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Jon Martin and
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Fort Mill Times
and Jenny Overman
Scott Miller Invest in better health, expand Medicaid
s one of the nation’s most unhealthy and
impoverished states, South Carolina has a duty
to its citizens to expand Medicaid and take the
9-to-1 match of federal funding to do so.
Even if South Carolina opts against expansion, as a re-
cent Supreme Court ruling allows, Palmetto State taxpay-
ers will continue to help foot the bill for federal Medicaid
dollars that other states will accept.
Allowing the poor and uninsured to go without health
care is expensive; hospitals, insurers, private businesses
and anyone who pays for health care bear that cost.
Expanding Medicaid will be expensive too, but not as
much as Gov. Nikki Haley’s administration claims. Tony
Keck, director of the S.C. Department of Health and Hu-
man Services, says expanding Medicaid will cost the state
at least $1.1 billion, possibly twice that.
Independent analysis by the non-partisan Henry
J. Kaiser Family Foundation disputes Keck’s estimate,
however. Kaiser says expanding Medicaid could cost
South Carolina around $470 million from 2014 through and two thirds of adults, fourth worst. icaid would amount to leaving an estimated $2 billion a
2019, an average of less than $100 million a year. That • The death rate from stroke is 50 per 100,000 resi- year from the federal government on the table. It’s hard to
amounts to a 3.6% increase for the state, Kaiser said. For dents, fifth worst. imagine the state delivering that kind of value on its own,
that, an additional 250,000 impoverished, uninsured • 18.7% of South Carolinians are uninsured, even if it is more efficient.
South Carolinians would receive covered care under the eighth worst. In her objection to expanding Medicaid, Haley is right.
Medicaid program, possibly more. • Personal income is 80% of the national average. The Medicaid program can be wasteful. It needs to be re-
Based on those figures, South Carolina would benefit • More than 18% of the population lives in poverty, formed to cover core services and provide states more flex-
more by expanding Medicaid than all but three states, the sixth worst. ibility. But citing Medicaid’s imperfection is a poor reason
Kaiser Foundation said. Here are some facts about South South Carolina ranks No. 45 among the states in overall to deny health care to so many South Carolinians.
Carolina’s health and poverty from the U.S. Census Bu- health. It is time for South Carolina to invest in its health. Expanding Medicaid is a long-term investment in
reau, Kaiser and the United Health Foundation: Haley says the state could provide more efficient, less our state’s most vulnerable population, and this is a
• More than 10% of adults have diabetes, fifth worst costly health care on its own. The problem is the state time for the state’s leadership to back away from parti-
in the nation. won’t make the investment on its own, or hasn’t shown a san politics and do the right thing for the citizens who
• One third of children are overweight or obese, willingness to do so in the past. Refusing to expand Med- need it most.
S.C. should set clean energy standards
By James T. Hammond to drive up operating costs of coal-fired plants.
One reason the coal-fired plants can be shut down
outh Carolina is on the cusp of dramatic change is the growing capacity of cleaner, natural gas-fired
in the way electric power is generated here, and generators and nuclear reactors under construction.
the electric utility companies currently are act- SCE&G is building 2,200 megawatts of new nucle-
ing without long-term policy guidance from state ar generating capacity at Jenkinsville in Fairfield
government. County. Currently, Santee Cooper, the state-owned
Utilities statewide plan to electric utility, owns 45% of those two new nuclear
retire coal-fired electricity units.
generating plants on a large Nuclear power plants emit no noxious chemicals,
scale, reducing by at least and the two new reactors at Jenkinsville will dramati-
one-quarter the number of cally reduce SCE&G’s emissions into the atmosphere.
the generators that emit sul- Duke Energy estimates it will retire the W.S. Lee
fur, nitrogen oxide, mercu- Steam Station’s coal-fired operations by 2015. The
ry, carbon dioxide and other utility is studying whether to convert the boilers to
noxious chemicals blamed natural gas and will announce the decision later this
Hammond for aggravating asthma and year.
other respiratory illnesses. But no state is an island when it comes to clean air,
These actions are good for environment and for and national and international trends will continue
business. The Upstate and the Midlands have tot- to impact South Carolina’s air quality.
tered on the brink of non-attainment of EPA goals for The amounts of chemicals pouring from coal-
clean air. Slipping into non-attainment could bring fired plants worldwide is staggering. In 2004, the
harsh limits on new industrial development. use of coal resulted in emissions of 3.9 billion met-
Utility managers need the assurance that their ric tons of carbon dioxide in the United States alone,
James T. Hammond decisions mesh with state policy. South Carolina has
no policy on clean energy standards. Such a bill was
introduced in the last session by Sens. John Matthews
and Phil Leventis, but it died in a Senate subcommit-
tee at the end of the General Assembly’s session in
So far, planned retirements and closures of coal-
according to the Natural Resources Defense Council.
