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In This Weeks Edition: 01-18-2012 Print E-mail

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FOSAD member Rex Williams addresses City Council

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg City Council members heard a presentation from FOSAD (For Our Sons and Daughters) member Rex Williams at their January 9 meeting concerning the alleged banning of his group from speaking at council meetings. Williams called the alleged actions of council in banning the group from speaking before them as “unethical” and he was there to address the “violations.” “The banning of FOSAD is a violation of the U.S. Constitution’s First Amendment of Equal Protection under the Law, the South Carolina Constitution and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights,” Williams said, in asking Mayor Alton McCollum, “What gave you the right to ban FOSAD from meetings?”

Mayor McCollum noted that FOSAD has not been banned from coming before Council to speak and he did have the authority to do so “by the seat I hold right here to control and regulate what goes on, on council”, adding “as far as the banning goes, we didn’t want to hear some of the things brought up in the past.” “We thought the items had been discussed adequately. It was Council’s intention to treat FOSAD and everyone else fairly and there was “no right to disrupt meeting,” McCollum said.

Councilman Bo Griffin said he didn’t recall FOSAD being banned from meetings. Griffin noted that he did recall FOSAD being allowed on the agenda to discuss the basketball courts. “Anytime you want to come to this public forum and express yourself I agree with you,” Griffin said, adding “the thing is you’re on the agenda to protest not being on the agenda, that tells you something right there.”

As tempers began to flare, Williams was informed that he had used his allotted time and was escorted from the meeting by Chief George Morris under the threat of being arrested. Williams could be heard saying “We are taking legal action against the ban.”

In the public comments portion of the meeting regarding Williams’ presentation Councilwoman Cynthia Summer took issue with Chief Morris “shaking your finger in my face and raising your voice at me” and questioning whether nor she was involved with FOSAD. “That was disrespectful to me,” Summers said, adding “I’m not a part of anything but trying to keep peace in here. This is only my second time hearing about FOSAD. I don’t know anything about FOSAD. If someone comes before Council and wants to speak the best thing is to let them speak, summers said.”

Chief Morris noted that for a council member to be involved with FOSAD would be “stepping over a line.” “Williams (Rex) has not been banned from meetings, but threatening people and having his own personal agenda.

The majority of the people are not behind FOSAD. Somebody that works with the City is reinforcing him and that’s the person that needs to back off,” Chief Morris said, adding “I’ve been dealing with Rex Williams for years, I know the whole story, I know what’s going on.”

Rita Sease, who was in attendance at the meeting said she thought Chief Morris owed Councilwoman Summers an apology. “Observing what went on, I didn’t like it,” Sease said. “I think the Chief owes the Council lady an apology.

I don’t appreciate anyone insinuating or implicating anyone, I didn’t see your professionalism,” Sease, who noted that she serves on a board.

Local businessman James McMillan said to Chief Morris “you need to be professional about it.”

SPOTLIGHT ON INDUSTRY: Tobul Accumulator

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce has started a new program called the Chamber’s Industrial Spotlight. The Chamber will invite one industry each month to be the focus of the Chamber’s Industrial Spotlight. The industry in the spotlight for January is Tobul Accumulators. Tobul hosted the first event on January 10, at its plant on 186 Accumulator St. Bamberg.

Jerry Bell, Co-President of the Bamberg County Chamber of Commerce thanked Tobul Owner and CEO Jim Tobul for inviting the group and agreeing to accept the Chamber’s invitation to be the first company to host the Chamber Spotlight on Industry. Bell noted that often new industry moving into the area get a lot of attention. “We want our existing businesses to get attention too,” Bell said, adding “they’re the one’s who pay the salaries for all the people driving those cars in the parking lot over there and to buy groceries and clothes, they are a vital part of our community and we don’t want them to be forgotten because they aren’t new. We want to honor all our industry for making Bamberg County the County that it is,” Bell said.

Tobul Accumulator Owner and CEO Jim Tobul told the group before the tour of the plant began that it was not a closely held secret the company stayed “kind of tight” in what it did. So it made him “proud” to allow the group to come in and see and show the public what the company did. Tobul said the company, whose original structure was built in Bamberg in 1987 in a “cold January month” was in a “tremendous growth pattern” at that time. In 1998 a new addition was added, doubling the capacity of the plant that is now 50,000 square feet. The company is now again at capacity and looking to expand to the next step Tobul said. With the challenging economy the company has worked “very hard” to diversify its customer base Tobul noted.

