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Issue 1.82 | Monday, Aug. 31, 2009 | Win some more RiverDogs tickets

If you have ever driven on Spring Street in Charleston near its corner with Coming Street, you might have seen this faded sign on the side of M&J Grocery. It looks like it's advertising "Ashley Real Cream," but we can't find out anything about such a product. The first one to tell us the truth behind this faded brand will win two tickets to a weekend RiverDogs baseball game. Alternatively, the first person to make up a good story about the brand will win a pair of tickets too! Send entries before the close of business Tuesday to editor Ann Thrash. (It would be helpful if you'd mark your entry "truth" or "fiction.")

:: Business input to lawmakers' agendas


:: On Santee Cooper, Sanford, Kennedy

:: Let us know what you really think

:: CofC Class of 2013

:: Photo contest, Citadel series, library perks


___:: CALENDAR: This week ... and next
___:: REVIEW: Tell us why you like a book
___:: HISTORY: Indigo
___:: QUOTE: Milne on sloppiness
___:: BOOKSHELF: Interesting reading
___:: SPOTLIGHT: Meet an underwriter


ABOUT US is a new online twice-weekly publication that offers insightful community comment and good news on events. It cuts through the information clutter to offer insight and news on the best of what's happening locally. More | Reader testimonials


Business leaders have chance to chart lawmakers' courses
President and CEO, S.C. Chamber of Commerce
Special to

AUG. 31, 2009 -- Members of the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and Lowcountry chambers of commerce will meet Tuesday in Charleston and Hardeeville to discuss legislative priorities for the 2010 legislative session to continue the mission of improving South Carolina's global competitiveness and increasing the state's wealth and prosperity. This important policy-changing work begins at home, at the grassroots level.


The S.C. Chamber, as the unified voice of business and industry, serves as a catalyst for statewide wealth creation and global competitiveness. It is this mission that encompasses all South Carolinians. When we create jobs and improve economic development in this state, we provide wealth and prosperity for all our citizens. We cannot do this without a plan, and these annual grassroots meetings constitute the first step in that plan. When we hold the last grassroots meeting in Greenwood on Sept. 9, we will have met with more than 1,000 business leaders to develop 2010 legislative priorities, both on the state and federal level.

Two grassroots meetings will be held in the Lowcountry on Sept. 1: from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. at the Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, and from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Palmetto Electric Cooperative in Hardeeville. There is no cost to attend either meeting.

These annual open-forum sessions are the first step in creating the 2010 Competitiveness Agenda, the business community's annual list of legislative priorities. They will begin with a legislative review before moving into candid and open discussion of legislative issues that businesses believe must be addressed.

With the support of local chambers of commerce across the state, the grassroots regional meetings have continued to successfully grow and grow, bringing compelling issues to the attention of our elected officials and, in turn, contributing to the creation of strong legislative priorities. Time and again, the business community has seen the power of a well-unified grassroots network in pushing through vital issues and halting those that are harmful to the state's business climate.

Join us Tuesday for the grassroots regional meeting in your area. To register, visit, or e-mail

The S.C. Chamber of Commerce, the nation's first state chamber to earn the "Accredited with Distinction" designation from the U.S. Chamber, is the state's largest statewide broad-based business and industry trade association representing more than 6,500 member companies and more than 600,000 member employees, with 90 percent of membership composed of small businesses. As the unified voice for business and industry, the Chamber is a catalyst for increasing per-capita income and enhancing the state's global competitiveness in order to improve the quality of life for all South Carolinians.

Thoughts about Santee Cooper, Sanford and Kennedy

By ANDY BRACK, publisher

AUG. 31, 2009 – News last week that Santee Cooper was suspending efforts to build a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant in the Pee Dee found conservationists and environmentalists giving a lot of high fives to each other.


As the utility spent hundreds of thousands of dollars beating the drum about the need for the new plant, grassroots and greenie organizers mobilized support against the facility. But while their efforts were helpful, the shelving the plant basically was the result of one of the utility’s biggest customers, Central Electric Power Cooperative, deciding to buy more power elsewhere than the proposed plant would have produced in the years ahead.

