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Opinion

  • Former Gov. Jim Hodges is one of South Carolina's greatest citizens. He is the type of leader who puts right ideas and right actions ahead of his own political well being.

    During his term as governor of South Carolina he wisely removed the Confederate flag from the state capital dome, signed the bill that recognized Martin Luther King's birthday as an official holiday and ended the legalization of the video poker industry which had plagued the weak and poor of his state even though he knew this would create political and economic ammunition for his powerful rivals.

  • They may not make headline stories all the time, but they make interesting conversations - those calls from our readers. The calls run the gamut - from sharing stories, sounding off, been done wrong, asking for favors and occasionally, praise.

    We value these conversations and encourage readers to keep in touch.

    The conversations reveal a glimpse of the newspaper life. We'd like to share a few with you.

    Sometimes, you just can't win

  • In what can accurately be described as the first big piece of legislation of the 2008 session, the S.C. House passed its version of immigration reform last week.

    The bill was a monster in scope, with at least 16 different sections. I will do my best to hit the highlights, recognizing that a thorough analysis would take many pages:

    Government contracts

  • Scotland is a world away from the eastern Lancaster County community of Buford, but that's about how far Anthony "T" Sutton has come in his budding youth golf career over a short period of time.

    A first-grade student at Buford Elementary School, Sutton, 7, took up the game as a toddler after receiving some toy clubs. From there, he's fashioned a stellar career as a young golfer.

    How good?

  • Early morning Jan. 27, the Indian Land community and Indian Land High School lost Derek Hammaker, an outstanding young man. I feel blessed to have taught Derek in auto technology classes for the past four years. He lived each day as an example of how life should be lived. Derek was a caring and well-respected member of our student body and our community.

  • State Rep. Fletcher Smith believes the state's drinking laws should be changed to allow anyone who is in the military to buy alcoholic drinks. Smith, a Democrat from Greenville, has introduced a bill in the state House that would allow a service member under 21 to show his or her military identification card to a bartender or store clerk to buy alcoholic beverages.

  • I am Mandy Powers Norrell. And I am running for S.C. Senate District 16. I was born and raised in this district. My whole life is along the Catawba River.

    For the past 270 years, my family has been right here - and we will be here 270 more. This is the land for which my ancestors fought the British. This is the land where my sixth great grandfather hosted George Washington.

    This is the land where my parents met and married. The land where they worked for Springs Mills for a combined 68 years - and made a good living and great opportunities for me.

  • First identified in 1852, the Carolina heelsplitter thrived in the Pee Dee, Catawba, Savannah and Saluda river systems of both North Carolina and South Carolina.

    More than 100 years of growth in the Charlotte area has altered the water quality such that only small colonies exist today. The heelsplitter was put on the Endangered Species list in 1993 and is federally protected.

  • I would like to thank Applebees for assisting Lancaster County First Steps with a very successful pancake fundraiser. Thanks also goes out to all the board members and volunteers who worked extremely hard on Jan. 26 to provide good service to those who visited Applebees for the great pancakes.

    Thanks also to all of the community members who purchased tickets and participated.

    This success shows the commitment of Lancaster County First Steps and the commitment of Lancaster's future - our children.

    Vicki Hinson

    Chair, Lancaster County First Steps

  • Years ago a television anchor would say, "It's 10:30 p.m. Do you know where your children are?" We have another question. What is a 13-year-old girl doing out on the streets at 3 a.m.?

    There she was, on a Heath Springs street, with seven other young people, said Vincent Webb, a Lancaster County Sheriff's deputy. Webb's job is to police the town of Heath Springs.

    Unless they are committing a crime there is nothing illegal about youngsters being out that time at night.

  • I noticed two headlines on the opinion page in the Jan. 30 edition of The Lancaster News that require comment.

  • We want to weigh in on the Presidential Preference Primaries in South Carolina. We could talk about how holding these primaries put us on the national stage, perhaps again helped the Republican Party pick its nominee, helped clarify the Democratic field, perhaps picked a president.

    We could talk about how fun it was for all those other towns to have candidates pass through, how cool it was to see three, four major debates held here.

    All that is important.

  • I went to Food Lion on Main Street recently and was shopping very carefully because I only had little money to spend.

    I have been out of work for several weeks now. It has been a tough time, but each day I see God's blessing and hand in my situation.

    As I went through the aisle I made sure I bought items that were on sale or were buy one, get one free. By doing so I was able to save $12 on a $31 purchase.

    When I went to check out there was a vase of six beautiful pink roses at the end of the checkout counter.

  • It is only fair to inform the trashy folks who drop their butts and bottles on Ussery Road that this is perilous action.

    The Marlboro Man could be fined $465 plus eight hours of community service, or if he's affluent, he may choose the $542 fine with no community service.

    And the Bud Lite and Diet Pepsi person could face the same fate if caught. What's worse, depending on the weight of litter dropped along the road, the trashy person may have to cough up a maximum of $1,050 in fines and risk having his or her vehicle seized.

    It's the law.

  • The news media continues in its quest to make the presidential primaries a racist contest. Granted, a bunch of Americans voted for Sen. Barack Obama because they feel comfortable with someone of their own skin color.

    Many years ago, all radios in black neighborhoods were tuned to Madison Square Garden where Joe Louis battled a white opponent for boxing world's championship.

    Forgotten, was the support of white fans when Joe took on Max Schmelling, a white man, but also a German citizen. Seems it was a case in favor of an American over a foreigner.

  • We can imagine how exciting it was for Indian Land Middle School students when they moved into their own school earlier this month. Principal David McDonald said move-in day was like like Christmas for the students.

    The new middle school in Indian Land is the old high school building. Its day as a high school ended last spring and Indian Land's bigger, better high school opened in the fall. The old high school under went extensive renovations to make it the new Indian Land Middle School.

  • An article appeared in the Charlotte Observer on Jan. 12, which attributed certain statements to me as quotes. I would like to explain what was actually said, as opposed to what appeared in the paper.

  • The family of Cpl. Charles "Charlie" E. Messer would like to express our heartfelt gratitude to everyone for all their thoughts, actions and prayers during this most difficult time for our family.

  • Five Lancaster County Schools recently produced shining moments. Three schools - Buford and Indian Land high schools along with Clinton Elementary - received the prestigious Palmetto Gold Award.

    The Discovery School and Erwin Elementary earned the Palmetto Silver Award.

    The prestigious awards are presented for academic excellence, the major purpose in education.

    The S.C. Education Oversight Committee developed the award criteria based on absolute and improvement ratings given to each school on the state's 2007 report cards.

  • I'm writing to let the citizens of Lancaster County know that my wife and I know Wilford Faile and his son, Barry Faile. Both men are fine people.

    Barry Faile is an upstanding citizen and member of this community with the knowledge to run our Sheriff's Office.

    He knows the job like the back of his hand and will work hard to the best of his ability.

    He has worked in many divisions while employed with the Sheriff's Office and understands they all have to work as a team to protect the safety and well-being of Lancaster County citizens.