Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news
Your connection to industry & member news  |  April 28, 2022

Hughes retiring from The Times and Democrat after 50 years

Editor's Note: Congratulations to SCPA Past President Cathy Hughes on her retirement! We’re so thankful for all she’s done to support her community and serve our industry over the past 50 years!
Cathy Culler Hughes is retiring after 50 years with The Times and Democrat, 23 of the years as the newspaper’s publisher.
Hughes’ retirement from her positions as group publisher with Lee Enterprises and publisher of The T&D in Orangeburg will take effect on May 1, the same date she became T&D publisher in 1999. She will become publisher emeritus of The Times and Democrat.
“I have been so fortunate to have had a career I loved and that I am convinced is important to a community,” Hughes said. “Objective, quality journalism is vital, and I am proud of the work The Times and Democrat is doing. The entire team here is exceptional and dedicated to producing the best product every day.
“I have long viewed my time at The Times and Democrat not just as a career, but a mission: to help provide the information necessary for a community to make well-informed decisions and to provide the advertising products for businesses to best connect with their customers.”
The lifelong North resident has been on the cutting edge of moving The T&D through transitions in printing and computerization, and into full-service digital. And, in her role as group publisher, 15 of Lee’s 77 enterprises from 13 states report to Hughes in Orangeburg. The enterprises include the Morning News of Florence, which is now printed daily on The T&D press.
“My focus, for the last few years, has been more in advertising, almost exclusively because we don’t just advertise to The T&D Region market -- Orangeburg, Bamberg, Calhoun counties -- we sell advertising to appear anywhere a business wants to reach,” she said in January in marking her 50th anniversary at the newspaper.
The T&D has established a 140-year-old brand as a newspaper among locals, but now, the newspaper is “just one part of what we do,” Hughes said. “We are a full-service, digital company that prints a well-known, long-standing newspaper.”
Her T&D career has included positions as assistant to the publisher, advertising director, general manager and one of only five publishers in the newspaper’s history.
Over her 50 years, Hughes can boast of The T&D never having missed producing the newspaper every publication day and of being part of ownership changes in the early ‘80s and in 2002, when Lee Enterprises acquired The Times and Democrat.
From The Times and Democrat | Read more

Candidate SLED checks available through SCPA

This is a reminder that SCPA will do SLED criminal background checks on local political candidates for use in news stories. Please call our office during business hours at (803) 750-9561 to request a SLED check. You must provide the full name and date of birth. If you have a large number of checks, please email them and we’ll get them done within 48 hours.

"Shells" by Robert Ariail

If you can't get enough of award-winning Camden cartoonist Robert Ariail, enjoy his new strip featured every week in the Charleston City Paper, which has granted us ongoing permission to republish it. Called "Lowcountry," the weekly feature, which is available for syndication in South Carolina newspapers, focuses on politics, human nature, the environment and public policy. More: Contact publisher Andy Brack.

FOI Briefs

Swansea Police Chief, accused of excessive force, describes incident in report

Documents given to the Chronicle describe an altercation after which Swansea Police Chief Earl Williams III was accused of using excessive force from his point of view.
Joe Phillips, 78, filed a complaint with the Swansea Police on April 4. He alleges that Williams forcibly removed him from his truck during a March 30 altercation in the police department parking lot and that he was bruised and scraped and his prosthetic leg was pulled out of socket by Williams during the incident. 
A state Law Enforcement Division investigation of the incident is ongoing.
Phillips had arranged to meet the chief to ask about a Swansea Police car he said he had seen going 90 miles an hour down a rural road.
An incident report and arrest warrants provided by the Town of Swansea after a request made under the Freedom of Information Act state that Phillips was charged with assault on a police officer, disorderly conduct and resisting arrest. ...
Williams writes in his narrative included in the incident report that it was captured on his body camera and on nearby surveillance cameras. The Chronicle requested any footage available of the incident, in addition to all documents related to it, but the footage was withheld.
In a letter written in response to the Chronicle’s FOIA request, Joseph Dickey, an attorney representing the town, said it is unwilling to disclose items that are exempt from disclosure under Section 30-4-40(a)(3)-(4). This part of the state’s FOIA law includes exemptions for records, video or audio recordings that would, among other things, “interfere with a prospective law enforcement proceeding” and for “matters specifically exempted from disclosure by statute or law.”
By Jordan Lawrence, Lexington County Chronicle | Read more

FOI required to view Ridgeway audit

The Town of Ridgeway audit for the year ending June 30, 2021 has been completed, and the bound audit document handed out to the town’s council members by Mayor Heath Cookendorfer at the April 14 town council meeting. But that audit was not reviewed publicly at the meeting and is not being made available to the pubic without a formal Freedom of Information (FOI) request.
The next day, April 15, The Voice reporter emailed Cookendorfer, copying council members, to ask for a copy of the audit report.
“Since the audit was not presented to the public at last night’s Ridgeway Council meeting,” the email stated, “is it ok for me to stop by the office today and pick up a copy?”
Cookendorfer had previously stated that that the town clerk was not allowed to provide information to the media or to certain other individuals, and that all media questions must now come through the mayor. He also stipulated that he would need at least 24 hours to answer the questions because he might have to get the answers from the town clerk or others.
Later on Friday, Cookendorfer answered the Voice’s email.
“You [sic] request has been received. Once Town Hall receives your formal paperwork for FOIA we will begin fulfilling our request. Town Hall will notify my [sic] on the charge to reproduce the documents and send over an invoice,” Cookendorfer wrote.
The Voice was advised by Media Attorney Jay Bender that, “If the audit was distributed at a meeting it must be made available to the public.”
Bender further stated that by asking to inspect the original audit document, as the law entitles, you can’t be charged copy costs.
By Barbara Ball, The Voice of Fairfield County | Read more

Shorter review times could be coming for Myrtle Beach developments

Myrtle Beach City Council may shorten the time for developers to get approval on projects but some are questioning if the proposed timeframe gives the public a chance to speak out. 
The city council agreed to change the review time of new developments from 10 business days to 10 calendar days, falling in line with recommendations from the Community Appearance Board (CAB) and Planning Commission.
This makes a years-long practice into an official ordinance, according to Ken May, city planning and zoning director. May said CAB had been working on a 10-calendar day review process for years.“This amendment does not change the zoning code nor does it affect the public’s notice about items coming before the board, nor does it impact the public’s right appeal a decision of the board,” May said. ...
The city council, planning commission and CAB are considered public bodies and, according to state law, have open meetings allowing for public input.
But some find the streamlined process from 10 working days to 10 calendar days a violation of the spirit of the state law governing public inspection, review of documents and a chance to speak out.
Chuck Martino argued the city is now trying to save face after violating the ordinance for years.
“You’ve heard the law. You’ve heard how the law works. I’m here to let you know that the law was not used in the situation that has brought so many residents here today,” Martino said, referring to the near two dozen people in council chambers Tuesday morning. “Whether it was not being followed one day or thirty days or thirty years, it was not being followed. It’s a violation of law.”
By Ian Livingston Brooking, Myrtle Beach Herald | Read more



George Salsberry, former reporter for The Press & Standard dies at 71

George W. Salsberry, 71, of Walterboro, died Saturday, April 16.  He was born in East Liverpool, Ohio, to George and Hope Salsberry.  For decades, he was a reporter for The Alliance Review in Ohio, then The Press and Standard in Walterboro, covering local government and writing features on many events and individuals. He retired in Dec. 2019. Read more

Upcoming Events

As a service to its member newspapers, SCPA lists employment opportunities on our site upon request. There is no charge for this service to SCPA member newspapers. Please email openings to Kassidy Wright.
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