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Posted in Religion

New series looks at nexus between church and culture

COLUMBIA, S.C. – INTERSECT: WHERE CHURCH MEETS CULTURE – a Christian-based podcast series [see INTERSECT] addressing the nexus where, as the billing says, church encounters popular culture – is reaching out to an ever-expanding audience in the Midlands of S.C. and beyond. And hosts, the Rev. Josh and Betsy Desch, say the newfound popularity of the twice monthly series reflects both the need for informative local Christian programming and the program’s filling a niche wherein the episodes are less sermon-like, less Bible study, less newscast, and more talk-show format; though everything discussed is from a Biblical perspective.

Josh says the catalyst for launching INTERSECT several weeks ago was two-fold: “First, [my wife] Betsy and I are both huge readers with a particular interest in the intersection of culture and the Christian life. Culture is the air we breathe, so naturally most of us never think about it. Fish don’t think about water. They just swim. That’s what culture is to humans.”

Josh adds, “We also felt like there was a niche that was not being filled by the available podcasts out there, and we are big podcast listeners.”

According to Josh, there are many Christian podcasts that are political, theological, leadership-focused, among other topical approaches. “But we are not aware of any series that takes the approach we are taking in terms of examining the intersection of culture and the life of the average Christian,” he says.

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Posted in Military History

Oct. 12: Today in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Capt. Dennis L. Pintor, who gave his life for our country on this day in 2004 in Baghdad, Iraq. The 30-year-old native of Lima, Ohio was killed when his vehicle was hit by an improvised explosive device. Pintor was assigned to the 20th Engineer Battalion, 1st Cavalry Division. Also killed in the attack were Spc. Jaime Moreno and Spc. Michael S. Weger.

1862: Confederate cavalry commander Gen. James Ewell Brown “J.E.B.” Stuart completes his “second ride” around Union Gen. George B. McClellan’s Army of the Potomac.

1870: Five years after surrendering his Army of Northern Virginia to Gen. Ulysses S. Grant at Appomattox, Gen. Robert E. Lee passes away after suffering a stroke. The revered general served his country 44 years, fighting alongside Grant in the Mexican-American War, and against him in the Civil War.

1944: U.S. Army Air Force 1st Lt. Charles E. “Chuck” Yeager and his 357th Fighter Group surprise a flight of 22 Messerschmitt Bf-109 fighters near Hanover, Germany. Yeager’s P-51D “Mustang”, named Glamorous Glenn II, Yeager will score five of the group’s eight victories – two without firing a shot – becoming an “ace in a day.” Yeager finishes World War II with 11.5 kills, and will go on to fly 127 missions during the Vietnam War. The former Army private will retire a Brigadier General in 1975, but continues flying for the Air Force and NASA.

1st Lt. Chuck Yeager

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Posted in Military History

Oct. 11 in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Sgt. Frank R. Zaehringer III, who gave his life for our country on this day in 2010. The 23-year-old native of Reno, Nev. was killed while conducting combat operations in Afghanistan’s Helmand province. Zaerhringer had previously served in Iraq and was assigned to 2d Battalion, 9th Marine Regiment, 2nd Marine Division, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

1910: Wright Brothers pilot Archibald Hoxsey crosses paths with President Theodore Roosevelt while at St. Louis during a cross-country flying exhibition and invites him for a ride. Roosevelt initially refuses, but his adventuresome spirit gets the best of him and he changes his mind. Roosevelt straps in and becomes the first president to fly.

1939: A letter written by Hungarian-born physicist Leo Szilard, and signed by Albert Einstein, reaches President Franklin D. Roosevelt, warning that the Germans could develop an atomic weapon and that the United States should begin their own nuclear research. Roosevelt quickly authorizes a committee on uranium, setting in motion what will eventually become the Manhattan Project.

1942: U.S. Naval forces under the command of Rear Admiral Norman Scott intercept a Japanese fleet, commanded by Rear Adm. Aritomo Gotō, attempting to reinforce troops on Guadalcanal in the Battle of Cape Esperance. Fighting begins shortly before midnight off the northwest coast of the island when the Japanese are caught by surprise. The heavy cruiser Furutaka and destroyer Fubuki are sunk during the gun battle, and Adm. Gotō is mortally wounded. Planes from Henderson Field strike the retreating Japanese fleet the next morning and sink two additional Japanese destroyers the following day. Japanese sailors who jumped overboard refuse to be rescued by American ships, instead condemning themselves to a horrifying death in the shark-infested waters.

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Posted in Images Military

What’s at the end of the rainbow?

A U.S. Reconnaissance Marine jumps out of a CH-47 Chinook during helo-casting training operations, part of the Reconnaissance Team Leader Course held at Marine Corps Base Hawaii, April 24, 2017. The purpose of the Reconnaissance Team Leader Course is to provide the students with the required knowledge and skills needed to perform the duties of a Reconnaissance Team Leader. This course emphasizes planning, briefing and leading teams in patrolling, ground reconnaissance, and amphibious operations. (U.S. Marine Corps photo by Gunnery Sgt Ezekiel R. Kitandwe)
Posted in Military History

Oct. 10: Today in U.S. military history

Today’s post is in honor of Staff Sgt. Nathan L. Wyrick, who gave his life for our country on this day in 2011 in Ahmad Khan, Afghanistan. The 34-year-old native of Enumclaw, Wa. was assigned to 1st Battalion, 32nd Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division. He had previously deployed to Iraq twice and was on his first Afghan deployment.

