News

Barnwell head librarian checks out of job

One resource that has been checked out of the Barnwell Public Library won't be returning.

Lisa Gillespie, the head librarian for Barnwell and the manager of the other librarians at the other branch libraries in the county, stepped down from her position.

"It was a rough, hard decision," Gillespie said of her departure. "I'll probably be involved with the Friends of the Library."

Gillespie's last day was July 6, said Mary Jo Dawson, the director of the Aiken-Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System.

Honduras on hold: Local mission trip cancelled due to country's internal unrest

The ousting of Honduran president Manuel Zelaya may seem like a distant international incident in Central America, but its effect has had reverberations in Barnwell County.

On June 28, Zelaya was deposed and sent out of the country. In his place, Roberto Micheletti has become the interim president.

A burning need: More volunteer firefighters needed

The Marines aren't the only ones looking for a few good men - or women.

The Barnwell Fire Department is looking at ways to recruit and retain firefighters in the future. The problem is one common to many fire departments in rural areas and smaller towns.

Dicks said this is a project he has been working on since returning from a state workshop on the subject April 7.

About 20 fire chiefs from Lowcountry volunteer fire departments met in Irmo as part of a SAFER federal grant program, he said.

Furry therapy is friendship on four paws

By sharing love and creating bonds, Trooper - a therapy dog - has been a unifying force in the Barnwell County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center.

Trooper is a 8-year-old 30- pound purebreed tricolor beagle who was rescued from a breeder, said Jennifer Bowers, Trooper's owner and handler.

Trooper and Bowers are a registered therapy dog team, registered through Therapy Dogs, Inc.

Therapy Dogs is a community service program conducted by volunteers, she said.

Board suspends Denmark Tech president pending investigation

In a sudden move, the ruling body for Denmark Technical College has suspended its president pending an investigation.

Dr. John K. Waddell was suspended without pay from his position as college president July 13. The school issued a short press statement by that afternoon.

An audit of the college in early June by the S.C. Technical Board revealed discrepancies. The audit report was given to the Denmark Technical College Area Commission the morning of July 13. Afterwards, the commission decided to suspend Waddell, said James Hayes, a Barnwell County representative on the commission.

Changing the world one nail at a time

They are building hope and spreading goodwill with hammers and nails.

"It's almost unbelievable the way they are working," Snelling resident Carl Anderson Sr. said from his living room.

Overhead of him about 24 high school and college students were tearing off and replacing Anderson's roof July 6.

The students are part of the World Changers organization.

Soon they will be taking brushes in hand and splashing a fresh coat of paint on the house.

Wreck in Blackville claims driver’s life, seriously injures another

Barnwell County did not get through the July 4th holiday weekend without a traffic fatality.

According to the S.C. Highway Patrol, around 2:50 p.m., July 5, a 1995 white Ford Explorer traveling northbound on S.C. 3 went off the right side of the road, came back onto the road and then veered to the left side of the roadway. The vehicle then struck two trees head-on.

The accident occured eight-tenths of a mile north of Blackville.

The impact killed the driver, Mailon Hutson, 56, and injured the only passenger, Lola Hutson, said Barnwell County Deputy Coroner Charles Dooley.

Fireworks finish Fourth

Although adorned in a blue sun dress and pearls, three-year-old Alauna Still didn't let that stop her as she donned a burlap sack to hop with the other children in the potato sack race.

The sack race was part of the family fun for people who came to the second day - July 4 - of the patriotic celebrations at Veterans Memorial Park in Barnwell.

Beside the sack race, children and adults participated in other family games as Barnwell Recreation Director Emily Randell directed the fun.

Countywide tour showcases local treasures

It was a day of discovery - finding new things in old places, old things in new places, and making friendships in the process.

Southern charm, gracious hosts and seeds of information were found in a garden of discovery as "ambassadors" were treated to a unique tour of Barnwell County.

On June 24 a busload of 55 "ambassadors were shuttled around Barnwell County and introduced to its sights, sounds and smells that were meant to be savored and - later - shared.

No opponents come forward

No contenders have emerged to challenge any of the incumbents for the Williston and Barnwell municipal elections which will take place Sept. 8.

The filing for candidates ended June 26.

In Williston, there are three Town Council seats open as well as the mayor's seat in the at-large election.

The incumbents running are Milton Widener, Wanda Matthews, Jerry "Tuna" Holmes and Mayor Tommy Rivers. The town has elections every two years and the positions are for four-year terms.

Group holds meeting to spur interest for local Boys and Girls Club

Twenty is a nice round number.

If the group gets the support it needs, then the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Carolina would be the 20th club of its kind opened in South Carolina.

