NEWS SHORTS 

"If I put earplugs in, I'll be more excited."

Local parent Sachika Seals on her daughter's euphoria about the Cheetah Girls concert in Charleston last month. Source: The Post and Courier
Rose Peddlers Rouse Attention ·
Proving that you're never too young to learn about the intrusion of bureaucracy on blossoming entrepreneurship, Mayor Joe Riley announced this week that the city will begin a training program for young people selling palmetto roses on the streets of Charleston. While lemonade might keep the kids busy in other burgs, our downtown streets are often peppered with young people crafting flowers out of palmetto fronds, spurring Riley to create the Youth Rose Peddler Program.
"A lot of these young people are eager to learn business skills and become confident in their ability to sell and market a product," said Riley in a statement advancing the announcement. "In their eagerness, they have raised concerns from residents and businesses."
Local students aged nine to 16 who sell the roses qualify for the program, which will have 20 slots in the first training session that begins Jan. 22 at St. Julian Devine Recreation Center. Students will have the "opportunity" to apply for a peddler's permit and a bicycle license. Donated palmetto fronds will be available to participating youth. The peddler's permit is $7 and the course is $15 for city residents and $45 for non-city residents.
"This program will provide structure and supervision, teach customer service skills, rules and regulations and ensure that they are operating legally," Riley said. "This is our opportunity to provide growth and brighter prospects for these youth." —Greg Hambrick

Two

That's the number of homicides in Charleston so far this year after a double homicide at the McDonald's on Sam Rittenberg Boulevard on Jan. 4. Source: The Post and Courier
Reservation For Eight (Floors) ·
Preservationists put up a futile attempt to lop a few floors off the hotel planned for Marion Square last week as city planners, business owners, architects, and nearby residents all cooed at the eight-floor building's sophisticated design and the concerted effort by developers to seek out community input.
The hotel planned for the lot at the corner of King and Hutson streets that currently houses the abandoned public library came before the Board of Zoning Appeals for a variance to what appears to be the sole hindrance to the property's development: city height limits that split the lot so the portion facing King Street can reach 105 feet, but the back end can reach only 55 feet.
Developers easily won the board's approval in a 6-1 vote to effectively extend the 105-foot limit throughout the lot, though the developers did promise to pull some of the height off of King Street to make the building less intimidating to passerby.
Carol Pelzer, with the Historic Charleston Foundation, spoke in opposition to the board's approval, claiming the decision would be "precedent setting" for other redevelopment plans that face the park, including the Millennium Music building on Calhoun and the federal building on Meeting.
But hotel supporters successfully argued that the site was unique because visitors could walk right out the doors of the hotel and into the park and that the exceptional design of the building, compared to the threat of a "blocky" looking L-shaped building, would be a positive.
"I think the character of the district won't be harmed, it will be helped," said Appeals Board Chair Leonard Krawcheck.
Though the building has already received preliminary architectural approval, it will return to the Board of Architectural Review for further review. —GH

$200 or 30 days

That's the potential penalty for parents who perjure themselves by claiming they live downtown to better their chances for getting into the highly-rated Buist Academy on Calhoun Street. The proposal still needs to go before the full school board. Source: The Post and Courier

"We're O.K. down here."

Wesley Autrey, a 50-year-old construction worker, after jumping in front of a New York subway train to save a man who had fallen onto the tracks during a seizure. Autrey saved the man by tackling him in the narrow space between the tracks as the subway car barrelled over the two. Source: The New York Times

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