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In This Weeks Edition: 05-16-2012 Print E-mail
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Bamberg named Deputy of the Year

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Members of the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office paused for a few minutes Wednesday morning to remember a department “icon”, in the late Chief Deputy Charles H. Grimes, who served for over 40 years in the department, and who died five years ago on that date, and to recognize one of their own on receiving the award named in Grimes’ honor.

Deputy Franklin Bamberg, who retired from the Columbia Airport Security Force, and who “came back home” was named the 2012 Recipient of the Chief Deputy Charles H. Grimes Memorial Award as Bamberg County’s Sheriff Office outstanding deputy.

“I’m honored to receive this award,” a surprised Deputy Bamberg said, adding “thanks to all my co-workers, family and friends that made it possible. I want to thank everyone that has helped me along the way since I arrived here; I just want to thank everyone.”

Bamberg County Sheriff Ed. Darnell, in presenting Deputy Bamberg with his award in front of a large number of Sheriff’s Office personnel and members of Bamberg’s family gathered in the hall of the Sheriff’s Office said the department was “very fortunate” to bring him home.

“He is the most eager person to learn, move, do what’s right, treat people fair, and apply common sense,” Sheriff Darnell said of Deputy Bamberg, adding “he always comes and ask for advice, whatever the situation is.”

In giving a brief history of the award presented to Deputy Bamberg Wednesday, Sheriff Darnell noted that after Chief Deputy Grimes died five years ago, he promised to honor Grimes’ memory each year as long as he was Sheriff by having a deputy recognized as the deputy of the year.

“And that’s a hard thing to do because all our deputies do an outstanding job. Selecting one is really very hard to do.” Sheriff Darnell noted that late Chief Deputy Grimes, whose motto was “do what you’ve got to do and do it with honor and take care of our people,” set an example of what law enforcement is all about and that is “doing your job, but being fair and using good common sense.”

County Administrator resigns

Rose Dobson-Elliott has resigned her position as Bamberg County Administrator effective May 10. She has been the county administrator since January of 2006.

“Effective Thursday, May 10, Rose Dobson- Elliott is no longer the acting administrator. We will name an interim county administrator as soon as possible. We can’t comment any further at this time because it is a personnel matter.” said Chris Wilson, chairman of Bamberg County Council.

Wilson stated that the May 9 special meeting was called to discuss a personnel matter in the administrator’s office. Dobson- Elliott joined council in closed executive session during that meeting. No votes were taken in that meeting.

Chairman Wilson sent a memo dated May 10, to all county employees and elected officials regarding the administrator. The memo stated that Dobson-Elliott would no longer be serving as county administrator as of May 10 and that county council would name an interim administrator and begin the process of hiring another county administrator.

Relay for Life May 18th

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The 2012 Bamberg County Relay for Life will be held at Leon Maxwell Stadium on Friday night, May 18, beginning at 7:00 p.m. This year’s Relay for Life will begin at 7:00 p.m. with a Survivors walk, followed by a Caregiver’s walk and Survivors’ supper at 7:30 p.m.

The Luminaria service will be held at 10:00 p.m. Relay for Life Co-chair Mollie Jo Brandemuehl noted this year’s event is already on pace to reach the stated goal of raising $56,000 with $31,000 being raised at press time Tuesday and teams still having not turned in all their money yet.

This year’s event will feature 12-teams and 135 participants have signed up so far. They are said to be “full of energy” and ready to get started.

The Relay for Life organizers said they wanted to express their appreciation to the teams and corporate sponsors. Again, the organizers of this year’s 'Bamberg County Relay for Life' are asking everyone to come out and support the event that will feature plenty of food, games and entertainment and raise money for the worthy cause of fighting cancer.

“We’re looking for a lot of fun and people walking all night long,” Brandemuehl said.

Red Raiders fall

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Varsity Baseball team completed another successful season Friday night falling to Lamar in the South Carolina Class-A Lower State Finals at David Horton Field. In the first game Lamar defeated B-E 8-5. The Silver Foxes were led at the plate by Jeff Plummer, who had a three run homerun in the game. In the lower state finals game Lamar would come away with a 4-3 win.

Da’Quan Bowers

According to a number of published reports Tampa Bay defensive end and former Bamberg-Ehrhardt and Clemson University standout Da'Quan Bowers tore his right Achilles tendon during an off-season workout and will undergo surgery.

The second-year pro was a second-round pick in the 2011 draft. He started six of his 16 games as a rookie, finishing with 25 tackles.

Bowers was injured at the team's practice facility on Thursday. The Buccaneers have not yet issued a timetable for recovery, but injuries of this nature typically require a long period of rest and rehabilitation.

This is the second serious lower-leg injury that Bowers has suffered. He underwent a micro fracture procedure on his left knee last January that saw his professional career get off to a slow start. He was a bright spot for the struggling Buccaneers late last season, including a game against the Carolina Panthers on Dec. 4 in which he recorded eight tackles and his first career sack.

Subway robbery

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

An Orangeburg man has been arrested for his confessed involvement in a robbery of the Subway Restaurant on Heritage Highway in Denmark earlier this year.

And a Gaston, S.C. man has been charged for his part in being the driver of the getaway car. Everette Emanuel Prince, of Orangeburg, SC., has been charged with armed robbery of the Denmark Subway Restaurant, on March 30, 2012. Shelvey LaQuan Grant, of Gaston S.C., was charged with accessory to armed robbery. Both men were reportedly students at Denmark Technical College.

