Tim Hicks - Managing Editor

Pass completion: Blackville's Troy Brown named to College Football Hall of Fame

History completed a pass thrown 25 years ago.

Back then it was a scrawny teenager edging his way onto the varsity football team for the first time with the Blackville-Hilda High School Hawks.

Hopes and dreams threw the football as much as his teammates then.

"He went from being the smallest kid on the team in ninth grade to playing in five Super Bowls," said Tim Moore about Troy Brown.

Moore, now a Barnwell attorney, was the BHHS coach 25 years ago when Brown first got on the varsity team. Moore coached at BHHS from 1979 to 1985.

Another taxing look: County completes tax reassessment cycle

Barnwell County residents who haven't received a tax reassessment notice by now can relax - their property tax hasn't increased.

The Barnwell County Tax Assessor's Office sent out about 10,500 notices June 30 to the property owners whose holdings were revalued at a higher tax rate, said Michael Hughes, the county tax assessor.

This was from more than 18,500 parcels of land that Hughes and his two appraisers checked during the reassessment cycle, which started in 2007, he said.

Improved performance earns BHS silver

Despite the tight budgets that Barnwell High School experienced in the 2009-10 school year, there was a silver lining.

Or just silver.

Barnwell High was awarded a Palmetto Silver award during the 2009-10 school year for its general performance.

"The award was given to us because of data from our improvement from the 2007-08 school year to the 2008-09 school year," said Jon Burdge, the Barnwell High principal.

Middle school students leap through learning gateway at Denmark Technical College

Nothing in the class was about agriculture, nevertheless, seeds were planted during the course.

The "seeds" were a curiosity in technical subjects. The "soil" was the minds of middle students from the region.

Denmark Technical College hosted 11 children at Gateway Academy, a week-long summer camp which started July 5.

This is the first time Denmark Technical College offered the summer camp, which was held at the college's Barnwell training facility.

School year will be tight financially for Barnwell 45

The Barnwell 45 school board approved the district's budget for the 2010-11 fiscal year, but to balance it, the district had to draw from its "savings" account.

The school board passed the budget on its third and final reading during a special called meeting June 30, which is the last day of the fiscal year calendar. July 1 started the new fiscal year.

The board could have passed a resolution to give the district an extension to work on the budget further without any penalty, but chose not to, said Shirley Kitchings, the district financial officer.

Hosey retires from SCSU position

After promoting higher education for 32 years, Lonnie Hosey is graduating to another phase in his life.

The phase? Retirement.

Hosey retired from the Adult and Continuing Eduation Center at S.C. State University. His last day at the university was June 30.

Hosey joined S.C. State in 1986 as a recruiter. After two years of enticing students to the campus, Hosey transferred to its Adult and Continuing Education Center as its assistant director and program developer. Eventually he would become its director.

County unemployment rate edges downward

Barnwell County's unemployment rate has been spiraling downward since its record high at the beginning of the year.

In May, Barnwell County had an unemployment rate of 16 percent, a drop from April's 16.1 percent. The numbers represent quite a decline from the county's record 21.1 percent unemployment it had in January with which it started 2010.

In comparison, the new figures put Barnwell County lower than where it was a year ago. In 2009, the county had an unemployment rate of 16.1 percent in May.

County airport has runway smoothed for takeoffs and the future

Pavement paved part of the business conducted during the regular monthly meeting of the Barnwell Regional Airport Commission June 30.

Repairs to cracks in one of the runways -- runway 17-35 -- have been completed. The cost of the repairs totaled $4,789.80.

However, the airport will not have to pay this full amount as 95 percent of the bill will be paid by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) through the entitlement money the airport receives. The airport will only have to pay about $240, said P.F. Beck, the airport commission chairman.

Ownership change will not affect county Alltel cell customers

Alltel cell phone customers should not see any difference in their services, but the carrier for this region has changed hands.

In April, Allied Wireless Communications Corp. (AWCC) acquired the Alltel Wireless cellular service market in south central South Carolina. The area includes Allendale, Bamberg, Barnwell, Calhoun and Orangeburg counties.
AWCC announced the acquisition last week.

Bats, balls and bragging rights

It might have seemed like just a pick-up game of softball, but the players were trying to cover the bases not just on the field, but for a special set of students.

Most of the players afield were 24 area firefighters, paramedics and some police officers. The game was organized through My Brother's Keeper, a service group that helps youth in the community.

Getting fired up: Barnwell hosts this year's fireworks display

People enjoying the July 4 holiday in Barnwell County will have to crane their necks a little more this year than last year.

That's because the fireworks will be launched from a more advantageous place.

The patriotic salute is being sponsored by the city of Barnwell which will have a professional team firing the fireworks at 9:15 p.m.

Sheriff's office offers day camps to youth

Justin Poole, at right, was one of the many speakers youth heard during the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office youth camps.

Poole, who is with the Child Evangelism Fellowship ministry, spoke to the 24 children attending the Williston camp June 27.

The sheriff's office is holding camps in Barnwell, Williston and Blackville. Williston is having its camp this week and Blackville held its camp the week of June 21.

Williston school trustees get lesson in boardmanship

The Williston school board became the pupils during its June 15 regular meeting.

Charles Boykin, the senior partner with the Columbia law firm Boykin and Davis, gave the board a tutorial in a board member's roles and duties during the first half of the meeting.

School board members hold a position that, in many cases, is a tougher role to play than other elected officials, he said.

"The school board member's role is very complex. Your city council members don't have to wear three hats," Boykin said.

Chaperone issue escorted through policy by school board

The number of chaperones for a field trip was one of the items the Williston school board heard during its June 15 regular meeting.

The school board heard a request to approve a field trip that 25 varsity cheerleaders from the Williston-Elko High School want to take.

The trip would be to the Great Wolf Lodge in Concord, N.C. Aug. 2 through Aug. 5 for a cheerleading camp.

The issue before the board was whether there were enough chaperones -- two -- for the number of students going on the field trip.

Buckmon eases past Williams for County Council seat

Barnwell County Council will have a new representative for the District seat in Harold Buckmon.

Buckmon and Thomas Williams, the incumbent, rode through the whitewater rapids of the June 8 primary to emerge as the two top Democratic vote-getters.
However, neither of the two had the majority of the votes, forcing a run-off.

Williams is now the County Council chairman.

County will see run-off from primary

The state primary has passed, but the election action is not quite over for Barnwell County.

Locally for the Democratic primary, Barnwell County will have a run-off election June 22 for the County Council District 6 seat between Harold Buckmon and incumbent County Council chairman Thomas Williams.

The District 6 seat had four challengers initially as Buckmon, Williams, Gayle Cope and Richard Myers all appeared on the Democratic ballot for it.

Artwork of former Barnwell painter returns

More than 50 years after his death, the handiwork of a painter from Barnwell's past is getting new exposure.

André Raphael Wallack was a painter and became somewhat renowned for it, although he didn't make a full-time living at it.

On June 8, one of Wallack's paintings returned to Barnwell, where he lived from 1930 to 1932.

Harry Tillinghast Dewey, of Chevy Chase, Md., journeyed to Barnwell to present Wallack's painting to the Holy Apostles Episcopal Church.

Wallack died in 1959 and is buried in the church cemetery along with his wife.

Summer feeding program begins

The U.S. Department of Agriculture summer feeding program is now underway in Barnwell County.

The program started June 7 and will run through July 30.

The program provides free nutritious meals to children 18 years old or younger during the summer months when they are not in school and would otherwise have access to free and reduced lunches during a school day.

"It's basically the same as it was last year," said Teresa Zorn, the feeding program director.

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