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Columns

  • Modernize school and educator accountability

    Last month, U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan issued a statement highlighting a federal report showing South Carolina had lowered proficiency standards in English and mathematics faster than any other state in the nation between 2005 and 2009.
    While I disagree with many policies of the current administration, on this point they are absolutely correct. Setting low expectations for students does not yield high levels of student learning.

  • USC contributes $4.1 billion to South Carolina’s economy

    The University of South Carolina has been educating the leaders of the Palmetto State for more than two centuries. However, the benefits USC brings to our community can be felt well beyond the classroom.  Our eight campuses and 155,000 alumni living in South Carolina have a positive economic impact of $4.1 billion on the state’s economy.

  • State scores an ‘F’ on integrity

    The resignation of former Lt. Gov. Ken Ard, followed shortly by his indictment and guilty plea, marks another milestone in the long road of ethical lapses by public officials in South Carolina. One might have thought that Lost Trust, the 1992 sting operation wherein several legislators were caught essentially selling their votes, would have served as a corrective for future politicians, but they continue to live up (or down) to expectations.

  • Race cars don’t tell the story

    When it comes to racing, cars don’t tell the story, people do.
    Sometime this year, you will hear Lancaster Speedway announcer and track spokesman Duane Goins mention the names of Timbo Mangum, Robbie Helms and a host of other track drivers.
    But chances are you won’t hear Goins mention the names of Danny “Pee Wee” Ellis and Brandon Holmes.
    But trust me, Helms knows who Pee Wee is, and Mangum knows who Holmes is. All you have to do is ask them.

  • Mackey explains vote on Brook Drive project

    After the March 14 City Council meeting, I received several calls about my vote on the Brook Drive improvement project near the University of South Carolina Lancaster.
    I do my best to vote as fairly and honestly as possible. I feel confident in my decisions because I always seek guidance from God, who leads my life.
    The vote to approve the project was 4-3, including my vote. The opposition’s reasoning was that they felt they were betraying the residents of District 4 because Rock Street and Hampton Road also need paving.

  • Sheriff touts accomplishments made at office in last few years

    The past year has marked a transformational period in law enforcement for Lancaster County.
    Three years ago, I set forth an aggressive plan to position the Lancaster County Sheriff’s Office among the best in the state. I knew that with the right leadership and lines of accountability we could improve the service delivery to our citizenry, as well as build morale and staff retention within the department.

  • Coalition draws healthy crowd for Teen Night

    I would like to thank all who came out to support the Lancaster County Coalition for Healthy Youth’s annual Teen Night, held March 7 at the University of South Carolina Lancaster’s Bundy Auditorium.

  • It’s not about contraception

    Many people have become unswervingly convinced that the ongoing controversy surrounding the administration’s health-care mandate has something to do with contraceptives.
    Certainly that’s what the mandate itself deals with – and clearly that’s the narrative the president’s political and media allies are aggressively (and, so far, successfully) advancing. But contraception actually has very little to do with the uproar.
    First, let’s recap what started this debate in the first place.

  • Lancaster residents are professional, joyful, proud

    As a motivational speaker, I get the privilege of meeting my fellow Americans all over the United States – from coast to coast – from corn fields to city centers. I meet them in their places of brokenness and celebration. I hear their stories, I hug their necks and I form instant connections with strangers whom I may never see again – but whom I will never forget.

  • Democratic propaganda is running amok in U.S.

    In his March 8 guest column, “Please don’t believe in everything the GOP says,” Tony Boswell attacks a previous guest column by Franklin Whittlesey, largely by leveling several accusations against Republicans.