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Government

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Van Wyck council candidates face off

By Greg Summers

VAN WYCK – The priority for Van Wyck’s first town council won’t be the nuts-and-bolts decisions about how to run the town, though those will have to be made.
It will be expediting voluntary annexations and considering involuntarily annexations to block property around the town from getting gobbled up in the Indian Land incorporation battle.
Van Wyck’s single mayoral candidate and nine town council candidates spent most of Thursday’s 90-plus minute public forum talking about annexation.


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Lancaster News | circulation@thelancasternews.com | 803-283-1133
PO Box 640; 701 North White St, Lancaster SC 29720
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Absentee voting has started in our 3 municipal elections

By Greg Summers

Absentee voting for the upcoming nonpartisan Heath Springs, Kershaw and Van Wyck town council races is now open.
Qualified voters may cast absentee ballots in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the county voter registration office on the lower level of the Lancaster County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St.
To request an absentee paper ballot application by phone, call the voting office at (803) 285-2969.
The Heath Springs and Kershaw town council elections are Nov. 7.


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State ethics procedure precise and secretive

By Mark Manicone

As one legal challenge involving the Lancaster City Council ends, another might pop up in its place.
Tuesday night’s vote to approve a $6,750 payment to newly installed council member Linda Blackmon – a vote that she participated in – has raised issues under South Carolina’s ethics statute.


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Opposition to Indian Land incorporation is mobilizing

By Reece Murphy

As Indian Land incorporation organizers pivot to a “vote yes” campaign after winning approval from a key legislative committee in Columbia last week, opponents are ramping up their efforts to persuade residents to “vote no” on the proposition.


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As ethics questions swirl, she calls it ‘money that I worked for’

Blackmon votes to give herself $6,750

By Mark Manicone

Newly installed Lancaster City Council member Linda Blackmon broke a 3-3 tie Tuesday night as the council granted her request for $6,750 in back pay, compensating her for the nine months when a legal challenge kept her from taking office.
But her vote drew immediate scrutiny under South Carolina’s ethics statute, which says public officials must recuse themselves on any vote “that affects their own economic interests.”


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Archie Parnell again seeks 5th District seat

By Mark Manicone

Archie Parnell, who lost a close special election for the 5th Congressional District in June, will run again in 2018, he announced Monday.
The Sumter Democrat will challenge incumbent Republican Ralph Norman, who won the seat after Mick Mulvaney vacated it to become President Trump’s budget director.


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2 Democrats running for governor

By Mark Manicone

Two Democrats say they are running to challenge Republican Gov. Henry McMaster when he runs in 2018.
S.C. Rep. James Smith of Columbia announced his candidacy Monday, and Charleston businessman Phil Noble will officially unveil his plans Wednesday, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Noble will challenge Smith for the minority party’s nomination.
Besides McMaster, three Republicans have declared their candidacies – Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former state agency head Catherine Templeton, and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill.


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Blackmon seeks $6,750 in back pay

By Mark Manicone

Newly sworn in Lancaster City Council member Linda Blackmon has requested back pay for the nine months she would have served on the council if Jackie Harris had not sued her over the 2016 election results.
Blackmon wants $6,750 in back pay, according to the agenda for Tuesday night’s city council meeting, which was set to begin after press time.
Blackmon’s request got mixed reviews Tuesday afternoon.


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I’ll just click here for my water bill – Oh, my word!

By Greg Summers

If you’re looking for mild-mannered municipal information and log onto www.townofkershaw.net, you’re in for a shock.
Someone has taken over the town’s domain name and transformed it into a porn site.
Kershaw Town Councilman Eddie Coates discovered the change in August when he was preparing to file for reelection.
“I was just trying to see what I needed to do,” he said. “I went to the county’s website, clicked on our link, and well, there it was.


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‘As painful as it was, justice prevailed and I am innocent’

Blackmon takes city council oath

By Greg Summers and Mark Manicone

Linda Blackmon was sworn in Sunday as a member of Lancaster City Council, marking the end of an 11-month battle with defeated incumbent Jackie Harris over the 2016 District 3 election.
The S.C. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Blackmon’s win on Sept. 7, and last Thursday it unanimously denied Harris’ motion to reconsider the ruling.
Under S.C. law, Harris was allowed to retain the District 3 seat until her protest of Blackmon’s Nov. 8 election victory was fully adjudicated in the state courts.


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