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In This Weeks Edition: 05-13-2009 Print E-mail

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17th Annual food drive

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

“The food drive was very successful this year,” said Enid Bishop, the Director of Bamberg’s Cheez & Cracker Box. “With the economy and the county’s unemployment rate what it is this year, this food is very, very welcome,” she said.

Jointly, the U.S. Postal Service and the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC) and Campbell Soup Company supported the NALC Stamp Out Hunger National Food Drive, designed for people to help those in need right in their own city or town.

Ehrhardt-National Prayer Day

Pansy Clayton, Contributing Writer

We're living in challenging times. But God is moving through the prayers of His people. Prayer is what sustains us, unites the church body and acknowledges our dependence on our loving God.

Their prayers were for our nation, our educational community, our families, for world peace and unity, our churches and their leaders, law enforcement, armed forces, business and medical professionals and the media.

May Day

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

More than 100 enjoyed a beautiful spring day at Middle Place Community Saturday, May 2, in celebration of May Day, an annual festival not only to celebrate the historic importance of Middle Place, but to help raise funds to complete the replication of the old Middle Place schoolhouse.

The central focus today at the Middle Place Community is the Middle Place School, built around 1892 built by the community for the children of the community. The school was used as a one-room school house, with one teacher who taught grades primer through 8th grade, built as a result of the efforts and desires of the blacks to acquire a place of learning for the adults as well as the children.

2009 Deputy of the Year

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

At a small ceremony on Friday at the Bamberg Sheriff’s Department, George W. Folk, Sr. was named the recipient of the 2009 Charles H. Grimes, Jr. Chief Deputy Memorial Award, Outstanding Deputy of the Year.

Sheriff Ed Darnell said, “ George has been a tremendous asset to the department and the year 2007 was a bad year for me. He was a lot of help to me that year, by taking a lot of responsibility off me so that I could continue on. He has a lot of knowledge and experience with SLED and the FBI.”

Exposed to Rabies

Two Branchville-area residents who were exposed to rabies from separate bobcat attacks are under the care of a physician after one bobcat tested positive for rabies, the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control said today.

“The attacks came within a few hours of each other on May 5 and 6,” said Sue Ferguson of DHEC's Bureau of Environmental Health. “The bobcat involved in the second attack was captured and killed.”

Water Project plans

Pansy Clayton, Ehrhardt Correspondent

At the regular monthly meeting, Ehrhardt Town Administrator Scott Neeley gave an update on the status of water system project, stating that the plans and specs should go to DHEC soon. Neeley and Councilman Freddie Copeland both have reviewed the old and new plans for the project and everything looks good to them.

Mayor Stanley stated that he spoke with Boyles and asked him to wrap the project up so the bidding process can get started.

Another item on the agenda was the approval of the right-of-way map for the water system project. In reference to this, Neeley said that the drawing of the town that he obtained from the Court House shows that the town limit signs were wrong. Scott presented Council and Mayor Stanley with a copy of the right-of-way certificate form. Neeley informed Council and the Mayor that the town needs to accept the right-of-way maps and certificate.

Spending stimulus money

Governor Mark Sanford today noted a number of wasteful and inefficient proposals contained in the state budget, saying they were evidence that spending every dollar from the so-called “stimulus” package will result in a missed opportunity to make much-needed changes and reforms.

In particular, the governor pointed out a Senate measure that would move the state Division of Aeronautics from the state Department of Commerce to the state Budget and Control Board – an agency unique to South Carolina and one of the least accountable in all of state government. The proposal came about after Commerce suggested a number of cost-savings measures related to the state aircraft that would involve selling state property and cutting the workforce related to plane maintenance. In total, the proposals would have generated over $363,000 in savings – something guaranteed not to happen if the Division is swallowed in the Budget and Control Board bureaucracy.

The budget also creates a so-called “Capital Police Force,” aimed at shifting existing law enforcement officers out from under the governor’s Cabinet and into legislative control, and likely forcing them to man the costly and ineffective “security” system the legislature had installed on its garage several years ago. During the time when the system was previously operational, a total of seven officers were shifted away from their duties guarding the rest of the Statehouse complex, and instead were tasked with guarding a parking garage.

“These and other examples well demonstrate that not only are budget writers refusing to look at much-needed structural reforms, they’re actually moving our state backwards in some cases,” Gov. Sanford said. “As we saw in the case of GM and Chrysler, the dangerous thing about federal money is the fact that it provides an excuse for the people whose decisions got us where we are to continue making those poor decisions. We’d urge South Carolinians who care about responsible budgeting and using a portion of the stimulus money to pay down debt to make their voices heard during the budget debate this week.”

Other examples cited by Gov. Sanford were:

- Despite a 47 percent decrease in gasoline prices, travel reimbursements are still being paid at their record high level.

- The budget contains $750,000 for hydrogen research, despite complementary federal funding being zeroed out recently after the determination was made that the technology isn’t immediately viable.

- The budget contains $75,000 for the “Clemson Spring Day Dairy Exhibit.”

- Longstanding waste remains, such as $500,000 spent to operate state-run golf course parks, and nearly $1 million in costs to taxpayers to provide game day traffic control.

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