A mother's defense of her son

Dear Editor:

My son, Marcus Fields applied for one job in Barnwell 45 school district for the position of a teacher.

When the school superintendent recognized his leadership ability, she promoted him to the position of director of transportation. Marcus performed this job so well until when the new superintendent came on board, he recognized the superb job that this director was doing.

When I introduced myself to Mr. Sapough at the drop-in to welcome him to Barnwell, he commented on the fine job my son was doing with the transportation department.

A quiet example

Maybe no one caught the quiet irony within the charged atmosphere of the Feb. 25 Barnwell 45 school board meeting.

The meeting was crowded with about 90 people. They weren't all parents there for the students who qualified as National Merit scholarship finalists or the ones selected for the Hugh O'Brian Leadership awards.

Many in the crowd were there because of the controversy that emerged again over the transportation of sports teams by the regular bus drivers.

Regional hospital an idea worth revisiting

"Consolidation" is a term that many industries have come to know - both in definition and reality - in 2009. Barnwell County itself has felt the positive and negative effects of the double-edged sword of consolidation. Consolidation has shuttered some of the county's plants and dissolved local jobs, such as with the Hanesbrands and Allied Air factory closings.

Yet as we have felt that sting of disappointment, we have experienced the glow of anticipation when Crane Corp. announced that it would be nearly doubling its Dixie-Narco plant.

Confessions of an untooled do-it-yourselfer

People who can fix and build things with ease are a mystery to me.

My granddaddy built his own house, outhouse, chickenhouse, car house, smokehouse and barn. All six were still standing decades later.

I didn't inherit any of granddaddy's good genes (although I do have a pair of his overalls). It took me three days to build a rabbit hutch. Trying to do it myself has been frustrating at times.

My wife gave me a beautiful tool chest on wheels, and it's full of nice tools. The only thing missing is a lock to keep me from getting to them. Tools are dangerous.

Stimulus should be tracked through transparency

I've long believed in the value of government transparency - showing people how decisions that affect them are made and how their tax dollars are spent.

Not only are public officials more accountable when they know their decisions will be examined by the public, but transparency can help restore the trust that many people have lost in government.

Simply put, when the "people's business" is conducted in full public view, everyone wins.

A new look for your newspaper

Every New Year I make plans to slim down and shape up. It's a time to look better and be better.

This year that slimming and shaping process is taking place in the pages of The People-Sentinel.

Not only is the size and shape of the printed version of the newspaper changing, but also the content.

We've picked out new fonts to make the copy more readable. We've picked out new headline styles to give our stories more impact. We're printing on a different press to provide even better quality pictures, ads and images.

State has not been stimulated by stimulus actions

Right now, South Carolina state agencies have received and spent about $1.1 million in federal "stimulus" funds.

When Washington mandated the $787 billion stimulus package a year ago, we were told it would create jobs and stop the unemployment rate from growing. The White House even went so far as to say the stimulus would create millions of jobs and keep the unemployment rate below 8 percent.

What a huge disappointment.

For some, chickens make tender pets, not nuggets

Lucy Katz has 11 pets in the backyard of her home in Decatur, Ga.

Skinny is the most affectionate. She follows Katz around until she squats down on the ground. And then she tucks her head under her keeper's arm and stands there, cooing like a baby.

Petunia is the ornery one. She's just like Petunia in the Harry Potter books. Lily is the same way.

And then we have Dottie and Lolly and Primrose and Buttercup. Booger died.

These are not dogs. They are not cats. They are not rabbits.

They are chickens.

Good Samaritan and paramedics were angels

Dear Editor:

Just a few weeks ago, I was in the Dollar General store in Williston shopping for a few items. I began to feel sick all of a sudden. I cried out to my husband and said to him something was wrong. The next thing I realized, I was on the floor and shaking really bad and couldn't see. My husband asked for help and for someone to call 911.

Hearing the cry for help, a lady in the store came over to him and said "I am an EMT" or something to that nature. He was so upset he didn't remember, but she came over and helped him with me until the ambulance arrived.

