Shoppers asked to stay local, ‘shop small’

Black Friday, the Friday after Thanksgiving, is the unofficial start of the Christmas shopping season, but it’s the next day, Small Business Saturday, that really puts me in the holiday spirit.

That’s because Small Business Saturday, which falls on Nov. 25 this year, isn’t about getting up before dawn, fighting traffic, jostling with crowds and standing in long lines to save a few bucks on things no one asked for.

Small Business Saturday is a day to celebrate and support the small, family-run businesses that do so much throughout the year to support our community.

‘Relationship’ talks important topic for kids

Dear Editor,

Teens often say that it’s impossible to talk to their parents about love, sex, and relationships.

Parents, you might think they don’t want to hear it, but most teens say they do want to learn about sex, love, and relationships from their parents.

Here are ten tips for starting” the talk”.

1. Start Early. Use this “window of opportunity” and talk with your children early and often about important issues like love, sex and relationships.

We can each make a difference in just one life

“We can’t help everyone, but everyone can help someone.”

Former U.S. President Ronald Reagan said these words many years ago, but they still serve as a good reminder of how we should live our lives.

This subject also brings to mind the classic “Star Thrower” story written by Loren Eiseley in 1969. It tells of a man who is walking along a beach. He encounters a young boy who is digging stranded starfish out of the sand and throwing them back into the ocean.

Secret Santa brings joy to children locally

Dear Editor:

The Rotary Club of Barnwell County sponsors the Secret Santa Program each year as one of our service projects. This is our 21st year of sponsoring this wonderful program which could not be successful without the help of our community. Secret Santa serves many needy families who would otherwise not be able to provide Christmas gifts for their children.

The applications are available through DSS and are due by November 9th, 2017. DSS screens each applicant and provides a list of children ages 2-10 who qualify.

Shop LOCAL and support our businesses

Small businesses are an integral part of our local economy and community as a whole.

While these businesses don’t employ hundreds or thousands as large industries, they are the income and livelihoods for many families. They also provide important goods and services, typically with a type of customer service you won’t find at a big box store.

Sometimes it is good to see other places

As someone who writes and talks to people for a living, I’m rarely at a loss for words.

However, a recent vacation out west left me in awe – and honestly a little speechless – after witnessing the natural beauty, culture and history of a part of this great country I had not previously explored.

I was part of a tour group through the Holiday Vacations company on a trip hosted by WRDW in Augusta, Ga. We started in Salt Lake City, Utah embarking to the Grand Canyon, several national parks in Utah and many other fascinating places.

What is scarier than Halloween? Opioid deaths

October is a time for spooky movies, Halloween costumers and treats for children.

It is also a time when a lot of people get scared watching horror movies and visiting “haunted” houses.

What is a lot scarier and is not limited to Halloween is the drug epidemic which is sweeping our nation.

Barnwell County is certainly not immune. In recent years we have seen our share of overdoses, some resulting in death.

For many of us, the drug problem is a shadow world that we know is there but it is not “in our faces”.

How we can fight the opioid epidemic

South Carolina has a drug problem and many elected leaders have begun looking at how best to deal with it. In August, I also took action.

My office filed a lawsuit against a company for its role in creating that problem. This lawsuit is not a magical silver bullet that will end this epidemic and the company being sued is not solely to blame for the crisis. However, when we look at the statistics and we read the stories we are left with the inescapable conclusion that we must take action now.

Free speech is a little complicated in America

Everyone has an opinion these days.

That is especially apparent on Facebook and other social media sites where people can easily post their thoughts on anything and everything. However, do you really think before you post? Just because you can post, say or write something doesn’t mean you should.

Some people cite their First Amendment right of free speech as a reason for saying whatever they want, regardless of any implications those words could have.

After all, free speech means we can say or post whatever we want to, even if it’s untrue or harmful, right?

We are ‘this close’ to eradicating polio

Dear Editor,

Poliomyelitis (polio) is a paralyzing and potentially fatal disease that still threatens children in some parts of the world. The poliovirus invades the nervous system and can cause total paralysis in a matter of hours. It can strike at any age but mainly affects children under five. Polio is incurable, but completely vaccine-preventable.

Look behind closed doors to help victims

Many people seem to enjoy a wonderful family life that is safe and secure.

Unfortunately, what goes on “behind closed doors” can be very different.

The National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey data reports, “On average, 24 people per minute are victims of rape, physical violence, or stalking by an intimate partner in the US. Over the course of a year, that equals more than 12 million women and men.”

Power of the press is in being the Way to Know for news consumers

The power of the press rests in the ability of journalists to hold government accountable, to mobilize public opinion on matters that are important to individuals, communities or the nation, and to provide necessary information of value.

Notice in those words not a mention of celebrity content, mobile devices nor “aspirational” reportage that feels good without doing any good.

But also notice in those words the key to the future for newsrooms across the nation: A visible role in the daily life of the nation rooted in real benefit and sustained credibility.

Firefighters thanked by Airport Commission

Dear Editor,

To: Timbo Williams, Barnwell County Fire Coordinator; Jessie Elmore, Barnwell Rural Fire Chief; Andy Hogg, Long Branch Fire Chief; and Thomas Sharpe, Hilda Fire Chief.

On behalf of the Barnwell Airport Commission, please accept our grateful thanks and appreciation for an outstanding job by all the volunteer firefighters from Long Branch, Hilda and Barnwell Rural who responded to the fire at the Barnwell Airport on September 19.

Though five planes were destroyed, the firefighters were able to contain the fire to one end of the T-hanger building.

Sponsors of Chamber meeting thanked

Dear Editor,

Recently at the Chamber of Commerce Annual Meeting it was my privilege to state “As Barnwell County prospers our businesses will prosper; as our businesses prosper, Barnwell County will prosper”. That is the Chambers core belief.

Yet, business contributions to our communities too often go overlooked and underappreciated. So, in recognition and thanks to contributing businesses the Barnwell County Chamber sincerely thanks the following businesses for generous donations of door prizes and sponsorships for our annual meeting:

Local victim shares signs of ovarian cancer

Dear Editor,

Last year just about this time my body told me something wasn’t right. Not wasting any time I went to my gynecologist in Augusta, Ga., and was referred to AU Health.

I was diagnosed last October with stage IIIB ovarian low-grade serous adenocarcinoma that had spread into other reproductive organs and my omentum.

I am currently still under treatment as my cancer has returned.

I want to bring this horrific disease into the light and vow to help educate others on the signs and resources.

Citizens owe Williams ‘debt of gratitude’

Dear Editor,

It was with great sadness that I read of the retirement of Pickens Williams Jr. as Barnwell County Administrator.

Pickens has been a fixture of the Barnwell County Courthouse for decades and has been a shining example of everything a county official should be. He was the consummate paragon of efficiency and productivity while also exuding friendliness and personal warmth. Pickens transformed a visit to the courthouse from the routine drudgery of attending to mundane business to the feeling of visiting a friend.


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