Disaster Help Information

As South Carolinians assess rain and flood damage and look for help in recovery, you may find these phone numbers and web links useful.

It seems the entire world is wrestling with immigration emergencies today. And lest you think the Western Hemisphere's crisis is over, consider the look on Oscar Ortega's face.

He just got a WhatsApp message that made his eyes pop.

  On Friday, Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and representatives from FEMA will travel to Columbia and Charleston to meet with federal, state and local officials and view ongoing response and recovery efforts. FEMA will be assessing which counties are eligible for individual aid, in conjunction with the President’s Major Disaster Declaration. 

The tradition of lavish, super-indulgent dinners in America, says Becky Libourel Diamond, author of the soon-to-be-published book The Thousand Dollar Dinner, comes from the fact that our country has always been known as the Land of Opportunity for Pursuers of Happiness.

Pass the champagne and caviar.

In Napa, Calif., a company called Free Flow Wines fills and dispenses reusable wine kegs, which are used by restaurants and bars for serving wine on draft. Every month, the company rinses and refills about 10,000 of the stainless steel casks, each of which eliminates the need for 26 clunky wine bottles.

This is a small win for the environment, since glass bottles are heavy and require energy to ship.

Forest Drive near Four Paws, Columbia Classical Ballet and other businesses heavily damaged by floodwaters in South Carolina's historic rainfall and flood, Monday.
Tut Underwood

  Though the sun is out and some flood waters are receding, there is still danger from ruptured streets, bridges and dams across the Midlands and across much of South Carolina. In the Midlands, authorities including the Columbia Police Dept., Richland County Sheriff, Columbia Fire Dept., the military and even SLED are teaming to comb the area and offer assistance to those in distress. Richland County Deputy Curtis Wilson and Columbia Fire Chief Aubrey Jenkins discuss how their departments are working to offer relief in the wake of the historic storm and flooding that the state endured over the weekend of Oct. 4. In addition, tree expert Ronnie Wilson talks about the careful removal of trees that have fallen on or near homes across the area.

No matter where you live, being a 15-year-old girl can be tough. For some girls, it's a fight for independence, the fight to be first in class, or even the fight to win a boy's heart.

For others, it's a fight to stay safe from deadly gang violence, the fight against being trapped in an early marriage, or the fight to play sports considered off limits for girls.

For Anheuser-Busch InBev, the third time was not the charm. After the Belgian beer giant boosted its offer to purchase SABMiller, its largest rival, SABMiller rejected the $104 billion cash bid Wednesday, saying AB InBev "still very substantially" undervalues the maker of Miller Lite and Coors.

"SABMiller is the crown jewel of the global brewing industry, uniquely positioned to continue to generate decades of standalone future volume and value growth for all SABMiller shareholders from highly attractive markets," says SABMiller Chairman Jan du Plessis.

The United Automobile Workers union has issued a strike notice to Fiat Chrysler. In a letter to the company, the union said that any contract extensions would expire at 11:59 p.m. Wednesday.

If the union decides to strike, it would be the first strike targeting a Detroit automaker in eight years.

When it comes to health savings accounts and the so-called Cadillac tax on expensive health plans, the questions just keep coming. And what do you do about adding grandchildren to a health plan? Let's tackle that one, too.

Last year, my wife and I opened a health savings account. Since then, my account has been moved twice, and we have no choice as to who manages it. We can't shop around for someone with lower fees. I think that is a big flaw in the system. Why can't I choose to have my HSA with the same company I have my brokerage account?


As Damage Assessment Begins, Threat of Flooding Continues in Some Parts of SC

Record rainfall caused severe flooding that left houses in Columbia & elsewhere with water up to their eaves. But, officials say the crisis is not over.

Walter Edgar's Journal

Harper Lee being awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom, November 5, 2007.
White House photo by Eric Draper via Wikimedia Commons

How Does Harper Lee's "Go Set a Watchman" inform "Mockingbird"?

Dr. Robert Brinkmeyer, Director of the Institute of Southern Studies at the University of South Carolina, talks with Walter Edgar about Harper Lee’s Go Set a Watchmen (Harper Collins, 2015), as well as To Kill a Mockingbird and its place in Southern literature. Walter Edgar's JournalAll Stations: Fri, Oct 9, 12 pmNews Stations: Sun, Oct 11, 4 pm
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