D45 principals provide updates

The Sept. 14 Barnwell District 45 School Board meeting started with a reception for new employees.

After enjoying refreshments, board members all expressed their excitement to have the new employees as part of the district.

“Tonight is a very exciting night,” said Superintendent Crissie Stapleton.

The four principals then provided updates on the first month of school and their goals for the year.

County administrator announces retirement plans

Barnwell County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr. has announced his plan to retire next year.

Williams, 59, shared his intentions to retire within the next five to six months with the Barnwell County Council on Tuesday, Sept. 19 during a closed session of the council’s regular meeting. Williams then met with county department heads the next day.

“I don’t plan to move. I’m not upset or anything like that,” said Williams. “It’s something I have been talking with my wife about for nearly a year. I have no reason other than I think it’s time for me to do something different.”

Two schools receive bomb threats

Investigations are underway after bomb threats were made against two area high schools around the same time Thursday afternoon.

Barnwell High School received a bomb threat on Sept. 21 at 12:25 p.m. While Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll would not say exactly where the call was received, he said it was not called into the school or the 911 dispatch center. Around the same time, a bomb threat was called into the Allendale-Fairfax High School office, according to Allendale County Sheriff Tom Carter.

D29 superintendent resigns three weeks after being placed on leave

Williston District 29’s superintendent has resigned, just three weeks after she was placed on leave following the discovery of a tape recorder.

The school board unanimously accepted the immediate resignation of Dr. Missoura Ashe after meeting in closed session with their lawyers during the Sept. 20 meeting.

“The board and Dr. Ashe believe this decision is in our mutual best interest, the best interest of students and the best interest of the Williston-Elko communities,” according to a public statement provided after the meeting.

Tropical Storm Irma moves through county

Barnwell County caught a glancing punch from Tropical Storm Irma on Monday, Sept. 11, experiencing some downed trees and power outages but no significant damage, according to Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley.

The storm was initially a Category 5 hurricane as it approached the Florida Keys and then turned north along the western coast of that state. Last week forecasters thought South Carolina would be hit full force by the storm as it trekked northward but Irma had other plans. The storm lost intensity and edged westward into Georgia.

Williston church opens doors to evacuees

Calvary Chapel Fellowship in downtown Williston opened its doors over the weekend to evacuees of Hurricane Irma.

While the church is not designated as an official American Red Cross shelter, Pastor Tehron Harless said he and his parishioners “felt a need” to open the church over the weekend.

“We noticed last year that there is nowhere in Williston for local people to go to,” said Harless. “We want to serve a need.”

The sanctuary is situated in the middle of a brick building on Church Street which once housed Rivers Pharmacy.

Animal Advocates take in four-legged evacuees for second year in a row

Forty pets from Beaufort County sought refuge in Barnwell from Hurricane Irma.

The Animal Advocates Friends for Life Center on Highway 3 took in approximately 30 dogs and eight cats on Sept. 9 that were being boarded with Tara Farmer, a former Barnwell resident who now lives in Beaufort and operates Paws Hotel and Treats. Most of the animals belonged to first responders, members of the military and healthcare workers who were unable to evacuate due to their jobs.

Medshore Ambulance vehicles, staff assist in Irma relief efforts

On Sunday, Sept. 10, 20 ambulances and more than 40 EMS personnel from across Medshore Ambulance Service traveled to Florida to assist in the evacuation and relief efforts from Hurricane Irma.

“We are proud to use our expertise in emergency evacuation and recovery efforts to assist our neighbors in Florida,” said Medshore Ambulance CEO Greg Shore. “This is the second deployment in less than a week for our crews, but our disaster response team and our teams who remain home have been incredibly supportive of the response.”

Residents asked to ‘Walk by Faith’ on Sept. 16

The Rivera family's journey over the past three years shows that nothing is “impossible”, especially with the help of faith and family.

King-Aaden Rivera, the fourth of five children of Marcus and Shonda Rivera of Barnwell, was involved in a serious car accident as he and his three cousins went to school on September 15, 2014. King-Aaden suffered severe head trauma and had to be revived two or three times in the first several hours at the hospital. At one point doctors told the family they didn't think the three-year-old would survive.

D29 board receives legal advice as superintendent remains on leave

After receiving legal advice, the Williston District 29 School Board remains tight-lipped about why Superintendent Dr. Missoura Ashe is on leave.

