News

County-by-county, Barrett swings through state

"My goal is to hit every county in South Carolina. It's about meeting people," U. S. Rep. Gresham Barrett said as he made several stops in Barnwell County Aug. 31.

Barrett a republican represents the 3rd Congressional district that runs from Oconee County southward to Aiken. It does not include Barnwell County.

Barrett has thrown his hat into the ring for the 2010 governor's race where there are already several committed to running.

Barrett has already toured a large part of the state and said he will continue to go out into the communities that make up South Carolina.

Restoring relationships: Hospital and rescue squad mend ways

A longstanding issue between the Williston Rescue Squad and the Barnwell County Hospital is finally being discussed and those involved say they have hope that a better relationship will arise from it.

During recent Barnwell County Hospital board meetings this past year, members of the board had voiced discontent with the Williston Rescue Squad.

The problem, board members and hospital staff, said is WRS has been transporting 911 patients out of Barnwell County to other hospitals for medical treatment.

These were patients BCH has the resources to treat, the parties have said.

Local attorney assumes head of state education board

One of Barnwell County's own is now the leader of the state education policy board.

Tim Moore Jr. of Snelling, a Barnwell attorney, was promoted to the chairmanship of the S.C. State Board of Education Aug. 31.

Moore learned of his promotion early that afternoon. Moore had been the vice chairman of the board and wasn't scheduled to become chair of the 17-member board until next year.

Kristin Maguire, the current chair, resigned the position Aug. 28 in a letter addressed to Gov. Mark Sanford.

Williston-Elko sees rise in student transfers into district

The student population in the Williston 29 school district is growing.

It grew by 17 students during the Aug. 18 monthly school board meeting as the school board accepted 17 student transfers from children outside the Williston school district.

The student transfers included ones from Barnwell 45, Blackville-Hilda 19, Allendale School District, Orangeburg School District and Aiken County School District.

"It's more than we have ever had before," said Alexia Clamp, the Williston-Elko superintendent.

Interns close out summer jobs with celebration

A lot of businesses took a chance this summer.

A lot of people are glad they took that chance.

And the chance was related to the precarious ecojnimc climate.

For eight weeks 83 youth in Allendale, Barnwell and Bamberg counties got a chance to have a summer job. For 61 area employers, it was a chance to get a little extra help with the federal government footing the bill.

'...a life well lived.' County DSS leader dies

Hers was a life well lived.

Cynthia B. (Taylor) Williams was many things, a mother, a wife, a minister and most of all, a friend.

She was a director who used her friendship with her employees to build better employees.

Williams was the director of the Barnwell County Department of Social Services office.

Williams died Aug. 8.

"She had a special gift," Brenda Holman said.

Holman worked with Williams for 25 years at Barnwell County Department of Social Services.

Both Holman and Williams were "front line workers" when they met, Holman said.

GOP rally draws Sanford

Recently, Ben Kinlaw, the chairman of the Barnwell County Republican Party, reminded Gov. Mark Sanford of something that the governor had not done - attend a strictly political gathering in the county.

Sanford has appeared in Barnwell County several times in the last few years, but for most of these, it was for an economic development announcement.

One dead, one wounded in Blackville shooting

A fight between two men ended with one man dead, the other in custody and a third man wounded in Blackville.

Terrence Mayes, 21, of 961 Sunshine Road, Blackville, was killed by a single gunshot Aug. 20 while at another Blackville residence at Legion Road, Blackville, said Blackville Police Chief John Holston.

Mayes's brother, Zantrell Mayes, 24, also of 961 Sunshine Road, Blackville, was wounded in the side from a gunshot from the suspect during the incident as well, he said.

Trap-and-release hogs are menace to state farming

Pigs on the run and a generation of swine are wreaking havoc across the Palmetto State.

Many state wildlife officials claim hunters are trapping hogs in their natural habitat and releasing them elsewhere in the state for sport and recreation purposes.

And in the process the hog-wild pigs are doing extensive damage to crops, the environment and topography.

Spanish settlers brought the four-legged creatures to the Central Savannah River Area more than 300 years ago where the boars made their homes in the rivers and swamps along the Savannah River.

Proposed Eagle Scout project could save lives by saving time

A minute can make all the difference in the world with a wreck and a scant 60 seconds can mean life or death.

With those thoughts in mind, Barnwell resident 16-year-old Louis Gantt proposed a Eagle Scout project to Barnwell County Council Aug. 4.

Gantt - along with his fellow Boy Scouts in Troop 392 of Barnwell and Troop 1065 of Williston - would like to place mile markers along U.S. 278 and S.C. 3 from the Barnwell County line to the Allendale County line.

