News

New urgent care center coming

Heritage Healthcare System announced this week that they will open an urgent care center in Barnwell, hopefully within the next few weeks.

According to a press release, Heritage Healthcare System is a non-profit, 501(c)(3) organization “whose mission is restoring quality healthcare in rural communities.”

The urgent care facility will be located at 914 Reynolds Road in Barnwell near the Polly Best Center and across the street from the former Southern Palmetto Hospital.

Stolen vehicle wrecks during chase

A police chase ended in a trip to the hospital for two men after wrecking the stolen vehicle they were in.

Barnwell police officers responded to Shannon Street on Feb. 8 around 3:15 p.m. after the Lexington County Sheriff’s Office advised that a stolen vehicle was pinging in that area. An officer located the brown in color 2006 Buick Lacrosse on Reynolds Road near the former Southern Palmetto Hospital and saw two black males inside the vehicle, according to the incident report provided by the Barnwell Police Department.

Family homeless after fire on Orchid Road

Three people are homeless after a fire destroyed their home last Thursday evening.

Firefighters from the Friendship, Hilda and Barnwell Rural departments responded to 706 Orchid Road around 8:30 p.m. Feb. 9 and found the double-wide mobile home about 75 percent engulfed in flames. The home is a total loss.

“Everything is gone, but everyone got out safe and we are going to be okay, thank goodness,” said Tanya Tobias on Facebook. She lived there with her boyfriend Nick and son Andrew. They are now staying nearby with her father, Ralph Tobias, who owned the home.

Blackville house destroyed by fire

Two Blackville women lost their home Sunday night in a fire.

The fire started Feb. 12 around 10 p.m. at the one-story brick home located on Izlar Street in Blackville. The fire is believed to have started in the kitchen, but spread to the rest of the home. It is a total loss.

The three people who were inside at the time the fire broke out all made it out safely. The home was owned by Shirley Kirkland, but her niece, Jeanette Garnes, also lived there. Garnes’ son Ian was visiting and staying there the night of the fire, according to the family.

New York woman on journey of kindness

A New York woman is on a journey across America to find acts of kindness.

Mary Latham, a 30-year-old woman from Long Island, New York, set out in her mother’s Subaru Outback on Oct. 29, 2016 to go to all 50 states to collect stories of human kindness.

“In a world overrun with negative news, it’s easy to forget that there is more good out there. And I’m setting out to prove it,” she said.

She plans to publish at least one story from each state in a book she will distribute to hospital waiting rooms across the country. They are places that typically lack hope.

Stapleton takes over as D45’s acting superintendent

Jay Grissom attended his last school board meeting as superintendent of Barnwell District 45 on Feb. 9.

Grissom announced in November that Feb. 10 would be his last day as the district’s leader after three and a half years on the job. He cited personal reasons as why he was leaving.

“We thank Mr. Grissom for his hard work over the last few years,” said board member Rhett Richardson during the meeting.

“We wish you luck in the future,” said Rosey Anderson.

Barnwell County YMCA celebrates growth, birthday

As they celebrate two years, the Barnwell County Family YMCA is becoming a model for other communities.

The YMCA opened Jan. 31, 2015 at 660 Joey Zorn Boulevard in Barnwell. The idea to bring the YMCA was spearheaded by Barnwell County Councilman Jerry Creech, but quickly gained support from many residents, leaders and businesses. They now have more than 2,500 members and employ 30 people.

EDC director: Industrial roundtable ‘a success’

A recent roundtable for local industry was considered a success by Barnwell County Economic Development Commission (EDC) Executive Director Tommy Boyleston .

The roundtable was organized primarily by SouthernCarolina Alliance with the EDC to “connect with our industries” and provide a means for area manufacturing leadership to interact.

Area’s unemployment levels remain steady

Barnwell County’s unemployment rate remained steady in December 2016 according to statistics recently released by the S.C. Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW). Allendale County’s rate went up slightly.

The DEW reported Barnwell’s County jobless rate at 5.8 percent. Allendale’s rate rose from 7.3 to 7.4 percent.

The numbers represent significant drops from December 2015 when Barnwell County’s rate was 7.5 percent and Allendale’s was 9.6 percent.

