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Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Last Blog

Today, just about five minutes ago I decided to shut the door on Natives of Lee County South Carolina. It was a good run and I enjoyed the overwhelming encouragement I received from my readers. I plan to devote my remaining time to my family, my passions and my God. Thank you and good-bye!

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Ard Draws Attention Away from Lee County. Details of Civil Charges Released

Editor: If a person was to look hard enough, finding that passage written in fine print within the law books that says you HAVE to be criminally predisposed to be a politician shouldn't be surprising, given the ever increasing rate at which they are being brought before the bench.

Link: Ard charges: Dems say criminal, GOP defends lt gov - S.C. Politics - "The state Ethics Commission on Friday released details of the civil charges it will pursue against Ard in a hearing later. Ard has said he will cooperate in the investigation and take responsibility if he made mistakes."

Saturday, March 19, 2011

ABC News - Japan Earthquake: before and after

ABC News - Japan Earthquake: before and after

This is one of the best presentations I have yet seen on the destruction
encountered in Japan. They are satellite photos taken before and after of
various areas, but what makes them especially descriptive is the method of
As you move the mouse slowly over the picture, from right to left, the
'before' sat photo is replaced by the 'after' sat photo, giving you an
immediate comparison.
(Not click and drag, just move the mouse)

The before & after really bring home the extent of property damage.

Editors note: (Thanks to Cousin Jim Wesberry for this presentation and text)

Friday, March 18, 2011

Lee County Elected Leaders on the Hot Seat Again

Editor: The back door to the Lee County Council is getting plenty of use, according to some watchdogs. Council's modus operandi is getting a bit suspicious for these folk and they're taking action.

Link: Appeal claims Lee county zoning exception illegal | SCNOW: "Some 45 residents attended a meeting at the Lydia Community Center to hear Steve Beasley, a local farmer and appellant in the legal action, explain the environmental hazards that he and three other plaintiffs believe may accompany the installation of a liquid waste incinerator/evaporator at the Lee County Solid Waste Facility owned by Merrill’s Composting, Inc. Beasley also outlined the reasons for filing the appeal against the Lee County Council, the Lee County Planning Commission and the Lee County Board of Zoning Appeals.

Also speaking at the meeting were Attorney Richard C. Jones, who represents the appellants, and Samantha Seigel of Columbia, a representative of the Sierra Club.

“We simply feel that there are environmental concerns that were not considered when this matter was approved and that it may not be in the best interest if the surrounding community,” said Beasley. “We certainly were not given the proper opportunity to voice our concerns about what effect the incinerator will have.”"

Gone - On The Wings of a Dove - Ferlin Husky - March 17, 2011

Link: Country’s Ferlin Husky dies - Local / Metro - "Country Music Hall of Famer Ferlin Husky, the innovative recording artist whose 1957 smash “Gone” helped usher in the pop-leaning Nashville Sound era, died Thursday at his daughter’s home in Westmoreland, Tenn. He was 85 and suffered from congestive heart failure."

Thursday, March 17, 2011

"Big Dog" Awaits Kennel Assignment

Collared 'Big Dog', aka E.J. Melvin, the former Sheriff of Lee County will soon know the length of his federally issued leash.
Link:Prosecutors want 30 year sentence for fmr. Lee Co. Sheriff - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "KICKBACKS AS A HIGHWAY PATROLMAN

Prosecutors plan to show evidence that Melvin's criminal conduct dates back to his time on the South Carolina Highway Patrol, according to the filing. Melvin worked as a Trooper until his election in November 2000. Prosecutors said they have evidence that shows as a Trooper, Melvin 'solicited kickbacks…in return for providing information about law enforcement activity,' Moore wrote."

Another case for the State's Ethics Commission???

Do you think this is a Democratic ploy to destroy Haley or is there some truth to this story which will not go away?
LINK: Hospital: No one here filled out application for Haley - Governor Watch - "Hospital: No one here filled out application for Haley
But who did? Haley staff insists she did not fill out application obtained through a public records request"

"Haley was hired as a fundraiser in August 2008, a position created for her at a $110,000-a-year salary, leaving the post in April 2010 as she was campaigning in the Republican gubernatorial primary. Records show hospital staff was having trouble getting in contact with Haley and had asked her to take a leave of absence, which she refused. Eventually Haley and the hospital agreed to a $35,000 severance package."

You Tell Me - Is This Story Interesting?

I've received two (2) complaints about using other news sources (news other than Lee County news) in this Blog... Now I want to hear from you. Tell me what you think. In the meantime here is another item of news I thought was interesting and important to Lee County Natives.

