David Purtell - Staff Writer

Blackville continues stance on crime

Residents of Blackville met Oct. 2 to continue discussion about the town's youth and crime.
About 20 people gathered at the Blackville Community Center, including town council members and Police Chief John Holston. The discussion was led by Councilwoman Vivian Alston.
They discussed the need for youth activities in Blackville as a deterrent to children going down the wrong path. The group talked about starting up local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops and what youth sports were available. The possibility of a monthly movie night at the community center was brought up.

Tractor Supply, others coming?

Barnwell may have a Tractor Supply Co. coming to town in the future, according to a letter sent from the mayor to the Burger King Corporation.
The letter, dated Sept. 21, asks Burger King to consider reopening another franchise at the location on Dunbarton Boulevard where one once was. The letter says the plaza at Clinton Street and Dunbarton Boulevard is in the process of being sold and there are plans for a new shopping center to be built. The letter says the location will have a Tractor Supply, Family Dollar and an O'Reily Auto Parts.

Voter ID fate unknown

As of press time Oct. 9, a federal panel of judges had still not issued a ruling on South Carolina's voter ID law.
Judges heard final arguments in the case Sept. 24 in Washington, D.C. The law requires anyone who votes in the state to show a government issued photo ID, but is currently blocked by the U.S. Justice Department. S.C. Attorney General Alan Wilson is suing to have it put back into effect.
Currently, voters do not need a photo ID. Even if the law is upheld, a provision allows people to vote if they can show reasonable cause for not having a photo ID.

Presidential debate to be televised

The first of three presidential debates will be held tonight, Oct. 3, at 9 p.m.
President Barack Obama will have his first face-to-face confrontation with Republican nominee former Mass. Gov. Mitt Romney.
The debate could play a crucial role in what is a fairly close election. A majority of polls show Obama's lead has grown slightly in recent weeks, but it's clear that the election is still undecided.

Good or bad news, Jowers is fighting to win

Demaris Jowers says things happen for a reason; good or bad ... they happen for a reason.
So last October, when she did a self breast exam in the shower and felt a lump she didn't panic.
"It felt like a golf ball," she said.
It was the Saturday before Halloween 2011. Jowers called her boyfriend to come and check it too. After he felt the lump, he said they would call the doctor on Monday.

New research could lead to more effective treatments

A recent study published in the journal Nature breaks breast cancer into four subtypes, which could make the potential treatments for each type more effective, scientists said.
The four subtypes scientists designated are: basal-like, HER2-enriched, and luminal A and B. The classifications describe the genetic makeup of the tumor.

Drought conditions improve

Barnwell County had its drought status downgraded to moderate from severe during a meeting of the state's drought committee Sept. 27.
Barnwell had its status changed to severe July 19 due to lack of rainfall and low stream and river levels, but since then there has been higher than average rainfall in the county, according to a press release from the state's Department of Natural Resources.

Blackville crime prevention ongoing

Blackville leaders and parents continued the momentum of the packed Sept. 10 crime public forum with an information session Sept. 18.
About 20 people gathered in the Blackville Community Center for the session led by Councilwoman Vivian Alston. Speakers talked about gangs, crime and the need for parents to get involved with their children.
Citizens expressed their concerns about the community and asked questions about several issues, including late-night partying, gangs, violence and law enforcement.

Survey to make county healthier

An online survey is available for residents to take regarding their health habits. The survey is part of a program to help people in Barnwell County lead healthier lives.
The Barnwell County Human Services Board created the survey and will use data from it to develop workshops focused on educating people about their health, according to Pam Rush with the AXIS 1 Center of Barnwell. She said the board is using money awarded by the national Community Transformation Grant to conduct the survey.

Blackville focused on future

Blackville Town Council focused on getting more people involved and moving forward with its effort to detour crime during its Sept. 17 regular meeting.
Mayor Michael Beasley said he plans to have roundtable discussions with adults and youth.
He said, "We need to listen to their concerns and their suggestions," in regards to the town's citizens. He said 33 people had signed up to be part of the meetings.

Third Thursday back after summer break

Third Thursday in Barnwell is back beginning Sept. 20.
Downtown on the Circle there will be music, food and fun from 5 to 7 p.m.
Local band Doctors, Lawyers and Indian Chiefs will perform, Boy Scout Troop 392 will have a hot-dog fundraiser, and supplies for area teachers will be collected at the old police station. Items needed for teachers include: copy paper, legal note pads, sharpies, Crayola markers, dry erase markers, Scotch tape refills, tape dispensers and file folders.

Rezoning request denied

Williston Town Council voted not to rezone property where a funeral home is planned to be built. The vote was held at the council's Sept. 10 regular meeting.
The property, located at 5130 Springfield Road, is owned by Foy Dyches. Dyches also owns a funeral home in Barnwell. He was requesting the property be rezoned to highway commercial. It is currently zoned as neighborhood commercial. Highway commercial is for a business with customers from outside its immediate neighborhood.

Workshops set to help parents

Barnwell County First Steps will host parenting workshops entitled "Parental Goals," from 6-7 p.m. Sept 20 at Kelly Edwards Elementary in Williston and Sept. 25 at Macedonia Elementary School's cafeteria in Blackville.
The workshops, which are held bimonthly, focus on helping parents become more effective in raising their children, Nigel Fisher, with Barnwell County First Steps, said.
Fisher facilitates the meetings and said the innovative workshops try to reach parents across the county and "motivate them to become more engaged with their young children."

Kline election canceled, General Election nears

The Kline Town Council special election has been canceled because only one person has filed to be a candidate, according to Naomi DeFrenn, the director of the Barnwell County Voter Registration and Elections office.
She said no one filed to be a write-in candidate before the Sept. 14 deadline.
That means Kimberly Cave, a sales representative with The People-Sentinel, should get the council seat once everything is in order.
"Nothing is official until all the paperwork is cleared and she is sworn in," DeFrenn said.

$7 fee added to Barnwell water and sewer bills

Barnwell City Council voted to enact a new public works fee and approved its yearly budget at the Sept. 10 regular meeting.
A public hearing on the fee and budget was held before the meeting, but no one had any comments regarding either.
The public works fee is meant to help balance the city's budget. Beginning Oct. 1, it will add $7 to the monthly water and sewage bill for each house and business using city water, sewage and garbage.

West Nile cases are close to Barnwell

Although no cases of the West Nile virus have been reported in Barnwell County, neighboring Aiken County has seen several, including one death.

Counties reporting the virus are: Aiken, Lexington, Richland, Orangeburg, Berkeley, Charleston, Marlboro, Greenwood, Anderson, Pickens and Spartanburg.

As of Aug. 31, five cases of the virus, which is spread to humans by mosquitoes, were reported in Aiken and 17 total across the state.

Missing high school ring found four years later

Four years ago, Jerrell Myers lost his high school class ring at a softball game in Kline. He thought he would never see it again - that is until a phone call last week.

Myers, a 2005 graduate of Barnwell High School, worked odd jobs his whole senior year to raise the $740 he needed to buy the ring. He said losing the ring was devastating.

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