(Occasionally Phil Noble has guest writers for his columns. This week's entry is by Corey Hutchins, 2011 and 2012 S.C. Press Association Journalist of the Year. Hutchins now lives in Colorado and writes for the Colorado Independent.)
At Tuesday's Kershaw County Council meeting, Camden's Bob Clithero -- an Air Force veteran from the Korea and Vietnam wars -- urged the public to thank members of law enforcement and first responders. Clithero said he remembered feeling safe at his posts during his military career because of military police (MPs), but had never properly thanked them for their service.
Even here in Kershaw County we wonder: what do we do and what do we say about what happened in Dallas, Texas, last week? And it's not just about Dallas, but about Baton Rouge, La., and Falcon Heights, Minn., as well.
The city of Camden has been doing quite a bit of work to boost tourism and generate more economic development. The Wayfinding Sign project is well underway and is really making the town look good. Thanks in large part to such incentives as the façade grant program, many buildings downtown are looking sharp. And thanks in large part to an economic development incentive ordinance passed in December 2015, a new 64 room hotel is coming to the I-20/Exit 98 area.
Once a year, on July 4th, we could easily rename Lake Wateree as Lake Fireworks. That's because, each year, the Lake Wateree Association (LWA) puts on a fantastic fireworks show on the lake everyone can enjoy.
During the past several issues of this newspaper, we have published stories related to Historic Camden Revolutionary War Site. We've promoted the appearance of a noted lecturer on Nathaniel Greene and the Battle of Hobkirk's Hill coming up this Thursday along with Sunday's Patriots, Picnic and Pops event.
Elsewhere on our website, Editor Martin L. Cahn laments the lack of compromise on gun control on the national level. In similar fashion, we are disappointed with the S.C. General Assembly for not finding a way through to regulate the release of police dash cam video and, even more important, revise the S.C. Freedom of Information Act (FOIA).
A year ago, the grief was still fresh. We were all still reeling from the murders of nine innocent people at Emanuel AME Church in Charleston, one of the oldest African-American congregations in the U.S. We wrote then -- and still believe now -- "Charleston has shown the rest of the country how to transcend such grief in a non-violent, some would even say, loving way."
When Kershaw County Council passed third and final reading of the county's proposed budget on a 4-3 vote Tuesday (see "County council passes final budget"), it included an amendment put forward by Councilman Sammie Tucker Jr. to create an annual $49,000 fund -- pulled out of the capital reserve fund -- for seven district accounts of $7,000 each.
Friday, we published a guest column from Kershaw County Sheriff Jim Matthews detailing several recent, violent incidents to which deputies responded. Matthews said deputies respond to such incidents, patrol our communities and respond to other emergencies while making a starting salary of only $31,500. Furthermore, he said 11 of the 22 deputies who have left the department since Jan. 2015 have done so for higher salaries.
People all over Camden are talking about the city's new district, historic marker and street signs. As well they should. They are not merely new -- something which, in and of itself, would have been nice -- they are attractive and, as promised, tie into each other by design.