Voila – the need for the extra power plant here vanished because Central Electric plans to get electricity from Duke Power in North Carolina.

What wasn’t picked up by most of the media this week was the doubletalk by Santee Cooper about power and money. On one hand, the company said it ended the plant for three reasons: reduced demand for electricity due to the recession, proposed federal regulations that would boost the cost of the plant and Central Electric’s reduced needs.

An Aug. 24 news release noted, “[Chairman O.L.] Thompson added that Santee Cooper customers could benefit from the decision, because they may not need to bear the capital costs of constructing the proposed Pee Dee facility.” It later noted that the utility’s “sales” were down 5 percent.

In a completely separate news release delivered in the same e-mail as the one above, Santee Cooper announced “an overall 3.4 percent base rate increase beginning Nov. 1, 2009 to offset rising costs of operating and maintaining the utility’s generation, transmission and distribution facilities.”

So on one hand, customers will save money (over the long term), but they’ll face immediate increases to level out the company’s decreased revenues. Truth certainly is stranger than fiction. Thanks, Santee Cooper.

* * *

So Lt. Gov. Andre Bauer, in an apparent attempt to repair his political negatives, now wants Gov. Mark Sanford to resign over the whole mess over his love affair and plane trips. Bonus: If done in the next month, Bauer won’t run for governor. Translation: Bauer is pandering.

"The state has horrible unemployment and our leaders need to be focused on getting a lot of people jobs, not fiddling with the one job of a washed-up politician."

As some outlets have suggested, Bauer has reinjected politics into the Sanford scandal just as it was kind of simmering down. Yes, the press continues to scrutinize flights, but they’re finally reporting that other governors upgraded seats when flying on state dime.

We like most what U.S. Rep. Gresham Barrett, a Republican gubernatorial candidate, observed – that all of the continuing focus on Sanford’s peccadilloes with talk of impeachment, resignation and whatnot – is allowing state lawmakers to keep their eyes off the real ball. The state has horrible unemployment and our leaders need to be focused on getting a lot of people jobs, not fiddling with the one job of a washed-up politician.

While we’ve never been a Sanford fan, he should stick to his guns now and not be “railroaded” out of office by political stunts. Lawmakers should focus on jobs, not a leader they haven’t really enjoyed working with anyway.

* * *

The recent passing of U.S. Sen. Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., has played a lot in the news, but little has been said of the liberal senator’s lasting impact here in South Carolina. Due to his hard work, he changed lives of regular people in major ways. Here are just three:

  • Health care. If you are one of 300,000 South Carolinians who gets health care through one of the 22 federally-funded community health centers, you can thank Teddy Kennedy and former U.S. Sen. Fritz Hollings.

  • Minimum wage. If you make a $7.25 minimum wage today, you can thank Ted Kennedy, a tireless advocate for raising the minimum wage. Without his efforts, you’d probably still be making $5.15.

  • Disabilities. Kennedy is largely responsible for legislation that makes it easier for the disabled to participate in our communities.

If you wonder whether Teddy Kennedy’s impact will be missed in Washington, all you have to do is ask any one of several Republican senators in Washington who enjoyed working with him.

Andy Brack, publisher of, can be reached at: This commentary originally was published by S.C. Statehouse Report.

Send us your opinions on public issues

Have a comment or want to vent? If you have something to say about leadership in South Carolina, the state of baseball today, good barbecue or something about your community's government, drop us a line to: Please send no more than 200 words and include contact information (phone number, hometown) so we can get in touch with you.

Center for Women

The public spiritedness of our underwriters and nonprofit partners allows us to bring to you at no cost. This issue's featured nonprofit partner is the Center for Women, the only comprehensive women's development center in South Carolina. The Center for Women is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to make personal and professional success an everyday event for Lowcountry women. The Center, honored in 2006 by Oprah's Angel Network with a $25,000 grant, has reached more than 70,000 women since it started in 1990. Not only has it connected thousands of women to professional sources for practical help, support, counseling and referrals, but it continues to provide outstanding educational programs to help women in their careers and businesses. Learn more:

OCRM looking for coastal photos for tide table posters

Think you're pretty sharp with a camera? If so, you might want to set your sights on some coastal scenes and see if you can win a contest to find a photo for the state's 2010 tide charts.

