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Columns

  • Column: Newton lays out checklist for changing S.C. schools

    As the General Assembly reconvenes, it looks like two major issues will dominate this session. Though very little specific legislation has been filed on these topics yet, these issues will likely begin to take the form of legislation in the coming weeks. Here is a preview of these topics and my thoughts on each:
    Education Reform  

  • Column: 4-H initiative builds leadership among Lancaster County youth

    Last year, more than a dozen local 4-H participants joined a youth leadership initiative called 4-H LEAD.
    The program is intended to grow young 4-Hers’ leadership skills and improve the community through the abilities of driven youth. It provides a paid internship with the 4-H office for two participants from each county, Lancaster and Chester, who have excelled in the program.

  • Column: Gregory answers road questions aplenty

    The struggle to maintain and expand our state’s roads is akin to the war against the Axis in 1942, six months after Pearl Harbor.
    Our armed forces had been underfunded and neglected for decades, so the ramp up to a sufficient fighting force was slow, but moving forward. Still, it seemed bad news outweighed good at the time.

  • Column: Taxes on residential property due Jan. 15

    While many of us are recovering from the holidays and are looking forward to a busy 2019, it’s important that county homeowners remember the residential property tax deadline is coming soon.
    All residential property taxes are due in our office by Jan. 15. The late penalties can be costly, so please don’t be late.

  • Column: Foot-dragging by council has hiked cost of animal shelter

    For more than two years, the Lancaster County Council has been promising to build a new animal shelter to replace the current one dating from the 1970s. They insisted that the new shelter was Priority One.
    At the last Infrastructure and Regulations Committee meeting of 2018, it was decided that the shelter construction bids were too high by $300,000 to $500,000, and committee members wanted to consider cost-cutting measures before accepting one of the bids.

  • Column: Federal report shows how Texas shooter eluded background check

    I have previously written about bureaucratic failures that have been the enabling cause in many – but not all – mass shootings.
    I want to take a few minutes to go into some detail on the Nov. 5, 2017, killings at First Baptist Church of Sutherland Springs, Texas.

  • Column: Grandstanding politicians hurt huge number of federal workers

    The hundreds of thousands of federal workers who have been furloughed are not connected to politics. It doesn’t matter whether there is a Republican sitting in the Oval Office or a Democrat. They work just as hard.
    They have no power to decide whether funding for a wall is awarded or withheld. Nor did they have a say on any of the other issues that have been the excuse for government shutdowns in past administrations. They are just innocent pawns who are being harmed by the grandstanding of power politics.

  • Column: Graham’s ideas on immigrants are more show than substance

    This is in response to the commentary in last Friday’s paper featuring an interview by Fox News host Sean Hannity of Sen. Lindsey Graham.
    First, Mr. Hannity revealed an all-too-familiar and appalling ignorance – in this case, about immigration and the so-called crisis at the border. His introduction in the article was full of falsehoods and hysteria that we need so much less of, as a nation.

  • A citizen’s guide to state FOIA protections

    South Carolina’s Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) makes records and meetings of public bodies open and available to citizens and their representatives in the press.
    This openness is important because it allows the public to learn about the performance of public officials and the expenditure of public funds.

  • Column: Road repairs, or more lanes on interstates?

    A proposal by a longtime S.C. senator would siphon off millions of dollars that lawmakers promised would go toward fixing the state’s crumbling roads and bridges, instead earmarking that money for widening interstates.
    It also could be a way around what the state transportation chief previously has described as a funding problem for interstate projects because of pending court challenges.