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Noted and passed - Oct. 20, 2014

Posted: October 17, 2014 10:57 a.m.
Updated: October 20, 2014 1:00 a.m.

• Thanks to I-20, two U.S. highways and several state highways, we have a lot of commercial vehicles passing through Kershaw County on a daily basis. While most of those vehicles are likely carrying goods for sale here and elsewhere across the country, there’s also a good chance hazardous materials are being trucked through as well. So, it’s a good thing Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R) and the Kershaw County Fire Service have joined forces to create a Special Operations Team (SOT) to deal with any “HazMat” accidents that may occur. According to LF-R Battalion Chief Chris Spitzer, the team is made up of 20 handpicked firefighters -- the best of the best in the county. The team received extra training to deal with any situations it may encounter. While it would be nice to think we’ll never need the team to be activated, we’re thankful it is there to respond. We’re also thankful to Champe Builders owner Terry Champe, whose son, Eric, is a SOT member, for donating 13 special helmets for the team to use.

• We love crime doesn’t pay stories. We’ll quickly highlight two that prove justice can be served both in the courtroom and on the street. We recently reported that a judge sentenced former Camden accountant Joseph Glenn Folsom Jr. to 51 months -- a little more than four years -- to prison for taking money from a client’s estate and using it to buy classic cars, an airplane and property on Lake Wateree to the tune of $585,000. We don’t begrudge folks living the high life ... if they’ve earned it. Folsom didn’t; now, he’s the one paying the price. Meanwhile, cheers to a group of employees at a local car dealership who held on to a man trying to escape from deputies after jumping out of a moving patrol car. Tanner Reece Brittain, 21, is facing charges in connection with multiple crimes, including a home invasion. Now, he’ll face the possibility of extra time for trying to escape.

• In terms of fighting crime, we’re glad to see Bethune Town Council promote Police Chief Joey Cobb from part-time to full-time status. Bethune Mayor Charles McCoy joked Cobb would need to start working 120 hours a week instead of 60, but then seriously pointed out Cobb was already working full-time hours on a part-time salary. Bethune may be small by some standards, but council acknowledged there is a level of crime residents find unacceptable -- as they should. So, in the same way we’re glad to see a special team of firefighters deal with any HazMat incidents, we’re happy to see Bethune have a full-time police chief to deal with everything from errant deer to thieves breaking into cars.

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