2007-10-19 / Business


by John Temple Ligon

Top two banks Based on deposits as of June 30, according to the FDIC, Wachovia is South Carolina's largest bank with $11.6 billion in state deposits. Second is Bank of America with $7.2 billion.

Lottery executive director goes national Ernie Passailaigue, executive director of the South Carolina Education Lottery, was sworn in recently as president of the North American Association of State and Provincial Lotteries.

A whole new and different approach Some states are considering privatization for their lotteries.

By leasing their lottery, California, according to The New York

Times, could collect $37 billion up front from Lehman Brothers, a major investment bank. Gov. Schwarzenegger has proposed leasing California's lottery so the money could help guarantee universal medical insurance. With sales somewhat smaller than the lottery in South Carolina, Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels suggests a lease deal for the Hoosier Lottery, bringing in $2 billion up front and another $200 million annually. The Indiana haul would be used for life sciences research and college scholarships for students who declare intentions to stay in Indiana after graduation.

Unchartered territory The Charleston Charter School for Math & Science has announced intentions to occupy the Rivers Middle School Building, which sits in a diverse neighborhood and works as a gesture for a diverse student body. However, the charter school cannot use race as an admissions criterion. Only academically qualified students who are accepted for admission can attend. Representatives from the state House and Senate, Interdenominational Ministerial Alliance, Trident Urban League, Pastors Incorporated and local branches of the NAACP are protesting the possibility too few African- American students can meet the admissions standards for a school in an African- American neighborhood. The chair of the charter school organizing committee said, "The Charleston School for Math & Science will undoubtedly, definitely, without a doubt, be far more diverse than any school in District 20."

Eastman invests On Tuesday, October 16, Eastman Chemical Company announced plans to invest another $100 million in its facility in Calhoun County. "Today's announcement is another sign our efforts to strengthen the economic soil conditions are working to grow existing businesses in our state. As we work to compete in the global economy, these efforts are critical to our future success. We remain committed to continuing to enhance opportunities that will promote economic growth and job creation throughout South Carolina," said Gov. Mark Sanford.

Columbia can always learn from Paris Since July 15, 15,000 bicycles have become available in Paris at more than 1,000 self- service docking stations - an urban amenity called the Vélib. According to The New York Times, "The Vélib system is simple. You swipe a credit card in a kiosk that is located beside a row of parked bikes and purchase a one- day, one- week, or one- year subscription. (The system also takes a 150- euro deposit authorization to ensure the bike's safe return.) The machine prints out a card with your code number, and you enter a personal password. You tap in this code and password to unlock a bike and ride off."

Columbia asks for input The City of Columbia seeks citizens' input on how the city should grow in the next 10 years. To hear from citizens, the following meetings are scheduled: 7- 9 pm, Oct 29 at the Eau Claire Print Building, 3907 Ensor Avenue; 6- 8 pm, Nov. 1 at the Ben Arnold Center, 1100 S. Holly St.; 6- 8 pm, Nov. 8 at Woodland Park, 6500 Old Knight Parkway; 7:30- 9:30 am, Nov. 15 at City Hall, 1737 Main St.

Deficit in the state budget According to the state Board of Economic Advisors, South Carolina might suffer a $430 million deficit in the next year.

Kids learn to sail The Spirit of South Carolina is a 140- foot two- masted wooden tall ship modeled after the 1879 pilot schooner Frances Elizabeth, also built in Charleston. It was launched last March after a seven- year construction schedule at a cost of $4 million. The ship provides educational programs that include sailing instruction, math, science, environmental stewardship, maritime culture and history, all targeted for mostly fifth and sixth grade students. For more information, visit www.scmaritime.org or call 843.722.1030.

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