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Government

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Harris responds on paying Blackmon’s legal expenses

By Mark Manicone

Ex-Lancaster City Council member Jackie Harris has filed a rebuttal to council member Linda Blackmon’s motion asking that Harris be forced to pay Blackmon’s legal fees resulting from the challenge to the 2016 election results.
Harris’ attorney, Elizabeth Hyatt, disputed Blackmon’s claim in an Oct. 13 motion that the election protest was “frivolous” and filed solely to keep her from taking office.


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Kershaw meeting on cleaning up old Springs site draws big crowd

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – Nancy Watson wants the abandoned Springs Industries Kershaw Plant property on the north side of town cleaned up.
She is tired and frustrated over the 9.1-acre eyesore that paints an unflattering image of the town and its citizens.
“It was a nice clean mill, a nice clean mill village, and we were never afraid to go out at night,” Watson said Tuesday night during a question/answer community meeting held at her beloved Kershaw Second Baptist Church.


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Council rescinds vote on $6,750 in back pay

Blackmon: ‘I wasn’t thinking straight’

By Mark Manicone

Backtracking on Linda Blackmon’s back pay, the Lancaster City Council denied her request for a $6,750 payment from the city Tuesday night, after which she declared she “wasn’t thinking straight” when she cast the deciding vote two weeks earlier to give herself the money.
That Oct. 10 vote appeared to violate state ethics law, which prohibits public officials from voting on matters that “affect their own economic interests.”


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Tamara Garris: Give council member ‘opportunity to fix her mistake’

Council rethinks Blackmon back pay

By Mark Manicone

Lancaster City Council is reconsidering its Oct. 10 vote on council member Linda Blackmon’s $6,750 in back pay for the nine months when her taking the District 3 seat was delayed by a legal challenge.
This comes after ethics questions were raised because Blackmon did not recuse herself from the vote on the payment. Her yes vote broke a 3-3 tie at the Oct. 10 council meeting.
Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Green Garris requested the motion to reconsider, to be discussed at Tuesday night’s council meeting, which began after press time.


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Kershaw calls meeting to discuss contamination

By Greg Summers

KERSHAW – Kershaw’s attempt to get abandoned Springs Mills property declared a brownfield site is gaining traction.
A community meeting to discuss health hazards stemming from the site is 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Kershaw’s Second Baptist Church.
The town is applying for federal dollars from the Environmental Protection Agency to clean up the 9.1-acre eyesore, and the public meeting is part of the process.
“We’re trying to get as many people involved as possible,” said Town Administrator Mitch Lucas.


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Pension quirk forces town to up salaries for part-timers

By Greg Summers

HEATH SPRINGS – Faced with the likelihood of losing the town’s five part-time employees, the Heath Springs Town Council voted Tuesday night to give them an across-the-board 9 percent pay raise.
But hang on: that doesn’t mean the employees will be bringing home more money.
It’s to offset the 9 percent contribution that the part-time workers must start paying into the state retirement system.


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Republican political consultant Richard Quinn Sr., 4 others indicted

State House corruption scandal widens

By Greg Summers

South Carolina’s corruption scandal took another leap forward Wednesday, as powerful GOP political consultant Richard Quinn Sr. was indicted on criminal conspiracy charges.
A state grand jury lodged criminal conspiracy indictments against Quinn, his son, suspended S.C. Rep. Rick Quinn, suspended state Sen. John Courson and former lawmakers Tracy Edge and Jim Harrison.


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Van Wyck council candidates face off

By Greg Summers

VAN WYCK – The priority for Van Wyck’s first town council won’t be the nuts-and-bolts decisions about how to run the town, though those will have to be made.
It will be expediting voluntary annexations and considering involuntarily annexations to block property around the town from getting gobbled up in the Indian Land incorporation battle.
Van Wyck’s single mayoral candidate and nine town council candidates spent most of Thursday’s 90-plus minute public forum talking about annexation.


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Absentee voting has started in our 3 municipal elections

By Greg Summers

Absentee voting for the upcoming nonpartisan Heath Springs, Kershaw and Van Wyck town council races is now open.
Qualified voters may cast absentee ballots in person from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. weekdays at the county voter registration office on the lower level of the Lancaster County Administration Building, 101 N. Main St.
To request an absentee paper ballot application by phone, call the voting office at (803) 285-2969.
The Heath Springs and Kershaw town council elections are Nov. 7.


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State ethics procedure precise and secretive

By Mark Manicone

As one legal challenge involving the Lancaster City Council ends, another might pop up in its place.
Tuesday night’s vote to approve a $6,750 payment to newly installed council member Linda Blackmon – a vote that she participated in – has raised issues under South Carolina’s ethics statute.


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