Politics in South Carolina has always had its seamy side, but the current dust-up between Bobby Harrell, speaker of the state House of Representatives, and Attorney General Alan Wilson is especially intriguing. Harrell, a Charleston Republican, is being investigated for corruption, including possible misuse of campaign funds and possible misuse of his legislative position, charges that grew out of a grand jury proceeding. Law enforcement sources say Harrell's attorneys have been secretly trying to get a state judge to remove Wilson as the chief prosecutor.
Kershaw County Council was scheduled last night to hold first reading on an ordinance which would allow Sunday alcohol sales in the county. Both the towns of Camden and Elgin have in past years changed their laws to allow Sunday sales, and businesses in unincorporated areas are now left at a disadvantage in not being able to match those sales.
• As the C-I continues to report on the Briana Rabon murder, there is a lot of speculation about how she and her accused killer, Stephen Ross Kelly, knew each other. Officials have, so far, only said that they both attended Lugoff-Elgin High School and were acquaintances, but not involved in a romantic relationship. Rumors abound, however, which we always check out but rarely get confirmation for publication. That's fine. Frankly, it's best that rumors stay out of the newspaper as we let the investigative and judicial processes take whatever time is needed to bring justice for Briana and ...
The last couple weeks have brought astounding new developments in treatment of babies born with AIDS, raising for the first time the hope that perhaps a treatment has been found that will eradicate the disease in newborns who are born to mothers infected by the HIV virus. The first such case was reported last year, but there was skepticism among many in the scientific community. Earlier this week, a second similar case was reported. The first child, dubbed the "Mississippi baby," is now 3 years old and still virus-free; the second one shows no signs of HIV nine months after ...
We aren't very keen on so-called super PACS, those political organizations which spend limitless money promoting one viewpoint or another. They buy huge blocks of television and radio time, along with newspaper ads, to launch attack ads against candidates, with much of the material in the ads questionable at best. Super PACS are a sad sign of what our political process has become.
• It was good, if still mixed, news from KershawHealth a week ago that January's financials looked a bit better than they have recently. The healthcare organization still posted a loss for the month -- as it has every month for some time now -- but only of $84,000. Compare that to $902,000 in losses for October 2013 alone and that is very good news. KershawHealth has a long way to go to combat a projected $32 million in operational losses by Fiscal Year 2018, less than five years away. However, last week's meeting also revealed that the KershawHealth ...
Representatives of Arnett Muldrow, the consulting firm hired by the city of Camden to provide marketing expertise, met recently with city council to discuss their recommendations. Of their proposals, we found one especially noteworthy but found another worthy of deeper study by council.
Last year President Obama approved a budget plan that would change the way Social Security increases are calculated, moving them from a process determined by the consumer price index to one set by a process known as chained consumer price index. That was encouraging to the millions of Americans who are concerned about the runaway spending problems that are threatening the nation's economy. Many economists favor the chained concept as being a more accurate way to measure the rate of inflation.
• We commented just last week on the wise decision by Volkswagen workers in Tennessee to turn down unionization with the UAW. But Gov. Nikki Haley's statement that unionized plants aren't welcome at all in South Carolina is off the mark. Sen. Vincent Sheheen of Camden, who's running against Haley, said South Carolina should remain a right-to-work state, where workers have the right to decide whether to join unions. That's a more reasonable position.
The recent union defeat at a Tennessee Volkswagen plant is yet another sign that the United Auto Workers, once an indomitable force in this country, is merely a shell of its former shelf. Where the American economy is concerned, that's a good thing. Employees at the Chattanooga plant turned thumbs down on the union despite a protracted lobbying effort by UAW officials; in fact, Volkswagen itself had been in favor of the union and had allowed organizers nearly unlimited access to its plant while denying that same right to opponents.
Last week's forecasts of an "epic winter storm" in the South had everyone in Kershaw County scurrying around trying to get prepared. Of course, it's an old joke that if a few flakes of snow are forecast, Southerners flood grocery stores to stock up with milk and bread -- we've never quite understood why milk and bread -- and supermarkets in this area were indeed beehives of activity early last week as people prepared for possible power outages and periods of being homebound.
• We note with sadness the recent death of Bill Few of Liberty Hill, one of the great high school football coaches in this state. Few, who attended Clemson on an athletic scholarship, was a no-nonsense coach who instilled discipline in his players and compiled, over his 26-year career, a 221-68-3 record, including three state championships. His last few years on the field were spent at North Central High School.
As a news organization, we at the Chronicle-Independent tend to pay more attention to First Amendment issues than most people, and a new proposal by the Federal Communications Commission threatens to let the government decide what news stories television stations can broadcast. We realize, of course, that many cable stations today lean one way or the other; you need look no further than the two most commonly cited ones, FOX News and MSNBC, both of which might purport to deliver straight-up news but seldom do. But the great thing is that people can tune in to whatever news outlet they ...
Convinced that hard-right policies won't help the party regain the U.S. Senate in this year's mid-term elections, mainstream Republicans are doing everything they can to help moderate candidates who are facing challenges from Tea Party hopefuls and others who hew to hard-right policies. Many say the core principles of the Tea Party -- smaller government and lower taxes -- have been hijacked by candidates who espouse a social agenda that's not acceptable to average Americans. And they want to stop those candidates.
• With the Wichita State Shockers headed into last weekend unbeaten, there are probably a significant number of people in the Palmetto State dismayed by the fact that the South Carolina Gamecocks didn't go after coach Gregg Marshall when he was at Winthrop. USC turned thumbs down on Marshall on a couple occasions, but it's looking now as if hiring him would have been a smart move.
According to a study done by The Violence Policy center in 2012, South Carolina was ranked number two in the states with the highest rate ...
With Election Day coming up in less than two weeks, we hope everyone has been educating themselves on issues and candidates, both nationally and locally.
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