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Shane McNamee

Time to free S.C.’s energy market

In South Carolina – as in most other states – regulation has almost completely divorced the energy sector from the free market. Private energy providers must register with the state as public utilities.

Once registered, the state helps enforce a monopoly territory where only one utility may provide power. Regulators determine the prices energy providers can charge. All of this regulation, we’re told, is in the best interest of all parties: It keeps prices down and prevents rapacious monopolies.

Only it doesn’t.


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Richard Eckstrom

Search is on for autism breakthrough

In early May, thousands of people turned out at Finlay Park in Columbia for “Strides for Autism,” a fundraising walk to raise support for the S.C. Autism Society. And about a month earlier, a similar event at Heritage Park in Simpsonville saw an impressive turnout.

It was heartening, but not surprising, to see those events so well-attended. Over the years, as I’ve met and spoken with families affected by autism, I’ve been moved by how strongly they support each other and rally around a shared cause.


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Mandy Powers Norrell

I’m proud that Erin’s Law became a reality

Although I have always been keenly aware that no legislator can accomplish anything alone, that point was underscored in the final days of this session. I owe a great debt of gratitude to our community for your help in passing a new law that will be vitally important to our children.


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Emily Richards

Gold Award valuable tool for girls

What’s a Gold Award? In the past year, I have encountered this question countless times. As a Girl Scout, the Gold Award is the gold standard. But very few people know what it is or if brought up in passing conversation, the organization with which it is associated.

However, if you mention its equivalent, the Eagle Scout Award, the Boy Scouts of America immediately springs to mind.


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Ashley Landess

How widespread is corruption in South Carolina?

After six years of peeling back layers of our corrupt state government, nothing should surprise us. And yet Judge Casey Manning’s ruling was still a shock – it didn’t seem possible for a judge to shut down a grand jury investigation into alleged corruption by the speaker of the house and argue that Bobby Harrell’s staff and colleagues on the House Ethics Committee must first decide if he had committed a crime.

But it happened.


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Ken Bell

Red Rose girls, best in the world

Every day on social media, I see posts bemoaning our young people and the future. It’s easy to join in and criticize a different generation. However, the majority of the young people I know are pretty remarkable. And there are two prime examples calling the Red Rose City home of whom I am extremely proud.


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Bob Lanning

Believers are supposed to fulfill civic duties

As we celebrate our nation’s birthday, let us remember our responsibilities to government and its responsibilities to us.

The Bible teaches that believers are to be law-abiding citizens; they are to “be subject unto the higher powers,” because “the powers that be are ordained of God” (Romans 13:1).  Joseph traveled from Nazareth to Bethlehem at the time of Jesus’ birth to obey the Roman government’s decree that a census be taken.


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John P. Lage Jr.

County Council’s dispute with Tunnell personal

I attended the special Lancaster County Council meeting about the I-77 Alliance snub. I sat in the back. I was a little late and couldn’t get my name on the list to speak.

So, I figured I would stay for the meeting. I couldn’t believe what I heard and witnessed. This whole issue is personal, it has nothing to do with any law-breaking or violation of any ordinance. The action taken by the council to freeze Lancaster County Economic Corp. (LCEDC) budget, in my opinion, is an abuse of power.


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J.R. Wilt

Council needs to work with the school district

At the June 9 Lancaster County Council meeting, when introducing the development agreements, Council Chairman Larry McCullough indicated that the MI Homes development agreement included a payment of $500 per house to the county for the benefit of Lancaster County School District.

McCullough further indicated that provision had been made by the Lancaster County Planning Commission that the school district be given a 30-day opportunity to suggest a contribution level that was more representative of the cost of constructing a new school.


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Brooks Walker

There’s a time when loyalty is not a virtue

After the Benghazi attack President Barack Obama went on The View and said this about the attack, “We don’t know what happened, it looks like a response to a video.” Then in the debates of 2012, when challenged by Mitt Romney about the video story he said, “We knew the next day that it was a terrorist attack and I said so in the Rose Garden speech the next day.” He was supported by the moderator which showed her obvious bias, considering it was at best an interpretation of his comments and at worst an out right lie.


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