Morning Read: N. Chuck Crime, MUSC, Sen. Ford Gambles, Project Bluewater Revealed, Seafood Supplier Closed

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1) That annual ranking of the most violent cities in America that the officials in North Charleston don't want us to pay attention to says that the city's ranking improved (from 7 to 10).

Areas that need improvement?

Among the most disturbing findings: a second-place ranking in rape, 11th-place ranking for robbery and 16th place for both assault and murder.

We stress ranking because the story doesn't distinguish whether the city improved or whether the other three got worse. Particularly when you look at the FBI numbers the list is based on:

Here’s the bad news the FBI reported today: In 2007, violent crime in North Charleston increased by 5.4 percent over 2006 (the numbers that the 7th placed ranking is based on). Rape increased by 13.6 percent, robberies increased by 22.1 percent, and assaults were almost the same, with only a 1.1 percent decline. Murders fell from 28 in 2006 to 26 in ‘07.

1.5) In typical fashion, the city has provided an anti-crime story to go with the dose of bad news. North Charleston will be offering $100 next month for every working firearm that is turned in. No questions asked: except you have to be 18 and a North Charleston resident and you can't be a gun dealer. We're assuming that they're going to have the Amazing Kreskin on hand to determine these facts.

2) MUSC will require four-day furloughs for 1,200 workers and layoff a "handful" of workers.

3) Sen. Robert Ford says revenues from legalized gambling could assist programs that have fallen to state budget cuts. Ford's consistent, we'll give him that.

4) Project Bluewater is revealed. Russia's Delfin USA will be expanding its operations at the old Shell plant in North Charleston, creating 160 jobs in the next few years.

5) Headline: Seafood supplier goes under, nobody notices.

From the story:

Some area restaurants are bracing for a potential seafood shortfall on the heels of the abrupt closing of a big purveyor of fresh fish and other ocean fare.

Well, not so much.

"It's pretty big deal, I think," said John Keener, co-owner of the Charleston Crab House, which was not affected by the closing because it uses another seafood vendor.

Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. Inc. was one of the Poseidon's wholesale clients, … "we'll be looking for an alternative supplier, which won't be too hard to do."

Robert Carter of the Peninsula Grillhad "not yet" felt any fallout from the plant shutdown.

Poseidon had been Noisy Oyster's primary supplier for years, but Boals said he started to spread his bets after the ownership change.

"Thing(s) weren't really the same after they merged and were bought out," he said.

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