The Agenda: Hundreds protest Westboro; Child support system could need 6 more years

Passing of former S.C. political reporter Lee Bandy

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College of Charleston officials estimate that hundreds of counter-protesters turned out Monday night anticipating a demonstration by activists from Westboro Baptist Church who said they may make an appearance in advance of a planned talk by Judy Shepard, mother of Matthew Shepard, a gay man whose 1998 killing sparked a wave of increased awareness of hate crimes and national legislation. Westboro never showed up on George Street. [P&C]

From the Opinion pages: Leaving little open to interpretation, the P&C comes out against polluting Carnival cruise liners, "Fantasy starts with an 'F'" [P&C]

Delays, controversy, and he-said/she-said between contractors and government officials have put off development and implementation of an automated child support enforcement system as required by a 1988 federal law, and state officials say it may need another six years and $75 million in federal fines before its completed. The state's already on the hook for $115 million in fines for the delays. [Greenville News]

U.S. Sen. Tim Scott says he sees a second government shutdown as less likely once the January-February deadlines come down the pipe. [P&C]

Lee Bandy, longtime Columbia political reporter with The State newspaper, passed away Monday at the age of 78. His former colleague Aaron Gould Shenin eulogizes his old boss in today's edition. [The State]

Attendance figures are up for this year's State Fair, which closed Sunday. [The State]

State Superintendent Mick Zais has a new spokesperson with the hiring of Dino Teppara. [The State]

The P&C lists responses to questionnaires sent to candidates for Mount Pleasant mayor. The Charleston Chamber of Commerce also announced yesterday their encorsement of Linda Page in the November election. Check the CP next week for interviews and a profile of the Charleston and Mount Pleasant races. [P&C]

You can now experience a little of what it was like to fire one of the mounted guns on the USS Laffey at Patriots Point in a new interactive exhibit. [CRBJ]

The Audubon Society has designated Fairlawn Plantation north of Charleston an important bird area. [P&C]

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