SCNewsExchange.com is a cooperative sharing site exclusively for use by members and associate members of the S.C. Press Association. Stories, editorials and photos are for use only in member publications and on their websites. This sharing site only works if you participate. If you have something you would like to share, please do so. Please use appropriate bylines and credit lines to recognize where material came from.

“Drink Up” from The Times and Democrat

“Drink Up” from The Times and Democrat

“I serve” by Stuart Neiman

“I serve” by Stuart Neiman

Living on Purpose: The Perfect word of God

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

We apprehend this is not a perfect world and as humans we constantly make mistakes. However, when it comes to the Bible, there is a major difference. This book might have been transcribed by mere mortals but it’s content is not from this world. The holy scriptures are a collection of divine messages directly inspired from an Omnipotent God and was simply recorded by ordinary men. As one of the most popular and best-selling books in the world, it’s given much reverence and respect but as our postmodern society continues to evolve in their progressive arrogance, many individuals are now convinced with the false notion that the Bible is not true. Psalm 19:7 declares, “The law of the Lord is perfect” and Proverbs 30:5 promises that, “Every word of God is pure.” These heavenly claims of purity and perfection are statements of heavenly truth from the only one who cannot lie. Note the text doesn’t say God’s Word is “mostly” pure or scripture is “nearly” faultless which leaves no room for partial perfection theories. “God is not a man, that He should lie; neither the son of man, that He should repent: hath He said, shall He not do it? Or hath He spoken, and shall He not make it good?” Numbers 23:19. We are reminded when Jesus answered Pilate and replied that He had come into the world to bear witness unto the truth. Pilate then asked the question, “what is truth” and revealed that humanity is spiritually blind until God graciously opens their understanding.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Absolute Authority” by Stuart Neiman

“Absolute Authority” by Stuart Neiman

Op-Ed on exempting non-profits from FOIA

By Bill Rogers

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.”

That sounds great.

But the final section of the bill, H. 3931,  drops a bombshell on openness.  It says that an entity filing such a form is exempt from disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act.

This means that chambers of commerce, development corporations and publicly supported entities such as museums, charter schools and volunteer fire departments would no longer have to disclose how they spend the millions of public dollars they receive.

Under current law, they must tell the public how money is spent. The FOIA says any entity “supported in whole or in part by public funds” is subject to the provisions of the act.  This means their meetings are open to the public and their records must be available to the public.

The Hilton Head Chamber of Commerce challenged this law about their being subject to the FOIA.  A Circuit Court ruled they were indeed subject to the law and that ruling was later appealed to the S.C. Supreme Court, which heard arguments in this case in October and is presently considering the case before issuing its ruling.

We hope the current Supreme Court case will reaffirm openness.

A cynic might say this bill is in response to that suit and is a desperate way to keep secret how chambers spend their public money.

Also note that the proposed law’s required reports would provide the public with far less information than what the FOIA is currently able to provide.

This is a very bad bill and should be defeated when it comes before the House Ways  & Means Committee.

Rogers is executive director of the S.C. Press Association, an advocate for open government.

 Download Bill’s mugshot in color or black-and-white.   

“Thought So” from The Times and Democrat

“Thought So” from The Times and Democrat

“Thought So” from The Times and Democrat

“Dinosaurs” from The Times and Democrat

“Dinosaurs” from The Times and Democrat

“Dinosaurs” from The Times and Democrat

“Heart Stomp” from The Times and Democrat

“Heart Stomp” from The Times and Democrat

See Rock City

Tom Poland

By Tom Poland, A Southern Writer

In Mom’s back yard stands a red and black birdhouse on a white pole. Its roof holds iconic words. “See Rock City.” If it had not been for Garnet Carter and Clark Byers, that birdhouse wouldn’t exist, for that birdhouse harkens back to a heralded part of Southern lore. Times were, you could drive along a back road and sooner or later you’d see a barn with its roof turned into an advertisement.

You’ll be hard pressed today to find a classic barn’s roof declaring “See 7 States from Rock City. Near Chattanooga Tenn.” In case you’ve never heard of it, Rock City is a roadside attraction on Lookout Mountain in Lookout Mountain, Georgia. Chattanooga is close by. Gigantic rock formations, gardens, a Lovers Leap, and caverns with black lights I recall. I remember, too, Ruby Falls but that is an attraction inside Lookout Mountain. (No one’s ever proved you can see seven states from Lookout Mountain.)

