It’s nigh time to get registered to vote

Also quickly approaching is the Nov. 8 General Election where American voters will decide who the next president will be.

Are you registered to vote?

If not, then you will not be able to exercise your right to vote.

While we rarely endorse political candidates, we do endorse the right to vote. It is an important task that should be taken seriously.

If you have not registered to vote but would like to do so in order to vote in this election, you only have until Saturday, Oct. 8 to do so. The deadline to register is always 30 days before an election.

Community responds to calls for help

One thing we love about our community is the willingness by many to serve and come together in times of need.

Time and time again the community has responded, whether it is to support a fundraiser for someone facing a medical emergency, unite in prayer or give money to a worthy cause.

Barnwell County is answering a call for help from the Axis I Center Food Bank.

The food bank, which serves thousands of people every year, completely ran out of food last week. All nine freezers and both pantry rooms were empty on Sept. 14.

Please be patient at the pump

While the food bank is running low of food, some area gas stations are running low on fuel as the effects are felt locally of the closure of a leak in a major gasoline pipeline in Alabama.

Are the shortages caused by the pipeline issue or because many folks panic in times like this by filling up their vehicles with more fuel than they needed?

We’ve seen comments on both sides on Facebook this week as residents offer their opinions on the matter.

Be a patriot - lend a hand

The September 11th Day of Service and Remembrance – or Patriot Day – may have come and gone, but the intent of the day can live on.

Though it is not an official federal holiday, the National Day of Service and Remembrance is intended to be a day of reflection of the nearly 3,000 lives lost 15 years ago during the largest terrorist attack on American soil. Americans are also urged to use the day as a way to spread kindness and compassion.

A vote for silence

We are disappointed in a decision made by a majority of the Barnwell District 19 School Board (Blackville-Hilda Public Schools).

While we hoped we could use this space to commend the board for looking out for the public, they approved a policy update Monday night that requires members of the public wanting to speak to sign up five days before a regular meeting. This is simply unfair and goes against the intent of public participation.

Being prepared is key to safety

Barnwell County has once again overcome severe weather relatively unscathed due to the team work and preparedness of many folks.

Hurricane Hermine kicked off the Labor Day weekend in a nasty way as it brought soaking rain – 10 inches in some places – and strong winds. This caused unsafe road conditions in many parts of the county as trees and power lines fell and water covered many roads.

Public meetings should accommodate the public

Should the Barnwell District 19 School Board (Blackville-Hilda Public Schools) change the time of their monthly meetings?

That’s the question the new superintendent is hoping the public will help answer by providing opinions.

In a recent letter to parents and community members, Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said the district’s board is considering changing the meetings to the morning hours instead of 7 p.m. on the second Monday of each month.

Public comment at meetings best for all

Public bodies, such as school boards, town councils and county councils, have important responsibilities to uphold. They set policy, create budgets for the use of taxpayer dollars and hire employees.

However, that doesn’t mean the public has no say in what happens. After all, public officials are elected by the folks they serve. It is only fair that the public have a chance to voice their opinion. An open line of communication between the public and the folks who represent them on public bodies is the best way to keep people informed.

When it comes to money, nothing’s simple

Nothing creates more issues than money.

Who has it? Who doesn’t have it? Is it being handled properly?

A squabble at the Barnwell County Council meeting last week is a perfect example of that.

The basis of the issue is a move by District 3 County Councilman Keith Sloan to move all funds handled by county entities under the county treasurer.

Sounds simple, right?

As always in politics, there is more to be considered at issue. It’s rarely, if ever, really simple.

Students, parents: follow ABC’s of back-to-school

Just a few months ago students and teachers alike were celebrating the end of another school year. Now it’s time to go back to the classrooms.

Where did the time go? Summer sure did fly by, didn’t it?

As students across Barnwell County enjoy the last few days of no homework, early morning wakeup calls, and studying, area teachers are back at work. In fact, many of them have been preparing throughout the summer for the first day of school by buying supplies, attending workshops and coming up with new ways to engage students so they can succeed academically.

Our two cents on the one-cent tax

Are you willing to pay an extra penny of sales tax in Barnwell County? What if it would pay for capital projects around the county?

