I have said before -- in fact, not that long ago -- that covering tragedies is no fun. This is especially true when the tragedy takes place where you live, or at least close by. When you can say that you either know the people involved, or are friends of their friends, it hits you even harder.
A Lugoff man is in custody for allegedly sexually assaulting and then strangling 18-year-old Briana Rabon to death nearly a week ago. Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews announced Friday night that investigators had arrested Stephen Ross Kelly, 21, of Leslie Branham Road, Lugoff. Kelly is charged with murder, kidnapping and first-degree criminal sexual conduct. During a press conference Saturday morning at the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (KCSO), Matthews said Kelly is investigators' only suspect.
At the end of its meeting Monday, following a somewhat lengthy executive session, the KershawHealth Board of Trustees voted unanimously to authorize KershawHealth administrators to negotiate and execute an agreement for emergency department services with TeamHealth.
Sam Davis, deputy director of the city of Camden's public works department, made the announcement at the end of his presentation Tuesday to Camden City Council.
On paper, January turned out to be a better month financially than KershawHealth has seen in some time. Compare January's $84,000 operating loss to December's $344,000 loss, November's $572,000 loss and October's $902,000. For all of Fiscal Year 2013, which ended Sept. 30, 2013, KershawHealth experienced a $3.62 million operating loss and $4.75 million decrease in net assets.
Of all the hundreds of stories I have written for the C-I, perhaps the most gratifying and the most tragic was "Death of a Deputy," a five-part series we published in 2009.
Work is continuing on an African-American tour and brochure for Camden. Camden Archives and Museum Director Katherine Richardson will report to Camden City Council during its work session Tuesday afternoon about progress on the project. Richardson is one of three members of a recently formed African-American History Committee composed of Clifton W. Anderson and Dr. Ernestyne Adams.
Parker Gibson may have closed the store bearing the name of his business, Springdale Antiques, almost two months ago, but he hasn't retired. Gibson, who turned 73 in September, is still doing some of what he's done for more than four decades: restore antebellum Southern furniture. He only closed the store for health reasons that he prefers to keep private.
Whether she got great advice from her team or she made the decision on her own, kudos to S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley for declaring a state of emergency during our recent winter storm. It was absolutely the right thing to do.
Safety and security were the lead topics at a KershawHealth Board of Trustees' meeting Feb. 10. KershawHealth Director of Safety and Emergency Preparedness Abby Palmer, RN, presented the board with her annual safety report. Her report provided safety and security highlights from 2013, and looked ahead to 2014.
The city of Camden is acquiring some more easements along Commerce Alley to assist with a water line project. Camden City Council unanimously passed first reading of an ordinance that was added to Tuesday night's meeting agenda on Monday. A copy of the ordinance was not immediately made available.
Camden City Council will hold a public hearing on proposed updates to the city's Comprehensive Land Use Plan during its meeting Tuesday evening. State law requires local governments to have a 10-year plan. The city enacted the current plan in 2007. Work on a mandated five-year update began two years ago in 2012.
It all started when I posted a link to an opinion piece on the Poynter Institute's website titled "Why is local news innovation struggling financially while national thrives?" Here's the comment I made when I posted the link on my Facebook page:
A week from now, the city of Camden should be on its way to completing a required five-year update of its Comprehensive Land Use Plan. The plan, adopted in 2007, works as the city's master planning document and originally contained seven elements: population, economic development, natural resources, cultural resources, community facilities, housing and land use. Just as the city adopted the plan, the General Assembly amended the legislation governing the plan's requirements. Those amendments included additional components to the housing element and required local governments to add transportation and priority investment elements.
If none of this makes sense, my apologies -- I'm writing this in a Type A Flu-induced fugue. Also, please know that I did not watch, read or listen to the president's State of the Union speech the other night. Yes, I voted for Mr. Obama, twice, but I realized something as I began seeing dribs and drabs about the speech online: while the specifics may be different from year to year, we've heard most of what is contained in such speeches, decade after decade, regardless of who's in the Oval Office.
Flames roared and smoke billowed out of a makeshift living room behind Rhame Arena on Saturday. Moments later, a similar fire started in an identical "living room" next to it, but never got out of hand, thanks to a sprinkler system installed in the second room.
I couldn't be prouder of "Harry Potter" actress Emma Watson if she were my own daughter.
For the 27th consecutive year, Camden is a Tree City U.S.A., so named by the S.C. Forestry Commission (SCFC) and Arbor Day Foundation.
"I've got your sound bite and I've got your headline," KershawHealth Board of Trustees Vice Chair Dr. Tallulah Holmstrom declared late in the board's meeting Monday night. "Two simple words: 'Zero Harm.'"
Jaws dropped at Camden City Council's Tuesday afternoon work session. Council members, and citizens attending the meeting, expressed excitement over the revelation of what might be Rhame Arena's future. Representatives from the architectural firm of LTC Associates and engineering firm Bobbitt Design Build, both with offices in Columbia, unveiled initial renderings and floor plans for a vision of Rhame Arena that would serve as a gateway to the city.
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