Jonathan Vickery

Allendale woman killed in wreck

Pink and white balloons filled the air in remembrance of a 19-year-old Allendale woman who was killed last week in a car wreck.

Allisa Freeman of Sincere Lane, Allendale, was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19 following an automobile versus tree collision on Highway 278 East near Mt. Olive Circle in Barnwell County, said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward. She died of head trauma, he said.

Search starts for D29 leader

The Williston District 29 School Board has hired the S.C. School Boards Association (SCSBA) to lead the search for a new superintendent.

SCSBA Executive Director Scott Price attended the board’s special Dec. 11 meeting where he presented a basic proposal that includes various timelines, activities and phases to search for a new leader. He said they can tailor it to fit the district’s needs. Searches typically take between four and six months.

Organizations give back to community

Brickyard Lodge #55 and Pilgrim Chapter #7 fed the community during their 39th Annual Christmas Banquet on Dec. 8 at the Gail Reyes Senior Center in Barnwell.

“For years this organization has used the Annual Christmas Banquet as a way of appreciation to all who attend. Because our Lodge and Chapter are both founded on service to God and mankind it is extremely rewarding when we have a successful program,” said Illustrious Brother Eric Kirkland from Brickyard Lodge #55.

Councilman retires after 22 years

Barnwell City Council recognized one of its own for dedicating 22 years of service to the city.

Ben Duncan has served on city council for 22 years, but did not seek re-election this year. He was thanked by his fellow councilmen for his service during his last council meeting on Dec. 4, which included a reception in his honor at the end.

“He’s been a great benefit to us,” said Mayor Edward Lemon, who called Duncan “friendly and helpful.”

Autopsy shows wreck victim died of natural causes

Autopsy results revealed an Olar man did not die from a weekend wreck, but rather from a medical issue.

John W. Deer, 62, of Dana Ave., Olar, was pronounced dead on Dec. 9 following an automobile versus tree collision on Highway 64 South near the Bamberg/Barnwell County line, according to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward. However, his death is not attributed to the wreck.

“The autopsy performed on Mr. Deer revealed that he did not die from any injuries from the collision. His death has been determined to be of natural causes,” said Ward on Dec. 11.

Deloach sworn in as D19 school board member

Bill Deloach was sworn in as Barnwell District 19’s newest school board member on Nov. 27.

Following the resignation of George Fickling earlier this year, the remaining four board members unanimously voted to appoint Deloach during the Nov. 13 meeting. Board Chairwoman Carroll Priester said Deloach was selected due to his previous interest in the board, citing how he ran two times previously.

“We are glad to have the board back at full strength again,” said board member Karen Jowers who attended the swearing in event.

AmeriCorps team replaces fishing pier

Barnwell State Park has a new fishing pier thanks to the efforts of the AmeriCorps team.

The team of 10 young people, who are from all over the country, are volunteering across Barnwell County through Dec. 15. On Dec. 5 and 6 they replaced the old fishing pier, which was aged and weathered.

“It’s been a long-time need for the park,” said park manager Eddie Richburg. “It’s solid now and ready to be fished on.”

Learning comes to life during Hour of Code

From kindergartners to high school seniors, local students joined tens of millions of their counterparts from more than 180 countries for an Hour of Code.

The Hour of Code is a program sponsored by Code.org in an effort to encourage coding and computer science in schools around the world. The annual event started four years ago and takes place during Computer Science Education Week, which was Dec. 4-10 this year.

First Steps moves Barnwell headquarters

Barnwell County First Steps has a new home, but their mission of helping children succeed is the same.

The Barnwell County office had been headquartered in an old school building next to town hall on Lartigue Street in Blackville, but moved in August to the back of the DHEC/Barnwell County Health Department building at 11015 Ellenton Street in Barnwell. Executive Director Doris Mitchell said the new office is more efficient for their needs and puts them closer to partners. A majority of the families they work with are in Barnwell.

Olar man killed in wreck

An Olar man was killed Saturday morning as a result of a wreck on Highway 64.

John W. Deer, 62, of Dana Ave., Olar, was pronounced dead following an automobile versus tree collision on Highway 64 South near the Bamberg/Barnwell County line, according to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward.

“Deer was traveling north on Highway 64 when he veered off the road and collided with a tree. Mr. Deer was wearing a restraint,” said Ward.

An autopsy will be performed. Toxicology is pending. 

Bakery celebrates one year in business

The past year has been a sweet adventure for two sisters and their family.

Crystal Cannon and Jessica Gatlin opened Hansel & Gretel’s Bakery in November 2016 after dreaming about having their own bakery for several years. The bakery is located at 66 Main Street, Barnwell, in the building that previously housed the Gingerbread Shoppe for 23 years.

“We really appreciate the support we’ve gotten from the community,” said Ken Dodson, Crystal and Jessica’s father, who helps with the business.

Former NFL player encourages WEHS students

Former NFL player Troy Williamson spoke to students at Williston-Elko High School on Dec. 1.

Having grown up in Petticoat Junction in Aiken County, Williamson said he understands the hardships faced by many in rural areas. He encouraged the students to make the right choices and follow their dreams.

“I see myself in a lot of you guys,” said Williamson to the students.

Blacksmithing, cooking demo is step back in time

Barnwell State Park recently held a demonstration that took people back in time.

Derral Linder gave a presentation on the history and art of blacksmithing on Nov. 25 while Gwen Rodriguez did an outdoor cooking presentation. She cooked chili, baked beans and bread in cast iron pots over a wood fire. She said people in the 17th Century used a mustard sauce for the beans because they thought tomatoes were poisonous.

Pancake breakfast raises money for animals

A pancake breakfast equaled a tasty way to raise funds to help reduce the pet overpopulation.

GROWL sponsored the Dec. 2 event at the Masonic Lodge in Williston. All proceeds will help GROWL continue to fund a low-cost spay/neuter program because the organization pays for half of all surgeries that are done when Fido Fixers come to Williston. For example, if a surgery costs $80, then the pet owner pays $40 and GROWL pays the other $40.

Williston teen dances in Macy’s Thanksgiving parade

Williston-Elko High School sophomore Katie Hutto and 43 others from her dance studio in Bamberg performed on national television for Spirit of America Production Company in the 91st Annual Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade in New York City on Nov. 23.

Katie, the daughter of Michael and Holly Hutto, has dreamed of performing in the parade since joining the dance studio at age three.This was the 16-year-old’s sole chance to be in the parade because the dance studio is only chosen to participate every four years and the age limit is 19.

Community Soup Kitchen opening Friday, Dec. 1

Sixty people from 10 area churches attended a volunteer dinner meeting Nov. 17 to learn about helping with the new community soup kitchen opening Friday, Dec. 1 in the activity center of Barnwell First Baptist.

Currently, there are only enough volunteers to be open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday from noon to 1 p.m.

“We still have a few days available on the calendar if anybody would like to help,” said Sherrie Still, soup kitchen coordinator.

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