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In This Weeks Edition: 02-17-2010 Print E-mail

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Winter Wonderland...

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow, let it snow. After waiting patiently for several winters, residents of Bamberg County finally got a significant amount of snow last Friday evening and Saturday morning. The official amount of snow fall was measured at between four and eight inches. By most accounts it was the largest amount of snow in the county since 1973, when close to 14 inches of the white stuff blanketed the area.

Lines were long at the banks and grocery stores. Schools in the county and across the state closed early in anticipation of the event.

With the wintry weather came fun for the children, who built snowmen, related problems of traffic accidents, trees falling down on power lines and power outages in some places. Across the state of South Carolina there were 1,900 reported traffic accidents largely because of the inexperience of most South Carolinians in driving in the snow.

Bamberg County residents escaped any serious injuries according Bamberg County Disaster Preparedness Director Sharon Hammond. The biggest concern in Bamberg County was motorist venturing out in the snow and wanting to drive like they would on an ordinary day. “It went just fine, very well, if people would stay off the pedal. I hope everyone enjoyed the snow, however driving around in wintry weather creates problems, it’s best to just stay indoors,” Hammond said.

Hammond said the snow caused a number of trees to fall and block highways and some bridges, but she noted that the South Carolina Department of Transportation did a good job of getting the trees removed.

Bamberg Board of Public Works Manager Bruce Ellis reported the BPW “did not have one single call out” during the snow. Ellis said he attributed that to the fact that the BPW keeps trees near its power lines cut back.

Edisto Electric Cooperative Manager of Members Services, Frank Furtick, said because of the large area the company serves, the utility company did experience power outages during the snow in the following areas: Estill, Allendale, Bamberg, St. George and Ridgeville. He said during its peak outage period, 7000 to 8000 Edisto Electric Cooperative customers were without power. But by Saturday, that number was down to 2,000 or 3,000 mostly in the St. George area.

Bamberg District Two seeks energy grant

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg School District Two Board of Trustees gave their approval to the submission of an Energy Application - Barnwell Project energy grant at the February meeting.

Bamberg District Two Finance Director, Rodney Anderson, said the district submitted an application to the energy office, for a grant through the stimulus package for a total of $82,239, to be used at Denmark- Olar High School for the retro-fitting of the heating and cooling system at the school. Anderson said the funds could only be used for existing and not new construction.

Anderson said the 25 percent of the total grant or $20,559would have to be paid back over a four-year period beginning January 1, 2012 through January 1, 2015with payments of $5,139.94 for the first three years and a penny less the last year. The district will receive $61, 679.25 that does not have to be repaid.

Anderson said he pushed to get some of the money for the Denmark-Olar Elementary School, but there was no guarantee to the energy office that the consumption of energy in the school would be reduced.

Trustee Board members also gave their permission to Anderson to submit an application for State Building Fund money, which was noted ‘not a loan.’ The State Building Fund money would come from three sources: Education Improvement Act (EIA) - $ 210, state money - $4,462 and Barnwell money - $23,104.31. Anderson said there had been ‘one little glitch’ with receiving the funds in the past, in that 50 percent of the money had to go to the County Treasurer’s Office for payment on millage. Anderson said he hoped the district could receive a waiver.

According to Ed...

According to Sheriff Ed Darnell of Bamberg, four persons have been arrested for a number of thefts of copper wiring from irrigation systems in Bamberg County. Investigators from Bamberg, Barnwell, and Orangeburg counties worked together to solve these cases. All three counties were experiencing the same type of thefts. The four persons arrested and charged in Bamberg County are as follows:

Tarell Glover, age 21, of Denmark, was charged with four counts of Grand Larceny and one count of Malicious Injury to Personal Property. His bond was set at $5,000.00 Cash or Surety.

Mark Easterday, age 20, of Hopkins, was charged with three counts of Grand Larceny and one count of Malicious Injury to Personal Property. His bond was set at $2,500.00 Cash or Surety.

Wilbert Lee Moody, age 22, of Denmark, was charged with two counts of Grand Larceny. His bond was set at $2,500.00 Cash or Surety.

Devane Maurice Champion, age 23, of Hopkins, was charged with three counts of Grand Larceny and one count of Malicious Injury to Personal Property. His bond was set at $2,500.00 Cash or Surety.

Investigations are continuing in the three counties and additional charges may be forth coming for these persons.

Rosenwald School

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The time to save the Rosenwald School in Denmark is now. To not take action would be a tremendous lost to the county, the state and the nation. This was the message that came out of a meeting, on the campus of Voorhees College Friday morning, dedicated to the goal of restoring one of the first schools built for Blacks in Bamberg County.

One thing all of the alumni, that attended the Denmark Rosenwald School, said they had in common was the quality education they received at the school. “We got an excellent education at the school,” said Virginia Bell of the Midway Community in Bamberg, who later went on to be a school teacher for many years. “We were taught well,” she added.

Denmark Mayor Gerald Wright, who attended the Rosenwald School for three years beginning in second grade, spoke of his time at the school. “I had a lot of excellent experiences there. I’m glad to see this group come together to restore this building.”

Voorhees College President Dr. Cleveland Sellers, himself a product of the Rosenwald School in Denmark, noted in his closing remarks after several churches in attendance at the meeting had made pledges, that Voorhees College’s founder Elizabeth Evelyn Wright’s first sought the help of local churches when she founded the college. “We’re on our way to healing and bringing the community back together again,” said Sellers.

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