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Noted and passed - March 17, 2014

Posted: March 14, 2014 9:17 a.m.
Updated: March 17, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• It’s great to see our local law enforcement officers recognized for their excellent work keeping our communities safe. In the last two weeks, we’ve written about two Kershaw County deputies and four Camden Police officers honored either by their own organizations, Camden American Legion Post No. 17 or the S.C. Law Enforcement Network (SCLEN). The Camden Police Department (CPD) honored patrol officers John Patton and Penny Lloyd as its Officer of the Year and Wilson Clyburn award winners, respectively -- Patton for his desire to learn; Lloyd for her ability to connect with the public. In addition, Post 17 named CPD Capt. Mike Stone as its Officer of the Year for pulling double duty when another captain was laid up from a car accident. Post 17 also named Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Deputy Jarrett Greenway as its Deputy of the Year for apprehending a suspected narcotics trafficker. Meanwhile, the SCLEN named KCSO Deputy Kyle Hewitt as its 5th Judicial Circuit Officer of the Year, and CPD Sgt. James Steele as a runner-up, for their efforts in combating driving under the influence. A big C-I salute to all of them and to their respective agencies for the work they do every day for all our citizens.

• Speaking of law enforcement, it was good to learn that a man KCSO and CPD officers chased down in 2011 will spend the next 50 years in prison for his role in a massive crime spree that ended with the murder of a county man. Frank Terrance Singleton III pled guilty Wednesday just as his case was about to go to trial. His four accomplices are still sitting in jail waiting for their turn before judge and jury. Singleton and one of his accomplices, Randy Arthur Lewis, still face yet other charges -- including murder -- for a fatal 2008 home invasion. With having to spend his jail time day for day, at 26, Singleton will be 76 before he can be released from prison. That’s a lifetime and, short of the death penalty, a fitting sentence for taking a life and shattering others.

• Having a baby is one of the most precious memories any parent can have. All the more memorable are those that take place under unusual circumstances, such as those related in Wednesday’s edition about Camden-native Melinda Williams Johnson. The daughter of Wayne and Alice Williams of Camden, Johnson gave birth to her son, Gavin, 10 months ago in her bedroom as a 911 operator guided her husband, A.J., on the phone about what to do. Amazingly, dispatcher Shauna Lloyd had never answered such a call before, much less had a baby of her own. Thanks to Summerville Journal Scene Editor Frank Johnson, who worked for the C-I a decade ago, to giving us the go-ahead to re-run their story.

• Congratulations to Karen Bullard for being named the Kershaw County School District’s Principal of the Year. Under her guidance, Lugoff-Elgin Middle School became the first middle school in the state to be re-designated twice as a national School to Watch. The honor recognizes “outstanding academic excellence, developmental responsiveness, social equity and organizational structure.” Like many of the humble folk who help guide this county’s youth, Bullard credits her students, staff and the district office for their hard work and support. We think -- like any good organization -- an excellent school is only as good as its leader. Bravo!

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