Opinion

Impaired driving is heartbreaking for everyone involved

We see the message on billboards, on television and in print. We hear it on the radio. We teach it to our kids through the DARE program. We talk about it as a general topic and most agree it’s preventable.

“It” is impaired driving and the simple steps to preventing it.

While the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive” is a year-long effort, over the holidays there is an uptick in media messages to the public to keep party-goers safe. But, like many New Year’s resolutions, keeping that in mind seems to fade as the confetti falls.

‘Transparency’ bill alllows non-profits to hide funding

The following is a guest editorial.

There is a wolf in sheep’s clothing working its way through our state legislature.

The bill purports to be a transparency bill, but it is anything but… and it will hide how millions of taxpayer dollars are spent.

The wording begins saying any non-profit entity that “received more than one hundred dollars in public funds from a state agency or political subdivision in the previous calendar year or the current calendar year, must submit a quarterly expenditure report to the jurisdiction awarding the funds.”

Being part of solution is a good resolution

A visit to any of Barnwell County’s governmental meetings will find that the public is welcomed and encouraged to particpate.

Yes, there are rules regarding length of time to speak. There are also rules that mean the public can speak but the councils generally do not respond or act on those comments immediately.

But what all those elected government officials really want are solutions.

Timely financial reporting vital for public

Each October, many state agencies – including public colleges and universities – are required to submit to me their financial statements for the previous fiscal year. I use those statements to produce South Carolina’s financial report, which is used by lawmakers, credit rating agencies, and others to assess the state’s financial condition.

Flags reminded beach-goers of the real meaning of holidays

It has been fifteen months since our place was sold on Edisto Island.

I really do miss dear friends there. Hopefully, some miss me, too. However, I have been told time and again just how very much residents and visitors miss seeing our various flags flying atop the 44-foot tower attached to the house.

After Bob Fickling and I wed in 1993, a large spotlight became a welcomed addition to the tower. Our well-lighted American flag would fly appropriately after sunset. This was indeed a thing of beauty, a proud reminder of our love for our country and sacrifices made.

Resolutions for 2018

Resolutions are a way for all of us to take a close look in the mirror at least once a year and decide what we like and what needs to be changed.

And that is the beauty of it - we can change.

We have the power within us to change our circumstances, our surroundings and/or our attitudes. Change is hard so we encourage everyone to take “baby steps” towards their goals. Diets and exercise plans that go full force for the first two weeks of the year may not last. But making small changes each week, adding time or routines, will make success a whole lot more attainable.

Community Soup Kitchen grateful

Dear Editor,

The Community Soup Kitchen would like to say thank you!

It’s hard to express how grateful we are for this community. We are truly humbled and honored by your generosity and support for this ministry.

We wish you and your family a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

The soup kitchen is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the activity center of Barnwell First Baptist Church and is serving an average of 50 meals per day.

One of ‘Cholly’s Boys’ remembers his uncle, Charlie Dixon

In the South and pockets of New England, speakers of English typically drop the post vocalic /r/, making words like paper papuh, water watuh, and Charlie Cholly, as one would pronounce Holly.

As a young man in Barnwell, I would hear people exclaim, "You must be one of Cholly's boys!" And as a good Southern boy, my answer was always, "Yes, sir."

But this isn't a lesson in sociolinguistics; it's a tribute to my Uncle Charlie Dixon who died almost one year ago.

We wish you hope

Christmas is a special time of year!

Houses are lit up with bright lights and adorned with pretty decorations.

The smell of Christmas cookies and other delicious treats fills the air.

Nostalgic movies and songs bring smiles to young and old.

The excitement of children waiting for Santa to arrive is contagious.

Christmas angels mindful of meaning of season

What do you want for Christmas?

It’s a common question this time of year.

Many want the latest gadgets, toys and clothes. You can turn to pages 1-2B of this edition to find out what local youngsters want in our annual Letters to Santa feature. From salamanders and puppies to perfume and the new iPhone X, the list of material presents was long.

However, a couple letters really stuck out to us.

Options and tips offered to celebrate safely

Dear Editor,

Some of the most dangerous days of the year on our nation’s roadways are between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day. Last year 891 people were killed in drunk driving crashes which is 26 percent of total traffic fatalities during this time (between November 1 through December 31).

Drinking and driving don’t mix. Always designate a non-drinking driver.

Thank you to the selfless, for they make us better

It’s the most wonderful time of year!

That’s been evident to our staff as we’ve covered numerous Christmas events around the county the past two weekends. Children’s eyes have lit up with excitement as “snow” fell from machines to create an atmosphere Barnwell Countians don’t see very often. The Christmas carols, tree lightings, festive floats in parades and other activities have brought so much joy.

Many people look forward to receiving gifts, but Christmas is truly about giving. As the old saying goes: “It’s better to give than to receive.”

Spectators need to realize ‘It’s just a game’

Parents and spectators we need to realize, “It’s just a game”

Very few or if any of our children will receive fortune or fame.

Basketball, football whatever sport it doesn’t matter

We need to be mindful of our hurtful chatter.

The things we say and do are taking away the fun

From your child or someone’s daughter or son.

There isn’t anything wrong with being a fan of the game

It is very unfair to criticize and yell out an ugly name.

There may be a player’s family member sitting near you

Progress is slow but welcomed

Now that we’ve counted our blessings and stuffed ourselves with turkey and all the fixings, we can officially say “Merry Christmas!”

With cooler temperatures in the air and decorations going up, it’s really beginning to feel like Christmas around Barnwell County. The tree lighting service in Snelling this past Sunday night also ushered in the season with Christmas carols, lights and snow - all of which brought smiles to children and adults alike.

ABC’s of controlling blood sugar for diabetics

Dear Editor,

Diabetes, which is sometimes called high blood sugar, affects 25.8 million Americans and plays a part in close to 231,000 deaths a year (SCDHEC, 2012). In South Carolina, it is estimated that 421,549 adults have diabetes.

African-Americans are 42 percent more likely to have the disease than whites (SCDHEC, 2012). It is the seventh leading cause of death in South Carolina (SCDHEC, 2012). In 2012, 11.6 percent of adults in South Carolina reported they had diabetes. In the Barnwell area this number increased to 14.7 percent (SCDHEC, 2012). s

We are blessed

In just a couple days we will be filling our bellies with turkey, dressing, cranberry sauce and all the calorie-filled sides.

While there is nothing wrong with indulging in a delicious meal, it’s also important to make sure our hearts are filled with thankfulness and gratitude for what we have.

“Not what we say about our blessings, but how we use them, is the true measure of our Thanksgiving,” said W.T. Purkiser, a preacher, scholar and author from the Church of the Nazarene.

Shoppers asked to stay local, ‘shop small’

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, but it’s the next day, Small Business Saturday, that really puts me in the holiday spirit.

That’s because Small Business Saturday, which falls on Nov. 25 this year, isn’t about getting up before dawn, fighting traffic, jostling with crowds and standing in long lines to save a few bucks on things no one asked for.

Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the small, family-run businesses that do so much throughout the year to support our community.

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