China belches the most pollutants into the Earth’s
atmosphere and is building new coal plants at a tor-
But in the U.S., the shift toward natural gas and
away from coal has been dramatic. The annual share
of fossil-fired electric power generation from coal
Duke Energy’s W.S. Lee Station in Anderson County is scheduled to
from burning coal on a large scale. The Southern
Environmental Law Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., said
coal-fired power plants are among South Carolina’s
fired plants include: has plummeted to about 55% of the total in 2010, biggest water users, in addition to the safety, land and
from almost 80% in the late 1980s, according to the water problems associated with coal ash waste.
Carolina Electric & Gas. U.S. Energy Information Administration. In the same The fact that utilities are not abandoning coal
- period, the annual share for natural gas rose to about makes it even more imperative that the state set
ville, owned by Duke Energy’s Progress Energy sub- 45% from less than 15%. standards for future coal plants. For example, Duke
sidiary. Rising shale natural gas output has exceeded nat- Energy has a new coal unit under construction, the
ural gas demand growth and depressed natural gas 825-megawatt Unit 6 at Cliffside Steam Station.
Anderson County operated by Duke Energy. prices, while coal prices have risen, according to the Located just across the state line, on the Cleveland/
EIA. Those trends began in 2009 to change the cost- Rutherford County line in North Carolina, Duke
Savannah River Site operated by the Department of benefit impact of using coal versus natural gas in the Energy’s Cliffside Station retired four coal units last
Energy. eastern United States, the EIA reported. year. But, it continues to operate one existing unit,
Meanwhile, Santee Cooper idled its Dolphus M. Between 2000 and 2012, natural gas generat- and plans to bring the new coal-fired unit online this
Grainger coal-fired generating plant in Horry Coun- ing capacity grew by 96%, while coal-fired capac- year.
ty, keeping it on standby in case the utility needs ity growth slumped, and petroleum-fired capacity Taken together, the trends away from burning coal
backup generating capacity. The Grainger plant and declined by 12%. in our region and toward natural gas and nuclear
the aging Jefferies plant in Berkeley County are under According to the EIA, current trends in electric generation of electric power are positive.
review to determine whether the two units can be power generation suggest many coal-fired genera- As the utilities seek to maintain South Carolina’s
brought into compliance with Environmental Protec- tors may be retired. In its annual energy outlook, the abundant and reliable sources of electric power —
tion Agency regulations in a cost-effective manner. EIA expects 49 gigawatts of coal-fired capacity to be the fuel of modern industry — South Carolina poli-
In 2010, 38 electric generators in South Carolina closed by 2020, or about one-sixth of existing coal cymakers should heed the energy companies’ urging
power plants of at least 1 megawatt capacity reported capacity in the U.S. and less than 5% of total electric- to adopt clean energy portfolio standards, as neigh-
using coal as their primary fuel source, according to ity generation nationwide. boring North Carolina already has done.
the South Carolina Energy Office. The environmental impact of such a change would To continue the billions of dollars of investment
The tide has been running against coal-fired elec- be huge, since today’s natural-gas plants give off only required to modernize the state’s electricity infra-
tricity generation in South Carolina. about half the carbon dioxide as a similar sized coal structure, the utilities need the assurance that they
In August 2009, Santee Cooper suspended plans to plant. and the state General Assembly speak with one voice
build a 600-megawatt coal-fired power plant on the Studies have estimated that particle pollution from on these important standards. cr
Great Pee Dee River in Florence County. The plans more than 400 coal-fired power plants kill 13,000
met strong public opposition. Santee Cooper CEO people a year, and most coal-fired plants are concen- James T. Hammond is editor of the Columbia Regional
Lonnie Carter said a decrease in electricity demand trated in the Midwest and Southeast. Business Report. Reach him at 803-401-1094, extension
and proposed environmental legislation threatened Air pollution is not the only environmental impact 201.
