Jonathan Vickery - Staff Writer

Organizations unite to motivate more than 100 young men and women

More than 100 young men and women spent a day in the park April 26, though it wasn't to play around.
The youth were part of events sponsored by the Community Uplift Program (CUP) and Young Men of God at the Williston Town Park. Both groups are aiming to make a difference in the lives of young people.
"We want to be a place for their sons and daughters to go," said Cuthbertson, CUP president, of reaching out to the community.

Special Olympics yields new friendships

It wasn't Sochi, Russia, but Friday's Special Olympics was just as important to 154 young Olympians.
"It was a special day for special people," said Billie Smith, a special education teacher at Barnwell High School, of the April 25 event.
The annual event, held this year at Barnwell High, paired athletes from Allendale, Barnwell, Blackville and Williston schools with high school student volunteers - their buddies for the day. Olympians compete in a variety of games like the 50-meter dash.

$40,000 raised to ‘finish cancer fight’

Barnwell County residents raised more than $40,000 for cancer research Friday night, April 25, during Relay for Life.
Hundreds of residents converged on Barnwell Veterans Park for an evening of fun and fundraising. The event included approximately 20 teams selling a variety of items, from jambalaya and alligator tail to fried Oreos.
While there were many fun events, Relay concerns a serious topic. It raises money to support cancer research and programs for cancer patients through the American Cancer Society.

Harassment ends with arson

An ongoing history of harassment and stalking landed a Williston man in jail April 22.
Jonnie White, 44, of Lincoln Park, Apt. 133, was arrested by the Williston Police Department on charges of third degree arson, malicious injury to personal property and aggravated stalking, according to his arrest report.
The allegations of harassment have been an "ongoing theme" since April 15, states the incident report provided by the Williston police.

Newsome leaving WEHS for Orangeburg

This year's graduation ceremony will be bittersweet for Williston-Elko High School's outgoing principal, though he is proud of the accomplishments the school's made during his four years there.
Dr. Brian Newsome will leave his post at the end of the school year to become the Superintendent of Schools for Orangeburg Preparatory Schools. He will begin duties at the private school of approximately 800 students in June after completing responsibilities in Williston.

Praises shared at D45 meeting

As another school year winds down, the Barnwell District 45 School Board spent much of their April 24 meeting recognizing students and staff.
Seventh grade TAG students from Guinyard-Butler Middle School gave a presentation on a recent trip to Washington, D.C. They were part of 59 students who toured the nation's capital March 25-27.
"I wanted them to see and do things I didn't get to do," said teacher Heather Peters. "We had an absolute ball."

BCCC needs $196,812 keep 2015 budget in black

The Barnwell County Career Center approved the second reading of their budget last week; however, $196,812 is needed to balance it.
Projected expenses for the 2014-15 school year total $1,700,742 while revenue is budgeted at $1,503,930. Director Sam McKay told the board April 21 they are anticipating higher costs for salaries if state lawmakers require a 1.5 percent raise, something he said Rep. Lonnie Hosey said is likely. This will cause social security and retirement to go up as well.

‘Annie’ comes to the Circle Theatre stage

Opening night of "Annie" is already sold out, but there are seven more opportunities to see the beloved story of the red-headed orphan's journey from "hard knock life" to loving family.
"It's a timeless play full of hope," said Dennis Knapp, who is directing the production at Circle Theatre in Barnwell.
This is the first time the theatre has produced the iconic play, though they did "Annie Jr.", an trimmed down version for children, eight years ago.

WEHS principal leaving for Orangeburg Prep job

Dr. Brian Newsome will leave his post as principal of Williston-Elko High School at the end of the school year.
According to a letter from Orangeburg Preparatory Schools, Newsome has been hired by the private school located in Orangeburg as their new Superintendent of Schools (formerly known as Head of Schools). He will begin duties at OPS in June after completing responsibilities in Williston.

Williston Holy Week services prepare hearts for Easter

Facing humiliation and death on a cross, Jesus displayed humility by washing the feet of his disciples. That was the message brought during the fourth Williston Holy Week Service April 17 at Elko Baptist Church.
Rev. Joseph Cook with Culbert Branch Baptist Church recited John 13 which tells the story, including how Peter protests Jesus washing his feet. "Unless I wash you, you won't belong to me," replied Jesus in verse 8.
Jesus washed all of his disciples' feet, even Judas, who he knew would betray him.

