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Government

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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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Council scraps over city’s labor attorney

By Mark Manicone

City council got into a testy debate this week regarding the city’s on-call labor attorney – an issue they had discussed six days earlier in executive session at a special called meeting.
No one would say specifically what the issue is with Mike Malone, the Columbia lawyer who has worked for the city on employment matters for 25 years, but communication was the general concern.


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City awards $1.7M sewer contract

By Mark Manicone

City council voted unanimously Tuesday night to award the West Arch Street and Poovey Farm sewer project segments to North American Pipeline Management.
The company’s bid was the lowest at just over $1.7 million, and it comes in around $900,000 less than the estimated cost of the project.


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Rick Quinn Jr. pleads guilty in State House corruption case

By Mark Manicone

Former House Majority Leader Rick Quinn Jr. pleaded guilty to official corruption Tuesday, after resigning from the S.C. House an hour before the hearing.
The Lexington Republican pleaded guilty to one misdemeanor count of misconduct in office.
First Circuit Solicitor and Special Prosecutor David Pascoe asked for the maximum sentence allowed, one year in prison, arguing that Quinn committed the worst crimes uncovered so far in the ongoing legislative corruption investigation.


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Blackmon: Scrap late fees on water bills

By Mark Manicone

City council held a special called meeting Wednesday night and spent about 40 minutes debating a $25 fee that the utilities department charges customers who are late paying their water bills.
Council member Linda Blackmon brought up the matter, saying she favored dropping the fee entirely.


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Proposal would keep facilities open, save town at least $60K a year

Kershaw: County should take Stevens Park

By Hannah Strong

In a money-saving move, the town of Kershaw is asking the county to take over ownership and most of the operating costs of Stevens Park. 
Kershaw Town Council voted 6-0 Monday night, with councilman Eddie Coates absent, for a “memorandum of understanding” outling the town’s proposal.


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City denies church’s request to waive debt

By Mark Manicone

Lancaster City Council voted 5-2 Tuesday night to deny Victory Tabernacle AME Zion Church’s request to have $1,100 in land-clearing fees forgiven.
Council members Gonzie Mackey, Kenny Hood, Linda Blackmon, Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Green Garris and Mayor John Howard voted against the motion, and council members Hazel Taylor and Sara Eddins voted for it.
The church was denied the waiver because the city had already granted the church a waiver previously. The city has a one-time waiver policy.


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2 months after state approval, VTIL hasn’t taken the next step

Why isn’t IL town vote moving ahead?

By Reece Murphy

Two months after approval of their plan by a key legislative committee in Columbia, the leaders of Indian land’s incorporation effort have yet to take the next step toward a public vote on the issue.
County election officials say Panhandle residents are expressing concern about when, how and where the voting will take place, and who will be responsible for assuring its accuracy.


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Van Wyck council gets down to business

By Reece Murphy

VAN WYCK – Less than two weeks after the town’s first-ever election, Van Wyck’s mayor and council aren’t wasting time.
They’re already moving ahead with plans to grow town boundaries through annexation.
Van Wyck Mayor Sean Corcoran said 16 property owners turned in annexation petitions during a Nov. 18 swearing-in ceremony and barbecue at Van Wyck Presbyterian Church, while several others expressed interest.


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