"When the Boys and Girls Club of Southern Carolina becomes a reality - it will be the 20th," said Nancy Frost, a regional service director for the organization. Frost's region includes the currently 19 Boys and Girls Clubs in South Carolina and six in North Carolina.

Frost has been with the national office for 10 years.

Blackville school board passes budget without raising millage

Thanks to some federal stimulus dollars the Blackville-Hilda school district won't have to consider raising its millage.

The school board passed its third and final reading of the 2009-10 operating district budget during a June 23 meeting.

The general fund or operating budget is $5,720,162, said Donna Abbott, the financial director for the district.

"We know what the revenue is and that is where we keep out expenditures," said Abbott.

The budget covers salaries, supplies, benefits and travel, she said.

Barnwell 45 passes budget with cutbacks and furloughs

No more, no less.

The Barnwell 45 school board passed the district's fiscal year 2009-10 budget during its June 25 meeting showing expected expenditures at $16,877,707 with its total projected revenue at the same figure.

The expenditures include those covered by transferring money from the district's reserve fund to cover a shortfall from this past fiscal year. The shortfall was due to money cutbacks from the state education department because of the poor economic situation.

The district runs on a July 1 to June 30 fiscal calendar.

Barnwell County cuts budget; doesn't increase taxes

A cut county budget, no tax increase and a sigh of relief from most county workers were present when the Barnwell County Council unveiled its 2009-10 fiscal year budget.

The $13,041,520 budget calls for three county employee job cuts as well as no tax increase for county residents.

"But attempts will be made to put them (three employees) into other positions," said County Councilman Keith Sloan.

But Councilman Thomas Williams said since three county employees recently left their jobs and that requirement has been met.

Barnwell Rural firefighter honored for service

It was a time to relax and honor one of their own.

June 26, Barnwell Rural Fire Department, district 11, as they are commonly known, held their annual appreciation banquet.

With the meal, Fire Chief Jessie Elmore said the department wanted to thank the members of the department for their hard work and dedication. He also said this meal was more about thanking the spouses for their support.

Elmore said the department members could not do what they do without the support of their families.

The department currently has 28 members and was organized November 2005.

Barnwell parks getting ready for summer picnics

The city of Barnwell is nearing completion of several projects including two for city parks.

The first stage of the Lemon Park sports complex was completed earlier this spring in time for young athletes to swing their bats into a new season.

Now the city is nearing completion of another park renovation aimed at family fun.

Emily Randell, the parks and recreation director for the city of Barnwell, said most of the improvements have been completed at Fuller Park as well.

Those improvements include:

• new landscaping along the street side of the hill;

Williston police chief not seriously injured after hit-and-run

A Barnwell County law officer was injured in the line of duty while giving mutual assistance to a neighboring police department.

Williston Police Chief Roger Kaney was transported to Aiken Regional Hospital after being hit by a sport utility vehicle June 27.

The incident occurred in North Augusta where multiple departments joined forces to hold a traffic safety checkpoint.

The Williston Police department recently joined forces with Aiken County to provide those departments with support.

Hospital and rescue squad bring community and health together

Abbigal Capps really liked the "jumpaline."

Capps was one of the many children at the Barnwell County Hospital and the Williston Rescue Squad's "Family Health Care Day," June 27, from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the hospital.

Capps, 4, spent the morning bouncing around the inflatable jump house; snacking on tasty food; getting her face painted; and karaoke singing Taylor Swift's song, "Picture To Burn."

It was fun and education coupled with fostering community outreach that led the hospital and the rescue squad to teamup for the event.

Wooden shoes and grits: Dutch men learn some farming skills in Barnwell County

Their work boots were gouged with chips and splinters.

But then again, their shoes were wooden and shod the feet of two Dutch men.

Jelmer Albada (pronounced Yel-mar Al-ba-da) and Ties Ruigrok (pronounced T-eez Roo-grok) have been in Barnwell County since June 17 learning horse farming techniques as guests of Tommy and Cindy Flowers.

Albada, 26, and Ruigrok, 22, are students at Warmonderhof, an international agricultural school in the Netherlands that teaches "bio-dynamic" or green farming skills.

What comes forth on the Fourth?

The following offices will be closed July 3 to observe the July 4th holiday.

• All Barnwell County offices;

• Barnwell City hall;

• Blackville town hall;

• Williston town hall;

• The front office for the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office; and

• all local post offices.

This year, Barnwell County will celebrate with two events.

Barnwell County Arts Council will host the Fort Gordon Military Band at Veterans Memorial Park on July 3 at 7:30 p.m. Those attending should bring their own chairs or blankets.

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