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

Noble column: S.C. Democrats applaud O’Malley

Democrats in South Carolina are not a group that is easily impressed, but recently former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley really impressed them, as in a standing-ovation impressed.
All the national pundits and so-called experts who are saying that Hillary Clinton has it all wrapped up should take note, because it just ain’t so – at least not in South Carolina.

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Guest columnist Richie Yow represents S.C. House District 53, including part of Lancaster County

Yow column: S.C. House passes bill to fix roads

On April 15, the S.C. House passed a bill, H. 3579, by an overwhelming vote of 87-20.
It is designed to address the poor condition of our roads, which is arguably the most pressing problem our state as a whole faces. S.C. House members understand the seriousness of the problem and the House Ways and Means Committee members have worked overtime to create a bill that will, for the first time in decades, get us back on track.
Care has been taken to reduce the income tax so that, for the average citizen, this will be a revenue-neutral event.

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

Wilt column: County budget has multiple problems

The Lancaster County Council Administration Committee has completed its work on the 2016 county budget and intends to send the resulting document to the full council for consideration.
This budget leaves core governmental services vulnerable in a number of areas as follows:

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Guest columnist Lynn Good is CEO and president of Duke Energy

Good column: Utility CEOs focus on climate change at electricity summit

As one of the world’s most significant concerns, climate change was a major topic when utility CEOs gathered at last week’s International Electricity Summit in Japan.   
I was honored to represent the United States and Duke Energy at the summit. We acknowledged that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to address climate change. Each country comes at this issue based on its own unique circumstances that reflect its natural resources, economic profile, market structure and political dynamics.

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Guest columnist Merrill Matthews is a resident scholar with the Institute for Policy Innovation in Dallas.

Matthews column: Republican candidates flip-flop on ethanol

If the presidential election process didn’t begin in Iowa, ethanol would likely be a memory.
But because the election process begins in Iowa, where nearly half of the corn grown is converted to ethanol, most Republican candidates, who make a career of denouncing crony capitalism, have come to embrace the ethanol mandate, even as they decry Obamacare for forcing Americans to have health insurance.

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Guest columnist Dr. L. Brooks Walker teaches chorus at Chesterfield and Cheraw high schools.

Walker column: Bedtime story for a sleeping nation

Once, there was a great land where the people dreamed of being free from an oppressive monarchy. They suffered great insult and loss of freedom until they rose up and threw off the evil king.

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Guest columnist Gary M. Holland is an Indian Land resident.

Holland column: Convenience center sites – ‘Serious crisis’ for county?

You never let a serious crisis go to waste. And what I mean by that it’s an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before,” said Rahm Emanuel in November 2008.
Is it possible this policy is being factored into decisions and actions taken by our county officials?
Case in point

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Guest columnist Thomas L. Knapp is director and senior news analyst at the William Lloyd Garrison Center for Libertarian Advocacy Journalism (thegarrisoncenter.org). He lives and works in north central Florida.

Knapp column: Constitutional convention dangerous and unnecessary

Supporters of a national constitutional convention, as provided for in Article V of the U.S. Constitution, have gained the support of 27 state legislatures for the idea. They need 34.
Republicans and Democrats are at war both with each other and within their own parties over the proposal. Some Republicans want such a convention for the purpose of getting a “balanced budget” amendment.
Some Democrats also want a convention for the purpose of overturning the U.S. Supreme Court’s Citizens United ruling and regulating political campaign spending.

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Guest columnist Dr. Jerry Gaither is a former student athlete at Hillside High School, and a former Texas school administrator who lives in the Houston, Texas, area.

Gaither column: The life of a coach – Remembering Lawyous Smith

Gone but not forgotten. Longtime teacher and coach Lawyous Smith departed this life on March 11, 2015, in Covington, Ga., where he had been living since 2012.
In 1963, Smith was hired as the third and final head football coach in the short history of Hillside High School.

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Guest columnist Dr. Robert F. Dodge is a practicing family physician, who serves on the boards of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation, Beyond War, Physicians for Social Responsibility Los Angeles and Citizens for Peaceful Resolutions.

Dodge column: Use taxes to end the Nuclear Age, not prolong it

Following the arrival of spring each year, our nation renews its commitment to our priorities on Tax Day, April 15, from education to health care, infrastructure and national defense. Included among these expenditures are nuclear weapons programs – weapons that cannot and must not ever be used.

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