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  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: The art of watermelons

    Some assembly required.
    They are words every parent fears. It means parts won’t fit. What should take minutes, takes hours. Frustration levels will reach epic proportions.
    Some assembly required, however, does not come close to describing how trying it can be to turn a watermelon into a piece of art.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Associated Press’ collision decision is a total wreck

    It is now OK to collide with a tree.
    Why you would want to collide with a tree is beyond my comprehension. Hitting a tree is, well, painful.
    But you can now, linguistically, collide with a tree.
    The editors of the Associated Press Stylebook recently announced a moving object can collide with a stationary object.
    For decades aspiring journalists were taught that a collision involved two or more MOVING objects. You might hit a tree, crash into a tree, strike a tree, but you could not collide with a tree.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Annapolis killings shake every newsroom family

    For years, newspaper men typed “-30-” when they were done writing their stories. It was a signal to copy boys, copy editors and typesetters that they had reached the end of the story. 

    -30- also seems to be the most fitting tribute to the five employees murdered Thursday at the Capital Gazette newspaper in Annapolis, Md.

    Combined, Gerald Fischman, Carl Hiaasen, James McManus and Wendi Winters had more than 100 years of journalism experience. The fifth person, Rebecca Smith, was a sales assistant. 

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Stories to be remembered, stories to be told

    While it was not officially recognized as a national holiday until 1971, Memorial Day has been celebrated in the United States since 1868. 

    The first “Decoration Day” observances were to remember the armed forces veterans who had died during the Civil War.

    After World War I there was even more interest in having a time to reflect. Another generation of Americans had experienced the realities of war. 

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Reqiuem for ‘The Other Story’

    It is customary in the news business to write the obituary after someone dies.
    But in this case, why wait? It is time to write the obituary for “The Other Story” now.
    What is “The Other Story”?
    It is the story next to the story you intended to read. Often “The Other Story” has a catchy headline or an eye-grabbing photograph with it.
    “The Other Story” informs you about something you did not know, or gives you a different perspective on something you did.

  • PUBLISHER'S COLUMN: Newsprint tariffs won’t save U.S. jobs, will damage essential industry

    There are two things you need to know about newspapers.
    Newspapers are important to community life and democracy. Always have been. We at the National Newspaper Association think it is important for all sorts of newspapers to survive for the sake of a free society – the very large and the very small ones, the liberal ones, the conservative ones, the middle-of-the-road ones, the ones with no viewpoint but just important news, all of them. Some are our members. Many are not. We defend them anyway. America needs them like we need oxygen.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Qualities of a successful chamber of commerce

    In the days of the internet and social media, are chambers of commerce still relevant?
    Before all this instant communication, chamber membership was an almost automatic business expense. Chambers provided visibility for businesses, allowed business owners to network with other business owners, and gave business owners access to community leaders.
    All that can be done today with the stroke of a computer key. 

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Open Government – Bringing balance to economic development disclosure

    There is no debating the success of South Carolina’s diverse economic development recruiting efforts – from BMW and Boeing statewide to Conbraco, Titan Stainless and Wal-Mart locally.
    Simply, it means jobs and money raised and spent locally. Imagine what Pageland would be without any of its major employees. To fill jobs at those major employees people travel to Pageland.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Common sense and littering

    South Carolina has a reputation as having the most littered highways and byways in the country.
    Years of ant-littering efforts have not yielded desired results.
    The S.C. House of Representatives recently passed a new bill, updating existing law with suggestions based on real-life experiences and research from what other states are doing.
    Higher fines have not made a dent in litter control efforts. The new bill treats littering and illegal dumping as separate offenses with penalties to match.

  • COLUMN: Teacher of the year: Why me?

    Each year Chesterfield County teachers select a “Teacher of the Year” at their school. 

    It is a great accomplishment. It shows your peers consider you to be a teacher who has exemplified all, or most of, the characteristics of an exceptional teacher.

    When I was selected Teacher of the Year at Ruby Elementary in 2002, I wondered, “Why me?”

    I had so many mixed emotions when I got the news – humbleness, apprehension and doubt. I even tried to force myself to feel a little happiness.