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Noted and passed - April 14, 2014

Posted: April 11, 2014 8:05 a.m.
Updated: April 14, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• The news that the city of Camden plans to install an elevator at Camden City Hall is quite welcome. It is especially so to the city’s disabled citizens who have found it difficult to come to court or attend Camden City Council meetings, both of which take place on the second floor. Many years ago, the city installed a chair-lift system attached to a railing of the building’s main stairwell. It hasn’t always worked and some people find its appearance a bit daunting. Installing the elevator -- which will also allow employees and visitors to reach offices and a training room on the basement level -- will cost $200,000. Even with the loss of a jury room, for those citizens who need such access (including those of us with creaky knees), this is money well spent.

• A belated happy retirement to Dr. Cathy Moss, who stopped working as a dentist in January after 40 years. Thirty of those years were spent in Camden in a joint practice with her late husband, Dr. William Owen III. We are especially impressed with learning she was the first woman to graduate from the Medical University of South Carolina’s College of Dental Medicine. While we are sure her many patients will miss her, we know they are in good hands with her son, Dr. William Owen IV. Like them, we wish her well.

• If it seems as though the C-I has had a spate of what some people call “death stories,” that is only because death is a part of life. As a community newspaper, however, we prefer to celebrate the departed’s life, talking to family members and friends about what made their loved one special. A week ago, we noted the passings of educator Dr. Daisy Alexander and veterinarian Dr. Peter McKoy. No such stories touch us as much as when a family loses a child. The loss is devastating. One couple, however, chose to celebrate their child’s life while he was with them and even after his passing. We can only marvel at the strength of spirit possessed by Mary and Troy Buckelew in how they shared the adventures they created for their son, Bennett. No one knows how they will react in such situations, but the Buckelews turned their son’s illness and death into a heartstring-tugging joyful -- and still ongoing -- story. For that, we are more than happy to have become a small part of “Team Bennett.”

• Recently, S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley signed a bill requiring circuit court judges to get more information before setting or denying bonds. Afterward, S.C. Supreme Court Chief Justice Jean Toal said judges need to make sure they have everything they need to make such decisions. We agree. The bill also sets up procedures by which more cases involving people accused of serious crimes will be heard by circuit court judges rather than magistrates. That, too, is a good idea in our opinion. In both sets of situations, we often shake our heads trying to figure out why a judge or magistrate sets what appears to be too low a bond on certain defendants or hands down a light sentence. Certainly, circuit court judges are far more knowledgeable than we are while magistrates are required to pass certification exams and observe 10 trials before presiding over one themselves. However, we can’t argue with the idea that certain cases should be handled by circuit judges and that all court officers have as much information as they can about a case before setting bond on those accused of serious crimes.


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