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"I'm not interested in slinging mud. I could substantiate it as a fact, but I don't see how that would benefit me."

Mayoral candidate Omar Brown after, well, slinging mud by accusing the city of overlooking him for promotion because he arrested other officers' kids. He refused to provide details on those arrests to the Post and Courier, and Mayor Joe Riley and Chief Greg Mullen noted the city has a system in place to respond to such complaints but have received none from Brown.

Dowtown Bomb Mystery Solved ... Sort Of

The Charleston Police Department has released the facts on the suspicious device found near the Calhoun Street Starbucks across from the College of Charleston that snarled Friday morning traffic a few weeks back. It turns out the device was actually a cell phone attached to a pair of batteries.

"Charleston Police Department detectives have determined that a suspicious package found at the corner of Coming and Calhoun streets on September 21 is actually a global positioning system-equipped cellular telephone with two heavy duty batteries attached to it," says police spokesman Charles Francis.

It turns out the cell phone was being used as a tracking device by a private investigator. And the mystery continues. —Greg Hambrick

18

That's the number of cities that have newly adopted or are considering legislation banning baggy pants, including proposals in Charlotte and Atlanta. Get your belt before the Christmas rush, fellas. Source: USA Today

Food for your Soul

In exchange, that is. The Convoy of Hope lands in Charleston this Sat., Oct. 20, at the corner of Cosgrove and Spruill Avenues behind the Lowcountry Food Bank. The Christian organization will be giving out over 100,000 lbs. of free groceries, as well as providing medical and dental screenings, haircuts, a job fair, hot dogs, music, and a carnival with horse rides for kids. It's the nonprofit's 6th annual stop in Charleston, and last year it served over 5,000 citizens in need. The only catch is you've got to stop in the prayer tent and at least consider getting "saved." Check out www.charlestonconvoy2007.com for info or to volunteer. —Stratton Lawrence

5,200

That's the number of South Carolina fourth graders who took home a tree last year for Arbor Day. The Free Trees and Plants project is looking for people to sponsor a Charleston fourth grader for this year's event. For more information, call Sarah Henne at 866-390-1428 or sehenne@neb.rr.com.

Get To Know Joe ... And Those Other Guys, Too

The League of Women Voters will be holding candidate forums in the weeks leading up to the City of Charleston's Nov. 6 election. This week's forums include:

• Thurs., Oct. 18: Council Districts 1 (Ernest Long and Gary White Jr.), 3 (Erika Harrison, James Lewis, Luqman Rasheed), and 5 (Leroy Connors Jr. and Jimmy Gallant)

• Mon., Oct. 22: Mayoral candidates Omar Brown, William Dudley Gregorie, Marc Knapp, and Joe Riley Jr.

Both forums will begin at 6:30 p.m. at Charleston County Main Library on Calhoun Street.

2.1%

That's the decline in the death rate for cancer victims between 2002 and 2004, nearly double the decline seen over the previous eight years. The spike is being attributed to cancer screening tests and new treatments for the worst cases. Source: The Associated Press

An 18th-Century Answer to a 21st-Century Problem

Sen. Glenn McConnell seems tired of the Civil War garb and is looking for something a little flashier. Like, say, frock coats, knee-buckles, and fluffy wigs. Yes, McConnell has taken the unusual step of calling for a constitutional convention to address illegal immigration.

"Unfortunately, the ability of the state to deal with the problem of illegal immigration is almost entirely taken away by the provisions of our Constitution that leave immigration law solely within the province of the federal government. However, Congress has refused or is incapable of acting, thereby leaving the states in the position of burning while Congress fiddles."

The measure would have to be approved by two-thirds of the states (not too hard I'd imagine in an election year).

States would be given the ability to give or deny benefits to illegal immigrants, as well as the ability to enforce federal immigration laws within their borders.

"While this course of action is unprecedented (hence the 'The' in 'The Constitutional Convention'), I also feel the danger facing our country is unprecedented," McConnell says.

In other immigration news, the South Carolina Senate's Immigration Reform Study Committee will be holding a public meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the 410 Building at Trident Technical College to receive public input on immigration issues. We'll take a wild guess that complaint cards won't be available in Spanish.

Greg Hambrick

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