D45 school board honored; goals reviewed

A table full of gifts and a video by Barnwell Elementary students charmed members of the Barnwell District 45 School Board on Thursday, Jan. 11.

The gifts and serenade were to thank the board members during National School Board Appreciation Month.

Barnwell Elementary School students recorded a video of them singing “Hand to Hand, Heart to Heart”, which was played at the board meeting.

“We want to thank you for your commitment to our schools,” said Superintendent Crissie Stapleton. “We thank you for each and every day.”

Barnwell County Council approves zoning ordinance updates, sale of timber

The sale of timber in the Blackville Industrial Park and second reading on an updated county zoning ordinance were among the actions approved by the Barnwell County Council.

The council took the votes on Tuesday, Jan. 9 during their regular monthly meeting.

Council chairman Lowell Jowers said there were around eight changes to the zoning ordinance, “mostly correcting typos and wording – nothing of significance.”

McMaster, Grubbs announce engagement

Mr. and Mrs. James Fleming McMaster III of Barnwell are proud to announce the engagement and forthcoming marriage of their daughter, Ashley Sloan McMaster, to Samuel Len Grubbs. He is the son of Mr. Michael Grubbs and Mrs. Jennifer King of Barnwell.

The bride-elect is a 2013 graduate of USC-Aiken with a B.S. degree in nursing. She is currently employed at the Allendale County Hospital.

The groom-elect is a 2012 graduate of USC-Beaufort with a B.S. degree in business. He is a self-employed farmer.

The wedding is planned for April 21, 2018 in Barnwell.

SRNS finds success in streamlining hiring

With nearly 550 new hires in 2017 and an average age of employee that has dropped by six years to 48, the multi-year effort by Savannah River Nuclear Solutions (SRNS) to address anticipated retirements has begun to bear fruit.

“We have put a strong emphasis on making sure that we inform, inspire and reward our workforce as we build for the future,” SRNS President Stuart MacVean said. “We are focused not only on new hires, but also retention of our employees and supporting them as they grow.”

Warhorses out-gun Tigers in region play

The Barnwell High boys varsity basketball team was hitting on all cylinders on the road Friday night in its 67-64 region win over Allendale-Fairfax High.

The Tigers, who trailed by as much as 18 points in the contest, mounted a furious fourth quarter to narrow the score at the end.

For the Warhorses, balanced scoring was the blueprint to victory as the team had a season-high four players scoring in double figures.

BHHS girls overwhelm North, 76-14

On Tuesday night in the Hawks’ Nest, the Blackville-Hilda High girls basketball team put on an impressive performance in their 76-14 rout of region rival North High.

The game was so lopsided that Blackville-Hilda High’s 18-point first quarter was more offense than North High produced for the entire game.

Blackville-Hilda High stifled the North High offense with their high-pressure full-court press defense. The defense caused 26 turnovers which led to 46 points. In addition, Blackville-Hilda High had 23 offensive rebounds.

JDA boys overcome slow start for win

On Jan. 9 in SCISA basketball action, the Jefferson Davis Academy varsity boys got off to a slow start, but rebounded to earn a 61-44 victory over archrival Patrick Henry Academy.

JDA coach Brian Williams said the team struggled with mistakes at the start of the game.

“At the start of the game, we were just out of sync. We committed turnovers and had poor shot selections,” Williams said. “After the first quarter, we made some adjustments and played much better on both ends of the court.”

Barnwell girls top AFHS in low-scoring affair

Sometimes the basket seems as large as a hula hoop. And there are other times it seems as small as a thimble.

That was pretty much the case for the Allendale-Fairfax High Lady Tigers in Friday’s home game against Barnwell High.

The Lady Tigers might as well had been sewing as they missed basket after basket in the paint before falling to the Lady Warhorses by a score of 31-28.

The biggest cheer of the night for the Lady Tigers came when Shaniyah Hammond connected on a hardcourt shot as the buzzer sounded to end the game.

Hawks display balance in win

There’s balance in basketball and that’s what the Blackville-Hilda High varsity boys did in their 68-47 victory over North High on Jan. 9 in the Hawks’ Nest.

