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D-O Principal addresses lack of recreation for kids Print E-mail

A lack of recreational activities for young people in the City of Denmark has translated into problems with law enforcement. Denmark- Olar High School Principal Mickey Pringle addressing members of the Denmark City Council at their August 15, meeting said he has spoken with a number of his students and was informed that the lack of recreational outlets in the City is a main concern they have. “And fixing up” the City’s parks was another concern the students had, noting that the lack of recreational activities has become a law enforcement issue because they kids have nothing to do.

Pringle stated in order to help with the problem of a lack of recreational activities the schools are open to the kids two Saturday’s per month. “We’re in the process of trying to do some things,” Pringle said. Mayor Gerald Wright noted that the City of Denmark was in a unique position with five gymnasiums to offer kids, but it needed to be a coordinated effort between all parties.

“We have opportunities to improve on what we offer,” Wright said. “Let’s have a coordinated effort and make it a cooperative venture.” Also on the topic of recreation, Councilman James Robinson gave an update on the City’s second annual Summer Recreational Program that was held for four weeks at Denmark-Technical College. Robinson noted the number of kids served by the program increased from 42 last year to 79 this year. “A number of activities took place; we may be able to increase the number of weeks next year.”

Also during the meeting:

• A proposal by Council member the Rev. Rufus Jamison to hire two fulltime firemen to manage the fire department 24-hours a day died for lack of a second. Mayor Wright noted Jamison’s request would mean amending the City’s budget and asked that Jamison take his request through the committee process.

• Police Chief Leroy Grimes reported the Denmark Police Department created 68 new cases from July 18- August 15. When asked by Council member Hope Long- Weldon about the status of Officer Horace Brunson, who was put on administrative leave after a shooting incident three weeks ago. “They’re still looking at it from the state side,” Chief Grimes said. Grimes reported Officer Kenneth Simmons was rehired by the police department on August 12.

During the public comments portion of the meeting:

• Johnnie Ruth Rosa addressed council members on a variety of issues including: Water quality reports not being put out so citizens can see them; Sewer and water rates increased 45 percent; Replacing the Denmark water tower; the number of Denmark Fire Department members half of what it should be; $150 per person for firefighter first responders training and the status of a planning and zoning grant through Harry Chrissy. “Where is the $740,000 that fell threw the cracks, where is that?” Rosa asked.

Rosa thanked Governor Nikki Haley and Rep. Bakari Sellers for their help in securing funds for the City’s water project and for coming to Denmark for the Masonite expansion. “Nikki Haley has done a lot, I’m proud of the governor and representative,” she said. Mayor Wright noted after Rosa finished her presentation that “there are a lot of inaccuracies in your statements.” Rosa noted her information was accurate.

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