"We told some important stories this week including some that if we were not here, you probably wouldn’t know about but that could have an impact on your life. I want to highlight four of them as well as the reporters who told them. State government reporter Devyani Chhetri wrote about South Carolina legislators moving toward cutting income taxes and looking at giving some money back to residents. This is an important pocket-book and accountability story as we keep an eye on how your tax dollars are spent. But what took her story to another level was that while South Carolina seemingly has a cash surplus, we also have a pension debt that vastly exceeds annual state income. Devyani interviewed Sheila Weinberg, a tax expert and founder of Truth In Accounting, a Chicago-based non-profit that promotes financial transparency, who took a look at South Carolina’s finances and said that that kind of messaging could be misleading. “The state says that they're in a surplus, but can you really have a surplus if you have debt?” Weinberg said. “You might have money in your front pocket, but you still have that debt.” We also had a public safety story from Mike Ellis who helps lead our Anderson team. About a month ago we reported about a former Pickens County sheriff’s deputy who was charged with misconduct in office and who is under investigation by the State Law Enforcement Division. But that’s not the end of the story. Mike dug a little deeper and found details about the incident that led up to the investigation into a teen who reportedly was tased 17 times. Mike told me this story was important because we were shining light on something important and telling a story no one else is telling. It also speaks to our commitment for public safety reporting that goes beyond just saying someone got arrested. In another important story, housing reporter Genna Contino took a look at the salaries of Greenville County’s employees and found that since last year we have gone from one county employee earning $200,000 per year to five after county employees got raises. We are not saying that raises are a bad thing. We are just letting you know where your money is being spent. I’d also like to highlight a story from Scott Keepfer on the return of quarterback Hunter Johnson to Clemson University’s football team. The story takes you behind the scenes and shares what role Clemson President Jim Clements had in Johnson’s return. Maybe not accountability here, but definitely high interest and a story that answers how this happened. One last note, in case you missed it, but I’d also like to give a shoutout to Joe Dandron whose video of the Mauldin-Dorman basketball game finish made it onto ESPN Sportscenter’s Top 10. Look for more exclusive news from us next week and if you’re not a subscriber, please consider a digital subscription by going to GreenvilleNews.com/subscribe. A digital subscription includes the e-edition which enables you to read any of Gannett’s more than 200 daily newspapers. And as another new feature, the e-editions now include a Nation/World Extra that has late breaking news in it."
Read the full article on: Publication