WASHINGTON -- The Israeli soldier shot Yousef Bashir in the back in the front yard of his father's house in Gaza. It was Feb. 18, 2004, a week after Yousef's 15th birthday. The bullet splintered into three fragments, severing nerves near the teenager's spine.
Well, at least they got one thing right.
There have been recent media reports about hospitals in South Carolina facing cuts in Medicare payments due to rising rates of hospital-acquired infections and hospital readmissions. These reimbursement reductions come as part of a drive by the healthcare community, including the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), to increase patient safety and quality of care. There's nothing wrong with that -- we all should be held accountable. Hospitals across the country are working hard to attack the complex issues involved in care and to institute best practices to improve outcomes.
It was an early summer morning, an enchanting time when flowers are blooming, blackberries are spurting to full growth and the birds are happy to have sunny warmth. I had taken myself out to the back porch where I often settle down to write after I have finished a gentle run.
My friend "sleep" never showed up that night; or, at the very most, came for a scant hour or two. Obviously, the lack of caffeine paired with a Tylenol PM didn't work like I had envisioned. I imagine it was my nerves and the excitement of adventure along with the unknown. Luckily, adrenalin triumphed over the fatigue in this scenario. The scenario here was in the form of something called "Ultimate Hike," more officially named the "Ultimate Hike for CureSearch for Children's Cancer Research."
WASHINGTON -- It should not be necessary to write this column.
Earlier this week, I had the opportunity to sit in a Kershaw County courtroom and see our justice system at work. As a news reporter, I have covered many trials and other court hearings through the years. Some have been quite fascinating, some have been quite boring and most have been a combination of the two.
Sometimes you run across a program so impressive that it just leaves you shaking your head in admiration. So it is with Road Scholar.
WASHINGTON -- This was a bittersweet Independence Day for me.
I stood on the edge of a swimming pool over the Fourth of July weekend and wavered between whether I should jump in or take the steps. I'd tested the waters with a foot dip and I knew they were cold. I spent the holiday in South Point, Ohio, which had just had some unseasonably cold nights. Though the sun was high in the summer sky, the water had not been warmed.
The Atlanta Journal Constitution, also known as the AJC, has always had a very special role in the South and for me personally. And, on a recent trip to Atlanta, several AJC stories, all published on the same day, provided a wakeup call about the challenges we in South Carolina face relative to other states in the South.
University of South Carolina history professor Yates Snowden used the phrase for the title of this column in a letter of his in 1922 when he was describing his dear friend, Shirley Carter Hughson. Who was Hughson, why describe him in this manner, and what connections did he have with Kershaw County?
The title of this week's column is the oft-asked question I've received since my surgery back on June 13. The polite thing to answer, of course, is "Oh, I'm fine."
Mama used to fry biscuits. If you knew Mama, that doesn't surprise you because she fried every food possible. In the course of her life, I knew her to fry green beans, corn, grits and cornmeal mush.
WASHINGTON -- How did the Supreme Court manage to agree unanimously that police must obtain a warrant before searching cellphones, yet split on whether employers must offer contraception as part of their health care plans?
The laboratories of democracy are blowing up.
I have admitted in this column many times that I have become a "grumpy old man." Well, folks, here I go again. I often blame technology and the instant sharing of news and opinions on many of society's ills, and that's what I'm doing again today.
I have many colleagues who are of the turf persuasion and we have come to an understanding to agree to disagree. I think grass is a weed, they think a tree is a weed -- in nature the two aren't meant to meet. This is why only grass grows on the Great Plains and only trees grow in the forest. But since we aren't on the Plains or in the forest, we try and get plants to co-exist in arranged landscape designs we like to see.
Last week we spent a few minutes talking about being the best in the world in a particular field.
As the primary pundit at the "Harmony County Weekly Blister," I am frequently called upon to perform many tasks. So, besides winding up the cat and putting out the clock, I also write the advice to the lovelorn column entitled, "Ask the Stud Muffin."
I never played high school football. My glory days ended with the little league Lions and the gridiron of my youth is now a stand of depressingly mature pine trees across the old, worn foot bridge in Woodward Park. Like many, I now enjoy the pleasure of watching and cheering on younger generations and look forward to each new season as it plays out on our home field at Zemp Stadium. It is my opinion that we, as a community, should keep Zemp and prepare the old facility for the future.
WASHINGTON -- Lego's groundbreaking female-scientists set sold out almost immediately after it was released this month. But never fear, fans of feminist toys: A new Barbie doll, now in stock, is also shattering the plastic ceiling.
For the past couple of years, our district has designated one book for summer reading for secondary students. I've really liked this approach. It has generated a lot of enthusiasm and gotten entire families involved. This year's book, This I Believe II, is a collection of personal essays by a very diverse group of people, ranging from legendary cellist Yo-Yo Ma to author Studs Terkel. The book got me to thinking; if I was to write an essay about what I believe about education, what would I say?
Let me begin with full disclosure: I was born in Greenville and even though my family moved away when I was 5 years old, I still consider Greenville my hometown. And, as with a first love, one's hometown will always be something special. So it is with me and Greenville.
Some missing something or the other required me to prowl through closets at Mama's house. That's when I found it. I pulled it out and smiled broadly, warmed by the memories it evoked.
I am man enough to admit that I have cried more than once since the news broke that Robin Williams had died by what local officials said was suicide.
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