In This Weeks Edition: 03-07-2012

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Hospital could be Rural Health Clinic

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The possibility of Bamberg County Memorial Hospital becoming a rural health clinic was discussed at the February 28th meeting board meeting. BCMH Administrator John Hales reported that ongoing discussions are being held with the Barnwell County Hospital as to the “best way to come to an eye -to- eye” agreement that will take care of the patient population here in Bamberg County. Hales noted that hours of operation, days per week and equipment needed are being discussed. “We had a meeting of the minds as to what should be left here to take care of patient needs of people in Bamberg County,” Hales said.

The Bamberg County Memorial Hospital saw an improvement in its cash flow last month, hospital CFO Sally Border reported. Border noted that “yearend business was up, with more volume coming through” and “cash flow is better this month.” She said one of the reasons cash flow had improved was the hospital received its disproportionate share payment from (Medicaid and Medicare) in January and also received a large number of debt cutoff payments.

BCMH, Administrator John Hales, noted that a cash flow statement the hospital updates each week, showed some good signs concerning the facility’s short-term financial health: “We have one now (cash flow statement) that projects us going into the first week in May with positive cash,” Hales said, adding “we’re doing a lot better than anticipated. We hope that continues in keeping the positive cash flow coming until the deal closes and everything gets going here to provide a rural health clinic.”

Rick Greene, of Dobbs Equity Partners LLC., who was in attendance at the meeting, noted that until the new hospital is built, the Barnwell hospital will be the “center of operation” providing emergency room services, along with acute patient care and full services to residents of Barnwell County. He said he spoke with Martha Hammett of the Bamberg Rescue Squad about ambulance service, noting that it will be vital to work with EMS. He said the Barnwell County Hospital is the closest acute care facility for a large section of Bamberg County residents. Greene there would be no change in seeing acute care for citizens of Bamberg County.

Mary Valliant, who is the current CEO of the Barnwell County Hospital and who was recently named the new CEO of the new regional hospital, in attendance at the meeting, said, “a rural health clinic here can be unique and something extremely special” for the people of Bamberg.” She said services offered at the Bamberg rural health clinic could include but not be limited to: a radiology department, providing mammograms and ultrasounds with physicians coming to Bamberg to see patients. “We can develop something special, something no one else has in a rural health clinic in the state,” Valliant said.

Trustee Board member Al Palmer asked Greene and Valliant, “how do we tell our people here they will still have an equal opportunity at a job” when the regional hospital is built?

“We want the best and brightest in our programs, with different expertise, collaboration between both the hospitals, with the best people from Bamberg and Barnwell,” Valliant said.

“It’s a matter of putting the best people on the field,” Rick Greene added.

Battle for Broxton Bridge 11th reenactment

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

For the 145th anniversary of the battle for Broxton Bridge, the 11th reenactment of the battle brought folks from as far away as North Carolina and as near as Ehrhardt, a few miles distant from the Plantation.

Even as the reenactment was scheduled for both Saturday, March 3 and Sunday, March 4, Saturday was rained in but still attracted over a hundred spectators in rain gear. Sunday, was clear but cool and breezy with several hundred visitors and as many cameras as visitors.

The reenactment, scheduled for 1:30 p.m., was rescheduled for 2 p.m. because of the previous evening rain and wet conditions. Visitors, some in 1800's period dress, roamed the grounds, mixing with re-enactors in Confederate gray and Union blue, munching on vendor hamburgers and homemade lemonade. Children, heads adorning Confederate soldiers Kepis, armed with plastic sabers and wooden muskets, skittered between the legs of much taller adults.

At the sound of musket fire and cannon booms, acrid blue gray smoke wafted as thick as soup over spectators, at times obscuring sights of cavalry re-enactors with raised Colt Navy .36 caliber pistols and Sharps carbines. Early in the war, Confederate cavalry was dominant - a dashing, disruptive, and disconcerting force that kept many a Union commander off balance.

The setting for the event was held on the site of the old battleground, complete with all the breastworks, where Sherman's Union troops skirmished with Confederate forces at Broxton Bridge Ford on the Salkehatchie River on Feb. 2, 1865. The battle at Broxton Bridge was one of the last big defensive efforts for the Confederates before the battle at Columbia.

Each year, the plantation's southern end is flanked with vendors, exhibits and demonstrations of life in the South during the late 1800s.

Hosts for this event was Battery C, 32nd Georgia Artillery and 2nd Georgia Regiment Co. D Burke Sharpshooters. It is sponsored by Salt-Ketchers Chapter #6 Order of Confederate Rose, a 501 (C) 3 non-profit organization.

Food Drive

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

When longtime Bamberg County Cheeze and Cracker Box Executive Director Enid Bishop put out the word that her agency needed help, one Bamberg citizen responded. On Friday, Kevin Sandifer of Bamberg, sponsored a day-long food drive for the agency that provides food and clothing for the county’s needy citizens, at the Bamberg Piggly Wiggly on Heritage Highway. According to Sandifer , after the day-long event ended, 33 boxes of food, including several hundred can goods and $130 in cash had been collected.

“We were able to fill the shelves back up,” Sandifer said, noting that “people were still coming in asking for food, so there is still a great need.” Sandifer said he would like thank all those who came out and supported the food drive.

