Jonathan Vickery

Allendale native named top teacher at Spartanburg High School

An Allendale native was recently named Spartanburg High School’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

Carmilla V. Williams, the youngest daughter of Stephanie Williams-Rouse and Ronnie D. Jackson, said she seeks to equip and inspire students to live “meaningful lives of leadership and service as world citizens.” This includes embodying the values of District 7 and Spartanburg High School—tradition, excellence, innovation, hope, engagement, well-being, and valuing relationships.

Dollar General robbed in Blackville

No one was injured during an armed robbery of the Dollar General store in Blackville on Friday morning.

"At 9:20 a.m. a suspect entered the building dressed in a black hoodie with his face covered with what is believed to be a bandana," said Blackville Police Chief John Holston of the Oct. 13 incident.

The suspect, who is believed to be a Hispanic male, went to the office where the manager and a cashier were. He held them at knifepoint and demanded money.

Audio conflicts former superintendent’s story

An audio recording does not back up the story provided by a former Williston superintendent about why her tape recorder was found hidden in her secretary’s office.

On August 31, Debbie McNeil, the long-time superintendent’s secretary for Williston District 29, discovered a tape recorder propped up against the back of her typewriter. It was on and recording,

Jerome Brown to premiere movie in Blackville on Oct. 14

D. Jerome Brown tackles the very real issue of domestic violence in his new film.

The 1984 graduate of Barnwell High School recently wrote, directed and starred in “To Love the Soul of a Woman”. A special premiere and meet and greet with the actors will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Blackville Community Center (19464 Solomon Blatt Avenue, Blackville).

Evelyn Frank stars in true crime television show

A Barnwell native is using her recent appearance on a television show to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Evelyn Frank, whose stage name is Evelyn LeTeshia, appeared in the Sept. 18 episode of the TV One true crime show “Fatal Attraction”. She played Sony Millbrook, a 28-year-old Memphis, Tenn. mother who was killed by her boyfriend, LaKeith Moody, in 2010.

80 hunters join in JDA dove shoot

Approximately 80 hunters from South Carolina and Georgia participated in the Jefferson Davis Academy Shotgun Raiders dove shoot on Sept. 16 at Sandifer & Sons Farms, Blackville.

“The JDA Shotgun Raiders were amazed and appreciative at the support received by local hunters. A great day was had by all that attended and everyone displayed a sportsmanship that was outstanding,” said Julie Robinson, a coach for the team, adding how they had support from other youth shooting teams as well.

Junior golfers in Barnwell get lesson from 8-year-old world champion

Junior golfers got a special lesson recently from a young golf prodigy.

Luke Parsons, who has won two world golf championships, visited the Sept. 14 meeting of Sweetwater Junior Golf at Sweetwater Country Club in Barnwell.

The 8-year-old homeschooled student from Salley (Aiken County) visits Sweetwater Country Club several days a week where he practices for four to five hours at a time.

Dr. Dean returns as Williston District 29 interim superintendent

A familiar face is returning to help guide Williston District 29 through another transitional period.

Dr. Everette “Rette” M. Dean Jr. was hired as the district’s interim superintendent during a special meeting on September 27. The action came one week after the resignation of Dr. Missoura Ashe, who was placed on administrative leave by the board’s chairwoman and vice-chairman on August 31. Ashe had been superintendent since March 2015 but

D19 states new vision

Barnwell District 19 has revised its mission statement, vision statement and core beliefs.

The updates were done with the help of community feedback as the district prepares for reaccreditation through AdvancED next spring. The changes were unanimously approved, although board member Ethel Faust was not in attendance.

Since AdvancED is a “continuous improvement model”, D19 Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said they made changes “based off our needs and where we are headed.”

Miller receives Congressional Bronze Medal

A Barnwell teen has been awarded the Congressional Bronze Medal Award.

Harrison Miller, an eleventh grader at Barnwell High School, received the award on August 8 from U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson during a presentation in front of the Barnwell County Courthouse.

“I am so grateful to see Harrison’s passion for community service and teamwork. He serves as an excellent example for his peers, and I know he will only continue to achieve amazing accomplishments in his future,” said Wilson, whose District 2 includes Barnwell County.

Gaines named Clarendon District 2 Teacher of Year

A Barnwell native has been named the Clarendon School District 2 Teacher of the Year.

Jeffrey Gaines received the honor during the school board’s August 15 meeting. He was previously named Teacher of the Year for Manning High School in March.

“This entire process has been very humbling and I am grateful that I have the opportunity each day to make a difference in the lives of our children,” said Gaines.

Two schools receive bomb threats

Investigations are underway after bomb threats were made against two area high schools on Thursday, Sept. 21.

Barnwell High School received a bomb threat at 12:25 p.m. While Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll would not say exactly where the call was received, he said it was not called into the school or the 911 dispatch center. Around the same time, a bomb threat was called into the Allendale-Fairfax High office, according to Allendale County Sheriff Tom Carter.

Dr. Ashe quits as Williston superintendent

Williston District 29’s superintendent has resigned, just three weeks after she was placed on leave following the discovery of a tape recorder.

The school board unanimously accepted the immediate resignation of Dr. Missoura Ashe after meeting in closed session with their lawyers during the Sept. 20 meeting.

“The board and Dr. Ashe believe this decision is in our mutual best interest, the best interest of students and the best interest of the Williston-Elko communities,” according to a public statement provided by the board after the meeting.

Payne sentenced to 35 years in jail for murder

A jury did not believe a Barnwell man’s claim of self-defense in a 2015 shooting case.

Demontay Markeith Payne, 28, of 25 Wingo Estates Road, Barnwell, was found guilty of the May 23, 2015 murder of DeVante Quintell Odom. The jury rendered the verdict on Tuesday, Sept. 19 after approximately three hours of deliberation following a two-day trial at the Barnwell County Courthouse.

While Payne didn’t deny shooting Odom, he claimed the shooting was in self-defense after Odom allegedly shot at him first.

Police, fire could remain downtown

Barnwell City Council now hopes to keep the police and fire departments downtown.

While the city originally planned to purchase property off Marlboro Avenue to build a new public safety building that would jointly house the fire and police departments, one property is held up in probate court. A number of councilmen also want to see the departments maintain their presence downtown, said City Administrator John Zawacki.

“They want it to stay in the city center,” said Zawacki.

DNR officers assist in evacuation, recovery

Barnwell County’s four S.C. Department of Natural Resources officers recently assisted in hurricane evacuation and recovery efforts.

Sgt. Rocky Salter, Lt. John Bedingfield, PFC Matthew Smith and LCPL Steve Terry were assigned to different coastal communities in advance of Hurricane Irma’s arrival to the Palmetto State. They joined other DNR officers from across the state in the evacuation and recovery efforts.

“Our first concern is safety,” said Salter.

D29 hires interim superintendent

A familiar face is returning to help guide Williston District 29 through another transitional period.

Dr. Everette "Rette" Dean Jr. was hired as Williston District 29's interim superintendent during a special meeting on September 27. The action came one week after the resignation of Dr. Missoura Ashe, who had been on administrative leave for three weeks. Ashe had been superintendent since March 2015.

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