In This Weeks Edition: 03-17-2010

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Father and son team travels 460 miles

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

September 9, 2001 is a day that changed the lives of Harold Lawrence and his son Joshua Brantner forever. On that day, over eight years ago, while under the influence of alcohol, Joshua decided to climb a tree and fell 30 feet landing on concrete.

“It not only changed my son’s life forever, he went from being a (6-3, 190) All- Star baseball, basketball and soccer athlete to being in a wheelchair and fighting for his life,” Harold Lawrence said, as he and Joshua made a stop in Bamberg on their custom made 3-wheel bicycle, designed so that Joshua can help peddle to show that he doesn’t want to stop living.

On February 24, Harold and Joshua started out from St. Augustine Florida, with a goal of walking 460 miles to Huntersville N.C. and Hinds Feet Farm to raise awareness that March is Traumatic Brain Injuries Month.

“What we’re trying to do is raise awareness of how wide spread this epidemic really is,” Harold Lawrence said. He added, “We want to bring attention to all the little towns across this country; that if anyone has a brain injury or know someone that has a brain injury to take a few minutes out of their day and go visit them and bring a little joy to that person.”

According to the Centers For Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) each year an estimated 80,000 to 90,000 people sustain a TBI resulting in a permanent disability. 5.3 million Americans live with head injuries that need someone to take care of them on a daily basis. A brain injury has no respect for age, race, color or creed and can affect anybody at any time. Every 15 seconds someone in the USA has a head injury.

Teen Loses Life

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A Bamberg teenager lost her life in a single vehicle accident Saturday night.

Fantasia Roberts, 18, of 168 Panther Road, Bamberg, a passenger in a 1995 Ford Explorer driven by Brandon Keller, 18, of 84 Abel Rd., Bamberg, was killed when she was ejected from the vehicle, according to Lance Cpl. Judd Jones of the S.C. Highway Patrol.

The vehicle was traveling north on U.S. 301 about five miles south of Orangeburg when it veered to the right and the driver lost control of the vehicle, which overturned in the median, Jones said.

Denmark Library

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The Denmark Branch Library of the Aiken- Bamberg-Barnwell-Edgefield Regional Library System held a groundbreaking ceremony Monday morning, March 15, on the site of the new planned 3,000 sq. ft. Denmark library located near the fire station, in the Walter E. “Pete” Brooker Park.

A large gathering of city, county, state, and library officials were on hand for the groundbreaking ceremony. Mary Jo Dawson, Director of the ABBE Regional Library System welcomed those in attendance. Dawson called a library “a powerhouse of goodness” and she thanked Representative Bakari Sellers for the work he started two years ago in securing funds for the library.

Broadband Access

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Denmark Technical College President Dr. Michael M. Townsend announced Thursday in a press release that the college has received an approximately $427,080 grant. The grant will be used to improve computer broadband access at the college sites in its three county service area of Allendale, Barnwell and Bamberg. The Broadband Grant initiative’s primary purpose is to provide computer access in underserved areas, improve broadband education, awareness, training and access.

The Broadband Grant will allow DTC to set up public computer centers with high-speed internet access at its main campus as well as the college’s sites that include: Denmark Tech’s Educational Training Center-Barnwell, and Allendale Center. The press release noted that the Denmark Tech centers are expected to be fully operational by late fall and will provide increased band width and expanded access for credit and continuing education students and residents in rural areas of the tri-county service area.

Red Cross Bingo

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

The one fund raiser of the Bamberg County American Red Cross, Red Cross Bingo, is scheduled for Friday, March 26, at the Bamberg Civic Center. The annual Bing Game begins at 7 p.m. offering more than two dozen prizes.

Denmark-Olar High School Jr. Red Cross, along with Bamberg-Ehrhardt Jr. Red Cross will be providing concessions during the annual event. Funds from the sale of Bingo concessions are used by the county’s Jr. Red Cross organizations to fund various activities of the clubs, for training, travel expenses, and are planned for a future scholarship program for deserving students.

Students in American Red Cross Jr. clubs represent a substantial part of the membership of Red Cross for its humanitarian commitment. The young volunteers make a significant contribution to meeting the needs of the most vulnerable people within Bamberg County through Red Cross programs.