“A lot of people who own these small Citgo stations are Americans.”

Summerville shop owner Joe Pedalino, defending his decision to let Citgo film a commercial at his store. Some locals were upset that the Venezuela-owned company was allowed to film in the area, including one person who called city planner Charlie Miller “un-American” for allowing the shoot. Source: The Summerville Journal Scene

Election Filings: Round 2

With election filings closed on March 30, the races for local and state seats have been sealed.

U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Buddy Witherspoon will compete in June in the GOP primary, with Democrats Michael Cone and Bob Conley running for the Democratic nomination.

Congressman Henry Brown (R-Hanahan) will face primary challenges from Katherine Jenerette and Paul Norris. Linda Ketner of Charleston will face perennial Congressional nominee Ben Frasier in the Democratic primary.

State Sen. Randy Scott will defend his seat from fellow Republican Mike Rose. Democratic Rep. Leon Stavrinakis has an opponent for his seat representing James and Johns islands from Republican Chris Cannon. A third leg has been added to the primary race to fill the vacant District 117 House seat. Former state legislator Wheeler Tillman will run against Tim Scott and Bill Crosby for the Berkeley/Charleston seat.

A race shaping up to be one of the more interesting Republican primary challenges will be between 9th Circuit Solicitor Scarlett Wilson and former Deputy Solicitor Blair Jennings.

­Charleston County School Board Vice Chairwoman Nancy Cook will be challenging fellow Republican Curtis Bostic for his County Council seat, with Democrat Vic Rawl running against the victor in November.

Other races include:

• Rep. Chip Limehouse, a Republican, will face a primary challenge from Casey Fitts for House District 110

• The open County Council District 3 seat will be fought over by Republican Mickie Kelecy and Democrat Elliott Summey

• Sen. Robert Ford will face fellow Democrat Dwayne Green in June for Ford’s District 42 seat, with the winner going against Republican Scotty Sheriff in November

• Democrats Wendell Gilliard, Clay Middleton, and Maurice Washington will compete for the open House District 111 seat

• Anne Peterson-Hutto and Eugene Platt will compete in June’s Democratic Primary to run against Rep. Wallace Scarborough in November

• Rep. David Mack will face a general election challenge from Republican Steven Smith

• County Councilwoman Colleen Condon, a Democrat, will be challenged by the winner of a GOP primary between Mark Peper and Joey Douan

• Joe Bustos and Mike Sottile are running for the open District 112 seat representing East Cooper.

Greg Hambrick


That’s how many pounds of cardboard and plastic bottles were recycled during last year’s Cooper River Bridge Run. This year, Keep Charleston Beautiful will be providing 33 recycling bins throughout Marion Square. They’re asking nicely. We’re putting litter bugs on warning — if we catch you, you’re running an extra mile.

Charleston Nine Memorial Highway

That’s the new name for the stretch of U.S. 17 running from near the Folly Road intersection to Sam Rittenberg Boulevard. Look for prominent signs to pop up, while drivers will find it impossible to stop calling the stretch Savannah Highway or the auto mile.


That’s the annual estimated population growth for the Charleston-North Charleston metropolitan area, according to the U.S. Census. Here’s hoping they’re readers.

Bill Could Seal Cork on Champagne Room

A bill promoted by the Palmetto Family Council restricting adult entertainers and adult bookstores is heading through the Statehouse.

The bill would require six feet between strip club patrons and dancers during performances, targeting those high-dollar personal shows that PFC’s Oran Smith says go a little too far.

“There are some things that go on there that are clearly entertainment — even though it might be a little edgy,” he says of the strip shows. “When it becomes a lap dance and it becomes a champagne room, that’s bordering on something that should not be occurring.”

The law could go further, but Smith says they were taking a moderate course to address the most offensive acts.

The bill, as approved by the Judicial subcommittee on Thursday, would prohibit adult entertainment from midnight to 6 a.m. While some may consider a few of those hours the prime money-making time for a nudie bar, Smith sensed that there needed to be some “guardrails” — much like prohibitions on liquor store hours.

But the law, as currently drafted, would also prevent adult novelty shops and bookstores from remaining open past midnight.

Lawyer Scott Bergthold, who specializes in adult business legislation, says both Tennessee and Delaware have laws restricting the hours of operations for strip clubs and adult bookstores that have been upheld by the courts. —Greg Hambrick