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Opinion

  • Washington D.C. – World War II correspondent Ernie Pyle died during the invasion of Okinawa in 1945. 
    In his pocket was a draft of his last column, “On Victory in Europe.” He wrote, “...the companionship of two and a half years of death and misery is a spouse that tolerates no divorce. Such companionship finally becomes a part of one’s soul, and it cannot be obliterated.”

  • As I prepared what I wanted to say today, I considered reviewing a list of accomplishments. Twenty-five years is a long time and we have done an amazing amount of good work.
    However, that sounded boring.
    So, I think I would rather make a point about the future.
    Many of you have asked me, “What will the Coordinating Council do without you?”
    The question reminded me of the first meeting after Mrs. Harris died.
    Looking back on it, I realize everyone was wondering, “What will the CCCC do without her?”

  • About a month ago, I joined many others in Congress in celebrating National Small Business Week, where we recognized the more than  30 million small businesses across the country.
    As I reflect on that important week, I can’t help but also reflect on the conditions that make it possible for these businesses to grow and thrive. It’s no secret our economy has been booming and beating the expert’s forecasts yet again after two recent positive jobs reports.

  • For most of my nearly 13-year career as a hydrogeologist with Nestlé Waters, I have been part of a team evaluating numerous spring sites throughout the Southeast.
    Several years ago I visited the Sand Hills of South Carolina and eventually our Swift Springs Site in Chesterfield County.
    After years of preparation, Swift Springs became the newest source of sustainable spring water for Nestlé Waters’ Deer Park brand, allowing us to construct a state-of-the-art bottling facility near McBee in 2015.

  • NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 16, 1944 – I took a walk along the historic coast of Normandy in the country of France.
    It was a lovely day for strolling along the seashore. Men were sleeping on the sand, some of them sleeping forever. Men were floating in the water, but they didn’t know they were in the water, for they were dead.
    The water was full of squishy little jellyfish about the size of your hand. Millions of them. In the center each of them had a green design exactly like a four-leaf clover. The good-luck emblem. Sure. Hell yes.

  • NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 17, 1944 – In the preceding column we told about the D-day wreckage among our machines of war that were expended in taking one of the Normandy beaches.
    But there is another and more human litter. It extends in a thin little line, just like a high-water mark, for miles along the beach. This is the strewn personal gear, gear that will never be needed again, of those who fought and died to give us our entrance into Europe.

  • NORMANDY BEACHHEAD, June 12, 1944 – Due to a last-minute alteration in the arrangements, I didn’t arrive on the beachhead until the morning after D-day, after our first wave of assault troops had hit the shore.
    By the time we got here the beaches had been taken and the fighting had moved a couple of miles inland. All that remained on the beach was some sniping and artillery fire, and the occasional startling blast of a mine geysering brown sand into the air. That plus a gigantic and pitiful litter of wreckage along miles of shoreline.

  • Gov. Henry McMaster has signed legislation that revises rules that govern electric cooperatives, increasing transparency to co-op members and adding limited government oversight.
    Legislators did not set standards for who can be elected to cooperatives’ governing boards, or how often boards can meet or the compensation of board members.
    The legislatures left those decisions to cooperative members.

  • The House gaveled to a close last week after dozens of bills and the Sine Die Resolution passed the House and Senate.
    This was the first year of a two-year session that focused primarily on education reform, presenting a balanced and efficient budget, solutions for Santee Cooper, and the pro-life ‘Heartbeat’ legislation.
    Although regular session has ended, the legislature will continue to work over the next few weeks in conference committees.

  • The countdown is on as the final week of this legislative session approaches.
    Three legislative days remain. The good news is this is the first year of a two-year session and there is much more we hope to accomplish.
    Last week thousands of teachers from South Carolina visited the State House to express their concerns and offer input on South Carolina’s education system.

  • Pageland, or any other municipality that is trying to exist, should not have to meet an antiquated law.
    The law in question requires those who have retail liquor sales, or restaurants that offer on-premise, by-the-drink sales, be 300 feet from a church, playground or school.  
    That is generally 300 feet to the left, 300 feet to the right, 300 feet ahead, and 300 feet behind a commercial building.

  • “A retail liquor license or a possession and consumption license may not be granted if the place of business is within 300 feet of any church, school, or playground situated within a municipality, or within 500 feet of any church, school, or playground situated outside of a municipality....

  • Pageland’s desire to have a variety of firms interested in developing a master plan for downtown is understandable.
    We want to get the best possible plan with the largest amount of civic engagement.
    But in this case, Pageland may be starting the process without doing all its homework.
    Ads placed in the Progressive Journal stated the town was interested in a master plan for downtown.
    Why just downtown?
    Why not the entire town?

  • In the 15th chapter of 1 Corinthians, the apostle Paul gives us an outline of Easter events.
    He mentions two of the final appearances of Jesus to the people following his death.
    One of those appearances is referred to this way, “He (Jesus) was seen by James.”
    Paul gives us no more details than those five words. Five words may not seem like much. These five words recorded by Paul have enormous weight and significance. They represent a new chapter in the journey of one of Jesus’ closest relatives.

  • Tremendous progress was made on the calendar this week, numerous bills were passed and have been sent to the Senate.
    This is an extremely busy time during legislative session because we are approaching the crossover deadline. Crossover is the last day for a bill to pass out of the House and move forward for consideration in the Senate. Among the bill passed are:
    ◆ H. 3759 – The S.C. Education, Career, Opportunity, and Access for All Act
    ◆ H. 4000 and H. 4001 – The General Appropriations Bill and Capital Reserve Fund (the budget)

  • A bridge over U.S. 1 outside McBee should shortly be named in honor of Chesterfield County lawman Sgt. Darryl Quick,
    Rep. Richie Yow introduced a bill honoring Quick. The House has passed the ball and it awaits action the state Senate.
    Quick, a Chesterfield County Sheriff’s sergeant, died in July 23, 2008 in an off-duty, head-on collision.

    Yow’s resolution to honor Quick

  • From the day I attended my first DECA state meeting in 2017, I knew I wanted to be a state officer.
    Last month, I reached that goal, being elected South Carolina DECA’s Vice President of Leadership.
    In 2017, Central participated in competitive DECA for the first time. I was appointed the Director of Competitions.
    At the 2017 Region II qualifying event, I placed tenth in the Individual Entrepreneurship Series. At the 2018 state competition, I switched to public speaking and placed seventh.

  • Last week was a big step forward in reducing income taxes in South Carolina.
    Several months ago, House Speaker Jay Lucas, who represents a portion of Chesterfield County, created a special legislative committee to focus on tax reform. The committee’s first bill proposes reducing income taxes. This bill, H.4334, would reduce income taxes from 7% to a flat rate of 4.5%, making South Carolina competitive with neighboring states.

    Waiting on the Senate

  • Carl Chapman loves his hometown of Pageland and the county he lives in.  However, there is one thing he hates about the area.  It is “all that litter.”
    Chapman and his wife, Elaine, retired to Pageland 13 years ago. He served in the Army Reserves and was an employment manager and human resource manager.
    “We’ve got beautiful scenery here in the county,” Chapman said.  “But the litter drastically distracts from it.”

  • Last week the House made historic progress toward protecting South Carolina ratepayers and taxpayers. With Senate and House joint resolutions, consensus is building to sell the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
    The House authorized the Public Service Authority Evaluation and Recommendation Committee to analyze bids to purchase state-owned utility Santee Cooper.
    A special legislative committee, comprised of four House members, four Senate members and the Governor, started researching the potential sale of Santee Cooper eight months ago.