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Job Corps suffers 21 percent budget cut

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“Job Corps Programs are still going through some changes,” Bamberg County Job Corps executive director Eric Jones told those in attendance at Wednesday morning’s Community Relations Council and Community Industrial Council Luncheon held in the Vanessa D. Williams Gymnasium on the Center’s campus.

Jones noted that he recently received information that Job Corps programs throughout the country will receive a 21 percent cut in funding, partially due to “right sizing, sequestration and management of federal dollars.”

“It’s a sad day,” Jones said, “adding that means the vocational scholarships we give our students in the future will decrease, that’s kind of sad for South Carolina because South Carolina is under represented when it comes to federal dollars.” Jones noted that states smaller than South Carolina receive “twice as much funding.”

“For us this change will be difficult,” he said. Jones oversees the only Job Corps Program in the state of South Carolina. The BJCC has an approximately $6 million economic impact on the state, with most of the funds being spent in Bamberg County. He noted that the Bamberg Job Corps Program “serves a very large state” with students from all over the state and some from North Carolina and Georgia. He stated that students from other states are sent to the BJCC because of the training and “high performance” the Center has in academics.

“So just be aware of it,” he said, noting “my management and instructional teams look at it as a time to get leaner and meaner.” Jones stated that even with the budget cuts the BJCC will still supply a “high quality of service” for its students and maintain “a clean safe and effective center for its students.”

“We’re not going to complain about it,” he said, noting Rep. Jim Clyburn and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley are aware of the situation the BJCC is in. And he noted the BJCC is “always” involved with activities where their students are utilized locally and across the state. He noted that Rep. Clyburn and Gov. Haley are aware that the BJCC is one of the largest employers in Bamberg County, with one of the largest professional staffs in the County.

Jones noted that the BJCC, which “takes students that didn’t know what they were going to do” is one of the “highest performing” College Prep and Military Prep facilities in the nation and is consistently in the top three centers in the southeast. “Our students are just as good and perform just as well as any of those other students,” he said.

Other BJCC staff members speaking at the luncheon on Wednesday were: WBL Coordinator Wanda Wiggins, Interim Records Manager Kathy Lyons and CDSS Director Teresa Franklin, who introduced members of the BJCC Vocational Staff. Jarred Moore, SGA Vice President, welcomed those in attendance.

BINGO Night

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Citizens of Bamberg County and surrounding areas joined together at the Bamberg City Civic Center on Friday, March 29th for the annual BINGO Night sponsored by American Red Cross.

As over a hundred people filled the tables each wondered who would win the gifts from the many businesses who donated to make the event a night full of fun. As the night began the Junior Red Cross sold pizza, cookies, chips, drinks and more to the guests playing bingo. Red Cross Volunteers sold tickets and helped individuals get new cards if they needed them for their chance to be a winner.

As the event began Harvey Kling and Paul Sandifer explained how the game would be played. A moment of silence was observed in remembrance of the late Thomas Rhoad, who Sandifer said did so much Bamberg County.

Many round of bingo were played, and many won prizes like framed art, cleaning supplies, nail polish, decorative items to hang around the home, subscriptions, gift cards and more. Cakes were raffled off, and Easter baskets were given away to the children who won the Children’s Bingo Round.

John Ganus, a representative of Govan and Olar donated the hundred dollars which was split between the two winners of cover the card bingo.

Sandifer said that the event was a great success, and Harvey made sure each winner received the correct items they won. The Red Cross does a lot of the citizens of Bamberg County according to Sandifer; even recently three families who lost their homes due to a fire were helped greatly by the efforts of the Red Cross.

The money collected at the event will be used to make help families in Bamberg County who are victims of natural disasters, in cases where the home or more is lost. Sandifer asked that anyone needing help in such an instance is requested to get in touch with the Red Cross so they can help make the situation better.

FBC hosts Community Egg Hunt

On Saturday, March 31st Bamberg First Baptist Church hosted an Easter Egg Hunt at the Ness Sports Complex Center after a devotional.

Brad Hudson, Youth Director at First Baptist Church in Bamberg used a tea bag to explain how Jesus was crucified, and the importance of Jesus dying on the cross for the sins of those who believed in Him. As the children answered Hudson’s questions, they participated in the sharing of God’s word and the importance of the Easter Holiday.

After Hudson finished the devotional, children of all ages were directed to the fields for the egg hunt. Children raced to their designated locations in hopes to find one of the three special eggs, which would land them an Easter themed prize.

As the children ran around picking up eggs in hopes of finding that special egg, the parents looked on with ecstatic joy. When all of the eggs were found, the children ran back to the tables to claim a prize, if they won one.

