Sweet fired as WEMS principal

The employment of Williston-Elko Middle School’s principal has been terminated due to misconduct, although the district is tight-lipped about details.

Greg Sweet, who had been Williston-Elko Middle School’s principal since 2013, was fired on Dec. 11 by the school board, according to documents recently released by the district following a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request. Before his termination, Sweet had been on paid administrative leave since Monday, October 30.

D45 downsizing district office staff

Barnwell School District 45 is downsizing its district office staff by three positions in an effort to save money that can be used for other districtwide operations.

The district announced on Dec. 19 that they are eliminating the assistant superintendent’s position that was vacated by Crissie Stapleton when she was hired as superintendent in June. They are also eliminating the vacant curriculum specialist position and the human resources assistant position once the current employee retires at the end of December.

Taylor Hearn, #51, plans to enter NFL draft

Clemson redshirt junior Taylor Hearn will skip his senior season and enter the NFL draft once this season concludes.

The offensive guard from Williston told the media the news on Wednesday morning, Dec. 20, at Clemson’s media day when asked about his future.

He said he met with head coach Dabo Swinney and offensive line coach Robbie Caldwell before making his decision.

Hearn walked across the graduation stage Dec. 21 with a degree in parks, recreation, and tourism management.

Audit: D45 adds $861,820 to fund balance

Barnwell District 45 received an early Christmas gift in the form of a positive audit report.

For the last fiscal year, which ended June 30, the district added $861,820 to its fund balance for the general fund, which is the district’s largest operating fund. They now have $3,525,525 in reserves, which is enough money to cover three months’ worth of expenses, said David Enzastiga from the Rish & Enzastiga firm during the school board’s Dec. 14 meeting.

Flags reminded beach-goers of the real meaning of holidays

It has been fifteen months since our place was sold on Edisto Island.

I really do miss dear friends there. Hopefully, some miss me, too. However, I have been told time and again just how very much residents and visitors miss seeing our various flags flying atop the 44-foot tower attached to the house.

After Bob Fickling and I wed in 1993, a large spotlight became a welcomed addition to the tower. Our well-lighted American flag would fly appropriately after sunset. This was indeed a thing of beauty, a proud reminder of our love for our country and sacrifices made.

Ashby Heltibridle turns 5

Ashby Garnet Heltibridle celebrated her fifth birthday on December 19, 2017.

Ashby is the daughter of Bobby Heltibridle and Ashley and Britt Pender, all of Barnwell.

She has three brothers, Kobey, Craig, and Clay and has two sisters, Isabel and Shelby.

Grandparents are Tammy Thompson, Ken Miles, Donnie and Sandy Pender, and the late Phil Thompson Jr.

Great-grandparents are Harriett and Everon Collins of Hilda.

Blackville Recreation Department celebrates successful fall season

Young cheerleaders and football players were honored by the Blackville Recreational Department.

The department held its annual Football and Cheerleading Banquet on Dec. 5 at the Blackville Community Center. Following a meal, Rev. C.A. Moses from Mt. Zion Baptist Church gave an inspirational message to the young athletes and their families.

“The person you will be in the future is based on everything you can do today,” said Moses, who encouraged the athletes to “stay focused and stay on task.”

Resolutions for 2018

Resolutions are a way for all of us to take a close look in the mirror at least once a year and decide what we like and what needs to be changed.

And that is the beauty of it - we can change.

We have the power within us to change our circumstances, our surroundings and/or our attitudes. Change is hard so we encourage everyone to take “baby steps” towards their goals. Diets and exercise plans that go full force for the first two weeks of the year may not last. But making small changes each week, adding time or routines, will make success a whole lot more attainable.

Community Soup Kitchen grateful

Dear Editor,

The Community Soup Kitchen would like to say thank you!

It’s hard to express how grateful we are for this community. We are truly humbled and honored by your generosity and support for this ministry.

We wish you and your family a wonderfully blessed holiday season.

The soup kitchen is open every Monday, Wednesday and Friday in the activity center of Barnwell First Baptist Church and is serving an average of 50 meals per day.

