Troops at McIntire Joint National Guard Base in Richland County are on standby, ready to participate in NORAD’s tracking of Santa’s journey across the planet. [The State]

The state’s jobless rate dropped for the fourth straight month in November and is at its lowest level since 2008, coming as close to matching the national average as it has in years. [The State, P&C]

Continuing to push tree-cutting measures on I-26 outside Charleston, SCDOT says similar steps taken on I-385 in Laurens County has made the road safer. [AP]

State Attorney General Alan Wilson says he’ll support efforts spearheaded by Solicitor Scarlett Wilson to have State Supreme Court Justice Donald Beatty recused from cases “when warranted under the law,” citing some “inappropriate” remarks made in an address to prosecutors earlier this year. [The State]

Some continue to push behind the scenes for Lieutenant Gov. Glenn McConnell’s appointment to the presidency of the College of Charleston, but NAACP leaders’ objections to the L.G.’s unapologetic support of the Confederate flag could prove to be a stumbling block. [P&C]

News that State Superintendent Mick Zais won’t seek re-election has left the race to head up the state’s schools wide open. [The State]

In a Q&A with The State, Zais promised to continue working for “expanding choices” in state schools during his last year in office, while knocking his critics, who he referred to several times as the “special interest education lobby.” [The State]

Strom Thurmond biographer Marilyn Thompson examines the legacy left by the state’s longtime senator and the former family maid with whom he fathered a child, Essie Washington-Williams, who died in February. [Politico Magazine]

The House Ethics Committee is hearing from GOP state Rep. Bill Chumley today, whose sponsorship of using the state plane to fly down a conservative commentator to testify in favor of Obamacare nullification earlier this year, is under review. [The State]

North Charleston and Bass Pro Shops confirmed Friday that the company is opening a store in the area in 2015. [CRBJ]

Crews will begin work next week clearing land along Maybank Highway on James Island for a large new apartment development. [P&C]

Stay cool. Support City Paper.

City Paper has been bringing the best news, food, arts, music and event coverage to the Holy City since 1997. Support our continued efforts to highlight the best of Charleston with a one-time donation or become a member of the City Paper Club.