Local car deal leads to Honduras

A local auto dealer's good deed toward two people will in turn be multiplied to eventually help hundreds of people.

Michael Nix of Whittle Motor Company in Williston got a call from Sam Turnipseed asking about available vehicles for a foundation in which Turnipseed and his wife, Roxanne volunteer.

The foundation, Honduras Agape Foundation, was in need of a vehicle for their mission work in Honduras, Turnipseed said.

Turnipseed said after talking with Nix, he offered to sell the vehicle, a seven-passenger Ford Expedition, to the Turnipseeds at a price, "well below his cost."

Jefferson Davis starts graduation season with its Class of 2009

Jefferson Davis Academy started off the season of graduations this year when it graduated 16 students May 25.

This was the 44th graduating class from the private school located in Blackville.

All the graduates have been accepted into colleges or technical schools, said Tommy Taylor, the assistant headmaster and the senior class advisor.

A crowd of about 160 parents, friends and family attended to see the Class of 2009 close out their high school years.

"We made our memories here," said salutatorian Mary Grayson Garrick Creech in her address.

Fallen, but not forgotten, heroes: Blackville

A field of white crosses adorned with American flags stand in line marking those lost in war.

Each year, communities across the nation come together to remember and honor those who have fought for freedom and in doing so paid the ultimate price.

This year was no different.

Residents from the young to those who have celebrated many Memorial Days came together at their own Flanders Field in Blackville May 25 to honor those lost.

State and local elected officials were on hand to honor those soldiers.

S.C. Rep. Lonnie Hosey was the speaker for the service.

Fallen, but not forgotten heroes in Barnwell

For many, Memorial Day is a day of fishing poles, boats, picnics or meals on outdoor grills.

However, for others, the day was one of flowers, wreaths, service personnel in uniform, dog tags and remembrances.

In Barnwell, Salkehatchie Chapter 828, the local unit of the Vietnam Veterans of America, held its Memorial Day services at Veterans Memorial Park May 25.

Two themes were repeated during the ceremony: "Freedom isn't free," and "All gave some; some gave all."

The ceremony was attended by about 60 people.

Literary landscapes decorate BHS media center shelves

The books sitting on top of the shelves of the Barnwell High School media center span the landscape of modern American literature and invite even the most hardcore book-hater to open them.

Colorful editions of "Ordinary People," " The Color Purple," "The Great Gatsby," "Catch-22," and others by American scribes catch the eye as one enters the center.

Frances Eubanks, an eleventh grade English teacher who teaches honors and college prep courses, has her students design the covers.

True grit: Dredging uncovers more artifacts from Topper site

A dredge is a piece of water equipment that used to clear out or deepen channels in rivers and waterways.

However, for the archaeologists at the Topper site in Allendale County, the dredge is helping deepen their understanding of the prehistory native Americans that lived in this area.

During much of the year, the historical site has relatively little activity; its excavations covered by tarps.

Literary landscapes decorate BHS media center shelves

The books sitting on top of the shelves of the Barnwell High School media center span the landscape of modern American literature and invite even the most hardcore book-hater to open them.

Colorful editions of "Ordinary People," " The Color Purple," "The Great Gatsby," "Catch-22," and others by American scribes catch the eye as one enters the center.

Frances Eubanks, an eleventh grade English teacher who teaches honors and college prep courses, has her students design the covers.

New city hall hits roof with recycling

Barnwell's city hall will be complete in August and the building, which is over 100 years old, has been receiving a facelift. The building will be a little greener - but not in color.

Chris Pritchard said some of the improvements will make the building more energy efficient. Pritchard is with Query-Pritchard Construction of Barnwell, the contractor in charge of those renovations.

One improvement is the tiles, which line the roof instead of shingles.

The old tiles were made of clay and not very energy efficient.

Blackville fire chief resigns

The Blackville fire department is no longer under the supervision of its long-time fire chief.

During the regular meeting of the Blackville Town Council May 18, Mayor Jackie Holman told the town council that Fire Chief Charles Epps had resigned.

Before the announcement Holman said he wanted to "clarify a rumor."

Holman said there had been a rumor that Epps had been fired.

That rumor was false, Holman said.

The mayor said he had a meeting with the fire department last week over some "important issues."

No word on hospital bond from Council yet

Barnwell County Council is considering the merits of Barnwell County Hospital getting a special revenue bond to pay off its debt.

During the May 5 meeting, council passed first reading of a resolution and ordinance for the hospital to secure up to a $4,000,000 bond based on the hospital's revenue and financial status.

Despite council passing the two measures, they are moving ahead with extreme caution and asking questions before deciding on any type of commitment or amount.

