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Columns

  • Wilson column: State fighting back against food stamp fraud

    Every day, in every area of our state, hard-working South Carolina taxpayers are being robbed. They are not held up at gunpoint, and their homes are not burglarized. But they are the victims of theft just the same.
    Criminals are stealing federal funds and using that money for their personal benefit. They are committing fraud against the food stamp program. In fact, they pocket more than $2 million of your tax dollars every year in South Carolina alone.

  • Helms column: Buying a new vehicle means paying taxes

    Most people like having new vehicles. A new convertible would be especially nice for the springtime. Unfortunately, with new vehicles come taxes, and it’s important for you to understand what taxes are due and how to pay them to avoid problems later on.
    When purchasing a vehicle, you must pay local property taxes to the Lancaster County Treasurer’s Office and you must also pay a sales tax for the vehicle to the S.C Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV).

  • Carnes column: Here’s the lowdown on ‘excess funds’ in budget

    Recently, there have been a couple of columns in The Lancaster News and Carolina Gateway regarding the county budgeting process.
    Mainly those concerns have dealt with funding for public safety (specifically for the sheriff, solicitor and public defender’s offices) and the appropriations and expenditures of excess funds from the 2013-14 budget. The implication was that these funds should be used for adding additional staff to these departments. I will be the first to state that these departments are a very important core function of government.

  • Fletcher column: Woman seeks to help county’s homeless

    My name is Chaundra Fletcher. I am a member of North Corner AME Zion Church in Lancaster. I am very active in social activities that involve the homeless, hungry and children.
    I have worked in social services for the last eight years. During this time, I have learned much about the abuse and neglect of children, as well as victimization of women. I have also learned much about poverty.
    It seems that the laws continue to change without any regard to those who are less fortunate. I would dare to say that many people today would be considered working poor.

  • O'Neal column: Advice to last a lifetime

    I am writing today in honor of one of your former residents, Royce Stewart. Royce departed this life on Feb. 12, 2015. He and spouse Lavonia have been residents of Kershaw since the early 1990s. Our hearts are saddened by his loss and hope that Lavonia finds comfort through the support of family, friends and the community.

  • Yow column: House passes responsible budget without new borrowing

    I am glad to report that Northeastern Technical College is set to receive $2.3 million in funding for a new industrial training center in Pageland and other needs as the S.C. House of Representatives sends its completed budget to the Senate.
    After meeting with NETC officials and industry leaders in Pageland, it was apparent that a new training facility was urgently needed to address the present and future demands for skilled employees in District 53.

  • O'Connor column: It’s time to get rid of ‘shadow government’

    The controversy encircling former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and her use of private email to conduct public business provides our latest example of government in the shadows, a situation we know well in South Carolina.
    “Shadow government,” as S.C. Press Association Executive Director Bill Rogers has labeled it, means conducting public business via private emails, texts, Twitter or other social media accounts that are not connected to government servers and thus not retrievable by government agencies and the public.

  • Keenan and Strickland column: Let’s hear it for LHS fans

    On behalf of the students and staff of Lancaster High School, we would like to express a heartfelt appreciation to the fans of the Lady Bruins basketball team. Our fans demonstrated fantastic support during the recent playoff run.
    Winning a state championship is quite an accomplishment, and completing a season at 27-0 is phenomenal. This great group of young ladies handled themselves with class on and off the court. Coach Ronnie Robinson and his staff provided great direction and leadership. In short, he is the type of man you want your kids to be around.

  • Rogers column: Let the sun shine in

    It’s Sunshine Week in South Carolina and the nation.
    It is a time to recognize and encourage open government and letting the sun shine in on public documents and meetings.
    You may not know there are problems with transparency in government in our state, but there are, despite our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).

  • Plyler column: Just simply believe God

    I am writing to say a few things concerning the article on page 11 of the March 6 paper that asked, “Where are you going?” (Editor’s note: The article was part of a sponsored religious message, not a story.)
    The person who wrote the article, Christopher Simon, seems to be very uninformed about the word of God.
    Yes, Mr. Simon, we can know with certainty and announce that we are going to heaven. That is, if we believe God’s word.