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Columns

  • For the holidays – let’s pay it forward

    Phil and Mary Sue are generous hosts. Thanksgiving is their special time with family, but they regularly invite orphans – people like my wife and me, who have no other place to go.

    This year, we looked forward to joining Phil and Mary Sue’s family and friends at their home. They were expecting 17 guests. No Indians on the guest list this year, but Phil says he will let the occasional Australian stand in for them.

  • A novel idea for budget decisions

    At a recent meeting of the Anderson County legislative delegation, freshman House member Jonathon Hill introduced two resolutions calling on the legislature to – uh – follow the law.

    The first resolution concerned the state’s local government fund. By law, state budget-writers are to allocate 4.5 percent of the previous year’s revenue to local governments as payment for those governments carrying out state services. For six years, however, state lawmakers have reduced the amount by means of one-year provisos.

  • Lawmaker resigns after Nerve’s investigation

    If S.C. Rep. Kris Crawford needs guidance these days from the Bible, he might want to ponder the proverb, “Physician, heal thyself.”

    In 2012, the emergency room doctor and then-state House member was convicted on four misdemeanor counts of willfully failing to file state income-tax returns. He received no jail time and was ordered to pay $21,380 in fines and costs.

  • Legislative response to court’s decision

    S.C. Supreme Court has determined the state must provide students in eight impoverished schools districts with an opportunity to receive a “minimally adequate education.” A close look at the court’s controversial decision offers a guide to how legislators ought to respond.

  • S.C. Republicans have an attitude

    When I was a school boy, there was a kid down the street named Rodney who had an “attitude problem,” or at least that’s what the adults called it. To me and my friends, Rodney was just a jerk.

    He had a big chip on his shoulder and was always complaining that others were taking advantage of him or whining about things not being fair to him. Rodney didn’t have any friends, and our parents pretty much forced us to include Rodney in our activities.

  • Sheriff urges drivers to make a sober plan

    Drunken driving has become a national epidemic. Each year, drunken-driving crashes kill more than 10,000 people in America. Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office is working with the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), National Liquor Law Enforcement (NLLEA) and the Coalition for Healthy Youth and S.C. Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) this holiday season, to reach out to all drivers with an important message about this deadly, preventable crime because buzzed driving is drunk driving.

  • Good boards worth their weight in gold

    Editor’s note: This column was originally published in the J. Marions Sims Foundation newsletter and is reprinted with the foundation’s permission.

    Election season finally ended last month and many of us have breathed a huge sigh of relief.

    We’re spared the crush of ads, posters, commercials and calls for various candidates – until the next election cycle begins, which for presidential candidates will likely be sometime in the first half of 2015. Election campaigns never seem to end; they just go on and on and on.

  • Journalist clears doubt about Santa

    Lancaster resident Rhonda Hodge said she was familiar with the 1897 column, “Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus,” by Frances Pharcellus Church that was published in The New York Sun.

    However, Hodge was unfamiliar with how it came about, saying she would love to share its background with others.

    Hodge laments that many people today are so enamored with celebrities that she hopes they, too, will become familiar with the background of this famous column.

  • Flimflammers and scalawags in county

    In the early 1950s there were flimflam men rambling the countryside taking advantage of the elderly and widow women. My father worked at the mill in Kershaw and got all the news a week before it was in the paper. Daddy passed the news to us 10 children and mama at supper every night so we would be aware of such people.

    We had to look after Grandma and her two sisters, Sally and Carrie, who lived 300 yards up the road in the big house. We lived in a tenant house under the hill and got our water from a spring, but we had a nice three-hole toilet.

  • Why election results will affect education

    There’s a reasonable tendency among Americans to view the education of their kids as an exclusively local issue and distinct to their communities.

    After all, school buildings are constant fixtures in neighborhoods, sports teams play cross-town rivals and the vast majority of public students still attend schools based solely on zip code.