Friday, November 16, 2018

Clyburn could again be No. 3 in House, Graham poised to take over Judiciary

Graham could take over committee after heated defense of Kavanaugh

Posted by Adam Manno on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 2:54 PM

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham may assume leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee next year - DEFENSE DEPARTMENT PHOTO
  • Defense Department photo
  • U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham may assume leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee next year
Two South Carolina lawmakers are set to assume new leadership roles in Congress after shake-ups following this month's election.

For the first session of the 116th Congress, which convenes on Jan. 3, 2019, Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina will likely be the chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.

On Friday, Sen. Chuck Grassley of Iowa, the current Judiciary chairman, announced he would seek the chairmanship of the Senate Finance committee instead. That move would make Graham the most senior member left on the Judiciary committee.

"I very much appreciate Senator Grassley's leadership of the Senate Judiciary Committee," Graham said in a statement Friday afternoon.

Long considered a moderate Republican despite aggressive positions on defense, Graham has recently taken to strongly supporting President Donald Trump and his policies even after criticizing him heavily during the 2016 presidential campaign. In keeping with recent comments, Graham says he will move quickly to fill the 136 total federal judicial vacancies.

"If I am fortunate enough to be selected by my colleagues to serve as Chairman, I will push for the appointment and Senate confirmation of highly qualified conservative judges to the federal bench and aggressive oversight of the Department of Justice and FBI."
In September, Graham was among the most vocal defenders of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh during the his confirmation hearings before the Judiciary committee.

The senator became visibly agitated following testimony from Christine Blasey Ford, a college professor who accused Kavanaugh of sexual assaulting her when they were both in high school. Graham accused his Democratic colleagues of orchestrating a politically-motivated "charade."

Graham was elected to the U.S. Senate in 2003 after serving eight years in the House.

Congressman Jim Clyburn may begin his second stint as majority whip in January - U.S. DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE
  • U.S. Department of Agriculture
  • Congressman Jim Clyburn may begin his second stint as majority whip in January
Also on Friday, Rep. G.K. Butterfield of North Carolina said that he had secured enough votes to elect Rep. Jim Clyburn as majority whip, the third-in-command behind the speaker and majority leader.

Clyburn's district includes parts of the Charleston peninsula as well as rural parts of the state between the Lowcountry and the Midlands. "I just informed @Clyburn that our whip team has secured more than enough commitments from Democratic members of the next Congress to elect him the House Majority Whip!" Butterfield tweeted on Friday. "We will continue to press for support to earn every vote."

In the legislature, the whip is designated as the enforcer of party policy positions, working to keep legislators in line on key issues and tracking how votes add up before a final count.

Democrats won back control of the U.S. House earlier this month, leading Republicans by a margin of 231 to 198 in the lower chamber as of Friday. Congressman-elect Joe Cunningham will join Clyburn as the only other Democrat in the S.C. delegation.

Clyburn has served in the House since 1993. He has already been majority whip early in President Obama's administration from 2007 to 2011.

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Parks Conservancy's plans for Hampton Park Jubilee Hall get initial approval from BAR

Stable area and snack bar set to be reworked for community use

Posted by Tim Housand and Sam Spence on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 1:26 PM

Proposed Jubilee Hall as seen from the east - CHARLESTON PARKS CONSERVANCY / BAR
  • Charleston Parks Conservancy / BAR
  • Proposed Jubilee Hall as seen from the east
The Charleston Parks Conservancy took the next step on upgrades in Hampton Park on Thursday, receiving initial approval from the Board of Architectural Review to renovate and rebuild portions of historic buildings in the popular downtown park for community use, including a grand new public building that will be known as Jubilee Hall.

"These improvements will allow more residents to use and enjoy one of the city’s most beloved parks," said Harry Lesesne, executive director of the Charleston Parks Conservancy, in a press release about the planned construction last month.

