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Opinion

  • The life of a volunteer firefighter isn’t easy.  Speak to any volunteer and they’ll tell you about the constant training, late night phone calls and missed family events, all done to protect the lives and property of neighbors and strangers alike.

    And with no compensation, this isn’t just a job for these volunteers – it’s a calling.

    That calling has become even more difficult over the last decade for Indian Land’s volunteers, as the Panhandle has quickly swelled into a bustling suburb of Charlotte.  

  • Over the last month or so, I’ve learned a great deal about water hoses, foam spray and control panels on fire trucks.

    But more importantly, I’ve had the chance to interact closely with the folks who operate that equipment – ready to put on their firefighter’s gear and go to work at a moment’s notice.  

  • I find Queen Thompson article, “Constant negativity, violence impact youth,” in the Sept. 19 edition to be nothing but a racist affront to the conservative white population, and this country.

    She says that the black race in this country is marginalized.

    How in the world do you come to that conclusion when the blacks in this country have their own caucus in Congress, news channels, schools, banks, companies, history month, etc.?

  • Indian Land is a beautiful community in Lancaster County with scenic country roads and attractive homes mingled with farms and thriving businesses.

    It is a shame that there is a constant trashing of Indian Land’s roadways by litterbugs and illegal dumpers.

    The situation deserves immediate attention and the Indian Land Action Council has formed an Anti-Littering/Gateways Beautification Committee to increase awareness and promote pride in Indian Land.

  • For more than a month now we have introduced you to Lancaster County’s 19 volunteer departments. It has been a real learning experience for me. During this time, I’ve met so many, compassionate and dedicated folks. I’ve listened to their stories and their reasons for being firefighters.

  • Almost like clockwork, the precision of quick response to a fire call, you could count on members of the Shiloh-Zion Volunteer Fire Department to be in our neighborhood. They were selling tickets for their annual barbecue chicken fundraiser, which they hold the first Saturday in February. They’ve been doing so for 35 years.

    Prior to writing a feature in our “Always on Call” series, that was the most I knew of the volunteer fire department, which serves our Arrowood neighborhood and others in north Lancaster County.

  • As we approach Election Day, it is becoming increasingly more important that the voting public develops a better understanding of the records and positions of those candidates seeking office.  Furthermore, I believe that we should also make ourselves aware of the kinds of special interests that these candidates are likely to support should they be elected.  The payday lending industry has preyed upon low income families in this state for decades with their astronomical interest rates and unethical practices.  

  • Did you know that if you sell your house after 2012, you will pay a 3.8 percent sales tax on it? That’s $3,800 on a $100,000 home, etc.

    When did this happen? It’s in the health-care bill. Just thought you should know. That sales tax goes into effect in 2013. So, this is change you can believe in?

  • Ryan Phillips and Luke Pittman, Life Scouts in Boy Scout Troop 74 of Kershaw, are in line to receive their coveted Eagle Scout badges, the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouts of America.

    When the badges are presented to them in the near future, it will be a red-letter day for the two Andrew Jackson High School juniors who are members of Kershaw’s First Baptist Church.

    Given the Scouts’ latest honors, it would be safe to say the Eagle badges would be quite an encore.

  • “A vote is like a rifle: its usefulness depends upon the character of the user,” said Theodore Roosevelt in 1913. It is as true today, as it was a century ago.

    Americans know they have been herded – at stampede speed – down a steep, treacherous and unfamiliar path by Democrats such as Congressman John Spratt to “fundamentally transform America.”  But transform America into what, exactly?

  • Jack Simpson’s guest column in the Oct. 1 edition of The Lancaster News attacking John Spratt is a model of wild assertions and misguided perceptions.

    He claims Spratt voted for “federal control over almost every facet of our lives.” What bill was that in?

    The failed incomprehensible bailouts he mentioned must be the complex federal support that stopped the collapse of our free market financial system, most of the funds for which have been paid back at a profit to the taxpayer.

