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  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Let's all act smart and stay safe

    The advice from then-Gov. Pat McCrory of North Carolina in 2014 before Hurricane Arthur resounds even more today as the Carolinas brace for Hurricane Florence: “Don’t put your stupid hat on.”
    Chesterfield County emergency response crews are preparing for everything – high winds, flooding, downed trees, lost power and distressed people.
    It’s anyone’s guess when Florence will touch Chesterfield County – and how strong it will be when it gets here.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Pageland, a place to come from or go to?

    It has been almost four decades since the head of the state agency responsible for helping downtowns declared Pageland as the ugliest town in South Carolina.
    Last week, the president of the Pageland Chamber of Commerce gave a grim prognosis for downtown – it’s dying and nobody is doing anything to help.
    So to paraphrase the great Mark Twain, are reports of Pageland’s demise a great exaggeration, or not?
    Much has been done over four decades to beautify downtown. There are banners, flowers and “way finding” signs.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Closed for lunch day

    Today is National Bow Tie Day. It is a day to not only celebrate the fashion statement, but to honor those who have made the bow tie their trademark.
    As you can see from our front page, it is a fun day. And it’s a local day as we celebrate our own king of the bow tie, Omoro King, principal at Jefferson Elementary School.
    In the spirit of national days, the Progressive Journal would like to declare Sept. 18, also a Tuesday, “Pageland is Closed for Lunch Day.”

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Thoughts on Trump, nursery rhymes and comic strips

    More than 300 newspapers, big and small, have answered the Boston Globe’s call to defend the power of a free press and refute President Donald Trump’s assertions that the media is the enemy of the people. 

    When the request went out last week, I wondered what the Progressive Journal, as a small, rural South Carolina newspaper, could add to the national conversation.

    An editorial by the New York Press Association summed up the issue quickly and forcefully. 

    “We are not the enemy. We are the people. 

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Pageland togetherness

    On July 21, 1951, Pageland held the “biggest day in the 40-year history of this fast growing town” – the first Watermelon Festival.
    Among the first of firsts for the annual festival were:
    ◆ Ann Robertson, who was named Miss Watermelon Festival. The week before, she won the local American Legion beauty contest.
    ◆ Six grand marshals led the parade, all on horseback. B.C. Moore & Sons and A.M. Moore Co. combined to win the float contest. A “snappy Jeep sportster” pulled the float, which featured large butterflies.

  • EDITOR'S COLUMN: Reading is a performance art

    Most journalists have a story for every occasion.  Left unchecked, we can monopolize the conversation at family gatherings.

    For all these stories, there is also the all-time list of worst assignments: the events, people or occasions we didn’t want to go to in the first place. 

    You protest, but you go. Assigning editors hold great power. 

    High on my worst list initially was covering a poetry reading. 

  • 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.