Not only did Blackville-Hilda High have nine players in the scoring column, but just two of them scored in double digits.

With the win, Blackville-Hilda High moves to 6-4 overall.

Blackville-Hilda High coach Ryan Moody said it was a great performance by his team.

JDA girls lose close game

On Jan. 4 in their home game against Mead Hall Episcopal School of Aiken, the Jefferson Davis Academy girls battled. The Lady Raiders fought hard and they clawed.

That, however, wasn’t good enough on the scoreboard as they fell to Mead Hall by a score of 40-38.

Despite the team’s best overall performance of the season, the Lady Raiders were unable to execute when it counted the most.

After being down as much as 10 points in the third quarter, the Lady Raiders outscored Mead Hall 14-7 in the final eight minutes.

Impaired driving is heartbreaking for everyone involved

We see the message on billboards, on television and in print. We hear it on the radio. We teach it to our kids through the DARE program. We talk about it as a general topic and most agree it’s preventable.

“It” is impaired driving and the simple steps to preventing it.

While the message of “Don’t Drink and Drive” is a year-long effort, over the holidays there is an uptick in media messages to the public to keep party-goers safe. But, like many New Year’s resolutions, keeping that in mind seems to fade as the confetti falls.

Dorothy Cheek Still (Barnwell, SC & Richmond, Va.)

Dorothy Cheek Still, 92, passed away on Monday, January 15, 2018 in Retreat Doctors Hospital in Richmond, Va.

Mrs. Still was born on April 1, 1925 in Barnwell and was a daughter of the late Randolph and Mattie Cheek. She was a retired employee of the Bell South Company. She was attended Saint Andrews Catholic Church of Barnwell. She was a loving and devoted mother.

Weather delay announced for Barnwell public schools and JDA


All three public school districts in Barnwell County will be on a 2-hour delay and Jefferson Davis Academy will be on a 1-hour dealy on Thursday, Jan. 18, according to Emergency Management Director Roger Riley.

"While whatever snow we got will be gone, the potential for black ice, particularly on roads and bridges, will rise greatly starting tonight. All the school leadership felt it would be safer to delay the opening of schools in the morning," he said.


Winter weather moves across South Carolina, some light snow possible locally

The following is an update on winter weather in South Carolina as of 10:30 a.m.

SC Emergency Management: Columbia, S.C. (Wednesday, January 17, 2018) – Residents should continue to monitor winter weather conditions and take safety precautions as winter weather affects much of the state. Forecasters with the National Weather Service predict snow and freezing rain in the Upstate and portions of the Midlands throughout today and into this evening. Residents should avoid driving on snow-covered roads.

Rain and cold expected in area on Wednesday, chances of snow diminishing

 4 p.m., Tuesday, January 16, 2018 –

Schools are to open as normal according to Emergency Management Director Roger Riley. 

Riley and school officials met at 3 p.m. and received an update from the National Weather Service.

The newest forecast for Barnwell County shows less of a chance of snow but residents can expect rain and cold temperatures in the area.

Mary Drayton 'Dray' Meyer (Barton)

Mary Drayton “Dray” Robertson Meyer, age 74, of Barton, and the widow of the late Ralph “Jackie” Meyer died Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Mrs. Meyer was a born in Ridgeland and a daughter of the late William Madison and Flossie Hamilton Robertson. She was a hairdresser having worked at Nor-Lena’s Hair Stylist for many years, was a member of Fairfax Chapter #65 O.E.S. and a member of Brunson Christian Church. Dray was a loving wife, mother and grandmother.

Faye Blackwell (Williston)

A Graveside Funeral Service for Doris Faye Coffey Blackwell, 85, of Williston, was held 2 o’clock p.m., Saturday, January 13, 2018 at the Williston Cemetery with the Reverend Dan Fogle officiating.

Faye passed away on Wednesday, January 10, 2018.

Born in Fyffe, Alabama, she was a daughter of the late Buster Taft Coffey and Brunell Graves Coffey and was married to the late L Q Blackwell. She was a member of Rosemary Baptist Church and was a homemaker. Faye was a loving wife and mother.


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