Patrons started lining up outside the new King Street H&M location early this morning ahead its noon opening, hoping to be among the first to enter and pocket giveaways the store is promising for its first visitors. [P&C]

The Columbia Free Times reports this week that the state Department of Education put the kibosh on a federal grant application in August for potentially hundreds of thousands of dollars that would have gone toward HIV/AIDS prevention and education. [Free Times]

Rock Hill Republican state Rep. Ralph Norman is reportedly mulling an entry into the Republican primary for lieutenant governor. [Rock Hill Herald]

Gov. Nikki Haley was present on Tuesday as Benefitfocus kicked off its $660M Daniel Island expansion, and cracked a “more cowbell” joke. [P&C]

Michael Haley, the governor’s husband, returned from National Guard deployment in Afghanistan last week and sits down with The State and the AP to discuss his time there and the transition back into everyday life. [The State]

A development on 4,500 acres in Summerville will be the state’s first “gigabit community” to be wired end-to-end with fiber optic cable for broadband internet service, providing speeds much faster than consumer-level service elsewhere in the market. [P&C]

During a hearing in Charleston yesterday, attorneys for businessman Jonathan Pinson, who is standing on federal corruption charges, said the investigation which eventually nabbed Pinson was originally looking into allegations of public corruption among city of Columbia officials, including Mayor Steve Benjamin, who has not been charged. [The State]

U.S. Sen. John McCain on whether Sarah Palin would weigh in on Lindsey Graham’s 2014 GOP primary, “Oh, I pray she wouldn’t do that.” [NYT Sunday Mag, pg. 4]

The state ethics commission is remaining quiet on the destroyed-then-reappeared letter that the group’s attorney drafted intended for the governor regarding questions about out-of-state fundraising and travel. [Free Times]

A conference committee meets today to discuss a compromise on a proposal that would abolish the state Budget and Control Board and transfer the majority of its power to the governor’s office. [The State]

A new $3 CARTA bus route approved this week would provide express service from downtown and areas of North Charleston to the airport as an extension of the agency’s struggling NASH shuttle in the outlet and business district near CHS. [P&C]

From The State opinion pages, by Cindi Scoppe: “Gov. Nikki Haley and the stuff of tyrants and dictators.” [The State]