Tuesday, June 2, 2020

CARTA receiving $7.2 million in CARES Act funding for operations during pandemic

Shuttle returned to full service on May 26

Posted by Heath Ellison on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 6:56 PM

  • Sam Spence
The U.S. Department of Transportation will award the Charleston transit agency with a $7.2 million grant as a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

The Charleston Area Regional Transit Agency, according to a DOT press release, will use the funds to support transit operations during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The shuttle service, which connects downtown, North Charleston, Mount Pleasant, West Ashley and James Island, provided modified service during the lockdown, said Berkeley-Charleston-Dorchester County of Governments. CARTA returned to full service on May 26, with some exceptions.

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Before You Go: Music world gets blacked out; Fringe groups pass the buck on protest violence; Tim Scott doesn't think tear gas is necessary for photo-ops

A lot's happening

Posted by Heath Ellison on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 5:55 PM

Protesters gathered at Colonial Lake on Monday - HEATH ELLISON
  • Heath Ellison
  • Protesters gathered at Colonial Lake on Monday
COVID-19 update: Another 267 cases of COVID-19 and one death were reported in South Carolina today. In Charleston County, the total number of cases is now 646 with 12 deaths.

Great, Scott: Sen. Tim Scott criticized the use of force on peaceful protesters in a situation involving President Donald Trump. On Monday, police and National Guard members fired tear gas and rubber bullets at a crowd of protesters in front of the historic St. John's church in Washington, D.C. The reason is seemingly that Trump needed some footage of himself holding a Bible in front of the church for a video cobbled together by the White House. “But obviously, if your question is, should you use tear gas to clear a path so the president can go have a photo-op, the answer is no,” Scott told POLITICO today.

What we're reading:
NPR: "Music Companies Promise A Tuesday 'Blackout' For Black Lives"

Associated Press: "World outrage grows at Floyd’s death; EU ‘shocked, appalled’"

Politico: "Fringe groups point finger back at Trump, Democrats"

New York Times: "What Pennsylvania’s ‘Dry Run’ Election Could Reveal About November"

Vox: "How today’s protests compare to 1968, explained by a historian"

More from the City Paper:
- "Protesters continue demonstrating and rallying downtown against injustice Monday"
- "Black Lives Matter march blocks Montague Avenue in North Charleston at curfew, drawing arrests"
- "Bar George offering a raw bar, rum cocktails and hot dogs to James Island"
- "HōM will not reopen after closing for pandemic, ending 9-year run on Upper King Street"
- "Watch Marcus Amaker's prescient visual poem, 'The America I Know Could Use a Good Cry'"

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Gun shop in Ladson ‘swamped’ by those seeking firearms, ammunition amid racial unrest

Gun store rush comes as protests nationwide rally against police violence

Posted by Lindsay Street on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 3:35 PM

Customers lined up outside Palmetto State Armory in Summerville on Monday - LINDSAY STREET
  • Lindsay Street
  • Customers lined up outside Palmetto State Armory in Summerville on Monday
At least one Charleston area gun shop is reporting more people are seeking guns and ammunition, on the heels of a tumultuous weekend where property was damaged amid protests over the killing of black people.

“It’s my constitutional right,” a gun owner said Monday when asked why he was among the 20 people outside Palmetto State Armory in Summerville. He declined to elaborate and give his name. The gun shop is limiting the number of people inside to help maintain social distancing and the spread of COVID-19.

In nearby Ladson, ATP Gunshop and Range owner Arlyn Pendergast had about 30 people waiting outside the store with 12 inside to maintain social distancing.

“We’re swamped right now,” Pendergast said. “It’s a lot more than usual.”

He said a few customers have expressed feelings of concern and some are new gun owners.

Gun shops were already experiencing an increase in sales amid the pandemic. But Pendergast said the last few days have exceeded that increase.

