Index Journal

February 28, 2015

Index Journal - Greenwood, SC Online Newspaper

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VOL. 97, NO. 9 www.indexjournal.com 2 SECTIONS, 20 PAGES SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 28, 2015 DAILY 75¢, SUNDAY $1.50 TODAY: Plenty of clouds. Still cold. High in the 40s. FORECAST, 10A Index-Journal is published with pride for the people of the Lake- lands. You are important to us. If you miss your paper, please call 223-1413 (before noon on weekends). Inside today's edition n BUSINESS 10A n CALENDAR 2A n CLASSIFIEDS 6B-10B n COMICS 5B n EDITORIALS 9A n ENTERTAINMENT 5A n FAITH 6A n LOTTERY 5A n MARKETS 4B n OBITUARIES 4A n SPORTS 1B-3B Index-Journal is committed to editorial excellence. To report an error, contact Executive Editor Richard Whiting at 943-2522 or rwhiting@indexjournal.com. HE LIVED LONG AND PROSPERED 'Star Trek's' Leonard Nimoy dies Obituary on 4A COLIN RIDDLE | INDEX-JOURNAL Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, center, responds to a question at a legislative breakfast hosted Friday by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce in the James C. Self Conference Center at Piedmont Technical College as advocacy director for the chamber board Jerry Timmons, left, presides. Greenwood legislators, including Pitts, state Sens. Billy O'Dell, Floyd Nicholson, state Reps. Anne Parks and Shannon Riley, attended. Pitts: 'Gloves are off between me and the governor' Move over dinner. Breakfast wants some politics. During a legislative breakfast hosted by the Greenwood Chamber of Commerce, state legislators, representing Green- wood and some surrounding counties, returned answers for questions from community leaders and residents Friday morn- ing in the James C. Self Conference Center at Piedmont Tech- nical College. The first topic stemming from a question by Theo Lane, gov- ernment and community relations manager for Duke Energy South Carolina, about income tax steered directly into South Carolina's most widespread issue roads. The question: What happened to Gov. Nikki Haley's talk about lowering the income tax? Now paired with the governor's infrastructure plan to enforce her promise of vetoing any legislation that is not rev- enue neutral which includes raising taxes alone, Haley's plan raises the gas tax by 10 cents and lowers income tax from 7 percent to 5 percent in the next decade a practice Piedmont Tech president Ray Brooks referred to as a "New York shell game" at the meeting. "Revenue neutral won't fix the problem," Rep. Mike Pitts, R-Laurens, said at the breakfast. "If it's got to be revenue neu- tral, it will take us right back to the '08 recession." Pitts said Haley is basing her plan on tremendous economic growth and he would like to take a more cautious approach by increasing taxes where appropriate in order to fund the many needs throughout the state. Pitts said if it was to be revenue neutral, he would be more interested in lowering property tax from 10.5 percent to 6 per- cent as he does not hear people complain about state income tax, but federal income tax and local property tax. Sen. Billy O'Dell, R-Abbeville, said he doesn't see how the state could cut taxes as the governor proposed and adequately fund different departments and services. The senator proposed increasing fees in order to go around Haley's veto pledge. "Logically, it makes sense to raise the gas tax, but if you can't By COLIN RIDDLE criddle@indexjournal.com Area delegates answer legislation questions at breakfast See GLOVES, page 4A Erskine addresses OK'd statement from its board Erskine College and Theo- logical Seminary became the subject of a media firestorm late this week, after a recently board-approved statement on human sexuality was interpret- ed as a ban on homosexuality. This interpretation was put forth in an article pub- lished Thursday on outsports. com and picked up nationally by media outlets like Sports Illustrated and The New York Daily News. Cliff Smith, Erskine's Vice President for Communica- tions, said the statement, approved by Erskine's board of trustees Feb. 20, does not pre- scribe a policy that would ban any individuals from the insti- tution, but is rather a position statement. The statement reinforces the institutional belief that mar- riage is between a man and a woman and that "sexual inti- macy has its proper place only within the