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Columns

  • Column: Norman: Disabled 1st responders deserve lifetime tax-exempt status

    There are people among us who make sacrifices. People who pay the ultimate price not for prestige, power or glory – but for strangers in need.
    Sometimes, these men and women are found abroad or on our military bases keeping us safe. Often, they are found right next door. These are our first responders, our neighborhood heroes who go to work every day with the full knowledge that they might not return home.
    Nationwide in the second half of 2018 alone, nearly 700 first responders were permanently disabled or killed in the line of duty.

  • Column: Are S.C. officials shirking oversight of state payouts to private groups?

    In 2006, lawmakers approved spending $700,000 in the fiscal 2007 state budget to help the private Erskine College establish the John Drummond Center for Statesmanship – to be named after the longtime senator who retired from the legislature in 2008.
    A budget proviso authorizing the funding required the Abbeville County liberal arts college to give a written report to the House Ways and Means and Senate Finance committees and the then-state Budget and Control Board on how it spent the state funds.
    That apparently never happened.

  • Column: Palmetto Y slow to fix pool issue in Fort Mill

    I have been a member of what once was the Springs Recreation Center in Fort Mill, now known as the YMCA at the Complex, since 2010. In 2017, we thought we were going to lose the recreation center, and we banded together and did whatever we could to save the facility.
    This center has been more a community center than a sports complex to many people. This is where friends were made, and kept, for many, many years.

  • Column: Help collect the 8 missing photos of S.C. soldiers killed in Vietnam

    The names of the 896 South Carolinians killed in the Vietnam War are engraved for history on the polished Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C.
    The Wall has helped heal the nation’s wounds and honor Vietnam veterans.

  • 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.