Have a plan. Know the plan. Practice the plan.

October is a busy month of spreading awareness for several causes.

We’ve used this editorial forum in recent weeks to write about National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Red Ribbon Week. These topics are very different, but both are vital to one’s health.

However, we haven’t really touched on another important topic, one that can also save your life. As we close out October, which also included National Fire Prevention Week earlier in the month, we want to remind you of the dangers of fire and steps your family can take to prevent fires.

Continued support needed for task force

So many people, including here in Barnwell County, struggle with drugs and alcohol.

That’s why we believe in the drug-free message of Red Ribbon Week, which begins Friday, Oct. 23. The national campaign targets children, but we all can learn something from it.

This year’s Red Ribbon Week theme is “Respect Yourself. Be Drug Free.”

Drugs and alcohol are simply not the answer to our problems. They actually create more problems. Barnwell resident Gail Godina would tell you that, too.

Preparation is key to health and welfare

Water is a necessity in life, but right now it seems our state has an over-abundance of it.

Thankfully, Barnwell County was spared major flooding and damage from this past weekend’s “1,000 year flood”, but many communities were not as fortunate. In fact, communities all around us and within an hour’s drive are hard hit, including Columbia, Aiken and Orangeburg.

Many have lost their homes, businesses, cars and everything they own as whole neighborhoods were swallowed by floodwaters. Water reached the rooftops of some homes.

The power of the press

If you are reading this, you are among 164 million Americans who read a newspaper regularly in print, web and mobile formats.

That equates to more than half of this country’s population.

So, why do some people say newspapers are a dying business?

How is our self-image?

Image is everything.

We aren’t being vain by talking about body image. We’re referring to the image of our community, especially as it’s viewed by those living outside of Barnwell County.

How a community is viewed affects its vitality and health. People as well as businesses are less prone to move somewhere if the community isn’t viewed as safe, clean and full of opportunity.

Many have been making efforts to improve our county’s image.

New jail building will bring humane living conditions

Conditions found in the oldest section of the Barnwell County Detention Center are deplorable and fail to meet current regulations for jails. You could even say the conditions are criminal.

That’s why Barnwell County Council recently sentenced “Building 1”, which is old and outdated, to “death.” Last week, council gave the green light to begin work on replacing the jail’s oldest section, which was built in 1949.

This has been a long time coming.

The current building doesn’t meet the current regulations required for jails.

Give back September 11 to honor victims

September 11, 2001 is a day that Americans will never forget. It was a day that changed so much of our society – some good, some bad.

We were not only devastated by the significant loss of life, but we were shocked that we were attacked on our own turf. We lost our sense of security.

Unfortunately, this wasn’t the last horrific act we’ve witnessed here at home or abroad.

While the 9/11 terrorist attacks changed many things, they didn’t deter the American spirit. In fact, the attacks actually brought unity and acts of kindness.

Being prepared is more than Boy Scout motto

Be prepared.

It’s not only the Boy Scout motto, but it’s also a good philosophy for us all to live by.

Preparations are needed for family vacations, job interviews, moving, getting married and many others functions of life. You are probably making preparations for the long Labor Day weekend, right?

As you gather your grill, bathing suit, lawn chairs and other items for your weekend plans, you should also be making preparations of another kind.

Elections are the voice of our communities

The November 3 general election ballot will be rather slim as only one of 20 municipal seats that were up for grabs across Barnwell County was challenged.

This isn’t a new phenomenon, but it does raise a few questions.

Why do so few people seek elected office, especially for local races?

It’s not a title like president or governor, and the pay isn’t very much, if any. However, these town council and mayoral jobs are still very important to the health and vitality of our community.

Hazing has no place in school sports

The allegations made by two former Allendale-Fairfax High School football players are disturbing, to say the least.

Both students, who were new to the team, attended a training camp two weeks ago with other players at a site in Orangeburg. It should have been a time of bonding with guys they would be spending lots of time with and enhancing their athletic skills.

However, what allegedly happened is just the opposite.

Back to school safey: lessons for us all

The new school year is just around the corner. 
That means it’s time for students to put forth their best efforts in the classroom as they trade in leisurely summer afternoons for homework and activities. Teachers – new and veteran – will be doing all they can to ensure students meet the academic standards set by local, state and federal officials.
The new school year also means motorists should use extreme caution when behind the wheel, especially when near a school, bus stop or crosswalk. 

United Way provides support locally

The community came together over the weekend to ensure area students have the supplies they need to be academically successful this school year.

The Barnwell County United Way’s annual Stuff the Bus campaign collected 10 shopping carts full of school supplies which will be divided equally among the three public school districts in the county. A competition between Clemson and USC fans helped raised $700, which will also be divided between the districts and used to help students at the discretion of guidance counselors.

Stuff the Bus to help local students

Do you hear them yet?
Don’t worry, you’ve still got a few more weeks before school bells will actually be ringing. We know this doesn’t come as welcome news to many students – and possibly teachers - however, now is a good time to make a few simple preparations before the first day of school. 
School supplies are a staple for the new school year. Paper and pencils and notebooks, oh my! 

Seeking help for mental fitness is first step

Seeking help, whether for physical or mental issues, is nothing to be ashamed of. Consider it “fitness”.

When you have the flu or other physical ailment, you seek out medical advice.

You should be able to do the same thing when the ailment is mental instead of physical.

However, a lot of stigma surrounds mental illness and hinder people from seeking the help they need.

An estimated 44 million adults in America, including 3,000 in Barnwell County, experience mental illness.

What is the symbol of our time?

Those Duke brothers are in trouble, again. Even Uncle Jesse is unable to help them this time.

A renewed push to remove the Confederate flag from the grounds of the South Carolina Statehouse has had some interesting ramifications across this country.

After Gov. Nikki Haley called for lawmakers to remove the flag following the massacre of nine parishioners at a Charleston church last month, many agreed it was time to do away with what many consider a symbol of hate.

Responding to tragedies

Anti-violence rally supported

Tragedies are an unfortunate part of life. They can bring people together, even through pain and loss.

We’ve often seen our community unite following times of tragedy, such as murders, wrecks and fires. Sometimes it seems that united front fades with time until the next tragedy strikes.

We have a chance to unite as a community once more this Friday.

To the Class of 2015

Dear Class of 2015,


Today is your day.

You’re off to great places!

You’re off and away”

You probably recognize those words from the classic childhood book, “Oh, the Places You’ll Go!” by Dr. Seuss.

You’ve spent the past 12 years studying and working hard. Elementary, middle and high school have all come and gone. Now, it’s time to head your separate ways.

Where have the past 18 years gone? It seems like just yesterday we were writing a similar letter to your friends in the Class of 2014.

Have you had enough of violence?

Enough is enough!

It seems lately we’ve had far too much bad news to report, especially in the form of shootings. First there was one in Hilda, then Williston, followed by Olar and now close to the city of Barnwell.

Four in one month’s time is not typical. We hope it’s not becoming a new normal.

So, what’s going on?

That’s a good question. There are many factors that contribute to violence in general, such as drugs, gangs, domestic arguments, and hate.

Who can we trust?

Trust is a very fragile thing.

It is crafted slowly and depends on all parties being honest, open and forthright.

Trust can also be crushed easily and nearly impossible to rebuild.

For the last 18 months (and actually longer) a web of distrust has been woven. It involves threads between members of the Barnwell County Council, former and present members of the Economic Development Commission, the municipalities of our county, and the public. Caught in this web is SouthernCarolina Alliance.


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