Every city worth a damn has panhandlers. Tourist cities even more. It’s just the way it works. But sometimes panhandling can go from a minor pain to the populus, both native and tourist, and become real problem, one that drives costumers away from a city’s retail and restaurant core. How do you know when you have a problem? For ABC News 4, it’s simple. You interview two people who work downtown (and toss in a city council man for good measure). Anecdotal evidence away.

Live 5 has an interesting report on improving your cell phone reception inside your home or office.

[MUSC student Stephanie] Horton tried zBoost, a $300 product that claims to pump up your cell phone reception.

Horton gave it a try and set it up in five to ten minutes. Before hooking it up, her phone barely had two bars. After the set-up, she got a boost, up to four to five bars.

Yeah, it’s filler, but, more importantly, it’s useful filler.

Gov. Mark Sanford’s office weighs in on Rep. Fletcher Smith’s proposal to lower to the drinking age to 18 for military folk, thanks to this Post and Courier report.

“There are responsible and irresponsible people at all ages,” Sanford press secretary Joel Sawyer said. “To us, the bill highlights the problem of Congress using federal dollars to blackmail states into adopting policies.”

At risk is 10 percent of the annual federal highway funds the state receives, which is expected to be about $300 million this year.

The governor supports Smith’s bill and would fight for the state to keep its highway money if the bill becomes law, Sawyer said.

Ken Burger takes a look at the recent round of reports on the rising graduation rates of college football players in the Palmetto State and offers a bit of the tell-it-like-it-really-is.

When the NCAA tightened the screws on academics, college football factories responded by raising huge amounts of money to create monstrous academic support facilities that hand-carry some players through college.

Full-time academic support staffs and small armies of student tutors are employed with one simple goal — keep players eligible to play and on track to graduate.

Clemson’s Tommy Bowden already has a multi-million-dollar academic support center for student-athletes only. USC’s Steve Spurrier says he has to have one to be competitive.

Meanwhile, Basket Weaving has been replaced with majors like Retailing, Sport Management, African-American Studies, Sociology and Recreation Management.

Basket Weaving, I’m with you there, Ken, but African-American Studies and Sociology. Holy Shih Tzu, dude, that’s a total red rocket move. Don’t be surprised when an letter to the editor calls for your kibbles and bits.

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