Thursday's approval clears the way for additional work to be done on the historic caretaker's house and stable grounds which Charleston police and local carriage companies discontinued use of in recent years.
Proposed Jubilee Hall as seen from Mary Murray Boulevard (top) and complete site plans for the new hall complex - CHARLESTON PARKS CONSERVANCY / BAR
  • Charleston Parks Conservancy / BAR
  • Proposed Jubilee Hall as seen from Mary Murray Boulevard (top) and complete site plans for the new hall complex
Plans for the new Jubilee Hall show it on the grounds of the existing stable and surrounding work areas alongside the Mary Murray Boulevard loop inside Hampton Park. Renderings show a new tall, rustic, slightly modern building that is vaguely reminiscent of the existing stable building that will be demolished.

Plans also call for an adjoining outdoor porch, event lawn, and small formal garden all built around the existing caretaker's cottage that's also set to be renovated. A new parking facility will also connect it with the existing ballpark parking lot at the corner of Rutledge Avenue and Grove Street.

The proposed building was designed by architect David Thompson.

In addition to functioning as a public gathering place, the Parks Conservancy says the space will also be available for private events such as weddings, meetings, or classes. Public restrooms will also be included in the new building. The existing caretaker's house, a small white home nearby, will also be renovated to include a historical exhibit of the park. The building's name, Jubilee Hall, is derived from a slavery-era term that described the time of approaching freedom, according to the Parks Conservancy. "It is this spirit of freedom and jubilation that the Conservancy would like to bring to Charleston with this new community center," the group says.

A timeline for the hall's completion will be nailed down once the building's construction is priced and plans are finalized.
Renderings for the Rose Pavilion renovation to upgrade the existing snack bar - CHARLESTON PARKS CONSERVANCY / BAR
  • Charleston Parks Conservancy / BAR
  • Renderings for the Rose Pavilion renovation to upgrade the existing snack bar
The Parks Conservancy began work on upgrades to a nearby concession stand last month after it has sat mostly unused for years. The reworked outdoor space the group is calling the Rose Pavilion will serve as a community gathering place and will include an outdoor seating terrace and heirloom rose garden. Construction is expected to wrap up in January, 2019.

In 2015, the City of Charleston granted the Conservancy a 25 year lease on the old snack bar and area around the old caretaker's house and stable grounds.

Hampton Park has a long and varied history in Charleston, serving as a prison camp, horse track, and the site of the 1901 Charleston Exposition. The park is named for Confederate officer Wade Hampton, a wealthy Charleston native who became governor in 1876 after a campaign marked by paramilitary violence used to suppress black voters.

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The Agenda: Google Trends predicts Thanksgiving web traffic; Healthy Tri-County releases suggestions for improving health of the Lowcountry

Tagged great white, Katherine the shark, in the waters off of Charleston

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Fri, Nov 16, 2018 at 12:17 PM

Google has released its Thanksgiving Trends report, which analyzes directions used from Google Maps and general search terms over the holiday. They found that Thanksgiving day traffic is much lower than a typical Thursday, but Black Friday morning traffic is about the same as the usual Friday morning commute. It also looked at uniquely popular searches across the country and South Carolina's was "City Government Offices." We'll save you the Google — they'll be closed. Source: Fast Company

More in the drama of the failed V.C. Nuclear site: Dominion Energy executives testified that they'll withdraw their interest in purchasing SCANA if the S.C. Public Service Commission orders a larger rate cut for SCE&G customers than Dominion suggested. Source: The State

Healthy Tri-County, a partnership between Trident United Way, MUSC Health, and Roper St. Francis Healthcare Healthy Tri-County, has released a report outlining recommendations to improve the health of the Lowcountry. Source: Charleston Business Journal

Headline: "How unregulated recovery homes are saving some addicts while endangering others" Source: Myrtle Beach Sun

Katherine the shark, a great white tracked by Ocearch, was pinged off of the coast of Charleston. Source: TC Palm

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Thursday, November 15, 2018

The Agenda: State legislators ready to hear bidding for Santee Cooper; starting Monday, mopeds must be registered at the DMV