“We’re not looking at one particular industry or depending on one particular industry,” Tobul said, noting the energy markets have really taken off. “It’s been a blessing,” the company is running three shifts per day of 12 workers with an unlimited amount of overtime. In 2010 the company hired 20 new employees and 2011 hired 30 additional employees and two more employees have been hired so far this month. Tobul Accumulator holdings include the Bamberg facility as well as a facility in Houston, Texas and a operation in Racine, Wisconsin. The company also reaches overseas to Shanghai China and is looking to expand to Singapore or Australia. “Our customer basis is global,” doing a lot of business in Korea and China. Everything is manufactured in this country and shipped to China Tobul said. Tobul does its part in keeping the country’s trade balance in that it imports very little from foreign countries and exports pretty much everything it makes. Tobul is truly an international company shipping its products all over the world from its plant right here in Bamberg Tobul said. “We’re very, very proud of that.” Asked by a member of the group to describe what an Accumulator is, Tobul noted that an Accumulator could be described as a hydraulic component that works with other components in a breaker box, an emergency power source or a shock absorber for hydraulics.

Dangerous Intersection

The intersection of Highway 70 and Guess Drive has proven to be one of the most dangerous intersections in Bamberg County. A two vehicle collision involving two sport utility vehicles resulted in two young children being transported to the hospital by Life Net Helicopters and a number of other occupants of the two vehicles being transported by the Bamberg Rescue Squad to the hospital Monday. Units of the Bamberg Rescue Squad, Denmark Fire Department, South Carolina Highway Patrol and Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office responded to the scene.

Ed Darnell to seek re-election

Sheriff Ed Darnell announces that he is excited to be filing for his ninth full term as Sheriff for Bamberg County in March 2012. Sheriff Darnell states he is a proven leader with 40 years of law enforcement experience. It has always been his policy to be a hands-on Sheriff for Bamberg County. He served as President of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association in 1986 and was named Sheriff of the Year in 2001. In 2008, he was voted Sheriff of the Year by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Victims Advocates Association. He is the third longest serving Sheriff in the state, followed only by the Sheriffs of Pickens and Lexington counties.

Sheriff Darnell states that his goal for the next term is to make our community a safer, happier place to live. He has worked hard to implement changes in his department to bring it up to date with the growing technology that is now available for law enforcement to fight crime. He has increased the number of deputies for our county to provide for better service to our community.

He is proud of the Victim Service Programs in his Department. He takes great pride in not only seeking justice for all victims, but also giving them a sense of personal care and compassion. His open door policy, his personal rapport with the community, and his aggressive common sense approach to law enforcement has served our community well for the past 40 years.

Allendale-Fairfax takes two wins over Bamberg-Ehrhardt

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

In a pair of basketball games that featured a heavy amount of security at courtside as a result the controversial football game played between the two schools this past season, the Allendale-Fairfax varsity basketball teams were able to come away with two wins over the home standing Red Raider teams. Fortunately, there were no incidents on the court or in the stands and the players and coaches shook hands when the game was over. In the first game of the night the B-E girls’ and A-F girls took a 26-26 tie into the locker room. In the third quarter the A-F girls would take a 35-33 lead at the 1:33 mark of the third quarter capitalizing on a rash of B-E turnovers. In the fourth quarter with the score 40-35 A-F at the 7:30 mark the Lady Tigers would go on a 19-5 run to close out the game for a 59-40 win. Leaders for B-E on offense were: Meronda Murdaugh 21 points, Lashaye Clark 8, Lakita Walker 6, Brittany Hughes 4 and Alexis Toomer 1.

In the boys’ game A-F got off to a fast 14-1 start and lead 23-5 at the end of the first quarter mostly on three pointers. The Tigers would go on to take a 46-8 lead at halftime over the Red Raiders and win by a final score of 67-20. The Red Raiders were lead by K.C. Crosby and Terrell Kinard with 6 points each, LaSamuel Davis 4, Justin J. and Akeem Bamberg added 2 points each.

Denmark-Olar wins double-header

Anna Martin

In varsity basketball action on Friday night, January 13 at Denmark-Olar High School, the Denmark-Olar Lady Vikings defeated the Hunter-Kinard-Tyler Trojans 82-25.

The Viking girls gained a strong lead early in the first quarter and maintained that lead throughout the game. Junior Ta'asia Wright lead with 23 points, 15 rebounds, and 1 assist. Jasmine Daniels scored 14 points, with 5 assists, Kanielsha Dickerson contributed 10 points and Daneisha Youmans scored 9 points. The Denmark-Olar Lady Vikings hold a 8-3 overall record and a 4-2 conference record.

The Denmark-Olar varsity boys defeated Hunter-Kinard-Tyler in a closely contested game. The Vikings scored first but HKT gained the lead in the second quarter. The scores remained close into the final seconds of the fourth quarter. A free throw score by Chansler Kirkland returned the lead to Denmark-Olar and provided the momentum for the Viking win of 67–61.

 
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