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Opinion

  • “He’s not acting right,” said his mother, sitting on a chair beside her son in the emergency department of a rural South Carolina hospital.
    “He gets all upset, he yells out, he hits at me, then he just gets real quiet-like. It’s been happening a lot more lately. He just stares off, he doesn’t move, he won’t say nothing to me. Then he kinda’ wakes up after a while.”

  • Two months ago, I appeared before the Pageland Town Council and made the announcement that Historic Downtown Pageland was dying. I stand by that statement.
    We have 17 vacant storefronts in our downtown business corridor. We have businesses teetering on the brink of closure. We have many businesses that offer limited services, or churches that are only open one or two day a week. Most of our businesses are closed by 5 p.m. during the week.

  • The statistics are staggering.
    Every day in our community four or five people are physically abused by an intimate partner or spouse.
    October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, a time when social justice advocates across the nation focus attention on ways to intervene in and prevent domestic violence, and encourage everyone to become part of the solution.

  • Entire towns submerged. Homes and businesses destroyed. Lives lost.
    Hurricane Florence has devastated communities and impacted thousands of lives across South Carolina but particularly in the Pee Dee region. While some are anxiously waiting for the floodwaters to recede, the clean-up effort is underway in some places as we get through this trying time together.

  • September is National Suicide Prevention Month.  As Miss Teen Spirit of Pageantry Cosmos United States, 2018, my platform is adolescent mental health awareness and suicide prevention. 

    I am sharing my story to give those who need it the push they need to speak up to someone. 

    I am sharing this story for people who struggle with mental illness, but also for those with loved ones trying to understand what goes through their heads.  

  • Tim Griffin, president of the Pageland Chamber of Commerce gave this speech before the Pageland Town Council at its recent meeting.

    Mayor, Council, Administrator:
    I come before you tonight to bring you news of a grave nature, Historic Downtown Pageland is dying!
    It is not injured, it is not bruised, it does not have a little scrape or cut, Gentleman, Historic Downtown Pageland is dying!

  • An emotional Lindsey Graham came before his colleagues in the U.S. Senate last week to remember his friend, Sen. John McClain. 

    I have been thinking about this, I have been dreading this, and now I am going to do this.

    To all of my colleagues who have come before me, you have done right by our friend Senator McCain. The family appreciates all the good words, the kindnesses, and the antidotes that have come their way. 

  • The Progressive Journal recently sat down with Mayor Jason Evans to discuss items to be considered by the Town Council.

    The discussion largely focused on two items, the proposal by the Pageland Chamber of Commerce to turn the Watermelon Festival over the town, and a list of possible town projects developed the mayor. 

    The council recently delayed any action on the festival request until all council members are there for discussion. (Two were absent from the August meeting.)  

  • Recently, I had the pleasure of meeting with President Trump’s second Supreme Court nominee, Judge Brett Kavanaugh. 

    He is an intelligent, dedicated and universally respected man, whom I thoroughly enjoyed talking to and learning more about. He has an impressive and proven track record and will prove to be a fantastic addition to the Supreme Court of the United States. 

    He  is a graduate of Yale College and Yale Law, and also clerked for Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy. 

  • ◆ Review your child’s Individual Education Plan (IEP). Carefully look over the plan. Do you have any new medical or psychological reports that the school should know about?
    ◆ Keep everyone informed. Talk with the school to make sure their plans for your child match the intentions in the IEP. Know where your child’s classroom is, any transportation plans, and what your child needs to bring each day.
    Talk with your child. Build up “going back to school.”

  • As a South Carolinian, member of the Senate Armed Services Committee, and someone with loved ones who served in the military, I believe that supporting our nation’s troops should be our highest priority. I am to advocate for, and support, the National Defense Authorization Act for Fiscal Year 2019.
    The act funds critical military readiness initiatives and construction projects in South Carolina.
    For years our military has had to plan for the future around artificial budget caps that not only hurt readiness, but did little to decrease the deficit.

  • Guardian ad Litem volunteers are needed to serve as a voice for the abused and neglected children in Chesterfield County.
    ◆ What is a Guardian ad Litem volunteer?
    Guardian ad Litem volunteers are everyday residents who are trained and supported by the Guardian ad Litem county office. A Guardian ad Litem volunteer is appointed by the court to represent the best interests of children in Department of Social Services child abuse and neglect cases in and outside of court.

  • My name is Xanaa Myers and I am Miss Jr. Teen Pee Dee United States.
    My platform is Autism Awareness.
    As we think about autism and spread awareness this month, I feel it is important to shine a light on the silent casualties of this disorder – the siblings.
    One of our older brothers has autism.
    Our family has to function a lot differently than “normal” families do, which is very stressful sometimes.

  • Of the many factors that contribute to a community’s qualify of life, one that’s often under-appreciated, is the local newspaper.
    Small, weekly (or non-daily) publications are a form of public service. They bring us “good news” and recognize the efforts of hometown people who make a difference. On their pages you’re likely to find news about youth achievements, civic club projects, charity fundraisers, and church events that larger media outlets don’t carry.

  • Less than a week after the horrific shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, that killed 17 students and staff members, a coalition of 16 news outlets and organizations filed a motion with the criminal court overseeing the prosecution of the shooter, arguing that hearings and records in the case should be open to the public.

  • The S.C. House of Representatives has sent a budget and capital reserve fund appropriations to the state Senate for considerations.
    That’s an $8.8 billion state budget for the 2018-2019 fiscal year.
    The budget includes $8.2 billion in recurring state general fund revenue and $145 million in Capital Reserve Funds.

    Key budget expenses

  • People exposed to news of mass shootings and controversy over gun control can have a variety of stress reactions, says Heidi Zinzow, an associate professor of psychology at Clemson University.
    People taking in this news can feel a sense of hopelessness, shock, sorrow or anger. Some may look out for danger in their everyday lives and be hypervigilant, Zinzow says.
    What can people do to relieve this anxiety?

  • In 1972, I was among a group of college students from Western Carolina University who traveled to Charlotte, for the Billy Graham Crusade at the Charlotte Coliseum. 
    It was a crowded place on a Saturday night. We made our way to one of the top sections of the arena. It was an unforgettable evening. 
    There was a tremendous sense of the presence of God in this vast arena. I was a believer in Jesus already. But I must admit, I was gripped by the message Rev. Graham preached that night. 

  • Contrary to the expressions of some, celebrating black history in February – the shortest month of the year – is not a slight. When launched in 1926 by Carter G. Woodson, it was for a week.
    Dr. Woodson selected the second week of February because it envelopes the birth dates of Abraham Lincoln (Feb. 12) and Frederick Douglass (Feb. 14).

  • In the wake of the tragedy in Florida, I want to take a moment to speak directly to South Carolina residents, parents, students and teachers. Keeping our students safe continues to my top priority. From the moment a child boards the morning school bus, or a student passes through their school’s doors, no parent should ever have to worry if their child will be safe. No teacher should ever have to fear for the safety of themselves or their students.