Today, we report on two recent overseas trips taken by Kershaw County Council Chairman Julian Burns and County Economic Development Director Peggy McLean. According to County Administrator Vic Carpenter, McLean's trip to China cost the county between $8,000 and $10,000. Burns' trip to Europe fell in the same price range, but, except for airfare, was paid for by the Central South Carolina Alliance.
Today's announcement the Kmart in Camden will close by the end of July is very unwelcome news. It is not surprising, however. Simply driving by on even the heaviest shopping days in recent years shows far fewer shoppers there than at Walmart across West DeKalb Street.
Friday morning, Kershaw County Chairman Julian Burns and County Administrator Vic Carpenter served as the keynote speakers for a Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce breakfast. While Burns focused mostly on VisionKershaw 2030 -- something this paper will examine more closely in the near future -- Carpenter provided a statistical, yet sometimes humorous report on what's been happening in Kershaw County during the last nine to 12 months.
In our most recent three editions, including today's, we have highlighted Kershaw County's newest ambulances and some of the people who work in them, Explorers at Lugoff Fire-Rescue (LF-R), two Buffalo-Mt. Pisgah firefighters who recently earned certifications and one of the LF-R's long-term volunteers.
For the fifth consecutive year, the Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) earned the Agency of the Year Award from the S.C. Department of Public Safety for DUI enforcement among law enforcement agencies of between 51 and 100 employees.
It's unfortunate the city of Camden and Kershaw County had to announce they could no longer accept glass for recycling in residents' bins or at the county's recycling centers. It is not their fault, however. Word came down from Sonoco in Hartsville the company could no longer afford to recycle glass.
As we reported Friday, the stage is now set for most of this year's local political races. We know Bobby Gary will finish out Willie Mickle's unexpired term in the Kershaw County Council District 1 seat he held immediately before Mickle. We also know Gary will face his special election opponent Al Bozard in November's general election.
The Kershaw County School District (KCSD) and the greater community lost a great friend in M. Andrew "Andy" James when he passed away March 23. He will be remembered as a tough, but fair and inspiring educator, having served as a teacher, assistant principal, principal and counselor.
There's a cartoon making its way across the internet showing a family staring out their living room window -- mother, father and pre-teen son. The boy's face is lit up, knowing, perhaps, he might not have to go to school that day. Has it snowed? No, it's "pollened," he declares, as his parents look on in horror at the mounds of yellow stuff in their yard and on their car. They look as if they haven't slept in ages.
We cautiously welcome the prospect of a Still Hopes Episcopal Retirement Community being developed at Beechwood on Knights Hill Road. We welcome the news because we have been a proponent of using the property for this type of purpose for some time. We welcome it cautiously, however, because it is just a possibility. Nothing is set in stone, and Camden residents have been waiting for nearly a decade to see what would become of Beechwood.
Recently, the S.C. Senate voted to spend $400 million on roads. Sounds great, right? We all know South Carolina's roads need work. A lot of work. We all have driven on roads which have at the very least embarrassed us as local residents, if not caused damage to our vehicles due to their sorry state of disrepair.
A grand jury's decision to no-bill (not indict) Jimmy Joe Methe came as a bit of a surprise to a great many people in Kershaw County. It certainly stirred a great deal of controversy. Our breaking news alert posted to Facebook on Thursday reached more than 15,000 people, sharing it nearly 120 times and engaging in a fierce debate in the post's comments section. It is easily the most engaged item we have ever posted.
As recounted on today's front page, Kershaw County Council held a special meeting ahead of its regular meeting Tuesday to honor former Chairman Steve S. Kelly Jr. for his more than 32 years of service as a councilman and chairman. Council did the same Jan. 12 for former Chairman Austin Sheheen Jr. for his 23 years on council.