• Our nation pauses to salute the fallen

    Bystanders listened to great speeches as children from the Soldiers’ and Sailors’ Orphan Home and members of the Grand Army of the Republic made their way through the cemetery, strewing flowers on both Union and Confederate graves, reciting prayers and singing hymns as tears fell from their eyes while they remembered the fallen.
    It was 1868. The first large observance of what we now call Memorial Day, then called Decoration Day, was happening at Arlington National Cemetery, across the Potomac River from Washington.

  • Column: Pinckney honored: Celebrating shared history

    Last week in Charleston a large mural of Rev. Clementa Pinckney was unveiled. It was done by 28-year-old Columbia artist Tripp Barnes. It is big and colorful and covers the whole outside wall of a building on St. Phillips Street, a few blocks from my house and from Emanuel AME Church.
    In addition to his likeness, the mural also has a short but powerful quote by Clem: “Across the South, we have a deep appreciation of history – we haven’t always had a deep appreciation of each other’s history.”

  • Column: Trump mimics NRA orthodoxy, but S.C. voters might disagree

    The papers this week had big stories about Donald Trump speaking to the National Rifle Association convention and accepting its endorsement. Among his promises was to eliminate gun-free zones in schools on his first day in office.
    In Trump’s typical over-the-top rhetoric, he proclaims himself the greatest defender of the Second Amendment in history.
    No surprise here – that’s Trump.

  • Editor's Column: 2 sketchy guys exit a pickup truck

    I had never killed anyone before.
    The two men stepped out of their pickup truck after I stopped them for speeding. One reached inside his coat, pulled out a handgun and pointed it at me. I shot him a half dozen times from 10 feet away.
    The other man was moving toward me, and I saw his hands jerk. I shot him too, pulling the trigger as fast as I could until my sidearm was empty. By the time the last few shots hit the man, he was already on the ground.

  • Column: County needs to hit ‘pause’ on residential growth in IL

    We need to talk about better planning for our community and infrastructure.
    Because of the company I worked for back in the 1980s, I had the opportunity to see two huge 4- by 6-foot mark-up boards of artist renderings for Ballantyne. I’ll never forget how impressive it was to see pictures of farmland at the time look so modern and beautifully planned. What is even more impressive is that what we see there today looks just like what was designed back then, as if paper came to life. This is the best example of planning I can think of.

  • Column: Obama ignores Constitution, and Congress won’t stop him

    Did you notice the shift? Did you notice the change from a government of the people, by the people and for the people, to that of a monarch who bypasses all balance of power in order to impose his personal agenda on the American people?

  • Column: One person keeping you in the dark

    Government belongs to you, not to politicians.
    You have every right to know what your elected and appointed officials are up to and how government bureaucracies operate at every level, whether they be towns, cities, counties, school boards or state government.
    That’s why 40 years ago South Carolina enacted the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA). It was model legislation for the nation at the time, but sorely needs updating to plug holes that have been created by those who don’t want to be bothered by citizen inquiries and sunshine on government.

  • Column: Marriage rate one of S.C.’s biggest issues

    Tackling big issues is tough. It’s far easier for policy makers and politicians to make a speech or issue a press release with a few snappy phrases and then claim they are doing something.
    And if you really want to make things difficult, add in such volatile and emotional issues as race, culture, sex and money – then it becomes a “really big tough issue.” Who wants to take this on? It’s easier to talk about transgender bathrooms.

  • Column: A pat on the back for Dr. Kumar

    Our good Lord works in mysterious ways! I had just left my son’s house at Cedar Pines Lake and started home to work in my yard, and something told me to go by and check on my friend and brother-in-law Louie Belk.
    As I came up to his house, my phone ran, and Louie said, “Sherrill, where are you? I have fallen and I’m bleeding and I need to go to the doctor!” I told him, “Louie, I’m here at your back door now.”

  • Column: Sounds stupid, but practice shaking hands

    Editor’s note: Rick Jiran, vice president of community relations for Duke Energy in South Carolina, gave the commencement address at Limestone College in Gaffney last Thursday. Here’s some of his advice on job hunting.

    Companies aren’t looking for reasons to hire you. They are looking for reasons not to hire you.