(John Baird, an army lieutenant colonel (LTC), is the brother of Rupert Baird, who wrote a number columns for the Chronicle-Independent during his deployment several years ago. LTC Baird is now doing the same. His columns will appear periodically on Mondays during his deployment.)
Last Tuesday's election here in Camden was the tightest I have seen. Mayor-elect Tony Scully won only 91 more votes than incumbent Mayor Jeffrey Graham to win the mayor's seat on council, a mere 2.5 percent difference. Councilwoman Alfred Mae Drakeford and Councilwoman-elect Laurie Parks both earned approximately 27 percent of the vote. The other challengers, Johnny Deal and Peggy Ogburn earned approximately 23 percent each. The sports complex ballot question failed by only 254 votes, or 7 percent.
My friend Waylon Fortenberry of Chesterfield County is glad the elections are over.
Colorado and Washington voted to legalize recreational marijuana use this week.
It's hard to believe Thanksgiving is upon us once again and I'll be the first to admit I'm elated. The fourth Thursday in November has always been my holiday of choice. Waiting to see if Santa has pleased all the good boys and girls under our roof weighs heavier on the stress-o-meter than does the debate on how dry my turkey is. Make no mistake, as the meaning of Christmas is at the absolute top. Thanksgiving tends to be, for me, a bit more calming in a loud, laughter-induced kind of way. Its focus is somewhat more ...
In his 2008 "More Perfect Union" speech, presidential candidate Barack Obama declared, "Race is an issue that I believe this nation cannot afford to ignore right now." Then he tried his best to ignore it.
Almost all former teachers have gifts from their pupils -- notes, pictures, jewelry, household dishes. I have an inordinate amount. One I gave back to the presenters because it was so precious: a counted cross stitch picture with a beautiful teacher dedication. You see, three students from the same family were involved. The male from the family had demanded that he be included when his sisters did the work, so he gave money to purchase it. When I retired, I thought they would have better use for it in their classroom. Only seamstresses have any idea how much work is involved ...
(Kathleen Parker's column was written Friday, prior to the election.)
It's going to be hard for a country fella from Clearwater to be the next governor of South Carolina. Even I knew that as a naïve teenager and first-time voter six years ago. Yet there I stood at the ballot box, my finger resolutely picking Tommy Moore over Mark Sanford.
Free. It's a lovely word, isn't it? For most of us this week, "free" means voting for our candidates of choice or express how we feel about certain issues.
Words have a way of coming back to haunt Mitt Romney, especially when he says them in front of television cameras.
At about 6 a.m. on October 18, 1950, a baby girl was born in the Camden Hospital. Her parents lived in Kershaw County during the Great Depression and World War II and were members of Tom Brokaw's "Greatest Generation."
Hear ye, hear ye! Sarah Palin hereby accuses President Barack Obama of the high crime of shucking and jiving or, more precisely, a "shuck and jive shtick" with "Benghazi lies."
There's a new television show called Nashville that's pretty eye-catching.
Trees are fascinating biological wonders. From the ancient bristle cone pines and towering redwoods out west to our widely diverse and unique southern forests, the life cycle of a tree provides us with year-round interest. One of the most intriguing and beautiful results of tree life is autumn leaf coloration. While we don't have the same level of dramatic leaf color as in the northeast, there are many trees here who's fashionable pops of color drape our southern landscapes.
One of the many perks of living in the Midlands of South Carolina is our moderate climate. OK, maybe it hasn't felt so moderate the past few weeks, but think about New York, Boston, Minnesota, Michigan and other northern areas. Now, they know what cold really is!
If the soul of Camden resides in its communities of faith, surely its heart sits at 110 C East DeKalb St., the home of the Community Medical Clinic of Kershaw County, known far and wide as "The Free Clinic." The outpouring of love at the Clinic has proven to be a transformative force, continuously healing wounds of body, mind, and spirit.
Two weeks ago, during our weekly field trip, I was walking with my students along a dirt road in Manchester State Forest. There upon the dirt was a hairy strand of something, about the size of a cheap cigar and tapered at both ends. Earlier that day, we examined paw prints in the sand on the same dirt road. The students drew good connections from those tracks to this new observation, correctly calling it coyote scat. Coyotes are funny this way, dropping their scat in obvious places. In addition to waste excretion, they use feces to communicate their presence to ...
WASHINGTON -- "At least nobody died," we often hear in politics to explain away some regrettable act. As in:
So I read recently where some New England town has banned sledding, allegedly in the name of safety, but more in fear of possible lawsuits.
WASHINGTON -- I'm getting that deja vu feeling as House Republicans these past several days have failed to alter the public's perception they're incapable of governing.
For those of you who believe in an open internet in the United States, the fight is still on. For the moment, though, we can bask in the glory of the U.S. Federal Communication Commission's (FCC) 3-2 vote last week to impose so-called "net neutrality" rules on internet service providers (ISPs).
A friend, an only child, was talking about cleaning out her parents' house after the death of her father.
Throughout Old and New Testament times, most Jews and Gentiles consumed distilled liquor and believed it a healthy part of their daily diet. These beliefs and practices continued from the times of Christ through the settlement of America and the establishment of the United States.
Lying is in the news these days.
WASHINGTON -- Denizens of social media were rankled during Sunday night's Academy Awards telecast when actor Sean Penn made a crack about Mexican director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and green cards.
One of my weekly duties here at the Chronicle-Independent is to visit the Walter M. Crower Animal Shelter in Camden and take photos of pets available for adoption to be printed in our Friday edition each week. Actually, I take photos of two cats and two dogs and half of those are published weekly in the West Wateree Chronicle.
Murder is a strong word and truth be known it's not really what happens (unfortunately) when a crape myrtle, a Southern signature tree is topped, but it has become a familiar vernacular amongst plant people. If crape myrtles did in fact die when they were butchered, then the practice would stop.
Page 1 of 1