Laura J. McKenzie

Williston church holding vendor fair to raise money for food pantry

A Williston Gift & Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Winfield Heights Baptist Church’s Eddie Yelton Building (315 Chester St., Williston).

Admission is free, but all proceeds from raffles, concessions and booth fees will be donated to local organizations that assist those in need.

In addition to a variety of vendors, there will also be a bounce house, concessions, raffles and entertainment.

Towns, county to meet Nov. 16

The Barnwell County Council and the mayors from the municipalities of Barnwell, Blackville and Williston are slated to sit down this week and talk. The topic of discussion is the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission (EDC) and Corporation.

Council Chairman Lowell Jowers confirmed this week the meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Barnwell County Library – “a neutral site”.

“It is just the mayors and council, no attorneys present,” said Jowers. “We want to sit down like gentlemen and try to get this thing settled and start working again.”

EDC receives ‘clean’ audit report

The Barnwell County Economic Development Corporation and Commission received a “clean opinion” of its finances following an annual audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

The annual audit was presented to the EDC on Oct. 30 by Lorie Salley of the accounting firm McGregor & Company.

Salley noted that the net position of the Corporation is down $566,446 from the previous year but $382,040 of that is depreciation of the EDC’s property.

The corporation’s net position in 2017 was $10,298,000 compared to $10,854,000 in 2016.

Bomb threat at Blackville-Hilda High School under investigation

Students and faculty from Blackville-Hilda High and Middle Schools were evacuated Wednesday, Nov. 15 following a bomb threat.

Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll said a call came in to the school between 12:56 and 12:59 p.m. of the threat of a bomb at the high school. He declined to give further details of the call or the caller as it is an active investigation.

3 meetings slated this week for County Council

The Barnwell County Council will meet three times this week.

The first is a special called meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. in Council chambers. The only item on the agenda is a closed session to discuss a “personnel matter related to the museum”.

Later, at 6 p.m., the council will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting in council chambers. The agenda includes a letter of support for SRP Credit Union ATM in Blackville. It also includes a closed session for four items:

Emergency drill scheduled Nov. 15

There will be lots of lights and sirens in Barnwell County on November 15 but residents are not to worry – it is only a drill.

Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley said South Carolina will be holding a full-scale disaster exercise that day. While the statewide exercise will simulate a mass power and communications outage, the Midlands Region will simulate an earthquake at a local high school resulting in mass casualties.

Toys for Tots returns to Barnwell Co.

A local veterans organization and a Bamberg County family are teaming up to provide toys for children this holiday season.

The Barnwell County Leathernecks, a Marine Corps League chapter, is working with Deanna Berry of Denmark to bring the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” to Barnwell and five area counties.

The Leathernecks have wanted to start a Toys for Tots project locally for a while, says Bud Bazemore and Nigel Abner, members of the Marine Corps League.

Rotary Club seeks Secret Santas for local children

Donors and volunteers are sought again this year in support of Secret Santa, a project of the Rotary Club of Barnwell County.

“The Rotary Club of Barnwell County sponsors the Secret Santa Program each year as one of our service projects,” said Rotary Club President Michael Beasley. “This is our 21st year of sponsoring this wonderful program which could not be successful without the help of our community. Secret Santa serves many needy families who would otherwise not be able to provide Christmas gifts for their children.”

Donate Love Lights for elderly

Donations are now being accepted for the annual Love Lights Program in Barnwell.

Love Lights is a fundraiser in support of the elderly in Barnwell County. Sponsored by The Barnwell Downtown Association and The People-Sentinel, proceeds go toward the Barnwell County Nursing Home Residents’ Fund, home delivered meals by Generations Unlimited of Barnwell County, and the Barnwell Rotary Club’s Coins of Alzheimer’s Research Trust (CART) Fund.

Pastor honored; water issues discussed in Blackville

The Blackville Town Council recognized a local pastor for his work in the community.

Bishop George Burckhalter, president of the Barnwell County Ministerial Association, was honored by the council on Oct. 16 during a regular council meeting.

Burckhalter was presented a plaque for his community service and Mayor Michael Beasley noted that the bishop with the Ministerial Association has most recently spearheaded a project to purchase and place new playground equipment at Macedonia Elementary School.

Hospital property up for auction

The former Southern Palmetto Hospital building and property is set to go on the auction block.

The sale will take place beginning at 11 a.m. on Monday, Nov. 6 at the Barnwell County Courthouse.

According to a notice of sale published in this edition of The People-Sentinel, the property at 811 Reynolds Road includes 6.95 acres “with improvements” (buildings, etc.).

‘Love’ is main ingredient at Lee’s Soul Food & Catering

Sometimes food is all about the love.

It’s the love of family, friends and a passion for cooking.

All that can be found at Lee’s Soul Food & Catering, a family owned and operated restaurant that has been open for just over two months in Barnwell.

A sign on the wall states “Love is the best ingredient” and is the motto behind the Lee/Young family’s efforts.

Not only does the menu offer traditional “soul” food of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and field peas (just to name a few), the Lee family also seeks to offer “food for the soul”.

Fall Fest coming Oct. 19

The Barnwell Development Association and the City of Barnwell Parks and Recreation will host the annual Fall Fest on The Circle on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“There will be lots of fun for everyone,” said City of Barnwell Community Development Director Lynn McEwen. “Gary Brantley will DJ favorite songs, there will be a costume contest for children ages 12 and under, mini-pumpkin painting, games for the kids and more.”

She said Boy Scout Troop 392 will be offering hot dogs for sale as fundraiser. Other organizations will also have booths.

County Council updated on SRNS, roads, ED site

Updates on the Savannah River Site, road improvements and the regional emergency department highlighted the Barnwell County Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Stuart MacVean, president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, said SRNS currently has 5,500 employees. “We make up about half of the total site population,” said MacVean.

The Savannah River Site includes nearly 57 percent of the landmass of Barnwell County.

MacVean said the economic impact for SRNS on Barnwell County is $48.4 million.

D19 board approves two makeup days

Two school make-up days have been designated by the District 19 School Board at their Oct. 9 regular meeting.

Board members Ethel Faust, Sharon McClary, and Karen Jowers voted to designate November 1 and March 23 as make-up dates for days missed due to recent hurricanes.

District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson proposed the two dates which were unanimously approved by the three attending board members. Chairman Carroll Priester was absent due to the death of her husband.

Some garbage fees to rise temporarily

Garbage disposal fees from local providers may go up temporarily as a result of the repair of Barnwell County’s transfer station and transportation issues while it is being repaired.

Barnwell County’s solid waste transfer station was scheduled for major repairs earlier this year before it was finally destroyed by a tornado in January, according to County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr. He said the station is expected to be closed from Oct. 23 through Dec. 24 while it is being rebuilt.

School receives playground equipment

Playground equipment is under construction at Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville thanks to efforts by local organizations.

Bishop George Burckhalter said the Barnwell County Ministerial Association started the effort two years ago when then-MES principal Dr. Carolyn Anderson made known the need.

“The playground equipment that was there was awful,” said Burckhalter. “It was rusty and falling apart. It was dangerous.”

Airport fire still under investigation

The cause of a Sept. 19 fire at the Barnwell Regional Airport is still being determined.

Pete Beck, chairman of the airport commission, said it may be weeks before a report is expected from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

The fire started in the east end of one of three “T” hangers which can house 10 aircraft. Beck said there were 8 planes in the affected hanger and five were destroyed by the fire.

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