Shedding crocodile tears for ‘Army Wives’

The Charleston Post and Courier has a sky-is-falling story about what could happen to the Lowcountry economy if the S.C. Senate votes to uphold Gov. Mark Sanford’s film incentives proviso veto.

According to the Post and Courier, keeping the Lifetime drama “Army Wives” filming in Charleston could come down to the Senate vote on the veto, which could be held as early as today.

“In a letter to lawmakers, ‘Army Wives’ representatives wrote that the series has contributed more than $120 million in production costs to the local economy since it landed in Charleston in 2006,” according to the paper. “Just this year, in filming the fourth season, the show hired 355 employees and 1,101 extras and paid more than $19 million in salaries and wages, the letter states. Four lead actors and 11 crew members also have purchased homes in South Carolina.

“But if the veto holds, that all could go away, according to unit production manager Barbara D’Alessandro,” the Post and Courier adds.

The proviso in question keeps film incentives at 20 percent for South Carolina residents’ wages and 30 percent for supplies purchased from in-state businesses.

Here’s a newsflash for the Post and Courier: There’s almost no chance that the Senate will sustain Sanford’s veto.

It’s not because the governor doesn’t make some good points in striking down the proviso – including “we should not be increasing the incentives we give to Hollywood film companies in a year when we’re making such drastic cuts to core government functions” – but because it’s unlikely state senators will sustain any of the remaining vetoes.

Earlier this month, they voted to override all 29 vetoes they considered, including one which boosted the Senate’s budget by $4 million.

With another 27 vetoes remaining to take up, the Senate will look particularly hypocritical if it opts to sustain vetoes affecting other agencies or state entities, resulting in cuts in funding.


Workers find Civil War-era sword in home

A worker reroofing an aging shanty in Hilton Head last weekend came across a sword possibly owned by a freed slave who fought for Federal forces during the Civil War.

Marty Jansen was crawling in the attic of an 80-year-old splintering, rotting house that organizers hope to turn into the Gullah Museum of Hilton Head Island when found a sword emblazoned with the military insignia of the Grand Army Republic, the Union army from the Civil War.

“Our jaws dropped when he told us there was a sword in the attic,” Carrie Hirsch, Gullah Museum treasurer, told the Hilton Head Island Packet. The volunteers called Louise Miller Cohen, director of the Gullah Museum and the house’s owner.

The home belonged to Miller Cohen’s uncle, Bubba Duey. She thinks the sword was given to Duey by his grandfather, William Simmons, who served in the Union Army.

The sword is not thought to have been used in combat but was made soon after the war as a historical replica. Duey hid the sword in the attic for safekeeping, thinking no one would find it there, Miller Cohen told the publication.

Miller Cohen doesn’t want to sell the sword, saying she prefers it have a permanent home in the museum. 

(Photo: Hilton Head Island Packet)