“We’ve had our disagreements, but I hate to see him go. He has set the bar extremely high for the next person.”

Eric N. Bernard, executive director of the Montgomery County Volunteer Fire and Rescue Association, on the exit of the county’s fire chief, Thomas Carr. He’ll start his new job in Charleston next month. Source: The Washington Post

Brown, Ketner Get Few Words in Final Forum

Congressman Henry Brown and challenger Linda Ketner met for the third (and likely final) time before election day during a Charleston Rotary Club meeting last week for a very brief exchange.

There were a smattering of questions, but both candidates were only able to get a few words in on energy and the economic crisis. Ketner was asked whether she would be a rubber stamp for Nancy Pelosi; she responded that she’s a fiscally conservative Democrat.

“I’m going to be the bane of Nancy Pelosi’s existence,” she said.

Brown said Pelosi keeps her troops in line.

“I’d be remiss to think that one member of Congress would challenge Ms. Pelosi to change her way of doing business,” he said.

Ketner said every member should take responsibility and not blindly follow the leadership that’s got us where we are today.

“Somebody better start standing up for people,” Ketner said. “I’m not scared of Nancy Pelosi.”

The exchange was similar to one from the first debate when Ketner suggested she would have pressed for changes to the $700 billion bailout bill.

“There is some limits to what a Congressman can do,” Brown responded. “Ms. Ketner, you wouldn’t have been able to deliver, either.”

Ketner responded that she’ll speak truth to power.

“I don’t count on somebody else to lead,” she said. —Greg Hambrick


That’s state Education Superintendent Jim Rex’s proposed school week, introduced as a cost saving measure in the face of a $500 million shortfall in the state’s budget. He also suggested reducing some standard testing, since schools won’t have adequate resources to prepare. And by “prepare,” we mean buy an awful lot of erasers. Source: The Post and Courier

Asian Citrus Psyllid

A bug that spreads a fatal citrus disease has been found on the South Carolina coast. While the disease the bug carries has not been confirmed in South Carolina, it’s killed thousands of trees in Florida. “Federal and state officials have prohibited the movement of citrus plants and plant materials in Charleston, Beaufort, and Colleton counties,” according to The Associated Press.


That’s Charleston’s new ranking among the best cities to visit in the U.S., replacing New York City in the latest Condé Nast Traveler survey. Source: News 2

Mystery Push-Poll in Dist. 115

Two residents in District 115, including James Island and Folly Beach, say they have received a push poll. The pollster made at least one false assertion about Democratic candidate Anne Peterson Hutto and brought up negative questions about Republican incumbent Wallace Scarborough’s background. Both campaigns denied responsibility for the poll.

Carl Miller, a Peterson Hutto supporter, says he questioned the legitimacy of the call, but agreed to answer the questions. According to Miller, the pollster stated that Peterson Hutto had never voted in an election in South Carolina until she voted for herself in this year’s primary. He was then asked if that would influence his opinion of the candidate. Peterson Hutto, who has lived in the Charleston area for 12 years, has provided state voter documents confirming her votes in both the 2004 and 2006 general elections. Miller says the pollster was vague when pressed about who the poll was for. Another voter said she had received a similar call.

“I don’t know why someone would spread untruths about me like that,” Peterson Hutto says. “That’s the kind of politics people are sick of.”

The pollster also asked a leading question regarding Scarborough’s background, Miller says, though that question was based on a factual high-profile 2006 incident. Scarborough says he’s running a positive campaign and that it wouldn’t make sense to dredge up old stories about himself in polls. —Greg Hambrick


That’s the number of bald eagles rehabbed at the local Center for Birds of Prey — a milestone. Source: The Associated Press

“There are things that I don’t know if I’ll ever completely get over.”

Sen. John McCain’s daughter, Meghan McCain, telling Hannity and Colmes last week that the smear tactics used against her father in South Carolina in 2000 led her to vote for John Kerry in 2004 and that she still holds a grudge. Source: The New York Times

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