HARRIS AWARD FOR
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F R O M T H E E D I TO R I A L D E S K
Wright was right
MIX A CAREER CRIMINAL, attempted rape and a Southern sheriff
advising women to pack heat with the words, “you ain’t gotta be
accurate, you just gotta get close” and it’s clear why Spartanburg Sheriff
THIRD PLACE: Chuck Wright is the Palmetto State’s newest international celebrity.
With one short press conference, he managed to trip over just about
every Southern stereotype conceived on this continent and beyond.
Type his name in Google’s search engine and you’ll get 2 million hits.
It was Britain’s Daily Mail that quoted him as saying, “I know I’m going
to get lit up by people that don’t like guns.”
Yes, national gun control groups have been predictably negative. Yet
Greenville Journal the overwhelming public support the sheriff describes is no surprise,
either, considering the facts of the case that prompted him to advise
women last week to “get a concealed weapons permit. Don’t get Mace.
Get a firearm.”
The victim in the Oct. 30 attack was reportedly walking her
dog around 2:30 p.m. in Spartanburg’s Milliken Park when a man
approached and asked if the dog was friendly. When she said it was,
Susan Clary Simmons he grabbed her, dragged her into the woods, forced her to strip and
attempted to rape her. She was later able to identify 46-year-old Walter
Lance as her assailant – a career criminal Wright said has amassed more
than 20 charges since 1983, including DUI, grand larceny, criminal
domestic violence, escape and high and aggravated assault and battery.
A prior arrest for criminal sexual conduct was not pursued because the
victim was uncooperative.
There’s no question the sheriff hit a public nerve when he said “our
form of justice is not making it,” that he is tired of telling victims “I’m
sorry, we can’t keep them in jail.”
It’s also clear he spoke out of deep frustration, not a desire for
vigilante justice. Wright made it plain he expects those who arm
themselves to do so legally. Not everyone should have a gun, he said,
but “it’s too bad someone with a concealed weapons permit didn’t walk
by (Oct. 30). That would fix it.”
It is this image – of civilians pulling guns in public spaces – that adds
the threat of unintended consequences to Wright’s words. At minimum,
state law requires those who hold a concealed weapons permit to take
an eight-hour handgun education course that includes firing the gun
in the instructor’s presence. Satisfying one instructor in a controlled
environment comes nowhere close to the training level demanded of law
enforcement officers, or their experience.
Reliable research on the value of handguns in self-defense is tangled in
the gun control wars. For every study that says using a firearm to resist
assault increases the risk of injury or death, there’s another that shows
thousands of civilians successfully defend themselves or their property
with handguns every year, in numbers varying from 800,000 to 2.5
Several showed simply the credible threat of a gun was enough to end
the majority of attacks.
Even so, the key here is “credible threat.” A gun’s effectiveness in
self-defense remains directly proportional to the skill of the person
using it – as is the safety of those innocents anywhere nearby. Sheriff
Wright made it plain he understands this distinction in the interviews
that followed his first, emotional press conference. Now he owes it to
his community to ensure all those women zipping pistols in their fanny
packs at his urging understand it extremely well.
HARRIS AWARD FOR
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Can I please speak to Mrs. Franklin?
Let me make one thing per- for potential columns. I had point. I acknowledge the phone
fectly clear. I am not a woman. written “I’m no woman, man” has rung and that I have picked
Never have been and I don’t re- on the list more than a year up the handset thing. Now, the
ally see any circumstance ago. ball is back in your court. Tell
where I ever will be a female. But I couldn’t pull the trig- me why you disturbed me just
Let me make another thing Franklin’s ger. (Another manly reference.) when I was polishing my fin-
perfectly clear. I am an avid I couldn’t admit to God and gernails.
supporter of women. I’m mar- Corner everybody that people think “I’d like to place an ad,” the
ried to one, I have a daughter I’m femalely. I didn’t want voice said. It was the voice of a
who’s a female, a granddaugh- By Larry Franklin Rush Limbaugh to think me a woman. She had thrown the
ter who’s a female and a slut. ball back to me in that way that
The Clinton Chronicle
daughter-in-law who’s a fe- phone. The only thing I can The last straw happened last women throw balls. Sissy-like.
