News

Lisa Ferguson named Teacher of Year for Orangeburg school

A Barnwell resident was recently named Teacher of the Year for an Orangeburg County school.

Lisa Ferguson is the 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year for the STAR (Students Taking Alternative Routes) Center for Learning in Cope. She is in her third year at the STAR Center for Learning where she teaches sixth through eighth grade math, but previously taught for 18 years at Barnwell District 45.

“It lets you know you’re doing a great job,” said Ferguson, who says she was “humbled” to receive the award.

Williston church holding vendor fair to raise money for food pantry

A Williston Gift & Craft Fair will be held on Saturday, Nov. 18 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Winfield Heights Baptist Church’s Eddie Yelton Building (315 Chester St., Williston).

Admission is free, but all proceeds from raffles, concessions and booth fees will be donated to local organizations that assist those in need.

In addition to a variety of vendors, there will also be a bounce house, concessions, raffles and entertainment.

Community soup kitchen opening in December

Barnwell’s homeless and other financially-strapped residents will soon have a place to eat.

The community has been without a soup kitchen since Barnwell Presbyterian Church closed the Legion Center Ministry Soup Kitchen on April 28 due to financial reasons. However, First Baptist Church of Barnwell is organizing a new soup kitchen with the assistance of several other churches and organizations.

Towns, county to meet Nov. 16

The Barnwell County Council and the mayors from the municipalities of Barnwell, Blackville and Williston are slated to sit down this week and talk. The topic of discussion is the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission (EDC) and Corporation.

Council Chairman Lowell Jowers confirmed this week the meeting will be held on Thursday, Nov. 16 at the Barnwell County Library – “a neutral site”.

“It is just the mayors and council, no attorneys present,” said Jowers. “We want to sit down like gentlemen and try to get this thing settled and start working again.”

Election brings changes to Williston Town Council

Two new faces will soon join the Williston Town Council.

Eric Moody (244 votes) was the only incumbent to win re-election during the Nov. 7 Williston Town Council election. Dwayne Cagle did not receive enough votes while Kevin Wall did not file for re-election. Taking their places will be newcomers Annie Smalls Tyler (371 votes) and Kurt J. Odermatt (174).

Results for the other three candidates are: Dwayne Cagle (149 votes), Nigel E. Abner (139) and Tim Scott (114).

8-year-old Barnwell boy dies from injuries following Aiken wreck

An 8-year-old child succumbed Monday to injuries he suffered in an traffic accident along Old Barnwell Road in Aiken County this weekend.

Javion Hayward of Barnwell died Monday morning, Nov. 13 at Augusta University Medical Center from the traumatic injuries he sustained from a two-vehicle crash Saturday morning at Cedar Road in Windsor, according to an Aiken County Coroner’s Office news release

Smithsonian traveling exhibition about rural America coming to Barnwell Museum

In 1900, about 40 percent of Americans lived in rural areas. By 2010, less than 18 percent of the U.S. population lived in rural areas.

In just over a century, massive economic and social changes moved millions of Americans into urban areas. Still, nearly 60 million Americans live in rural areas, and the United States needs vibrant and sustainable rural communities.

EDC receives ‘clean’ audit report

The Barnwell County Economic Development Corporation and Commission received a “clean opinion” of its finances following an annual audit for fiscal year ending June 30, 2017.

The annual audit was presented to the EDC on Oct. 30 by Lorie Salley of the accounting firm McGregor & Company.

Salley noted that the net position of the Corporation is down $566,446 from the previous year but $382,040 of that is depreciation of the EDC’s property.

The corporation’s net position in 2017 was $10,298,000 compared to $10,854,000 in 2016.

Nana’s Flowers & Gifts opens in Barnwell

A Barnwell couple is hoping their new business will blossom near downtown Barnwell.

Nana’s Flowers & Gifts opened at 39 Franklin Street on Oct. 30. It is owned by Lynnette Carroll who has worked in the floral industry for 14 years.

“We’ve always had a dream of working for ourselves. She can make anything,” said Todd Carroll of his wife.

They use real and silk flowers to create centerpieces and arrangements. She also creates wreaths out of flowers and ribbons. The shop also sells live plants and hanging baskets.

