Monday, February 18, 2019

The Agenda: Graham vows to investigate "bureaucratic coup;" Tim Scott passes historic hate crime bill

Stay in a haunted lighthouse for $300 a person

Posted by Lauren Hurlock on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 11:48 AM

Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks from his Mt. Pleasant office Feb. 13, 2017 - DUSTIN WATERS
  • Dustin Waters
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham speaks from his Mt. Pleasant office Feb. 13, 2017
A tale of two senators...

Sen. Lindsey Graham has said a Senate panel will investigate former acting FBI director Andrew McCabe's claim on 60 Minutes that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein raised the idea of using the 25th Amendment to unseat President Donald Trump. Source: Washington Post

Meanwhile, the U.S. Senate unanimously approved Sen. Tim Scott's bill that makes lynching a federal hate crime. The Senate had avoided addressing lynching, despite numerous proposals, since the 1800s. Source: The State

You can stay at Haig Point lighthouse, a haunted lighthouse on Daufuskie Island – my personal dream – but rates start at $300 a person for the 1910 lighthouse, which can accommodate four guests. Source: P&C

Ahead of the 2020 elections, S.C. lawmakers are still rushing to find a new voting system. Source: Statehouse Report

The early numbers from SEWE show more ticket sales than last year and organizers call the event 'extremely successful." Source: Live 5 News

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Lowcountry Students for Political Action will hold anniversary March for Our Lives at Riverfront Park on Sun. March 24

The group is also lobbying for gun reform in the S.C. Statehouse

Posted by Adam Manno on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 11:16 AM

The March for Our Lives rally in North Charleston drew close to 2,000 people on March 24. - ADAM MANNO
  • Adam Manno
  • The March for Our Lives rally in North Charleston drew close to 2,000 people on March 24.
The local student group that helped organize last year's March for Our Lives has announced plans for an anniversary event at Riverfront Park, the same location as last year's energized and emotionally-charged sister march.

The demonstration will take place at North Charleston park from 3:30-6:30 p.m. on Sun. March 24.

Students from high schools throughout the Lowcountry helped organize and run last year's march, which also took place on March 24. It was planned in solidarity with the national March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C. after 14 students and three staff members were gunned down at a high school in Parkland, Fla. on Feb. 14, 2018.
The Washington, D.C. march drew about 200,000 people, according to a Virginia-based firm that calculates crowd sizes using areal photos, CBS News reported.

"This year’s protest will primarily focus on gun violence in the Charleston-area and across South Carolina to raise awareness about the crisis and pressure lawmakers to address the issue," according to a press release from Lowcountry Students for Political Action.

In South Carolina, 893 people died due to firearms in 2017, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Nearly 40,000 people nationwide were killed by guns in the same year, a 20-year high, according to The Trace.

Last month, LSPA held a rally on the steps of the South Carolina Statehouse in support of Senate bill 154, which was sponsored by Sen. Marlon Kimpson of Charleston. If passed, the bill would shorten the amount of time that clerks of court, municipal judges, and magistrates have to report certain violations to the State Law Enforcement Division.
It would also extend the wait time for federal background checks to five days. Under current law, licensed gun dealers can proceed with a sale if the FBI doesn't find anything to stop it within three days.

The three-day window came to be known as the "Charleston loophole" after white supremacist Dylann Roof killed nine worshippers at Emanuel AME church in downtown Charleston in 2015.

Roof bought the gun he used for the massacre after the FBI, lacking sufficient information from a previous arrest, cleared the sale.

On the federal level, Charleston U.S. Reps. Jim Clyburn and Joe Cunningham have filed legislation to extend the background check review window to 10 days, allow the purchaser to request a review after that period, and then only let the purchase to move ahead if the check is not completed in 10 more days.

Kimpson's bill currently resides in the Senate Judiciary Committee.
Location Details Riverfront Park
Riverfront Park
1001 Everglades Dr.
North Charleston, SC
(843) 740-5814
General Location and Attraction

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Porter-Gaud grad Khris Middleton drops 20 in his first NBA All-Star Game

Six threes cap Middleton's first All-Star weekend

Posted by Sam Spence on Mon, Feb 18, 2019 at 11:12 AM

Charleston native and Porter-Gaud graduate Khris Middleton played in his first NBA All-Star Game in Charlotte on Sunday night and didn't disappoint despite his team falling short at the end.

The Milwaukee Bucks guard finished with 20 points in 21 minutes off six threes and a handful of rebounds and assists to boot. His stat line doesn't show it, but Middleton even managed to swipe LeBron James coming off a defensive rebound.

Middleton didn't find a groove in Saturday's Three-Point Shootout, but he certainly was feeling it on Sunday at the Spectrum Center, knocking down three outside shots in a row in the second quarter as his team rallied over James' squad. James' team would mount a surge in the end.
The Charleston native is known to be a hard-worker in the gym, moving up from a late draft pick by the Pistons in 2012, grinding briefly in the G League, and working as a bench player, all on the way to his first All-Star Game this weekend. In 2015, Middleton signed a five-year $70 million deal with the Bucks.

