Jonathan Vickery

Jefferson Davis Academy opens year with prayer

Jefferson Davis Academy started the school year with prayer around the flag pole on August 17 before students headed to their first class.

Pastor Chris Campbell from Restoration Community Church in Barnwell led the prayer as students, staff and parents joined hands outside the private school, which is located in Blackville.

The theme for the year is “Empowering Young Minds”. JDA has a few more young minds to empower this year as Head of School Dr. Walter Banks said student enrollment has increased.

Back-to-School: D29 principals share goals

Kelly Edwards Elementary School

Kelly Edwards Elementary School wants to be a school where students are loved. That’s why their theme is: “Kelly Edwards, Where We Love First”.

“There is no better way to start off letting our kids know that before we teach them, we have to love them and get to know them,” said KEES Principal Nakeisha Baxley.

D45 considers adding Scholastic Clay Target Sports

Some parents and students are hoping Barnwell District 45 will add Scholastic Clay Target Sports.

Scott Stephens, the Scholastic Clay Target Sports (SCTS) coordinator from the S.C. Department of Natural Resources, spoke to the school board during the August 10 meeting about how SCTS is a growing sport in South Carolina. There are teams across the state, including at 14 public schools, 27 private schools and 30 clubs with several new teams being formed.

Location of new safety building stalls project

An agreement on the location for the new public safety building is stalling the project.

Barnwell City Council was scheduled to vote on approval of a location for the new home of the police and fire departments so the city could negotiate a price with the landowner. They were also supposed to review a draft AIA (American Institute of Architects agreement with the public safety building architect. However, council tabled action on both items at the Aug. 7 meeting.

“Council could not get a consensus on the location,” said City Administrator John Zawacki.

Reedy Branch Baptist teens travel to Louisville, Ky.

Reedy Branch Baptist Church recently sent two youth and an adult to Louisville, Ky. for its first youth mission trip.

Teenagers Kenneth Dobson and Lauren Nobles, led by Darlene Sanders, were in Louisville July 22-28 through a partnership with YouthWorks at Epiphany UMC in Louisville to complete different missions throughout the community.

“It was a great experience to grow as friends and as Christians,” said Dobson.

Murder suspect, girlfriend apprehended in Tenn.

A murder suspect and his girlfriend were arrested in Tennessee nearly a month after the shooting death of George Lee Grimes.
Ricky Antwan Williams and his girlfriend, Teresa K. Luna, were arrested on Wednesday, August 16 in Knox County, Tennessee, according to Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll.
The sheriff said his office was notified by the State Law Enforcement Division this afternoon about the arrests.

Fickling resigning from Blackville School Board after feeling ‘shut out’

A Barnwell District 19 board member has stated his intentions to resign after voicing concerns he has with other board members.

Board member George Fickling announced during the August 14 meeting that he was resigning “effective immediately”. He handed in his district-issued iPad, but sat through the rest of the meeting.

“I cannot be effective if I’m always going to be shut out,” said Fickling, who was elected in April 2016. “This board is just not willing to listen to any suggestions about changes or improvements.”

Murder suspect's girlfriend sought for accessory

Warrants have been issued for the girlfriend of a murder suspect.

The Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) has issued a warrant for accessory after the fact to murder for 24-year-old Teresa K. Luna, also known as T.K. According to the sheriff’s office, Luna is dating Ricky Lamont Williams, 39, who is wanted for the July 23 murder of Hilda resident George Lee Grimes, 31, that occurred on Fairway Lane in Barnwell.

Housing Authority gives James ‘purpose and passion’

Destiny James has a passion, purpose and plan.

Growing up, James was raised by a single mother in the Carolyn Court apartments in the small town of Denmark, but she had big dreams. She turns 20 this week and is about to start her junior year in college.

“She said, ‘Don’t tell me the sky is the limit when there are footprints on the moon,’” said Denmark-Olar High School (DOHS) Principal Mickey Pringle of his former student.

One dead, four injured in two weekend Allendale shootings

Two weekend shootings left one person dead and four others injured in Allendale, according to law enforcement officials.

The first shooting occurred on Saturday, August 5 around 2:10 a.m. Allendale police officers were on patrol in the 1600 block of North Main Street when they heard several gunshots that they believed were coming from the parking lot of a nearby business.

“Police then observed a lot of activity in the parking lot area,” according to a Facebook post.

700 students receive free school supplies in Williston

At least 700 students are estimated to have received free school supplies Sunday afternoon in Williston.

The 4th Annual W-E CommUNITY Coalition Back-to-School Bash was held August 6 at Williston-Elko High School following prayer around the flagpole. Organizers believe this year’s attendance was the largest they’ve seen since starting the free event.

“Thank you for being a community that believes in unity,” said Ferlecia Cuthbertson, president of the W-E CommUNITY Coalition, of how many partners came together to make the event successful.

Murder suspect still sought as new details emerge

Counterfeit money and drugs may have been the motive behind last week’s murder, according to a newly-released incident report.

George L. Grimes, 31, of Old Salem Road in Hilda was inside a Ford Explorer parked at 461 Fairway Lane, Barnwell, when he was shot in the head on Sunday evening, July 23, said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward in a press release. He died from his injuries. A relative, who had been in the car with Grimes, escaped unharmed.

Concert to fund new career vision for Massengale

Sarah Massengale has not let her lack of sight stop her from having a vision of what she wants to do with her life.

The Barnwell native, who has been blind since birth, has always been passionate about music, which led her to earn a degree in music in 2011 from Converse College. She was the first totally blind woman to earn this degree from the Spartanburg college. However, she’s found it difficult to find stable employment as a musician.

Baseball tournament to benefit MDA

Dylan Epps is hoping to hit a homerun in the fight against muscular dystrophy.

The 12-year-old was diagnosed in 2014 with the genetic, degenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary muscles. However, he did not let the diagnosis stop him from playing baseball, which he’s played the past nine years through the Barnwell Baseball Softball Association.

Family keeps faith after fire

Lightning could be to blame for a fire that destroyed a Blackville house, but fire officials say they are unsure of the exact cause.

Firefighters from the Blackville and Hilda fire departments were called to 4737 Legion Road in Blackville for a reported house fire on Monday, July 24 around 4:24 p.m.

“It was involved when the first truck arrived on scene. They (the firefighters) did a good job stopping it,” said Blackville Fire Chief James Haskins, who recently was promoted to the position.

Yard sale, church robbers sought

The Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office is investigating several incidents that occurred over the July 15 weekend.

On Saturday, July 15, deputies responded to the Hilda Crossroads where highways 70 and 304 intersect after a husband and wife were robbed while holding a yard sale.

“They were approached and the subjects were armed and robbed them,” said Sheriff Ed Carroll.

Event encourages people to make ‘good, positive’ choices

“I value myself and others.”

That was the message Dentis Shaw had for the children and adults gathered in the Barnwell Elementary School cafeteria for the July 14 Belated Father’s Day event sponsored by the S.C. Regional Housing Authority #3 and Beaufort Housing Authority.

“It’s all about making good, positive choice with their lives,” said Shaw, the founder of Honorband.

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