DUI charges follow wreck

A Barnwell woman is facing several charges, including driving under the influence, after a wreck last week.

Daniella Hayes, 30, of Barnwell, was arrested Feb. 8 after she wrecked her 2005 Chevy SUV on Highway 278 near Shelton’s gas station. Two children, ages four and five, were also in the vehicle, according to Lance Corporal Judd Jones with the S.C. Highway Patrol.

As Hayes was traveling west on Highway 278, “she went to pass another vehicle, lost control and overturned,” said Jones.

Williston gets ‘clean’ audit report

The Town of Williston got a “clean” audit report Monday, Feb. 13.

Todd Highsmith, a certified public accountant with Highsmith & Highsmith, told the Williston Town Council that the information they were provided was “fairly stated in all material respects.”

Highsmith reviewed the audit with the full council and discussed the four highlights resulting from their inspection of the town’s financial documents.

He said the assets of the Town “exceeded its liabilities by $8,345,729” and “of this amount, $78,909 can be used to meet the town’s ongoing obligations.”

Elko wreck kills three members of Aiken family

An investigation is ongoing into a wreck that killed three members of a family the evening of Friday, Feb. 3 in Elko, according to Lance Corporal Judd Jones of the South Carolina Highway Patrol.

All three members of the same family from Aiken were riding together in a 2006 Toyota Four Runner when their SUV was struck head-on by a 1999 Chevrolet van driven by 61-year-old William Givens of Williston, said Jones.

Barnwell County Council sets goals for 2016-2017

The goals of 2015-16 were reviewed by the Barnwell County Council on Friday, Jan. 13 and new goals for the next two years were determined.

The council members met at the Barnwell County Library for nearly three hours to informally discuss the things they want to achieve in the coming two years. The council sets goals bi-annually and the retreat is an opportunity for them to review those goals.

Attending the meeting were Chairman Lowell Jowers, Councilman Harold Buckmon, Freddie Houston, Don Harper, Ben Kinlaw and County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr.

Four locals featured on reality show “Hunted”

Editor’s Note: While the girls were unable to comment due to documents they signed with CBS, The People-Sentinel spoke to their parents who enjoyed seeing their daughters on national television.

Four locals played a part in a new reality television show that is billed as “the world’s most elaborate game of hide and seek.”

SRR donates $5,000 to SCA for workforce development

Savannah River Remediation (SRR) has donated $5,000 to Southern Carolina Regional Development Alliance (SCA) to aid in the workforce development in Barnwell and Allendale counties, two of the counties in the Alliance.

Allendale and Barnwell counties, along with Aiken County, contain portions of the Savannah River Site (SRS). SRR is the Liquid Waste contractor at SRS for the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE).

SRR President and Project Manager Tom Foster said the donation is one of many made by SRR in the CSRA to assist in raising the quality of life for residents.

Barnwell Fire Dept. receives $4,500 grant from Georgia Pacific

The Barnwell Fire Department is among 33 grant recipients of Georgia-Pacific’s Bucket Brigade program this year. The department received $4,500 to help fund equipment needs.

“We have a strong relationship with our local fire departments, so we are very pleased to help them stay well-equipped,” said Morgan Thomas, site manager for Georgia-Pacific's Allendale OSB facility. “These grants show our gratitude for their selfless dedication.”

Barnwell City Council honors Officer of the Year

The Barnwell City council swore in a new police officer and congratulated the Officer of the Year during their Feb. 6 meeting.

Officer Tommy Gilbert was sworn into office by Mayor Ed Lemon at the beginning of the Monday night meeting.

John Ott was presented a plaque for being the 2016 Officer of the Year. Lemon presented the honor along with Captain Brian Johnson in place of Chief Reuben Black who was not in attendance.

Williston Town Council sets 2017 goals

Two lists were on the minds of members of the Williston Town Council on Friday, Jan. 27 during their annual goal-setting retreat.

Town Administrator Kenny Cook reviewed both the 2016 and the 2017 lists of goals with Mayor Jason Stapleton and council members Eric Moody, Adadra Neville, Brett Williams, Scott Valentine, Dwayne Cagle, and Kevin Wall.

Of the 22 goals set last year, half have been completed with six more either in the works or ongoing.

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