• A tip of the C-I hat to the 1964 Camden High School marching band on the 50th anniversary of being named "The Greatest Band in Dixie" at that year's New Orleans Mardis Gras. According to former trumpeter Jerry Sheheen, much praise can be heaped upon band director and teacher Bill Basden who was "very well respected and admired by all of those who he taught." It was a thrilling chance for Camden students of the day to visit The Big Easy during one of the most celebrated festivals in America. And we're sure having judges name them the ...
Given the budget restraints that virtually all government agencies are facing, we understand why the Social Security office at 1111 Broad St. in Camden closed. Dollars are tight, and officials say Uncle Sam will save more than $3 million during the next 10 years by shutting down the local facility. But we'll hand failing marks to the agency for the way it handled the shutdown, notifying few people and making no attempt to contact its clients and the media, which could have spread the word of the shutdown.
For Kershaw County sports fans, like those across the country, few events can surpass in excitement the annual NCAA college basketball tournament, which has been known as March Madness for many years. (Well, here in the Palmetto State, the South Carolina-Clemson football game sits at the top of the list.) But this year, the tournament takes place amid much uncertainty regarding the basic structure of college sports.
• It's great to see our local law enforcement officers recognized for their excellent work keeping our communities safe. In the last two weeks, we've written about two Kershaw County deputies and four Camden Police officers honored either by their own organizations, Camden American Legion Post No. 17 or the S.C. Law Enforcement Network (SCLEN). The Camden Police Department (CPD) honored patrol officers John Patton and Penny Lloyd as its Officer of the Year and Wilson Clyburn award winners, respectively -- Patton for his desire to learn; Lloyd for her ability to connect with the public. In addition, Post ...
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.
The unemployment rate here in Kershaw County and across South Carolina, as well as the rest of the United States, remains disappointingly high. The economy is still mired in slow growth, and too many people are out of work. Yet a recent study by a national newspaper shows how ineffective government jobs programs can be and points out that many people who have tried to take advantage of them end up worse off than they were before starting them.
• Here in Kershaw County, we don't think about bridges much, unless it's the spans crossing the Lynches and Wateree rivers on U.S. 1, I-20 and other roads. Many bridges in our county are small, made of wood or pipes used as culverts. They cross streams and branches of creeks and -- according to our recent two-part story -- not in the greatest shape. Some state-owned bridges are in the process of being repaired or replaced with state and/or federal funds. But many others are owned by the county. All but two currently open bridges that cross bodies of ...
Two horrific diseases have been brought into the spotlight recently -- ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig's Disease, which has caught the public eye through an "ice bucket challenge," and depression, brought into further consciousness through the tragic suicide of actor/comedian Robin Williams. Attention in such matters is always beneficial, both in terms of raising money to fight the diseases and in making Americans more aware of the challenges of such maladies.
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