The Cheeze and Cracker Box is open Monday and Tuesday from 12:30 to 4pm. If you would like to make a monetary donation mail to Enid Bishop, 757 Pine Street, Bamberg, SC 29003.

Red Cross Month

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

March is Red Cross Month and Red Cross Flags will be “up all over the city” and county according to Bamberg County ARC Executive Director Harvey Kling. Kling, along with Aiken County ARC Chapter Executive Director Lindsay Findley and Office Manager Donna Netecke were on hand Thursday at Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School to present school advisor Constance Dowling-Ferguson and members of the Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School Junior Red Cross Chapter with a new flag for the school. Kling noted that the Bamberg County ARC Chapter will have its biggest year Bingo fundraiser on Friday, March 30 at the Bamberg Civic Center.




Raider Softball

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The 2012 Lady Red Raider Softball team Coached by Head Coach Dena Hartzog and Assistant Coach Josh Smith opened their season on February 24-26 in the Lady Tiger Pre-season Tournament in Swansea. Coach Hartzog is expected to field a more experienced team this year that will look to make a deeper run in the playoffs.

Raider Soccer

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt High Red Raider Varsity Soccer team coached by Head Coach David Choi and Assistant Coach Jeremy Bagwell opened the 2012 season on Thursday March 1, in the Warhorse Classic in Barnwell. The team came away with a 4-2 win over Strom Thurmond in their first game on Thursday. Lane Walling led B-E with three goals in the win while Justin Verner added the Red Raiders final goal in the contest.

Red Raider Baseball season opens

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt Red Raider Varsity baseball team coached by Head Coach David Horton and assistant coaches Roland Deaton, Eddie Folk, Jimmy Wilson and Tracy Fleming announced their 2012 schedule. The Red Raider team that featured a number of young players in their lineup last year will be looking to make a deeper run into the playoffs this year, with the younger players having received more experience under their belts. The Red Raiders 2012 season is as follows:

March: 6 Tuesday, Bethune-Bowman, at Bowman, at 5:00 p.m.
16 Friday, Allendale-Fair-Fairfax, at Allendale, 6:00 p.m.
19 Monday, Estill, in Bamberg 5:00 p.m. (DH)
21 Wednesday, Branchville, in Bamberg 6:00 p.m.
23 Friday, Whale Branch, at Seabrook 6:00 p.m.
26 Monday, Bethune-Bowman, in Bamberg 5:00 p.m.
30 Friday, Hardeeville, in Bamberg 5:30 p.m. (DH).

On April 2-6 the Red Raider Baseball team will make its annual trip to the Mingo Bay Baseball Classic in Myrtle Beach. The team will return to regular season play April 9, Monday, against Lake Marion in Bamberg at 6:00 p.m. The remaining games on the schedule are as follows:

April: Friday 13, Allendale-Fairfax, in Bamberg 6:00 p.m.
14 Saturday, Ridgeland, in Ridgeland 1:00 p.m. (DH)
Tuesday 17, Branchville, in Branchville 6:00 p.m.
Thursday 19, Lake Marion, in Santee, 6:00 p.m.
The team will conclude its regular season on Friday, April 20, against Whale Branch in Bamberg at 6:00 p.m.

Brown running for Bamberg County Probate Judge

Donna Blume Brown has announced that she will be running for the office of Bamberg County Probate Judge.

Donna is a lifelong resident of Bamberg County and is currently employed by the Kemp Law Firm of Bamberg, where she has been employed for seventeen years as a Probate/Real Estate Legal Assistant.

“I am very excited about this opportunity to serve the citizens of Bamberg County. I would also like to commend Judge Green for the high standard of excellence she has established at the Probate Court,” said Brown. “I believe that my experience in meeting with clients, the preparing and filing of probate legal documents and the scheduling and attending of hearings qualifies me to maintain the standard which has been set. I also regularly attended SC Bar Association education seminars to stay abreast of the Probate Code of Laws of South Carolina.”

Donna is a member of Open Door Baptist Church, and is active in the WMU at Open Door, which assists with many local agencies, such as Meals on Wheels deliveries during the holidays and food drives to assist the Barnwell Bamberg Baptist Association in Denmark in keeping its food pantry stocked for those in need in our community. They also assist with ABBA’s Kitchen which provides meals to the student athletes at USC Salkehatchie. Brown has also been a part of other mission projects, including a school supply drive and sending Christmas shoe boxes to needy children in West Virginia, a mission project in which Open Door Baptist Church has actively participated for the past three years. She is also actively involved in the community as a member of the Old Friends Scholarship Golf Committee and the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Improvement Council. Donna is also a volunteer coach at the Ness Complex where she coaches T-Ball.

Donna is married to Ricky Brown who is employed by Wachenhut-SRS. She has two children, Leslie, a 2006 graduate of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, and Austin, who is a junior at Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School, and is a member of the Garnett & Black Honor Roll Society and the varsity Basketball and Golf teams.

Donna is the daughter of Harry and Patsy Blume of Bamberg.

“I have developed a great working relationship with Judge Green as well as the other county offices and their staffs, and believe that this working relationship will help me to provide the county with the same professionalism and efficiency to which the citizens of our county have grown accustomed,” said Brown.

Brown has 22 years experience in the legal field.