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Columns

  • McClennen column: Rerouting IL road would ease traffic

    There was a potential solution to some of the school traffic woes that may have slipped away, which many in the community may not have been aware of.
    The S.C. Department of Transportation held a hearing in January 2013 regarding rerouting Harrisburg Road. Harrisburg Road could have been rerouted to line up with the main Lowe’s entrance on S.C. 160. This also would have become a lighted intersection.

  • Carnes column: County has lower property taxes than most

    Recently, there have been some editorials written about the high property tax rates in Lancaster County. As chairman of the county Finance Committee, I would like to address the hype with the facts.
    As I discussed in last month’s column, property tax revenue is one of the major funding sources for Lancaster County.
    The property tax revenue is split mainly between Lancaster County School District and Lancaster County government, with about 70 percent going to the school district and 30 percent to county government.

  • What comes after the welfare state?

    The welfare state is now omnipresent in every part of the United States. The federal budget is dominated by entitlement spending, with 45 percent of federal spending in 2012 going to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare (among other health care entitlements).

    Simultaneously, states are struggling under the fiscal burdens imposed on them by mandatory entitlement programs: for example, spending by the S.C. Department of Health and Human Services (primarily on Medicaid) has averaged $1.21 billion over the last three budget years.

  • Business, innovation and the four states of S.C.

    Recently I had occasion to be in all four parts of South Carolina, talking with a wide variety of business people about innovation, our state and its future. What they said was both extremely encouraging and extremely discouraging.

    First the good news. From one end of this state to the other, there are lots of really smart people who fully understand what we have to do to become competitive in the challenging global economy of the 21st Century. They get it.

  • Tens of millions spent on state agency travel

    As South Carolina struggles to recover from the Great Recession, state agencies in recent years have increased spending on travel in and out of the Palmetto State.

    A review by The Nerve of annual state travel reports by S.C. Comptroller General Richard Eckstrom found that the total amount spent on travel increased from $61.9 million in fiscal 2009 to more than $69.6 million last fiscal year, which ended June 30 – a jump of more than $7.7 million, or 12.5 percent.

  • S.C. State Guard trains to help communities

    Here in South Carolina, where we are relieved to be nearing the end of another quiet hurricane season, we recently witnessed the destructive force of torrential rainfalls.

    Almost as devastating as the physical property loss in a flood is the emotional impact of seeing your home damaged or destroyed. We’ve all seen these tragic stories on TV – home improvement projects ruined and washed away, priceless family photos and heirlooms lost and on and on.

  • Failure not always final

    Studying the lives of people in the Bible can bring hope to believers today. The life of John Mark in the New Testament illustrates the truth that failure is not final for believers.

    John Mark was the son of Mary, an affluent godly widow in Jerusalem who allowed believers to meet in her home for prayer.

    John Mark likely had contact with many wonderful people who took part in that fellowship. At some point the apostle Peter led him to the Lord, because he later called him his spiritual son.

  • Make sure information is correct on your tax bill

    At the beginning of October, Lancaster County homeowners received their tax bills, which are due by Jan. 15, 2014, without penalties.

    If you have not received your tax bill, please contact our office to see where your bill went and make sure we have the correct address on file for you. Please do so as soon as possible to make sure your taxes are paid on time so you can avoid late penalties.

    If you are paying into an escrow account as part of your mortgage you should have received a bill, so that you would know how much you are paying in taxes.

  • Common Core: Not what you think

    If you have children in South Carolina public schools, you’ve probably heard the term “Common Core” several times by now. It’s the name for a nationalized set of academic standards to which South Carolina public schools are now required to conform.

    Did you vote for Common Core? Did you have any say in it at all? No, you didn’t.

  • Regional and local farmers markets benefit all Americans

    One very important reason for Congress to expedite work toward a new Food, Farm and Jobs Bill is to continue today’s rapid growth in local and regional marketing opportunities for American agriculture.

    From local farmers markets to regional food hubs, these new opportunities benefit a wide range of Americans from all walks of life.

    They benefit farmers and ranchers who are looking to start selling locally or scale up to regional sales.