The Carolina Reaper, a pepper that measures up to 1.5M Scoville Heat Units that’s grown in Fort Mill, S.C., was recently dubbed the world’s hottest pepper. (A plain ol’ jalapeno registers 5,000.) [WaPo/AP]

Some in the Lowcountry are afraid that flood insurance reforms will cause insurance costs to rise and affect the local real estate market. [P&C]

The bi-partisan House Ethics Committee unanimously dismissed ethics charges against Republican state Rep. Bill Chumley over his authorization of the use of a state plane to fly a political commentator to Columbia for “nullification” hearings earlier this year, saying he didn’t knowingly break the law. [The State]

Gov. Nikki Haley’s post on Twitter and Instagram that she received a handgun for Christmas triggered a social media firestorm with both critics and supporters rallying around the governor. [P&C]

The memorable Super Bad storefront at the corner of King and Woolfe Street will soon be torn down, the city and owner say, though the reasons for its ultimate demise are in dispute. [P&C]

Upon news in the last month that both Cabela’s and Bass Pro Shops will be locating new stores in South Carolina, industry officials say they fear that the arrival of more big box and regional stores could create an over-saturation of similar shops across the area. [GSA Business]

The USC Gamecocks arrived in Orlando Thursday for a week of prep and events leading up to the January 1 Capital One Bowl against Wisconsin. (The Clemson Tigers play Ohio State in the Orange Bowl on Jan 3.) []

Coyotes are suspected in the “disappearance” of several domesticated cats in Mount Pleasant. [P&C]

The New York Times looks at Converse College in Spartanburg as it examines a growing trend of pricey private colleges slashing tuition instead of maintaining a high cost and awarding scholarships liberally. [NYT]

Duke Energy, one of the nation’s largest energy companies, is reportedly cool to the idea of developing a large solar energy outpost in South Carolina at the request of the Coastal Conservation League and Southern Alliance for Clean Energy. [The State, AP]

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.