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Columns

  • Column: Consultant fees soar in nuclear facility fiasco

    Since the 2017 collapse of the V.C. Summer nuclear project – which the legislature made possible through a quietly passed law 10 years earlier – lawmakers and state utility regulators collectively have spent at least $729,000 on consultants hired to give them advice or issue reports.

  • Column: Trail money not enough to construct fire stations

    The current proposal by District 4 county council member Larry Honeycutt to reverse the Unified Development Ordinance requirement that subdivision builders along the path of the Carolina Thread Trail fund its construction is shortsighted and misguided.
    Indian Land needs more recreation opportunities for its fast-growing population, not less. Mr. Honeycutt’s conclusions that we can better use trail money to build fire stations and libraries is ludicrous on its face.

  • Column: S.C. broadens what qualifies for criminal expungement

    No one wants to go through a lifetime being penalized for something they did wrong when they were 18 or 20 years old.
    Imagine you’re 35, 40 or even 50, with children and a family, and you have never been able to get a good job with wages sufficient to support yourself or your loved ones. All because your criminal record keeps you locked in the past.
    S.C. law offers an expungement process that removes items from a person’s criminal record, restoring hope and a second chance to those who have made mistakes in the past and paid their debt to society.

  • Column: County GOP keeps gaining local offices

    Thanks to Lancaster County voters, 2018 was the fifth election in a row where Republicans gained offices in Lancaster County, continuing the trend that began with the historic election of former Congressman Mick Mulvaney.
    In less than 10 years, a county that was once a key Upstate Democratic stronghold is now one of the most Republican in South Carolina.

  • Column: Let’s stick with the UDO as is, protect Carolina Thread Trail

    Lancaster County is about to undo one of the most progressive actions this county has undertaken. Our own lawmakers are considering changes to the Carolina Thread Trail Overlay District.
    Most Lancaster County residents are unaware of the treasure that is contained in the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO), which was passed in 2016. It includes a zoning overlay for the Carolina Thread Trail requiring that if a property is part of the master plan, then the developer is responsible for building the trail.

  • Column: Why I back long-overdue education reform

    Seldom does being the youngest member of the General Assembly give me insights that my colleagues lack, but as the legislature begins work on education reform, youth gives me a unique perspective on this important undertaking.
    I have seen firsthand the changes our school systems have gone through in the last two decades, and I understand what makes our schools great but also where we have failed. This is why I support House Bill 3759, the South Carolina Career Opportunity and Access for All Act.

  • Column: Magistrates on short leashes with ‘holdover’ status in effect

    In South Carolina, state senators largely control the selection of more than 300 county magistrates, who handle thousands of relatively minor criminal and civil cases annually.
    That power is amplified when magistrates finish their terms without being reappointed, a period known as “holdover” status in which they can serve indefinitely – and potentially feel more pressure to please their local senators.

  • Column: GOP must explicitly condemn obvious racism of Steve King

    Over the past two years, Republicans have focused on spreading opportunity, and it has paid dividends.
    From the creation of opportunity zones in some of our nation’s most distressed communities to amazing job-creation statistics and low unemployment rates, there’s no doubt that the future is brightening for many Americans.

  • Column: A night of high-flying hoops, fun for a cause: Fatherhood

    In three weeks, the Lancaster Fatherhood Project will hold its signature fundraising event of the year, and today I’m asking for your help and participation.
    Our mission is to help men become responsible, engaged and empowered fathers. While we work to strengthen men, the real beneficiary of our program is their children, their other relatives and our entire community.
    We are Lancaster County’s only nonprofit that provides a holistic approach to self-assessment, goal-setting and responsible fatherhood in a peer-group setting.

  • Column: U.S. agency tries to limit FOIA access

    The U.S. Interior Department is trying to make it more difficult for any citizen to request open records, and the National Newspaper Association has joined 39 other news organizations to oppose this.
    The department, which includes such agencies as the National Park Service, the Bureau of Land Management and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, has proposed rules changes for how it administers the federal Freedom of Information Act.
The changes would make it harder for journalists and other citizens to get information.
    The proposal would: