The State’s Best winners named for 2015

The State’s Best is an unscientific sampling based on the subjective polling of The State’s readers. The results appear in a special advertising section. Winners are listed below. The State’s Best Entertainment Best Annual Community Event | South Carolina State Fair Best Art Gallery | Columbia Museum of Art Best Children’s Entertainment | Riverbanks Zoo Best Golf Course | Cobblestone Park Golf Club Best Live Music | Music Farm Best Museum | South Carolina State Museum Best Place for a Child’s Birthday Party | Frankie’s Fun Park Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners | Riverbanks Zoo Best Stage Theater | Trustus Theatre The State’s Best Food and Drink Best-All-Around Restaurant | Motor Supply Best Bakery | Tiffany’s Bakery & Eatery Related stories from The State in Columbia SC Best Bang for the Buck | Shealy’s BBQ Best Bar | The British Bulldog Pub Best Barbecue | Shealy’s BBQ Best Bartender | James Pickle, The British Bulldog Pub Best Beer List | World of Beer Best Biscuit | Cafe Strudel Best Breakfast | Lizard’s Thicket Best Brunch | Cafe Strudel Best Burger | Pawley’s Front Porch Best Burrito | El Burrito Best Business Lunch | DiPrato’s Best Candy Shop | Cromer’s Best Caterer | Southern Way Best Cheesesteak | Very’s Great Philly Food Best Chicken | Zesto of West Columbia Best Chinese Food | Miyo’s Best Coffee | Drip Best Deli | Groucho’s Deli Best Dessert | Nonnah’s Best Draft Beer | Craft and Draft Best Family Dining with Kids | Flight Deck Restaurant Best Fast Food | Rush’s Best Fine Dining | Blue Marlin Best First Date Restaurant | Al’s Upstairs Best Food Truck | 2 Fat 2 Fly Best French Food | Crepes & Croissants Best Greek Food | Zorba’s Best Happy Hour | Old Mill Brewpub Best Hot Dog | Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs Best Ice Cream | Sandy’s Famous Hot Dogs Best Indian Food | Delhi Palace Best Italian Food | Alodia’s Continue Reading

10 biggest TV, film moments of 2017 — and why Las Vegas cares

In this Oct. 17, 2017, photo released by Warner Bros., Stephen Schuck, left, and Jesus Campos appear with host Ellen Degeneres during a taping of "The Ellen DeGeneres Show" at the Warner Bros. lot in Burbank, Calif. (Photo by Michael Rozman/Warner Bros.) "Jimmy Kimmel Live!" airs every weeknight at 11:35 p.m. EST and features a diverse lineup of guests that include celebrities, athletes, musical acts, comedians and human interest subjects, along with comedy bits and a house band. The guests for Monday, December 11 included Jack Black (Ҋumanji: Welcome to the Jungleө, Kirk Herbstreit, Desmond Howard and Lee Corso (ESPNճ College Game Day) and Musical Guest Walk The Moon. (ABC/Randy Holmes) JIMMY KIMMEL, BILLY KIMMEL John David Washington, left, and Dwayne Johnson shoot craps at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas during an episode of "Ballers." photo: Jeff Daly/courtesy of HBO Harrison Ford as Rick Deckard in Alcon Entertainment's action thriller "Blade Runner 2049," a Warner Bros. Pictures and Sony Pictures Entertainment release, domestic distribution by Warner Bros. Pictures and international distribution by Sony Pictures. Stephen Vaughan Todd Fisher, Debbie Reynolds, Carrie Fisher. photo: Fisher Family Archives/courtesy of HBO Production practice of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire during a tour of the new Caesars Entertainment Studios in Las Vegas, Thursday, June 29, 2017. Elizabeth Brumley Las Vegas Review-Journal Dave Courvoisier is photographed at the KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor desk, which he's inhabited since 2003. (KLAS-TV) Dave Courvoisier is photographed at the KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor desk, which he's inhabited since 2003. (KLAS-TV) Dave Courvoisier is photographed at the KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor desk, which he's inhabited since 2003. (KLAS-TV) Dave Courvoisier is photographed at the KLAS-TV, Channel 8, anchor desk, which he's inhabited since 2003. (KLAS-TV) Dave Continue Reading

