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Columns

  • Column: Lawmakers have no excuse for lengthy budget delays

    The legislative session and the special extended session have ended, and we still don’t have a state budget.
    Currently the budget sits in a conference committee, where lawmakers seem to be agonizing over the differences between the House’s $27.41 billion spending plan and the Senate’s $27.42 billion spending plan. There are a few minor differences in how the money is spent, but lawmakers aren’t saying what particular policy area is responsible for the holdup.
    So what are they blaming?

  • Column: S.C. activist reaches out to the world

    From time to time in this space, I like to introduce you to people in South Carolina who are making a difference. The following is a column from Jennifer Jones-Wood, writing about her work in South Carolina to help young girls around the world.

    Today, 130 million girls do not have access to education. Please let that sink in.
    If you were to count from 1 to 130,000,000 without stopping, it would take approximately eight years. Now that I have your attention, let me tell you about The ONE Campaign.

  • Column: Legislative session ends with progress on safer highways

    The busy legislative session is wrapping up. We’ve gotten a lot done but still have to meet once more in general session to pass a budget, consider gubernatorial vetoes and complete other end-of-year tasks.
    Once that work is done, I will provide you a comprehensive report about the highlights of the session, as well as issues that are of special importance to District 45 residents.

  • Column: So happy we ended up at ILMS

    An open letter to Indian Land Middle School administration and teachers:
    After 12 years in Charlotte, my family finally decided to move “south of the border” last year. Our main priority was finding a home that would position our girls for the perfect middle and future high schools.

  • Column: To chase the American dream, immigrants must learn English

    Our world has seen the most dramatic changes in the past 100 years. We have gone from the horse and buggy to a vehicle wandering the surface of Mars.
    I would also add social advancements to the long list of technological ones, but we still have certain areas where improvement must happen.
    Specifically, I refer to language.

  • Column: Ethics and image: What kind of state are we?

    After World War II, a fierce but civil rivalry developed between Birmingham and Atlanta as to which would become the unofficial “Capital of the South.”
    Founded in 1871, Birmingham was a coal and steel town with much of the ownership of the principal industries being in Pittsburgh and other Northern cities. The city’s symbol was and is a large statue of Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and the forge. In 1950, the city’s population was 326,000.

  • Column: When you fall in life, fall forward every time

    Editor’s note: Breanna Pittman, a senior at Andrew Jackson High School, is graduating with the highest GPA in the Lancaster County School District. Here are excerpts from her speech at the county’s Celebration of Excellence this month.

    Tonight I want to talk about a topic that many people overlook and others just choose to ignore – failure.
    Failure is inevitable. It will happen at least once in every person’s life. Most of the time you don’t even see it coming, and it hits you like a freight train.

  • 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.