As a member of one of the hottest teams in the league right now, Middleton's All-Star team was captained by his Bucks teammate Giannis Antetokounmpo and led from the sidelines by coach Mike Budenholzer.

To read up more on Middleton's journey, check Frankie Mansfield's Moultrie News write-up on All-Star weekend, Sporting News' look back at his max deal, and The Ringer's look at Middleton as a quiet role player back in 2017.

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Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lindsey Graham voted to protect Mueller in 2018. Now: "I think we're OK right now."

Lowering the Barr

Posted by Sam Spence on Thu, Feb 14, 2019 at 11:20 AM

Lindsey Graham is all like 'Nah, we're good.' - C-SPAN
  • C-SPAN
  • Lindsey Graham is all like 'Nah, we're good.'
Last year, U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham voted to advance a bill that would have protected special counsel Robert Mueller and his investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. Now, with more power to do just that, and with a new attorney general in the wings, he's in no hurry to take steps to preserve the Mueller investigation.

On Tuesday, Graham told Politico, "If I see a reason to do it I will, but I think we’re OK right now."

Last year, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved a bill to the floor that would protect Mueller from being fired except for cause by a Senate-confirmed panel. Republicans maintain control of the U.S. Senate, where Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has signaled reluctance to advance protections for Mueller and his investigation. Graham publicly urged McConnell to allow the vote in the lame duck session between the election and the new Congress.

In recent months, Graham has cozied to President Donald Trump, who he called a "race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot" before he was the GOP nominee back in 2015. Graham went on to essentially deliver the confirmation of Justice Brett Kavanaugh for Trump in the face of allegations of sexual assault against the judge by getting very very angry and gesticulating wildly in front of the Senate hearing TV cameras.

Former South Carolina Democratic Party Chairman Jaime Harrison announced last week that he was taking steps toward challenging Graham in his first re-election bid in the Trump era

Trump has repeatedly criticized the Mueller inquiry as a "witch hunt" and acting Attorney General Matthew Whitaker was combative with Senate Democrats last week when questioned about his conversations with Trump about the investigation.

During confirmation hearings last month, William Barr, the nominee put forth to replace Jeff Sessions at DOJ, declined to say whether he'd release the final Mueller report publicly. Graham says he's confident that Barr will "be transparent."

The Republican-controlled committee approved Barr's nomination last month and he will likely be confirmed by the Senate this week.

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Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Age limit for Charleston teens selling palmetto roses could soon be raised to 18

Charleston's "Palmetto Artisan Program" allows kids 9 to 16 to sell the roses downtown

Posted by Adam Manno on Wed, Feb 13, 2019 at 4:40 PM

  • Adam Chandler file photo
Teens aged 17 and 18 will likely be able to legally sell palmetto roses downtown pretty soon, thanks to a proposal from a city committee charged with reviewing the rules after a 16-year-old rose seller was arrested last summer.

On Thursday, Charleston City Council gave first reading to a proposal that would extend the maximum age of children who can participate in the city's "Palmetto Artisan Program" from 16 to 18.

Currently, children as young as 9 can join the training program.

The change stems from recommendations made by a 25-member task force assembled weeks after a 16-year-old palmetto rose seller was arrested following a physical altercation with a Charleston police officer near the City Market in July 2018.

The proposal is one of five that the task force plans to introduce to City Council in the coming month.

"That’s the first step of many things that will be occurring with that particular project," said Ruth Jordan, the city's minority business enterprise director who was also part of the task force.

City Council created the Palmetto Artisan Program in 2007 after complaints from Market vendors about business disruptions and the long hours some children seemed to work. 

Today, kids and teens between the ages of nine and 16 must complete a business course and obtain a parent's consent to legally sell the folded palmetto fronds at one of four official city kiosks, located at Aquarium Wharf, Market Street, the U.S. Custom House, and Waterfront Park.

Jordan says that raising the age limit will allow teens who have been selling roses for a while to continue to develop their entrepreneurial skills until they're either 18 or graduated from high school.

"Part of this age piece is that we know, at age 16, there is no off-ramp for those young people," she said. "I talked to a young man on the street on Monday night and he said, 'I go to West Ashley High, I’m 16,' I said, 'Why aren’t you on the program?' He said, 'I'm 16. I'm aged out.'"

Though the teen could still legally participate in the program, Jordan says the current rules create confusion, which explains why the child thought it better to continue selling the crafts without a permit from the city.

"That has been a miscommunication and a disconnect," she said.

In October, the city quietly replaced street signs that referred to the young sellers as "roaming peddlers." The new signs simply point pedestrians to "authorized kiosk" locations.

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