Monday, May 21, 2018

The side of the Wando River bridge carrying two-way traffic works "as expected," says SCDOT

The bridge is expected to be fully operational by June 11

Posted by Adam Manno on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 3:21 PM

Two-way traffic over the Wando River Sunday afternoon. - PHOTO VIA TWITTER/SCDOTPRESS
  • Photo via Twitter/SCDOTPress
  • Two-way traffic over the Wando River Sunday afternoon.
The I-526 bridge was re-configured to carry two-way traffic on the eastbound lane by Monday morning, and state transportation officials are satisfied with the results.

The S.C. Department of Transportation initially said that the bridge would open on June 11, but on Friday they decided to open the eastbound lane to two-way, two-way traffic Sunday afternoon.
Commuters can at least breathe easy knowing that their driving times have been partially mitigated until the lane with the ruptured cable opens in three weeks.

At peak congestion Monday morning, SCDOT engineers estimated that drivers experienced an additional 40 minutes of travel time. That dropped to an 15 extra minutes after rush hour, according to a department spokesperson.

So drive carefully, look ahead, and press play on our new podcast way before you get anywhere near that busted bridge.

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The Agenda: McMaster's Confederate zinger in veto; Trump hosting McMaster today; Teachers rally

PLUS, another S.C. nuclear boondoggle

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, May 21, 2018 at 10:57 AM

President Donald Trump joined Gov. Henry McMaster for the rollout of the first 787-10 in North Charleston in 2017 - CITY OF NORTH CHARLESTON
  • City of North Charleston
  • President Donald Trump joined Gov. Henry McMaster for the rollout of the first 787-10 in North Charleston in 2017

Gov. Henry McMaster vetoed a bill that would have allowed nonviolent offenders a chance to have the crimes removed from their records. In his message vetoing the bill, which business leaders support, McMaster said, "criminal history, like all history, should not be erased," a line often repeated in the context of removing Confederate flags or or changing monuments to the Confederacy. Source: P&C

Gov. McMaster is "getting rewarded" for his decision to send a National Guard helicopter to assist border patrols, dining at the White House residence today. Source: P&C

An hour or so away from the failed VC Summer nuclear project sits the troubled mixed-oxide fuel production facility at Savannah River Site, a project that may be headed toward the same fate as VC Summer after more than $7 billion has been spent on it. Source: P&C

Mirroring their colleagues striking in other states, S.C. teachers held a Statehouse rally on Saturday in support of political candidates they say will make education and educators a priority. Source: P&C

Washington Post headline: "2018 has been deadlier for schoolchildren than service members"

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Friday, May 18, 2018

The City Paper's new podcast "We're Working on It" is here to help you beat traffic

A podcasting experiment while they work on it

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 5:08 PM

Since we'll all be sitting in traffic a couple hours a week for a while, we're asking y'all to help try out a little podcasting test run for us.

"We're Working on It" is a podcasting experiment by the Charleston City Paper to help all of us pass the time while crews work on that darn bridge.

A few times a week week, we'll release spoken word audio editions of the stories in each issue of the City Paper. They'll range from news, to arts, to music, and maybe a few columns.

Go ahead and subscribe now and once we dial in the format we like, look forward to more podcasts like this (and maybe a few totally different) from the City Paper:

Apple Podcasts
Google Play Music

The first episode features staff writer Adam Manno's story this week looking at privacy concerns related to short-term rental ordinance enforcement.

If you like getting the City Paper in podcast form, we'd love to hear about it, just shoot me an email.

If you don't like it, well, we're working on it.

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The NRA would prefer you to re-elect Henry McMaster and Alan Wilson in 2018, please

McMaster: "The NRA is a highly-respected organization"

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 1:43 PM

Gov. Henry McMaster (left) & Attorney General Alan Wilson - GOV/AG OFFICE
  • Gov/AG Office
  • Gov. Henry McMaster (left) & Attorney General Alan Wilson
The National Rifle Association's political group announced Thursday that it was "proud to endorse Gov. Henry McMaster and Attorney General Alan Wilson for re-election in South Carolina." Both Wilson and McMaster face Republican opposition in the June 12 primary.

McMaster is in a five-way primary to be elected governor for the first time, a position he assumed when Nikki Haley was appointed U.N. Ambassador. Wilson faces two Republican challengers. In a press release Thursday, Gov. Henry McMaster said, "The NRA is a highly-respected organization, and I am proud to receive their endorsement."

In recent years, instead of advocating for legislative change, the NRA has marked repeated incidents of mass gun violence with campaign donations, endorsements to friendly politicians, and "clinched fist" calls to action for dues-paying members. The NRA enjoys significant influence over politicians both through financial support and mobilizing single-issue voters to support their preferred politicians by floating the threat of gun reform as a secret plot to ban guns.

The NRA notes that McMaster and Wilson both have "A" ratings from the group.

South Carolina had the tenth-highest rate of firearm deaths in the nation in 2016, according to the Centers for Disease Control, the highest rate of any Atlantic coast state. North Charleston Mayor Keith Summey said the number of guns on the streets in 2017 was "astronomical" as the city dealt with what became a record year for homicides.

As we write this today, news is breaking that "at least eight people were killed, and other were injured" in a shooting at a Texas high school this morning. A police officer was among those injured; his condition is unknown, according to the New York Times.

Since news broke of that shooting, neither the NRA nor Gov. McMaster have posted on Twitter. As for Wilson, some 19 hours after touting the endorsement of his "spotless" record "defending your 2nd Amendment rights," he tweeted at 12:44 p.m. Friday that he was "Praying for the victims of the school shooting in Texas."

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The Agenda: "Most unqualified" Mick Zais approved as education deputy; I-526 bridge could get two-way traffic

Noble compares Smith policy stances to "Klansman taking off his sheet"

Posted by Sam Spence on Fri, May 18, 2018 at 11:15 AM

Former S.C. Education Superintendent Mick Zais - FILE
  • File
  • Former S.C. Education Superintendent Mick Zais

Former S.C. Superintendent Mick Zais, who rejected federal money as state schools chief and proposed cutting classroom size restrictions, has been confirmed by the Senate to be U.S. Deputy Secretary of Education under Secretary Betsy DeVos. One Charleston education advocate called Zais a "most unqualified choice." Source: S.C. Radio, AP, City Paper

An Upstate attorney says the fact that Greenville County grand juries reportedly approve 99.99 percent of local prosecutors' indictments shows that the system isn't effective and could mean innocent people sit in jail. Source: Greenville News

State Sen. Larry Grooms says that discussions need to start about replacing the Wando River bridge that's been closed this week by state highway officials, and that "the long-term confidence in that bridge is not there." For their part, the Mt. Pleasant mayor, a Charleston state rep., and former Charleston Mayor Joe Riley say that the bridge's closure came as a surprise to them. Source: P&C

Crews are preparing to switch to two-way traffic on the Wando River bridge that remains open, a move that would allow westbound traffic to pass, but could still extend travel times across the Charleston area. Source: Live 5

On a podcast with former state Rep. Bakari Sellers this week, Democratic candidate for governor Phil Noble is catching heat for comparing opponent James Smith's gun policy shifts to "a Klansman taking his sheet off and saying, 'Well, I've change.'" Noble has repeatedly characterized establishment Statehouse machinations as "plantation politics." A Smith campaign spokeswoman called the comments "defamatory." Source: Viewpoint w/ Bakari Sellers, P&C

S.C. is one of five states whose elections lack a paper trail, raising some fears that the system is vulnerable to foreign attacks. Source: AP

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