Meet the 2017 Best of St. Charles County winners

For the past 22 years, the Suburban Journals of St. Charles County has celebrated 100 + readers' choice winners in the area. Winners were chosen by an online reader-submitted vote that took place in November. Honorees are  the top vote-getters in their respective categories. See all the winners below: The top restaurants The top people The top places The top businesses The top services On Thursday at the Foundry Art Centre in St. Charles we honored the winners and celebrated their accomplishments.  See photos from the event Thanks to Bounce Back Sports, our presenting sponsor, and to Bud Light, American Cleaners, Fernweh Distilling, Bommarito St. Peters, Fischer & Frichtel and TOP RESTAURANTS: 24-HOUR & BREAKFAST Since 1991, Gingham's Homestyle Restaurant has been a staple of the St. Charles community. It is one of the few restaurants that serve a full menu 24-hours a day. Whether you crave pancakes at dinner time or the famous house salad in the middle of the night, Gingham’s is there to serve you. Visit or call (636) 946-0266 for the menu and other information. BAKERY, DESSERT & SPECIALTY Grandma's Cookies boasts handmade, home-style cookies just like Grandma used to bake. A variety of flavors are available from their cottage located on Historic Main Street. Call (636) 947-0088 to place an order. BAR & LOUNGE & NEIGHBORHOOD BAR Since 2014, the staff at Turtle Creek Pub & Grill work diligently to make your visit enjoyable through a menu of comfort and home-style food, a full selection of the finest domestic and craft brews, top label liquors and good times. Stop in on Saturday nights to hear some of the best live music around. Visit or call (636) 294-3458 for more information. BARBECUE Sugarfire Smoke House will delight your taste buds with unconventional, unique and adventurous flavor combinations. Start off with a delicious Continue Reading

‘Mass disaster’ grows at the U.S.-Mexico border, but Washington doesn’t seem to care

UNNAMED AND UNCOUNTEDAcross sandy Texas scrubland, along swift-moving California canals, in searing Arizona deserts and within remote New Mexico canyons, the bodies of hundreds of immigrants who died illegally crossing the southwestern border with Mexico are found each year.Border Patrol agents encounter some of the dead, and count them in the agency's annual report that constitutes the only official reckoning of the death toll.But an investigation by the USA TODAY NETWORK has found many migrant deaths are never accounted for — including when bodies are discovered by sheriff’s deputies, police, ranchers, hikers and humanitarian groups.U.S.-MEXICO BORDER — Illegal crossings along the southwestern border have claimed 7,209 lives over the past 20 years, according to official Border Patrol statistics, but the actual number is far higher.A USA TODAY NETWORK investigation found federal authorities largely fail to count border crossers when their remains are recovered by local authorities, and even local counts are often incomplete. Network reporters spent nine months attempting to build the most complete count ever of border-crosser deaths in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas from 2012 to 2016, to reveal how many are missed. That effort found many more deaths than the Border Patrol's official number. In three of those states, the USA TODAY NETWORK found anywhere from 25 percent to nearly 300 percent more migrant deaths over five years. But a complete accounting proved elusive. Why? Because many local authorities responsible for investigating deaths on or near the border don’t track border-crosser deaths. Information on migrant deaths in Texas is incomplete or unavailable in many counties, so the true number is even higher than the USA TODAY NETWORK's count. What’s more, the investigation found no central governmental, Continue Reading

The Des Moines Register Metro’s Best for 2017

Auto Repair FIRST PLACE: DOWNEY TIRE PROSTaking their business seriously, but also having fun, Downey Tire Pros creates a comfortable atmosphere for its customers, while getting down to the important task of quality oil changes, steering and suspension repairs, brake service, diesel engine repair and much more. Bonus services include pick-up and delivery and a lounge stocked withFind it: 103 W 2nd Ave., IndianolaInfo: 515-961-0345; SECOND PLACE: WEST SIDE AUTO BODYAttributing their long-running success to a staff of “outstanding” well-trained employees, West Side Auto Body has been a destination for collision repair since 1976, offering free estimates on minor and major work and a lifetime warranty on most repairs.Find it: 1838 Fuller Rd., West Des MoinesInfo: 515-223-0134; THIRD PLACE: WOODY'S REPAIR SHOPDedicated to producing consistent, quality work, the Woody's Auto Repair Service team can draw on a wide range of specialty knowledge, including four-wheel-drive systems, air bags and computer diagnostics. They also keep a large inventory of tires and batteries on site.Find it: 217 E. 1st St, AnkenyInfo: 515-964-7925; woodysautorepairservice.comBody Shop FIRST PLACE: ANKENY AUTO BODYFamily-owned since 1978, customer satisfaction is the goal at Ankeny Auto Body. Painting, hail damage, dent and glass repair are all part of their daily work and they also warranty the work for as long as you own your vehicle.Find it: 1501 SE Cortina Dr., AnkenyInfo: 515-964-7291; SECOND PLACE: GRAHAM COLLISIONWorking directly with your insurance company and offering a lifetime warranty on all repairs, Graham Collision computer scans every vehicle THIRD PLACE: WEST SIDE AUTO BODYAble to fix both major and minor issues, West Side Auto Body offers laser frame repair among its many expert methods to help pinpoint Continue Reading

