News

New librarian checks into county library

Shelley Ivester has gone from printing books to pushing them.

For 14 years, Ivester worked as a senior account manager at Professional Printers, a West Columbia printer, before moving to Barnwell three years ago.

Now Ivester is the new manager of the Barnwell County Public Library, which is part of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library system or ABBE.

Ivester was named the library's manager several weeks after Lisa Gillespie, her predecessor, left.

"A lot of what we printed is in this library, so I see myself connected here," Ivester said.

Wall honoring fallen heroes of Vietnam to arrive in county

Walls are typically thought of as barriers or obstructions to separate things.

However, one wall will be more like a bridge to span the gaps of time, generations and hurt when it is erected in Barnwell County.

The Moving Wall will be displayed at Veterans Memorial Park in Barnwell Oct. 29 through Nov. 2.

The Moving Wall is a half-sized replica of the permanent stone Vietnam Wall in Washington D.C.

The Moving Wall is 252.8 feet long, or a little more than half the length of the Washington D.C. wall, which stretches 493.5 feet.

Tim Moore Sr., Snelling mayor, dies

In South Carolina, he was known as the longest serving mayor.

However, for people in Snelling and Barnwell County, they knew Elbert Timothy Moore as a friend, family man and advocate for this area.

Moore, the mayor of Snelling, died Oct. 1.

He was 83.

Moore was a Navy veteran of World War II having served in the Pacific theater.

"He was born on Pearl Harbor Day before it was Pearl Harbor Day," said Wiley Moore, referring to Tim Moore Sr.'s Dec. 7 birthday. Wiley Moore is a second cousin to Tim Moore Sr. and serves on the Snelling town council.

County fire station gets nearly $100K FEMA grant for equipment

In the latest round of grants handed down from the Federal Emergency Management Agency, a local fire department was awarded nearly $100,000.

Barnwell Rural Fire Department has been awarded $96,615 from the 2008 grant applications said Barnwell Rural Fire Department Chief Jessie Elmore.

Elmore said he applied for the grant in 2008.

This grant was awarded under FEMA's Assistance to Firefighters Grant program.

Grants under this program can be used for training, conducting first responder health and safety programs, or they can be used to purchase equipment and vehicles.

Barnwell Primary readies reading program for young readers

Barnwell Primary School hopes to launch a new reading program by the end of October to help boost student reading skills.

During a Sept. 24 district 29 school board meeting, the board gave a collective nod to use funds from the Save the Children Foundation for two projects.

"We will be starting a reading literacy program for Kindergarten through third grade students," said Barnwell Principal Robbie Eubanks. "The program will have day classes as well as an after-school component."

Eubanks said the program will reach about 120 students.

Birdhouses combine man's passion for birdwatching and wood

Barnwell County resident Roberto Cobb spends many of his days laboring in his woodshop restoring antique furniture back to its pristine condition.

But in between sanding tables and varnishing chairs, he works on another project - ornate colorful birdhouses.
Cobb said he builds the bird houses from reclaimed wood and discarded furniture parts.

"None of them are the same - all of them are different from one another," said Cobb, pointing to the bird houses lining the walls of his shop.

Swine flu vaccine clinics to set up in region

Residents will have several opportunities to get a flu shot over then next few weeks with a variety of places issuing the shots.

Barnwell County Health Department, Allendale County Health Department and the Barnwell CVS Pharmacy will all be holding clinics.

For the clinics at local Health Departments, residents should call (803) 642-7543 or (800) 450-1687 to schedule an appointment.

Barnwell County Health Department dates are Oct. 16, 23, 30 and Nov. 20.

Allendale County Health Department dates are Oct. 9, and 23 and Nov. 13.

Property donated for Williston-Elko Community Resource Center

The Williston-Elko Community Resource Center took another step toward reality with the flourish of a pen.

In Barnwell Attorney Pete Kulmala's office Sept. 28, Robert O. Collins signed a deed giving about 4.5 acres of land for where the $2.5 million facility will be located.

The center will sit behind the Williston Library on Academy Street, said Freddie Houston, the Williston-Elko Community Resource Center board chairman.

The building will be approximately 16,000 to 20,000 feet, said Houston.

Big and slow: 'Superload' crawls through Barnwell County

One might have mistaken it for a holiday parade if they didn't know better.

Barnwell County residents lined the streets to watch the behemoth "superload" crawl its way out of the county Sept. 26 and 27.