LINK: Lt. Gov. charged with using campaign cash for personal expenses - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "'Ken Ard has been in office less than 90 days and has already managed to create a dark ethical cloud over the Haley/Ard administration and with these charges has brought great discredit again to South Carolina,'"

Monday, March 14, 2011

Educators Bring Home Failing Grades - No Excuses School Boards

COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - A new report shows South Carolina dominates a list of America's worst public schools.
The list, published by, finds South Carolina is home to 37 of the 100 "failing" schools. More than a dozen of the schools are in the Midlands.
The list was based on a combination of test scores, class size, money spent per student and other factors.
  • Below is a list and rank of the schools in the Midlands that made the list. 
  • Click here for the full list.

    90 WEST LEE SCHOOL  Bishopville, SC

    63 W. G. SANDERS MIDDLE SCHOOL  Columbia, SC
    21 W A PERRY MIDDLE SCHOOL  Columbia, SC
NeighborhooodScout is owned and operated by Location Inc, a Massachusetts-based company borne of university research, specializing in nationwide relocation software, retail site selection, and real estate investment advising. The site offers specific information on each school to paying subscribers.

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Great American Cleanup to kickoff in Bishopville | SCNOW

Great American Cleanup to kickoff in Bishopville | SCNOW: "The 2011 Great American Cleanup of South Carolina will kick off Saturday, March 12, at the Harlem Blue Pond Community Makeover in Bishopville.

According to a news release from Palmetto Pride, the Great American Cleanup of SC (GACSC) is the state’s largest cleanup event and is a part of the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup.

Volunteers, law enforcement and city employees will come together for a litter pickup and dedication of a community garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dedication of community garden and park bench will be held 1:30 p.m.

The event will kick off a citywide initiative to improve the Harlem Blue Pond area, the release said.

For more information on the GACSC, call (803) 758-6034."

Great American Cleanup to kickoff in Bishopville | SCNOW

Great American Cleanup to kickoff in Bishopville | SCNOW: "The 2011 Great American Cleanup of South Carolina will kick off Saturday, March 12, at the Harlem Blue Pond Community Makeover in Bishopville.

According to a news release from Palmetto Pride, the Great American Cleanup of SC (GACSC) is the state’s largest cleanup event and is a part of the Keep America Beautiful Great American Cleanup.

Volunteers, law enforcement and city employees will come together for a litter pickup and dedication of a community garden from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Dedication of community garden and park bench will be held 1:30 p.m.

The event will kick off a citywide initiative to improve the Harlem Blue Pond area, the release said.

For more information on the GACSC, call (803) 758-6034."

Deputies: SC Woman steals husband's fake leg, attacks him - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |

Editor: Drunk wife calls police to find out who decides to keep the house then she beats husband with his unreal leg.

Satisfied that she has the upper hand and right foot in the dispute she takes a smoke break on the porch. Meanwhile the abused husband fearful of another attack locks her out. Cops arrive, survey the scene and cart the irate wife off to jail.

Will these two settle their differences... ?? Will the husband get the house??

Deputies: SC Woman steals husband's fake leg, attacks him - WIS News 10 - Columbia, South Carolina |: "According to the report, the woman that called never mentioned an assault, only asked questions 'about when a couple gets separated, who decides who gets the house?'"

7 children die in Pennsylvania house fire -

Editor: This is a horrible event... no one can doubt that... but to sensationalize the story is even more tragic and wrong. These hard working parents were doing what millions of people have done since the beginning of time... working to provide for their family... they weren't partying at the local juke joint.... they were working at home! To purposefully and callously turn a suspicious eye on them is the worst type of journalism in my opinion.

7 children die in Pennsylvania house fire - "'While mom's milking cows, her 3-year-old daughter comes running into the barn and the 3-year-old tells the mother that there's smoke inside the house,' Pinkerton said. 'Mom leaves the barn, comes running out, sees that the house appears to be on fire.'"

Former CFO sentenced for embezzling $3 million - Crime & Courts -

He didn't think the new employer would notice

Former CFO sentenced for embezzling $3 million - Crime & Courts - "Jerry F. Wells also must repay the money he stole and will spend three years on supervised release after serving his time in prison. Wells's sentence is more severe than the one he agreed to in July 2009 when he first pleaded guilty to the embezzlement from UCI Medical Affiliates. But federal authorities discovered that he had gotten another job while awaiting his sentence and had stolen $40,000 from the new employer."

