In Brief: April 24, 2013

Bill to allow guns in bars passed in state Senate

A bill that would let patrons carry firearms into restaurants and bars advanced Tuesday, The State reported.

The legislation would allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns into establishments serving alcohol, though they wouldn’t be allowed to drink. Current law doesn’t allow guns inside such businesses.

Guns would be allowed between 5 a.m. and midnight.

Business owners could opt to not allow weapons inside.

It passed the state Senate with a 33-5 vote. It now heads to the House.

According to The State, the bill has been a push among Senate Republicans, who want to expand gun rights in the state.

— Thad Moore, News Editor

SC development firm head files for bankruptcy

The president of a South Carolina development firm, among the biggest in the Southeast, filed for bankruptcy, The Associated Press reported.

Alan Bruce Kahn, of the Kahn Development Company, has somewhere between $50 million and $100 million in liabilities spread between fewer than 50 creditors, according to the AP. He has between $1 million and $10 million in assets.

The company built Village at Sandhill in Northeast Columbia, a retail and residential development that holds a number of national chains and includes apartments.

Earlier this week, Kahn Family LLC and Kahn Properties South LLC also filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, according to the AP. Kahn was a managing member of both firms.

— Thad Moore, News Editor

Suspicious package found downtown

A suspicious package discovered near a Laurel Street church Tuesday afternoon was found to contain no harmful materials, The State reported.

The package was found in shrubbery near the church.

Laurel Street was closed between Sumter and Assembly streets and all lanes of Assembly closed between Blanding and Richland streets Tuesday afternoon as Columbia police and fire departments investigated the package.

According to The State, the package held clothing and some other items, but nothing dangerous.

This marks the third suspicious package reported in downtown Columbia in a week. Last Wednesday, two unattended packages were reported within an hour of each other. While none were hazardous, a backpack containing library books was detonated by the bomb squad for safe measure.

— Maxwell Bauman, Copy Editor

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