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  1. 'Like Bourbon Street on Steroids': Bar Owners, Neighborhood Leaders...Read the original story w/Photo

    Tuesday Feb 6 | Free Times

    Bar owners, neighborhood leaders and residents made impassioned pleas Tuesday morning at a hearing before Columbia City Council's public safety committee, which is considering ending the city's extended hours permits, which allow bars to sell alcohol after 2 a.m. About two dozen speakers participated in the more than two-hour public hearing, with University of South Carolina officials coming out in support of the city ending the extended hour permits, the Five Points merchants association coming out against the proposed repeal, and firebrand attorney Dick Harpootlian saying that Five Points can at times be more raucous than New Orleans' famed Bourbon Street.


  2. FT Roundup: Gowdy Retiring from U.S. HouseRead the original story w/Photo

    Thursday Feb 1 | Free Times

    "There is a time to come and a time to go. This is the right time, for me, to leave politics and return to the justice system," Gowdy tweeted on Wednesday.


  3. "We've Got to Run Faster": Economic Competitiveness Report ReleasedRead the original story w/Photo

    Monday Jan 29 | Free Times

    The Columbia area's economic competitiveness with other cities in the region remains a mixed bag, according to a newly released report. Specifically, Columbia continues to show strength in livability and is trending upward in regard to the talent the area can attract.


  4. Gut Check: Chefs and Restaurateurs Reflect on Columbia's Dining SceneRead the original story

    Jan 16, 2018 | Free Times

    For years, the general line on Columbia's dining scene was that it lived in the shadow of nearby cities like Charleston and even Greenville. Dominated by chain restaurants, with diners' tastes stuck in previous decades, it was - with a few major exceptions - a difficult place to find original, high-quality dining.


  5. FT Roundup: Alabama's Doug Jones Endorses Phil Noble for SC GovernorRead the original story w/Photo

    Jan 11, 2018 | Free Times

    U.S. Sen. Doug Jones, the Democrat who improbably bested Steve Bannon-backed Roy Moore in a recent election in Alabama, has endorsed Democratic activist Phil Noble for governor in South Carolina. "My win was a step - and now the next fight is Phil's for governor in South Carolina," Jones wrote in an email to supporters.


  6. Councilman Wants to End Bar Alcohol Sales at 2 a.m.Read the original story w/Photo

    Jan 5, 2018 | Free Times

    Columbia City Councilman Howard Duvall is set to introduce an ordinance that would stop bars in the City of Columbia from selling alcohol after 2 a.m. Duvall told Free Times Friday afternoon that he plans to introduce a measure that would end the city's extended hours permits for bars. Those permits allow for bars to sell alcohol beyond 2 a.m. The at-large councilman says he will introduce his ordinance at the Jan. 9 meeting of City Council.


  7. FT Roundup: Lawmaker Wants to Expand Definition of 'Lobbyist' After Corruption ProbeRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 26, 2017 | Free Times

    In the wake of special prosecutor David Pascoe's long-running State House corruption probe, at least one lawmaker wants to expand the definition of a 'lobbyist' in South Carolina. According to Jamie Lovegrove at The Post and Courier, Republican state Sen. William Timmons, of Greenville, has made such a proposal.


  8. The Records We Wish Had Made This Year's Best of South Carolina MusicRead the original story w/Photo

    Dec 20, 2017 | Free Times

    Turns out the readers and the artists aren't the only ones who take issue with the results of our poll. Each of Free Times' music writers voted for records that didn't make the cut.


  9. Trustus Comedy Troupe Pokes Fun and Pays Tribute to Richland MallRead the original story w/Photo

    Nov 28, 2017 | Free Times

    Many native Columbians have fond memories of Richland Mall, a mecca for Forest Acres shopping and socialization back in its '90s heyday. These days, things are different.


  10. City Candidates Make Pitches at Chamber Forum as Campaign Winds to CloseRead the original story w/Photo

    Nov 3, 2017 | Free Times

    With the 2017 City of Columbia municipal election just days away, the candidates in two races got in a last set of volleys during a Nov. 1 forum hosted by the Columbia Chamber. The municipal election is Nov. 7, and features two races.


  11. News Brief: Lawsuit Aims to Stop Lil Wayne Ticket Refunds; ZZ Top Also OutRead the original story w/Photo

    Oct 17, 2017 | Free Times

    The promoters of the Sept. 30 Fall Ball concert at Colonial Life Arena are suing the arena to stop it from refunding fans' tickets after headliner Lil Wayne declined to perform.


  12. FT Roundup: Trump Campaigns for McMaster in GreenvilleRead the original story w/Photo

    Oct 17, 2017 | Free Times

    President Donald Trump went to Greenville on Monday and stumped for South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's re-election campaign. "I loved our Henry," Trump said at a fundraiser, according to The Post and Courier.


  13. OnTap: Dogfish Head, Birdsong Among This Week's Tap TakeoversRead the original story w/Photo

    Sep 12, 2017 | Free Times

    There are lots of cool tap takeover type events this week that range from nationally celebrated craft breweries to right-up-the-road favorites. First up, Wednesday, Sept.


  14. Rant and Rave: Dear Handsome Guy at Swanson's DeliRead the original story w/Photo

    Aug 15, 2017 | Free Times

    Dear Handsome Guy who works at Swanson's Deli, I dig it. Find me on Instagram, please.


  15. FT Roundup: Trump Nominates Federal Judges for South CarolinaRead the original story w/Photo

    Aug 4, 2017 | Free Times

    President Donald Trump has nominated a pair of federal judges for South Carolina . According to The Post and Courier's Emma Dumain, one of Trump's nominees is a repeat of a name put forward by President Barack Obama last year: Donald C. Coggins of the Spartanburg law firm Harrison, White, Smith & Coggins.


  16. Confederate Flag Party Singles Out Opponents OnlineRead the original story w/Photo

    Jul 18, 2017 | Free Times

    Sean McGuinness, left, was among the protesters at a July 10 Confederate flag raising at the South Carolina State House. Photo by John Carlos Sean McGuinness, left, was among the protesters at a July 10 Confederate flag raising at the South Carolina State House.


  17. FT Roundup: Pinson Gets One of His Convictions OverturnedRead the original story w/Photo

    Jun 20, 2017 | Free Times

    Greenville businessman and former South Carolina State University board chairman Jonathan Pinson's racketeering conviction has been overturned by the 4th Circuit Court of Appeals, but other criminal convictions against him were upheld. The appeals court issued its ruling on Monday.


  18. County Detention Center Understaffed, Underpaid and Losing RecruitsRead the original story w/Photo

    Jun 6, 2017 | Free Times

    The Richland County detention center is understaffed while other counties snatch away recruits. County Council is poised to take action on this issue.


  19. FT Roundup: Columbia Falls Behind Charleston In PopulationRead the original story w/Photo

    May 25, 2017 | Free Times

    Charleston has slipped past Columbia as South Carolina's most populous city, according to Census numbers released Thursday . Charleston's population of 134,385 is 76 more than Columbia.


  20. 28 High-End Town Homes Coming to BullStreetRead the original story w/Photo

    Apr 6, 2017 | Free Times

    Greenville developer The Terranova Group plans to build a townhouse complex at BullStreet, the site of the former state mental hospital. Dubbed TownPark at BullStreet, the development will include 28 two- and three-story modern townhomes that will sell for $300,000 to $400,000.


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