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In This Weeks Edition: 06-01-2011 Print E-mail

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Class of 2011...

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School held its 2011 Commencement Exercises on Friday evening May 27th in the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Gymnasium with 114 graduates receiving diplomas. The Theme for this year’s graduation was” Education: A Catalyst for Change.”

The Salutatory Address was delivered by Erik Lehe McConnell Fender, Jr., who is the son of Erik and Tenna Fender. “Lehe”s plans are to attend The Citadel and major in Civil Engineering. Fender told the 2011 graduating class and the gymnasium full of friends and family members of the graduating class “graduation was only a closing of one stage in our lives” in thanking everyone for their help over the past 12 years of school.

The Valedictory Address was delivered by Mahalia Chante Sapp, who is the daughter of Geraldine Henderson McCaskill and David Sapp and her plans are to attend Wofford College and study mathematics. Sapp, speaking on the theme: Education: A Catalyst for Change, thanked God, the family members of the graduates and the staff of BEHS for their support during their 12 years of school. “Never settle for less in life when you can have more,” Sapp told the graduating class in quoting TV icon Oprah Winfrey.

Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting in conferring diplomas on the graduates emphasized that graduation was only a transition to another phase of life: “This life is not a dress rehearsal, it’s the real thing,” Schwarting said in challenging the graduates to be the best they could. “Tonight, time is on your side, make your decisions wisely, it’s a great time to be young,” Superintendent Schwarting told the B-E graduating class of 2011.

After the presentation of the Class of 2011 by Dr. Sandra Glover, BEHS Assistant Principal and the presentation of the final diploma by BEHS Principal Randall Maxwell, the BEHS gymnasium erupted in a wild celebration.

Fire destroys mobile home

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A Capernaum Road mobile home approximately one mile outside the city limits of Bamberg was nearly a total lost in a fire Monday evening. According to Bamberg Fire Chief Timmie Taylor, the mobile home of Letha Croft at 1300 Capernaum Road was a three fourths’ lost as the result of a fire that was “probably” electrical in nature.

Chief Taylor stated that when fire personnel arrived on the scene, the center of the mobile home was “fully involved.” He noted that a room on the back of the house got a lot of smoke damage and a little heat. “Thank goodness no one got hurt,” Chief Taylor said.

Fire department units responding to the Zone 1 fire call that took 30 minutes to an hour to bring under control were: the Bamberg Fire Department, Govan Fire Department, Hunters Chapel Fire Department, Olar Fire Department and the Clear Pond Fire Department. Also responding to the scene were: Clinton Metts with the Canaan Rehab Truck, who provided water to the firefighters, the Bamberg Rescue Squad and the Denmark Fire Department Ladies Auxiliary, who gives needed assistance to the firefighters responding to fire calls.

Promising young basketball star suffers stroke

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

When 11-year old Nyesha “Nya” Walker came home from school a week and a half ago and did not go outside and play basketball for five minutes before doing her homework, her mother Norma knew something was wrong. Last week Nyesha was rushed to Richland Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Hospital where after a CAT Scan it was discovered that she had suffered a stroke seven to 10 days earlier, caused by an extra abnormal vein leading to her brain she had been born with.

Presently “Nya” is in the Richland Memorial Hospital’s Children’s Hospital where she is being given blood thinners and waiting for the swelling in her vein to subside. “She’s a fighter,” her mother Norma, who has worked as a teller at the Enterprise Bank of South Carolina in Bamberg for a number of years said by telephone Friday morning. “I have hope she is going to come out of this,” Norma said adding “Nya is moving some and can hear” and “she opened her eyes a little bit” Friday morning.”

“Outstanding, a pleasure to be around, top of her class” and “the top player” in the Bamberg City League, are just a few of the words Craig Walker, who is director of the Bamberg City League Basketball Program, of which Nyesha is a member used to describe Nyesha Walker, a rising 6th grader at Denmark- Olar Elementary School.