50 best songs of 2016

No artist spent more time at No. 1 on Billboard's Hot 100 in the past 12 months than Drake, between his own track, "One Dance," and his guest appearance on Rihanna's "Work."Both singles made our year-end best-of list, as did chart-topping efforts from boy-band expatriates Zayn and Justin Timberlake. But they're joined here by plenty of records by artists with no hope of ever darkening the upper reaches of the Hot 100, starting with our top pick, Angel Olsen.In which Olsen lets whatever inner punk she has inside her take the wheel on a reckless throwback to the girl group era that somehow reminds me of Elvis Costello writing for the Shangri-Las. Which is to say it’s perfect, a shambling mess of a Brill Building classic that starts with her pouting the words to a single distorted guitar. “I ain’t hanging up this time,” she begins while allowing the final word to linger for a good three syllables. “I ain’t giving up tonight-high-height.” It’s a slow-burning build to the chorus hook, which Olsen’s bandmates bash out with the primitive brilliance of Neanderthals discovering the joy of music (or maybe the Troggs) as she demands that you “Shut up, kiss me, hold me tight” with just the right amount of swagger. The request is undeniable. Unless you don’t like rock and roll (in which case we must never speak of this again).The lead single released from “A Seat at the Table” is a melancholy slow jam that should speak directly to those of us who wish D’Angelo would make more records. Not that this has anything to do with him, other than firing on all the same cylinders that made “Untitled (How Does It Feel)” a stone-cold classic. She spends the track nursing some serious heartache, setting the tone with a trembling delivery of “I tried to drink it away / I tried to put one in the air / I tried to dance it away / I tried to change it with my hair.” And in Continue Reading

Overexposure? Obama to push health care on five Sunday shows, and he’s hitting Letterman on Monday

Next up on the Food Network, President Barack Obama shares his tips on grilling - and health care!Okay, that's not happening, but Obama will push his health care reforms on five morning news shows today, an unprecedented presidential feat that has stirred debate over whether Obama has hit the point of overexposure.This comes after last weekend's "60 Minutes" appearance, a recent turn in "Men's Health" and, for those who are really counting, a total of 117 media interviews (66 for TV) in his eight months as President.But for all the punditry over the "omnipresent Obama," the consensus from most strategists is that Obama's media carpet-bombing is a no-brainer, given his talents and the crucial juncture at which health care reform now stands."Are they running the risk of wearing out his welcome? Probably someday," said Dan Schnur, an ex-spokesman for GOP presidential hopeful John McCain.Then again, added Schnur, Obama is his administration's own best spokesman. "And if your biggest policy priority is health care, then exactly what else are you saving him for?"The answer, apparently, is nothing. Tomorrow night, he'll take his health care blitz to "The Late Show With David Letterman."White House insiders concede there is a bit of media jujitsu in today's five sitdowns (which, in fact, were all taped Friday).First, by having Obama do so many shows, the effort itself becomes news. Beyond that, this White House has long recognized that the days of three dominant networks are dead, and that most people get their news from multiple sources and platforms."This is just an attempt by the President to speak to as many different people as he can," said Obama spokesman Robert Gibbs.Others note that at a time when the right is all but demonizing Obama over health care, deploying the President just assures he gets top billing over critics."The thing about being President is that you can always get the voter's attention when necessary," said Schnur.Obama's decision to hit five network Continue Reading

Not the Best of all possible worlds for Lindsay

Lindsay Lohan's real life. When we last left off, model Sara Kova was telling us how Lindsay's current boyfriend, Calum Best, had kissed and caressed her last weekend at the Bahamian nightclub Aura - while Lindsay was in the other room. Lindsay must have gotten a heads-up about our story on Monday, because that evening found her angrily returning to the hotel where she and her British beau have been staying (in separate suites). Looking a little worse for wear after another night out, Lindsay "was screaming about how Calum was cheating on her," says our spy. Best wasn't among the friends who were with the "Georgia Rule" star. But she apparently wanted to give him a piece of her mind. Trouble is, our snitch says, "she seemed to forget where his room was." A friend of Lindsay finds this hard to believe. "She knows where his room is - unfortunately," says the pal, who is not a big fan of Best. Our source says hotel guests were starting to complain about Lohan's teeth-gnashing, prompting one of the managers to escort her gently to her own suite. It's just as well she didn't surprise Best in his. Late last week, a room-service staffer is said to have found Best with another woman when he asked that his minibar be restocked around 4 a.m. According to our source, Best had his shirt off and the girl was on the bed when the urgent delivery of little booze bottles arrived. Best is said to have invited the room-service guy to grab a tip from a pile of cash, saying: "It's Lindsay's money. I don't care." (He also didn't seem to care who saw some other stuff most people would hide if a stranger knocked.) Whatever their issues, Lindsay and Calum seemed to have worked them out by Tuesday night, when they hit the town yet again, stopping at Bungalow and Stereo (where they chatted with Lindsay's former flame Jamie Burke). So why is one of Hollywood's most promising actresses attracted to this Best bloke? Maybe he resembles Michael Lohan, the Continue Reading

