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Noted and passed -- Aug. 8, 2011
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• We note with sadness the death last week of veteran horse trainer Charles “Charlie” V.B. Cushman Jr., whose name is synonymous with the horse industry both in Kershaw County and abroad. A twist of fate thrust Cushman from race spectator into the saddle at the 1949 Carolina Cup as a fill-in for an injured jockey. He went on to capture third place in that spring classic, and it seemed his fate with riding and Camden was sealed. Cushman built on his expertise, riding for Hall of Fame trainer W. Burling “Burly” Cocks and training such racing notables as Explode II, winner of the 1971 Carolina Cup. In his later years, Cushman focused on importing chasers and flat track horses from South America for American owners and trainers. The Cushman family is firmly embedded in Kershaw County’s racing legacy, thanks to that fateful leg up more than 60 years ago.

• New research is in on the benefits of exercise, and it confirms what we often write about: that getting off the couch and on the move is great for your health and longevity. The new study shows that even small amounts of exercise -- just a few minutes of day -- are beneficial, even when a person doesn’t get the recommended amount. In general, “more is better” when it comes to exercise, but this shows that even those who are sedentary can move just a bit and benefit from it.

• We’re glad to see that the name “Austin Brown” is taking on new meaning. A colt sired by a former Kentucky Derby winner has been named for the former Camden resident who was chairman of the Carolina Cup Committee for many years and long was active both in the equine and civic affairs of Camden. Owner Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stables, a longtime friend of Brown, honored his pal by naming the Fusaichi Pegasus colt for him. We’d like nothing more than to see Austin Brown (the horse) win a major race and be joined in the winner’s circle by Austin Brown (the man).

• A polygamist leader in Texas who’s head of a breakaway Mormon group, accused of sexual assault with two underage girls he took as his wives, recently fired his attorney and told the court he had received a statement from God saying a scourge would be sent on those areas where he’s being tried. Alas, Warren Jeffs was convicted, so we’re assuming God didn’t show up to defend him.

• There are thousands of Atlanta Braves fans in Kershaw County who are no doubt dismayed that the team is falling further and further behind the Philadelphia Phillies. The Braves are actually playing pretty well; if they were in any other division except the American League East, they’d be leading the division. With less than a third of the season remaining, the Braves had better pick up their already-impressive pace or hope for the Phillies to go into a major slump.

• Eight-two percent of Americans disapprove of the way Congress is doing its job. That’s the highest number since The New York Times/CBS poll began asking the questions 34 years ago. Enough said.