Wednesday, March 02, 2011

Together We Can Do This

The price of a gallon of gas is expected to hit $4.00 and above this summer and it is high time that we the consumers take action. We can't just boycott a station for a day or two to be effective. We have to have an intelligent plan and we have to be united in our actions. 

I'm not taking credit for the following plan but I can see that it has merit. Sure, we will be hurting some of our friends in a financial way who are in the gasoline dispensing business but you have to remind yourself that you are doing them and yourself a favor when you participate it this plan.

Last evening I stopped in at one of my local convenience stores where I pumped $11.00 worth of gas into my little Daewoo. The price of a gallon of regular gas on the pump was $3.30. That means that I pumped 3.33 gallons into my tank. Every day the price changes, creeping higher and higher. 

We, the consumers have to send a message to the oil companies that the law of supply and demand is controlled by us and not them. All we have to do is to unite in the same manner that they do and regain control of the law of supply and demand. 

Here is how we do this. We don't purchase their product! 

Wait a minute!, you say. That can't possibly work; I have to have gas!, and you would be right for we all rely on our cars. However, if we attack this in a united and intelligent manner we can regain our rightful stature in the market place.

Here is how it will work and I think this is a fantastic plan. For the rest of this year don't buy any gas from anywhere that displays an ExxonMobile, Chevron or BP sign.

If they are not selling any gas, they will be inclined to reduce their  prices. If they reduce their prices, other companies will  have to follow suit to remain competitive. Then what will we have? PRICE WARS!!!! 

to have the needed impact, we need to reach literally millions of ExxonMobile, Chevron and BP gas buyers.  It's really simple to do!  

Now, don't  wimp out on me at this point...keep reading and I'll explain how simple it is to reach millions of


I'm putting this on my Facebook page and if each of my friends do the same in a matter of days we will have forced giant company's to lower their gas prices to stay competitive in the market place. Acting together we  can make a difference. 

If  this makes sense to you, please pass this message on. I further suggest  that we not buy from ExxonMobile, Chevron, or BP until the prices reach a more affordable level. 

This will only work if you share this with all your Facebook friends! 

Note: Below is a copy of the e-mail I sent to Kangaroo headquarters informing them of my effort. 

I'm concerned that the gas prices are once again climbing to levels that are not affordable to many Americans and I'm starting a campaign through Facebook to voice that concern to about 800 of my friends. I wanted you to know this because I'm not targeting your company to start with. Consumers need to control the law of supply and demand not the big gas producers and I'm going to do my part by not patronizing them for the rest of this year. I know that is will be a small inconvenience for me and my wife but I feel it is worth it. Hopefully, all my friends will follow my lead and ask their friends to support this effort. I would love to learn your opinion.
I'm a Kangaroo consumer and will be patronizing your stores for the rest of the year (unless I learn that your stations are supplied by ExxonMobile, Chevron, or BP.)
Thanks for taking the time to read this. 

Sign at City Hall Should Read: Proactive Candidates Only Need Apply

Editors Observations: When you live a lifetime in a community you don't really notice the gradual change that takes its toll. It's like the reunion you attended where you found yourself face to face with a classmate you had not seen in forty or fifty years. It's an awkward moment at best because your mind had etched this memory of a young and vibrant person with whom you shared many memories; and now there is this old person standing in front of you who bears little resemblance to your classmate of years past. That is exactly how the face of Bishopville has changed during those same years. 

An example of what occurs when you have reactive leadership is what happened to the property that my family once owned on North Main street. Today there is a Mobile Home Park in what was once the back yard of my childhood home. Tell that to someone who once lived in Bishopville and you get a response of unbelievability. The shock of learning that is doubled when they see it with their own eyes. What were the Civic Leaders thinking?

Across Main Street from our home stood the majestic Woodward house that sat on an attractive sizable lot and was surrounded by many beautiful majestic oak trees which where so bountiful that the front, side and back yards were shaded and home to many birds and squirrels. Gone now; replaced by brick, mortar and concrete. A federal building is sitting in the middle of a residential district that also saw a gas station pop up. There doesn't seem to be any rhyme or reason to the decision making process other than it was expedient or profitable to certain influential individuals. 

Continuing along with this dialogue I'll mention the old Grammar School, which had there been proactive leadership among the civic leaders during that time, could today have been a wonderful Community Center. But at least it hasn't seen the addition of bricks, mortar and concrete and is a wonderful park for the citizens use. 

The approaches to the community of Bishopville from the North, East, South, and West have changed the quaint little town appearance to one of a unsightly, confused, and disorderly collection of intermingled residential and business districts. 

