The Agenda: Texting-while-driving fines in effect; Clemson Greeks ban theme parties; Bowl to ask for more money

Nelson Mullins attorney to head up Labor agency

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As of Monday, if you're stopped for texting while driving in South Carolina, cops can now issue you a $25 fine for your first offense, $50 for repeat offenders. Source: SHJ

Gov. Nikki Haley announced a leadership change at the state Department of Labor, Licensing, and Regulation on Monday. Gone is two-year agency head Holly Pisarik, succeeded by the agency's chief counsel Richele Taylor, an attorney formerly with Fisher & Philips and Nelson Mullins. After James Burns was appointed Haley's chief of staff last month, Richele becomes the second attorney from Nelson Mullins to be appointed to a senior administration position in as many months, raising eyebrows over at The Nerve, who point out that the firm was paid $1.2 million mainly from representing large companies in Columbia from January 2013 through May of this year. Source: AP, The State, The Nerve

Clemson officials say they've learned in recent days that the controversial off-campus gang-themed 'Cripmas Party' that made waves over the weekend wasn't the first time a similar event has been held. University fraternities and sororities decided after a meeting on Sunday to end "theme" parties. Source: WSPA, G'ville News

The American Bar Association told Charleston School of Law officials on Tuesday that the group has deferred a decision on whether the school can be bought by InfiLaw. Source: P&C

Organizers of the Medal of Honor Bowl are asking Charleston County Council to pitch in an additional $25,000 to help the all-star bowl game pay its bills. So far, the state and local municipalities have paid $165,000 of the game's $1M+ budget. Source: P&C

Local civil rights advocates worry that expanded federal standards around racial profiling by police won't change how local police departments conduct their patrols. Source: P&C

Edward Krosberg, the James Island man who beat his girlfriend to death with a hammer and stabbed her a dozen times, cursed at Circuit Judge Roger Young after he told the 32-year old that he would spend the rest of his life in prison without the chance for parole. Source: P&C

Cover photo by Flickr user lord-jim

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