This winning 2009 photo is by Mary K. Taylor of Hilton Head Island, S.C. More.

Photographers of all ages and expertise levels are invited to enter their best photographs of coastal South Carolina scenes in a contest sponsored by the Office of Ocean and Coastal Resources Management, part of the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control. The winning photo will appear on DHEC's 2010 annual tide table poster, marking its 25th year of production.

Photos must feature a coastal Palmetto State scene, including marshes, beaches or wildlife, and should be appropriate as an illustration for the tide table. Horizontal orientation is required. Color photos and digital photographs on CDs with image sheets are accepted, with a limit of five pictures per contestant. Digital photographs should not exceed 300 dpi at a maximum printed size of 8 inches by 10 inches. E-mail submissions will not be accepted.

It's free to enter the contest. Submissions will not be returned unless the contestant provides a self-addressed, stamped envelope. Entries must be postmarked between Sept. 1 and Sept. 30. The winner will be announced in October.

Mail entries to Coastal Photo Contest, S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control, Office of Ocean and Coastal Resource Management, 1362 McMillan Ave., Suite 400, Charleston, SC 29405. If you have questions e-mail Dan Burger or call him at 953-0251.

Citadel to host leading historians for community lectures

Three prominent historians and authors will bring their expertise on barbecue, Andrew Johnson and the culture of the military to The Citadel this fall for the Fulghum Lecture Series. "This year's Fulghum series features the most acclaimed living scholar of the South, the author of a current national best-seller, and one of the most promising young historians of the region," said Bo Moore, dean of the School of Humanities and Social Sciences. The lectures are free and open to the public unless otherwise noted.

John Shelton Reed, author of "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue," will kick off the series at 7 p.m. Sept. 10 in Bond Hall, Room 165. Reed, the 2007 Mark Clark Professor of History at The Citadel, will give a talk titled "The Balkans of Barbecue: Pit-Cooked Meat in the Carolinas." Reed is widely recognized as the leading authority on what constitutes modern Southern identity. He is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where he co-founded the Center for the Study of the American South.

At 7 p.m. Oct. 8 at the Holliday Alumni Center, author David Stewart will discuss his new book, "Impeached: The Trial of President Andrew Johnson and the Fight for Lincoln's Legacy." An attorney in Washington, D.C., Stewart has argued appeals all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court and was law clerk to Justice Lewis Powell. Stewart's talk is jointly sponsored by the South Carolina Historical Society. Tickets are $15 a person; admission is free to the first 200 people with Citadel identification.

On Nov. 12 at 7 p.m., Alex Macaulay, Citadel Class of 1990, will discuss his new book, "Marching in Step: Masculinity, Citizenship and The Citadel in Post-World War II America." The lecture will be held in Duckett Hall Auditorium. Macaulay's book, due out in November, explores the issue of Southern distinctiveness and sheds light on the South's real and imagined relationships with the rest of America.

The Fulghum Lecture Series was created in 2007 by the Department of History Southern Studies Program to promote a better understanding of the American South and to help prepare students to be principled leaders in the region. The series is named after its benefactor, Leonard C. Fulghum Jr. of Charleston, Citadel Class of 1951, and member emeritus of The Citadel Board of Visitors.

Local libraries offer perks during Library Card Sign-Up Month

The Charleston County Public Library is offering several special programs and deals in September as part of national Library Card Sign-Up Month.

The library card campaign, which is held annually, especially targets students with the goal of introducing them to the library's services. Last September, 2,800 local students received their first library card during the program.

Also in September, adults registering for a library card will receive a $2 "Booksale Bucks" coupon, good for the Friends of the Library book sales planned for Oct. 9 through Oct. 11 at the Gaillard Municipal Auditorium or Dec. 5 and Dec. 6 at the Mount Pleasant Regional Library.

Current card holders also can take advantage of September's perks by replacing an old card with one of the newer CCPL cards, which include a key chain attachment. Replacement cards are free in September; they usually cost $2. For more details on the library and its programs, go to

What's your favorite?

