Friday’s failure of CommunitySouth Bank and Trust marked an inglorious finale for a bank which began with the largest initial public stock offering for a community bank company in South Carolina history.

In 2005, CommunitySouth’s parent company, CommunitySouth Bancshares Inc., reported that its IPO generated $32.5 million in stock sales – $2.5 million more capital than it could accept. It sold 3 million shares to approximately 1,300 shareholders, according to the Greenville News.

That made CommunitySouth’s IPO the largest ever for a state-chartered bank at the time, according to a spokesman for the state Treasurer’s Office, the News added.

But less than six years later, CommunitySouth’s stock was trading for just 5 cents a share when its was closed by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions. The company had has lost nearly $30 million over the past three years and was deemed critically undercapitalized by regulators late last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

CommunitySouth Bank & Trust of Easley was closed by the South Carolina State Board of Financial Institutions Friday, the fifth South Carolina bank to be shuttered over the past two years.

CommunitySouth has lost nearly $30 million over the past three years and was deemed critically undercapitalized by regulators late last year.

For the nine months ended Sept. 30, 2010, the bank recorded a provision for loan losses of $5 million and net loan charge-offs of $6.5 million. That compares with a $6.3 million provision for loan losses and net loan charge-offs of $4.1 million during the same period last year.

Read the rest of this entry »

Blogger Waldo Lydecker been a longtime critic of South Carolina ETV, the state’s version of public television, and rightly so.

Unless you have some sort of weird fetish for Clifford the Big Red Dog, 35-year-old British comedies and nature programs so dated that they may actually feature fauna now classified as extinct, criticism of the network is completely understandable.

Waldo, though, rejects calls to kill off SCETV. He says privatizing the network is a better solution:

Read the rest of this entry »

For those of you who want to peruse claptrap with just a bit more ease, the Sunlit Uplands blog is now apparently available to folks with Amazon Kindles.

At least, that’s what Sunlit is breathlessly reporting:

Sunlit Uplands is now one of a select number of blogs available to readers using the amazing, new Amazon Kindle!

The revolutionary reading device is Amazon’s #1 bestselling item for two years running. It’s also the most-wished-for, most-gifted, and has the most 5-star reviews of any product on Amazon.  
Wow, that second paragraph sounds just a lot like what’s already been written about the Kindle, such as here or here or, on Amazon’s site itself, here.
Read the rest of this entry »

John N. Cagle III, the Tidelands Bancshares board chairman who resigned last week, was arrested earlier this month on suspicion of child molestation, according to the Charleston Post and Courier.

Cagle, a Mount Pleasant dentist who has been on the board of Tidelands since it was started in 2002, informed the company last week that he was resigning immediately.

The 52-year-old Sullivan’s Island resident was charged with first-degree criminal sexual conduct with a child and committing a lewd act on a minor, according to the Post and Courier.

At a recent bond hearing, Charleston County Magistrate Priscilla Baldwin denied Cagle bail on the criminal sexual conduct charge and set a $5,000 personal recognizance bond on the lewd act with a minor charge, the Post and Courier reported.

Read the rest of this entry »

The chairman of troubled Tidelands Bancshares has resigned.

Last week, Mount Pleasant-based Tidelands said it received written notification from John N. Cagle III that he was stepping down from his position as chairman of the company and its subsidiary, Tidelands Bank.

According to information filed with the US Securities and Exchange Commission, “Cagle’s decision to resign did not arise or result from any disagreement with the company or the bank on any matters relating to the Company’s operations, policies, or practices.”

Read the rest of this entry »

A veteran of the Battle of Gettysburg is among five individuals the Vatican has bestowed with the title of “venerable,” which means he’ll be eligible for beatification if a miracle is attributed to his intercession.

Father Nelson Baker was just 21 when he enlisted in the New York State Militia’s 74th Regiment in the summer of 1863.

Just hours later, his unit was ordered to march to the Pennsylvania – Maryland border where within days Nelson would take part in one of the largest battles of the war, a clash that claimed more than 45,000 casualties.

When the 74th had finished its mission at Gettysburg, the remaining soldiers were immediately ordered to help quell the bloody New York Draft Riots, according to

Read the rest of this entry »

One of South Carolina’s greatest legal minds didn’t come out of the University of South Carolina School of Law, even though he did attend law school in the Palmetto State just after World War II.

Matthew J. Perry, who would go on to become the first black lawyer from the Deep South to be appointed to the federal judiciary, was graduated from the South Carolina State University School of Law in 1951.

Perry was one of more than four dozen individuals who graduated from the now-all-but-forgotten law school, which existed from 1947 until 1966. Another graduate was Ernest A. Finney Jr., former chief justice of the SC Supreme Court.

SC State’s School of Law came about because of the refusal by state leaders to integrate the University of South Carolina School of Law, which for many years was the state’s only institution for legal education.

Read the rest of this entry »

The last surviving pilot from the famous 1942 Doolittle Raid died last week at age 93.

Bill Bower was a 25-year-old first lieutenant who commanded one of 16 B-25 bombers that struck Japan in a top-secret mission less than six months after the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor. 

The Doolittle Raid didn’t do a great deal of material damage, but proved a great morale boost to Americans.

Bower, who lived in Colorado, was one of 80 men who participated in the raid, men who became known as the Doolittle Raiders. He attended many of the Raiders’ reunion events, including the 60th anniversary reunion, held in Columbia in 2002.

Read the rest of this entry »

A ship commanded by US naval hero Oliver Hazard Perry, who gained fame for defeating the British in Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812, has been found off the Rhode Island coast.

A team of divers claimed recently they have discovered the remains of the USS Revenge, wrecked off Watch Hill in Westerly, R.I., as Perry was bringing the ship from Newport to New London, Conn., in 1811.

In addition to giving the US a much-needed victory in the 1813 Battle of Lake Erie, Perry is known for the line: “I have met the enemy and they are ours.”