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Government

  • Council rethinks Blackmon back pay

    Lancaster City Council is reconsidering its Oct. 10 vote on council member Linda Blackmon’s $6,750 in back pay for the nine months when her taking the District 3 seat was delayed by a legal challenge.
    This comes after ethics questions were raised because Blackmon did not recuse herself from the vote on the payment. Her yes vote broke a 3-3 tie at the Oct. 10 council meeting.
    Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Green Garris requested the motion to reconsider, to be discussed at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which began after press time.

  • Kershaw calls meeting to discuss contamination

    KERSHAW – Kershaw’s attempt to get abandoned Springs Mills property declared a brownfield site is gaining traction.
    A community meeting to discuss health hazards stemming from the site is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kershaw’s Second Baptist Church.
    The town is applying for federal dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the 9.1-acre eyesore, and the public meeting is part of the process.
    “We’re trying to get as many people involved as possible,” said Town Administrator Mitch Lucas.

  • Pension quirk forces town to up salaries for part-timers

    HEATH SPRINGS – Faced with the likelihood of losing the town’s five part-time employees, the Heath Springs Town Council voted Tuesday night to give them an across-the-board 9 percent pay raise.
    But hang on: that doesn’t mean the employees will be bringing home more money.
    It’s to offset the 9 percent contribution that the part-time workers must start paying into the state retirement system.

  • State House corruption scandal widens

    South Carolina’s corruption scandal took another leap forward Wednesday, as powerful GOP political consultant Richard Quinn Sr. was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges.
    A state grand jury lodged criminal conspiracy indictments against Quinn, his son, suspended S.C. Rep. Rick Quinn, suspended state Sen. John Courson and former lawmakers Tracy Edge and Jim Harrison.

  • Van Wyck council candidates face off

    VAN WYCK – The priority for Van Wyck’s first town council won’t be the nuts-and-bolts decisions about how to run the town, though those will have to be made.
    It will be expediting voluntary annexations and considering involuntarily annexations to block property around the town from getting gobbled up in the Indian Land incorporation battle.
    Van Wyck’s single mayoral candidate and nine town council candidates spent most of Thursday’s 90-plus minute public forum talking about annexation.

  • Absentee voting has started in our 3 municipal elections

    Absentee voting for the upcoming nonpartisan Heath Springs, Kershaw and Van Wyck town council races is now open.
    Qualified voters may cast absentee ballots in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the county voter registration office on the lower level of the Lancaster County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St.
    To request an absentee paper ballot application by phone, call the voting office at (803) 285-2969.
    The Heath Springs and Kershaw town council elections are Nov. 7.

  • State ethics procedure precise and secretive

    As one legal challenge involving the Lancaster City Council ends, another might pop up in its place.
    Tuesday night’s vote to approve a $6,750 payment to newly installed council member Linda Blackmon – a vote that she participated in – has raised issues under South Carolina’s ethics statute.

  • Opposition to Indian Land incorporation is mobilizing

    As Indian Land incorporation organizers pivot to a “vote yes” campaign after winning approval from a key legislative committee in Columbia last week, opponents are ramping up their efforts to persuade residents to “vote no” on the proposition.

  • Blackmon votes to give herself $6,750

    Newly installed Lancaster City Council member Linda Blackmon broke a 3-3 tie Tuesday night as the council granted her request for $6,750 in back pay, compensating her for the nine months when a legal challenge kept her from taking office.
    But her vote drew immediate scrutiny under South Carolina’s ethics statute, which says public officials must recuse themselves on any vote “that affects their own economic interests.”

  • Archie Parnell again seeks 5th District seat

    Archie Parnell, who lost a close special election for the 5th Congressional District in June, will run again in 2018, he announced Monday.
    The Sumter Democrat will challenge incumbent Republican Ralph Norman, who won the seat after Mick Mulvaney vacated it to become President Trump’s budget director.