News Shorts 

"Move, you fucking fool."

That's the Reverend Monsignor Geoff Baron in the latest clash between skateboarders and "The Man." Baron was suspended from his post at an Australia church after video surfaced on YouTube of Baron yelling at and hitting skateboarders who were skating on the church property. Source: Reuters

City Moves to Buy Federal Building

The City of Charleston is pursuing the $11.5 million purchase of the federal building on Meeting Street, one of the last unimproved structures facing Marion Square. The city plans to take the 2-plus-acre property and lay out detailed development plans and then turn the property over to a selected developer.

The building has been abandoned for years and is considered by some to be an eyesore and recognized by most as a hive for asbestos and lead paint.

Mayor Riley says that he first refused the federal government's offer for the property, but then reconsidered the opportunity.

"We have the ability to affirmatively shape a good bit of a block of the city," Riley says.

Some preservationists have eyed protecting the building, just as worried about what would replace it than about preserving the relatively young structure.

The mayor says he supports demolishing the building, but it's not the asbestos and lead paint that he sees as the barriers to restoration.

"Our appraisal is that the land is worth more without the building there," Riley says. The six-story structure is also 80 percent taller than what would be allowed on the property under the city's current height ordinance. "It's out of scale."

The city's purchase would include a requirement that the city not profit from the sale of the property if it changes hands in the first five years. The city will be entitled to recoup any costs of the property, but Riley says he's fine with not making any money on this deal.

"Our purpose in this instance is not to make money on the property," Riley says. "That's the private sector's business. The city's business is to shape and guide the redevelopment of the city."

Determining the property's use will include community input, but Riley laid out his vision for the property, including two buildings to replace the federal building facing Meeting, with residential property wrapping around the back of the property. The city is also negotiating the potential purchase or the parallel development of property on the same block that's owned by a neighboring church.

Council member Henry Fishburne voted in support of the purchase, but he's concerned about the one-sided slant of the potential sale, with the federal government all but washing its hands of the property.

"This is one of the most one-way contracts I've ever seen," he says. "There's so many hooks and tangles in this." —Greg Hambrick

9th

That's where Folly Beach ranked in a nationwide list of "Fall Vacation Hot Spots." Hooray for pasty-white Yankee tourists. Source: HomeAway.com

"My strength and my weakness is that whatever I believe, I really believe. I can be completely wrong, but I'll really believe it."

That's Gov. Mark Sanford in a Weekly Standard profile that looked at Sanford's inability to get legislators to work with him. No word on whether he'll get tapped as a running mate, but Sanford surely wins Mr. Oblivious.

4 years

That's the maximum sentence Thomas Ravenel could receive if convicted for distributing cocaine. The minimum would be probation. Source: The State

"To remind yourself that a child is in the car, keep a stuffed animal in the car seat. When the child is buckled in, place the stuffed animal in the front with the driver."

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Department of Health and Human Services offering its advice to parents that forgetfully leave their children in the car. A Hanahan mother has been charged with killing her children after apparently leaving them in the car for hours while she worked. Source: Post and Courier


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