"It would cut down on emergency response time so when a wreck is called in it would be easier to find," said Gantt.

A passion for collecting: Barnwell County Museum holds collector's day

Johnny Mac Dodge was describing his own collections, but he could have just as well been talking about collector's day.

"It's pretty much a collection of collections," the 13-year-old Barnwell youth said of his assortment of assortments that included old foreign and domestic coins, minerals, arrowheads and miniature skateboards.

Dodge was one of the people displaying their collections during the Barnwell County Museum's annual collector's day event, Aug. 16.

Sharing sports and the Son in Belize

The trip was more about relationships than recreation.

That's what the 11 members of First Baptist Church of Barnwell learned on their recent mission trip to Belize, a country on the eastern coast of Central America facing the Caribbean Sea.

The group was primarily a youth mission trip of six Barnwell High students and five adults.

The group took 194 soccer balls along with as many Bibles as gifts to mainly the children of one Belize town. The group was gone from July 24 through Aug. 1.

Karate master puts punch in lessons and kick in self-esteem

Fighting - in a sense - got Mike Hess off the streets as a youth.

However, it didn't land him in a juvenile justice center.

The "fighting" was karate and put him a dojo or martial arts training center under the discipline of a sensei or karate master.

"Karate took me off the streets. I try to give back what my masters gave me," Hess said.

That mental and physical discipline is what Hess tries to pass on to his students now.

Hess, 48, is now a ninth degree black belt and teaches zenshotokai, a type of kempo karate at his dojos in Aiken, North Augusta and Elko.

Shapes of singing past: Song workshop draws people from around region

Their voices were in full cry - 34 of them in all - within the fellowship hall at Holy Apostles Episcopal Church.

However, this was not choir practice.

Many of the voices were from out of town and outside of Barnwell County. The group had come together to learn an old style method of hymn-singing called shape-note or Sacred Harp singing.

The Rev. Jerry DuBose, of Holy Apostles, said he had about 10 of his parishioners in the group and the rest were visitors.

Williston hopes plant expansion will help water issues too

The Dixie-Narco plant expansion will not only mean a boost to the Williston's economic base, but may provide solutions to the town's ongoing problems with its water system.

If the town can relate improvements of its water system to job creation, it may mean grants will fund these improvements, said Scott Neely, the town administrator.

The town has already ordered a preliminary engineering report on its water system. The report will be completed in about a month, he said.

Filling stomachs before minds

For the past four years, the Brown Chapel Missionary Church has been taking its message of compassion and fellowship from behind the walls of the church to the front door of the community.

The church celebrated its fourth Back To School Giveaway and Health Fair Aug. 15 at the Barnwell Elementary School.
About 20 church members handed out notebooks, pens, paper and other school supplies to prepare children for the new academic year.

Board fires Denmark Technical College president

A month after suspending Dr. John Waddell from the presidency of Denmark Technical College, the college's board voted to fire him.

During a two and a half hour meeting Aug. 17, the Denmark Technical College Area Commission voted unanimously to terminate Waddell.

Waddell was fired due to "irregularities in finance and procurement, personnel and perhaps some other areas of operations with the college," said James D. Hayes, the chairman of the DTC Area Commission. "We have found that some of these irregularities sufficient for his termination."

Barnwell water rates to rise

Barnwell city residents can expect to see their water and sewer rates increase in the near future.

During the Aug. 3 City Council meeting, the council gave first reading on ordinances that would enact increases in the water and sewer rates for its residential and commercial customers.

Ordinances must undergo two readings before becoming permanent. A public hearing will be held before the second reading is done during the Sept. 14 City Council meeting.

Barnwell County Council makes resolution for "rainy day" reserve fund

Although the Chem-Nuclear money has been greately reduced, there is still a possibilty the county might benefit from it.

Council approved a resolution for Chem-Nuclear funds - other than license fees - to be put in a reserve fund instead of the general fund during an August 4 meeting.

"It's an effort to try and get some reserve funds so we don't have to borrow money," said County Councilman Keith Sloan.

Currently, Council has borrowed a $2.5 million tax anticipation note to cover costs and shortfalls.

Williston town council prepares for Dixie-Narco expansion

Williston is getting down to the fine print as it prepares for the expansion of the Dixie-Narco plant.

The Williston Town Council gave first reading to an ordinance that accepts the tax incentive agreements that both the town and Barnwell County are entering into with the vending machine manufacturer that will double its operations in town.

The ordinance was discussed during the Aug. 10 regular meeting of Williston Town Council.

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