NEWS SHORTS 

"It's 10 p.m. Do you know where your children are?"

Tom Gregory's catchphrase at the beginning of his 1960s newscast. The Charleston native died Dec. 11 in Sarasota, Fla., at 79 years old. Source: New York Times

$500,000

That's the amount the state has promised for the development of Charleston's African American Museum. It's the first state donation to the $69 million project, but there are expectations that more state money will be coming.

"They're taking over. I don't limit myself and that's a terrible thing."

Barb Neville of Ohio on her prized and plentiful Santa collection that she says began by purchasing a pair of elves at a Christmas crafts show in Charleston. Source: Cincinnati Enquirer

Quotes of the year ·

"He starved the state for three years and now, in an election year, with falling poll numbers and record unemployment, he wants to buy everyone steak dinners."
Senate Democratic Leader John C. Land (Clarendon) commenting in January on the governor's failed tax rebate plan.

"Why don't you quit your bitchin' and see if you can help."
"Cousin" Arthur Ravenel, 78, retelling in March his wife's admonition that led to the former state Senator and Representative and former U.S. Congressmen announcing his candidacy for a seat on the Charleston County School Board.

"While the House is willing to take great strides to achieve property tax relief, the Senate seems determined to take Oompa-Loompa steps."
House Majority Leader Jim Merrill (R-Daniel Island) commenting in May on the collapse of the General Assembly's tax relief bill last Thursday. A resolution on the bill was hammered out Friday, despite the alleged vertically-challenged Senators.

"That's how Thomas Ravenel rolls."
That's Thomas Ravenel in June on his favorite subject – Thomas Ravenel. He was answering reporters' questions about his dubious entrance into the State Treasurer's race and the potential for a run-off. Source: The State

"The Charleston City Paper is a rag."
Wallace Scarborough (R-James Island) told The State in a September news article regarding accusations in divorce filings that he had an affair with a fellow Statehouse legislator. The accusations were first published in the City Paper. "The Charleston City Paper has always been a rag. It's like the (supermarket tabloid) National Enquirer. The Charleston City Paper has been against me every single time I've run." He later called us "a liberal throw-away newspaper."

"With just 28 days until the 2006 midterm election, I am very optimistic that conservatives will make a strong showing across the nation."
Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), writing in October from his bubble somewhere away from newspapers, television, and the internet. The message showed up on the senator's website, ironically, as the Mark Foley scandal continued brewing and Congressional and Republican support fell ever lower. We all known what happened in November.

"I think your paper needs to change its name to Charleston City Perverts, since this entire asswipe is nothing more than a mouthpiece for pervs, wackos and degenerates and NAMBLA."
That tasty morsel was scrawled on the back of a white supremacist tract sent to us in the mail in November from an anonymous soul in Knoxville, Tenn., who also included two hateful anti-homosexual comic strips and a warning that "diversity has failed."

Numbers of the Year ·

$6.1 million
That's how much one of Charleston's oldest and most historic residences, the William Gibbes House, sold for in January. The home at 64 South Battery is designated as a national landmark and went on the market last year. This marks the top price ever paid for a house on the Charleston peninsula, and tops the previous record by $1 million, according to a Charleston County public information officer.

$1.1 million
That's the unpaid overtime the Charleston County School District made good on to 387 employees in February.

8 percent
That's what percent of The Citadel's student body was black in March.

400,000
That's how many Lowcountry residents saw their water pressure drop down to almost zero in April after a 48-inch water main crossing Turkey Creek buckled under a surge in water pressure.

48%
That's the percentage of South Carolina college students who are likely to move out of S.C. after graduation. An August student retention survey conducted by Greenville Forward found that availability of jobs, lack of tolerance or progressiveness, and out-of-state graduate school were the top three reasons motivating college grads to leave the state.

$291,295
That's the average price for housing and utilities in the Charleston region, according to a September study by the Council of Community and Economic Research. Source: Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce

14, 12, 9
Those are the ages of three children accused of robbing the Hollywood Video store at the corner of East Bay and Calhoun streets with a BB pistol in September. Source: The Post and Courier

3.7
That's the magnitude of an early morning earthquake in September that was centered about 90 miles southeast of Charlotte. A slightly smaller earthquake had hit the area three days earlier. Source: The National Earthquake Information Center

19
That's the number of Charleston County Schools now listed as "unsatisfactory" under the state's report card evaluations. There were 11 unsatisfactory schools last year. Source: South Carolina Department of Education

2nd
That's the rank Charleston International Airport received in an October survey of price increases at 85 of the country's largest airports. Prices jumped 27.8 percent in the second quarter of 2006. For those thrifty fliers that book Savannah flights to save a few bucks, the news isn't much better. Prices at the other Lowcountry hub climbed 27.5 percent for third place, followed by airports in Greensboro and Raleigh-Durham. Source: U.S. Department of Transportation's Air Fair Index


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