Death penalty may stalk Barnwell man

HAMPTON - Duffie Stone, the 14th Circuit Solicitor, announced Monday, May 17 that his office would seek the death penalty for at least one of the subjects charged in the 2007 slaying of Lena store owner Ronnie H. Wooten, Sr.

Lena is a small community in Hampton County.

Joseph Davis, 27, of Southgate Trailer Park, U.S. 278, Barnwell, formerly of Route 1, Box 11A, Estill, was arraigned on charges of murder, armed robbery and burglary in connection with the Wooten case during an appearance in general sessions court in Hampton County May 17.

SouthernCarolina gala toasts industry and education connections

What was seemed like a gala gathering at the USC-Salkehatchie campus May 12 had a serious message for attendees to digest with their buffet - the need for an educated workforce.

The event was the annual regional celebration of SouthernCarolina Alliance, a regional development collaboration among Barnwell, Allendale, Bamberg and Hampton counties. Attendees were a mix of politicians, county administrators, economic development leaders, industry representatives and educators who were treated to a gourmet meal of heavy hors d'oeuvres.

County bucks state trend with lower teen pregnancy levels

Forrest Alton enjoyed not just his dinner at the Winton Inn, but took delight in knowing Barnwell County is an area where his message has been heard.

"Barnwell County is one of the 12 counties in South Carolina that has seen a decrease in teen pregnancy," he said. "Change doesn't happen in Columbia - it happens right here."

May is National Teen Pregnancy Awareness Month and Alton - the executive director of the South Carolina Campaign to Prevent Teen Pregnancy - is taking his message on the road.

Williston works on its abandoned properties; increases tap fees

The town of Williston is moving forward with cleaning up abandoned properties inside the town limits.

Currently the town of Williston has notified property owners for property located on Harper Street. The propery is owned by the Lion family.

Town administrator, Scott Neely said the current owners have contacted the town to say they are in the process of selling the property.

Neely said the town would wait a couple of weeks to see if the sale goes through before proceeding with the actions to have the property cleaned up.

Mark IV files Chapter 11 petition

Mark IV Automotive, the corporation that includes Dayco Products, a manufacturer of automotive belts and hoses, has filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

Dayco has a production plant in Williston. It employs approximately 175 people.

On April 30, Mark IV made voluntary filings or petitions for bankruptcy for 18 of its business subsidiaries, one of which is Dayco. The filings were done in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in the Southern District of New York.

Full circle

The tragedy of a young girl and the community that pulled together to help her have come full circle as a dream becomes concrete.

Although its been open for about eight months, May 8 marked the official dedication of the Crystal Jenkins Memorial Track in Blackville behind Macedonia Elementary School.

Crystal Jenkins was a seven year old Blackville girl who was born with liver problems.

County to get cash for road improvements

Barnwell County is getting a little more cash to put into its pot for paving potholes and smoothing roads.

As part of the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, the county is getting about $963,000 more than expected in federal stimulus dollars, according to a press release from the South Carolina Department of Transportation.

Some of that money will be used to cut traffic congestion at the Five Points corner in Barnwell where S.C. 3, S.C. 64 and Fuller Street converge.

Prayers lifted up in county

Just as the slow economy has been a topic in the news locally and nationally, it has been a feature in another conversation as well - prayer.

During the 58th observance of the National Day of Prayer May 7, the economy and its ailing condition had prayers lifted up on its behalf.

Barnwell County had two events to mark the National Day of Prayer. The Barnwell event occurred at noon with about 45 people gathered around the sundial near the courthouse to hear several preachers invoke God's help and blessings on governments, businesses, schools, the military and the media.

Layoffs spur surge in adult education classes

The faltering economy has slowed commerce down for many businesses, but not for Bamberg-Barnwell Adult Education.

"We've really seen an influx of people who need a GED to get a job," said Joye Hallman, the director of the center. "In Barnwell, we have probably seen a 20 percent increase in class size here."

A GED is a general equivalency diploma, which is the equivalent of a high school diploma for people who dropped out of school.

Hallman expects the center will get busier still.

Two days, two traffic deaths in Allendale County

Two men died in Allendale County within as many days - both in catastrophic wrecks.

A man was killed in the Allendale town limits after being hit by a train April 30.

Just the day before in an unrelated incident, a fiery wreck left one man dead on S.C. 125 April 29 after his car was involved in a head-on collision with a tractor-trailer truck.

The victim of the train accident was identified as William Henry Robinson by Allendale County deputy coroner Keith Smith.

Smith said Robinson was 74 or 75 years old.


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