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School receives playground equipment

Playground equipment is under construction at Macedonia Elementary School in Blackville thanks to efforts by local organizations.

Bishop George Burckhalter said the Barnwell County Ministerial Association started the effort two years ago when then-MES principal Dr. Carolyn Anderson made known the need.

“The playground equipment that was there was awful,” said Burckhalter. “It was rusty and falling apart. It was dangerous.”

Sigma Gamma Rho holding breast cancer awareness event on Oct. 28

October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month, which is an annual campaign to increase awareness of the disease. Sigma Gamma Rho Sorority, Incorporated is committed to providing education on early detection as well as research for the prevention and cure of breast, prostate, ovarian, colon, and other types of cancers.

DIG receives $150,000 grant

D.I.G. is excited to announce a nearly $150,000 grant for a 21st Century Community Learning Center in Williston.

The grant’s first year award provides for an afterschool program the entire 2017-2018 school year and overall will continue through the 2020-2021 school year.

“The grant highlights the fact that DIG will continue to be a key supporter of STEAM education in the CSRA and will continue to seek opportunities for the area,” said DIG President and Founder Steven Brown. “This also gives us an opportunity to elevate what we do in the future.”

Jerome Brown to premiere movie in Blackville on Oct. 14

D. Jerome Brown tackles the very real issue of domestic violence in his new film.

The 1984 graduate of Barnwell High School recently wrote, directed and starred in “To Love the Soul of a Woman”. A special premiere and meet and greet with the actors will be held on Saturday, Oct. 14 at 7 p.m. at the Blackville Community Center (19464 Solomon Blatt Avenue, Blackville).

Evelyn Frank stars in true crime television show

A Barnwell native is using her recent appearance on a television show to raise awareness about domestic violence.

Evelyn Frank, whose stage name is Evelyn LeTeshia, appeared in the Sept. 18 episode of the TV One true crime show “Fatal Attraction”. She played Sony Millbrook, a 28-year-old Memphis, Tenn. mother who was killed by her boyfriend, LaKeith Moody, in 2010.

‘Let’s Talk Month’ encourages parents to have open conversations

October is known as “Let’s Talk Month”. During this month parents are encouraged to have an open conversation with their children regarding love, sex, and relationships.

Starting age appropriate conversations early and into early adulthood will help young people make smarter decisions regarding their sexual health.

Parents are encouraged to listen to what the teen has to say without getting upset or judging. Believe it or not, these conversations will get easier the more often you have them.

Airport fire still under investigation

The cause of a Sept. 19 fire at the Barnwell Regional Airport is still being determined.

Pete Beck, chairman of the airport commission, said it may be weeks before a report is expected from the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division.

The fire started in the east end of one of three “T” hangers which can house 10 aircraft. Beck said there were 8 planes in the affected hanger and five were destroyed by the fire.

11 inducted into Blackville Schools Hall of Fame

The scenery at the Barnwell State Park Blatt Building on Saturday, September 30 was that of elegance, beauty and grace.

The room was stunningly decorated in black and white by Mary Minus-Jenkins as more than 200 guests dressed in their sparkly evening gowns and tuxedos to witness history in the making as the first 11 members of the Blackville Public Schools Alumni Association (BPSAA) Hall of Fame were inducted.

Plant Vogtle to conduct siren test Thursday, Oct. 12

The Vogtle Electric Generating Plant will conduct the annual test of its emergency notification system Thursday, Oct. 12 beginning at 7 p.m. All 47 sirens and residents’ weather alert radios located within a 10-mile radius of the plant will be activated. The test is not a cause for concern and requires no public action.

Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc. expanding in Blackville

Augusta Fiberglass Coatings, Inc., the nation’s leading manufacturer of custom fiberglass reinforced plastic (FRP) equipment, will expand their operations in Blackville, investing $625,000 and adding 12 jobs.

The expansion will include the construction of a 12,000-square-foot building, increasing Augusta Fiberglass’s manufacturing capacity at its Blackville facility, where there are currently 230 employed in manufacturing fiberglass products for customers from around the world.

Dr. Dean returns as Williston District 29 interim superintendent

A familiar face is returning to help guide Williston District 29 through another transitional period.

Dr. Everette “Rette” M. Dean Jr. was hired as the district’s interim superintendent during a special meeting on September 27. The action came one week after the resignation of Dr. Missoura Ashe, who was placed on administrative leave by the board’s chairwoman and vice-chairman on August 31. Ashe had been superintendent since March 2015 but

County Council approves 2018 millage rates

The Barnwell County Council approved the 2018 tax millage during their Sept.19 meeting. Councilman Freddie Houston, representing the finance committee, proposed acceptance of the millage resolution.

The millage will be:

Barnwell County Operations and Debt Service – 147 mills and Barnwell County Career Center – 24 mills.

Those in the rural areas will have also Rural Fire Protection – 11 mills and Public Safety – 4.

Those living in School District 19 have 236.77 mills; in District 29 – 220.84 mills and District 45 – 224 mills.

Balloon release memorializes Infant Mortality Month

Black balloons were launched into a bright blue sky on Wednesday, Sept. 27, memorializing and honoring babies who could not be there.

The event, sponsored by Family Solutions of the Lowcountry, was to remember infants who were born but did not survive to their first birthday. Infant Mortality Month is observed each September but is a year-long effort. According to 2015 data accrued by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC), there were 402 babies born in South Carolina who died before their first birthday.

Donations sent to Florida victims

Energy Solutions in Snelling has sent Hurricane Irma relief items to storm victims in Florida.

Curtis Charlton of the company said the tractor trailer was about half full when it left Monday morning. It was first headed to Orangeburg to pick up additional supplies and then is destined for a Red Cross facility in Florida.

The company sponsored the relief effort shortly after Hurricane Irma stormed up the Florida peninsula and left many areas flooded or impacted by the winds. Energy Solutions reached out to the community to help fill the container with supplies.

Remembering Barnwell’s Lamplighter, ‘Miss Martha’

The year was 1999 when I received a phone call from Reverend Posey Belcher; he asked a favor of me. It seems as if Posey was spearheading the celebration of Barnwell’s bicentennial in 2000, and he needed someone to furnish this newspaper with one article per month for that particular year.

Try as I may, I couldn’t help but accommodate my friend. You see, Posey was a Baptist minister, and he had buried most of the members of our Holland family; we were all Methodist. So, Posey had made me an offer I couldn’t refuse.

D19 states new vision

Barnwell District 19 has revised its mission statement, vision statement and core beliefs.

The updates were done with the help of community feedback as the district prepares for reaccreditation through AdvancED next spring. The changes were unanimously approved, although board member Ethel Faust was not in attendance.

Since AdvancED is a “continuous improvement model”, D19 Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson said they made changes “based off our needs and where we are headed.”

Miller receives Congressional Bronze Medal

A Barnwell teen has been awarded the Congressional Bronze Medal Award.

Harrison Miller, an eleventh grader at Barnwell High School, received the award on August 8 from U.S. Rep. Joe Wilson during a presentation in front of the Barnwell County Courthouse.

“I am so grateful to see Harrison’s passion for community service and teamwork. He serves as an excellent example for his peers, and I know he will only continue to achieve amazing accomplishments in his future,” said Wilson, whose District 2 includes Barnwell County.

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