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Noted and passed - March 3, 2014

Posted: February 28, 2014 12:26 p.m.
Updated: March 3, 2014 5:00 a.m.


• It was good, if still mixed, news from KershawHealth a week ago that January’s financials looked a bit better than they have recently. The healthcare organization still posted a loss for the month -- as it has every month for some time now -- but only of $84,000. Compare that to $902,000 in losses for October 2013 alone and that is very good news. KershawHealth has a long way to go to combat a projected $32 million in operational losses by Fiscal Year 2018, less than five years away. However, last week’s meeting also revealed that the KershawHealth Board of Trustees and administrators will focus a new strategic plan on six areas: outpatient and emergency services, orthopedic and sports medicine, surgical services, cardiac services, women’s and children’s services, and quality initiatives. Hopefully, with interim CEO Terry Gunn’s guidance, the strategic plan will put the hospital on firmer footing for the future.

• A tip of the C-I cap to Cody and Amy Blackmon, and VFW Post 5928 for naming them the post’s Law Enforcement Officer and Emergency Medical Assistant of the Year. As reported several weeks ago, the Blackmons came up on an accident in October where a North Carolina soldier was injured after his motorcycle was struck by a pick-up truck that crossed into his lane. The soldier lost his leg, but the Blackmons saved his life. A great story capped by a deserving pair of awards.

• Last week’s revelation that Kershaw County Council’s “Project Chem” is a fee-in-lieu-of-taxes (FILOT) agreement with WeylChem also came as good news for the community. In exchange for the FILOT agreement, WeylChem says it will invest $10.8 million to create 49 new jobs and purchase new equipment. According to a press release, the company said the equipment will include computer controls to “better serve the chemical industry in a more environmentally friendly way.” Considering some pollution and safety issues at the Elgin plant during the last few years -- including a ruptured container in September 2012 that injured two workers -- the environmental measures and additional jobs are welcome news, indeed.

• Finally, another tip of the cap to Parker Gibson, who proves that, even with health problems, as long as you’ve got the right attitude and good humor, life doesn’t stop at 73. Gibson is the well-known owner of the recently closed Springdale Antiques store on South Broad Street. While that included a retail component, most of his work during the last 40 years was labor-intensive: restoring antebellum Southern furniture for clients all over Kershaw County and beyond. Gibson’s still at it, too, making sure clients know that when they call the old store’s number, they’re reaching him on his cell phone. A definite role model for young and old alike.



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