  • Joblessness continues to rise in South Carolina while U.S. Rep. John Spratt votes 98.2 percent with the Washington cartel: Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid and President Barack Obama.

    From July to August, joblessness rose from a terrible 10.7 percent to a horrific 11 percent. Unemployment was 4.6 percent when Mr. Spratt and his party took control of Congress in January 2007.  The Dow was 12,621.

    Last month, the private sector, which pays the taxes that Mr. Spratt loves to spend, just lost another 2,200 jobs in South Carolina.

  • Its cargo has run the gamut – from cotton, coal and soybeans to anxious children visiting Santa Claus and adults attending presidential inauguration balls.

    It houses a museum. It has a colorful past and has been a presence in Lancaster County for a long time – 114 years. And it’s belonged to one family for that entire period.

    But that changed on Aug. 31 when the Springs Co. announced that it was selling the L&C Railway to Gulf & Ohio Railways Inc., which is based in Knoxville, Tenn.

    The sale is expected to be finalized in November.

  • An old line says every dog has its day. If so, then Webster, the Hospice Care of South Carolina in Lancaster office therapy dog, received his just due.

    The 10 ½-year-old Labrador/husky mix, nicknamed “Webbie,” died of kidney failure in September.

    For the better part of his life, Webster brought endless joy to hospice patients. Joan Long, the dog’s owner, took Webster along on visits to help brighten the final days of countless hospice patients.

    Webster, a real trooper, did all he could to produce smiles and bring a little canine sunshine.

  • On behalf of The Lancaster County Outreach Project, an initiative of Lancaster County Partners for Youth, I would like to thank United Way of Lancaster County, Communities in Schools, the staff and management of Walgreens in Lancaster and Indian Land and the residents of Lancaster County for their outpouring of support during our recent school supply drive.

    The Lancaster County Outreach Project was able to give 169 children of various grade levels school supplies so they could have a great start in the 2010-11 school year.  

  • The Lancaster County School District’s Celebrate Great Teaching Award presentations didn’t have the fanfare of past events, but nonetheless four outstanding educators were duly honored for their wonderful work.

    In recent years, the recipients were saluted during a special assembly in front of their peers to launch the new school term.

    This year, district officials still opted to honor the teachers, but the ceremony, as part of a cost-cutting measure with a furlough day, wasn’t held.

  • Today is the first official day of fall, also known as the autumnal equinox. That’s when the sun will be directly over the Earth’s equator, making the length of day and night equal from pole to pole.

    Fall is usually marked with cooler temperatures and vibrant beauty as the fall foliage puts on its annual colorful display.

    However, that colorful display could be impacted by the high temperatures and extreme dry spell we are experiencing. The weather forecast calls for extended heat, no rain and temperatures in the 90s.

  • A friend recently asked me who I was supporting in the 5th District Congressional race. It reminded me that I had the opportunity to play golf at a Lancaster County Chamber of Commerce function with Mick Mulvaney some years ago. I had some face time with him, off the record. He was a good golfer. However, my impression was that he was a lot further right than anything I wanted to be associated with. When I finished the round I resolved to keep as far from him as I could.

  • Some people believe Lancaster’s future is as a college town. One of them is Dr. John Catalano, dean at the University of South Carolina at Lancaster. He’s working to increase the size of USCL, which he believes will help transform Lancaster into a college town.

    The first step in expanding USCL is an $8 million classroom building, which the college hopes to break ground on within two years.

  • We, as a people, are quick to point a finger at other people not realizing that three fingers are pointed back in our own direction.

    I am a Democrat and I will support a Democrat ticket. I saw the signs on U.S. 521 concerning U.S. Rep. Spratt that said “Sack Spratt.”

    Everyone has an opinion. But I have a question. What will we be getting if Spratt does not go back into office? Once in office things start to change – sometimes for the better, sometimes for the worse.