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Columns

  • Column: It’s the state, not the county, with that pot of unclaimed cash

    I’ve been contacted recently by a lot of Lancaster County residents about the state’s Unclaimed Property Program, which has over $650 million of unclaimed assets belonging to S.C. residents who, for some reason or another, can’t be contacted.
    The Lancaster News reported last month that this program has more than 1,700 accounts of unclaimed funds worth $500 or more that belong to Lancaster County residents.

  • Column: Come on, David, leave some newspapers for the rest of us

    About 10 miles from home, on the way to David Knight’s house, I decided to pick up The Lancaster News on Feb. 17.
    But to my amazement, at every rack I went to, there were no papers to be found. Another guy that was also looking to buy a newspaper told me he thought it was because David Knight had bought all the newspapers he could get his hands on! Possibly to give them to all of his extended family, relatives and friends all over the United States and other countries.

  • Column: Agency favors bill that would up its revenues

    The S.C. Commerce Department has paid $2.9 million since fiscal 2015 to a state-created nonprofit that listed $69 million in net assets as of June 30 and now wants lawmakers to double its main funding source.
    Asked for specifics on the money paid to the Columbia-based S.C. Research Authority, Commerce spokeswoman Alex Clark said the department and SCRA have been “involved in a number of partnerships over the last several years,” including:

  • Column: This Saturday, learn how to make a difference in our neighborhoods

    You can make a difference.
    Back in 2008, Forbes Magazine published a list of the top ten most distressed towns in America, and Lancaster topped the list. The outcry from the community was loud and urgent. In fact, “We Are Lancaster” signs can still be found dangling from fence posts and buildings scattered about town.

  • 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.