Here in South Carolina, as in so many other states, gerrymandering -- in which political parties redraw the lines of voting districts to suit their own purposes -- is a fact of life. It was done when Democrats controlled the state, and now it's done by Republicans. One of the nationwide side effects of gerrymandering is creating more partisan divide. Because districts are set up to be safe for one party, there's not much interest in candidates having to appeal to independent voters or those who aren't hard-line adherents of either party. And, by the way, the word gerrymander ...
One thing which makes Camden so appealing is its attention to and love for trees. The city is graced with thousands of them, and they add immeasurably to the atmosphere of our municipality. The Camden Tree Foundation and its many volunteers work tirelessly to plant new trees and keep existing ones healthy, and the city of Camden has had the foresight to hire a professional to oversee the arboreal health of the area. But a recent newspaper column by the town's urban forester, Liz Gilland, was a bit troubling in its tone.
• We were very glad to see Kershaw County Council recognize ALPHA Center Executive Director Paul Napper recently. Napper has served as The ALPHA Center's director for three decades. In all that time, he has also managed to find the time to serve on numerous local, state and even federal boards and commissions. Most recently, he stepped down from a seat on the KershawHealth Board of Trustees only to fill an open seat on the Central Carolina Technical College (CCTC) Area Commission two days later. As always, Napper was humble in receiving council's resolution honoring him, saying it really ...
The ever-present cable news shows are already fixated on the 2016 presidential campaign, with the Republican race a wide-open affair and the Democratic nomination said to be Hillary Clinton's for the asking. Of course, we'll point out Clinton was also the overwhelming favorite in 2008 until Barack Obama came along and stole her candy. But one thing's for sure, no matter whom the parties nominate: massive amounts of money will be spent.
Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani, who's never been accused of being circumspect, went over the top last week when he accused President Obama of not loving his country. Giuliani has refused to back down from his comments, and some in the GOP have defended him while others have said they wouldn't have made the same statement. Politics, of course, is involved, as both Democrats and Republicans are already jockeying for position for 2016.
• We're sad to learn of Joseph Bruce's pending retirement from KershawHealth and the KershawHealth Foundation (see our front page), but happy for him as he reaches that point in life where he can choose do what he appears to enjoy: namely traveling to the United Kingdom and other points abroad. Bruce had the difficult job of following foundation founder Vern Ketchem, who died just months before Bruce joined KershawHealth in late 2007. When we consider all the foundation has done since then, we believe Ketchem would be proud of Bruce's work. He and the foundation board launched ...
Legislators in Columbia have taken a couple of nice steps towards making government in South Carolina more open and accessible. Transparency is the word used most often these days, and while it's a bit overused, it's pretty accurate. The House of Representatives passed on second reading a bill requiring agendas at public meetings, setting up a Freedom of Information (FOI) Appeals Office and cutting the time for a response from 15 days to 10. None of them are earth-shattering, but they're solid.
It's usually about this time of year when Kershaw County residents begin to grow weary of winter and wish for the warm temperatures and blooming flowers of spring. That feeling is being magnified this week as colder-than-normal air envelopes South Carolina and the rest of the Southeast, sending the mercury into the low teens, with some days possibly barely getting out of the 20s.
• Thank goodness KershawHealth and Kershaw County came to an agreement on the county's taking over emergency management services (EMS). When its deal with Capella Healthcare closes -- likely by March 31 -- KershawHealth will pay $2.636 million for EMS to become a county-provided service starting July 1. In exchange, the county is giving up all interest in any KershawHealth real estate and other property. As we recently said, any other outcome would have been disastrous for county residents, since it could have threatened to kill the Capella deal. Instead, the way has been smoothed for Capella to operate KershawHealth with ...
We were glad to see the Kershaw County Planning and Zoning Commission vote to keep existing buffer zones between buildings and waterways at their present size rather than reduce them. The matter came up for discussion at the request of Commissioner J. Henry Walker. After hearing evidence and comments from several people, Walker joined the other four commissioners in voting unanimously to keep the buffers in place. That's a boost for maintaining water quality, especially at Lake Wateree.
There's a good chance here in Kershaw County, as across the rest of the United States, more people tune in to watch the evening news with NBC's Brian Williams than with any of his competitors. Williams' predecessor, Tom Brokaw, inspired great confidence in viewers, a quality necessary for good anchors, and which has carried over; Williams has an easy way of connecting with viewers. But now, on hiatus while NBC investigates claims he made that appear not to be true, Williams' future is uncertain.
• Today, we continue our Black History Month celebration with two stories: a front page piece on Potter's Computer in Lugoff a People & Places highlight of the county's annual Black History Month exhibit. Black History Month celebrates a very large part of our country's -- and county's -- diverse culture. Camden Mayor Tony Scully's recent column on Black History Month highlighted a number of African-Americans most people, unfortunately, have likely never heard of before. Our aim in highlighting local companies, like Potter's Computer, is to show minorities can and should succeed in small business. Here's hoping ...
A couple of decades ago, the biggest day of college football season was the opening game, when fans could get their first chance to see how their team looked. But then the recruiting circus blew up, and now, national signing day, which took place Wednesday, is perhaps the most anticipated event of all. Recruiting, and the news surrounding it, have become industries unto themselves, with all sorts of services ranking recruits and following their every tweet.
Two bright spots for Camden were revealed in Monday's issue of the Chronicle-Independent, and in an age when bad news seems to dominate -- at least at the national level -- it's worth spotlighting those things again.
Last week's face-off between Kershaw County Council and KershawHealth about the county's $3 million request to carry EMS operations highlighted just how important it is for the hospital to be turned over to Capella Healthcare.
Tomorrow is Independence Day, the Fourth of July, when this country celebrates its birthday. This year, July 4 marks the 239th anniversary of the signing of the Declaration of Independence -- the document which signaled to the world the original 13 British colonies were breaking away from Mother England.
During the last week, we have published two reports on KershawHealth. The first, growing out of the hospital's most recent board of trustees meeting, focused on its market share. It is relatively healthy, thanks to KershawHealth's being the only hospital in all of Kershaw County. More people living in the county turn to KershawHealth for emergency care than anywhere else. However, the report -- broadly speaking -- noted a decrease in market share in outpatient services and only slight increases for inpatient services.
Kudos to our various law enforcement agencies for working together to get some folks off our streets who needed to be stopped. At the top of our list are Bethune Police Chief Joey Cobb, Kershaw County Sheriff's Office (KCSO) and U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) for arresting two people (and there may be more to come) for the June 23 armed robbery of Sandhills Bank in Bethune.
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