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Will Folks, of the popular Palmetto State political blog FITSNews, will not have to reveal his anonymous sources in connection with a lawsuit, a judge says. Folks is being sued by former state Rep. Kenny Bingham, who says Folks defamed him in some articles in 2014 and 2015. Folks says the ruling “bodes well for all of us in the news gathering business,” and added, “With all due respect, I respect [Bingham’s] right to press the issue. Certainly that’s his prerogative. But for a public figure to bring a case like this is just ludicrous.” The ruling means Folks won’t be jailed or fined for refusing to reveal his sources; however, the defamation lawsuit can proceed, and Folks won’t be able to use the existence of those sources as a defense in the suit. — Chris Trainor 

West Columbia Resumes Tearing Down Mill Hill Homes

The City of West Columbia started demolition on a more than 120-year-old home in the Mill Hill neighborhood between State Street and the Congaree River on Sept. 25. The house on Oliver Street is one of four homes that West Columbia will be demolishing in order to create a parking lot for riverwalk access. In August, the city razed a house on Hudson Street in the historic neighborhood. A number of residents have protested the scheduled demolition, calling for the city to maintain the integrity of the former mill workers village. Two of the houses are set for destruction in the coming days while a resident is still living in the final home.  — David Travis Bland

Feds Charge Former Gamecock Assistant Coach in Bribery Scheme

Former University of South Carolina assistant basketball coach Lamont Evans, now an assistant at Oklahoma State University, is facing federal charges in connection with a scheme in which he allegedly took money from managers and financial advisers who wanted access to players. According to Andy Shain of The Post and Courier, Evans was approached by three such advisers in 2016, when he was still with USC. He left for OSU later that year. Evans is accused of taking monthly payments from the advisers for access to players. According to Shain’s report, “Evans met with the advisers at a restaurant near the USC campus in March 2016 where they discussed a USC player who was a possible ‘first-round pick in the NBA draft’ for 2017.” No USC players were listed by name in the federal court document pertaining to Evans, nor was USC head coach Frank Martin named. — Chris Trainor

Evidence Mounts of Possible Wrongdoing by SCANA

SCANA and Westinghouse used unlicensed engineers in the design of the abandoned nuclear reactors at the V.C. Summer site. According to a story by The Post and Courier, the designer and contractor of the reactors, Westinghouse, suggested that working with unlicensed engineers would save time in the design process. That decision was approved by SCANA. “The practice contributed to thousands of design revisions, construction setbacks, schedule changes and the ultimate demise of the reactors,” the story said. The State also reported on interestingly timed stock sales by four SCANA officials. Former heads at the utility sold more than $3.4 million worth of stock weeks and months after a damaging report on the state of the nuclear reactors was given to company officials — a report that said parts of the reactors were “not constructible.” The paper leaves open the possibility that the sales were coincidences, but notes that insider trading is illegal. The House Utility Ratepayer Protection Committee is due to meet on Tuesday, Sept. 26, to get public input on the failed project. — David Travis Bland

White Supremacists Coming to Charlotte

The Anti-Communist Action group announced a rally to be held in Charlotte, North Carolina, in December. The white supremacist organization was responsible for organizing the recent event in Charlottesville, Virginia, which ended in the death of one counterprotester, allegedly by a white supremacist associated with Anti-Communist Action, according to For the upcoming rally, the group’s website instructs people to “Bring your torches, guns, armor, gear, and flags! Stay nonviolent, and we’ll have a great time. Augustus Invictus, Richard Spencer, Dillon of Vanguard America, and many more will be speaking. Once night falls, we’ll (peacefully) march into downtown Charlotte and show the size [of] our ranks.” The Charlotte Observer reports that a counterprotest is already in the works. — David Travis Bland

Chapin Democrat to Run for Wilson’s Seat

A retired Army veteran from Chapin has announced he will run as a Democrat for the District 2 U.S. House of Representatives seat currently held by Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson. Sean Carrigan, who says he served in the Army for 28 years, announced his run Sept. 21. He says he favors a single-payer health care system and wants to raise the minimum wage to $15. — Chris Trainor

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