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Columns

  • 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.

  • Commentary: Graham: Giving up on the wall might end Trump’s presidency

    Editor’s note: Sen. Graham appeared on Fox News Wednesday night to insist that Republicans back President Trump on border-wall funding. He suggested a compromise with the Democrats that would end the federal shutdown, fund the wall and give work permits to undocumented immigrants who qualify under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Here are excerpts of his interview with Fox’s Sean Hannity, who begins with a reference to the Dec. 26 killing of California police Cpl. Ronil Singh, allegedly by an undocumented immigrant.

  • Column: Pot of unspent gas-tax-hike money grows to nearly $361M

    As of the end of October, nearly $361 million in collected gas-tax-hike revenues had not been spent – 16 months after the law authorizing the increases went into effect, recently released records show.
    The $360.9 million balance represented about 45 percent of the $802.2 million in project commitments identified by the state Department of Transportation – an online list that grows monthly, though it doesn’t give specifics on the work to be done. The unspent funds grew by more than 6 percent from the end of September, records show.

  • Column: Many thanks to all who helped with Stevens Park playground

    I am remembering the blessings of this past year, and one of those biggest blessings to me has been the completion of the new destination playground in Stevens Park. Walking through the playground again yesterday, I marveled at the amazing design and construction of this new playground, and the wonderful play and development opportunities that it affords for the children of our community and the enhancement of the park for the entire community. It makes my heart smile! God is good to us!