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Phillips: The good, the bad and the ugly

Posted: August 25, 2015 3:48 p.m.
Updated: August 26, 2015 1:00 a.m.

Here at the Chronicle-Independent we are charged with the task of reporting the news. Way to state the obvious, right? But, simply put, it’s what we do. 

The news comes in all forms, but the easiest way to divide it is there’s good news and there’s bad news and it’s our job to bring both kinds to you. Good news is easy and even enjoyable to report. I know it is for me and I’ll venture to say my colleagues feel the same way.

We’ve had some good news to report lately. The biggest single piece of recent news surely is the $72 million expansion project at Haier America which will result in 410 new jobs during the next five years. That’s not just good news, it’s great. It’s been truthfully said success breeds success, and I believe the Haier expansion will lead to other industries establishing themselves here or expanding what they currently have. When one of the top appliance manufacturers in the world decides to invest $72 million into an area, other companies are going to take notice, regardless of their products. Haier recognizes the value of Kershaw County, and it will not be surprising when other major industries follow.

It has taken a lot of effort by many people in our government to make the Haier expansion happen. From Gov. Nikki Haley to S.C. Secretary of Commerce Bobby Hitt to Mandy Brawly at the Department of Commerce on the state level. Then there’s Kershaw County Council Chairman Julian Burns and the rest of the council, along with Kershaw County Administrator Vic Carpenter and Peggy McLean and Lauren Reeder of the Kershaw County Economic Development office at the county level. We also should not forget the Kershaw County School District Board of Trustees and school administrators and staff who are responsible for providing an educated and trained workforce. It truly is a team effort and everyone plays a vital role in the success of our county.

Bethune finally getting a stoplight at U.S. 1 and S.C. 341 was good news which was a long time in coming. It may very well save a life someday, given the heavy volume of traffic the intersection sees, especially with large trucks traveling both highways. Congratulations to proactive Police Chief Joey Cobb, along with Bethune Town Council and Kershaw County Legislative Delegation, who all did their parts in making the stoplight a reality. Teamwork is alive and well in Bethune. 

But every coin has two sides and it is also our duty to report unpleasant news when it comes along, like the untimely death of a Camden High School student who lost his life in a tragic automobile accident. In the same week there were four other traffic fatalities in Kershaw County. On the other hand, we consider it good news when the Kershaw County Sheriff’s Office, Camden Police Department, Elgin Police Department or Bethune Police Department make major arrests and get lawbreakers off our streets. However, it’s sad there are people who need arresting, but it’s a fact of life and I take special pleasure in reporting the efforts of our law enforcement officers.

Yes, news comes in all forms. It’s positive and it’s negative, but rarely is it neutral. We enjoy our jobs, but we surely take reporting the news, good and bad, seriously. I have heard it said “the newspaper always has negative news and never anything good” or similar comments. People who say that must have negative attitudes which make them focus on or notice only the negative. There is plenty of positive news happening right here in Kershaw County and we’re pleased to be able to tell you about it.

For those of you who understand that, we thank you.


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