That’s the question voters are expected to be asked November 8 assuming the Barnwell County Council approves an ordinance next week adding the proposal for the 1-cent tax to the ballot.

Shop local, prepare soon for return to class

Only two-and-a-half weeks remain of summer vacation for local students and teachers. This means school bells will soon be ringing across Barnwell County.

We know this may not come as welcome news to students – and possibly educators – but August 15 will be here before you know it. That’s why it is important to make preparations now, including having the right tools.

Do your children have the necessary school supplies?

Thank you for investing in Barnwell County

“It’s a great day in South Carolina!”

That’s the greeting you will hear every day when you call a state agency.

It also sums up the July 13 festivities at Swiss Krono’s Barnwell County facility.

That was the day officials ceremoniously broke ground on an expansion of the facility that produces wood laminate flooring. From the company’s top executives who flew in from Europe to South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley to local dignataries, many officials were on hand to celebrate the occasion.

Heal our world through compassion

Heal The World

Make It A Better Place

For You And For Me

And The Entire Human Race

There Are People Dying

If You Care Enough

For The Living

Make A Better Place

For You And For Me

-from Michael Jackson’s 1991 song, “Heal the World”

The preceding lyrics are 25 years old; however, the meaning behind them still resonates today.

Unfortunately, not everyone is working to make our world a better place, including some here in Barnwell County.

Summer heat, humidity dangerous

This week can be described in three words – hot, hot and hot!

While South Carolinians are used to annual summer heat waves, we still need to be reminded of surviving them.

Temperatures are especially scorching this week as the National Weather Service calls for the mercury to rise into the upper 90s. Factoring in the humidity, the heat index pushes that number above 100 degrees, including 105 on Wednesday, July 6.

Whether you work outside all day or plan to be in the heat for just a few minutes, it’s important to be cautious and prepared.

Happy birthday, America! Keep it safe

Our country is about to turn 240 years old. That’s a reason to celebrate!

Fireworks are one popular way many folks celebrate the Fourth of July.

There will be plenty of fireworks at the City of Barnwell’s Independence Day Celebration this Friday, July 1. It will be held at Veterans Memorial Park in Barnwell from 6 to 9:30 p.m. with a professional fireworks display bursting into the air just after dusk.

While you wait for the fireworks, there will be plenty of food, music and activities to enjoy, as well as fellowshipping with your family, friends and neighbors.

Every ballot cast is important - Vote!

We are always told our vote counts, but rarely does it seem that way.

Does my vote really matter?

Last Tuesday, Barnwell County voters, especially those in County Council District 3, found out just how much their vote mattered after the results of the June 14 primary were released.

A mere one vote - or lack thereof - caused a need for a runoff for the council seat between the top two vote-getters next Tuesday, June 28.

FINS swim program saving lives

Summer vacations have finally arrived and many families are looking for ways to cool off. Often that includes swimming.

Around 20 years ago the late B.B. Baxley grieved over the drownings of children in Barnwell County. He decided to do something about it.

A member of the Rotary Club of Barnwell County, he recruited the club to sponsor a swim program whereby American Red Cross certified instructors teach children how to swim.

The club continued to sponsor the program even after Baxley passed away.

Voting in primary is critical for Barnwell County

Next week there are some very important political races to be decided.

Depending on whether you are voting Democrat or Republican and which county council district you live in will determine if you have the opportunity to cast a ballot.

Those who live in Barnwell County Council District 3 and vote Republican can cast a ballot for one of three candidates - Keith Sloan, Donald Q. Harper or Tim Bodiford. Sloan is the incumbent candidate.

For those who live in Barnwell County Council District 5, the Republican candidates are Joe Smith, incumbent, and Ben Kinlaw.

Take heed - it’s hurricane season

June 1 was the start of hurricane season and it began with a one-two-three punch of tropical storms which have soaked this area.

Just because we live several counties inland doesn’t mean we won’t feel the impact of a storm.

Additionally, U.S. Highways 278 and 78, which run through our county, are evacuation routes for those living in Beaufort County not to mention those headed northwest from Florida and Georgia.

Now that we do not have a hospital in the county, it is even more important for individuals to make preparations.


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