In This Weeks Edition: 05-09-2012
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County Considers Capital Sales Tax

Bamberg County Council has decided to place for consideration on the November 2012 ballot a Capital Sales Tax for consideration by the citizens of Bamberg County. The County Council has appointed the members to serve on the 2012 Capital Sales Tax Commission. This group, consisting of people representing both the county and towns, will now guide the Capital Projects Sales Tax Referendum. The Commission will be tasked with recommending a list of capital improvement projects to be approved by Bamberg County Council before being placed on the November ballot. The list of projects to be funded by the capital sales tax will appear on the ballot so a voter will clearly see the projects being considered for funding by the capital sales tax.

The CPST Commission members are: Chris Wilson of Bamberg, Janeth Walker of Bamberg, L. E. “Bo” Griffin of Bamberg, Dr. Gerald Wright of Denmark, Clint Carter of Ehrhardt and Jerry Bell of Govan.

All of these individuals serve their community through their job or through volunteer work. Because there is a timeline that must be followed over the next six months in order to meet the S. C. Election Commission deadlines, this group will hold meetings. The first organizational meeting was held on February 28th. At the February 28th meeting Chris Wilson was chosen as the Chairperson. The group decided to send representatives to a meeting with the Mayors of the towns on March 20th.

The next scheduled meetings are May 14, 6:00 p.m. at the Bamberg County Courthouse and June 25, 6:00 p.m. at the Bamberg County Courthouse.

Several potential projects were discussed at the first meeting. Potential projects will be submitted to the Commission and the Commission will review and rank all projects. The Commission has also noted that most surrounding counties have a capital sales tax that our citizens pay when shopping there, and that those taxes help fund buildings and other projects in other counties.

The members discussed the need to recruit volunteers from their prospective communities to assist with this project.

The Commission will be responsible for exploring the projects and gathering information on the final projects that are chosen.

Red Raider athletes compete in lower state track meet

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

Members of the Bamberg- Ehrhardt High School track team turned in a gritty performance Saturday, in the South Carolina Class A- Lower State Finals at Myrtle Beach High School’s Doug Shaw Memorial Stadium hosted by Johnsonville High School. In a field that included (25) of the top athletic track programs in the state It was worthy to note that a number of the B-E athletes equaled or bettered their times and distances coming out of the region finals. The latest results posted on the SCRUNNERS.COM website Monday afternoon showed the following results: In the Girls’ Division: 1600 meters run: 1st Chelsee Driggers, 6:16.08; 4th Brittany Hughes, 6:23.05 and 9th Brooke Thomas 6:58.47. 800 meters: 6th Chelsee Driggers 2:49.58 and 8th Brittany Hughes 2:55.57. 4x800 meter relay: 4th Brittany Hughes, Chelsee Driggers, Brooke Thomas, 11:51.96. Girls Shot Put: 3rd Akayla Frazier 32-01.75 and 5th Wahkeelah Johnson 30-00.25.

In the Boys Division (Final Times and Distances): Discuss Throw: 2nd David Deleon, 133- 00; Shot Put: 6th Martin Aiken 47-01.00; 4x800 meter relay : 7th Nick Halmon, Todd Folk, A. J. McDonald, Keyontay Orr 9:43.67. 4x400 meter relay team: 9th Nick Halmon, Keyontay Orr, Ivan Cann and Nykia McDonald 3:46.89. 4x100 meter relay 7th Maurice Duggans, Devondree Williams, Demetrius Odom, Nykia McDonald 44.49. 400 meter hurdles: 6th Keyontay Orr, 1:07.63. 400 meter dash: 5th Ivan Cann, 52.27, 11th Nick Halmon, 54:43 and 100 meter dash: 11th Nykia McDonald, 11.42.

Red Raiders defeat Johnsonville

The number 1-seed Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raider Baseball team (24-2) defeated Johnsonville 10-3, Monday at David Horton Field in the Class A- Lower State Baseball Championships Playoffs. In advancing to Monday’s game the Red Raiders advanced to the Class A-Lower State Finals last week with a 7-6 win over Latta in the decisive game after dropping an earlier 8-0 decision in the first game of the District-5 Championship.

On Saturday the Red Raiders defeated Lake View 9-4 in the opening round of the Class-A Lower State Finals.

Taking guns off the street

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Members of the Ehrhardt Special Operations team conducting a license check point on April 26, at the intersection of Highways 601 and Highway 64 in Ehrhardt, were able to confiscate several hand guns and a quantity of marijuana. Five people with various Orangeburg County addresses were arrested for their involvement with the case. Gail Grant, Kathryn Holman, Angelo Johnson, Damien Jenkins and Franklin Harrison were charged with simple possession of marijuana. Angelo Johnson and Kathryn Holman were charged with possession of a stolen firearm. Items collected by the Ehrhardt Police department recently included 13 grams of marijuana, one .38 caliber pistol, one .22 caliber pistol and one .45 caliber pistol stolen from Orangeburg County.

Hospital closure ‘not as drastic’ as could have been to BPW finances

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The announced closure of the Bamberg County Memorial Hospital on April 30, will not have as drastic an impact as it “would’ve or could’ve” on the Bamberg Board of Public Works finances as in previous years, BPW General Manager Will Martin told Commissioners at their April 26 meeting.

Martin noted that if an urgent care or acute care center opened up in place of the hospital the BPW would still see some utility income coming in. "If they completely close down, that’s a horse of a different color,” Martin said.

Also during the meeting:

• General Manager Martin announced that the department would be doing some flushing of hydrants on May 14. It was noted that the flushing may cause coloration of the water, which was noted as a “necessary evil.”

• Martin reported the Well #8 project is still “on schedule” and should be completed by the end of May or first of June.

• The department was able to secure the use of a digger derrick electrical line truck from the Orangeburg Department of Utility Company while the BPW truck was being repaired.

• General Manager Martin reported that he recently attended a municipal power systems legislative receptions where proposed changes to the state retirement system, the state’s Terri Program, years of service, employer and employee contributions and changes to years of service and average final compensation were discussed.

• In the financial report it was noted that the auction of some old BPW property netted $14,000.