News

Dixie-Narco to double its plant size

It was a "double or nothing" roll of the economic dice and for Barnwell County, it came up on the winning side.

After months of local news of plant closings, furloughed employees and budget cutbacks due to the ailing national economy, Barnwell County, especially Williston, has news of an industry expansion it can welcome.

Crane Corp., the Stamford, Conn.-based company that owns Dixie-Narco, is folding the operations of its St. Louis, Mo. manufacturing plant into its plant in Williston.

Center to open and aid unemployed

Taking a proactive response to Barnwell County's declining economic conditions, the Lower Savannah Council on Government's Workforce Development will be opening a transition center for dislocated workers.

The recent announcements that Allied Air, Milliken and Hanesbrands are closing will eventually claim about 770 area jobs.

But Monday, March 16, at Denmark Technical College satellite, 10370 Ellenton St., Barnwell, a transition center will open its doors to help the unemployed or soon- to-be-unemployed.

Former Barnwell musician keeps on tubin' with PBS special

From Bourbon Street to Carnegie Hall - from the Kennedy Center to the Circle in Barnwell, this band has played in many spots on the globe.

And the band is under the direction of a local.

R. Winston Morris, orignally from Barnwell, founded the Tennessee Technological University Tuba Ensemble and has directed the "Tubas of Mass Destruction" for 42 years.

He has also written several books on tubas. The tuba ensemble in 2006 released its 20th compact disc recording.

Now Morris can add starring in a documentary to his list of accolades.

Hospital gets two gifts from Duke Endowment

Some healthy financial news for the Barnwell County Hospital has arrived in the form of two Duke Endowment grants.

Hospital CEO Mary Wisner said during a March 3 Barnwell County Council meeting the hospital was notified it would get two Duke Endowment grants it applied for last year.

One of the grants will help cut the time significately that it takes for the psychiatric screening and evaluation of patients, Wisner said.

Nursing home makes plans to rehabilitate profits

The Barnwell County Nursing and Rehabilitation Center is hoping to step up its rehabilitative services.

With the addition of 16 beds being added to it in the future - the facility can offer more physical, occupational and speech therapy services for Barnwell County residents and turn a healthy profit.

An architectural floor plan by the Lexington-based CMJW of the 16-bed 9,650- square-foot addition were previewed at the March 3 Barnwell County Council meeting.

Barnwell 45 school district gets clean audit, but finds there is no free lunch

"There is no free lunch."

That old adage came back to the Barnwell 45 school district as independent auditors gave a review of its findings to the Barnwell 45 school board during its Feb. 26 meeting.

The Greenwood-based auditing firm of Elliott Davis gave the district a clean, unqualified opinion for its fiscal year that ended June 3, 2008, meaning that the auditors did not find any deliberate or intentional misrepresentation of the district's financial records.

School board candidates offer varying talents: Zionkowski has business savvy

Pete Zionkowski wants to apply the same traits he learned in his decades of working in the business world to the Barnwell 45 school district.

That's why he is running for the Barnwell 45 school board.

One seat - now occupied by Jeff Still - is open on the five-member board. Still decided not to seek another term. The election is April 14.

With 40 years experience in project and personnel management, Zionkowski feels the same methods can solve some of the district's problems. Zionkowski, 66, retired Feb. 1 from Bechtel, the construction contractor at the Savannah River Site.

School board candidates offer varying talents: Sexton learned duty in military

It seems that duty doesn't come hard to Abraham Sexton, especially after more than 26 years in the military.

Now Sexton, 64, wants to fulfill another duty - to the children of Barnwell 45 school district.
That's why he is running for school board.

One seat - now occupied by Jeff Still - is open on the five-member board. Still decided not to seek another term. The election is April 14.

"My main purpose is to see where I can help these children," Sexton said.

Children are what the district should be built around, he said.

IGA: In Groceries Again

The store has been restocked.

Since the Piggly-Wiggly grocery store closed in Barnwell in 2007, there had not been a grocery store on the north side of town for residents.

Until now.

IGA (Independent Grocers Alliance) opened its own grocery store in the former Piggly-Wiggly on Marlboro Avenue.

With a swipe of shears by Barnwell Mayor Ed Lemon and a prayer by the Rev. Harris Barker, the store's grand opening was underway March 2 as curious shoppers crowded the aisles of the 22,000-square-foot grocery store.

Blackville town council votes to close establishment

Blackville Town Council and Mayor Jackie Holman made a motion to temporarily close an establishment, Washington's Party Shop, at the end of the month, until the town gets some clarification from the state as to what type of establishment can be at that location.

