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Justin Milliken Returns To Victory Lane At Myrtle Beach Speedway

Justin Milliken is overwhelmed with emotion as he celebrates in Victory Lane at Myrtle Beach Speedway. (Hunter Thomas/

By: Carter Buffkin/

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Nearly a year following a horrific roadway crash, Justin Milliken overcame the adversity to capture his first win of the 2018 season by taking the checkered flag in the Sun Fun 101 at Myrtle Beach Speedway on Saturday night.

In July of 2017, Milliken and fellow racers, Terry Evans and Adam Fulford and his son were involved in a terrible crash after leaving a practice session at Myrtle Beach Speedway. Evans, who was one of Milliken’s best friends lost his life due to the injuries he sustained. Milliken sustained an extreme back injury that he’s still fighting today, but his quality of life is getting better each day. In fact, on Tuesday at 11:27 a.m., Milliken’s daughter, Asbury Evan Milliken joined the world, and four days later, he was once again celebrating in Victory Lane at Myrtle Beach Speedway.

“Man, what an awesome weekend,” Milliken said in Victory Lane. “I hadn’t won a race since I was in Victory Lane with Terry. I tried like hell in that (Myrtle Beach) 400. I tried like hell every race, I gave it all. I put so much pressure on myself. I missed shifts. We’ve got four second-place finishes this year. That’s nothing to hang your head about.”

The race started uneventfully with pole-sitter Chad McCumbee securing the lead, followed by a brief 15-lap settling period, that saw most of the field run single-file, saving their cars for long 101 laps. Following the single file period, action picked back up with the top-eight cars running side-by-side for a solid 25 laps, in a style that Chad McCumbee later describe as a Myrtle Beach version of “pack racing”. While the style made for an entertaining first half of the race, it was temporarily stopped with a caution on lap 57, as Thad Moffitt had a smoky engine failure coming down the backstretch.  Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Purpose: When praying for rain, don’t forget an umbrella

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

I’ve heard the old saying that “life is not a bed of roses” for as long as I can remember. I understand what it’s trying to convey but I’ve also thought that it would not really be all that great to lay down on a bed of sharp thorns. Nevertheless, it’s safe to say our journey will have its ups and downs and unfortunately, most of us will experience our share of hard times. Whether it’s a financial worry, a medical situation, family problems, a concern for the world, or just being discouraged from the relentless grind of our job, life can be tough. However, in the midst of all that is going on, we can always turn to God who is filled with an endless source of strength, hope, and love. We can choose to embrace the encouraging truth that God cares about our problems and how He has the power and the solutions to give us the victory no matter the size of our mountain or how dark the night. “And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work” II Corinthians 9:8.

Yes, there are bumps in the road that can help us learn about faith and patience but whatever the crisis it was not God’s intention for us to dwell in a state of defeat. In spite of being surrounded by negative forces, we have been given the opportunity through Christ to abide in His presence where there is an abundance of joy, security, and peace. In John chapter ten and verse ten and eleven we find the words of Christ, “The thief comes not but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: but I (Jesus) have come that you might have life and that you might have it more abundantly. I am the good shepherd: the good shepherd gives his life for the sheep.” Whatever the situation, He has promised that He wants to save you and bring you through your trials stronger and more confident than ever.  Read the rest of this entry »

Former journalism professor’s new  novel touches a nerve with many an  editor working in the community press

If the gruesome slaughter of five people happened in the newsroom of a paper in Annapolis, Maryland, could it happen in South Carolina?

What exactly could occur when a group of angry citizens have a festering gripe with their hometown community newspaper?

And how would the newspaper respond if this irate group of people seemed only to get angrier and more demanding by the day?

Even the community’s high sheriff—under seige himself by that same crowd of complainants—seems to have no answers.

These are a couple of uncannily timely themes in a new novel—“Unlikeliest Witness”—published earlier this summer by Larry C. Timbs Jr.

Timbs is a former community newspaper editor and retired Winthrop University journalism professor now living in the mountains of East Tennessee.  He says that the big story of the recent newsroom shooting in Annapolis is something that all-too-many community newspapers can relate to.

“All it takes is one deranged or mentally ill person to bust into a newsroom and vent his spleen.  Tragedy can quickly ensue,” Timbs said.  “If you’re a journalist working in a small town in South Carolina, you can definitely relate to what I write about in my new book.”

Unlikeliest Witness, published by Doggy Dog Press, is available on Amazon.



“Got Worse” from The Times and Democrat

“Got Worse” from The Times and Democrat

“No Middle” from The Times and Democrat

“No Middle” from The Times and Democrat

“Resistance” from The Times and Democrat

“Resistance” from The Times and Democrat

Amending the agenda

By Jay Bender

Editor’s Note: This is a topic of general interest. Member editors can pick this column up and run it as they see fit.

I was in Mount Pleasant recently. It had been years since I had driven north of Shem Creek on Coleman Boulevard. My drive north in search of lunch put into context the Save Shem Creek movement and the desire of many residents to slow development in the town.