Fall 101: The best things to do, see, hear, taste, buy & experience this season!

LITTLE RED LIGHTHOUSE Head below the George Washington Bridge to Fort Washington Park and tour Manhattan's only remaining lighthouse as part of the 15th annual Little Red Lighthouse Festival on Sept. 15. There are celebrity readings and hayrides, too. Call (212) 360-8737. SCOTT ON She's had a period of silence and a recent divorce, but Jill Scott isn't giving up her R&B crown quite yet. The tunes on her album "The Real Thing," out Sept. 25, are as soulful and sexy as ever. Also, be sure to catch her big-screen debut in Tyler Perry's "Why Did I Get Married?" (out Oct. 12) to see how she's shaping up for an even bigger film role - in "The No. 1 Ladies Detective Agency," currently in production. TOOTHY ENCOUNTERS They're back! (Again.) A fresh crop of blood-sucking vampires hits both big and small screens. The monsters chase Josh Hartnett in director David Slade's "30 Days of Night," out Oct. 19, in which Hartnett's efforts to enforce the law (and battle evil) in an Alaskan town are challenged by deep winter darkness that allows the fiends to roam free. On CBS' "Moonlight," premiering Sept. 28, Alex O'Loughlin smolders his way into the role of Mick St. John, a private investigator who happens to have a rather thirsty past. Still as youthful as the day he was bitten by a nasty ex-girlfriend, St. John can't stand fellow vampires who quaff human cocktails. He wiles away his infinite days trying to help the living with his acute crime-solving skills, but all could change forever when an intrepid mortal reporter (Sophia Myles) catches his eye. CELEB SMACKDOWN TMZ Gossip Web site TMZ takes its tricks to television Sept. 10 with a nightly newscast promising to be anything but tame. "We don't do red carpets, we don't do junkets," the site's mastermind, Harvey Levin, has said of its celeb coverage. "We're going to be fair, but we're not going to fear publicists." In fact, it's the publicists who should be scared. In New York, "TMZ TV" airs on WNYW/Ch. Continue Reading

No more shocking: Now in AAC, Wichita State has national title aspirations for 2017-18

WICHITA — Inside athletics director Darron Boatright’s office is a basketball autographed by almost every national championship-winning coach in men’s Division I history. He’s been told it’s one of a kind by the same Hall of Famers who agree to sign it. The names include John Wooden, Mike Krzyzewski, Bob Knight, Dean Smith, Jim Boeheim. The list goes on.Staring at his prized possession from across the room with a gleam in his eye, Boatright turns and deadpans: “I hope Gregg’s the next one to sign it.”National championship expectations are no longer wishful thinking for this once mid-major program. Not that they ever were to the team’s high-profile coach, Gregg Marshall. In many ways, it’s been a reachable goal ever since the Shockers made it to the Final Four in 2013 and nearly went undefeated the following season. Wichita State’s sudden-yet-opportune transition to the American Athletic Conference — one of the sport’s power conferences — in 2017-18 is indicative of that.A few hours later in Charles Koch Arena, workers meticulously paint over the Missouri Valley logo on Devlin Court in ominous black — making room for the AAC logo. Marshall, with his arm in a sling from a summer shoulder injury (a torn rotator cuff), gazes at the renovation from above as if he’s Darth Vader overlooking the final construction of a Death Star.“It’s almost here,” Marshall says of WSU’s inaugural season in a new league after 72 years of tradition in the Valley — still captured in banners throughout the stadium.Marshall credits now Maryland coach Mark Turgeon for reinvigorating the program to national relevance before Marshall left Winthrop to carry the baton to greatness — and eventual dominance — with countless MVC championships and more NCAA tournament success than plenty of power programs.That freshly emboldened AAC logo, also conveniently Continue Reading