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Columns

  • Guest Column: State agencies are sitting on large reserves

    If the S.C. House decided to forgo its entire $22.7 million budget this fiscal year, it could still pay all of its expected bills – with more than $650,000 left over.
    That’s because the 124-member chamber carried over nearly $23.4 million in general funds into this fiscal year for its operations, state comptroller general records show. And the legislative body isn’t the only state agency with fat taxpayer-funded reserves, a review by The Nerve found.

  • Guest Column: News has changed, but real journalists are still out there

    Once upon a time, having a job at a newspaper meant working in one of the most imposing buildings in town, inhaling the acrid aroma of fresh ink and the dusty breath of cheap newsprint and feeling mini-earthquakes under our feet every time the presses started to roll.
    Today, many newspapers are ditching the imposing buildings for low-rent storefronts and have outsourced the printing. Those could be the newspapers that are left.

  • Commentary: Congressman’s wife had ‘heart of gold, spine of steel’

    Editor’s note: Dr. Emily England Clyburn, wife of our state’s senior member of Congress, died Thursday in Columbia at age 80.
    Clyburn, known to most as Ms. Emily, was born near Moncks Corner. She met Jim Clyburn, now the U.S. House majority whip, in jail when he was imprisoned for civil-rights activism while they were students at S.C. State College. They were married 58 years. This year they established the Dr. Emily England Clyburn Honors College Scholarship Endowment.

  • Guest Column: Big DOT payouts for pothole claims

    In January 2016, a driver swerved around a pothole on Bate Harvey Road in York County, crossed the center line and hit an oncoming vehicle, court records show.
    The S.C. Department of Transportation last year paid, through the state Insurance Reserve Fund, $150,000 in damages and $26,592 in legal expenses to defend the agency in that case, according to IRF records.

  • Guest Column: Killing GOP primary just plain dumb

    As I wrestle with how to most clearly express my opinion on the decision to cancel next year’s S.C. Republican presidential primary, one word comes to mind: Dumb.
    For those who don’t know, here’s background: On Sept. 7 the executive committee of the S.C. Republican Party, by voice vote, changed the party rules in order to forgo a 2020 presidential primary, which likely would have been held in February. This means South Carolina’s 50 votes at next summer’s National Republican Convention will be automatically cast for President Trump.

  • Guest Column: San Francisco wrongheaded about NRA

    California has been long known to be a land of fruits, nuts and flakes.
    Current events indicate that nothing has changed. In fact, the situation appears to have deteriorated significantly.
    The action taken by the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco on Sept. 3 clearly demonstrates that the human feces that have become so widespread on the streets of this once beautiful city have made their way into the chambers of the board.

  • Guest Column: S.C. needs to defend Electoral College

    How should we elect the president of the United States?
    This was a settled question for most of American history, but today the system is under attack. A California-based campaign wants to throw out the old rules and replace them with a system that would benefit the biggest cities, dismiss small states like South Carolina and create new opportunities for stolen elections.

  • Guest Column: Public agencies in S.C. spend $1M to lobby state officials

    For the first half of this year, North Myrtle Beach agreed to pay a total of $120,000 to a lobbying firm to “work with” the legislature and governor’s office on the city’s behalf, including a push for a law allowing a local sales tax for infrastructure projects, according to a retainer agreement.

  • Guest Column: Senior year coincides with 9/11 anniversary

    At my house we are entering another senior year. As senior years go, I consider myself fairly experienced. I’ve relished in and endured a handful so far (if we’re counting my own and my husband’s). And that’s only high school. College is another story.
    But this senior year is special, and not just because my last and final child is (hopefully) graduating in the spring. This senior year is special because of what happened to all of us 18 years ago.

  • Guest Column: Southern 500 getting plenty of tax dollars

    The thousands of fans who attended the Bojangles’ Southern 500 at Darlington Raceway this month aren’t the only folks supporting the annual NASCAR race.
    For years, taxpayers have subsidized the private stock-car racetrack dubbed “The Track Too Tough to Tame.” State comptroller general records, for example, show that the S.C. Department of Parks, Recreation and Tourism (PRT) has paid the raceway a collective $500,000 since fiscal 2010, including $150,000 – the single-highest annual amount – last fiscal year.