News

Jobless rate goes up even as hiring trend improves

Barnwell and Allendale County’s unemployment rates went up in June but that statistic alone doesn’t tell the whole story.

Recently released figures from the South Carolina Department of Employment and Workforce (DEW) show that more people were employed in June than in May in both Barnwell and Allendale counties. At the same time, more people joined the workforce, so the statistics show a more negative picture if only the unemployment rate is considered.

Ground broken for freestanding emergency dept.

Local, state and federal officials were on hand Tuesday morning for the groundbreaking of the Bamberg/Barnwell Emergency Medical Center (EMC).

The Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Orangeburg, which owns the EMC, broke ground Tuesday morning on the construction of the new freestanding emergency department for Bamberg and Barnwell counties.

Revival for educators includes speaker and surprise guest

“You have to teach the child first, then you can teach the subject matter.”

That was the advice of Mary Endres Thomas to educators attending a “Teachers Revival” at Long Branch Baptist Church in Barnwell. The event was held on Thursday, Aug. 3 with approximately 20 educators attending.

“When kids feel like you are special in their eyes, then you can reach them,” said Thomas.

Thomas, of Aiken, is a high school math teacher and author of “Kids These Days: A Teacher's Inspirational Journey That Will Change The Way You Think About Today's Youth”.

One dead, four injured in two weekend Allendale shootings

Two weekend shootings left one person dead and four others injured in Allendale, according to law enforcement officials.

The first shooting occurred on Saturday, August 5 around 2:10 a.m. Allendale police officers were on patrol in the 1600 block of North Main Street when they heard several gunshots that they believed were coming from the parking lot of a nearby business.

“Police then observed a lot of activity in the parking lot area,” according to a Facebook post.

Events set to prepare for and observe solar eclipse

Barnwell County will be just on the edge of the total eclipse viewing area on Monday, August 21.

A solar eclipse is when the moon passes between the sun and earth, creating total darkness.

In Barnwell County, the partial phase of the eclipse will start at approximately 1:13 p.m. on Monday, August 21. The total darkness phase will begin at approximately 2:43 p.m. and will last 32 seconds. Then it will return to the partial phase. The end of the eclipse will be at 4:07 p.m.

700 students receive free school supplies in Williston

At least 700 students are estimated to have received free school supplies Sunday afternoon in Williston.

The 4th Annual W-E CommUNITY Coalition Back-to-School Bash was held August 6 at Williston-Elko High School following prayer around the flagpole. Organizers believe this year’s attendance was the largest they’ve seen since starting the free event.

“Thank you for being a community that believes in unity,” said Ferlecia Cuthbertson, president of the W-E CommUNITY Coalition, of how many partners came together to make the event successful.

100 backpacks distributed in Kline

One hundred backpacks full of school supplies were distributed to children in Kline Saturday, August 5.

This is the fifth year that the Town of Kline has held the school supply distribution at the Kline Fire Department.

Children who are soon returning to school were able to choose a free backpack which was pre-stuffed with a notebook, pencils, pens, paper and easers. Primary school-aged children found crayons and a glue stick in their backpacks.

The mayor and town council annually solicit donations and purchase the school supplies.

Four local girls place at Little Miss/Teen Miss South Carolina Pageant

Four Barnwell County girls received awards in the Little Miss/Teen Miss South Carolina Pageant in July.

Kinsley Breland, Blake Pritchard, Izzie Brandt and Eva Ann Bell competed last month in the pageant, which was held at the Hartsville Center Theatre. The pageant included contestants in seven age categories from Wee Miss Tiny Tot for ages 2 and 3 to Miss Teen for ages 16 to 19. They were eligible to compete after placing in other pageants across the state.

Morris Publishing Sells The People-Sentinel to GateHouse Media

AUGUSTA, Ga – As part of a strategic restructuring to focus its business on lifestyle publications, property development and new business, Morris Communications Co. announced today that it has signed an agreement to sell the assets of Morris Publishing Group, including the Augusta Chronicle and The People-Sentinel, to GateHouse Media.

The sale also includes 10 other daily newspapers, numerous non-daily publications and associated websites and digital assets. The transaction is expected to close on October 2, 2017. Terms were not disclosed.

Allendale County Schools drop lawsuit

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and the Allendale County School District announced Friday, July 28 that they have agreed to collaborate in the management of the educational programs and operations of Allendale schools and the district office, as well as collaboration in other areas of school and district governance that impact management of the academic program, financial risk, and accreditation.

Murder suspect still sought as new details emerge

Counterfeit money and drugs may have been the motive behind last week’s murder, according to a newly-released incident report.

George L. Grimes, 31, of Old Salem Road in Hilda was inside a Ford Explorer parked at 461 Fairway Lane, Barnwell, when he was shot in the head on Sunday evening, July 23, said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward in a press release. He died from his injuries. A relative, who had been in the car with Grimes, escaped unharmed.

Public invited to ER groundbreaking on Aug. 8

The Regional Medical Center (RMC) in Orangeburg will host a public groundbreaking ceremony to celebrate the beginning of construction of a new freestanding emergency department for Bamberg and Barnwell counties.

The event will be Tuesday, August 8 at 10 a.m. at the construction site on Highway 70, just west of Denmark in Bamberg County.

The 20,000-square foot facility will include 24-hour emergency care with CT scan, X-Ray and ultrasound diagnostic imaging, lab and observation services, according to a press release by RMC.

Concert to fund new career vision for Massengale

Sarah Massengale has not let her lack of sight stop her from having a vision of what she wants to do with her life.

The Barnwell native, who has been blind since birth, has always been passionate about music, which led her to earn a degree in music in 2011 from Converse College. She was the first totally blind woman to earn this degree from the Spartanburg college. However, she’s found it difficult to find stable employment as a musician.

Tax free weekend is Aug. 4-6

Shoppers will get a holiday this coming weekend – a holiday from paying sales tax on a wide variety of items.

The annual Sales Tax Holiday will be August 4-6 in South Carolina, according to the S.C. Department of Revenue (DOR). The holiday is in effect from 12:01 a.m. on August 4 until midnight on August 6.

During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, a variety of approved school supply items are exempt from the 6 percent state sales tax and any applicable local taxes. In years past, shoppers have saved between $2 million and $3 million during the holiday weekend.

South Carolina Department of Education and Allendale County School District reach agreement

The South Carolina Department of Education (SCDE) and the Allendale County School District announced Friday, July 28 that they have agreed to collaborate in the management of the educational programs and operations of Allendale schools and the district office, as well as collaboration in other areas of school and district governance that impact management of the academic program, financial risk, and accreditation. 

Baseball tournament to benefit MDA

Dylan Epps is hoping to hit a homerun in the fight against muscular dystrophy.

The 12-year-old was diagnosed in 2014 with the genetic, degenerative disease that primarily affects voluntary muscles. However, he did not let the diagnosis stop him from playing baseball, which he’s played the past nine years through the Barnwell Baseball Softball Association.

Family keeps faith after fire

Lightning could be to blame for a fire that destroyed a Blackville house, but fire officials say they are unsure of the exact cause.

Firefighters from the Blackville and Hilda fire departments were called to 4737 Legion Road in Blackville for a reported house fire on Monday, July 24 around 4:24 p.m.

“It was involved when the first truck arrived on scene. They (the firefighters) did a good job stopping it,” said Blackville Fire Chief James Haskins, who recently was promoted to the position.

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