To the USC Aiken men's basketball team — Last week, the team clinched the Peach Belt Conference regular-season title for the second year in a row with a 56-50 win over rival Augusta State.
To Gary Willoughby — We're sorry to see the president and CEO of the Albrecht Center for Animal Welfare leave for a similar job in Toledo, Ohio, but give him a big thumbs up for all the good work he's done in Aiken County over the past five years.
To the Williston Rescue Squad — Last week the Williston Rescue Squad has agreed to pay the United States $800,000 to resolve allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by making false claims for payment to Medicare for ambulance transports. This is the kind of fraud that U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles said is “crippling” the country's health care system.
To the ongoing James Brown estate saga – It's been six years since the Godfather of Soul died on Christmas Day and there is still fighting over his money. The positive news came out last week when the S.C. Supreme Court overturned a settlement that went against the wishes specified in Brown's will. Chief Justice Jean Toal suggested that, if the settlement was allowed to stand, it could discourage people from leaving most of their estate to charity for fear their wishes could easily be overturned.
To former Surgeon General Dr. C. Everett Koop's legacy — The man who changed the role of surgeon general in this country, died last week at the age of 96. Koop served during the 1980s, used his position has a bully pulpit, made AIDS a top research and educational priority and raised awareness that smoking was a public health hazard.