Ancesters of slave owners should be honored only ‘behind closed doors’

Dear Editor,

An average day for a park ranger at Fort Sumter consisted of giving a 10-15 minute history tour, then parading the grounds of where the first shots of the Civil War took place.

One day while parading the grounds I was approached by a woman who realized, from my nametag, that we share the same last name. It was later revealed, during our conversation, that we were from the same, Barnwell, county. Immediately I made the connection that we were distant relatives, bound together by the foul chains of slavery.

Public needed to be helpers, not hindrance

What’s the recipe for a thriving, successful community?

Crime, violence and a lack of cooperation are definitely not the right ingredients.

Unfortunately, some are trying to taint the community we love and call home. With four shootings and the firing of Barnwell’s police chief, it’s been a trying week in Barnwell County.

In some of the shooting cases, the victims and witnesses are not cooperating with police. No one saw anything or knows anything that can prove helpful in solving the case.

Reader takes exception to Pernell statements

Dear Editor,

I have some serious concerns about the false and inaccurate statements that Mr. Brence Pernell opined in your newspaper.

First of all, I am deeply offended that he would compare my confederate ancestors to the Nazis. The southern people didn’t exterminate six million slaves. The southern people did not systemically round up African slaves and kill them by the millions just because of who they were.

Now, I am not naive enough to deny the fact that the slaves were sometimes mistreated because they were, and it was not right.

Look behind the closed doors and help

April highlights two important issues that affect our community – sexual assault and alcohol abuse.

The severity and impact of these issues may not be truly realized by most people since a lot of it occurs behind closed doors. However, sexual assault and alcohol abuse impact many people across the globe, including families here in Barnwell County.

Public invited to attend DIG STEM Festival

Dear Editor,

Dreams Imagination & Gift Development Program (DIG) will host its 2nd annual DIG STEM festival Saturday, April 22, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Main Street, Williston. The family-friendly event will provide engagement activities between the youth, families, and STEM professionals.

The festival’s purpose is to increase awareness in rural communities about the Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) field. Families are encouraged to attend the fun-filled event and participate in STEM educational and entertainment activities.

Turnout needed for school board elections locally

Next Tuesday is an important date for Barnwell County’s registered voters.

It’s not a national or state election, but it is just as important – maybe more - as several school board seats will be decided on Barnwell County’s three public school boards.

Electing school board members is very important because they directly impact your child’s education by setting policy, adopting a budget and hiring key positions like the superintendent.

Unfortunately, school board elections aren’t typically known for large turnouts.

Every vote counts and every vote matters

Dear Editor,

On Tuesday, April 11, we go to the polls to elect school board trustees for Barnwell County’s three school districts. This should be one of the most supported elections, since this is dealing with our schools and the future of our county.

Unfortunately, this election is one of the least supported in terms of voter turnout.

In the Blackville-Hilda District 19 and Williston-Elko District 29, only the incumbents filed for office for the one seat open in each of these districts. In Barnwell District 45, there are four candidates vying for two open seats.

Now you see it, now it’s different

Residents attending the Barnwell County Council meeting recently were treated to a magic show.

Now you see it, now it’s different.

The Barnwell County Council held third reading of an ordinance on March 14 which gave them the authority to move all property and assets away from the Economic Development Corporation.

The same ordinance also took away all power except advisory from those serving on the Barnwell County Economic Development Commission.

There’s lots to do if people show up

“There is nothing to do in Barnwell County.”

“Our children need positive outlets to be involved with.”

We have heard these statements – or at least ones very similar – from numerous people over the years.

While our small, rural community lacks some of the amenities and resources that are abundant in larger areas, some recent opportunities show there might be more to the issue.

The problem is a lot of times people simply do not support the initiatives and events Barnwell County does have to offer.

Teen Summit, Anti-Bullying Spirit Week give hope, help

Being a teenager can be quite difficult.

From peer pressure and trying to fit in to juggling school, work and extra-curricular activity commitments and making plans for the future, the teenage years can seem very overwhelming.

However, with guidance, determination and a willingness to listen to adults who want to help, there is hope.

The Axis 1 Center of Barnwell is a great local resource for many folks. This Saturday they are partnering with several community organizations to sponsor the inaugural Barnwell County Teen Summit.

‘Sunshine’ is for the people, not the press

It is Sunshine Week in South Carolina.

The week is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information and what it means for you and your community.

But every week in our state, newspapers are stepping up to see that the public has access to government meetings and records.

You might not know about these efforts, but if you read on you will learn of some of the outstanding ones entered this year into the S.C. Press Association’s Freedom of Information contests.

Local urges awareness of kidney disease

Dear Editor,

March has been designated as “Kidney Awareness Month” and unless it affects you or a family member, you probably give it very little thought. I gave it no thought at all until I was diagnosed with End Stage Renal Failure in 1997. I was in shock and disbelief. There were no warning signs, other than fatigue, which I attributed to long work hours.

At age 42, I found I was born with one kidney (Alsport Syndrome), but had no problems and my doctor thought I would not have any trouble. My condition is hereditary and usually manifests itself at an earlier age.

Nothing good will come from EDC ordinance

In January we begged the question of “Why now?” with regards to some Barnwell County Council members’ move to dissolve the Economic Development Corporation and turn the commission into an advisory committee.

In February, in a split 5-2 vote, the Barnwell County Council approved second reading of that ordinance. Next week, third reading is expected to be held on Tuesday, March 14. That will be the final vote to make that ordinance effective.

Week 5 of Church Covenants: Driving Spirit of the Covenant

It’s hard to believe this is week five of rediscovering the Church Covenant.

The central theme is this: Christian fellowship is a family kinship that extends beyond church boundaries. Wherever you go, even to another city or state, you meet Christians and you feel right at home.

We moreover engage that when we remove from this place, we will, as soon as possible, unite with some other church where we can carry out the spirit of this covenant and the principles of God’s Word.

Mayors ask council to vote ‘no’ on ordinance

The following letter was sent to members of the Barnwell County Council regarding the Economic Development Corporation (EDC):


The Mayors of the undersigned Municipalities in the county are writing County Council to urge the County not to vote in favor of making the EDC Board purely advisory in nature. When the Municipalities negotiated with the County to return property conveyed to the Municipalities, a purely advisory board was rejected by the Municipalities.

Black thankful but moving to ‘a new season’

Dear Editor,

According to Ecclesiastes 3:1-2, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under Heaven:.....” Just as the writer of this passage in the Bible describes a time for “everything”, I believe individuals go through various personal and different seasons in their lives. Changes, new paths, and fresh ventures occur in our lives.


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