An opportunity is at hand to select proactive community leaders who have the ability to anticipate the needs of the community and the fortitude to stay the course when the chips are down and who will end the hodge podge way of dealing with the town's treasures. Sitting at home while others decide how your home town is raped or protected is your privilege. You also have the privilege of the vote and, in my opinion, an obligation to your fellow citizens to exercise that vote. I hope that you do!

"Filing under way for candidates in BishopvillePosted: Wednesday, March 2, 2011 6:00 am | Updated: 5:39 am, Wed Mar 2, 2011.BY RANDY BURNS Special to The Item
BISHOPVILLE - Filing is under way for the six at-large council and the mayoral seats in the May 10 nonpartisan election for the city of Bishopville.
City Administrator Gregg McCutchen said residents seeking office should file during regular business hours at Bishopville City Hall, 135 E. Church St., in Bishopville by noon on March 11. Filing began at noon Feb. 25, said McCutchen."

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Move Over Law - Reprint from June 2009

Editor: This is a good program and one that all motorist should heed... I would add another sign with larger letters that would give this warning: DO NOT RIDE IN THE LEFT LANE UNLESS YOU ARE PASSING A SLOWER CAR IN THE RIGHT LANE. Can I have an AMEN!
SC Secretary of Transportation H.B. "Buck" Limehouse speaks during a news conference to bring attention to the Move Over Law that requires motorists to slow down or move over when approaching stopped emergency vehicles. Also speaking at the event were: (left of Limehouse) SC Department of Public Safety Director Mark Keel and (right of Limehouse) SC Highway Patrol Colonel Kenny Lancaster. Holding the sign are, from left: Ada Gardner of SCDOT's Richland Maintenance office, Roger Roscoe of the Camden Fire Department, Micah Norman of Lexington County EMS and Corporal M. B. Coffin of the SC Highway Patrol.  (Photo by Rob Thompson/SCDOT)

SCDOT Joins SCDPS to Educate Motorists About “Move Over” Law

The South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) is installing signs across the state to educate motorists about the law requiring motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible as they encounter an emergency scene or a temporary work zone.

The signs read, “Move Over Or Reduce Speed For Stopped Emergency Vehicles.”
SCDOT is installing approximately 30 signs on various locations along I-20, I-26, I-77, I-85, I-95, I-385 and I-526.
 SCDOT has also partnered with SCDPS to produce a television public service announcement about the Move Over law.  It will be used in educational presentations by the SC Highway Patrol and will be distributed to driver education teachers across the state for use in their classrooms. 
SCDOT joined the South Carolina Department of Public Safety (SCDPS) at news conferences at locations across the state on June 17 to announce these efforts.
“SCDOT personnel face danger every day in temporary work zones that are covered by the Move Over law,” said South Carolina Secretary of Transportation H.B. “Buck” Limehouse. “We have thousands of maintenance and construction employees and personnel of our subcontractors who are working on our highways every day and during nighttime hours as well.  They are working to make your ride smoother and safer.”
“Anytime you see stopped emergency vehicles, orange work zone signs or equipment with flashing lights, and workers on the scene – move over.  Give these dedicated men and women room to work and room to live,” Limehouse said.
“The safety of first responders and highway workers continues to be an issue – both in South Carolina and nationwide,” said Director of the South Carolina Department of Public Safety Mark Keel. “That is why this effort was undertaken by our agencies.  I want to thank the many state and local law enforcement, fire fighters, EMS and others who have joined us in this important effort.”
The “Move Over” law requires motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible if they encounter an emergency scene.  Section 56-5-1538 defines an emergency scene as “a location designated by the potential need to provide emergency medical care.”   It is identified by emergency vehicles with flashing lights, rescue equipment, or emergency personnel on scene.
South Carolina’s “Move Over” law also provides protection for highway workers.  Section 56-5-1536 also requires motorists to “move over” into an adjacent lane whenever possible when passing temporary work zones.  A temporary work zone is defined as “an area on a roadway identified by orange work zone signs or equipment with flashing lights, and the presence of workers on the scene.” 
Drivers approaching a temporary work zone or an emergency scene are required by law to:
  • Keep their vehicle under control
  • Proceed with due caution
  • Significantly reduce their vehicle speed
  • Yield the right of way by making a lane change into a lane not adjacent to the temporary work vehicle or equipment if on a highway with at least four lanes, with at least two lanes proceeding in the same direction
  • Maintain the safe speed for road conditions if changing lanes is impossible or unsafe. 

Endangering temporary work zone or emergency personnel is considered a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $500.  Obeying this little-known law can save a life and prevent injury. 

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