To fixing election problems — Last year’s election debacle that kicked more than 200 candidates off the primary ballot won’t happen again if the Legislature continues with a bill introduced last week to fix the problem.

To Emilie Towler — The former USC Aiken psychology professor who started that program at the school, died last week at age 92. “She was a strong professional at a time when that role was just emerging for women,” said Tom Hallman, former USCA chancellor. “She led the way for many others, both male and female. Mrs. Towler was an important part of the institution’s history – a leader in the community and on the campus.” Read more about this remarkable woman at

To local barbecue champs – Aiken’s Smokin’ Stacks was honored Friday as the second runner-up in the South Carolina State Barbecue Championships for 2012. The Smokin’ Stacks team, Jeff Smith and his father in-law Larry Bowling, began competing in sanctioned events in 2009.

To strengthening animal abuse laws — S.C. Rep. Bill Taylor of Aiken stepped up last week and introduced legislation to increase penalties for animal abuse. It was the seizure of 250 abused and neglected animals on property in Johnston last September that prompted the legislation.