These are two separate establishments in the same building, said Police Chief John Holston.

Barnwell starts refunds to city residents

Residents in Barnwell should be seeing refunds in the mail - not from the federal government, but the city.

The refunds, some smaller than one dollar, were created because the city erroneously charged the wrong millage for the 2007 tax year, City Adminstrator John Zawacki said.

Property was reassessed and the millage was supposed to be rolled back, he said.

The roll back did not occur, Zawacki said.

The error was discovered when the city prepared its annual budget. Plans were made to correct the error, he said.

Federal stimulus package may create more jobs at SRS

Savannah River Site could receive up to $1.9 billion - and create as many as 3,000 jobs - from Obama's $787 billion economic stimulus package.

According to a U.S. Department of Energy document that breaks down the $6 billion in environmental-management money included in the 1,100-page bill, SRS is second highest in terms of dollars and potential job creation.

The breakdown was distributed this week to selected officials with the Energy Communities Alliance, a national nonprofit organization of local governments and economic development groups that are near nuclear weapon sites.

Family's quilt becomes its own flag of honor

Usually memories are held together by tiny snapshots in one's mind. This time the memories are threaded together by tiny stitches - as in a quilt.

Years ago, women family members got together to piece together remnants of dresses and shirts to put together beautiful, but practical quilts.

One family still carries on the tradition of quilting.

Jeanette Still and some family members got together recently for a day filled with plenty of stitches and lots of good food.

Hospital promotes Wisner to CEO

The Barnwell County Hospital has a new chief executive officer and it's someone the board knows well.

Mary Wisner - who has been the hospital's interim CEO and the former head of nursing - was named permanent CEO at a Feb. 26 hospital board meeting.

Wisner said the news was unexpected and the position is a "great honor."

"I think she was doing such a good job as interim CEO, that the board thought she would make a great permanent CEO," said Al Altman, chief financial officer for BCH.

Wisner has been the interim CEO since former CEO Bob Waters retired in January.

Bombs seized in county

Authorities seized and safely detonated two pipe bombs that a Williston man had constructed in his home last week.

On Feb. 17, police from the S.C. State Law Enforcement Division, the Barnwell County Sheriff's Office as well as members of the Williston Fire Department and Williston Rescue Squad were on hand as the situation was defused without harm to any people or property.

Deputies from the sheriff's office discovered two gunpowder-based pipe bombs at the home of David Ray Waddell, 50, of 10371 S.C. 39 in Williston, said Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll.

Orangeburg wreck claims two Barnwell County lives

A Feb 17 fatal crash claimed the lives of two Barnwell County residents - a mother and daughter - on S.C. 70 in Orangeburg County.

Diane Bosier, 48, of Blackville, a passenger and Sherell Donaldson, 27, also of Blackville, the driver, were both airlifted to Palmetto Richland Hospital in Columbia.

Bosier died Feb. 17 of blunt force trauma, Orangeburg County Deputy Coroner Sean Fogle said.

Donaldson died on Feb. 22 from injuries received in the crash.

IGA grocery to open in Barnwell

Residents on the east side of town will now have a grocery store of their own.

Dale Fennell, the owner, will open his new IGA store on March 2 at 7 a.m.

The building formerly housed the Piggly Wiggly grocery store but has sat empty for nearly two and one-half years, Fennell said.

The building has been remodeled including a fresh coat of paint, new ceiling and light fixtures and even some wall changes.

The IGA will be a full service store, Fennell said.

Lawsuit argues for South Carolina's fair share of water

Days after a drought response committee declared all of South Carolina at some level of drought, the state attorney general warned Barnwell County residents that the state is in danger of drying out from a man-made cause too.

State Attorney General Henry McMaster spoke at the quarterly Barnwell County Republican meeting Feb. 23 about the "water war" lawsuit that South Carolina is having with North Carolina.

The outcome of this litigation could have ramifications on how Georgia and South Carolina share water from the Savannah River to the west of Barnwell County in the future.

Barnwell farmer provides field for gleaning to hungry

Barnwell County was "gleaned" over the weekend and many local people received the benefit of the bounty.

Debbie Riley coordinated the gleaning for the Gleaning Network, and organization that connects with local farmers to "glean" or harvest their produce fields after regular hargest to get the food for distribution to the hungry.

Riley jumped into action and called local Lions Club members to volunteer for the gleaning of Emmett Black's field on S.C. 70, just outside of Barnwell.

Black donated a field full of collard greens.

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