Charitable effort coats children in warmth

Dear Editor,

With the temperature now dipping into the teens, the arrival of brightly colored and fluffy new coats, caps and mittens could not have come at a better time.Rather than exchange gifts among themselves, the senior managers of Savannah River Nuclear Solutions, LLC, (SRNS) donated children's coats, caps, and mittens. A total of 97 bright and fluffy coats, and bags full of caps and mittens were collected. A decision was made to divide them among several United Way agencies in the area.

Blackville matriarch grateful for attention during recuperation

Dear Editor:

From a heart of love and gratitude, I thank you for the acts of kindness shown to me during the past seven months. Your interest in me, via telephone calls, the hundreds of cards, the many flowers, gifts, meals, visits and those of you transporting Buck to see me everyday and most of all, your prayers and love for me are indescribable.

On May 30, 2009, I had a stroke as I attempted to visit my aunt, Myrl Still. Someone passing by saw me in the yard and called for help.

Serve legacy through service

As communities around Barnwell County observed Martin Luther King's birthday Jan. 18, it was encouraging to see the older generation remind the younger one of the legacy of this man.

The civil rights movement began in the 1950s. Many of the watershed events of the movement occurred in the 1960s. These events are 40 to 50 years in the past and many of the civil rights pioneers have died or are in their 70s and 80s now.

The goal of equality is still in the works and to borrow the words of John F. Kennedy, "the torch has been past to a new generation."

Hospital responsive to out-of-town patient

Dear Editor:

I lived in Barnwell all my life until 2004 when my family and I relocated. I recently made a trip back to Barnwell and during my travels my youngest daughter, who is 11 years old, began complaining of a sore throat and headache. Once we arrived at my parents' home in Barnwell Dec. 18, it was approximately 1 a.m. so I gave her some over-the-counter medication to hold her over until I could get her to a doctor. As time went on, she developed a fever of 102 degrees and continued to worsen.

Research relief agency before donating to help in Haiti

(In light of the recent earthquake in Haiti, the Better Business Bureau issued this advice Jan. 13 when contributing to humanitarian charities and organizations that are soliciting donations to "send help" or "aid in relief efforts.")

As immediate relief needs are assessed in the wake of the Haiti earthquake Jan. 12, many Americans seeking charities in which to donate disaster aid funds.

Thanks to "Santa's little helpers" during Secret Santa project

Dear Editor:

The hustle and bustle of the Christmas holidays have passed but not my gratitude to all those who made the "Secret Santa" program successful again this year.

The generosity of your time and money shows that our community has a great big heart for the less fortunate children of the county.

Thank you to all the businesses that aided with this endeavor through contributions, gift donations or the participation of your employees as "Secret Santas."

Thanks, also, to those who helped "behind the scenes" to handle the logistics of this project as well.

Letters made former Barnwell lady's final days memorable

Dear Editor,

Thank you for publishing the article about my mother, Elizabeth Moody turning 90. You and your paper and our Barnwell friends helped make a huge difference in her last days here on earth.

As you may know, Mama entered heaven Dec. 13, 2009 after a five-week stay in Providence Hospital. She was lucky to have been there on the fourth floor tower with the kindest and most professional nursing staff I've ever seen.

Words of wisdom to fathers-to-be

As I sit here with my coffee, protected from the cold and snow that, as expected, caused runs on bread and milk at the stores, secure in the warm conviction that I have learned a little something from life's mistakes, I have decided to write an advice column.

Being the father of two daughters and grandfather of three girls and one boy, I can't think of a better place to start than fatherhood.

In fighting cold, don't play with fire

The weather is not a conversation-starter anymore here of late -- it is the conversation.

For South Carolina, a "prolonged" cold snap is a span of more than three days of unseasonably low temperatures.

Already we have had the "prolonged."

Now the area is well into its second week of frigid weather. The Columbia office of the National Weather Service noted that the temperatures lately have been about 15 degrees below what is normal for this time of year in South Carolina. Also the state hasn't seen this long a cold spell since the 1970s.


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