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Noted and passed - Aug. 25, 2014

Posted: August 22, 2014 10:11 a.m.
Updated: August 25, 2014 6:00 a.m.

• Every now and then a story just makes you want to puff up with pride. We had one Wednesday, and we’ll have another this Wednesday, both on the same subject: the renaming of the I-20 bridge over the Wateree River for Kershaw County’s three medal of honor winners. Richmond Hobson Hilton, John C. Villepigue and Donald Leroy Truesdell are heroes out of history in no uncertain terms. In our preview story, readers learned that Hilton charged gunners firing at his squad, firing until his ammunition was spent, killing six enemies and capturing 10, but lost an arm as a result of an exploding artillery shell. Villepigue’s story is similar and took place just days after Hilton’s in 1918. After one of his colleagues was killed and another wounded, Villepigue advanced, killed four enemies with a hand grenade, crawled to a machinegun nest, killing four and capturing 10. He, too, sustained a serious arm injury. In 1932, Truesdell was in Nicaragua when one of his unit’s grenades fell to the ground and activated. He picked up and tried to throw it, but it exploded, blowing off his hand and seriously wounding his body. Saturday’s dedication, which we will detail Wednesday, should be filled with stirring words and emotion. It’s a well-deserved triple honor and we salute Hilton, Villepigue, Truesdell and their contemporaries for their sacrifices for our country.

• We think a Citizens Planning College is a pretty neat idea. If you missed this item from a week ago, the city of Camden is offering free classes during the fall and spring that will focus on the city’s planning process. “The purpose of the college is to provide an opportunity for residents to learn the basics of planning, how planning is conducted in Camden and why planning is important to the city,” a press release stated. To goal: “to encourage a more informed debate about planning and how it influences growth and development in the city.” Countless are the articles the Chronicle-Independent has published regarding planning in our county seat. At times, those stories have focused on divisions in the community; at others, they have been mundane. The C-I’s job is to inform, educate and, when appropriate, entertain. However, we can only go so far when it comes to what can sometimes be complicated subjects. For those that want to learn, to know, to understand, we urge you to sign up for this college.

• Once again, we salute the folks at the Jackson Teen Center (JTC) and ALPHA Center -- especially directors Brian Mayes and Paul Napper, respectively -- for the success of the first-ever summer flag football program in Kershaw County. The championship all-star game Aug. 16, where the American League downed the National League, 32-28, was thrilling to watch. Not because there were great plays, although there were, but because these were kids who, as Napper put it, were fighting with each other during their first games, but pulled together as cohesive teams by the end of the season. Let us put it bluntly: most of the team members, including girls, are kids who, without Mayes, Napper and their respective staffs and volunteers, might have gotten into trouble this summer. Instead, thanks to the JTC, ALPHA Center, coaches and sponsors -- but mostly thanks to their own hard work -- they formed friendships and learned new skills, both of which will serve them well in the years to come. They’re now part of the “better gang than the gangs” Mayes has worked toward for years.

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