male. come up with is that my voice Friday. The phone rang, so I “I’m sorry,” I said. “Every-
I work with hundreds of sounds female on the phone. did what any good woman one who could possibly help
women every day. At least it Admitting that is almost as would do - I rushed to answer you - and even care about you
seems there are hundreds of painful to me as having some- it. and what you want - is busy at
them. one look at me and think I’m a “Chronicle,” I said firmly the moment. The men in the of-
But I’m tired of people woman. and manly. None of that, fice are busy working. The
thinking I’m a woman. It’s I’ve always thought my “Thank you for calling The women are talking about what
Larry Franklin never happened in a face-to- voice was mainly and strong. Clinton Chronicle, Clinton’s they are going to cook for sup-
face setting. If you are looking Sexy. hometown newspaper since per and how they could possi-
at me, it’s pretty clear I’m a Nope. It’s soft and feminine. 1900 and now home of the bly be lucky enough to work
man. Beyond the bulging mus- The first few times I was re- wildly successful and popular with someone as virile than me.
cles and other tell-tell signs, ferred to as “mam” on the www.clintonchronicle.com, Can I get one of the gals to call
there’s the baldness. phone, I chalked it up to a bad where you can take a test to see you back when they’re done
Women don’t go bald, I’ve connection. After that, I de- if you qualify as a Republican cleaning and stuff?”
found in my studies. It has cided the person to whom I was in Laurens County. To which of “Yes, mam. Have them call
something to do with they are talking was an idiot. That was our award-winning employees me at 864-555-U812. Thanks,
missing the “comb your hair in enough to sooth my bruised may I direct your call? May I sweety.”
a circle” gene. manly feelings. I mean, it was personally suggest the hunky I was stunned. And hurt. It
The times I’m accused of enough to make me cry. publisher?” That’s the way the reminded me of the time I was
being a woman is when I’m Faithful readers will remem- females answer the phone. a senior in high school and I
talking to someone on the tele- ber I keep a written list of items I’m more direct and to the had an accident. After asking
me if I was OK, the man driv-
ing the car who hit me asked
me if my girlfriend was hurt.
“I heard her screaming,” he
I appreciated his concern,
but I was alone in the car when
These things really get my
panties in a wad.
(Larry Franklin is publisher
of The Chronicle. His email ad-
dress is lfranklin@clin-
Corner can be read online at
By Vic MacDonald
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PUBLIC SERVICE FOR
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Celebrating 10 years:
Former benefit families
THIRD PLACE: still fighting
Lake Wylie Pilot
John Marks Julia Nesbitt
The DeCuir family with dad
Michael holding MacKenzie.
Dakota Gay with his sister Samantha
By John Marks Want to help?
LAKE WYLIE — From a small, The 2012 Lake Wylie Children’s Charity concert will
lakefront garden grows something be held Sept. 23 near T-Bones on the Lake.
that time, season changes and Before the Sept. 23 event, the 2012 LWCC Poker Run
even disease haven’t withered. will be held Sept. 15 with registration beginning at 11
Lannette Conder spends time a.m. at Sweetwater Bar & Grill on Charlotte Highway.
tending that garden, a memorial All vehicles are welcome. Cost is $20 per vehicle and
to her late son Dakota Gay. It’s $5 per extra rider. Stops include Sweetwater Bar & Grill in Lake Wylie,
been five years since Dakota lost McKoy’s Smokehouse and Saloon in Charlotte, Tavern on the Tracks in
his fight with brain cancer. It’s Charlotte, Mac’s Speed Shop in Steele Creek and final stop at T-Bones
been nine years since his commu- on the Lake. For more information, visit lkwchildrenscharity.org. Mom Kathy holding Shalazia
nity first rallied around his diag- Rhinehart
But they’re still rallying and still continue to do in his name.” mia patient Luke Moore, 3. because organizers knew Dakota
growing. Dakota’s fight became the It started as the Justin Mychals and wanted to help. They contin-
“He knew what his destiny cause behind an annual fall fund- Child Cancer Benefit, named for a ued because, given the numbers
was,” Conder said of Dakota, who raiser that now helps other fami- since relocated resident who and stories learned, planners just
lost his father to brain cancer, too. lies facing pediatric cancer. On spearheaded the effort. This year, couldn’t stop.
