In This Weeks Edition: 02-08-2012

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Governor Haley speaks to BEMS students

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Friday was a very special day at Bamberg Ehrhardt Middle School. Bamberg native and South Carolina Governor Nikki R. Haley visited the school and spoke to the seventh grade students on her signature topic 'bullying'. When Governor Haley arrived at the newly renovated school she was met by several BEMS faculty members, along with Superintendent Dr. Phyllis Schwarting and Coach Troy Phillips, as she and her SLED escort team entered the front door. The Governor was escorted to the gymnasium where she received a warm applause from the seventh grade students, who patiently waited for her arrival.

“Today is the day you can stop bullying,” said Governor Haley, who noted that she too had been on the receiving end of being bullied when she was a third grade student. She told the students that bullies are people that “really don’t feel good inside.” The Governor, who attended school in her early years in Bamberg, told the students that they needed to be assertive and tell the person they are being bullied by “to stop.” She told the students, who listened attentively to her every word that one day all of them will grow up to be productive citizens.

“Respect people as you want to be respected, treat people as you want to be treated,” she said, adding “cool kids don’t bully, I want you to decide to be a good person and a respectful person.” After she spoke to the students the Governor answered a number of questions.

Do you have a lot of power as Governor of South Carolina? “I do not have a lot of power, but a lot of responsibility.” Who will be the next Governor? “Anybody can run for Governor, you have to really want to make a difference.” Do you get tired traveling across the state? “South Carolina is a great state. I love to see our state. South Carolina is really on the move.”

After her message to the students Governor Haley signed autographs for a long line of students and posed for pictures with each of the students who wanted one. Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School Principal Troy Phillips, who introduced the Governor to the students, noted before her arrival that “it is good for the students at the school to see someone of the statue of Governor Haley, who attended school in this community.”

BPW landmark demolished

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A landmark that had towered over the city of Bamberg for a century was reduced to scrap metal Thursday, when the old water tank on Elm Street that was built in the early 1900’s and was no longer in use was leveled. The old tower held only 85,000 gallons of water compared to the new ones that hold 300,000 gallons. The old tower was used in conjunction with the old water treatment plant which is no longer in use said Board of Public Works Manager Will Martin.

Fred Marten, a senior engineer with Brown and Caldwell of Orangeburg, who has worked with the city of Bamberg for 37 years doing engineering work, said BPW received eight competitive bids from companies that specialize in tank demolition and decided to go with a work crew from Iseler, Michigan. Marten said the work crew started demolition of the water tank at 5:00a.m on Thursday morning and was scheduled to be finished by the end of the day. “They’ve done a great job and are a fantastic work crew,” Marten said of the crew that recently did the same type work in St. Stephen and were “highly recommended.”

BPW Supervisor Gene Searson said seeing the water tank come down was a “once in a life time experience.”

Upcoming Elections

Several Bamberg County Offices will be open for the June 12, 2012 Primary. Each office is for a period of four years. Filing will open on March 16, 2012 at 12:00 noon and close on March 30, 2012 at 12:00 noon. County offices open are Bamberg County Sheriff, Clerk of Court, Probate Judge, and Coroner. Seats on Bamberg County Council that are open are Seat 1, Seat 4, Seat 5, and Seat 7. A special election to fill Seat 1 on Bamberg City Council is scheduled for March 6, 2012.

Noel seeks office

Sarah Guess Noel announced today that she intends to run for the Bamberg County Probate Judge position being vacated by Hon. Nancy Green.

Mrs. Guess Noel, a Denmark native, has had many years’ experience in legal work, including probate, serving with four law firms in the Charlotte/Rock Hill, SC market after earning a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from the University of South Carolina.

“I have enjoyed a long career in legal work and find time now to put that experience to work for the people of Bamberg County,” she said. “Although I am not an attorney, I will be among the many Bamberg County and state probate judges who are not lawyers.”

