In This Weeks Edition: 12-28-2011

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County Redistricting Plan 2 up for third reading

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg County Council members agreed to delay third reading of Plan 2 of the county’s redistricting plan until January 3, at 6:00 p.m. when hopefully all council members can be present and have an up or down vote. Council members have already had a first and second reading on the new plan and on Tuesday, night December 20, at a special call meeting held a public hearing that was attended by only one person.

In discussing the third reading of Plan 2 Councilmember the Rev. Isaiah Odom noted that he thought “in fairness” to Councilmember Claire Guess the final vote should be put off until January when he (Guess) could be present for the vote. Council member Chris Wilson noted that he thought tonight’s meeting would be a “public hearing only” until all members could be present. County Administrator Rose Dobson-Elliott noted that the final plan that will be submitted to the Justice Department for pre-clearance will represent “what the majority of council wants.”

Dobson-Elliott also noted that the Benchmark Plan, Plan 1 and Plan 2 must be submitted to the Justice Department which has 60 days to approve or reject the final plan submitted by council.

At Tuesday night’s special call meeting each councilmember present took a few minutes to give an overview of the changes in his or her district. Council member Evert Comer Jr. who represents District 6 said his district under Plan 2 is “very close” to what he had when he came into office. The Rev. Isaiah Odom said under Plan 2 his district now goes west of on Highway 78 and north of Highway 78 on the west side of 321 on Palmetto Highway. Larry Haynes, who represents District 3 explained that the major change in his district was under Plan 1 he had both sides of Orange Grove Road and now under Plan 2 he has only the left side of Orange Grove Road to Hadwin Road and Able Road. Haynes also noted his district picked up Crybaby Road which he did not have before.

During the public comments portion of the meeting Bamberg County resident Al Maynor, who is a member of the Denmark-Olar School District Two Board of Trustees wanted to know if District 7 was “expanding or losing” population. Administrator Rose Dobson- Elliott informed Maynor that what is “strange” about District 7 is the “land mass.” Dobson-Elliott noted that under the new census numbers District 7 had a population gain of 105 and under Plan 2 only has a gain of 30.

Dobson-Elliott noted that she wanted to submit the final redistricting plan to the U.S. Justice Department by January 10. The Justice Department would then have 60 days to review the plan. The county administrator noted there is no guarantee that the Justice Department would give pre-clearance to the county’s plan. If Plan 2 is not approved council members would have to come up with Plan 4.

Bamberg fire fighters respond to structure fire

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“Very, very lucky,” is how Bamberg Fire Chief Timmie Taylor described the residents of a single story house that was noted by fire personnel on the scene as a rear house on stilts in the city of Bamberg. On Thursday evening, December 15, at 11:28 p.m. units of the City of Bamberg Fire Department responded to a call of a structure fire at 160 Oakdale Trailer Park in the city of Bamberg.

Because of the quick response of the Bamberg Fire Department, the fire that was said to be of an “electrical” origin that caught a mattress on fire, was contained to the bedroom of the house with the other part of the house sustaining smoke damage. Jackie Jones, the occupant of the house, who was at home when the fire started, was taken from the home by a relative and did not appear to have any injuries as she sat outside watching as the firefighters did their job.

Other emergency personnel responding to the scene were: The Bamberg Rescue Squad, who came in support of the Bamberg Fire Department and the Bamberg Police Department.

Winter sports season heats up

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

For most people the holiday season means gathering at home and relaxing with friends and family members. But for high school sports fans the holiday season offers a plethora of sporting activities to attend. During the holiday break teams in the Advertizer Herald area have been very busy participating in various tournaments. The Denmark-Olar girls and boys basketball teams played in the “Sweet 16” Basketball Tournament in Orangeburg again over the break with both teams having a good showing. The D-O girls’ team finished in third place and the boys’ team finished in sixth place. The Red Raider wrestling team was busy over the break participating in the several events. The B-E wrestling team participated in the “Tiger Duals” at Crescent High School on December 19, “The Seahawk Slam” at Hilton Head High School on December 20-22 and on Friday, December 30, the team will play host to the “Red Raider Duals” at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. The Red Raider girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will see action in the annual “Hawks Invitational Girls and Boys Basketball Tournament” at Blackville-Hilda High School. The Andrew Jackson Confederates girls’ and boys’ basketball teams will see action again on January 3, when they travel to Covenant Christian.