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"(They) knowingly and intentionally did combine, conspire and agree together and have tacit understanding with each other and others."
That's direct from the latest indictment of Thomas Ravenel and Michael L. Miller, which added a third defendant, local wine expert Pasquale Pellicoro, and suggests that more names may be forthcoming. The U.S. Attorney's Office in Columbia would not comment on any other potential indictments, but stated that the investigation was ongoing. The City Paper was given Pellicoro's name a week before his indictment in relation to another high-profile Charleston resident who, if indicted, may best Ravenel's scandal.

Trident Looking for Friends Online
Trident Technical College is reaching out to students at the internet's top social networking site: MySpace.

While students scouring their friend's friends for hot girls or checking up on the women leaving their boyfriend comments, they'll find an ad promoting the school as part of its broader marketing campaign.

"We're trying to get the word out about what we have to offer," says marketing director Tina Ahlemann, noting, not surprisingly, that MySpace users mirror the college's target audience.

So far, the campaign has been successful, Ahlemann says, particularly in its ability to isolate what features are most alluring to prospective students. For example, of the various ads displayed on MySpace, financial aid was an evident draw. That led the school to push those ads and change others to highlight that point.

Ahlemann says the school may consider ads on Facebook — that other networking site. But MySpace is ideal because of its ability to market regionally. Prospective students from Rough and Ready, Calif., and other far-off places will just have to go straight to the school's website, www.tridenttech.edu.

14

That's the age of at least one of the alleged victims of a sex-slave ring busted last week, according to an FBI release. Three Mexicans are accused of transporting the women and girls from Mexico to South Carolina, to be used as sex slaves. If convicted the men could face up to life in prison and more than $1 million in fines.

50

That's Charleston's ranking among more than 240 minor league cities in the annual review by Sports Business Journal. The magazine also highlights Charleston among its "Ones to Watch."

Citywide WiFi (No Really, Stop Laughing)
If you're online on the Peninsula, odds are you're either paying for internet access or stealing it from your neighbor. But there's hope! The City of Charleston is looking to amend its agreement with Widespread Access that was supposed to provide free WiFi access on the Peninsula.

The City signed a five-year deal with Access and its partner, Evening Post Publishing (the parent company of The Post and Courier), in 2005 for the internet access that was expected to cover the Peninsula but has since trickled out to only about 200 users as of January, according to a P&C story.

The city can't elaborate on the necessary changes to the contract because the parties are still working to resolve differences, says city tech guy Ernest Andrade, but the hardware is going to have to be dramatically increased to produce "a more substantial and much more attractive" WiFi system.

If an agreement can't be reached, Andrade said the city may have to look at other options.

"It doesn't behoove us to keep things limping along," he said.

25 percent

That's the number of people who didn't read a book last year. But Southerners can be proud that they read more than other people, though it's usually religious books and romance novels. Think of the copies that would fly off the shelves if Moses was only blond and barrel-chested. Source: The Associated Press

Another Election, Same Joe
City election filing wrapped last week, and long-serving Charleston Mayor Joe Riley is the underdog ... for "Most Inventive Campaign Sign" (it's like the last one, only red). Riley is challenged by Omar Brown, William Dudley Gregorie, and Marc Knapp.

District 1 candidates seeking to replace Councilman Henry Fishburne, who will not seek reelection, include Ernest Long and Gary White Jr.

Councilman James Lewis will defend his District 3 seat against Erika Harrison and Luqman Rasheed.

In District 5, Councilman Jimmy Gallant is challenged by Leroy Connor Jr.

Councilman Louis Waring will face challenges for his District 7 seat from Francina Herne and Willard Sheppard.

Aubry Alexander II is running unopposed in his bid to replace exiting Councilman Paul Tinkler in District 9.

And Timothy Mallard is hoping to unseat District 11 Councilwoman Anne Frances Bleecker.

Elections are Nov. 9.

13 percent

That's the number of teens and college students who said they can't live without their newspaper in a recent Associated Press/MTV poll. Only one in five said they read a daily paper the day before — nearly all them said they read a print copy, hardly any read it "online." Source: The Associated Press

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