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Today's Opinions

  • 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.

  • Letter: Thanks to partners in Shoebox for Seniors

    In December 2018, the Lancaster County Council on Aging sponsored its annual Shoebox for Seniors project. The response is always amazing, thanks to a whole lot of people in Lancaster County.
    Everyone who participates in this project puts a lot of time and love into the gifts that they give, and the seniors who receive these gifts appreciate them more than you will ever know. The gifts are given to the seniors who receive home-delivered meals and to those who come to our senior centers for lunch and activities.

  • Letter: Help me with book on Preston Blackmon

    I just recently moved back to Lancaster. I was born and reared here by my parents, the late Rev. Preston Blackmon and Wilma Myers Blackmon. I graduated from Lancaster High in 1975.
    Truly, there is no place like home.
    Since last year, the spirit of the Lord has placed it in my heart to write a book about my dad. He is, of course, no stranger to the city and county of Lancaster, having made so many contributions here in his lifetime.

  • 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.

  • Letter: Taking offense at term ‘gone south’

    I am a lifelong resident of South Carolina, and at least seven generations of my ancestors have lived in the South. So the South has the feel of home and is dear to me.
    I am not saying I am any more special than any of the recent populace that came from other areas of our country. As a matter of fact, I welcome them and wish for them the pleasure and enjoyment I derive from being a Southerner.   

  • 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.