Williston gives first nod to apartment complex

A rezoning request on property slated for a middle-income apartment complex was given first reading by the Williston Town Council following a public hearing on Dec. 18.

The 3.75 acres of property is located on Main and Dicks streets. The apartment complex would have 32 to 38 units.

Gwen Jenkins of 265 Dicks Street, Williston, voiced her opposition to the rezoning request, saying she totally opposed low income housing being located next to her property. “This will lower the value of my property,” she said.

One of ‘Cholly’s Boys’ remembers his uncle, Charlie Dixon

In the South and pockets of New England, speakers of English typically drop the post vocalic /r/, making words like paper papuh, water watuh, and Charlie Cholly, as one would pronounce Holly.

As a young man in Barnwell, I would hear people exclaim, "You must be one of Cholly's boys!" And as a good Southern boy, my answer was always, "Yes, sir."

But this isn't a lesson in sociolinguistics; it's a tribute to my Uncle Charlie Dixon who died almost one year ago.

Allendale woman killed in wreck

Pink and white balloons filled the air in remembrance of a 19-year-old Allendale woman who was killed last week in a car wreck.

Allisa Freeman of Sincere Lane, Allendale, was pronounced dead about 11:30 p.m. on Tuesday, Dec. 19 following an automobile versus tree collision on Highway 278 East near Mt. Olive Circle in Barnwell County, said Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd Ward. She died of head trauma, he said.

EDC ok’s timber bid

A bid for timber removal at the Blackville Industrial Park was approved by the Barnwell County Economic Development Corporation at its Dec. 18 meeting.

Attending the meeting were Corporation Board members/EDC Commissioners Steve Jowers, Toby Singletary, Joe Smith, Keith Sloan and Will Kearse.

The bid was approved for S.C. Timber Company to clear timber from a section of the park but the amount was not disclosed as it still has to be approved by the Barnwell County Council at its January meeting.

The action came after a 20-minute closed session.

Delores Creech Fail (Barnwell)

A graveside funeral service for Delores Creech McDonald Fail, 88, of Barnwell, will be held 11 a.m. Saturday, December 30, 2017 at Friendship Baptist Church Cemetery with the Reverend Kyle Hardin officiating. The family will receive friends immediately following the service at the cemetery and other times at the home of her sister-in-law, Myrtle Creech. Memorials may be made to the Gideon’s International, Barnwell Camp, P.O. Box 86, Williston, S.C. 29853 or Friendship Baptist Church, 3132 S.C. Hwy. 64, Barnwell, S.C. 29812.

Delores passed away Wednesday, December 27, 2017.

Accident claims life of Denmark man on Williston Way

An early morning accident has claimed the life of a Bamberg County man, according to Barnwell County Coroner Lloyd B. Ward and S.C. Highway Patrol Cpl. Sonny Collins.

“Eric Banks, 33, of Voorhees Road, Denmark, was pronounced about 5:10 a.m. from injuries received in a one-car motor vehicle collision,” said Ward in a press release.  

Baylee Marie Hunt-Dyches

James Dyches and Kathy Hunt are proud to announce the birth of their daughter, Baylee Marie Hunt-Dyches.

She was born at 7:53 a.m. on December 13, 2017 at Aiken Regional Medical Center. She weighed 5 pounds, 7 ounces and was 18 ½ inches long.

She has two brothers, Johnathan, 17, and Landen, 4.

She also has two sisters, Selena, 16, and Perla, 14.

Paternal grandparents are Michael and Pam Dyches of Georgia.

Maternal grandparents are Ricky Hunt of Barnwell and Sandy Hunt of Williston.

Maternal great-grandmother is Norma Manley of Fayetteville, N.C.

Grants available through Tri-County Community Foundation

Qualified service providers of early childhood education (4K to third grade) and Health/Fitness in Barnwell, Allendale and Bamberg counties can now apply for grants up to $2,000 from the Tri-County Community Foundation.

The Foundation is a community-based organization supported by charitable donations to improve the quality of life in the tri-county area.

Eligible organizations include, but are not limited to, churches, public schools, municipal governments, civic groups, or other non-profit health or education entities.

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