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In This Weeks Edition: 07-06-2011 Print E-mail

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City of Bamberg celebrates freedom

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Despite a tight budget, the City of Bamberg was able to put on another successful 4th of July Celebration at the Ness Sports Complex on Monday July 4th . Again this year, residents of Bamberg and visitors from far and wide sat in lawn chairs or on blankets and enjoyed an afternoon of Food, music, and fellowship at the Ness Sports Complex. And as darkness fell, spectators were able to witness a dazzling fireworks display sponsored by local businesses Tobul Accumulator and Phoenix Specialty of Bamberg.

The evening’s festivities began with a welcome by Bamberg Mayor Alton McCollum and the invocation by Councilmember Bo Griffin, followed by the National Anthem performed by Whitney Rhoad. The evening’s entertainment began with a talented group of young local musicians, “The Rhoad Crew” who are all students at Clemson University, with lead vocalist Whitney Rhoad. (If you listened closely, the group sounds a lot like the legendary group “Chicago” and will surely have a successful career in music. The Rhoad Crew was followed on stage by the soulful Western sound of David Garrick. The musical headliner again this year was Otis Brown, formerly of the Drifters, who entertained the growing number of spectators on the little league softball and baseball outfields with music from the 60’s 70’s and 80’s.

BCMH still operating in the red

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

For the previous eight-month period and year-to-date cumulatively, the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital has recorded a loss of $2.1 million, hospital CFO Derek Pierce informed board members at their June 28 meeting. Pierce reported that patient days were “pretty much flat” for May, up 2.6 percent from April from 229 days to 235 days. Average daily census for May was 7.5 and year-to-date 9.4 patients per day. He noted that when adjusted for out-patients average daily census was 21.6.

Pierce noted that emergency room visits were “down slightly” from 323 to 333 the previous month. Net patient revenue for the month was $790,000. Year-to-date the hospital recorded revenues of $9.2 million compared to $13 million last year, which was a decrease of approximately $3.9 million.

On the positive side, expenses totaled $978,000, which was a decrease from the previous month of $150,000. Net losses as of May 31 were $187,000 compared to $408,000 in April. Pierce noted the hospital had cash equivalence on hand of $747,000 in May compared with $535,000 in April. The hospital CFO said the facility’s bottom line was helped by receiving its disproportionate share from Medicaid reimbursements of $250,000. “We’re still operating in the red and we’re in Chapter 9 bankruptcy,” Pierce said in responding to an inquiry by a hospital board member into the hospital’s finances.

Also during the meeting:

• Board members approved a preliminary draft of a Compilation Report on the hospital’s finances from September 30, 2010 to March 31, 2011. Board finance chairman Al Palmer noted the board started with the McGregor Auditing firm a year ago to get an audit report done. Palmer noted the report was adjusted mainly for the provision for losses upward, which caused the amount of income to decrease.

• Board members also approved an update in the hospital’s by-laws.

• Hospital CEO/CRO Michael Morgan showed board members a drawing and rendition of the proposed new tri-county hospital, which he said would be four stories high, would have 80 beds and would sit on 25 acres of land.

Job Corps hosts cancer screening

On Saturday morning, beginning at 8:30 AM on June 25th, men from Bamberg and surrounding areas began gathering at the Bamberg Job Corps. A delicious, free breakfast was served in the dining hall and the men were addressed by Mr. Henry Robinson of Orangeburg and formerly of Bamberg. Mr. Robinson said, “ It is not a matter IF you will have prostate cancer but WHEN you’ll have it.” He spoke very passionately about his personal experiences as a prostate cancer survivor and of the wonderful support he had received during treatment from doctors, nurses, friends and local churches. Robinson stated, “I had more folks praying for me than anyone else in South Carolina.”

Prostate cancer will affect one in every six adult males. Early detection and treatment keep this problem from being an automatic death sentence and the survivor rates, with early treatment will be between 95 and 97 percent.

City of Bamberg volunteer firefighters receive funding increase

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The City of Bamberg volunteer firefighters will see a three percent increase in funding after Bamberg City Council members approved a recommendation from the fire commission for a funding increase at a Special Meeting on Thursday, June 30.

The increase funding for volunteers in the fire department will represent an $840 increase in the department’s budget of $28,000 for the FY 2011-2012 and will be taken out of the travel budget of $34,000. It was noted that the increase funding for the volunteers amounted to the equivalent of hiring a fourth engineer position for the department.

Also during the meeting, that lasted about 10 minutes:

• Council members held a public hearing and received no comments in giving second reading approval to the City’s budget for 2011-2012.

• Council members approved second reading of Ordinance 11-1 establishing new user fees for garbage collection. It was noted that there will be no change in rates for residential customers; however dumpster users will see a $5.00 per month rate increase.

Blood Drive

Despite the much needed rain that came through the area Tuesday afternoon, the Bamberg First Baptist Church sponsored a blood drive conducted by the American Red Cross saw a steady stream of blood donors coming through the doors of the church's fellowship hall. In the photo The Advertizer-Herald staff reporter Jerry Halmon donates the gift of life. "It feels good knowing that what you are doing may help to save someone's life," Halmon said, adding "from now on I plan to be a regular donor."

According to Sheriff Ed Darnell

According to Sheriff Ed Darnell, a tenacious victim, The Allendale Sheriff’s Office, and the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office Investigative Unit worked together to solve a burglary.

A citizen of the county who was in the process of moving into a new residence was being repeatedly burglarized. The citizen installed a deer camera to see if he could detect who was entering the residence in his absence. On June 14, 2011, the camera recorded three males removing the air conditioner unit from the residence. An Investigator with Bamberg County took the photographs and was able to locate the out of county scrap dealer that had bought the unit from the suspect. The dealer was able to provide identifying information to the Investigator so that arrest warrants could be obtained.

The following males have been arrested and face charges: William Outing, age 28, of Allendale was charged with Grand Larceny, Trespassing, and Driving under Suspension. Mr. Colsone Outing, age 22, of Allendale was charged with Grand Larceny. Mr. Terrence Riley, age 21, of Barnwell was charged with Trespassing and Grand Larceny.

Sheriff Darnell stated, “This incident emphasizes the importance of a team effort approach to catch persons acting outside the law. The Sheriff’s Department will continue to work within the law to successfully take criminals off the streets.”

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