1845: Secretary of the Navy George Bancroft founds the Naval School in Annapolis, Md. – later renamed the U.S. Naval Academy. The nation’s second-oldest service academy (the U.S. Military Academy was established by Thomas Jefferson in 1802) is built on the grounds of Fort Severn, which traces its roots to the American Revolution.

1944: Although assigned as a gunnery instructor and advised not to actively seek out combat, Maj. Richard I. Bong, America’s all-time leading ace, volunteers for several missions between Oct. 10 and Nov. 11, shooting down eight Japanese warplanes from his P-38 Lightning fighter. For his actions during this period, Bong is awarded the Medal of Honor. After scoring his 40th victory, Bong is sent back to the states where he becomes a test pilot. He will perish just before the Japanese surrender, when his Lockheed P-80 Shooting Star jet fighter malfunctions and crashes in California.

1950: As the 1st Cavalry Division crosses the 38th Parallel near Kaesong, helicopter crews with the 3rd Air Rescue Squadron apply plasma to a rescued pilot for the first time as they return to base. During the Korean War, members of the Air Force’s 3rd Air Rescue Group will rescue thousands of downed aviators.

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Posted in Military History

Oct. 9: Today in military history

Today’s post is in honor of Marine Corps Staff Sgt. Aaron J. Taylor, who gave his life for our country on this date in 2009. The 27-year-old explosive ordnance technician from Bovey, Minn. was clearing a bridge near Camp Dwyer, Afghanistan, when he was killed by an improvised explosive device. He had previously served in Iraq and was assigned to Marine Wing Support Squadron 372, Marine Wing Support Group 37, 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing, I Marine Expeditionary Force.

1861: 1,000 Confederate soldiers land on Florida’s Santa Rosa Island and assault Union-held Fort Pickens. The attackers withdraw after the federal guns inflict 90 casualties. Fort Pickens sits across the bay from Naval Air Station Pensacola – the birthplace of Naval aviation – and coastal defense guns were installed at the old fort during World War II.

1940: After USS Nautilus (SS-168) conducts a successful test, Secretary of the Navy William F. Knox approves a plan for 24 submarines to each carry 20,000 gallons of aviation gasoline for refueling seaplanes at sea.

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Posted in Society

THE CASE FOR SOLAR: The Sleeping Giant of the American Energy Industry

By Tom Mullikin

CAMDEN, S.C. – Ill-informed concerns about solar energy should be laid to rest and American businesses – which have yet to fully embrace the economic and environmental benefits of solar power – should give this limitless source of clean, efficient energy its due.

Every organization from the smallest local business operation to the world’s largest manufacturers and multi-national corporations all share a common need: affordable and reliable power. Solar power provides a cost effective solution for the energy challenges all businesses face, but many businesspeople are not aware of these benefits or have been deterred from exploring solar power options because of outdated and misinformed notions about solar power. Specifically, concerns about the around the clock capabilities and inclement weather performance of solar power persist despite the fact that advances in the industry address these past challenges. Improved technology in storage along with the exponential cost decreases in equipment make solar power a viable option for all energy users. Simply put, solar works.

While solar power offers environmental benefits, arguably the most attractive quality of solar is cost. Solar is now the least-expensive source of energy in 60 countries around the world, and this expense has decreased dramatically: The price of one solar panel per watt, for example, dropped from $101.05 in 1975 to $0.37 in 2017. The cost per watt also decreases as the system size increases, so large corporations with large energy needs will also reap the economic advantages that come with quantity of scale.

Over a hundred companies listed among the Fortune 500 eager invest in solar energy, including Apple, Walmart, and Intel. Any shrewd businessperson or follower of the successful advances and trends of these companies, would do well to recognize the remarkable reliability of solar power as well as the tangible savings, benefits, and overall cost-efficiency that solar power provides their various business-operations, day-in-and-day-out, both in the near term and for decades to come.

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Posted in Politics

Richland County Sheriff’s Department leads shooting investigation in Florence County, South Carolina

RCSD leads the investigation and is the lead agency for release of all incident-related public information

By W. Thomas Smith Jr.

Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott

COLUMBIA AND FLORENCE, S.C. – In the immediate aftermath of Wednesday’s shooting of seven law enforcement officers (including four police officers and three deputy sheriffs) – one dead and one still critically wounded – in Florence, South Carolina; the Richland County Sheriff’s Dept. (RCSD) was called to investigate. Why was RCSD requested when that agency’s central-S.C. headquarters and jurisdiction is two counties away?

“The short answer is Florence County Sheriff Kenney Boone wanted Richland County Sheriff Leon Lott’s involvement in this,” said RCSD Deputy Chief Stan Smith, commander of RCSD’s Criminal Investigations Division. “We have an ‘investigative shoot team’ that is second-to-none when it comes to officer-involved shootings.”

In fact, RCSD is one of only two agencies, statewide, that fields such a unit: The other agency being the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Why RCSD and not SLED?

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