Restaurant serves taste of Caribbean & soul

A Barnwell native is serving up a mix of soul food and Caribbean inspired dishes at his restaurant.

Tim Sanders was riding around with his mom one day when he wanted soul food; however, he couldn’t find any in Barnwell County. This led him to open Taste of Caribbean & Soul (also known as Barnwell Caribbean) approximately two and a half years ago at 12879 Highway 278 in Barnwell.

“I’m trying to do something different,” he said.

BHS launches youth apprenticeship program

Barnwell School District 45 is excited to announce the creation of a youth apprenticeship program through a partnership with Swiss Krono and Apprenticeship Carolina.

As the first registered youth apprenticeship program in the county, it provides students with opportunities to connect classroom experiences and knowledge to career-based internships. The youth apprenticeships are possible for both juniors and seniors.

Allendale bus drivers rehired after boycott

A boycott by some Allendale County school bus drivers has led to a few changes.

Rumors circulated on Friday, Oct. 27 that bus drivers were planning to boycott. Interim Superintendent Dr. Walter Tobin said he spoke with the bus driver supervisor on Sunday, Oct. 29 about the status of the boycott, but did not receive a “definitive response” from the drivers. However, eight drivers were unaccounted for on Monday, Oct. 30.

“Upon arrival at Allendale-Fairfax High School at 5:30 a.m. only five bus drivers were on duty. The others had abandoned the workplace,” said Tobin.

Fire destroys mobile home

A mobile home fire left one person in Blackville homeless last week.

Firefighters from the Blackville and Hilda fire departments were dispatched to a mobile home on Solomon Blatt Avenue on Wednesday, Nov. 8 around 11:30 p.m. for a structure fire.

“It was already fully engulfed and nearly gone by the time the first firefighters got there,” said Blackville Fire Chief James Haskins.

Firefighters extinguished the fire, which also burned some surrounding grass and trees.

Two juveniles arrested for bomb threat

Two juveniles have been arrested in connection to a bomb threat that led to the evacuation of Blackville-Hilda High and Middle schools on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll said his office was notified at 12:56 p.m. of the threat of a bomb at the high school. He said the threat was called into the school, but declined to give further details of the call.

Bomb threat at Blackville-Hilda High School under investigation

Students and faculty from Blackville-Hilda High and Middle Schools were evacuated Wednesday, Nov. 15 following a bomb threat.

Barnwell County Sheriff Ed Carroll said a call came in to the school between 12:56 and 12:59 p.m. of the threat of a bomb at the high school. He declined to give further details of the call or the caller as it is an active investigation.

3 meetings slated this week for County Council

The Barnwell County Council will meet three times this week.

The first is a special called meeting on Tuesday, Nov. 14 at 3 p.m. in Council chambers. The only item on the agenda is a closed session to discuss a “personnel matter related to the museum”.

Later, at 6 p.m., the council will hold its regularly scheduled monthly meeting in council chambers. The agenda includes a letter of support for SRP Credit Union ATM in Blackville. It also includes a closed session for four items:

Former superintendent still being paid by District 29

Williston District 29 is now paying the salaries and benefits for two superintendents.

Dr. Missoura Ashe resigned as superintendent on Sept. 20, three weeks after being placed on paid administrative leave. However, the settlement agreement she reached with the board states her voluntary resignation won’t take place until March 31, 2018.

Emergency drill scheduled Nov. 15

There will be lots of lights and sirens in Barnwell County on November 15 but residents are not to worry – it is only a drill.

Barnwell County Emergency Management Director Roger Riley said South Carolina will be holding a full-scale disaster exercise that day. While the statewide exercise will simulate a mass power and communications outage, the Midlands Region will simulate an earthquake at a local high school resulting in mass casualties.

Toys for Tots returns to Barnwell Co.

A local veterans organization and a Bamberg County family are teaming up to provide toys for children this holiday season.

The Barnwell County Leathernecks, a Marine Corps League chapter, is working with Deanna Berry of Denmark to bring the Marine Corps “Toys for Tots” to Barnwell and five area counties.

The Leathernecks have wanted to start a Toys for Tots project locally for a while, says Bud Bazemore and Nigel Abner, members of the Marine Corps League.

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