According to Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes at approximately 7:08 p.m. on March 20, 2012 a gunman entered the Subway Restaurant in Denmark and approached the cashier and asked the cashier to “give him the money.”

The subject walked out with a little over $400 and exited the building and went around the side to a getaway vehicle, later identified as a white Lexus that had been stolen from Orangeburg County. Officers were able to retrieve video tapes that aided in the arrest of the subjects. Officers reported that no one was injured or hurt at the scene.

Denmark shooting

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

An Allendale County man was recently arrested in connection with a 2011 shooting incident in the city of Denmark. Brandon Bing, of Fairfax, South Carolina, was arrested on Thursday afternoon by the Fairfax Police Department, and has been charged with attempted armed robbery and possession of a weapon during a violent crime for his alleged involvement in a November 26, 2011 Locust Street in Denmark shooting incident that involved three victims.

Bond was set on Bing at $20,000 surety on Friday. According to information from Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes, the three victims at the 911 Locust Street address during the robbery attempt identified Bing and two other subjects, whom are still at large. Information on Bing was entered into the NCIC computer. An arrest warrant has been issued for Carlos Mandel Badger also from the Allendale County area in the case.





Juveniles face charges

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Charges have been made against two juveniles driving their parents SUV on Monday, night April 30, in the city of Denmark, who later struck a seven- year old juvenile in the area of Maple Street and Ciecle Street, who was riding his bike.

According to Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes, the youth, reportedly a third grader at Denmark-Olar Elementary School, was transported to the Bamberg County Urgent Care Center by EMS and later to (Palmetto Health) Richland Memorial Hospital in Columbia. According to reports, the youth was listed in stable condition and was scheduled to be released on Wednesday afternoon.

Haley signs charter bill

In a ceremony at one of the state’s premier charter schools, Gov. Nikki Haley signed into law a bill that would give even more power to charter schools.

Haley was joined by State Superintendent Mick Zais at Greenville Technical Charter School in putting pen to paper on House bill 3241. A large contingent of students and faculty from GTCS were on hand to celebrate the announcement.

In signing the bill, Haley set her sights on even more change to the state’s ailing public school system. “We will no longer settle for what we think education has to be, we will lead in this country on what education should be – and that means options, innovation and creativity,” Haley said.

Zais added, “A one-size-fits-all model of education simply doesn’t work for many students. Public charter schools are laboratories of innovation where the interests of students come first.”

Anticipating potential criticism about fairness, Zais also noted that charter schools are held to a higher competitive standard than public schools in that failing charter schools can be closed, whereas public schools cannot.

Haley told reporters after the signing that she looks forward to bills coming to her desk that will offer parents even more choice.

City to consider fee in lieu of taxes agreement for Urgent Care Center

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg City Council members will be asked to consider adopting a resolution for a fee in lieu of taxes agreement with Dobbs Equity Partners for the construction of or purchase of an Urgent Care Facility in the city of Bamberg.

“What I came to talk to you about is the urgent care center that would be located in the city of Bamberg,” Bamberg County Council Chairman Chris Wilson told Bamberg City Council members at their May 14, meeting Monday night.

Wilson noted that with a private entity (Dobbs Equity) goes a taxable situation, in this case a private hospital system that will pay taxes. It was noted that the County of Bamberg has entered a fee in lieu of taxes arrangement with Dobbs that is scheduled to make an approximately $30 million investment in a new regional hospital to be built in Bamberg County outside of Denmark on Highway 78.

A fee in lieu of taxes agreement was described as an arrangement where an entity that is going to invest money or create jobs will be able to predict or project better what its tax obligation will be in the future. Because the urgent care facility will be in the city of Bamberg, the City will be required to adopt the same agreement as the County.

“We would like the city of Bamberg to give its consent or approval to the fee in lieu of taxes arrangement that Bamberg County has negotiated with the Dobbs Group and that Barnwell County has negotiated with the Dobbs Group,” Wilson said. He noted that the City’s investment would be a “minimal” or a lesser amount than the amount required to build a 30-bed hospital, but none the less it would be an investment on the City’s part.

In responding to a question from Bamberg City Council member Nancy Foster, Wilson noted that the City of Bamberg would not be giving anything away by entering the fee in lieu arrangement, but would be “creating an opportunity” for a “stronger, more stable financially” healthcare system that would also be a revenue source.

A description of the property or where the new urgent care facility will be located in the city of Bamberg, that will eventually replace the present Urgent Care Facility ran by Southern Carolina Regional Hospital Systems has not been determined yet it was noted.

Also during the meeting:

• In the Finance report it was noted the City was at approximately 83 percent of its budget. “Some might be a little less, some line items a little higher than they need to be,” but its averaging out, Clerk/Treasurer Bruce Watson said.

• In the police department report Police Commissioner Bo Griffin commended the Bamberg County Police Department on its effort to raise money for a police dog with Saturday’s 5K Run/Walk. Police Chief George Morris noted that Saturday’s event was “a success.” The Chief also noted that Officer Lance Thomas has submitted his resignation from the department.

• Park Commissioner Nancy Foster reported the basketball courts at the Ness Sports Complex are waiting for cement to be poured so tile can be put down.

• Under Old Business: In an update on replacing parking on Main Street; Mayor Alton McCollum said he wrote a “strong letter” to all the parties involved. “They are working on it,” the Mayor said, adding the City had not heard anything for four to six months. “They shot us down, we requested a response now, a letter is being drafted and we’re looking forward to hearing more.”

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