David Purtell - Staff Writer

Municipal field set

The filing period for write-in candidates has closed for the Blackville Town Council election.
Council members Steve Jowers and Allen Harrison have declared their intention to run for re-election, and Councilman Russ Reed has decided not to seek re-election. Former Blackville-Hilda High School teacher Fred Orr filed as a write-in candidate.
The election is Nov. 5 and the ballot will look like this:

Rivers steps down after 25 years of service

Williston Mayor Tommy Rivers is a good man.
That sentiment was repeated by friends, family, colleagues and residents during an open house Sunday honoring Rivers, who is leaving office this month after 25 years of service. He was first elected to town council in 1988, and before that served on the school board. His last official council meeting was Monday night.
People flooded the town's fire department to celebrate the man who has led the small community since 1993 - when he replaced former mayor Buddy Brady.

United Way kicks off fundraising campaign

Board members of the Barnwell County United Way, Chief Professional Officer Jessica Wilbanks and state Rep. Lonnie Hosey gathered for a photo during the organization's fundraiser campaign kickoff Thursday at the Barnwell County Library.
Wilbanks said the fundraising campaign is focused on increasing the number of businesses and individuals participating in the payroll-deduction program.
The United Way first came to Barnwell County in the 1950s. The organization funds programs and services, like the Axis 1 Center, that focus on income, health and education.

Blackville discusses police cars

Blackville Town Council is trying to get two new police cars for the town.
A public hearing was held Aug. 19 to discuss the need for new patrol cars. The hearing is part of the application process the town must go through in order to qualify for grant funds for the cars.
No residents spoke during the hearing, but Mayor Michael Beasley said the town is trying to upgrade its aging fleet of police cruisers. He said the police department currently has seven active patrol cars.

Want to be on city council?

Election filing is open in Blackville, and three council seats will be up for grabs.
The election is scheduled for Nov. 5 and filing closes Aug. 30. Residents who wish to run for one of the at-large seats can file with the town clerk. The filing fee is $75.
The seats that will be on the ballot currently belong to council members Steve Jowers, Allen Harrison and Rubert Reed. Harrison said he is set on running for re-election, and Jowers said he probably will too. Reed said he has not decided yet.

Second meters not needed

Some Williston residents will have the option to cut down the cost of their water bill after council approved a plan to help curb costs during the regular meeting Aug. 12.
Customers who have two water meters - the extra one is normally for irrigation - will be able to have their second meter removed and the line tied into the regular meter at no cost to them.
Earlier this year, council changed the town's billing policy for water customers.

Legislators to discuss progress

Barnwell County residents will have the chance to hear from their local state officials about this year's legislative session next week.
State Sen. Brad Hutto and state Rep. Lonnie Hosey, both Democrats, will talk about legislation that passed (and didn't pass) this year during a Legislative Wrap-Up Aug. 26 at the Barnwell County Library from 5 to 6:30 p.m. Also, Barnwell County Council Chairman Freddie Houston will talk about what happened this past year with county council.
Attendees will be able to ask questions.

Barnwell Farmers Market stops Saturday operation

The Barnwell Farmers Market has hit a few bumps in the road during its first year, but city Parks and Recreation Director Mike Shumaker still thinks the future is bright.
The market, located at Fuller Park, will no longer operate on Saturdays due to low customer turnout, Shumaker said.
"They have been selling out on Tuesdays, but there's not a lot of sales on Saturdays," he said.

Mosquitoes sucking the fun out of summer

It's safe to say most people think mosquitoes are annoying, especially in large numbers.
The topic came up during the Barnwell City Council meeting Aug. 5. Melissa Owens, a city resident, spoke to council about the problems she's had with mosquitoes.
"The mosquitoes are a nuisance," she said about the constant battle between her and the pesky blood-suckers.
She has young children who always want to play outside but are often bitten by the winged bugs.

Grant money pouring in

Two local towns have received more than $1 million for water projects in the past few months.
The city of Barnwell has been awarded Community Development Block Grant funds for the Hagood Avenue water project.
The grant - federal dollars distributed by the state Department of Commerce - totals $484,907 and will go toward replacing the sewer line along Hagood Avenue and Colonial Drive.

Council approves first reading of budget

Barnwell City Council passed the first reading of its 2013-14 fiscal year budget during the regular meeting Monday evening.
The nearly $3 million general fund budget includes a small property tax increase, just over $5 more a year for a house with an assessed value of $100,000.
The $7 public works fee, instituted last year so the city would have enough revenue to avoid cutting services, is included in the budget. It is expected to bring in an additional $176,000.
The fee shows up on residents' monthly water bill.

No elections; new officials

There will not be an election held this year for Barnwell City Council and Williston Town Council after both bodies voted on the issue last week.
The candidates who filed to run in both elections will be awarded council seats without receiving any votes. And yes, it's legal.
Barring any unforeseen circumstances, current councilman Jason Stapleton will become mayor of Williston in October. And the town will also have three new councilmen - Chris Rivers, Dwayne Cagle and Shawn Eric Moody.

Elections canceled for Barnwell, Williston councils

There will not be an election held this year for Barnwell City Council and Williston Town Council after both bodies voted on the issue this week.

The candidates who filed to run in both elections will be awarded council seats without receiving any votes. And yes, it's legal.

Barring any unforeseen circumstances, current councilman Jason Stapleton will become mayor of Williston in October. And the town will also have three new councilmen - Chris Rivers, Dwayne Cagle and Shawn Eric Moody.

Barnwell cancels city council election, Williston council faces same question

There will not be an election held this year for Barnwell City Council. Williston Town Council will decide whether to hold their election during a special-called meeting Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the town hall.

The candidates who filed in Barnwell will be awarded seats on the council without receiving any votes. And yes, it's legal.

Barnwell City Council voted unanimously to not hold the election during a special-called meeting Tuesday evening. The consensus among the council members was it's the "safest" thing to do given what the law says.

Barnwell city budget includes small tax increase

Barnwell City Council will have the first reading of the 2013-2014 fiscal year budget during its regular meeting Monday, Aug. 5, at 6:30 p.m. at city hall.

Council members had a workshop July 22 to go over the preliminary budget, which is still being tweaked.

The preliminary budget includes a very small property tax increase of 1.2 mills or just over $5 more a year for a house with an assessed value of $100,000.

Three suspects in jail, police still looking for one after attempted robbery, chase

Three men are in jail and police are still looking for another suspect after an attempted robbery and police pursuit July 23, according to Barnwell Police Chief Todd Gantt.

Tiquan Shurod Jenkins, Isaiah Sharif Russell and John Willis Garrett were each charged with attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a violent crime, Gantt said. They are being held at the Barnwell County Detention Center.

Three suspects arrested, one still on the loose after attempted robbery, chase

Three men are in jail and police are still looking for another suspect after an attempted robbery and police pursuit Tuesday night, according to Barnwell Police Chief Todd Gantt.


Tiquan Shurod Jenkins, Isaiah Sharif Russell and John Willis Garrett were each charged with attempted armed robbery and possession of a firearm during a violent crime, Gantt said. They are being held at the Barnwell County Detention Center.

Counterfeit money circulating across county

Counterfeit money is cashing in across Barnwell County, according to Barnwell Police Chief Todd Gantt.
Gantt said he's received around 30 complaints of people using fake money in the past few weeks.
The majority of the complaints are with $10 and $20 bills, but Gantt added that $100 bills are being used occasionally.
He said people using fake bills will wait until a local convenience or grocery store is busy before they go in. The idea is to catch the cashiers while they're in a hurry and not paying much attention.

Pages

Subscribe to RSS - David Purtell - Staff Writer