Mrs. Guess Noel proudly served with Voorhees College helping to develop the accredited program for Education that is now offered to students on a teaching career path until she accepted the position of Probate Clerk which she now holds.

“Community service is a love that I have had for years. My family and I are proud to sponsor a scholarship for area students who share that love, and we hope that those students will return to serve our county after college.” said Mrs. Noel.

In addition to her work with Voorhees, Mrs. Noel and her late husband, Lanny, volunteered their time and efforts assisting Mrs. Robert Hurst at M.A.M.A.S. animal rescue facility in Bamberg County.

“I am a life-long Democrat and find it unusual that members of other political parties run under the Democrat banner in order to get elected.” said Mrs. Noel.

Mrs. Noel has served the Democratic Party loyally. She, along with her mother, Mrs. Martha Guess, is one of the only citizens in Bamberg County who has come to every single County Council meeting for the past 7 years, without exception,” said St. Clair P. Guess, Council member from District 4.

Sarah Guess Noel currently serves as the Clerk in Bamberg County Probate Court under Judge Green. She serves the Episcopal Church as Vestry Member, President of the Episcopal Church Women and helped to organize and sustain the Snack Sacks program which delivers snacks weekly to school children who are in need of food during weekends and school holidays. She is a member of the National Society of Daughters of the American Revolution. Mrs. Noel enjoys outdoor activities with her horse and two adopted dogs.

“It has been a great honor and privilege to serve under our Probate Judge for the past two years as Clerk of the Probate Court. Service to our county for two years, along with solid training in probate procedures is my unique qualification for seeking the office of Probate Judge for Bamberg County. I am eager to serve and prepared to take responsibility as your next Probate Judge.” Said Mrs. Noel.

National Signing Day

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Wednesday, February 1, was national signing day around the country for high school football players to sign their names on the dotted line and commit to the college program of his choice. It was no different at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, where the long anticipated day came for three young athletes who let their choices be known in the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School gym before members of their family, faculty members, students and the media. B-E standouts Martin Aiken, signed his national letter of intent to play football at Clemson University next year. David Deleon signed his national letter of intent to play football with Miami of Ohio and Brent Cook signed a national letter of intent to play soccer at Tri- County Technical College. “A promising future and family atmosphere” are two of the qualities that Martin Aiken said attracted him to Clemson. “I’m excited, I’ve been waiting for this day for quite a while,” Aiken said, adding “it’s a blessing with the coaches I have here; I know they were just as ready for today as I was.” “I’m very excited because I’m going to a place that’s going to treat me right and as a member of their family,” said David Deleon. “I’m excited, I’m really looking forward to moving on to the next level said Brent Cook,” who noted that his goal was to play soccer in college from the day he first started playing soccer in high school. Head football coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby thanked the players and their families for “being a part of this athletic program” noting that these young men will be representing their parents, community and school when they go off to college next year. “We wish them well,” Coach Crosby said.

Red Raider Wrestling

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School defending Class A State Champion wrestling team will wrestle the Abbeville Panthers for the state Class A Championship Saturday at Dreher High School in Columbia at 11:00 a.m. The Red Raiders won the right to defend their title with a dominating performance Saturday in the Class A Lower State Duals Championships held at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School. “Our team came out motivated,” and excited head coach Cody Slaughter said after his team earned a shot at winning back-to-back state titles. “We prepared hard all week. We talked to them about coming out and sending a message and not backing down.” The Red Raiders will face an athletic Abbeville squad that defeated a tough Ninety Six team 36-33 in the Class A Upper State Semifinals at BEHS Saturday. Coach Slaughter said his team was “excited about facing a new opponent” in the finals Saturday, noting that “whoever we face it will be hard for them to prepare for us in a week.” The Red Raiders earned the right to the state finals by defeating North Central 66-12 in the quarterfinals after receiving a bye in the first round and dominating an outmanned Cross team 51-6 in the semifinals.