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Edition: 03-06-2013 Print E-mail
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Bamberg County Council and BCMH Board reach settlement with Dobbs

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg County Council members approved a settlement with SC Regional Health System, LLC and Dobbs Equity Partners at a special call meeting held on Monday, morning February 25, in the Bamberg County Courthouse. Likewise, on Tuesday evening, February 26, the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees approved the same settlement agreement.

“It (the settlement agreement) settles everything,” attorney Ray Jones told Bamberg County Council members at their special call meeting Monday morning. Jones noted that because the issues were the same in the Barnwell case and the Bamberg case the settlement agreement “settles everything in each case.”

Jones noted that Bamberg County and Hospital and Barnwell County and Hospital will all be partners to the agreement because each of them were partners to the first Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) with Dobbs Equity Partners (that expired on June 30) and separate bankruptcy cases now. The terms of the agreement involve a payment to Dobbs Equity Partners upon the closure of Barnwell County Hospital to a purchaser who is interested in buying the Barnwell County Hospital.

The payment made to Dobbs (total sum of $625,000) will be the sole payment made. Upon receipt of that payment Dobbs Equity Partners will release all claims and request that all claims against them be released. Jones stressed that the complete settlement was “contingent” on the Barnwell Hospital closing that could occur between 30 and 45 days, with no financial request from Bamberg County or Hospital.

Jones stated that the benefit to Bamberg County and Hospital Board was that: “If you finally get to the position that someone wants to come in and do something (HCA for example) this situation will help you tremendously in getting out of bankruptcy,” Jones said adding “it’s a tremendous value to you.” “The settlement is an opportunity to move forward and allows the County and Hospital to be rid of Dobbs and go on with the plans you have to move forward with. It’s a significantly positive development for Bamberg County,” Jones said.

In their special called meeting on Tuesday evening, after a closed meeting that included a telephone conference with bankruptcy attorney Stan McGuffin, BCMH Board members reconvened to open session and approved the settlement agreement reached with Dobbs. Hospital Board members gave Chairperson Dr. Danette McAlhaney permission to sign the agreement that she noted “doesn’t cost Bamberg County or Hospital any money.” Also in the hospital board meeting it was reported the hospital had received $237,000 in tax money collected on overdue accounts. The hospital’s bank balance was reported at $392,811.73 presently.

Blain Crosby...Candidate for Mayor of Bamberg

Blain Crosby has thrown his hat into the ring as a candidate for mayor of Bamberg in the April 2 municipal elections. Crosby, a native of Bamberg, and a graduate of Denmark Technical College with Associate Degrees in Automotive Technology and Machine and Tool Technology, has been a business owner in Bamberg for the past 19-years. And he said he can relate to the future small business owners that want to come to Bamberg and bring growth to the community.

Crosby, who served for six years in the National Guard and earned the rank of PFC, noted that in order to reach his vision for Bamberg to be the “best town” in the state in which to live, work, and raise a family, there are several goals he would like to achieve as mayor:

Crosby said he would like to engage and promote strong and vibrant neighborhoods in Bamberg; enhance the delivery of safety services; provide and atmosphere that promotes job creation and economic growth in existing and emerging industries and businesses; In the area of education he would encourage and promote participation in learning opportunities and under downtown development, develop a vibrant and thriving downtown that is recognized as an asset for the region.

Crosby also noted that he would provide “quality and efficient” service delivery to the citizens of Bamberg by using “best practices” and invest in all city employees and develop systems that support a high performing city government. Crosby will be challenging Nancy Foster.

Bamberg Police officer arrested

Advertizer Herald, Staff Report

According to a number of media reports, a Bamberg Police Department officer was arrested and charged with driving under the influence last weekend. According to an Augusta Georgia-based television station, Corey James Bamberg, 35 was arrested by an officer with the Cayce Department of Public Safety on Saturday on a charge of allegedly driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to the Lexington County Sheriff’s office.

According to the report, Bamberg was released later on Saturday from the Lexington County Detention Center after posting a $1,229 bond. Bamberg also serves as a school resource officer at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. A City of Bamberg official stated Monday afternoon that a final determination of officer Bamberg’s status with the Bamberg Police Department would be made available in a couple of days upon receipt of paperwork from the City’s attorney.

North-South All-Star Classic

John Hiers, Contributing Writer

A trio of Bamberg-Ehrhardt wrestlers-Malcom Jones, Lan Hiers, and Player Long- from the three-time State Champion Red Raider Wrestling Team were selected to compete this past weekend in the Best Western North/South All Star Wrestling Classic at North Myrtle Beach High School. The top senior wrestlers in the state are selected by the South Carolina Wrestling Coaches Association to compete based on exemplary performance on the mat, as well as, in the classroom.

All three B-E wrestlers have at least 200 career wins to their credit, which puts them in the prestigious company of the top wrestlers in the history of the state; along with winning numerous individual State placements and State Champion titles over their wrestling careers.

In addition, long-time assistant B-E Wrestling Coach Larry Long was selected to coach one of the teams as a representative of the 1A/2A Lower State schools; and Player Long was named the 1A/2A Senior Wrestler of the Year at the Awards Banquet.

This group of individuals has represented Bamberg-Ehrhardt well over the last four years and set a high standard for Red Raider Wrestling.







New BPW operations center completed

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Bamberg Board of Public Works Manager, Will Martin reported on Thursday, February 28th, at the monthly board meeting that the target completion date for the installation of the natural gas line near Phoenix and Tobul is at the end of the week. "The weather has held the contractor up for about one day," according to Martin.

The new operations center is up and running accordingly. Martin stated, "offices are up and operational." According to Martin, now that the phones lines at the new operation center and city hall are connected it should, "help to get the [phone] bill down."

According to Martin the auction on February 16th, produced $22,015 for the trucks sold. Martin said the money they received was, "in-line with what [they] thought." The money will be listed as miscellaneous income in the administration account. In other areas dealing with financial business, the BPW has begun researching for information for a power supply contract. Martin stated they had received some information from Santee-Cooper and that, "[they] hope for a decrease in rate, or at least no increase."

A discussion about the amount of natural gas used by the different plants like Roc-Ion also occurred during Martin's report. According to Martin, there has been a request for the board to find more natural gas for Roc-Ion. The current contract the board has will not allow them to purchase more natural gas to set aside for the business, therefore when Roc-Ion needs more they turn to the board to find natural gas elsewhere on the market, so they will not have to run their propane system. The board discussed maybe looking into another way to help the company.

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