Courts Turn Down Platt, Ketner Gets Under Brown's Skin, Fire Chief Finalists Named, Watch Your Drinking 

News Blips

"Somebody help me. We're not talking about exposure of the buttocks."

Palm Beach Circuit Judge Paul Moyle, who recently ruled that the Riviera Beach saggy pants ban was unconstitutional. Though the Riviera Beach police have ticketed several individuals, this appears to be the first court challenge to the ordinance. Source: The Palm Beach Post

Courts Turn Down Platt's Campaign

Forget what Kermit says about green — it turns out it's even more difficult being teal. Eugene Platt, who is trying to get on the November ballot as a Green Party candidate in S.C. House District 115 was turned away twice last week by the courts.

Platt lost the Democratic primary in June. Though he'd previously won the Green Party nomination, state law prevents a primary loser from appearing on the November ballot. His effort to challenge the law in federal court failed and the Charleston County Democratic Party won a separate hearing, barring Platt from campaigning for the seat.

"He can't appear on the ballot," said Judge Markley Dennis. "There's no question in my mind."

That leaves the race to incumbent Republican Wallace Scarborough and Democrat Anne Peterson-Hutto. —Greg Hambrick

Ketner Gets Under Brown's Skin

If you needed an indication that Congressman Henry Brown is taking his Democratic opponent seriously, look no further than the fact that he's willing to sit down and debate Charleston resident Linda Ketner. Brown met challenger Randy Maatta only once in the 2006 race and declined an ETV debate.

This time, Brown and Ketner will be debating at least twice. Once for the folks at ETV on Wed., Oct. 1, and another studio debate for News Channel 15 in Myrtle Beach later in the month.

Last week, Ketner challenged Brown to public debates, hoping to take him on regarding the economy, healthcare, foreign policy, and main street issues like the price of food and gas, but Brown declined.

Ketner also criticized Brown's campaign for fabricated attacks.

"I've been running against a shadow created by consultants, not a man who wants voters to know him or his record," she said.

By at least agreeing to the two televised debates, it looks like Brown is taking Ketner's campaign seriously.

"He better," she said. —Greg Hambrick

10 percent

That's the number of searches on the internet related to porn, down from 20 percent 10 years ago, according to analyst and author Bill Tancer. We'd believe it. "Two Girls, One Cup" has turned us off of internet porn for-ev-er. Source: Reuters

Fire Chief Finalists Named

Mayor Joe Riley named the finalists of a national search for Charleston's next fire chief last week. Rusty Thomas left the force earlier this year, just as reports were released criticizing the department's leadership during the June 2007 Sofa Super Store fire that took the lives of nine Charleston firefighters. The finalists were introduced to City Council and citizens on Sept. 22 before private interviews with Riley and hiring panels the following day.

The finalists include Richard Brannon, deputy chief of operations in Mobile, Ala.; Thomas Carr, Montgomery County, Md., fire and rescue chief; Larry Collins, retired director and chief of the Drayton, Ohio, fire department; Jamie Geer, Clearwater, Fla., fire and rescue chief; William Goodwin, retired chief of the Baltimore Fire Department; John Rukavina, retired public safety director in Wake County, N.C.; and Thomas Solberg, chief of the Lee's Summit, Mo., fire department. —Greg Hambrick

Charleston Police: Watch Your Drinking

The Charleston Police Department is trying to find proactive ways to encourage revelers to know their limits and avoid drunken encounters with officers. There are always the fun stories that show up in our Blotter, like a woman handing an officer credit cards when he asked for her identification. But the CPD is more concerned about the less amusing calls of violence and disputes that usually come when people lose their good sense at the bottom of a can of Beast.

Recommendations include going out in groups and staying together, knowing your limits and not leaving drinks unattended, being aware, watching out for your friends, and making sure they keep an eye on you.

It's not an exclusively college-aged problem, but officers note that physical and sexual assaults among these young drinkers typically involve booze.

Being drunk can also make someone an easier target, either by making them less resistant or by clouding their ability to identify the suspect. That said, officers stress that victims should not be afraid to come forward because of their inebriation. Whatever information they can provide could prevent a similar crime.

The department is considering handing out flyers in bars or using social networking websites to pass on the message. —Greg Hambrick

5.4 percent

That's the increase in violent crime in the City of North Charleston between 2006 and 2007, according to recently released FBI figures. In a front-page story on the day those numbers were released, the department lauded its efforts to reduce crime in the first nine months of 2008, pointing to a 20 percent reduction over crime during the same period last year. Source: The Post and Courier


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