My drive was educational.  Low rise, lower density development had been replaced by high rise buildings at street’s edge and strip mall sprawl.  I could have been in Myrtle Beach except for the absence of T-shirt shops.

The conflict between development and preservation came to a head in a suit filed against the Town by a developer.  The suit named as defendants the Town of Mount Pleasant and members of town council in their individual capacities.  Council members were apparently told by town attorneys that they faced potential personal liability from the suit.  Court-required mediation resulted in the development of a settlement agreement that, upon approval by town council, would give the developer the right to higher density construction than might otherwise have been available.

The settlement agreement was on the town council agenda in July last year for an executive session discussion and possible approval.  As is often the case, the appearance of a controversial development agreement on the agenda drew a crowd.  The matter was on the published agenda under item XI.C.1. entitled “Executive Session.”

At the outset of the meeting a member of council moved to amend the agenda to move the settlement agreement Executive Session item, XI.C.l.a., to an earlier position on the agenda.  The motion to amend the agenda was adopted unanimously.  The motion to enter executive session for the settlement agreement discussion failed on a 4-4 vote.  One member, citing the potential for personal liability withdrew from the meeting. Another member citing potential personal liability recused himself from the discussion.  A public discussion was then held on the settlement agreement and the potential for personal liability of council members.  A second motion for executive session on the item was adopted on a 4-3 vote.  Two additional council members elected not to participate in the executive session.  Five members of council participated.  Read the rest of this entry »

“USA vs China” by Stuart Neiman

“USA vs China” by Stuart Neiman

Living on Purpose: The challenge to keep families together

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

I am sure that many of you can remember when life was not so demanding and filled with anxiety or at least it seemed that way. I was raised in the city so when I had a chance to go to my grandparent’s house out in the country it was like going on vacation. They lived on a quiet overgrown road that came to a dead-end at the Kentucky River and their farm was so remote that when an occasional car would pass by we would stop and stare at it like it was entertainment. I will never forget helping in the garden, feeding the animals, playing in the fireplace and the sights and smells of country living that gave me a sense of love and security.

I have such fond thoughts of my grandmother serving huge delicious meals, eating homemade ice-cream, the joy and freedom of running through fields and forest and then catching lightning bugs in the evening. When I was young, I thought that going fishing on my grandfather’s boat was the ultimate adventure and going to the creek to help them wash their old car was such innocent fun. Looking for crawdads, throwing rocks, watching out for snakes and getting soaking wet on a hot sunny day were the perfect combination for thrills and excitement. And in the winter when the snow was deep we would go out and play then come in and hold our hands over the pot belly stove and listen to the coal crackle and pop. Spending the night was filled with such anticipation as we slept in huge feather beds with piles of blankets and I still recall the moonlight shining through the windows that made everything seem magical to a boy who dreamed this would last forever.  Read the rest of this entry »

Erik Jones Survives Mayhem At Daytona To Win His First NASCAR Cup Series Race

By: Camille Jones/

DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – Erik Jones claimed his first-career Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series win following a crash-ridden Coke Zero Sugar 400 at Daytona International Speedway on Saturday night.

Jones, driver of the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 20 Toyota, was able to hold off Martin Truex Jr. to earn his first win in the series, after a second NASCAR Overtime restart bunched the field up for a green-white-checkered finish. The two raced door-to-door before Jones soared out to the lead to take the victory.

“Oh, boy,” Jones said. “How about that race, boys and girls? That was something else. I thought that we were out of it and we were right back in it. Took the lead and ran away. Wow, what an awesome race. To have on here and my first win at Daytona. My first superspeedway win. What an awesome day. I am out of breath. Too much smoke in the car from that burnout. I can barely breathe. What an awesome finish.”

The win locks Jones into the Monster Energy NASCAR Cup Series Playoffs and gives his team a chance to run for the Championship, but earning the first victory of his Cup career was a big step forward, and he was soaking up the moment in Victory Lane.  Read the rest of this entry »

Exceptional Palate Pleasers

Tom Poland

Palmetto State Specialty Foods

By Tom Poland

Across South Carolina appetizing fragrances drift from kitchens, farms, fields, kilns, and roasters. Fiery sauces … heavenly coffee … the freshest produce, and crabcake are but a minuscule sampling of South Carolina specialty foods. Year-round, specialty foods please palates across the state.

From Anderson to Charleston, from Blythewood to Columbia to Wadmalaw Island, Mt. Pleasant, and points in between, specialty foods bring joy to many. Specialty foods—unique and high-value food items made in small quantities from high-quality ingredients—enhance South Carolina’s stature as a state known for fine foods.