Norma Walker noted that Craig Walker has been like a “step father” for Nyesha since her illness. “I never knew there were so many caring people out there. I appreciate all the help we can get,” Walker, who has been by her daughter’s bedside since the stroke said.

Craig Walker, who is the director of the Bamberg City League Basketball Program, where Nyesha plays has worked with The Enterprise Bank of South Carolina offices in Bamberg and Denmark to establish an account in the name of Nyesha Walker. Those wishing to make a donation may do so at either one of the Enterprise Bank of South Carolina Branch Offices in Denmark or Bamberg by calling: 793-5018 or 245-5171

City of Bamberg Celebrates

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

To their now famous nickname “Bamberg Bookends” add “Bamberg Math,” 7 + 93 = 100 percent. On Saturday, May 28, 2011, the citizens of Bamberg came to the Bamberg Civic Center to recognize their two native sons, Ricky Sapp and Da’Quan Bowers for the 100 percent effort they have given on the gridiron, in the classroom and society as a whole.

In the two years I’ve been there, they’ve given 100 percent and with class,” Clemson Associate Athletic Director Willie McCorvey said. “You should be proud of their accomplishments on the field and in the classroom. They’ve always been gentlemen and represented Clemson and Bamberg with a lot of class.”

“We are so proud of them,” Bamberg School District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting said. “They are representative of many of the fine young men who have come through the Bamberg School District One School System. We’re so proud they haven’t forgotten where they started.”

“I love these guys,” B-E head football coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby said. “They’ve made our job as coaches easier. These guys are special. You don’t get guys like this in your program every year. They laid the foundation for our young players and haven’t forgotten Bamberg is their home.”

Bamberg School District One Trustees consider 2011-12 Budget

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg School District One Trustees were presented with a preliminary copy of their 2011-12 budget of $12,851,744.46 at their May 23, meeting held in the media center at Bamberg- Ehrhardt Middle School. Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting noted that “without any changes that may occur” the 2011-12 budget represents a three percent decrease from last year’s budget.

It was also noted in the discussion of the budget that the South Carolina Legislature had recently discovered a $105 million pot of unexpected money from increased tax revenues that could amount to approximately $250,000 of additional funds for the district.

The additional funds could raise the districts’ planned based student cost from $1,788 per student in 2011-12 to $1,959 if the funds are secured. It was noted that the district could look at eliminating some furlough days if the additional funds came to fruition. “We will be conservative,” Superintendent Schwarting said.

Also during the meeting:

Federal Programs Coordinator Phyllis Overstreet gave an update of allocations for the next fiscal year with federal programs. Overstreet noted that federal programs are “dwindling” one by one and several have gone away. She stated that Title 1, which is the district’s major federal program has received a preliminary allocation of $600,729 which is an approximately $50,000 increase over this year. The increase in Title 1 funding reflects an increase in poverty in the community and the increase in children receiving free and reduced price lunch.

The schools to receive the funding are Richard Carroll Primary School and Richard Carroll Elementary School. Activities to be funded are teacher class size reduction efforts and instructional supplies. Other activities identified as priority if funds are available are Response to Intervention After School Programs and technology upgrades. Overstreet also noted that currently no schools are in Improvement, with RCPS and RCES having made Average Yearly Progress (AYP) the last two years.

Trustee board members voted to approve designating Superintendent Schwarting as the authorized representative for Title Projects.

In an update on the district’s construction/renovation projects Dale Collier stated that bids are in budget for the new Richard Carroll Elementary School and full size gym “right at” $15 million. Collier noted that approximately $8 million of the work is categorized as local with construction firms within 60 miles of Bamberg doing the work. He stated $ 1 million in work has gone to minority businesses. In all 235 bids in scope work has been received and the project is still “looking at other options for work.” Local people can contact Dale Collier for more information about work opportunities. “We are prepared to give marching orders to H. G. Reynolds to proceed,” Collier said.

Trustees voted to request the district’s school bus policy committee “revisit” the district’s school bus discipline policy stating they felt students were given too many infractions (5) before more serious corrective action is taken.

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