More than fifty children participated in the event this year. Stephanie Hutto, from the First Baptist Church said, “We were really excited to do this again this year. We were really happy to be able to do this again and get the gospel out to the kids.”

Community Health Fair

Jerry E. Halmon &
Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporters

The Bamberg County Disabilities and Special Needs Board located in the John W. Matthews Center on Highway 78 near Denmark held its first Health Fair on Thursday, March 28. Eight presenters were on hand to bring important information on a variety of topics related to health and fitness. Also, blood sugar, blood pressure, vision screenings and a Zumba Class was conducted for those in attendance.

Pat Williams of the Bamberg County Sheriff’s Office spoke on domestic violence training. Williams explained in past years a domestic violence case would have been dropped due to a female not wanting to press charges. However, in today’s situations, Williams said, “we prosecute if the woman changes her mind.” Williams explained that criminal domestic violence (CDV) is defined as any person, male or female, making another person feeling unsafe by giving a threat and are close enough in the room to act out that threat.

According to Williams there are over 36,000 cases of CDV in the state of South Carolina. Officers are trained on how to write a report and take the correct photos in order to make sure CDV cases are handled correctly. Williams shared it takes 8 to 12 times before a woman leaves a violent relationship and 19% of men suffer from the same type of violence.

Relay for Life in Bamberg County

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

“To the citizens of Bamberg County, cancer is a very serious disease,” said Jimmie Bishop, Chairperson of Bamberg County Relay for Life 2013. Since 2001, when Bishop first began her involvement with Relay it was because she knew it was for a good cause and she felt, “everyone in some way has been affected by cancer.”

In 2001, Bishop was captain of her team for Ehrhardt Baptist Church where she continued participation until 2009 when she was volunteered to be the captain for the Brabham Oil Company Team. It was there where she began to realize the importance of helping to raise money for researchers to find a cure for cancer.

Bishop explained that it’s more than about finding a cure. It’s about having a night out with family and friends, which is why it’s important to show support to family and friends who are or have battled with cancer.

“As chairperson, we have an awesome committee team that has worked together really hard to make sure Relay for Life 2013 is a BIG success,” said Bishop when asked about this year’s event. Bishop continued to say, “The committee chairpersons have taken their committee and are doing quite well.” At each meeting for team captains, which is held monthly, the goals and ideas grow and everything comes together a little more.

If anyone has ever been to a Relay event, they may see the hard work it takes to put it together. Bishop at first felt overwhelmed with everything going on, but it soon changed after speaking with Stephanie Reely, the American Cancer Society advocate for Bamberg County. “Stephanie has showed me how to get people to lead a committee, and it’s all started to fall into place,” said Bishop.

“Relay has opened my eyes a lot. I had no idea of what all is available to cancer patients, family and caregivers. Relay had touched my heart and it really hits home when you or a family member is diagnosed with cancer,” said Bishop, whose passion for Relay shows to anyone she speaks to about the event.

“I want to invite everyone in Bamberg County to come out on Friday, May 18th at 7pm for Relay for Life 2013. What better fun can you and your family have on a Friday night than to come out and raise money for a great cause,” asked Bishop.

Bishop and so many others involved with the event ask for anyone willing to help to come and raise money to make more birthdays for Bamberg County. So, as the slogan for this year’s event says, “Come for the party, stay for the cure!” On May 18th, lives will change and more birthdays will be added to the calendar. For any information on how to get involved, call on Bishop and she’ll help get you started.

Red Raider baseball teams pickup wins

The Red Raider JV and Varsity baseball teams picked up opening round wins in the 2013 Sandlapper Invitational Baseball Tournament held in Pelion, SC. In varsity first round action B-E defeated Laurens Academy 8-2. Sumner Cooler pitched 6 complete innings recording 10 strikeouts giving up only 4 hits. Kodi Jamison picked up the save recording 3 strikeouts.

In JV action in the Sandlapper Invitational the B-E JV baseball team defeated Pelion 12-8. Perry Fleming was the winning pitcher and Corey Beard came in relief for the save.

In other baseball action B-E defeated Calhoun County 17-6. Kodi Jamison picked up the win with Landon Sandifer coming in relief for the save.

In the Varsity game B-E defeated Branchville 5-1. Anthony Chandler pitched a complete game recording 6 strike outs while allowing only 3 hits.

In the JV game B-E defeated Branchville 8-2. Robert Kirkland picked up the win recording 6 strikeouts.

In other Varsity baseball action on Tuesday, March 26, Silver Bluff defeated B-E 7-1. Taking the loss was Chris Sweatman going 6 2/3 innings with 9 strikeouts. Kodi Jamison pitched 1 1/3 innings in relief recording 4 strikeouts.

 
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