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Columns

  • Column: Youth Leadership grads spend 7 months learning about county

    The Lancaster County Youth Leadership program graduated 38 students this month. The program, a collaboration between the Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce and the Lancaster County School District, is designed to teach leadership skills and raise awareness of job opportunities and community challenges in Lancaster County, in hopes that these students will return to Lancaster after graduating from college to live and work.

  • Column: Confederate flag means death and destruction

    I am writing in response Sunday’s column by Athena Redmond, headlined “I’m no fan of the Confederate flag, but I offer this narrow defense of it.”
    One thing about the Confederate flag – you are either for it or against it. You can’t be both. Don’t be a fence swinger. Either be on the left or the right side of anything, but not in the middle.

  • Column: S.C. lawmakers improve some FOIA provisions

    It’s been a long time coming, but citizens of South Carolina will soon have faster and cheaper access to public documents.
    For seven years, the legislature has for one reason or another not passed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) reform bill. They did so on the last day of the session this year, and it offers some real improvements in our state’s open-government law.

  • Column: Let’s assess governor’s 1st 100 days

    May 4 marked Gov. Henry McMaster’s 100th day in office. Since there was such a flurry of reporting about President Trump’s first 100 days, it seems appropriate to look at what McMaster has achieved in his first 100 days.
    Below is a simple recounting of the facts as reported by the state’s media. I then offer my opinion, and I leave it to you to decide for yourself if McMaster, so far, has succeeded or failed.

  • Column: I’m no fan of the Confederate flag, but I offer this narrow defense of it

    An article in Friday’s paper detailed a minor controversy this week in Lancaster.
    The county removed two small Confederate battle flags from a wreath laid at the Confederate Soldiers’ Monument in front of the historic courthouse. And the people who put the wreath there in honor of Confederate Memorial Day were unhappy about that.

  • Column: Small-town legislators are shaping S.C. agenda

    Editor’s note: Sen. Vincent Sheheen (D-27) and House Speaker Jay Lucas (R-65) represent parts of Lancaster County.

    I was watching the Vincent Sheheen Show last week – also known as the gas-tax conference committee, which he was chairing – when I recalled a conversation I recently had with Sen. Sheheen.

  • Column: Why I back final roads compromise

    After several months of work in the General Assembly, both the House and Senate have worked out a single highway funding and governance bill. In the next few days, this bill will be voted upon by both chambers and sent to the governor.
    Given the concerns many have raised about this issue, I felt it urgent to give you an overview of this legislation, as well as my thoughts on the bill.

    DOT reform

  • Column: Trump’s nuts? So is every other politician, TV anchor, NFL star

    Dr. John Gartner, a practicing psychotherapist and former faculty member at Johns Hopkins University Medical School, says the psychiatric community has an ethical responsibility to warn America that Donald Trump has a dangerous mental illness.

  • Column: 50th-place ranking should jolt us to action

    There is probably no topic that has been the subject of this column more often than education. And the reason is very simple: if we don’t fix education in this state, nothing else really matters.
    The road to a prosperous future for South Carolina runs past the schoolhouse door.
    Unfortunately, in South Carolina this road (like our highways) is full of potholes and in great need of repair after suffering from years of neglect. As a recent US News and World Report ranking showed, overall our state is 50th in education.

  • Column: S.C. Research Authority pays PR firm $855K

    The South Carolina Research Authority, chartered by the state in 1983 to “foster and enrich South Carolina’s innovation economy,” has paid political consultant Bob McAlister at least $855,500 since 2011.
    The payments are all to McAlister’s firm, McAlister Communications, most in consistent monthly amounts invoiced for “public relations services.” Jessica Cokins, SCRA’s director of marketing and communications, said McAlister was paid as a communications consultant.