TSA drops unfunded exit strategy on airport

The Transportation Security Administration doesn’t want to monitor the exit lanes at the airport’s two passenger concourses anymore.

Washington might be partially shut down, but that hasn’t stopped unfunded federal andates from being pushed down to the local level.

The latest move by the Transportation Security Administration is a case in point.

Since 2001, the agency took charge of stopping anyone, except authorized personnel, from entering aircraft boarding areas via the exit lanes.

But the agency no longer wants to pay for that or staff it.

As a result, it’s informed Charleston International and other airports across the country they must take over the task starting Jan. 1.

The airport has two options: It can pick up the slack with its own employees or contractors. Or or it can pay to install new technology that meets TSA requirements. The cost of either option has not been determined. In any case, the money isn’t in the current budget.

The Charleston County Aviation Authority is considering joining other airports to challenge the mandate in court. No decision has been made, said Paul Campbell, airports director.

It didn’t quite carry the weight of Benenfitocus’ recent initial public offering, but investors who want buy a piece of privately held, Charleston-based lending business can now do so.

The parent of CresCom Bank began offering quotes on its common stock to outsiders for the first time last week. Shares of Carolina Financial Corp. can be bought and sold via the OTC Bulletin Board. The over-the-counter ticker symbol is “CARO.”

“We are excited about this development, as this is a major milestone in the history of Carolina Financial Corp.,” said Jerry L. Rexroad, CEO of the holding company. He added that the move “will provide our stockholders with additional liquidity and will help facilitate the future growth of our company.”

The OTC Bulletin Board displays real-time quotes, sale prices and volume data for stocks that aren’t listed on a national exchange. It’s operated by the Financial Industry Regulatory Authority, an independent regulator.

No shares in Carolina Financial changed hands last week, according to otcbb.com and Yahoo Finance.

The company opened Community FirstBank in 1997 at 288 Meeting St., which remains its headquarters. It expanded later to Myrtle Beach by forming Crescent Bank. The 10-branch CresCom was formed in 2012 when Carolina Financial merged the two lenders. The bank also owns Crescent Mortgage Co., which makes home loans in 43 states.

A ribbon-cutting ceremony Thursday will mark something new in old Mount Pleasant: A roadway that will serve new housing development. Rose Wilder Lane will connect Mary Lane, Hibben and Whilden streets in the Old Village. Along it, 26 single-family homes are set to be built.

The developer, Vince Graham and I’On Group, says the road has a small square called “Earl’s Court,” a name it shares with the development. Earl comes from an affectionate Labrador retriever known to “hold court” in the area.

Known for its conservative business practices, Bank of South Carolina has expanded selectively, opening just four offices since it was founded in the late 1980s. No. 5 is in the works.

“Our model of safe and sound banking practices over the past 27 years has resulted in great success for our financial institution and its employees, customers, and shareholders,” said CEO Fleetwood Hassell. “Now, we are excited to announce our intention to open a future office in North Charleston on Highway 78 and Ingleside Boulevard led by veteran banker Terry Strawn.”

It will be the lender’s first branch in North Charleston, where the bank previously had set up an advisory committee. Its existing offices are in downtown Charleston, Mount Pleasant, Summerville and West Ashley.

Last month, Bi-Lo announced a definitive agreement with Piggly Wiggly Carolina Co. to buy 22 stores in South Carolina and Georgia.

In a later regulatory filing, Southeastern Grocers Inc., the newly formed parent of Bi-Lo and Winn Dixie, said it was paying $35 million for 21 “operating” Piggly Wiggly stores.

So what happened to No. 22? Bi-Lo said last week it closed a store in Lexington near Columbia on Friday. A store employee said other Bi-Lo supermarkets are nearby, which contributed to the decision.

In Charleston, Bi-Lo has started the process of taking over the local Pigs by applying for licenses from the S.C. Department of Revenue to sell beer and wine in three of the locations: Johns Island, West Ashley and the peninsula. Legal notices began appearing Friday to give the public a chance to object or otherwise comment.

Piggly Wiggly is also selling seven stores in the Charleston area to Matthews, N.C.-based Harris Teeter. Those stores have already begun closing. The process will continue over the next week or so for the changeover to the new brand.

Harris Teeter itself is being bought out by Cincinnati-based Kroger Co. Piggly Wiggly stores being acquired by Harris Teeter will carry the Harris Teeter name.

A Grand Strand lender is dipping its toe in the Charleston market.

Myrtle Beach-based South Atlantic Bank said last week it has opened its first loan office south of Georgtown. It’s at 1127 Queensborough Blvd., off Anna Knapp Boulevard, in Mount Pleasant.

The five-person office is the bank’s fifth. It offers commercial and residential loans. The bank is owned South Atlantic Bancshares Inc.

“The Charleston market has long been of interest to us,” said CEO K. Wayne Wicker.

The Medical University of South Carolina’s Foundation for Research Development has announced a new leader. Michael Rusnak took over as executive director effective Oct. 1. He succeeded Robert Donato, who was interim CEO and remains with MUSC.

The foundation was created in 1995 to commercialize university-supported research, a process known in the field as “technology transfer.”

Rusnak has more than 25 years of experience in the life science industry, MUSC said. Most recently, he was director of new ventures within the technology transfer office at the University of Rochester Medical Center in New York.

Before that, he was an entrepreneur-in-residence with BCM Technologies, which is part of the Baylor College of Medicine, where he was involved in starting and incubating more than five spin-off companies. He also has held senior positions with Ceros Pharmaceuticals, CombiChem and Lexicon Genetics, among others.