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Noted and passed - March 31, 2014

Posted: March 28, 2014 8:56 a.m.
Updated: March 31, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• Congratulations to Camden High School (CHS) for becoming a 2014 Palmetto’s Finest award winner Thursday. The jubilation in CHS’ library was well-earned and an especially proud moment for Principal Dan Matthews. This is the second time Matthews has served as principal of a Kershaw County school earning the award, when he was at Lugoff-Elgin Middle School. Along with all-time high test scores, judges lauded CHS for donating more than $100,000 and 5,000 service hours to various charities during the past five years. That’s a great example of a school truly being a part of its community. In addition, 89 percent of CHS’s 2013 graduates went on to college and trade schools or into the military. “What goes on here is magic,” school district Superintendent Dr. Frank Morgan said. We couldn’t agree more.

• The proposed Broad Street “road diet” -- reducing traffic in both directions between DeKalb and York streets from two lanes to one -- has been controversial since it was first mentioned several years ago. Some cities, as Councilman Willard Polk pointed out last week, have reversed course on such projects. Other cities’ projects, as at least two consulting firms have told council, have allowed their downtown business districts to flourish. Opponents say the project will negatively disrupt the city and their businesses. Supporters say it is the best way -- in conjunction with a proposed truck route -- to get visitors into those same businesses. Last Tuesday’s vote allowed city staff to submit an application for federal funds for the project. Like the project or not, at least the grant would keep most, if not all, of the cost off taxpayers’ shoulders. For that reason, we’re glad a majority of council approved the resolution.

• Staying with city council for a moment, we applauded the 2010 passage of a resolution banning drivers within the city limits from texting while driving. April will mark National Distracted Driving Awareness Month, and council celebrated by passing a formal proclamation and promoting a new video featuring Councilman Walter Long and Camden Police Department Lt. Lee Boan. The statistics are scary -- texters (if we can use that word for the moment) are 23 times more likely to cause a crash and 49 percent of drivers age 21 to 24 sent texts and even emails while driving. The scariest number: texting a message takes a driver’s eyes off the road for a 4.6 seconds. For those who have been in a crash, that can seem life a lifetime.

• Sunday at noon marked the end of the filing period for various races across the county. If you’ve been reading our paper lately, including today’s, you know that a lot of people have signed up to run for county council seats, including the chairmanship; probate court judge; treasurer; school board seats and more. We said a week ago that we wanted to see more candidates join the march to November’s general election. It looks like some people took up our call. That’s a good thing however they came to the decision. We’ll have a complete list of who’s signed up to run for what offices Wednesday.

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