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Noted and passed - July 7, 2014

Posted: July 3, 2014 8:43 a.m.
Updated: July 7, 2014 5:00 a.m.

• We hope everyone enjoyed their Fourth of July weekend, with fireworks, grilling out and generally having fun. We should all remember, of course, that the Fourth is Independence Day, commemorating that day 238 years ago that the original 13 colonies declared their independence from the British crown. Actually signed on July 2, final approval came on July 4 and, so, with that date on the publication, Americans came to celebrate that date as its independence from England. Since then, brave men and women have fought and died both to secure that independence and maintain this country’s freedoms. Among those were U.S. Army Pvt. Adrian D. Watkins who served during World War II and became a prisoner of war following the Battle of Bulge. As we featured a week ago, Watkins passed away before Congress created the Prisoner of War Medal in 1989, but his daughter, Lenora Stephens, received it on his behalf in early June, a late but well-deserved honor. Friday, we also celebrated the recent retirement of 1983 Camden High School graduate Col. Charles Myers from the U.S. Air Force after 26 years of dedication to our nation. His tours of duty included two deployments during Operation Iraqi Freedom as he continued to rise through the ranks finally commanding the 623rd Air and Space Operations Center in Florida. We salute Myers and Watkins’ service to our country, along with so many others who do or once called Kershaw County home.

• Once again, the Salkahatchie program brought together youth from both within and outside Kershaw County to repair homes belonging to community members in need. This worthwhile cause, led by Richard Hagins, spread out from Lyttleton Street United Methodist Church last week as it has for many, many years. It’s goal is a simple one, as related by founder John Culp: “I am convinced that young people want to be constructive, but they just don’t have the structure to do that. They want to help others. Salkehatchie teaches them values and coping skills.” And that’s done while helping those who really need the help in fixing up their homes so their daily lives are better ones.

• Tuesday morning served up a bit of a scare for Elgin after a flat-bed truck driver managed to run over and break open a natural gas line valve. Authorities evacuated a 400-foot area and shut down U.S. 1 (Main Street) for several hours while SCE&G took care of things. Ironic but great news is that the gas company had just the week before led natural gas line rupture training for all emergency responders in Kershaw County. Call it good timing, but there was no way anyone could have known such training would come in handy so soon. It just goes to show that there can never be enough training for any number of emergencies. We’re certainly glad our first responders take advantage of all they can receive.

• Speaking of training, kudos to Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office (KCSO) Lt. Steve Knafelc and KCSO Deputy Kyle Hewitt for completing recent training that should be of major benefit to the community. Knafelc recently graduated form the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s National Academy, giving him advanced investigative, among other, training. Hewitt recently became drug recognition expert, meaning he’ll better be able to tell what drugs an impaired driver might be affected by when alcohol isn’t present. The KCSO and county citizens are getting the best from these two officers.


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