Opinion

STEM festival opportunity to show best work

Dear Editor,

Let me began by thanking everyone who took part in bringing the DIG STEM Festival this past weekend to fruition in the Town of Williston.

A special thanks goes out to Mr. Steven Brown who worked endlessly to make sure everything was in place to provide the kind of fun and education for the people who came out to the event. This young man has truly shown his desire to give back by investing his time, money and service back to his community where he once lived, but now lives in Greenville.

Reader responds to Jennings letter to editor

Dear Editor,

This is in response to Jennings Rountree’s harsh and judgmental letter on Wednesday, April 6.

There are no perfect people in Barnwell County or on Barnwell County Council. There are also no perfect people in Charleston, S.C. While I vocally disagree often with Barnwell County Council, I would not call them idiots. Nor would I call fellow citizens who are trying hard to make a difference mindless sheep simply because their wishes are ignored once County Council goes behind closed doors.

Join the fun and fascination at STEM festival

This past weekend was a busy one as several special events took place around Barnwell County.

Relay for Life brought hundreds of residents together and raised nearly $22,000 for cancer research.

Volunteers at clean-up events in Barnwell and Williston collected bags and bags of trash in an effort to beautify the community.

At the Taste of Blackville festival, the aroma of food, sounds of choirs singing and many vendors filled the downtown area.

Food, fun, fellowship in abundance

Barnwell County has experienced some challenging times lately but there are several opportunities for our community to unite in the coming days to make a positive difference.

There’s nothing like a little family fun to help people forget their hardships and differences.

The Barnwell Development Association and City of Barnwell Parks and Recreation Department are joining together to host the annual Spring Fling on Thursday, April 14 on the Circle in downtown Barnwell from 5 to 7 p.m.

Help and love nearby

There is a horrible sinking feeling when a person gets diagnosed with cancer or even the possibility of cancer.

You are stunned, then look at your doctor to make sure they haven’t made a mistake.

It takes a while, but the diagnosis sinks in. You start thinking about all the things you want to do, your family and what needs to be done in the near, and hopefully, far future.

Be courageous; be a part of the solution

Barnwell County is a great place to live, work and raise a family.

That’s not to say we are perfect. Like any community, we have our issues.

Crime, unemployment, drugs, gangs, and a lack of healthcare are a few issues plaguing our community. Several of these issues are tied together as unemployment and drugs can lead to criminal activity.

However, it does not have to be that way.

We are responsible for inactions and actions

Dear Editor,
The chain of events in Barnwell County is bewildering.  
Medical care is necessary and cannot always be scheduled two weeks in advance when the next appointment is available.
The people of the county deserve what they have accepted. They allowed the county hospital to be more or less given to a private for-profit organization. 
Who negotiated and approved the deal? One would think the guilty party would have to be the Barnwell County Council. 

CANS for CANS successes celebrated

Dear Editor,

Happy one-year anniversary, CANS for CANS!

There are so many people that I would like to thank but if I start naming names, I’m afraid I’ll leave someone out.

There is one person in particular that has went out of his way to make sure this ministry does as well as it has. That is Mr. Jake Kilgus from T&J recycling. Not only has he paid us more per pound than any other recycler offered, but he actually comes and helps me prepare the trailer for moving and then he uses his truck to pull it.

Oh, did I mention that he’s a Christian?

Do homework before elections

Students might be enjoying a week off from school as they are on spring break, but it is time for Barnwell County voters to do a little homework.

School board elections will be held Tuesday, April 12, in all three county public school districts – Barnwell District 45, Barnwell District 19 (Blackville-Hilda Public Schools) and Williston District 29. Two seats are up for grabs in each district.

While we do not typically endorse a specific candidate, we do endorse being informed so you can make an educated decision come election day.

Promise Zone already seeing promising results

It’s been nearly a year since our region was designated a federal Promise Zone.

Many meetings have been held where opinions and ideas were shared of how residents wanted to see the region transformed for the better – the whole intent of the Promise Zone.

However, it takes time to bring ideas to life. A combination of many things, such as planning, researching and securing funding, has to take place before dreams are realized.

Bad situations can lead to good outcomes

Area emergency responders have stepped up since the closure of Southern Palmetto Hospital in January to see people are cared for in times of need.

That has been highlighted several times in recent weeks as various wrecks resulted in multiple victims needing medical attention at once. This could be a strain in an ordinary situation since there are only four ambulances on call at all times, but is especially so when there is no hospital in Barnwell County.

Hold on to dreams while on the same team

“We love each other, we trust each other, we believe in each other, and we work hard together on the things that matter. That’s how we win.”

That is what I believe it takes to achieve sustained success. That is what I have begun telling members of the Barnwell 45 team as I speak with them and interact with them. I can’t force our team to take on this philosophy, but I can strive to show them by example.

Let’s transform region by working together

Hundreds of people from our neck of the woods helped to craft the new long-term strategic action plan that will guide the South Carolina Lowcountry Promise Zone in the years ahead. Months of truly collaborative work provide us with a detailed map of what we need to do and how we must work together to reduce poverty by growing jobs, improving education, reducing crime and building more opportunities for citizens who live in the six counties of the Southern Carolina region.

Let the 'sunshine' in

It’s National Sunshine Week!

No, this is not a week devoted to the physical sun.

Rather, “Sunshine Week is a national initiative to promote a dialogue about the importance of open government and freedom of information,” according to sunshineweek.rcfp.org. Sunshine Week is sponsored by the American Society of News Editors and Reporters Committee for Freedom of the Press.

But it’s not about the press. It’s about the public’s right to have access to public information and the actions of government.

Are you ready?

Are you ready?

The weather has been fairly nice lately, except for some strong wind a couple weeks ago, but that can change in an instant. We never know when we might find ourselves in an emergency.

Remember the ice storm caused by Winter Storm Pax just over two years ago? Transportation, communication and many modern luxuries were halted as people lost power for days and road conditions worsened.

Before the storm, we knew something was coming. However, many of us did not know just how bad it was going to be until the storm arrived.

Join the fight against cancer

Unlike certain natural disasters, you can’t readily prepare for health issues like cancer, although factors like diet and exercise can play a factor.

However, you can do your part to raise funds and awareness for those who are battling cancer. You will have a chance to do so on April 15 during the annual Relay for Life of Barnwell County, which will be at the Veterans Memorial Park on Highway 278.

Trust is a fragile commodity

Two educational groups are experiencing controversy right now.

Jefferson Davis Academy has lost both its heads of school plus seven other staff members.

When the story broke, a lot of individual discussion took to social media.

Some of it was great discussion and some of it was just name-calling.

From what we can determine, the heads of school, the board and a number of parents at the school are at odds over a disciplinary issue which morphed into something much more divisive.

STEM events ignite the dreams for future life

Have you ever wondered what the future will look like?

All of us have at one time or another been amazed at the new technology and gadgets that seem to be appearing almost daily.

Over the last century technology has changed rapidly to make our lives better (hopefully) through science and technology. We are able to drive safer, cook faster, share information quicker, and be healthier - all resulting from science and technology industries.

Some industries just create the tools for other industries to create their products.

Give blood, save lives

Many people donate their time and money to various worthy causes, but there’s another donation that is urgently needed – blood.

Someone in the United States needs blood every two seconds, according to the American Red Cross. That means a lot of donors need to step up so a steady blood supply is on hand at all times to sufficiently take care of the need.

While approximately 38 percent of our country’s population is eligible to donate, less than 10 percent actually do so annually. That’s about 6.8 million of the more than 300 million Americans.

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