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Tires are piled up at the abandoned Viva Recycling site on the road to Cypress Gardens in Berkeley County. File/Andrew J. Whitaker/Staff

Big cleanup

The S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said it will help remove hundreds of thousands of scrap tires left at a business in Moncks Corner after the company was shut down for repeated violations.

The agency, which called the heap at Viva Recycling "a serious environmental and public health risk," did not provide a timetable for the work.

The money will come from a $2 fee DHEC tacks onto sales of new tires, but a cost estimate was not available. As many as 800,000 scrap tires are scattered at the site.

DHEC has about $4 million available in its tire fund. It shut down Viva's operations last June.

Last local location 

Sears will close its Citadel Mall store in August, the retailer’s last big-box location in the Charleston region.

The auto center will close in early June, and the department store will go dark in early August. A liquidation sale will begin May 18.

The closing follows the retailer's departure from Northwoods Mall in North Charleston last summer.

Sears is the second major anchor to pull out of Citadel Mall. J.C. Penney left in July. Its space will be leased by the Medical University of South Carolina as an outpatient center.

Acquisition mode

Blackbaud is making a $43 million bet that data analytics is central to the future of its business, acquiring a Minnesota startup to shore up its ability to crunch numbers for nonprofit groups.

The Daniel Island-based technology company said that by purchasing Reeher, it will get another data tool to sell to customers. Reeher makes software that predicts who might be willing to give money and tells fundraisers how well they're doing.

Unlike Blackbaud, Reeher targets universities. Blackbaud's bet is that those same tools will be useful for other nonprofits it works with.

Taxing matter

State tax officials are auditing SCANA Corp. and Santee Cooper, asking whether the utilities need to pay sales tax on materials they bought for their failed nuclear project. The probe appears to center on a line in South Carolina’s tax code that exempts major manufacturers from paying sales tax on their factories. That provision could have covered the new reactors at V.C. Summer Nuclear Station — if they were generating electricity.

The tax agency has indicated to SCANA that the scuttled reactors shouldn't be exempt because they "will not be placed into service and no electricity will be manufactured for sale," the company told investors. Santee Cooper said it was informed by DOR that "sales taxes were due on the previously tax exempt purchases." The utilities are disputing the agency’s interpretation.

Bi-Los reborn 

An independent Piggly Wiggly supermarket operator is looking to reopen the former Bi-Lo at 9616 Highway 78 in the Ladson area of North Charleston, according to public documents. Bi-Lo moved out of the space in April.

Lowcountry Grocers LLC, has applied for an alcohol license for the site and is seeking a variance from a city board. The company, which owns nine Piggly Wiggly or Price Wise stores throughout South Carolina, said the deal has not been finalized.

Separately, another independent Piggly Wiggly operator reopened the former Bi-Lo on Skylark Drive in West Ashley.

Museum gift

Charleston philanthropist and business executive Ben Navarro, who's said to be in the running to buy the NFL's Carolina Panthers, has pledged $250,000 for the International African American Museum.

The donation is from Navarro and his company, Sherman Financial Group. Navarro also founded Meeting Street Schools in 2008 on the belief that all children deserve an excellent education regardless of their geographic or socioeconomic circumstances.

Closings

The Charleston region will lose three pharmacies after their owner was acquired by a rival chain.

Rite Aid stores at 1934 Ashley River Road in West Ashley, 918 Houston Northcutt Blvd. in Mount Pleasant and 1195 Remount Road in North Charleston will close on May 15, May 16 and May 22, respectively.

They are among the first drugstores to go dark in the region after industry giant Walgreens received approval last fall to buy 1,932 locations from Rite Aid.

Expanding

A North Charleston-based spirits refiner and producer is expanding.

Terressentia Corp. said it is doubling the size of its Palmetto Commerce Park operation to 70,000 square feet. The expansion should be completed in about a month and is included as part of a $79 million loan the company recently secured.

Terresentia also owns the O.Z. Tyler Distillery in Owensboro, Ky., where it makes 72,000 barrels of brown liquor, mainly bourbon. In North Charleston, the company uses a patented technology to improve the taste of distilled spirits.