context of mar- riage." Erskine is a private, Christian institution affiliated with the Associated Reform Presbyterian Church. Erskine's institutional mis- sion statement reads: "Erskine College exists to glorify God as a Christian academic com- munity where students are equipped to flourish as whole persons for lives of service through the pursuit of under- graduate liberal arts and grad- uate theological education." In March 2014, outsports. com reported that two male Erskine College volleyball players were openly gay and had found acceptance at the institution. Thursday's arti- cle on outsports.com linked this revelation to the board- approved statement. But contrary to what was reported by the website, Smith said the statement was not a direct response to any particu- lar incident or individual. By KATE HRUBY khruby@indexjournal.com Fathers, daughters cut a rug at dance J ust because Mallory Wilson's dad was laid up after having shoulder surgery, her grandfa- ther John Malloy didn't want to see her miss out on Greater Abbeville Chamber of Commerce's annual Daddy Daughter Dance on Fri- day at the 5 Star Complex in Abbeville. Wilson, 11, and her dad have attend- ed the dance in the past. Wilson and Malloy were out on the dance floor, taking just a few breaks every now and then. "I was out there trying get everyone started," Malloy said. "This is a little different. I'm 60 years old. You've got to listen to the music. That's what I've always done. I can get moving a little bit." Dads sported everything from jack- ets and ties (regular and bow) to more casual attire for the semi-formal dance. The daughters wore dresses with a little bling here and there that caught the flashing colored lights as the girls danced. Missy Wines, executive director of the Chamber of Commerce said, "The Chamber of Commerce is proud to be part of family-friendly events in Abbev- ille County. We're proud to facilitate anything that brings families together. This is good event." The dance floor was filled with girls dancing with each other, as well as with their dads. Dads danced with one daughter wrapped in their arms while another daughter held on to her father around his waist. There was a photo station for where photos were taken of the dads and daughters. The chamber of commerce event featured music from DJ Bobby Hamby and food donated by Ingles. Johnny Page attended the dance with his daughter Emma Page, 11 (who turns 12 today), who made a special song request for her dad. Emma Page requested "Who Let the Dogs Out?" which got Johnny Page back on the dance floor, which it did. Johnny Page said his daughter was By JOSEPH SITARZ jsitarz@indexjournal.com CINDERELLAS Area dads dance with their Four-year old Abigail Uldrick dances with her father Dan Uldrick at the Daddy Daughter Dance in Abbeville on Friday evening. MADDY JONES | INDEX-JOURNAL See DANCE, page 4A n HUMAN SEXUALITY Peeler: Gay athletes still can compete Erskine College athletic direc- tor Mark Peeler said a Feb. 20 board-approved human sexual- ity statement, containing, "Christ affirms that m a r i t a l union is to be between a man and woman," is just that – a s t a t e m e n t . Not a policy b a n n i n g gay athletes from competing for the private, NCAA Division II school. "The statement does not say anything about banning gay ath- letes from our teams," said Peel- er, who also is the Fleet men's basketball coach. On Thursday, California- based outsports.com, which says it covers sports issues con- cerning the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community, reported on Erskine's statement Thursday and used the headline, "South Carolina college with two out gay athletes bans homosexu- ality in the name of God." Outsports.com also did a story in March 2014 on Drew Davis, a current Erskine men's volleyball player, and former Fleet teammate Juan Varona. Both are openly gay, and the story reported many of the Ers- kine community accepted them. Peeler said he was taken aback by the website's headline Thurs- day to its story responding to Erskine's Feb. 20 statement. "I don't know how they got the headline," Peeler said. "That was their interpretation of it. But it was a statement. That's what it is. It's not a policy. Not anything By SCOTT CHANCEY schancey@indexjournal.com See STATEMENT, page 3A MARK PEELER See ATHLETES, page 3A

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