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Government

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Senate overrides McMaster on buses

By Mark Manicone

The S.C. Senate voted unanimously Tuesday to override Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto regarding the allocation of $17.5 million of S.C. Education Lottery money for school bus replacement.
The Senate voted 44-0, with Sen. Danny Verdin, R-Laurens, absent, according to The Greenville News.
The governor vetoed a total of $20.5 million for S.C. school buses that would have come from the state’s education lottery. The Senate postponed the vote on the other $3 million.
The S.C. House voted 107-8 last Tuesday to override McMaster’s veto.


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Kershaw may need rec center property for new industrial park

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – No, the Andrew Jackson Recreation Center on North Matson Street isn’t for sale.
But Kershaw town officials are exploring the possibility of buying it from the county.
Engineering plans for Kershaw Commerce Park show the main entrance cutting through the rec center parking lot. The park must have two entrances, and a dirt road on the site isn’t wide enough for a southern entrance.
“We didn’t find out about this until two weeks ago,” said Kershaw Town Administrator Mitch Lucas.


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Council chips in $20K for playground equipment

By Hannah Strong

The Kershaw Town Council voted Monday to provide the Kershaw Community Park Council (KCPC) with $20,000 to help purchase equipment for a new playground at Stevens Park if the group can come up with the project’s total cost by May 1.
The playground is estimated to cost $425,000.
The town is providing $20,000 for four pieces of equipment.
“I want written confirmation from whoever is providing the funds by May 1,” Mayor Mark Dorman told KCPC representatives at Monday’s meeting.


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House overturns governor’s veto on funding buses through lottery

Capitol abuzz again

By Mark Manicone

The S.C. House voted Tuesday to overturn Gov. Henry McMaster’s veto that stopped the use of $20.5 million in S.C. Education Lottery money to replace some of the state’s oldest school buses.
“It seems like a no-brainer,” said Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell of Lancaster, a Democrat from District 44. “Our school buses are dangerous. We have buses that have been on the road since 1995, and the model and age put them at severe risk for catching fire.
“I have no idea why Gov. McMaster would’ve vetoed it,” she added.


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Rep. Newton runs for re-election

By Mark Manicone

First-term Republican Rep. Brandon Newton is running again for his District 45 seat in the S.C. House.
“Even though it seems like only yesterday that I was sworn into office, it is time to begin looking toward June and November,” Newton said Monday.
Newton was recently appointed to the Education and Public Works Committee and still serves on the Regulations and Administrative Procedures Committee.


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Focus on the Future

City, county goverments face weighty issues in 2018

By Greg Summers and Mark Manicone

Lancaster zeros in on infrastructure, finances
With the close of another year, the City of Lancaster is still facing major issues that will transition in to the coming 2018-year, and possibly further.
Problems regarding infrastructure, the budget, public safety and economic development are at the forefront of city concerns.
One of the priorities the continued focus on wastewater infrastructure and sewer lines.


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County may extend Founders’ tax deal

By Greg Summers

The county is on the verge of extending its current fee-in-lieu of taxes (FILOT) agreement with Founders Federal Credit Union, though one councilman remains apprehensive about the proposal.
“If we do it for one, we should do it for any of ’em,” said Lancaster County Councilman Jack Estridge, noting the extension could set a precedent.   
Estridge voted to approve the first two readings, but said he remains unsure about how the county will benefit from the extension.


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Hall of Fame educator, community leader dies at 92

‘Barnes was just someone who did’

By Greg Summers

T.T. Barnes was a true legend.
The no-nonsense black educator and community leader died Friday. Born in Lancaster, Barnes was 92 years old.
Barnes, who saw the best in all children, had a local reputation for getting opposing parties to talk and iron out their differences, said Lancaster County Councilwoman Charlene McGriff.
“Whenever something happened and you needed someone to bring people together, Mr. Barnes was the one who could do it. He will surely be missed,” said McGriff. 


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Norrell proposes uniform timelines for election protests

48-hour time limit ‘not fair’

By Mark Manicone

State House Rep. Mandy Powers Norrell (D-Lancaster) has proposed changing the current municipal election law regarding contested elections.
The proposal came during a regular, joint House Legislative Oversight Committee meeting Dec. 19, where all four subcommittees met to discuss each subcommittee’s respective state agency. Norrell is on the Economic Development and Environmental Subcommittee.


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Restricts prescriptions issued under Medicaid and the State Health Plan

McMaster declares opioid emergency

By Reece Murphy

Gov. Henry McMaster on Monday declared the opioid epidemic a state emergency, ordered limits on opioid prescriptions for Medicaid recipients and participants in the State Health Plan, and pushed legislation restricting sales more broadly.
The governor’s action follows a huge spike in opioid-overdose deaths across the state, and comes two weeks after President Trump declared a public health emergency nationwide.
Lancaster County has recorded 25 opioid-related deaths this year, a fivefold increase over last year.


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