Utility company comes with $8 million in debt

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:24 PM

Crews work on the V.C. Summer plant in Fairfield County - SCE&G PHOTO
  • SCE&G photo
  • Crews work on the V.C. Summer plant in Fairfield County
Have some extra cash burning a hole in your pocket? S.C. legislators are ready to hear formal bids for Santee Cooper. According to AP, there are about two dozen parties interested to varied degrees. A note for prospective buyers: the utility would come with its $8 billion in debt. Source: AP

In case you missed it: a single-use plastic ban passed its first reading in the Charleston City Council. Included in the ban are plastic bags, foam containers, and plastic straws, with a few exemptions. Source: City Paper

This summer, the College of Charleston will start offering graduate-level degrees in data science and analytics. Source: P&C

Starting on Mon., Nov. 19, mopeds in S.C. need to be registered with the DMV. Source: Dillon Herald

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Manager who called the cops on anti-violence demonstrators "will not be returning" to North Charleston store

Parent company Murphy USA said the crowd had been "calm and peaceful"

Posted by Adam Manno on Thu, Nov 15, 2018 at 12:03 PM

Police responded to a convenience store on Rivers Avenue on Sun. Oct. 14, 2018. - GOOGLE STREET VIEW
  • Google Street View
  • Police responded to a convenience store on Rivers Avenue on Sun. Oct. 14, 2018.
The manager of a North Charleston gas station who reported a group of anti-violence demonstrators to the police last month is no longer at that location, the company says.

"While we do not as a policy discuss internal personnel issues, I can confirm that they will not be returning to the North Charleston store location," said Murphy USA spokesperson Joshua Cook in an email to the City Paper.

The woman previously managed the Murphy USA location at 8599 Rivers Ave.

It remains unclear when the personnel shake-up took place, or if she remains employed with the company in any capacity.
A woman reported a group of anti-violence marchers in North Charleston to the police last month. - PHOTO VIA FACEBOOK/SHAKEM AKHET
  • Photo via Facebook/Shakem Akhet
  • A woman reported a group of anti-violence marchers in North Charleston to the police last month.

In a Facebook video posted by activist Jonathan Thrower on Oct. 14, an unidentified man hands the woman a cell phone outside the store. She asks Thrower to stop filming before ducking into the building.

The caller identified herself as "Brenda" in 911 audio obtained by CP.

She told a dispatcher that a crowd of children and adults wearing "Guns Down Chuck Town" T-shirts were "absolutely destroying the outside" of the store. The group was part of a "Stop the Violence" march promoting conflict resolution in North Charleston, which set a record for homicides in 2017.

"I mean, it's like a riot out here," she said.
The crowd had dispersed by the time officers arrived, according to the North Charleston Police Department. No incident report was taken.

Later that week, Murphy USA disputed her claims after reviewing security camera footage from that day.

"We can confirm that the group of 30-40 individuals – many of them children who were gathered at the location following the march – were calm and peaceful," the company said.

The Arkansas-based gas station operator confirmed that an emergency fuel shut-off button had been pressed at least three times.

"We regret that this incident has taken focus away from the purpose of the local anti-violence march, a cause we fully support," the company added.

Thrower says that a top employee at Murphy USA headquarters has since promised to help with upcoming "Stop the Violence" events.

"She gave me her word, her personal cell phone number. She said they will be willing to help sponsor and help out with the upcoming events," Thrower said. "She admitted that what the employee did was wrong. She said Murphy's did not stand by the actions of the employee."

Cook says the company will soon announce a partnership to support "relationship building between the community, the North Charleston Police Department, and Murphy USA."

Thrower is not aware of anyone seeing the caller at the store since the incident. A clerk at the North Charleston store told CP that "Brenda" was still employed at the store Wednesday, though Cook later said that the employee "must have misspoken."

When CP called the phone number provided to the 911 dispatcher, a man who answered abruptly ended the call.

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