“He never ever gave up hope, but Sept. 23, the concert returns for its mostly the same volunteers work “They decided that they wanted
he was the one who talked about 10th lakeside date, this time help- beneath the Lake Wylie Children’s
all the things he wanted people to ing Lake Wylie resident and leuke- Charity banner. The events began S e e FA M I L I E S ■ 5 A
PUBLIC SERVICE FOR
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SECOND PLACE: P.O. Box 1170, Pawleys Island, SC 29585 • 843-237-8438 • Fax 843-235-0084
Coastal Observer To the judges:
Pawleys Island is a historic beachfront community that has been able to maintain its low-key character
Charles Swenson and in spite of decades of population growth. That was challenged when a development group proposed to
redevelop an old shopping center to allow a Walmart, which would become the area’s first big-box
Talks with county officials had gone on for over a year before the project was made public. Our
reporting began when the developer bought the property through a foreclosure sale a week before a
zoning application was filed and only six weeks before a public hearing. The first challenge was
getting officials to say on the record that Walmart was the tenant. The second was to report the impact
of the proposed big-box store. The developer cited jobs, impact fees and tax revenue. We showed
those impacts also included more traffic, closed businesses and – once the zoning changed – more big-
Walmart plans Pawley’s box retailers.
The immediate impact of our reporting and editorials was to raise public outcry to the point that the
developers who had touted the Walmart to officials asked the county to stop using the “W word”
Island store when speaking of their project. The public hearing drew over 1,300 people from a community of
about 10,000, the largest audience for any county hearing. In addition to coverage in our print issue
and online, we created a page on our website that updated automatically as we reported the progress of
the hearing. Posts were made every five minutes over the course of the five-hour hearing. (The page
attracted over 14,000 hits.)
The Planning Commission voted to require the developer to stay within the county’s building-size
limit. The developers claimed the motion was unclear and that the member who made it was tricked
by the commission chairman. Our reporting showed otherwise.
The final result of this issue may not be known by the time you read this letter. However, after the
contest period ended, the developers informed the county that they will remove the big-box store from
the project and revise their plan.
Thank you for your consideration.
PUBLIC SERVICE FOR
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Myrtle Beach Herald
Charles D. Perry, Michael Smith, Tom O’Dare
and Steve Robertson
Executive’s past raises questions
Covation exec didn’t file tax returns for 14 years
Project Blue’s chief operating officer racked up more than $1.2 million in unpaid taxes, penalties
BY MICHAEL SMITH AND CHARLES D. PERRY court transcripts show. interfere with the lawful government support of the project after a Herald comment.
THE HERALD In 1999, Rocker was sentenced to functions of the IRS,” according to report about Rocker’s prison record. In an interview with the Herald
14 months in prison after he pleaded the Internal Revenue Service. New revelations about the circum- last month, Dave Rocker's business
Dave Rocker failed to file income guilty to one count of conspiracy to Rocker is currently the chief oper- stances leading up to Rocker’s prison partner and father, Bill, said the IRS
tax returns for 14 consecutive years, commit income tax evasion. He ating officer of Covation Holdings, sentence only reinforce concerns pursued his son in the late 1990s.
racking up more than $1.2 million in served 12 months before he was according to Horry County records. about using taxpayer money to sup- “You’ve got to understand, at the
unpaid taxes and penalties, accord- paroled in January 2001, according Covation has been in talks with the port the Covation call center, some time, what was going on in the Inter-
ing to federal court documents. to the federal prison bureau. Myrtle Beach Regional Economic council members say. nal Revenue Service,” he said. “They
Rocker, an executive with Covation Rocker’s charges were reduced Development Corporation (EDC) “We’ve had too much trust and not were at the apex of their power.”
