Jonathan Vickery - Managing Editor

Turnout low as voters elect school board members

Approximately 10 percent of registered Barnwell County voters took to the polls Tuesday to elect new school board members in all three districts.

Two newcomers won the open seats in Barnwell District 19 after incumbents Inell Waring and Steve McCormack did not seek reelection. Karen Jowers and Sharon McClary won with 202 and 230 votes, respectively. Bill DeLoach had 183 votes while Annie Walters had 99.

Barnwell District 45 had one seat on the ballot. Incumbent Abraham Sexton won reelection with 389 votes compared to challenger Tiffany Fisher's 124 votes.

New D29 superintendent holding listening sessions

As she starts her second month as Williston District 29's superintendent, Dr. Missoura Ashe is seeking the community's input.
She will host two listening sessions on April 9 and 13 to gain feedback from the community as she develops her personal goals and the district updates its strategic plan. Both sessions will take place at 6 p.m. The one on April 9 will be held in the Kelly Edwards Elementary media center while the April 13 one will be in the district auditorium.

Herb Fest buzzes with spring flavors and activities

The Little Red Barn Pottery and Gifts was buzzing with activity, knowledge and homemade goods March 21 during the 16th Annual Herb Fest.
Allen Johnson, owner of Tinker Creek Honey House and Bee Farm in Williston and president of the Aiken Beekeeper's Association, gave a presentation on honey bees. He and his wife started beekeeping in 2006 to help grow a garden, but now have so many bees they don't have time for gardening.

Bikers rally to help injured friend, motorcyclist

Bikers from as far as North Carolina rallied Saturday for one of their own who was injured in a motorcycle wreck.
ABATE of Barnwell County and the Ramblin Rebels sponsored the Saddle Up Your Iron Horses Benefit Run on March 28. More than $1,000 was raised for Williston resident Ron Stanley (aka Stretch) who is still recovering from a motorcycle wreck on May 7, 2014 when the sun got in his eyes and caused him to wreck near Moonlight Road in Williston.

Community supports Kevin Hutto as he battles cancer

The community came together March 28 for Kevin Hutto by selling out a BBQ chicken dinner fundraiser.
More than 600 dinners were sold along with a variety of baked goods and car washes to raise money for Hutto, who is battling stage 4 mantle cell lymphoma. He lives between Hilda and Denmark with his wife Donna and youngest daughter Alyssa. He also has another daughter Kristin (Mark) Dyches and grandson Brayden.

Taste of Smithsonian visiting Denmark until April 10

Area residents don't have to travel to Washington, D.C. to experience history at one of the Smithsonian museums.
Through April 10 the Smithsonian Institution along with The Humanities Council are sponsoring an exhibit in neighboring Bamberg County called Hometown Teams: How Sports Shape America. The exhibit is open at the Parish Hall of Christ Episcopal Church in Denmark (5266 Carolina Highway).

Lenten message: Fulfill your purpose

Jesus came to earth for a purpose - dying on the cross for the sins of man.
Just as Jesus proclaimed his purpose finished while on the cross in John 19:30, everyone has a purpose to live out. That was the message at the March 25 Lenten service held at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Barnwell.
"We must live our lives with purpose. Do it to the glory of God," said Rev. Michael O'Neal to the crowd at the sixth Lenten service. O'Neal, the former pastor of Rosemary Baptist Church in Barnwell, is now senior pastor of Trinity Outreach Ministries International in Aiken.

Former BHHS principal dies at age 50

David Norman impacted many people, especially students, in the schools where he worked.
The former principal of Blackville-Hilda High School died early Monday morning, March 23, while in Houston, Texas for an education conference, according to Bill Clark, spokesperson for Orangeburg Consolidated School District Five where Norman was in his first year as principal of Orangeburg-Wilkinson High School. As of press time, there is no official word as to what caused the 50-year-old's death.

Relay for Life needs volunteers

In just under two months, luminaries will line the track at Veterans Park in Barnwell for the annual Relay for Life event.
Relay for Life is the platform the American Cancer Society (ACS) uses in communities across the country to raise money for cancer patients and research. However, to make the May 22 event a success and raise thousands of dollars, volunteers are needed to form teams, raise money and join the committee to help plan the event. They also need businesses to be sponsors.

New ministry hopes to put dent in hunger through recycling

A new ministry hoping to put a dent in hunger one can at a time will have its grand "can" opening this weekend.
Cans for Cans, which will turn aluminum waste into food for the Legion Center Ministries Soup Kitchen, officially launches Saturday, March 28, behind Sport's Convenience Store in Barnwell from 9 a.m. to noon. Everyone who brings cans to recycle will receive a free hotdog.

FAST helps firefighters deal with stress of job

Firefighters are there for their community in times of need, but who's there for them?
Representatives from the Firefighter Assistance and Support Team (FAST) explained how their group can help during Reaching Out, Helping Our Own, a behavioral health awareness event at Long Branch Baptist Church March 12 for firefighters from the county's 11 departments. Several Barnwell County sheriff's deputies and 911 dispatchers also attended the training.

Accident results in DUI charge

Another one-car wreck has ended with the driver being hospitalized and charged with driving under the influence.
Eliseo Delgadillo, 63, of Barnwell was driving a 2006 Toyota pickup truck west on Highway 278 when it overturned in a ditch Saturday afternoon, March 21, around 2:20 p.m. The truck initially ran off the left side of the road and lost control before coming back on the roadway and overturning in the ditch, according to Lance Corporal Judd Jones with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

Bomb threat evacuates Williston schools

Hundreds of parents rushed to the Williston First Baptist Church gym Friday morning, March 13, to pick their children up after a bomb threat led to the evacuation of all the District 29 schools.
Barnwell County Emergency Dispatch received a call from a cell phone around 10:50 a.m. about a bomb threat at a Williston school. "The caller did not say in which school the bomb was located," according to an incident report provided by the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office.

Check your car seats

Southern Palmetto Hospital and Medshore Ambulance are teaming up to offer free inspections of child passenger safety seats.
Phil Clarke with Medshore said it's estimated that seven out of 10 car seats are installed improperly. Infant seats followed by rear-facing convertible seats have the highest percentage of critical misuse, according to a press release from Medshore.
The hospital and Medshore hope to reduce that number in Barnwell County through the free event, which will be held Friday, March 20 from noon to 4 p.m. at the hospital.

United Way seeks volunteers who CARE

The Barnwell County United Way (BCUW) is seeking volunteers and sponsors for its annual Project CARE Day on April 17.
"Project CARE Day is a day of caring for our county, designed to bring community volunteers together to carry out community service projects. We are fortunate to live in such a caring community where people look out for each other and come together to improve life for all of us," said Claudia Burdette, chief professional officer for the BCUW.

Fire destroys Kline area home

Sparks flew from a power line after fire engulfed a Kline area home.
The fire broke out around 8:30 p.m. March 10 at the one-story 1950s-era home on Slaton Farm Road, located off of Boiling Springs Road.
Kline Fire Chief Sims Morris said fire was in one corner of the house when he arrived on scene, but soon it spread across the entire backside of the house. Approximately 30 firefighters from the Kline, Red Oak and Barnwell Rural departments responded to the scene and attacked the fire from one side to extinguish it.


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