Friday, February 24, 2017

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Mark Sanford will hold their own local town hall meetings this weekend

Mark Sanford meeting in two heavy equipment stores' parking lots

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 2:42 PM

Last weekend, U.S. Sen. Tim Scott and Rep. Mark Sanford fielded questions from a contentious crowd in (and outside of) Mount Pleasant Town Hall. This weekend, they'll talk with constituents again, but they'll be on their own.

Scott and Sanford aren't alone in being held to account for the decisions they make in Congress, frustrated crowds of constituents across the country have been demanding the attention of their elected officials as the country sits divided on a flurry of new issues being proposed within the Trump administration.

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford will hold three events tomorrow in North Charleston and Summerville:

11AM Saturday
Northern Tool + Equipment Parking Lot
5900 Rivers Ave. A
North Charleston

1PM Saturday
Cook Out
8970 University Blvd.
North Charleston

2:15PM Saturday
Tractor Supply Co. Parking Lot
1672 North Main St., Suite 5
Summerville

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott will hold a town hall tomorrow morning at 9AM at Charleston County Council headquarters off Leeds Avenue in North Charleston. Note that Scott is requesting that no attendees bring signs to the indoor event.

9am Saturday (Doors open at 8AM)
Charleston County Council Chambers
4045 Bridgeview Dr.
North Charleston, SC


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Attorney says there is no evidence that Dylann Roof targeted second church

‘Roof’s actual crimes were serious enough’

Posted by Dustin Waters on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 11:54 AM

Dylann Roof and defense attorney David Bruck seemed at odds during the trial as Roof continued to sideline his defense team's efforts to argue mental incompetence - ROBERT MANISCALCO
  • Robert Maniscalco
  • Dylann Roof and defense attorney David Bruck seemed at odds during the trial as Roof continued to sideline his defense team's efforts to argue mental incompetence
Defense counsel for Dylann Roof have responded to reports that the Emanuel AME Church shooter traveled to a second church immediately following his attack in Charleston.

A recently unsealed motion from federal prosecutors states that evidence collected from Roof’s GPS indicates that he traveled near Branch AME Church in Summerville, another predominantly African-American church, immediately after leaving Mother Emanuel.

Last September, prosecutors wrote, “The similarities between the two churches — both are AME churches, both have predominantly African-American congregations, and both had scheduled Bible study classes on the night of the attack — coupled with the fact that defendant, who was still armed, drove over 20 miles directly to Branch AME Church immediately after attacking parishioners at Emanuel AME Church, supports the inference that defendant intended to continue his racially motivated violence at Branch AME Church that night and, more specifically, that his intended targets were African-American congregants at the church.”

Attorney David Bruck, who represented Roof during his federal death penalty trial, argues that a closer look at the GPS evidence cited by prosecutors shows that Roof did not stop at Branch AME Church, instead driving past the church at 30 or 40 miles per hour. The government stated in their motion that Roof’s GPS was briefly deactivated as he neared Branch AME.

“The fact that an AME church happened to be nearby as this was occurring does not prove or imply that Roof planned a second attack. Indeed, there is no evidence that he even saw the Branch AME Church, or knew it existed,” Bruck said in a recently released statement. “Presumably this is why the prosecution formally withdrew its previously stated intention to present any evidence about the Branch AME Church, and never mentioned it at trial. Now that the prosecution’s discarded theory has been made public, the government should reassure the public and the people of Branch AME Church that Roof posed no particularized threat to that congregation.”

Bruck added, “We also hope that the news media will take a closer look at the evidence and set the record straight. Roof’s actual crimes were serious enough. There is no reason to frighten the public by imagining new ones.”

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The Agenda: D'Baha's leap; Harrison drops DNC bid; Trump S.C. approval similar to nation

Trump adviser calling individual Twitter critics

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, Feb 24, 2017 at 11:34 AM

Black Lives Matter Charleston organizer Muhiyidin d'Baha - DUSTIN WATERS FILE PHOTO
  • Dustin Waters file photo
  • Black Lives Matter Charleston organizer Muhiyidin d'Baha

The image of Black Lives Matter organizer Myhiyidin d'Baha's flying leap to grab the Confederate flag from a protester Wednesday has made him a hero to many supporters. Our tweet of the video showing d'Baha garnered more than 5,000 retweets and a GIF showing the leap was high on Reddit all day yesterday. D'Baha to the Washington Post: "Not another generation of people are going to be intimidated by this flag." After his release, d'Baha deferred credit for the act, deflecting support to Walter Scott shooting eyewitness Feidin Santana. Source: Washington Post, Twitter

South Carolina Democratic Party leader Jaime Harrison dropped his bid to become DNC chair yesterday, backing Obama Labor Secretary Tom Perez. Perez is said to be favored to win Saturday's election by party bigwigs, but Democratic base turmoil could cause some to break and select Congressman Keith Ellison of Minnesota. Source: AP, NYT

The cost of parking at North Charleston Coliseum and PAC will double in March from $5 to $10 per event. Source: P&C

Donald Trump may have won South Carolina by double digits in November, but his approval rating is just 44 percent, according to a new Winthrop poll. Some 47 percent of respondents indicate that they disapprove of the president. Source: P&C

A Charleston-based terrorism expert found himself on the receiving end of a phone call from Sebastian Gorka, deputy assistant to the President Donald Trump, who was responding to criticism on Twitter. Source: P&C

AP headline: Bills targeting transgender bathroom access are floundering"

