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Government

  • Abortion, guns and medical marijuana off the table in ’19

    Several high-profile bills fell short of the crossover deadline in the South Carolina 2019 legislative session.
    The crucial deadline, April 10, is the last day a bill can pass out of one chamber and move forward to the other during the five-month session.
    Although it’s possible for these bills to still pass, it’s unlikely – especially without considerable bipartisan support. They may pass when the General Assembly reconvenes in January.

    Medical marijuana

  • New year brings new S.C. laws

    With the start of the new year, a number of S.C. laws took effect. Here a several that you might want to know about.

    Gas tax
    This is the first year you can file for a tax credit related to the gas-tax increase passed last year.
    Last July, state legislators approved a 2-cent increase in the gas tax and another 2-cent hike for each of the next five years, for a total of 12 cents.

  • It's official!

    Recently elected county council members Allen Blackmon, Larry Honeycutt and Charlene McGriff were sworn into office by Clerk of Court Jeff Hammond on Monday at the county administration building. Council also chose officers to leadership positions for two-year terms. Steve Harper was elected chairman, McGriff vice chair and Honeycutt secretary.

  • Council salutes Estridge after 16 years of service

    Banging the gavel to conclude a Lancaster County Council meeting is an obligation that’s usually handled by its leader.
    But last Monday, council Chairman Steve Harper shifted that duty to Jack Estridge to mark the District 6 council member’s last meeting as an elected official.
    “He’s been a valuable asset,” Harper said, noting that Dec. 10 was declared Jack Estridge Day in the county to honor his years of public service. Harper figured that Estridge had taken part in at least 368 meetings during his 16 years in office.

  • S.C. regulators OK Dominion’s SCANA buyout

    COLUMBIA – The S.C. Public Service Commission unanimously voted Friday to allow Dominion Energy to purchase SCANA, the parent of South Carolina Electric and Gas, making ratepayers responsible for another $2.7 billion for the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.
    The deal, a $14.6 billion takeover, has been in limbo for the past year, as lawmakers initially put the merger on hold in February, a month after Dominion announced initial plans to buy SCE&G.

  • Lowest animal-shelter bid tops estimate by $500,000

    County officials were hopeful to break ground on a new 8,600-square-foot animal shelter next spring, but the project now faces a major snag after the lowest bid came in $500,000 over budget. 
    Now, they’re trying to figure how to trim the costs back and keep the project on track as much as possible.

  • 3 city council candidates pitch ideas for jump-starting Main St.

    The incumbents in the two contested Lancaster City Council races skipped Tuesday’s candidate forum, leaving three challengers to pitch their ideas for reviving Main Street and coping with the city’s financial challenges.
    Mike DeMarco, an IT supervisor at Companion Data Services, and Craft Stand owner Don Geraghty debated as challengers to incumbent Hazel Taylor in District 5.

  • 6 competing for 2 city council seats

    There are newcomers aplenty competing for the available Lancaster City Council seats this fall, with four candidates challenging the incumbents in Districts 2 and 5.
    Don Geraghty, Mike DeMarco and James “Butch” Flynn are vying for incumbent Hazel Taylor’s seat. District 2 incumbent Gonzie Mackey faces Jimmy Sweatt. District 1 incumbent Kenny Hood has no opposition.

  • District 45 issues: Jobs, growth, teacher pay

    A low-key race for the S.C. House District 45 seat is hitting its final stretch, with both candidates scheduled to appear at public forums twice in the next week.
    GOP incumbent Brandon Newton of Lancaster and his opponent, Democrat Corin Buskey of Rock Hill, have been campaigning mostly by putting up road signs and attending house parties and small community gatherings.

  • Heavy absentee voting for midterm

    If requests for absentee ballots are an accurate gauge, there is going to be a heavier turnout than usual for the Nov. 6 midterm general election.
    S.C. Election Commission spokesman Chris Whitmire said Friday that 45,000-plus state voters have applied for absentee ballots.
    “At this point in the process in 2014, the last gubernatorial election, approximately 30,000 voters had applied for absentee ballots statewide,” Whitmire said in a statement.
    “Without a doubt, it’s up,” said Lancaster County Elections Director Mary Ann Hudson.