• It's sad to note that 2013 has been an "average" year when it comes to mass killings and victims in the United States. There have been 29 mass killings with a total of 147 victims, which is in line with other years since 2006. A few decades ago, nobody could have predicted such sobering figures; now, unfortunately, we Americans live with the threat of such violence on a daily basis.
A Greenville legislator has pre-filed a bill in the General Assembly that would prohibit motorists from driving slowly in the left lane, thus holding up traffic. It would also ban drivers from using cell phones in the left lane and would make it illegal to drive five miles per hour slower than the posted limit while in the left lane. And it would outlaw ever driving in the left lane except for passing other cars.
One of the things that Democrats in Washington have done successfully over the past couple years is planting the obstructionist label all on the Republican Party. In reality, Democrats on the far left are just as unyielding as Republicans on the far right, and there's plenty of room for blame when it comes to Congress' failure to compromise. Still, we're glad to see House Speaker John Boehner finally stand up to Tea Party-motivated members of Congress and call them out for being obstinate.
• The Chronicle-Independent offers a tip of its hat to Rigdon Boykin, Ann Bass and everyone at Kimbrell's Furniture on completing renovations to its Camden store. The $350,000 spent on the project isn't just an investment in the store, but an investment in downtown Camden. Camden Mayor Tony Scully called it a "transformational vision, showing us what's possible." We agree, hoping not only that other property owners will upgrade their buildings, but that Kimbrell's lead will entice new businesses and developers to invest in Camden as well.
Guns in schools is always a touchy subject, and of course it was newsworthy when a Camden Middle School student recently was apprehended at school with a loaded .38 caliber revolver as well as a box cutter. We have all read too many incidents of horrific school shootings across the country, so parents and other citizens are sensitive to security in schools. Local law enforcement authorities say school administrators handled the situation well and praised the school's staff, headed by principal Byron Johnson, for doing "a great job."
The state of Alabama recently took a step towards righting one of the most egregious miscarriages of justice ever perpetrated in this country, issuing posthumous pardons to three members of the "Scottsboro Boys," who were wrongly accused in 1931 of raping two white women on a train. Eight of the nine charged were swiftly convicted and sentenced to death by an all-white jury, with a mistrial being declared for the ninth, 13-year-old Roy Wright.
• A new study shows that dementia is going to be even a bigger problem than originally thought, estimating that 135 million people will have the disorder by 2050; that's a 17 percent increase above previous predictions. Dementia -- with Alzheimer's Disease being the best known type -- has stubbornly fought the best efforts of scientists to discover a cure or a way to slow the progression. These new figures are a stark reminder that for all its advances, medicine is still an inexact science.
During a turbulent year at KershawHealth, one theme has been consistent: that patient care has not deteriorated and that the hospital's staff has continued to provide high-level medical services and compassionate care for patients. That's no doubt been made more difficult by the turmoil surrounding the facility's top management and board. Now, with a new executive having been hired to run KershawHealth on a temporary basis, it's time to focus on returning the hospital to profitability and "settling things down."
One of the many problems in politics today is that many elected officials begin to believe they are smarter than the electorate and feel they should be able to make decisions that contravene public attitudes. They justify this, of course, in a myriad of ways. The recent resignation of a Colorado state senator is the ultimate in arrogance when it comes to ignoring the voters and trying to circumvent the will of the people.
• We note with sadness the death of Kershaw County Deputy Sheriff Rob Evans, who collapsed and died as he was directing traffic at Wateree Elementary School; he had served as a school resource officer in Lugoff for seven years and was active in a wide variety of school and community functions. Evans, 50, was well liked and did a good job of establishing rapport between his department and young children.
There won't be many people in Kershaw County who'll be neutral about the South Carolina-Clemson game Saturday, as both teams come into the rivalry ranked in the nation's Top 10. It should be a great contest, with the entire nation watching. South Carolina Coach Steve Spurrier and Clemson Coach Dabo Swinney have been unusually complimentary of each other in the days leading up to the game, with both of them talking about how much they respect the other. In the past, there have been sharp words between the two, but everyone knows that part of that has ...
The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) last week said it would lift its ban on cellphone conversations on airliners, but the ruling doesn't mean that non-stop jabbering will automatically be permitted; rather, it simply allows the airline companies to decide whether they want to sanction cellphone use or not. In doing so, the FCC finally acknowledged what most experts have preached for years: that the use of electronic devices doesn't actually interfere with a plane's communications and controls systems. There will no doubt be lots of passengers happy that they don't have to turn off their iPads ...
• If you're planning to visit family members in another area of the country and dread facing huge crowds in airports during Thanksgiving, consider this: within a decade, 24 of the busiest 30 airports in the nation will become as congested twice each week as they are on the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. That's the prediction from a travel-industry study, and Charlotte's Douglas International Airport is among those included. So if you're flying next week, console yourself with the fact that soon, the bedlam you're facing will be an everyday affair.
If you don't believe that politics changes in a heartbeat, you need look back no further than the past few decades, when pundits and prognosticators predicted with certainty that one political party or the other had died, never again to be resurrected.
When it comes to football, most people in Kershaw County and across South Carolina get divided up into one of two camps -- either the University of South Carolina or Clemson. There's a pretty sizeable hump between the two, and fans tend to fall onto one side or the other. But since the Carolina Panthers started playing in the National Football League in 1995, it's given residents of the Palmetto State a team virtually everyone can cheer for. Of course, there are a few old diehard Washington Redskins fans left around Kershaw County from the days when that was ...
Kershaw County residents are getting ready to face what other voters across the country are going to see in the next few months: an onslaught of political ads, many of them nasty in character, and a high percentage of them paid for not by candidates but by special interest groups which have amassed millions upon millions of dollars to spread their messages. And, of course, the bulk of those messages will be negative. These groups are both Democratic and Republican, conservative and liberal. Altogether, according to news reports, such factions are going to buy $2 billion worth of ad time ...
• Friday's report that Amtrak is going to spend the next several months refurbishing Camden's passenger rail station off West DeKalb Street is welcome news. Built in 1937, it has shown its age for decades and never more so than now with holes in the platform's canopy, rotting timbers and other problems that make it a less than desirable place to stop. Amtrak says their No. 1 priority is making the facility Americans with Disabilities Act compliant -- and that's a very good thing -- from the parking lot to the station and onto the platform and train. But ...
We're glad to see that the city of Camden is exploring alternatives for aging Rhame Arena. The building is becoming more dilapidated with each passing year, and something needs to be done, whether it's razing it or restoring it. Of course, money is a factor, just as it is in all government decisions these days. We will say that city officials have overworked the bureaucratic jargon in their appraisal of the situation, saying an "adaptive reuse" could be a possible alternative. We are assuming "adaptive reuse" means repairing the building and making it feasible for some type of ...
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