Contractors working on renovating the Flats at Mixson in North Charleston say that one of the buildings will reopen next month, with four others opening by the end of the year. The other half will be done by 2018. Source: CRBJ


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Thursday, February 23, 2017

Protesters clash outside of Bree Newsome lecture

Activist describes her awakening in Charleston

Posted by Dustin Waters on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 11:27 AM

A single Confederate flag-bearing Secessionist Party protester stood outside Bree Newsome's lecture yesterday at College of Charleston. - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • A single Confederate flag-bearing Secessionist Party protester stood outside Bree Newsome's lecture yesterday at College of Charleston.
A lone Confederate battle flag waved outside of Sottile Theatre as civil rights activist Bree Newsome spoke inside. A portion of George Street, closed to traffic and filled with police and SLED agents separated the handful of Secessionist Party members protesting against Newsome’s visit from more than 100 counter protesters standing in opposition to the flag’s presence.

(Video courtesy Anne Siegfried)

Early in the evening, local Black Lives Matter organizer Muhiyidin d’Baha leapt across the yellow police tape to momentarily snatch the Confederate flag from the hands of a Secessionist demonstrator. He was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct. Inside the theater, Newsome, who gained widespread notoriety for pulling down the Confederate flag that flew outside the South Carolina Statehouse following the shooting at Emanuel AME Church, spoke about her own experience with the flag during a lecture titled "Tearing Hatred from the Sky."

In the less than five months following the massacre of nine black parishioners inside Mother Emanuel by a white supremacist and the removal of the Confederate flag from Statehouse grounds, the Southern Poverty Law Center tracked more than 350 pro-Confederate flag rallies in the United States. South Carolina’s Secessionist Party has recently strengthened their efforts to display the flag throughout Charleston, largely in response to Newsome’s visit. Almost as soon as she began speaking inside of the Sottile Theatre, the small group of Secessionists outside slowly furled their flag, which was met with chants of “Racist, go home.”

“I seem to have caused a bit of a stir coming into town,” Newsome said as she took the stage, before describing the moment when she became conscious of the racial constructs in the United States.
DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters

“The summer of 2013 was a pivotal time in the awakening of my personal consciousness. I had recently returned to North Carolina after serving as artist in residence at Saatchi and Saatchi ad agency in New York City. It was during that summer that my family came here to Charleston, S.C., and visited the Old Slave Mart Museum,” Newsome said. “A small building that was once part of a much larger complex in which enslaved Africans were auctioned off like cattle. I stood there with my family and concentrated on the unbearable thought of being taken to another place where I might never see them again.”

Newsome later discussed Dylann Roof’s attack on Mother Emanuel. She was quick to point out that Roof had traveled to Charleston from Columbia, where since 1961 a Confederate flag had flown outside of the statehouse.

“Being a child of the South myself and descended from a family that had been in the Carolinas for hundreds of years, the meaning of the Confederate flag was never lost on me,” she said. “South Carolina was the first state to secede from the Union, saying that, quote: ‘We of the South contend that slavery is right.’”

After decades of resistance against the flag’s presence, state lawmakers would eventually vote to remove it from outside the capitol building — but not before Newsome would take actions into her own hands. She trained for a day and a half to learn how to scale the flagpole outside of the Statehouse. She was prepared to be arrested. She felt this was a necessary statement to make. Recalling when she met with the fellow activists who would eventually aid her in removing the flag, Newsome said they could no longer wait for state leaders to remove the flag. One key decision that she recalls the group making was who out of the 10 or so willing participants would actually be the one to pull the flag from its mast.

“I think everyone wanted to do this ... But there were practical things to consider. First of all, who could physically do it. Who had the time to train. And who could risk being arrested. There were simply some people who could not take that risk,” Newsome said. “Once that narrowed it down to three people, and I was the only person of color among them, we recognized the power of that image, of having a black woman scale the pole and commit this action.”
(Video courtesy Anne Siegfried)

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This week is your final chance to catch regular season college basketball in Charleston

Cougars working 21-win season going into final CAA games

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Feb 23, 2017 at 10:00 AM

@COFCBASKETBALL
  • @CofCBasketball
We're nearing the end of February, which means that the college basketball season is also coming to an end. Starting tonight, you have three more chances to catch local college teams in action here in Charleston. Season finales also mean high-stakes conference games before the tournaments, so these CAA and SoCon games mean a lot.

Tonight at 7:30 p.m., College of Charleston takes on University of Delaware at TD Arena downtown.

Saturday at 5 p.m., the Cougars close out their season against Drexel. CofC will honor the team's seniors at the season finale.

The CofC women's basketball team also closes out their home season this weekend with games against Northeastern on Feb. 24 and Delaware on Feb. 26.

Coach Earl Grant's Cougars are working a 21-win season, the first time the team has notched 20 wins since 2012-2013. Currently they're second in the conference with 12 CAA wins, one behind UNCW.

The Colonial Athletic Conference will also hold their championship tournament at North Charleston Coliseum on March 3-6.

The Citadel has two more regular season games, but only one at home. On Saturday, the Bulldogs travel to play Samford at 7 p.m.

On Monday 2/27 at 7 p.m., the Citadel hosts Chattanooga at McAlister Field House downtown.

The Bulldogs' haven't had quite as successful a season as their crosstown ex-SoCon rivals, with just 9 wins and 2 in conference. The Southern Conference holds their tournament March 3-6 in Asheville, N.C.

Charleston Southern University's home season is over, but they still have road games at Winthrop (tonight) and Longwood (Saturday.)

Photo by @CofCBasketball.

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