I saw Rock City as a boy but I can’t recall ever seeing a Rock City barn. Monday, October 16, I did. The barn you see here stands on Highway 28 between McCormick and Abbeville, South Carolina. All these years it was close by. Surely I must have seen it at some point. Just can’t recall it. I’m sure of one thing, though. Photographers and artists captured the old barn’s likeness. Weathered with boards missing and gaping holes here and there, the proud old barn stands as an art museum, a survivor.  Read the rest of this entry »

Living on Purpose: A meaningful New Year’s resolution

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

A brand-new year is here and I am excited to see what the Lord has for us! Keeping Christ at the center of our thoughts takes a great deal of discipline and determination but so does everything else we really care about. It comes down to how serious we are about knowing God and how willing we are to give Him the control of our life. Whatever we become involved with, He simply wants to listen and obey his instructions which is what being our Lord is all about. If we abide under the shadow of His wings, we will walk in the peace and joy of His Spirit but if we allow ourselves to be tempted and drawn away, we will remain distant and miserable. Matthew chapter 22 gives us the meaning of life, “Jesus said unto him, thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment.” Most of the time we are so busy making our own decisions that we hardly ever consider about the distractions that cause us to drift away from Him. In the book of Revelation chapter two, He’s disappointed with how the Ephesians had left their “first love” and today is a perfect time for us to examine our heart, and choose whom we will serve. Actually, the Bible contains many passages where God says He loves us and how much He wants to be with us. The incarnation, crucifixion and the resurrection is all about restoring our fellowship with Him and living in the awareness of His presence.  Read the rest of this entry »

“Trump Media” from The Times and Democrat

“Trump Media” from The Times and Democrat

“Resolution Paper” from The Times and Democrat

“Resolution Paper” from The Times and Democrat

“Generational Awakening” from The Times and Democrat

“Generational Awakening” from The Times and Democrat

New cameras could lessen the congestion of Lexington traffic

By Kenneil Mitchell
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS

A typical morning commute for Lexington drivers.

For such a little county, Lexington has major city traffic. Lexington County traffic officials have installed new traffic cameras to reduce congestion for drivers navigating rush hour.

Lexington County Police Chief Terrence Green drove through U.S. Route 1 and immediately noticed the difference the cameras made when he paused behind a car and the light turned green right away.

“It read that, hey we got people at this light, we need to let these people come across,” Greene said. “The other system, you would sit here two to five minutes before you’d get the green light.”

Greene says the cameras give him more time to respond to emergencies.

“This has knocked a lot of time off our response time, which is keeping our response time under 10 minutes right now,” Greene said. “This system helps out with trying to move the traffic freely and flowing through the town.”

Steve MacDougall is the mayor of Lexington.

Steve MacDougall, Lexington mayor and general manager of Hudson’s Smokehouse, says it took two years to get the cameras working at the intersections.

He worked with the Lexington County Transportation Division for weeks to test the strength of the cameras by leaving them on only to monitor the traffic and count the cars.

MacDougall says the cameras didn’t control the signals during that period, in order to see if the cameras reduced traffic without it.

“We did that for two weeks and then we turned the system back on,” MacDougall said. “Once we turned it back on, we saw a 20 percent reduction of traffic congestion.”

This reduction results in drivers saving five minutes on the road. The new system was not paid for by the Lexington citizens, but from other sources.

“We got funds from the Council of Governments, which issues funds for traffic improvement,” MacDougall said. “We got some through funds through the county, and we pitched in as a town and put some money up as well.”

MacDougall says he’s proud of the results and hopes to make history with the cameras.

Lexington officials plan to install new traffic cameras in all intersections.

“Once we have all the cameras installed throughout town, we’ll be the first city in America with every traffic light tied together, talking to each other, eliminating traffic congestion,” MacDougall said.

The Lexington Transportation Division has created two phases for the adaptive system of the traffic cameras. Phase 1 is already completed, with 19 intersections having functional cameras. Phase 2 includes 16 intersections being installed, which traffic officials state will be completed by the end of 2018.

Randy Edwards, Lexington transportation director, works with the Lexington traffic committee to keep the cameras functional. He explains the system as a means to provide a green pathway for cars to move more efficiently on the road.

Randy Edwards is the Lexington director of transportation.

“We have pre-programmed alignments that essentially will be green for that higher volume of traffic,” Edwards said. “It does provide some better free flow through the town itself when you’re pushing that additional doubling the volume of your normal, daily traffic.”

His mission is to make the cameras adapt to traffic to make the technology more natural.

“It operates a lot the way you and I would think,” Edward said. “Like, hey, there’s not many cars coming, why can’t I go? And so the cameras detect, sense how long you’ve been there and then will shut down when it’s appropriate.”

Terrence Green is the police chief in Lexington.

