Staff

School board elections need to be in November

Elections are a vital part of our democracy. They are also costly and not always well-attended by voters.

That’s why we believe it’s time for a change in Barnwell County.

We encourage our three public school districts to follow the example of other districts across the state by doing away with the stand-alone election that has been the norm locally for so long. It’s time to merge the annual school board elections with the general election held in November every other year.

Good weekend to support good causes

This weekend presents several opportunities to have a good time for a good cause.

The annual Relay for Life is set for this Friday, May 12 from 6 p.m. to midnight. This year’s event is being held on the Allendale-Fairfax High School football field due to the merger of Allendale and Barnwell County’s events.

This is a great, fun way to raise money for the American Cancer Society to fund cancer awareness and research!

Public needed to be helpers, not hindrance

What’s the recipe for a thriving, successful community?

Crime, violence and a lack of cooperation are definitely not the right ingredients.

Unfortunately, some are trying to taint the community we love and call home. With four shootings and the firing of Barnwell’s police chief, it’s been a trying week in Barnwell County.

In some of the shooting cases, the victims and witnesses are not cooperating with police. No one saw anything or knows anything that can prove helpful in solving the case.

Look behind the closed doors and help

April highlights two important issues that affect our community – sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

The severity and impact of these issues may not be truly realized by most people since a lot of it occurs behind closed doors. However, sexual assault and alcohol abuse impact many people across the globe, including families here in Barnwell County.

Turnout needed for school board elections locally

Next Tuesday is an important date for Barnwell County’s registered voters.

It’s not a national or state election, but it is just as important – maybe more - as several school board seats will be decided on Barnwell County’s three public school boards.

Electing school board members is very important because they directly impact your child’s education by setting policy, adopting a budget and hiring key positions like the superintendent.

Unfortunately, school board elections aren’t typically known for large turnouts.

Now you see it, now it’s different

Residents attending the Barnwell County Council meeting recently were treated to a magic show.

Now you see it, now it’s different.

The Barnwell County Council held third reading of an ordinance on March 14 which gave them the authority to move all property and assets away from the Economic Development Corporation.

The same ordinance also took away all power except advisory from those serving on the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission.

There’s lots to do if people show up

“There is nothing to do in Barnwell County.”

“Our children need positive outlets to be involved with.”

We have heard these statements – or at least ones very similar – from numerous people over the years.

While our small, rural community lacks some of the amenities and resources that are abundant in larger areas, some recent opportunities show there might be more to the issue.

The problem is a lot of times people simply do not support the initiatives and events Barnwell County does have to offer.

Teen Summit, Anti-Bullying Spirit Week give hope, help

Being a teenager can be quite difficult.

From peer pressure and trying to fit in to juggling school, work and extra-curricular activity commitments and making plans for the future, the teenage years can seem very overwhelming.

However, with guidance, determination and a willingness to listen to adults who want to help, there is hope.

The Axis 1 Center of Barnwell is a great local resource for many folks. This Saturday they are partnering with several community organizations to sponsor the inaugural Barnwell County Teen Summit.

Nothing good will come from EDC ordinance

In January we begged the question of “Why now?” with regards to some Barnwell County Council members’ move to dissolve the Economic Development Corporation and turn the commission into an advisory committee.

In February, in a split 5-2 vote, the Barnwell County Council approved second reading of that ordinance. Next week, third reading is expected to be held on Tuesday, March 14. That will be the final vote to make that ordinance effective.

Hearts and efforts need training

There are several efforts underway by the Barnwell County Emergency Management Division (EMD) in cooperation with other organizations to help save lives and provide comfort in the event of an emergency.

During an emergency, time is a critical factor. In widespread disasters, such as ice storms and hurricanes, the professionals are called out to several locations. Just getting to the scene may take time due to blocked roads from downed trees or washed out highways.

This is where local, trained volunteers can make a huge differnce.

Volunteers needed to deliver meals to seniors

Barnwell County is a community full of giving people.

We’ve seen it time and time again as individuals, families, businesses, schools, churches and organizations respond to a call for assistance or a need they notice. From the 2014 ice storm and Hurricane Matthew in 2016 to fire victims and an empty food pantry, there are plenty of examples of folks stepping up.

As we have done before in this editorial space, we are once again asking for your help to make a difference in our community.

Ministerial Association helps with more than prayer

Another worthy organization that could use your financial support is the Barnwell County Ministerial Association.

This group helps many people with basic needs, such as paying their light bill or providing food. They also offer prayer and a little bit of spiritual support.

The BCMA relies on donations to support their cause. Donations can be made anytime, but we especially encourage those attending the upcoming Lenten worship services to dig into your pockets and give generously.

STEM Festival is opportunity for local industries

On Saturday, April 22, the town of Williston will be host to the DIG STEM Festival.

STEM is an acroynm for “Science Technology Engineering and Mathematics”. DIG is the Dreams Imagination & Gift Development Program developed by former Williston resident Steven Brown.

According to Brown, DIG works “to inspire youth in rural areas to excel in all endeavors by empowering them to unlock their full potential and build upon their natural gifts and talents.”

Show your love - take care of your heart

February is known as the month of love.

From flowers, jewelry, candy and other goodies for one’s sweetheart, many people will be showing their love on Valentine’s Day next Tuesday, Feb. 14.

While it is important to show your significant other how much you love them, you should also take a few simple steps to take care of yourself.

This month is also American Heart Month, a time to raise awareness about heart disease and how to prevent it. Heart disease is the leading cause of death for adults in the United States, resulting in one in four deaths annually.

What's taking so long?

What is taking the Williston District 29 School Board so long in filling a vacancy?

This is a question we’ve been wondering in recent months. We’ve also heard the same question from some of you.

Ever since Billy Williams resigned in July 2016, the remaining four board members have grappled with what to do. There was confusion at first about whether they are supposed to appoint someone or have a special election.

Where did you sleep last night?

Where did you sleep last night?

Did you have your own warm bed to sleep in under the roof of a home you “call your own”? Do you have clothes to wear? Do you have three meals to eat every day?

Unfortunately, not everyone can answer “yes” to these questions.

Some answer “no” to all of them.

Why now?

In the 1980s, the Federal Aviation Administration was convinced to release money from the Chem Nuclear compact surcharge fund to be used exclusively for industrial development in Barnwell County.

Some good came from hospital closure

The sudden closure of Southern Palmetto Hospital in January 2016 caused cardiac arrest in Barnwell County. Since that time, the county’s healthcare situation has stablized but still needs improving.

The news of the closure took most by surprise. It hit our small community hard because it impacted everyone in some way. Even if they did not utilize the local hospital people in Barnwell County had a sense of security knowing it was here and had been since the 1950s.

Congratulations, Clemson

Congratulations to the Clemson Tigers on winning the national football championship game Monday night in Tampa, Florida.

The entire team worked hard all season. In Monday’s championship game, the Tigers did not give up when they were behind by three points with just seconds left on the clock. A last-second touchdown sealed the win for the Tigers.

We are especially proud of Williston native Taylor Hearn, who wears the #51 jersey for the Tigers. Even if you are not a Clemson fan, we hope you will show support for one of our own.

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