During a special-called Sept. 5 meeting, the board met in closed session to receive legal advice and discuss an employment matter related to the superintendent. No action was taken after the board returned to open session, but Chairwoman Ferlecia Cuthbertson issued a statement afterwards.

District 19 ‘blessed’ with tech upgrades

August 14 was a night of updates for the Barnwell District 19 School Board.

During their first meeting of the 2017-2018 school year, the board heard from various department heads.


Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said the district has received a lot of technology upgrades recently.

“We’ve been very blessed in the last year or two,” said Daphne Wood, the district’s director of technology.

Seeing double at Barnwell High School

The year was 1960 when an article appeared in this same newspaper. Seeing is believing, and the above picture was published for one and all to witness.

In the photo are freshmen Judy and Brenda Still, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. Martin Still; sophomores, Jeanette and Annette Ridgeway, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. J.I. Ridgeway; juniors Melvena and Martina Williams, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. A.S. Williams; and seniors Jay and Kay Harrelson, daughters of Mr. and Mrs. J.J. Harrelson.

Fifty-seven years ago, having a set of twins in each high school class was certainly a rarity.

Energy Solutions collecting Hurricane Irma relief items

Energy Solutions in Snelling is collecting Hurricane Irma relief items to be sent to victims in Florida.

A tractor trailer has been set up in the parking lot of the Osborne Road facility in Snelling.

“The public is invited to contribute,” said Curtis Charlton, Security Supervisor.

“We ask that you call us at (803) 541-5004 to let us know you are coming or stop by the front door and we will assist in unloading the items,” said Charlton. “We ask that you don’t load items into the van on your own but allow us to assist.”

AAA urges caution if traveling during Tropical Storm Irma

-With several areas facing flooding and high winds throughout the Carolinas, AAA is urging motorists to heed official warnings and avoid driving during the storm if possible.
“Heavy rain and wind could lead to downed trees and power outages throughout the Carolinas,” said Dave Parsons, CEO and president of AAA Carolinas. “Don’t drive during the storm if you don’t have to and avoid flooded streets.”
AAA has a few driving tips for motorists dealing with the effects of the storm:

Rain, flash flooding possible with Tropical Storm Irma

COLUMBIA, S.C. (Monday, September 11, 2017) – As Tropical Storm Irma continues to affect South Carolina, residents should pay close attention to weather conditions throughout the state. The National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center predict that T.S. Irma could produce three to six inches of rain along with wind gusts up to 60 miles per hour. Flooding is possible in low-lying areas that are normally prone to flood.

Gov. Henry McMaster, state officials hold Hurricane Irma briefing, give evacuation update

Governor Henry McMaster today held a media briefing with state emergency response officia ls at 2 p.m. Saturday, Sept. 9 to provide an update on the potential impact of Hurricane Irma on South Carolina and the progress of evacuation efforts.


44,457 affected by the evacuation in barrier islands:

532 in Edisto Beach,

468 on Dafuskie Island

743 on Fripp Island

105 Harbor Island

168 Hunting Island

42,000 Hilton Head Island

409 Knowles Island  

Emergency shelters opening in three counties

Emergency shelters will be available for residents and visitors who are evacuating from southern coastal areas due to Hurricane Irma.

 Shelters are generally the place of last resort. Individuals and families are encouraged to have emergency plans in place. These plans should include relatives or friends with whom you can stay or locations to which you will travel.

In the event that you must use a shelter, please consider the following before arriving:

Bring your own pillows, blankets and cots as these items might not be available at every location.

Local family finds education solution in online public school

The Frye family goes to festivals. A lot of festivals.

“We probably go to 15 to 20 festivals a year,” said Karen Frye.

Karen and her husband Bill Frye III own and operate “Frye Baby” traveling concession stand.

Being on the road so much also presents a challenge to educating their son Matthew, 13, and Bill Frye IV.

For Matthew, the Fryes decided to enroll him in South Carolina Connections Academy, a tuition-free, virtual public school.

He has been a student at SCCA since 5-year-old kindergarten and is now in 8th grade.

Woman dies in house fire

Authorities are investigating the death of a Snelling woman on Saturday night, Sept. 2.

According to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward, “A body was discovered after a mobile home fire was extinguished at Lot 16, 13626 Highway 64, Barnwell on Sept. 2 around 8:20 p.m.

Ward said, “The initial call was reported to be a fire with entrapment at the above address. Snelling Fire Department along with Barnwell County Rural and Red Oak fire departments responded.”

“After the body was located, the Coroner’s Office along with SLED Arson was contacted.”


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