Before I die I want to: Charleston chalkboard transcends chalk, social media

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Ashley Bell

It started as a class assignment and evolved into something more.

College of Charleston students Ashley Bell and Kristin Angles were given a two-week challenge as part of their communication class.

Inspired by this TED Talk, they woke up early on the morning of Friday, Oct. 17 and used chalk on a temporary black wall at King and Mary streets to pose a question: “Before I die I want to …”

They drew lines on the wall for people to fill in their answers with chalk they left at the wall. Continue reading

Dixie Chicks’ Natalie Maines still speaking her mind 10 years later

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My first and only article for Rolling Stone. No link, though. Anyone who says the Internet is forever never tried to find a link from 10 years ago. Update! Link found. Click on the pic.

I was a reporter for The Greenville News 10 years ago when the Dixie Chicks came to town for their first U.S. concert since lead singer Natalie Maines told a London audience: “Just so you know, we’re ashamed the president of the United States is from Texas.”

It may not seem like much now since it’s apparently become OK to insult the president here, there and everywhere but at the time, as war loomed with Iraq, it really offended many in the patriotic country music audience. Radio stations stopped playing their music. People drove heavy machinery over piles of their CDS (those things before MP3 players).

The atmosphere was crazy in Greenville as “fans” protested outside what was the Bil-Lo Arena for days and the band was in hiding because their lives had been threatened.

Myself and members of the media from all over the world were there to listen to what the chicksETprotesters said as the band itself steered clear, except to appear nude on Entertainment Weekly that very same week to protest censorship.

Many critics predicted they’d be booed off the stage but 15,000 true fans were in the audience and drowned out any boos.

“If you’re here to boo we welcome that because we welcome freedom of speech,” Maines told the crowd. Continue reading

Adrenaline rush: Coast Guard in Charleston makes some cool YouTube videos

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Rescue of an injured fisherman: June 20, 2011. Click photo to see video.

Not only does the Coast Guard jump out of helicopters, swim in ice-cold waters and rescue you when you’ve sailed into a tropical storm — they make some sweet videos.

Coast Guard Sector Charleston has posted a handful of their rescues on to YouTube from this year alone. I’ve collected some of the best and posted them here for your daily dose of adrenaline, but first check out this well-produced video they shot showing a day in the life at the Charleston base:

Helicopter footage after a boat struck the Charleston Jetties earlier this year: Continue reading

When social media breaks badly – anchor’s tweet backfires

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Philadelphia news anchor Joyce Evans quickly found herself the subject of ridicule and animosity Sunday night after she posted the above Tweet comparing a shooting that left six wounded to the television show “Breaking Bad.”

See the Storify below to follow the immediate negative reaction and how she tried to handle it, by telling people they didn’t get the point.

It would have probably been best to apologize and let it die as now the reaction is Continue reading