• Congratulations to the high school seniors recently recognized as members of the All-County Academic Team. For 16 years Upchurch & Jowers Insurance Agency Inc. has honored a select group of students for their academic achievements. This year, 31 youth from Camden, North Central and Lugoff-Elgin high schools joined this team for excellence. Well done, students!
We were glad to see recently that a 10-year-old girl from Batesburg-Leesville near Columbia is making progress in recovering from an attack by a vicious pit bull in which the dog almost tore her right arm off. She has undergone a series of operations, according to news reports, and could have been killed on the day of the attack if a deputy had not responded quickly and killed the dog. According to that same report, since November there have been six separate violent incidents in South Carolina involving pit bulls, including two in which the victims died and four others ...
Newspapers are generally in the forefront of free speech issues; along with trying to keep government meetings open and accessible to the public, first amendment rights usually are pretty sacrosanct in the newspaper business. Yet as the Supreme Court pondered the case of Kansas' Westboro Baptist Church a few weeks ago -- those are the kooks who show up at military funerals with all sorts of distasteful protest signs -- we had settled into a feeling of, "If the justices can find a way out of this without allowing those horrid people a right to spew their venom, we'll be fine ...
• Anheuser-Busch, from its founding in the mid-19th century, has been an iconic American brand, its primary product being the industry behemoth Budweiser. For many, it was unfortunate when the company was sold in 2008 to Brazilian-Belgian brewing giant Inbev. It was recently revealed that August Busch IV, the last of the founding family to play an active role, is stepping down as a director, leaving a Busch-less company for the first time. In business, things change quickly, but it is nevertheless a bit sad to see this longtime company now without a member of its founding family.
We don't always agree with everything that Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina says. We like his conservative principles but sometimes think he's a little dogged, in that compromise is necessary to accomplish much in Washington. But there's one issue on which we're in total agreement with DeMint: it's time for public funding of the Public Broadcasting System and National Public Radio to end.
For decades, presidential administrations have come up with budget figures that don't always jibe with those which are compiled by the Congressional Budget Office, the federal agency that provides budget information to Congress. Not surprisingly, White House spending and deficit figures usually differ on the optimistic side from those of the CBO, which takes a more rational, business-like and non-partisan view of spending in the United States.
• Southwest Airlines has been flying out of Greenville-Spartanburg and Charleston airports for several weeks now, with good apparent results. Travelers are booking trips for the unique airline's lower fares and lack of add-on fees. It's too bad that Columbia's airport can't attract a quality nationwide low-cost carrier, for as airline prices continue to soar, Kershaw County travelers will be joining others across the country in seeking the lowest fares.
The recent furor in Wisconsin over Gov. Scott Walker's decision to eliminate some of the collective bargaining rights of public unions has died down somewhat, but the issue over public unions isn't going to go away anytime soon. Across the country, people are taking a hard look at unions populated by people who are paid with taxpayer dollars. In Wisconsin, as you'll remember, Democratic members of the state Senate fled into neighboring Ohio, thus meaning a quorum could not be present for Senate business and Walker's plan could not come to a vote. Republican senators found ...
Across South Carolina, Democrats have had a tough go of it during the past decade. The party holds only one congressional seat and has no constitutional officers. Republicans control both houses of the General Assembly. It's a different story here in Kershaw County, as Rep. Laurie Slade Funderburk and Sen. Vincent Sheheen have both proven popular with voters though the GOP generally carries the county in other races. Now, former Democratic Party Chairman Dick Harpootlian has announced he'll run for the party's top party post later this month, and if nothing else, his candidacy will add a ...
• If you listened to President Obama's speech last week, you probably got the idea that the United States imposes an unfairly high tax burden on citizens who make the least money. In reality, the bottom 50 percent of all earners pay only 2.7 percent of all taxes. That's hardly confiscatory.
The city of Camden's idea to have a free concert April 23 to observe the opening of the new Town Green is a great idea, and it will indeed be a festive event that will show off the new facility and its attractions. Unfortunately, planning for the event didn't go as smoothly as it should have, and local food merchants ended up both hurt and aggrieved over the way things were initially planned. They had a right to be disgruntled.
With the city of Camden having such a distinguished historical heritage, and with so many residents acutely and proudly aware of that heritage and the value of keeping it alive, we are delighted to see the news that statues of Bernard Baruch and Larry Doby will be commissioned and will be placed on the grounds of the Camden Archives and Museum. The work comes through the generosity of Camden resident John Rainey, who's funding the statues, and sculptor Maria J. Kirby-Smith, who will perform the artwork. Those familiar with Kirby-Smith's exquisite sculpture at the Kershaw County Library will ...
Multiple sources are saying Katie Couric will leave her post as anchor of the "CBS Evening News," with the show mired in third place far behind rivals NBC and ABC. Couric was lured away from a long and successful tenure at NBC's "Today" show, and she is said to be eying a syndicated TV talk show. What works on a feature-type show such as "Today" doesn't always translate to success in the anchor chair. But we hope Couric finds success in whatever she does as she seems like a pleasant sort.
Rep. Paul Ryan has issued a plan for returning this country to fiscal sanity, and it includes cuts to Medicare and Medicaid. The Wisconsin lawmaker's proposal would slash about $5 trillion in spending over the next decade, making it by far the most intensive plan presented to date to try to deal with the country's unsustainable spending practices. But predictably, potential presidential candidates have had little to say, recognizing the political volatility of cutting entitlement programs that people have come to rely on. Some have praised Ryan for coming forward with a package and acknowledge that it could ...
• Sen. Charles Schumer of New York, who never met a television camera he didn't like, didn't realize a microphone was turned on when he started dispensing advice to his Democratic colleagues on how to picture Republican policies as "extreme." Schumer's pointers give one indication of why everything is endlessly "spun" in Washington. Of course, it's not only Democrats who do this, as Republicans are just as guilty. But Schumer's the one who got caught; perhaps he'll check next time to make sure there's not a live microphone around.
One of the problems with the expense of health care is the fact that many people tend to use a hospital's emergency room as their primary care facility, going there with normal ailments such as flu and severe colds. Emergency room care is expensive -- too costly to be used in that way. KershawHealth is no different than other hospitals in that regard, and the decision to "split" the emergency department there is a sound one.
Today, the Chronicle-Independent begins a series of articles summarizing the candidates and issues that will be on the Nov. 4 ballot, one week from Tuesday. Perhaps the most contentious race isn't between candidates but between "yes" and "no" on two referenda offered by the Kershaw County School District.
We've always believed the United States government works best when power is divided -- that is, with a president from one party and a Congress controlled by the opposite party. As of now, of course, we have a Democratic president and a split Congress, with the House of Representatives controlled by Republicans and the Senate dominated by Democrats. There are multiple forecasting models out there for the upcoming election, with most of them giving the GOP a better-than-even chance of gaining a majority in the Senate while retaining control of the House.
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