HAVE A REVIEW? If you have a review of a book, movie, restaurant or local arts endeavor, please send no more than 150 words to editor Ann Thrash. Make sure to include your name and full contact information.


(First of two parts)

Indigo, a plant that produces a blue dye, was an important part of South Carolina's eighteenth-century economy. It was grown commercially from 1747 to 1800 and was second only to rice in export value. Carolina indigo was the fifth most valuable commodity exported by Britain's mainland colonies and was England's primary source of blue dye in the late-colonial era.

South Carolina experimented with indigo production as early as the 1670s but could not compete with superior dyes produced in the West Indies. Cultivating and processing the plant was complex, and planters found other commodities more reliable and easier to produce. Indigo was reintroduced in the 1740s during King George's War (1739-1748), which disrupted the established rice trade by inflating insurance and shipping charges and also cut off Britain's supply of indigo from the French West Indies.

In South Carolina, Eliza Lucas Pinckney and Andrew Deveaux experimented with cultivation in the 1730s and 1740s. Pinckney's husband, Charles, printed articles in the Charleston Gazette promoting indigo. In London colonial agent James Crokatt persuaded Parliament in 1749 to subsidize Carolina indigo production by placing a bounty of six pence per pound on the dye.

In addition to economic motives, indigo production also succeeded because it fit within the existing agricultural economy. The crop could be grown on land not suited for rice and tended by slaves, so planters and farmers already committed to plantation agriculture did not have to reconfigure their land and labor. In 1747, 138,300 pounds of dye, worth 16,803 pounds sterling, was exported to England. The amount and value of indigo exports increased in subsequent years, peaking in 1775 with a total of 1,122,200 pounds, valued at 242,395 pounds sterling. England received almost all Carolina indigo exports, although by the 1760s a small percentage was being shipped to northern colonies.

Coming Thursday: The dye is cast

-- Excerpted from the entry by Virginia Jelatis. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)

-- Excerpted from the entry by W.K. Mitchell. To read more about this or 2,000 other entries about South Carolina, check out The South Carolina Encyclopedia by USC Press. (Information used by permission.)


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C of C Class of '13

Last Thursday's List looked at the incoming freshman class at The Citadel, so today we offer equal time to the College of Charleston. The college received a record 13,000 applications for the 2009-10 year and, as a college press release notes, the students come from "as close as a few blocks away and as far as the North Pole (Alaska)." Here are some fun facts about C of C's Class of 2013.

  • The middle 50 percent of freshmen accepted scored between 1080 and 1240 (in-state), and 1140 and 1280 (out-of-state) on the SAT.

  • Largest feeder high schools: Wando High School (78), Fort Dorchester High School (31), Lexington High School (31), Bishop England High School (27), Summerville High School (26).

  • Most common names among female students: Sarah, Lauren, Elizabeth, Katherine.

  • Most common names among male students: John, Matthew, William, Andrew.

  • The class includes both a student who was attacked by a shark and a student who invented a shark-repellent surfboard, as well as a student who sang at the opening ceremonies for the Beijing Olympics, a former Marine, a competitive downhill skier, a U.S. Secret Service federal officer, three students who got perfect 800s on part of their SATS (two on the verbal section, one on math) and an Honors College student who begins freshman year with 56 credits -- almost enough to be a junior.

On lack of neatness


"One of the advantages of being disorderly is that one is constantly making exciting discoveries."

-- A.A. Milne, British author (1882 - 1956)


Chamber Grassroots Meeting: 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sept. 1, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. The chamber will join the S.C. Chamber of Commerce and other area chambers in preparing for the 2010 legislative session with the annual Charleston Grassroots Regional Meeting, an open-forum session that's the first step in creating the 2010 Competitiveness Agenda and the business community's annual list of legislative priorities. Free. RSVPs/more info: Julie Scott by email or 803-255-2628.

Wine + Food Launch Party: 5:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Sept. 3, Founders Hall, Charles Towne Landing, 1500 Old Towne Road. Barbecue and beverages will be available, and the latest news about next year's BB&T Charleston Wine + Food Festival, including the lineup of chefs and authors, will be announced. Entertainment by the Blue Plantation Band. Tickets: $10 per person cash or check at the door, with proceeds benefiting the festival's charitable efforts. Reserve tickets by Aug. 31 by e-mailing or calling 727-9998, ext. 4.