Bryan Ibsen of North Charleston said he wanted to get some ammunition with the “stuff that’s going on right now.” But he said he didn’t feel uncertain about the protests, including the one happening at that moment a few blocks away that prompted businesses along Main Street in Summerville to reinforce windows with plywood and a police helicopter overhead.

Protests in the Charleston area have been mostly peaceful, but turned destructive downtown on Saturday night, leaving dozens of businesses damaged. Charleston police say they arrested 10 people Saturday, rounding up dozens more from peaceful protests on Sunday.

“I haven’t shot in a while and I think I need to get my eye on the scope,” Ibsen said.

Most of those in line in Summerville declined to be interviewed. But for Justin Dopson of Goose Creek, Monday’s trip to Palmetto State Armory only had slightly more people than on his Saturday trip. He said he was there to pick up ammunition for target practice.

No curfew planned tonight in Charleston after curfew extended on Monday

Peaceful protests Saturday caused damage to downtown businesses

Posted by Sam Spence on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 12:06 PM

Protesters gathered peacefully Saturday in downtown Charleston - LAUREN HURLOCK
  • Lauren Hurlock
  • Protesters gathered peacefully Saturday in downtown Charleston
UPDATE: No curfew is planned for Tuesday night in the City of Charleston or Charleston County, according to representatives for both.

ORIGINAL STORY: Local officials in Charleston County have announced curfews beginning at 6 p.m. Monday night, mirroring Sunday night's curfew passed in response to Downtown protests.

Following similar measures in downtown Charleston, North Charleston and Mount Pleasant, Charleston County announced a 6 p.m. curfew the night after destructive riots along downtown's popular King Street commercial corridor.

Peaceful protests on Saturday devolved into destruction into the evening, with most damage limited to King Street between Calhoun and Spring streets.

Protesters were gathered Saturday to protest the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis at the hands of local police on May 25.

Convening an emergency City Council meeting over Zoom Monday afternoon, members passed the measure to extend the 6 p.m. - 6 a.m. curfew to Monday night for the Charleston peninsula, with plans to extend the boundaries of the curfew to reflect County Council's curfew decision.

During an emergency City Council meeting on Saturday night, police Chief Luther Reynolds said that police "deployed gas in multiple locations" by 10 p.m. Saturday night. Reynolds described conflicts during the rest of the day as "minimal."

Incidents in North Charleston were limited on Saturday night, but a police liaison said some stores at the Tanger Outlet center were vandalized.

Charleston County Council previously issued a curfew Saturday evening as authorities saw initial incidents downtown.

The Agenda: More peaceful protests in N. Chs. and downtown; Coronavirus cases climb; Pandemic could cost US economy $7.9 trillion

Racist posters face consequences

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Tue, Jun 2, 2020 at 10:47 AM

Cody Dixon (a.k.a. Slim S.O.U.L.) speaks at a rally at Colonial Lake - HEATH ELLISON
  • Heath Ellison
  • Cody Dixon (a.k.a. Slim S.O.U.L.) speaks at a rally at Colonial Lake
Protests continued across the Charleston area on Monday night, with peaceful demonstrations in North Charleston and downtown. Source: Charleston City Paper

Coronavirus cases climb. Statistics show that coronavirus cases in South Carolina are spiking, with more than 300 new cases reported every day over the weekend and an additional 297 announced on Monday. The percent of positive tests is creeping up as well. But, Gov. Henry McMaster has said that closing isn't an option, and last week said "we can't have an epidemiologist, a police officer, and a mama and a daddy following everybody around."  Source: AP

$7.9 trillion hit to the economy. The Congressional Budget Office projected that the coronavirus pandemic could cost the United States economy $7.9 trillion over the next decade. Source: NYT

Racist posts lead to firings, expulsions, investigations. People who have posted racist content on social media are learning their actions have consequences – namely, investigations, firings, and expulsions. Source: P&C

CofC updates academic calendar. College of Charleston announced its in-person class schedule for the 2020-21 school year, which will cancel fall break and instead end classes around Thanksgiving. Source: P&C

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