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Columns

  • Column: Spearman’s substitute teaching gig no substitute for leadership

    Teachers all across South Carolina left their classrooms Wednesday to come to Columbia and lobby the General Assembly to adopt meaningful education reforms.
    State Education Superintendent Molly Spearman announced that she saw the effort by teachers as abandoning their students, so she planned to spend the day as a substitute teacher.
    Spearman’s problem, like that of many of the members of the legislature, is that she sees the teacher mobilization solely as an effort by teachers for more pay and better working conditions.

  • Column: Give Local: Joining hands to strengthen communities

    As part of our commitment to build and sustain a healthy community for all people, we at the city of Lancaster, the Lancaster County Community Foundation, Lancaster County Partners for Youth and the J. Marion Sims Foundation are pleased to support the fourth-annual Give Local Lancaster campaign this Tuesday.
    Give Local Lancaster is our day of giving, designed to empower individuals all over the world to give back to the organizations that make our local community a better place to live, learn, work and play.

  • Column: Take time to honor our fallen law officers

    My son Brent would have been 50 years old this past Thursday.
    He was born May 2, 1969, and grew up wanting to be a law officer like my father, Doc Estridge. Daddy retired from the Lancaster police and then helped the county at the jail.
    On Sept. 2, 1992, Deputy James Brent McCants was murdered while on duty in York County. He was shot seven times during a traffic stop on Dave Lyle Boulevard. Just one bullet missed him.
    He was 23 years old.

  • Column: Senate, House OK hefty hikes to finance their own operations

    As S.C. lawmakers head into the final weeks of adopting an approximately $30 billion state budget for next fiscal year, their taxpayer-funded goody bag keeps growing bigger.
    For years, lawmakers have slipped in funding requests – often for their own pet projects – through obscure state budget provisos. This budget cycle is no different.

  • Column: Raise your financial literacy starting with these easy steps

    Did you know that April is Financial Literacy Month? It’s a good time to remind individuals regardless of their age about the importance of making good financial decisions.
    From the internet to iPhone applications, information on how to best manage your money for the future is easily accessible, yet the statistics on financial literacy rates in America are alarming. More than half of American adults can’t pass a test on basic financial issues, according to a survey by Raddon.

  • Column: Ex-legislator, his sister and $1M vets program

    In 2017, S.C. Rep. Mike Pitts pushed for state funding to launch a veterans’ therapy program that his sister positioned herself to manage and was overseen by the state agency that employed her for years, an investigation by The Nerve has found.
    Two years and $1 million later, the therapy program, called “Herd 2 Human” and operated by Jeff Patterson at his Willowbend Farm in Clinton, Mont., is yet to be implemented in South Carolina. The program involves veterans interacting with horses to help them deal with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.

  • Column: Luring business: Are state’s millions well spent?

    In recent years, state lawmakers annually have earmarked a total of nearly $5 million to eight regional economic development organizations, presumably to help attract new companies to South Carolina.
    But whether taxpayers are getting significant, verifiable returns on their investment is questionable, The Nerve found in a review of required annual reports from four of the groups to the S.C. Department of Commerce.

  • Column: A new state retirement plan – for private employees?

    A bill filed last month (H.4258) would create a state retirement plan for private employees. The 401(K) style plan, called the Palmetto Work and Save Plan, would be available for employees of private businesses, nonprofits and even those who are self-employed.
    Individuals who work for private businesses would be automatically enrolled unless they opted out, and the default employee contribution would be 6 percent of the individual’s paycheck.

  • Column: Come help clean up Kershaw on April 27

    One of the things that Kershaw Heart & Soul is identifying from the community that matters most to them is having a community that is litter- free.
    One of the first things Kershaw Mayor Mark Dorman said to me is “something needs to be done about the amount of litter in Kershaw.”  
    Litter has been seen in streams, parks and largely on the side of the roads right here in the Town of Kershaw.  

  • Column: Bill would create another guarantee for utility debt

    A bill currently in a S.C. Senate subcommittee would guarantee a refinancing of SCANA’s debt by authorizing a new ratepayer charge.
    Under S.110, the Public Service Commission (PSC – the utility regulatory body accountable to lawmakers) could authorize SCANA to refinance its remaining debt from the failed nuclear project, or to refinance utility costs from natural disasters. The process is called securitization, and the debt would be guaranteed by law.