Green says he’s very proud of the cameras as he believes the technology helps move cars in a timely fashion.

“To use technology in a way to help our citizens, but people who are just traveling through our city, is, I think it’s great,” he said.

Study finds major health benefits of owning a real Christmas tree

By Kenneil Mitchell
CAROLINA REPORTER & NEWS

A HortTechnology study found that real Christmas trees can offer mental and health benefits.

Christmas trees have been a long-standing tradition to celebrate the holidays, but many don’t know the power they hold to better your health.

A study from HortTechnology looked into the health benefits real Christmas trees can give to those that aren’t allergic. The study found that owning a real Christmas tree can increase your mood, lower anxiety and decrease chances of getting a cold or flu.

Alberto Maydeu-Olivares, a USC psychology professor, says he agrees with the findings of the study, conducted by two Kansas State University professors. He pointed out the psychological impact of caring for plants, which like Christmas trees, lighten people’s spirits.

“It may help us improve our mood,” Maydeu-Olivares said. “Feel more relaxed and act warmer towards other human beings.”

Alberto Maydeu-Olivares is a professor of psychology at the University of South Carolina.

He believes owning a real Christmas tree is more mentally healthy for people than an artificial tree.

“I think that having an artificial tree is very sad,” Maydeu-Olivares said. “After all, it’s plastic and you can tell it’s plastic. So maybe you feel that your life is not real.”

Bryan Price is the owner of Price’s Christmas Tree Farm in Lexington, South Carolina.

Bryan Price, who has owned Price’s Christmas Tree Farm for 34 years, says being around real Christmas trees has had a lasting positive impact on him.

“It creates a better mood in the house,” Price said. “Anytime that you feel better, you’re in a better mood, your blood pressure is good and everything. And that right there, is good for your health.”

Jonathan Garris is an employee at Price’s Christmas Tree Farm.

Jonathan Garris, an employee of Price’s Christmas Tree Farm, has felt the health effects of being around real Christmas trees for years.

“I think it’s awesome because the trees take in carbon dioxide and produce oxygen,” Garris said. “I haven’t taken a flu shot in probably 5 to 6 years.”

Tim Barnett, his wife Ashley and their 4-month-old son, Eric own a real Christmas tree.

Tim Barnett of Columbia says that he and his wife, Ashley, family love the feeling that a real tree brings. “We’ve always gotten a fresh tree ever since I was a child,” Barnett said. “I think it’s just more real.”

Barnett said his 4-month-old son Eric is celebrating his first Christmas, and is already intrigued by the big Christmas tree and its ornaments.

“He wants to grab it of course because that’s his natural instinct,” Barnett said.

Barnett says he loves having the real thing in his living room as it brightens his family’s day every time they see it.

“You can smell it when you wake up in the morning,” Barnett said. “I think it just fills the air, just makes you feel great. Like you’re walking through the woods.”

If you want to know more about live Christmas trees, go here.

, , , , , , , ,

“Bull Elephants” from The Times and Democrat

“Bull Elephants” from The Times and Democrat

“Probe Bias” from The Times and Democrat

“Probe Bias” from The Times and Democrat

“Soap Operas” from The Times and Democrat

“Soap Operas” from The Times and Democrat

“Alabama Principle over Politics” by Stuart Neiman

“Alabama Principle over Politics” by Stuart Neiman

Living on Purpose: Let every heart prepare Him room

Dr. William Holland

By Dr. William Holland

The author of this story is unknown and has been told by many people throughout the years. The gentleman to whom I’m going to introduce was not a scrooge, but a kind, decent man and generous to his family and upright in his dealings with other people. He just could not understand how or why Jesus came to earth to save us from our sin. It just did not make sense and he was too honest to pretend otherwise. “I’m truly sorry to distress you,” he told his wife, “but I’m not going with you to church this Christmas Eve.” He went on to say, he would feel like a hypocrite and this year he would much rather stay home. He would just read and wait up for them until they returned. And so, he stayed as the rest of his family went to the midnight service.

Shortly after the family drove away, snow began to fall. He went to the window and watched as the flurries were becoming heavier and then went back to his chair in front of the fire to finish reading his newspaper. A short while later he was startled by a thudding sound…then another, and then another. His first thought was that it sounded like someone throwing snowballs against his living room picture window. As he opened the front door to investigate, he found several birds huddled miserably in the snow. They’d been caught in the storm and in a desperate search for shelter, did not realize the glass barrier keeping them entering into the safety of his home. Well, he could not just let the poor creatures freeze, so he had an idea that the barn which housed his children’s pony would be a provide a perfect place from the storm if he could only figure out how to direct them into it.  Read the rest of this entry »