News

Lambert retires from Farm Service Agency

Randy Lambert has retired from the Farm Service Agency (FSA) after 40 years of service.

Lambert had been the county executive director for the Barnwell County FSA office since August 1980 after previously working a few years in the Marion and Florence offices. He later took over for the Allendale County office, too, before the two offices merged a few years ago after the closure of the Allendale office.

Teen burned in house fire

A 13-year-old girl was injured during a fire that damaged her family’s home last week.

Evelyn Ford’s house at 80 Brown Street caught fire around 7:50 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 12, although she was in Aiken visiting a relative at the time. However, some of her relatives, who also lived there, were home.

Williston bank raising money for breast cancer patients

First Citizens Bank of Williston is raising money to help those with breast cancer.

Pink boots are set up at each teller’s counter to collect monetary donations. All funds raised will go to SOS Lowcountry, an organization that seeks to enhance the quality of life for breast cancer patients in South Carolina.

“Our mission is to honor the spirit of Suzy McGrane by raising money and resources to assist and support breast cancer patients from diagnosis to remission,” according to the organization’s website.

‘Love’ is main ingredient at Lee’s Soul Food & Catering

Sometimes food is all about the love.

It’s the love of family, friends and a passion for cooking.

All that can be found at Lee’s Soul Food & Catering, a family owned and operated restaurant that has been open for just over two months in Barnwell.

A sign on the wall states “Love is the best ingredient” and is the motto behind the Lee/Young family’s efforts.

Not only does the menu offer traditional “soul” food of fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, collard greens and field peas (just to name a few), the Lee family also seeks to offer “food for the soul”.

Gertrude Aldrich celebrates 100th birthday

In her 100 years of life, Gertrude Vessie Morris Aldrich has never stopped learning or let life get her down.

The former Williston resident celebrated her 100th birthday on Sunday, September 17, 2017 at the home of her son and daughter-in-law, Larry and Brenda Aldrich, in Williston. Dozens of her family and friends were in attendance.

“She is still just as spry as she’s always been,” said Larry Aldrich of his mother, who now resides at Harbor Chase, an assisted living home in Aiken.

Fall Fest coming Oct. 19

The Barnwell Development Association and the City of Barnwell Parks and Recreation will host the annual Fall Fest on The Circle on Thursday, Oct. 19 from 5 to 7 p.m.

“There will be lots of fun for everyone,” said City of Barnwell Community Development Director Lynn McEwen. “Gary Brantley will DJ favorite songs, there will be a costume contest for children ages 12 and under, mini-pumpkin painting, games for the kids and more.”

She said Boy Scout Troop 392 will be offering hot dogs for sale as fundraiser. Other organizations will also have booths.

County Council updated on SRNS, roads, ED site

Updates on the Savannah River Site, road improvements and the regional emergency department highlighted the Barnwell County Council meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 9.

Stuart MacVean, president and CEO of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, said SRNS currently has 5,500 employees. “We make up about half of the total site population,” said MacVean.

The Savannah River Site includes nearly 57 percent of the landmass of Barnwell County.

MacVean said the economic impact for SRNS on Barnwell County is $48.4 million.

Walters named D29 Teacher of the Year

Thirty-one years of dedicated service to students and athletes equaled a big honor for a long-time Williston-Elko educator.

Bernard Walters was named the Williston District 29 Teacher of the Year on Oct. 10 during a special celebration that also honored Kelly Edwards Elementary School Teacher of the Year Alyson Collins and Williston-Elko Middle School Teacher of the Year Samantha Wright. Each teacher of the year was selected by their peers before a group of judges named the district winner.

D19 board approves two makeup days

Two school make-up days have been designated by the District 19 School Board at their Oct. 9 regular meeting.

Board members Ethel Faust, Sharon McClary, and Karen Jowers voted to designate November 1 and March 23 as make-up dates for days missed due to recent hurricanes.

District Superintendent Dr. Shawn Johnson proposed the two dates which were unanimously approved by the three attending board members. Chairman Carroll Priester was absent due to the death of her husband.

Allendale native named top teacher at Spartanburg High School

An Allendale native was recently named Spartanburg High School’s 2017-2018 Teacher of the Year.

Carmilla V. Williams, the youngest daughter of Stephanie Williams-Rouse and Ronnie D. Jackson, said she seeks to equip and inspire students to live “meaningful lives of leadership and service as world citizens.” This includes embodying the values of District 7 and Spartanburg High School—tradition, excellence, innovation, hope, engagement, well-being, and valuing relationships.

Dollar General robbed in Blackville

No one was injured during an armed robbery of the Dollar General store in Blackville on Friday morning.

"At 9:20 a.m. a suspect entered the building dressed in a black hoodie with his face covered with what is believed to be a bandana," said Blackville Police Chief John Holston of the Oct. 13 incident.

The suspect, who is believed to be a Hispanic male, went to the office where the manager and a cashier were. He held them at knifepoint and demanded money.

Some garbage fees to rise temporarily

Garbage disposal fees from local providers may go up temporarily as a result of the repair of Barnwell County’s transfer station and transportation issues while it is being repaired.

Barnwell County’s solid waste transfer station was scheduled for major repairs earlier this year before it was finally destroyed by a tornado in January, according to County Administrator Pickens Williams Jr. He said the station is expected to be closed from Oct. 23 through Dec. 24 while it is being rebuilt.

Audio conflicts former superintendent’s story

An audio recording does not back up the story provided by a former Williston superintendent about why her tape recorder was found hidden in her secretary’s office.

On August 31, Debbie McNeil, the long-time superintendent’s secretary for Williston District 29, discovered a tape recorder propped up against the back of her typewriter. It was on and recording,

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.

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