Moonlight Mixer: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 4, Folly Beach Fishing Pier. Next-to-last Shaggin' on the Pier mixer for the year (final event is Sept. 25). DJ Rob Duren will spin oldies and beach music; food and beverages will be available for purchase on-site at Locklear's Beach City Grill and the Gangplank Gift & Tackle Shop. Cost: in advance, $8 for Charleston County residents, $10 for nonresidents, available at Charleston County Park and Recreation headquarters (795-4FUN); at the gate (if available), $10. More info.

Rice Plantation Program: 10 a.m. to noon Sept. 5, Caw Caw Interpretive Center, Ravenel. Investigate daily life and practices on a South Carolina rice plantation in the colonial era. Examine the details of field construction, planting, cultivation and harvest to reveal an endeavor of amazing scope. Advance registration required; a registered and paid chaperone is required for participants age 15 or younger. Open to ages 9 and up. Cost: $7 Charleston County residents, $9 nonresidents. More info: 795-4FUN or click here.


Selling in a Tough Economy: 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. Sept. 9, Charleston Metro Chamber of Commerce, 2750 Speissegger Drive, Suite 100, North Charleston. The chamber's Charleston Area Business Council will offer a program titled "How to Sell in Challenging Times," featuring Dennis Kerwin of PURE and Craig Dellinger of The Citadel Foundation. Cost: $15 chamber members, $30 nonmembers. More info/registration.

Barbecue in the Carolinas: 7 p.m. Sept. 10, Bond Hall, Room 165, The Citadel. John Shelton Reed, the 2007 Mark Clark Professor of History at The Citadel and the author of "Holy Smoke: The Big Book of North Carolina Barbecue," will give a talk titled "The Balkans of Barbecue: Pit-Cooked Meat in the Carolinas." Reed, a widely recognized expert on modern Southern identity, is professor emeritus of sociology at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and co-founder of the Center for the Study of the American South. Talk is free and open to the public. Reed will be available to sign books.

Young Professionals: 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Sept. 15, Tate Center for Entrepreneurship, College of Charleston. The Charleston Young Professionals are hosting a luncheon that will focus on career navigation and creating your own path to success. Cost: $15 CYP members, $25 nonmembers. More info/registration.

League of Women Voters Fall Kick-Off: 6:30 p.m. Sept. 16, Renaissance on the Harbor, 100 N. Plaza Court, Mount Pleasant. Two S.C. House members representing Charleston County -- Republican Jenny Horne and Democrat Anne Peterson Hutto -- will talk about their experiences as first-term representatives and their priorities for the upcoming legislative session in January. The Charleston County League of Women Voters will also provide information about its activities. Free. Parking available across the street in the Belvidere lot and next door at the Motley Rice building. More info: 745-5166 or

(NEW) ECCO Hurricane Party: 7 p.m. Sept. 18, Omar Shrine Temple, Mount Pleasant. To mark 20 years of service, East Cooper Community Outreach, which was founded in the wake of Hurricane Hugo in 1989, is having a Hurricane Party featuring a an auction, music and dancing to the music of the Mighty Kicks, heavy hors d'oeuvres by Cru Catering and an open bar featuring hurricanes. Tickets: $50 in advance, $60 at the door. More info/tickets: 971-9500 or online.

(NEW) Lowcountry Spiritual Journey: 7 p.m. Sept. 19, Christ Episcopal Church, 2304 Highway 17 North, Mount Pleasant. The newly formed Charleston Symphony Orchestra Spiritual Ensemble, under the direction of Nathan L. Nelson, will kick off its first full season with this performance, which is free (donations are accepted) and open to the public. A pre-concert voice recital featuring lyric soprano Shanelle Woods of Charleston Southern University will begin at 5:30 p.m. More info.

