• 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • Little column: Why strengthening FOI Act is so important

    President Barack Obama has routinely promised greater transparency within the federal government. Now, Congress is making strides toward achieving this critical goal.
    The House of Representatives and Senate are considering nearly identical bills to strengthen the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), which provides the general public, including journalists, with access to federal government records.

  • Ussery column: Visit rough on Slick Willie

    I think our gardens and orchards drew most of the visitors to our farm in the summer months. Daddy would offer garden produce to millworkers, but they had to come get the vegetables.
    Mama canned all summer until the jars ran out or the garden stopped. We had a big surplus the summer of 1954, and Daddy told one of the mill supervisors to come to the farm and load up.

  • Burwell column: Minority Health Month: Making progress on health disparities

    Half a century ago, our nation was in the midst of a civil rights revolution.
    Over these last few years, we’ve reached several milestones: the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s transformative “I Have a Dream” speech and the historic march from Selma to Montgomery.
    As we commemorate these events, we feel the weight of their expectations. We see the path that has moved us closer to justice and equality, but we also see the stumbling blocks and shortcomings along the way.

  • Payne letter: Where is the church on Wednesday ballgames?

    Currently, there is controversy involving the Lancaster County Parks and Recreation Department and its scheduling of youth recreation ballgames on Wednesday nights.
    Some parents are concerned that their children feel they are not only letting their teammates and coaches down by not participating on Wednesdays, but feel like they are being punished by not getting to play as often as others because their parents take them to church services and activities on Wednesday nights.