Holdings — the company that’s after he agreed to assist the IRS in its and Horry County Council to possi- enough verification,” said council- But Bill Rocker didn't deny his
seeking millions in taxpayer money investigation of a Klein conspiracy in bly build a call center at River Oaks man Carl Schwartzkopf. “Before you son's tax troubles.
to open a Carolina Forest call center which Rocker participated. and International drives, creating up invest, it is absolutely essential that “David failed to file personal in-
— also faced allegations of misrepre- In a Klein conspiracy, two or more to 1,020 jobs. you investigate. This is part of that come taxes for several years and
sentation, inflating business expens- individuals agree to “use deceit, County council postponed a Sep- verification.”
es and even sexual harassment, craft, trickery or dishonest means to tember vote to borrow $8 million in Rocker couldn’t be reached for See COVATION, Page 3A
SPORTS ENTERPRISE REPORTING
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and Patrick Wall Blowfish Down to Final At-Bats;
Bases Empty Is a Minor League Team On Deck? A post-storm rainbow appears as the Capital City
Stadium grounds crew readies the field for the
BY EVA MOORE AND PATRICK WALL Columbia Blowfish to resume their July 19 game
against the Thomasville Hi-Toms. The game was
PHOTOS BY PAUL COLLINS delayed for roughly an hour due to heavy rains.
In the meantime, college students mill Benjamin is hell-bent on bringing to town?
I t’s 10 minutes before first pitch on a mid-
July Thursday, and thick drops of rain are
pelting the north end of Assembly Street.
about, downing two-dollar beers. Kids
squeal and bounce in the inflated play castle
and play the assorted mini-games in the
concourse, seemingly oblivious to the delay
on the field.
It’s fitting that rain threatens to wash
Making A Sale
Last year, the Atlanta-based development
group Bright-Meyers approached city of-
ficials about buying the Capital City Stadium.
out what could be one of the final games in It was part of a plan by megaretailer Walmart
But Debbie, who answers the phone at infield dirt is soaked; it’s gone from a bright Capital City Stadium, a field notorious for to expand its presence in the Columbia area.
the Columbia Blowfish box office, says the tan to a deep, dark brown. Water’s started flooding problems. Back in June, Columbia City Councilman Brian Newman —
team’s baseball game against the Thomasville pooling on the concrete steps of the lower- City Council voted 6-1 to move forward with whose district includes the stadium — later
Hi-Toms will go on as planned. There’ve level seats and collecting in the dugouts. selling the historic stadium to a developer told Free Times that although he understood
been a few claps of thunder, she says, but the As the rain intensifies, most of the planning to build a Walmart-anchored at the time that Bright-Meyers usually
ballpark is bone dry. fans scurry for cover — either under the shopping center there. The Blowfish’s final worked on behalf of Walmart, it wasn’t a
Still, the threat of a summer storm has grandstand or to their cars. Those in the regular-season game in the wood-bat sum- sure thing Walmart was behind the deal. All
kept the fans away — only about 400 or so grandstand aren’t totally safe; the corrugated mer collegiate Coastal Plain League is Aug. 1. he knew for certain was that the developer
show up. (By contrast, Saturday’s game, in metal roof leaks, and strong winds whip rain Unless the Blowfish make the playoffs — the planned to build a retail development there.
near-perfect baseball weather, draws about sideways into the seats. Creedence Clearwa- team finished in second place in the first- And Newman welcomed the investment in
2,000.) It’s raining steadily by the time Mi- ter Revival’s “Have You Ever Seen the Rain?” half standings, but currently sits first in the Columbia.
chael Wilson leads off for the Blowfish in the plays on the loudspeakers. second half — the team could be homeless So did other city leaders. They wouldn’t
bottom of the first. It’s pouring by the time Those who haven’t fled file into the con- after Aug. 1. make much off the sale, but the city stood
Josh Miller runs a 2-2 count against Thomas- course. A ticket-taker by the front entrance With a sale of the Capital City Stadium to take in millions in tax revenue from the
ville pitcher Kyle Keller, and the umpire’s had wonders aloud where everyone is going. His property seemingly imminent, there are businesses that would move in. Whereas
enough. He suspends the game. nametag reads “Jim”; he’s middle-aged and questions: Where do the Blowfish go from the stadium actually costs the city money to
The grounds crew races on the field with heavy set, his bright red Blowfish T-shirt bulg- here? And can Columbia land the profession- maintain, the sale would put the property on
a large tarpaulin, but the damage is done: The ing at the waistline. This’ll blow over, he says. al minor league baseball team Mayor Steve the tax rolls for the first time.
In October, Columbia City Council qui-
16 coverstory free-times.com | twitter.com/freetimessc | facebook.com/freetimes | July 25-31, 2012
SPORTS ENTERPRISE REPORTING
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Myrtle Beach Herald
Charles D. Perry
Power to the Pedal POWER PEDAL
Growing cycling community inspires county plans for new bike paths
BY CHARLES D. PERRY | THE HERALD “It’s the closest thing to flying.”