SEWE Fall Party: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m. Sept. 25, Charleston Visitor Center, 375 Meeting St. Casual event to unveil featured artist Luke Frazier's official poster for the 2010 Southeastern Wildlife Expo. Includes oysters, barbecue and side from Buck Ridge Plantation, plus live music by Triple Lindy, an open bar, and a silent auction and raffles to benefit Ducks Unlimited. Attendees must be 21 or over. Tickets: $40 in advance through or by calling 723-1748; at the door, if available, tickets are $50.

Benefit Fashion Show: Noon to 2 p.m. Sept. 26, Jasmine Porch restaurant, The Sanctuary at Kiawah Island. Fashion show and luncheon will benefit the Center For Women. Models will wear fashions from Eden Boheme and Cose Belle, and jewelry designers will display their work. Three-course lunch includes champagne. Cost: $45 plus tax and gratuity; portion of the proceeds go to the Center for Women. Lunch guests also get complimentary beach access at The Sanctuary for the day. More info/reservations: 768-6253. The Center For Women is a nonprofit partner of

(NEW) Concert in the Park: 6 p.m. Sept. 26, Mayflower Court park, next to the Greek Orthodox Church of the Holy Trinity, 30 Race St., Charleston. The concert is part of the church's year-long centennial celebration. Program will feature Holy Trinity's Centennial Choir performing liturgical music as well as secular selections in both Greek and English; in addition, Ann Caldwell and the Magnolia Singers will perform spirituals. Cost: $15 for adults; $3 ages 17 and under. Tickets available at the Hellenic Center, 30 Race St., or by calling 577-2063 (9 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays before Sept. 25).

Entertaining Charleston Style: 5:30 p.m. to 7 p.m. Wednesdays, Sept. 30 through Nov. 18, Culinary Institute of Charleston's Palmer Campus, 66 Columbus St., Charleston. A series of short courses celebrating the many facets of entertaining with a focus on Charleston style and traditions. Guest presenters include hosts, event professionals, authors, collectors, stylists and other specialists known for their distinctive contributions to local hospitality and tourism. Light beverage and cocktail samplings will be provided. Cost: $149. More info/registration.


In this section, we offer a list of good reads that you might want to consider reading:

  • A Short History of a Small Place, T.R. Pearson
  • The Book of Marie, Terry Kay
  • Charleston Jazz, Jack McCray
  • I'll Be Sober in the Morning: Great Comebacks, Putdowns, and Ripostes, Chris Lamb (List)
  • Plain Speaking: An Oral Biography of Harry S. Truman, Merle Miller

  • Suggest a book to us


11/5: McCutcheon: Work gap
Ohl: On carpooling
Wiedman: Women at Gibbes
10/26: Matouchev: Bear markets
Conover: BarCamp buzz
Wilson: Symphony update
Bender: Special Olympics
Baron: Breast Center
Ginn: Growing prosperity
Buffum: Waterkeeping
Personal branding
Acker: Designer fashion
Spencer: Art galleries
Riley, Moryl: MOJA
Gaither: Green Room
Chesson: Museum Mile
Barnette: Chas. Ballet
Deaton: Thrive Prize


11/5: Improving turnout
10/29: Celebrating a year
10/22: Good, bad signs
10/15: Bob's new food show
10/8: Robot ice cream
10/5: Costumes, snarks
Must-see TV
9/17: Fall leaves
Cold comfort, more
Being a fan
Good, bad, spineless
Locals on Runway
Cookie contest
Vote on car tags
True confessions
New way of tithing?
Lookout for manatees


11/2: Boeing highlights needs
No place for prejudice
Have fun at Halloween
Renovated Gaillard?
10/1: Napa wine trip
9/28: Anti-crime measures
9/21: Caw Caw park
Debris policy
Mystery solved
This and that
SC's treasures
8/17: RIP to old clunker
8/10: Lots to squeeze in
8/3: On flying Delta
7/27: Conspiracy theories
7/20: Protect carriage animals
7/13: Economic thaw here?


11/5: Weather watching
5 cooking classes
Best lists of year
Oyster recycling
Howl-o-ween fun
Giving blood
Top ratings
Major league
Book sale
Citadel football
Taste of Charleston
Feeding the need
History for sale
Shrimp baiting
Day of Caring
Free legal clinics

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