U.S. House candidate campaigns in Barnwell

The man hoping to unseat U.S. Rep Joe Wilson in June's Republican primary stopped by Barnwell last week.
After spending the night at the Carolina Lodge, Eddie McCain, a retired Army sergeant first class from Batesburg-Leesville, spent April 17 meeting with business owners and residents. This was his first campaign visit to the county.
It's those business owners who motivate him to run for Congress to eliminate big bank bailouts, federal healthcare mandates, and federal education mandates that he said hurts small businesses and jobs.

Join the fight against cancer Friday night

An evening of fun and fundraising is set for Friday as Barnwell County residents team up to finish the fight against cancer.
Barnwell County Relay for Life is this Friday, April 25, at Barnwell Veterans Park on U.S. 278 by the airport. This year's theme is "Rival Teams Unite to Finish the Fight."
"Come out and help us honor our survivors and remember the ones we have lost," said Teresa Sanders, chairperson for the Relay for Life committee.

Kinard to lead Relay survivor’s lap

The past year since her breast cancer diagnosis has been a "nightmare" for Sherry Kinard, but the American Cancer Society has helped her through it.
"They have been very beneficial to me throughout my journey," said Kinard of the services offered by the ACS.
That's why Kinard, this year's grand marshal for the survivor's lap at Barnwell County Relay for Life, encourages the whole community to come out Friday night to raise money for cancer research. The event is from 7 p.m. to 1 a.m. at Veterans Park on Hwy. 278 in Barnwell.

Events aim to motivate young men, women

Two area organizations are joining forces this weekend to impact young men and women in a positive way.
The Young Men of God and Community Uplift Program are sponsoring separate events Saturday, April 26, for young men and women. Both will take place at the Williston Town Park from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. YMOG is for young men ages 7 to 19 while CUP is for young women ages 7 to 19.
"It's a positive opportunity for the youth in our community," said Ferlecia Cuthbertson, president of CUP.

School uniforms for Macedonia Elementary up for debate

Barnwell District 19 is conducting a survey of parents of Macedonia Elementary students concerning school uniforms.

Superintendent Dr. Teresa Pope told the board during the April 9 meeting that surveys are aimed at gauging how parents feel about the topic. She said the idea is still in the early stages, but they have gotten information from schools that require uniforms.

While the topic has come up before, Pope said they are exploring the possibility now after it came up during a conversation with the board.

Williston, Blackville schools honored by state

Four area schools are among 592 statewide recipients of the Palmetto Gold and Silver Awards.

The awards program, established in 1998 under the Education Accountability Act, recognizes general academic performance and improvement in closing the achievement gap. Schools can earn a silver or gold designation in either or both categories.

Message: Do not turn a blind eye to the needy

The Lenten series continued April 2 with a message of eternal thirst.
Rev. David Turner with Barnwell Presbyterian Church recounted Luke 19:28 where Jesus said he was thirsty as he was dying on the cross. "He experienced that separation from God," said Turner to the crowd gathered at Hagood Avenue Baptist Church. "He suffered because he loves you."
Because of his sacrifice, Turner said Jesus offers eternal life to those who chose him. Jesus is a "mere drop of water that gives us hope, gives us life."

Detention officer receives national jail certification

A Barnwell County Detention Center officer has joined an elite group across the country after receiving national jail officer certification.
Loretta Moore passed the American Jail Association's Certified Jail Officer exam in February, a designation achieved by 467 jail professionals nationwide. The Fairfax resident has worked 26 years in the corrections profession, including since September 2012 in Barnwell.

D45 adding two curriculum jobs

Barnwell District 45 is looking to improve student achievement with the addition of two curriculum specialists.
The school board approved the new positions during their April 1 work/planning session.
The curriculum specialists will "support the teachers and help them be all they can be," said Superintendent Jay Grissom. They will do this by working with Crissie Stephens, the district's curriculum director, to provide training to teachers, including spending time in the classroom and giving feedback.

SUV hits moped

This GMC SUV struck a moped (pictured under the front of the SUV) around 8 p.m. Saturday night on Hwy. 70 near the city limits. Donnie Still, 60, of Barnwell, is charged with driving too fast for conditions after hitting the back of the moped. The moped's driver, 46-year-old Henry Ray of Barnwell, was transported to the hospital with "non-life-threatening injuries," according to Judd Jones with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

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