Now Brunson is biking two to three times
Sue Brunson’s week didn’t always include 45- weekly. She joined a local triathlon club and she
mile bike rides. occasionally commutes to work on two wheels.
A year ago, Brunson’s pastor saw her at a gym “It’s a lifestyle,” she said.
and suggested that she try cycling. So the Myrtle That lifestyle has become more common
Beach daycare operator joined the pastor and along the Grand Strand in recent years. At least
his wife for a group excursion. three bicycle groups have formed in Horry
“I got out and I loved it,” she County since 2010 and county officials are now
said. developing plans for a network of bike paths.
“We’ve gone from just little pockets of
riders,” said Tim Woolford, co-owner of
Grand Strand Bicycles in Myrtle
Beach and Murrells Inlet. “It has real-
ly just grown like crazy.”
When Woolford arrived here seven
years ago, he started a Saturday morn-
ing group ride. The first trip consisted CHARLES D. PERRY | THE HERALD
of Woolford and two friends. Local cyclists take part in a group ride.
Last summer, there were more
than 100 cyclists on five of the
Some of the burgeoning interest can be at-
Go green, save green
tributed to higher fuel prices, Woolford said. • $4.6 billion: What bicyclists in the United States
He also pointed out that the emergence of save every year by biking instead of driving
groups like the Waccamaw Trail Blazers and • $308: Average annual cost of operating a bicycle
the Myrtle Beach Triathlon Club has given
• $8,220: Annual cost of operating average car
people new options for bike riding.
“All that spurs it,” he said. • 40%: Increase in the number of bicycle commuters
Nationally, biking has become more from 2000 to 2010
popular, too. From 2000 to 2010, • 12%: Percentage of trips taken in the U.S. that
the number of bicycle com- cyclists and walkers account for
muters increased by 40 • 1.6%: Percentage of federal transportation dollars
percent, according to that support bicycle or pedestrian transportation
Sources: Sierra Club, League of American Bicyclists, National
See BIKES, Page 10A Council of LaRaza
SPORTS ENTERPRISE REPORTING
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Troubled fund manager makes a new start on the cover
Troubled fund manager makes a new start on the court
BY ROGER GREENE he resigned from his previous
COASTAL OBSERVER head coaching position at the
private Oak Hill Military Acad-
Stan Kowalewski does not emy in North Carolina, he did
take his involvement with the so with the intention of spend-
Waccamaw Middle School bas- ing more time with his children
ketball team for granted. A and helping them reach their
year after being charged by the academic and athletic poten-
Securities and Exchange Com- tial. It is a commitment he does
mission with securities fraud, not take lightly.
Kowalewski sees his return to “I’ve watched my own kids
the bench as a volunteer coach grow up around basketball,”
as the start of a new chapter in Kowalewski said. “I’ve coached
his life. their AAU teams and tried to
A former fund manager in be involved with helping them
Greensboro, N.C., Kowalews- as much as they’ve wanted me
ki and his family moved to the to be. I’ve made a pact with my-
Pawleys Island area last year. self that I’m only going to be in-
In September, he was fined volved with coaching teams my
$16.8 million by a U.S. District sons play for. They have a love
Court judge in Atlanta and or- for the game and I have plen-
dered to repay $8.6 million in ty of years of basketball left
Tanya Ackerman/Coastal Observer
what the court called “ill gotten with them. I don’t want to have
gains.” Kowalewski, left, directs the action in the Wildcats’ any regrets that I didn’t give
He appealed the fine and game with Rosemary this week. them every minute of time they
while it is pending before the wanted.”
U.S. 11th Circuit Court of Ap- Principal Bill Dwyer and
peals, Kowalewski says work- out in New York who played at the middle school level. It’s basketball coach Marion Bus-
ing with middle school athletes basketball at Dartmouth Col- rewarding.” by say Kowalewski’s influence
has rekindled his passion for lege. “The kids are fun to work Kowalewski’s interest in reaches far beyond that of his
basketball. with. The parents and adminis- coaching at Waccamaw Middle own son. Both say his presence
“It’s been great,” said Kow- tration are very supportive. It’s arose from one of his four chil- has benefitted the entire team.
alewski, a high school stand- been a while since I’ve coached dren being on the team. When SEE “COACHING,” PAGE 6
All Weekly Division Fraud
THIRD PLACE: BY JERRY BELLUNE
Inﬁnity Business Group investors
Many are worried they may never
Lexington County Chronicle drop in county
be able to recover millions of dollars
they invested in the company.