Providing specialty foods is demanding. Suzy Ellison, executive director of Specialty Foods for the South Carolina Department of Agriculture, applauds specialty food providers’ courage and entrepreneurial sprit. “South Carolina Specialty Food Association members have a true passion for their products,” said Ellison. “So much is involved in starting any business, especially in the food industry. Blood, sweat, tears, and desire are among the first requirements.”  Read the rest of this entry »

“Faux Report” from The Times and Democrat

“Faux Report” from The Times and Democrat

“Civility” from The Times and Democrat

“Civility” from The Times and Democrat

“Maxine” from The Times and Democrat

“Maxine” from The Times and Democrat

“Gowdy Hypocrisy” by Stuart Neiman

“Gowdy Hypocrisy” by Stuart Neiman

Kyle Busch Prevails Over Kyle Larson After Trading Paint In Epic Finish At Chicagoland

By: Hunter Thomas/

JOLIET, Ill. – After trading paint with Kyle Larson on the final lap of the Overton’s 400, Kyle Busch captured the victory at Chicagoland Speedway on Sunday.

On the final lap, Larson attempted a slide job on Busch in Turn 2. Busch in the Joe Gibbs Racing No. 18 Skittles Red White & Blue Toyota bounced off the wall, but he still kept pace. As the two drivers entered Turn 3, Busch was able to get to the rear of Larson’s car in Turn 4 to send him sideways. Busch bounced off the wall and limped to the checkered flag to win his fifth win of the season. He led 59 laps en route to the victory.

“It was a lot more hectic than I wanted it to be,” Busch said about the finish. “Those lapped cars just got in our way and slowed us down so much that we just had no momentum. Finally I got through a couple of them. Larson just threw a dart there in Turn 1 and 2 and tried to pull a slide job. I don’t think he was close enough. He didn’t get enough clear on me to be able to slide. And when he got to me, he throttled up and drove us in the wall. And going down the backstretch, I lost all of my momentum. I tried to side-draft him as much as I could to keep him alongside of me. He cleared me and I gave him what he gave me back into Turn 3 and 4. And I was able to come back and get ahead. Adam Stevens (crew chief) did a great job today and turned this into something we could go race with at the end.”  Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Purpose: When parents and children disagree

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

Children are a wonderful blessing! How exciting it is to hold a little baby and imagine the person they will become along with all the great things they will experience and accomplish. These feelings of expectation and happiness are amazing and hopefully will continue as we watch them grow throughout our lifetime, however, as children develop beyond their formative years and into their teens, our excitement often turns to confusion and discouragement. No one is perfect or has all the answers, and we might as well face the reality that even with our prayers, sometimes our offspring will not always go the way we thought they would.

When children are young, they are subjected to the influences of their parents. As they grow older, they begin to explore and absorb what everyone else has to say about everything. In this process of comparing what they have been told with all of the new information they are gathering, it’s only a matter of time until they start forming their own opinions and worldviews about what is right and wrong. Often, these ideas and belief systems are different from their parents and of course becomes an agonizing disappointment as they watch their child evolve into someone they never imagined. Proverbs chapter 22 reminds us how important it is to teach and raise a child according to God’s principles and we are grateful for His promise that as they grow older they will remember and embrace these truths.  Read the rest of this entry »

Across The Savannah

Grandma’s Petunias

Tom Poland

By Tom Poland

Vintage petunias. I had forgotten them, those flowers grandma loved. Surely I saw them in youth. As I sort through my mental album I think I recall them. Pale colors, pastel petals of white and pink, possibly lavender, and a delicate softness. Seems Grandmother Walker grew them on her porch, a wide, columned porch destined to burn. There, on that doomed veranda, they grew in pots, over-spilling, upside down, their blooms a bit like inverted antebellum skirts. In the flowers’ throats, dark veins converged, a floral case of perspective.

How long ago did I forget about those old timey petunias. A lot of time passed, then suddenly I couldn’t escape them. A woman down Florida way spotted them in my photograph of a country store along old US 1. “Did you notice the old timey petunias by the store’s steps?”

I brought up the photo and there they were, a cluster of ten or so, frozen by the shutter, flowers dancing in an old Disney cartoon classic. For some reason, all faced away from the sun, gazing at their own shadows. And then I discovered vintage petunias a week ago at an old homeplace. Discovered them in person in a large field adjacent to the ruins of an old tenant home.

Just this week I worked on a story about a woman who loved trains and the trainman who visited this woman who waved at the trains said this: “I walked through Miss Johnnies’ fragrant purple old timey petunias; the perennial kind our southern grandmothers grew in their yards.”

Yep, that would be correct.

Photo by Tom Poland

Old fashioned petunias, what I refer to as Grandma’s petunias are still out there, straight from childhood. This hardy, aromatic heirloom flower hints of old home places, and indeed that’s where I stumbled upon them. Think of them as vintage flowers. I recall my late Mom talking about old-fashioned petunias and a flower that has a beautiful name, delphinium, oh, and plumbago too. Finally, I saw old petunias in person and this time recognized them for what they are, vintage flowers.  Read the rest of this entry »

People wait in line at Airport High School to listen to President Donald Trump speak

People wait in line at Airport High School to get in to listen to President Donald Trump speak during a campaign rally for Henry McMaster. 6/25/18 (Tracy Glantz/The State)

President Donald Trump greets Henry McMaster during a rally at Airport High School

President Donald Trump greets Henry McMaster during a rally at Airport High School. 6/25/18 (Tracy Glantz/The State)