• State ethics procedure precise and secretive

    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.

  • Opposition to Indian Land incorporation is mobilizing

    As Indian Land incorporation organizers pivot to a “vote yes” campaign after winning approval from a key legislative committee in Columbia last week, opponents are ramping up their efforts to persuade residents to “vote no” on the proposition.

  • Blackmon votes to give herself $6,750

    Newly installed Lancaster City Council member Linda Blackmon broke a 3-3 tie Tuesday night as the council granted her request for $6,750 in back pay, compensating her for the nine months when a legal challenge kept her from taking office.
    But her vote drew immediate scrutiny under South Carolina’s ethics statute, which says public officials must recuse themselves on any vote “that affects their own economic interests.”

  • Archie Parnell again seeks 5th District seat

    Archie Parnell, who lost a close special election for the 5th Congressional District in June, will run again in 2018, he announced Monday.
    The Sumter Democrat will challenge incumbent Republican Ralph Norman, who won the seat after Mick Mulvaney vacated it to become President Trump’s budget director.

  • 2 Democrats running for governor

    Two Democrats say they are running to challenge Republican Gov. Henry McMaster when he runs in 2018.
    S.C. Rep. James Smith of Columbia announced his candidacy Monday, and Charleston businessman Phil Noble will officially unveil his plans Wednesday, according to the Charleston Post and Courier. Noble will challenge Smith for the minority party’s nomination.
    Besides McMaster, three Republicans have declared their candidacies – Lt. Gov. Kevin Bryant, former state agency head Catherine Templeton, and former Lt. Gov. Yancey McGill.

  • Blackmon seeks $6,750 in back pay

    Newly sworn in Lancaster City Council member Linda Blackmon has requested back pay for the nine months she would have served on the council if Jackie Harris had not sued her over the 2016 election results.
    Blackmon wants $6,750 in back pay, according to the agenda for Tuesday night’s city council meeting, which was set to begin after press time.
    Blackmon’s request got mixed reviews Tuesday afternoon.

  • I’ll just click here for my water bill – Oh, my word!

    If you’re looking for mild-mannered municipal information and log onto www.townofkershaw.net, you’re in for a shock.
    Someone has taken over the town’s domain name and transformed it into a porn site.
    Kershaw Town Councilman Eddie Coates discovered the change in August when he was preparing to file for reelection.
    “I was just trying to see what I needed to do,” he said. “I went to the county’s website, clicked on our link, and well, there it was.

  • Blackmon takes city council oath

    Linda Blackmon was sworn in Sunday as a member of Lancaster City Council, marking the end of an 11-month battle with defeated incumbent Jackie Harris over the 2016 District 3 election.
    The S.C. Supreme Court unanimously affirmed Blackmon’s win on Sept. 7, and last Thursday it unanimously denied Harris’ motion to reconsider the ruling.
    Under S.C. law, Harris was allowed to retain the District 3 seat until her protest of Blackmon’s Nov. 8 election victory was fully adjudicated in the state courts.

  • Eliminating door-to-door sales hassles

    County leaders are trying to come up with an ordinance to address pesky door-to-door peddlers who show up uninvited or refuse to leave when asked.
    It’s become a real issue for residents in Sun City Carolina Lakes, said Lancaster County Council member Terry Graham.
    “I’ve gotten a number of complaints, too, from the subdivisions near the state line,” said council member Brian Carnes, who like Graham represents Indian Land. “A lot of them come in from North Carolina, and when you ask them to leave, they won’t leave….

  • Howard tangles with council members in tense exchange

    At Tuesday’s Lancaster City Council meeting, council members Gonzie Mackey, Kenny Hood and Tamara Green Garris got into a testy exchange with Mayor John Howard about his recent stroke and an earlier council vote.
    After the heated words, Garris, the mayor pro tem, tried to calm the waters.  
    “We want to be respectful towards each other,” she said, “and we don’t want the public to think we’re up here fussing and fighting all the time.”