cotton, and the subsidies suppress the world price. There are 25,000 cotton growers in the United States, and Africa may have as many as 20 million people directly dependent on cotton growing. The Africans need the income from cotton, but they can’t flourish in the world market dominated by heavy subsidies. In other words, the $4.2 billion in American cotton subsidies helps to maintain African poverty.

What do you get for your money? Scratch?

In North Carolina, a $10 scratch-off lottery ticket pays as much as $100,000. In Louisiana, the $10 ticket can pay $200,000: in Virginia and South Carolina, $1 million. Georgia pays the most for a $10 ticket winner, $2.5 million. In Florida, a $20 ticket can pay $100,000 a year for life.

Charleston plays London

London’s Savoy Theatre sits next to the Savoy Hotel on The Strand, down the hill from Covent Garden, in the theater district called the West End. The Savoy Theatre was built about a hundred years ago to show the works of Gilbert & Sullivan, which it still does. But starting October 25, Porgy & Bess begins at the Savoy. To visit London, first visit

Welcome to Columbia, home of

South Carolina’s only accredited law school

The Charleston School of Law, only two years old, failed to gain provisional accreditation last month. The American Bar Association held on the interim accreditation while it asked further questions about governance, diversity, and library resources. Unless an exception comes from the state Supreme Court, lawyers must have graduated from an accredited law school to take the South Carolina Bar exam.

Clemson puts together packaging design institute

Sonoco Products of Hartsville last week donated $2.5 million to Clemson to create a new institute to study package design and graphics. The Sonoco Institute of Packaging Design and Graphics will be the only one of its kind in the country.

Columbia arts can learn from Charlotte

The legislature in North Carolina last week approved a tax scheme to support arts funding in Charlotte. A tax on car rentals, by rising from 11% to 16%, appears to create enough funds to follow through on the construction of almost $160 million in arts and cultural projects in downtown Charlotte: a relocated Mint Museum of Art, a new modern art museum, a relocated Afro-American Cultural Center, a new 1,100-seat theater, and renovations and new exhibits for Discovery Place. Meanwhile, back in the Midlands, Columbia is still wondering how to finance the final upfit of the unfinished spaces in the Columbia Museaum of Art and how to begin discussions for a Main Street opera house. The Workshop Theater has to relocate to get out of the way of USC’s new law school building. And the Nickelodeon wants to take over the old Fox Theater on Main Street.

South Carolina comes up short

According to S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom, S.C. may need another $18 billion just to meet its obligations to its retirees. The state pension plan has $9 billion in unfunded liabilities, and the health-care plan, another $9 billion.

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