Others are angry because they feel
the investigation of fraud charges
swept un- INSIDE |_
der the IBG ofﬁcials face
rug. state fraud charges,
INSIDE: Are you delinquent? A list of who is
& The Dispatch News
tigative Execs spent lavishly
sources on themselves, A3. can be found on Pages B2-11
deny this. Everyone lost at IBG,
They A3. BY JERRY BELLUNE
say it is IBG dream dies, A8.
a highly Settlement ends JerryBellune@Yahoo.com
compli- ﬁght, A8.
There’s a sign of hope on Lexing-
many investors who may be called ton County’s economic radar.
to testify against Wade and Brad
Cordell and others involved with It’s a small but detectable blip that
them in the collapse of IBG.
IBG operated from a brick build- shows property tax payments are up
ing owned by Brad Cordell at 140
THE CHINA OFFENSIVE Gibson Road in Lexington. Among and non-payments are down.
its operations was a bad check col-
At this time last year, owners of
China contract concerns our readers lection service for clients ranging
from the food industry to retail
stores to the public schools.
Twin investigations have been un-
derway for more than a year since
300,524 taxable properties had not
BY JERRY BELLUNE
INSIDE _ | tractor did not underbid the
- the ﬁrst complaints surfaced.
The complaints included charges This year, Gene Rishkofski of the
JerryBellune@Yahoo.com that the Cordells and their inner
The high cost of River Bluff competition and make it up circle spent investors’ money on ex-
pensive cars and boats, a condo at
Lexington County Treasurer’s Of-
High School has been a subject with overruns. Clemson, visits to gentlemen’s clubs ﬁce said he expects that to drop to
and otherwise lived lavishly.
of local concern. These allegation were included in around 300,100 parcels.
But of even more concern to bid amount,” she said. complaints ﬁled with the state Attor-
The Chronicle also asked, at ney General’s ofﬁce. In monetary terms, the county
Chronicle readers is the issue of She said the project is on
readers’ requests: Attorney General Alan Wilson has
a Chinese government-owned -
time and within the bid. conﬁrmed his ofﬁce has been inves-
tigating and gave the Cordells 30
was owned more than $9.3 million
River Bluff and the two
company building the $138.9 ﬁcations or notices of cost over-
Meadow Glen schools were ap-
days to respond.
The Cordells’ attorneys have de-
in property taxes at this time last
million showplace school. run has the Chinese contractor
The Chronicle asked Lexing- proved by voters in the 2008 nied all charges. year, he said. This year he expects
presented? Federal and state investigators
ton 1 a month ago for: Bond Referendum. This includ- have been involved although FBI of-
ﬁcials say they can neither conﬁrm
that to drop to $8.9 million.
ed $138.9 million for the new not deny they have an investigation Property taxes are paid by own-
bid amount,” spokesperson
Meadow Glen Elementary and high school land, site work and underway.
Mary Beth Hill said. But investors FBI agents have in- ers of boats, businesses, commer-
Middle schools and how much construction, Hill said. terviewed told the Chronicle what
“There have been no cost
of that will local resident work- overruns.”
One way the China Construc- they were asked and how they an-
swered a series of questions posted
cial and private property, farmland,
ers and suppliers receive. tion Company successfully un- on an FBI web site. homes and vehicles.
der bid U.S. builders, industry The Better Business Bureau with-
sources say, is that it uses cheap
drew accreditation after IBG ofﬁcials Lexington County uses the media
for the high school. “ There have been no claims ﬁled for Chapter 7 bankruptcy un-
The district has not respond- under the performance bond,”
Chinese labor and below market der the federal Bankruptcy Act Sep-
tember 1, 2010.
to alert property owners who may
ed to these questions. ﬁnancing and insurance from Involved in the investigation are
be unaware that their tax payments
she said. ofﬁcials who successfully prosecuted
Chinese banks and insurers. the Home Gold and Carolina Inves-
tors fraud case.