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Guest columnist Phil Noble is president of the S.C. New Democrats.

Noble column: S.C. kids doing worse (Part 1)

I have written this column before. In fact, I’ve written this same basic column about this time every year for the past several years.
And I’ll write it again next year, and every year for as long as I do this column because it’s so important. It’s about how well the children of South Carolina are doing. The answer in a word is – worse.

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Guest columnist Celia Wexler is with the Center for Science and Democracy at the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Wexler column: Needed: Sunlight on trade deals

Sunlight is sorely needed in our nation’s capital as Congress considers an expedited process for approving trade agreements that are being done largely in secret. For the past several years, representatives of our government have been negotiating trade deals with Pacific Rim nations and the European Union behind closed doors, pacts that will affect every American family and worker.
The only people privy to inside information about the trade talks have been 566 trade advisers, the overwhelming majority of whom represent corporate interests.

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Guest columnist Ashley Shannon is director of marketing and community relations at Springs Memorial Hospital.

Shannon column: Springs Memorial celebrates National Hospital Week

Most people only visit hospitals occasionally, when a loved one is sick or a friend is having a baby. Associates at Springs Memorial Hospital are different in this regard. Each day, hundreds of associates come to the hospital to provide compassionate, personalized care for friends, neighbors and those they do not know. Our providers work together around the clock, seven days a week to make healthcare available any time it is needed, whether for one person or more in times of community crisis or natural disaster.

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Guest columnist Bob Lanning is pastor of Cornerstone Bible Church

Lanning column: Jesus fulfills Isaiah’s greatest prophecy

Long before Jesus’ birth, the prophet Isaiah wrote a prophecy about the “suffering servant of Jehovah,” found in Isaiah 52:13-53:12.  
Eight passages in the New Testament declare that this passage describes the Lord Jesus Christ, including the words of Jesus himself, when he said, “This that is written must yet be accomplished in me, And he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end.” (Luke 22:37)

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Guest columnist Tommicha N. Walker is a Lancaster County resident.

Walker column: Happy Mother’s Day to all my moms

I was blessed to have not only my own mother, Juanita B. Walker, but four surrogate mothers. Three of them are deceased, but I want their families to know how much I loved them and how much I appreciate them sharing their loved ones with me.
I would first like to thank the Lancaster News for including my mother in the Black History Trivia Contest in February. She was truly a trailblazer in this community and local, state and national politics, but she never won any awards for that.

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Guest columnist J.R. Wilt is a Van Wyck resident.

Wilt column: New budget still hurts county justice system

The fiscal year 2016 Lancaster County budget took another step on its path April 30 with a presentation to the Lancaster County Council Committee of the Whole.
The long and short of the situation is that the new (version 5) budget has found a little more revenue and cut a few expenses and is said to be balanced with a 1 mill property tax increase.

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Guest columnist Sherrill C. Mullis is a loyal newspaper subscriber

Mullis column: One year = 52 weeks = $2 more in cash

What’s the difference between one year and 52 weeks, except $2?
All the employees who work at The Lancaster News are real nice folks. I know many of them personally, like Debbie Gallien, the receptionist, and others like Susan Rowell, Barbara Rutledge, Robert Howey, Greg Summers, Laura Caskey, Becky Outen, Bruce Adams and others who have been kind as well.
Now, with that being said, allow me to vent my frustrations.

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Guest columnist Brian Carnes represents District 7 (northern Indian Land) on Lancaster County Council

Carnes column: Most excess money in budget used to fund public safety

Last month, we looked at how excess funds are generated in the county budgeting process. We also talked about $2 million in excess funds from the 2013-14 fiscal year.
This month, we will examine where some of these funds have been approved to be used in this fiscal year and why generally appropriating these one-time funds for reoccurring expenses do not make for sound fiscal policy.

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Guest columnist Lex Horan is an organizer with Pesticide Action Network North America

Horan column: USDA, EPA need to do more to protect bees

Although the “buzz” about bee declines makes headlines, excites public concern and warrants a White House Task Force on the Health of Honey Bees and Other Pollinators, bees are still in jeopardy.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have failed to act with force on one of the key causes of pollinator declines – neonicotinoid pesticides.

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Guest columnist David Bender is the pastor of Faith Presbyterian Church. This is part of a column from his church newsletter.

Bender column: Let’s thank church that helped ILMS students

On April 9-10, I helped chaperone a field trip for the Indian Land Middle School sixth-graders to Myrtle Beach. One-hundred-and-three folks took two rental buses on the trip, and we learned about medieval times, sharks, alligators and, eventually, we learned just a little bit about life.
Right after lunch on Friday, we piled into the buses, counted our kids one last time, and began our ride home.

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