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Aug 14, 2018

Full court

Depends on whom you ask, whether a York County grand jury spent one day in June working at the pace of a competitive hot dog eater—only more analytically—or mindlessly fast-stamping indictments like electrical pins through an assembly line. But according to The Herald newspaper in Rock Hill, a collection of citizens gathered and true-billed 904 […]

Aug 1, 2018

Grumpy old man

Some things in life are worth fighting for. But Sidebar is going on the record as saying that free grocery store samples are not among those things—especially for those who are old enough to know better. But for two septuagenarians at the Greenville Costco, a complimentary piece of cheese and a cheeseburger—topped with a spoonful […]

Jun 14, 2018

Get there fast, take it slow

Solicitor Dan Johnson, chief law enforcement official in two Midlands counties, is out of a job, dethroned by a Columbia lawyer, Byron Gipson, who has never held public office. Just weeks ago, Johnson was seemingly a lock to win the Democratic primary and faced no Republican opposition. But man—life comes at you fast. First, Johnson […]

Mar 15, 2018

A small gamble

March Madness is here. The time where college basketball fanatics, casual fans, and the wholly disinterested gather in office break rooms to drop off their tournament prognostications and a couple of dollars for the pot. But before you fill out that bracket, ask yourself: Am I willing to go to jail for this? Am I […]

Mar 14, 2018

Palpable friction

If the relationship between 5th Circuit Solicitor Dan Johnson and the media was strained before, we’re probably going to need a stronger word to describe it now. Sidebar met Johnson only once, during the University of South Carolina’s first Media Law School in 2015. He was a guest speaker at the event, a 3 ½-day […]

Jan 30, 2018

One tree, one…moon?

A Newberry political consultant noticed something recently that has somehow managed to escape the awareness of this Sidebar reporter for decades: South Carolina’s state flag has an identity crisis. Apparently, there is no one palmetto tree style that is wrong or right (though one or two may be more right than others). Scott Malyerck testified […]

Dec 12, 2017

Celebrity cops

A South Carolina law enforcement agency regularly featured on “Live PD” has chosen to use its newfound celebrity for more than luring Twitter followers. The Richland County Sheriff’s Department, a mainstay on the live’ish (there’s a short broadcast delay), late-night reality documentary that transforms viewers into couch-mounted citizens on patrol, is holding an auction to […]

Oct 3, 2017

Lost time

Similar to a refund check from the cable company or a store credit at Wal-Mart, a South Carolina man who served more than 10 years in federal prison recently moved for the court to apply some of that active time to his supervised release. Unanimously, the court was unmoved. Andrea Bloodworth, sentenced to 204 months […]

Aug 17, 2017

Egg-ceptionally eerie

Outside the suburban dwelling of this Sidebar reporter and his family, the “Easter Bunny” appears almost daily. This rabbit — probably a regular ol’ Eastern cottontail — has been christened the magical king of Easter folklore by my 3- and 4-year-old sons. Just yesterday, after spotting him through the window, the tykes darted toward the […]

Jul 5, 2017

The rule of law

Notwithstanding apparent contradictions in headlines daily, there’s an old notion that no one is above the law — your majesty and his subjects, peasants and aristocrats are allegedly all subject to the law of the land. One police chief recently learned the hard way that, at least in his case, that rings true. Lacra Jenkins, […]

Jun 5, 2017

Show guns

According to the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division, the agency issued more than 41,000 new concealed weapon permits last year. But it’s not the guns you can’t see that worry some in law enforcement, it’s the ones that you can. The state House of Representatives recently passed a bill that would OK the open carrying […]

Jan 10, 2017

Slinging things, the bluecoat brings

There’s probably never a good time to throw a knife at someone inside a bar, but certainly not when you could hit the local police station if you turned 90 degrees to your left and tossed the weapon with a little bit of oompf. According to a report out of York County, though, that’s what […]

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