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.
This country has, in many instances, gone overboard in enforcing the first amendment: "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof." The founding fathers never intended to remove all semblances of religion from public life, yet we have moved in that direction. But a recent attempt by one South Carolina lawmaker to question potential judges about religious matters went far beyond reason and was properly squelched by state agency staffers.
About an hour north of Camden, nine civil rights protestors from the 1960s are scheduled today to receive a measure of justice after being jailed for staging a lunch counter protest in Rock Hill more than a half-century ago. Known as the Friendship Nine because they attended the now-defunct Friendship Junior College, the men protested a segregated lunch counter at a McCrory's store in 1961; they had decided prior to their actions that after being arrested, they would refuse bail and instead serve jail sentences as a way to spotlight their actions and the injustice leading to the sit-in.
• We hope you had as much fun reading our recent front page story on the 2015 Junior Leadership Kershaw County's etiquette class as we did putting it together. The entire Junior Leadership program -- taking some of Kershaw County's brightest and most promising students and giving them the opportunity to interact with a variety of leaders from across the county -- is one we're lucky to have in our community. The etiquette class, held at Boykin's Mill Pond Steakhouse, taught these already well-mannered teens the finer points of moving through society, especially at a fancy restaurant. Parents often ...
Kershaw County residents who watched the State of the Union address Tuesday night might agree with us that perhaps it's time to call a halt to the entire production. That's not a slam at President Obama, for he did nothing more overtly political than his predecessors from both parties have been doing for years. It's just that the term "state of the union" bears little resemblance to what actually occurs at the annual event; it's become little more than a political circus.
In the most recent installment of our "Is Kershaw County being left behind?" series of articles on economic development, we looked at some non-industrial pieces of the puzzle. One highly visible sign of economic health in a community -- successful or poor -- is the number of active storefronts, whether individual buildings or as part of shopping centers.
Lawmakers in Washington have long ignored the fact that the Social Security system in this country is broken. On the brink of insolvency, Social Security needs major revamping, whether it comes in the form of benefit reductions, tax increases or both. Congress has refused to consider benefit cuts decades out in the future, even for young adults who are just now starting to pay into the system. They are turning their backs on such simple fixes as delaying the age by a year or two at which people can start receiving their monthly allotments. Bear in mind, we aren't ...
The Republican presidential field is already getting crowded, and the South Carolina GOP primary is often viewed as a bellwether for White House hopefuls. Because this is a conservative state, candidates in past years have often moved to the right while campaigning here. But a new poll shows Republican voters in South Carolina might be moving away from some of the hard-line social issues they have embraced in the past. As a side note, many political observers believe the party "had better get out of people's bedrooms if it wants to broaden its appeal."
• Last week's seizure by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) of Old Armory Steak & Seafood on Rutledge Street marks at least the temporary loss of one of Camden and Kershaw County's premier restaurants. It is an unfortunate blow to the downtown Camden economy. Each business provides potential traffic to another and the loss of any one diminishes such beneficial ripple effects. Locals cheered the Old Armory's opening in 2006 so soon after the closing of the previous tenant, The Paddock. Many people and businesses have celebrated the holidays, proms, anniversaries, engagements, weddings, birthdays and more at the Old ...
With Augusta being only a couple hours away from Kershaw County, the Masters golf tournament holds a great deal of allure for this area. The azaleas at Augusta National are famous for their popping colors and their beauty, but they're no prettier than those which are currently at their peak in Camden, we might add. But there's something magical about the Masters, which is ranked by many players as the one tournament they'd like to win more than any other.
There have been many great additions to the Camden landscape in recent years -- to name a few, the statues of Joseph Kershaw and King Haiglar at the Town Green; the Bernard Baruch and Larry Doby statuary at the Camden Archives; and the new pocket park where the former Maxway building stood. All these have added to the town's appearance and ambience.
• Congratulations to Johnny Deal and Richard Walkirch for receiving, respectively, the United Way of Kershaw County's Jake Watson and Ann Dallas awards. Deal, often known as "Mr. Camden" or "Mr. Facebook" around town, is one of many people's favorite personalities. That doesn't necessarily win you awards. What does is a commitment to community involvement, which Deal has in spades, working with the Camden Jaycees, Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce, Community Medical Clinic, Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County, the United Way and more. As for volunteerism, we can't imagine a more worthy recipient for the Dallas ...
We're not too high on elected officials who hew to positions on the fringes. Like many, we believe adherence to strict political philosophies is one of the primary reasons for the polarization in American politics today. There just aren't many lawmakers in Washington today who are willing to sit down and work things out despite their political differences, as there were for decades.
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