The power generator and the special heavy duty carrier - totaling 1.89 million pounds or about 544 tons - at 23 feet tall; 28 feet wide; 300 feet long; began its journey from Old Allendale Highway at about 11 a.m. Saturday morning.

Barnwell resident suffers home invasion

The Barnwell Police Department is still searching for suspects who invaded a home last week.

Det. Frank Sutton and a statement released by the department stated, at least two masked men forced their way into a residence on Corley-Heights Richardson Road on the evening of Sept. 21.

A woman inside the home was bound with duct tape and the suspects rummaged through the home looking for valuables.

The victim was able to see one of the suspects when she pulled off his mask during a struggle, Sutton said.

Water fees questioned by Williston residents

Williston Town Council heard from two residents who expressed their concern over water fees.

Tommy Sweat asked council for an explanation for water and sewer rates and deposits outside the town limits.

Sweat told council he was renting a home just outside the town limits which already had town water and sewer connections and he was concerned over the rates at the new home.

The deposit and usage rates were recently increased for the town.

In April, Council held a second reading of the rate hikes for new deposits.

Help comes to sheriff's office in combatting gangs

In its fight against gang activity in Barnwell County, the sheriff's office is getting some back-up.

The Barnwell County Sheriff's Office has received a $97,722 anti-gang grant, said Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll.

"I'm tickled pink; the money really helps our budget," said Carroll.

The grant - Gang Familiar Officer Reducing Crime and Educating (G-Force) - comes from S.C. Department of Public's Safety's Office Justice Programs.

The grant is given on behalf of the U.S. Attorney's Office and Department of Justice.

First Steps takes new steps for toddlers with disabillities

First Steps, the statewide agency that helps toddlers and their parents prepare them for first grade and beyond, had its mission expanded last week as it takes over a similar, federally funded agency.

On Sept. 18, Gov. Mark Sanford issued an executive order folding BabyNet's operations under First Steps in South Carolina.

Windfall: Some Atlantic Compact funds still available

School districts across Barnwell County are able to loosen their financial belts slightly with some unexpected Chem-Nuclear money.

The news was welcome at county school districts that are under fiscal strains with a four percent state cut to their operating budgets.

The Blackville-Hilda and Williston-Elko school districts both received around $214,000 and Barnwell got about $428,000.

"We were glad to see it," said Shirley Kitchings, the CFO for Barnwell school district.

Police lock up grants for its department

For families on a tight budget, receiving extra money is a bonus. When a public agency receives extra money, it can in turn help many families.

This time that help will go toward the Barnwell Police Department.

Todd Gantt, the police chief of the Barnwell Police department said he is not able to put on additional officers with the grants his department has received. However the department has been able to keep all its officers and replace several cars in the process.

Barnwell Police Department has received three grants totaling $231,714.

Hauling heavy: 'Superload' shipment makes its way slowly through region

After months of speculation as to when it would be coming through the area, the "superload" is now on the road.

A giant oversized tractor trailer shipment will roll through Barnwell County within the next several days.

Together the generator and the special heavy duty carrier it is being transported on is 23 feet tall; 28 feet wide and 300 feet long.

The generator has been slung between two heavy duty carrier rigs. Each rig has 18 axles each and the carrier total has more than 100 tires.

Surprise hive

Charlie Neal, top, removes the remains of a hornets nest from the inside wall above an exterior door.

Neal and his son Chris were called to the house, which is being renovated after workers noted the hornets around the residence.

Neal, a local exterminator, said it was unusual for hornets to build a nest inside a structure, since they typically build their papery hives outside in trees or overhanging eaves.

A small hive was attached to the outside eaves and somehow the insects had found a way inside, he said.

Blackville couple indicted

Columbia - U.S. Attorney W. Walter Wilkins said a federal grand jury indicted Stacy Duncan Delk, 32, and Kelly P. Delk, 31, both of Blackville, on charges of credit card fraud Sept. 17.

Stacy Delk was also charged with six counts of aggravated identity theft, according to a press release from Wilkins' office.

Barnwell council ushers in new city hall with slate of ordinances

The Sept. 14 Barnwell City Council meeting was the first held in the city's new city hall and council chambers. City council wasted no time in getting down to business.

In the regular council meeting, Council approved several ordinances that aimed at increasing revenue for the city. The city council:

• approved a second reading of ordinance 2009-5 to provide an increase in water rates for residential and commercial;

• approved a second reading of ordinance 2009-6 to provide an increase in sewer rates for residential and commercial customers;

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