Edition: 09-05-2012
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Denmark Police Department hosts shooter training workshop

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“This could be anybody’s high school or middle school,” Scott Ellis of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department and team leader of the department's (SWAT) team, told a gathering of law enforcement officers from across the state, Wednesday, August 29th, in the Leonard E. Dawson Center at Voorhees College. The law enforcement officers, representing a number of diverse agencies, were watching a remake of what supposedly happen at Columbine High School in Colorado several years ago. “Hopefully it makes you think a lot,” Ellis stated.

The video the officers saw was part of an intensive two-day shooter training program hosted by the Denmark Police Department (DPD) called, “ALERRT-Active Shooter Training.” The training was conducted by members of the Lexington County Sheriff’s Department SWAT Team.

In Wednesday morning’s workshop, officers discussed the difference between an active shooter and a barricaded suspect in a hostage situation. They were told the importance in “creating an immediate entry plan” in the case of a barricaded suspect becoming an active shooter.

They were told the significance of, containing, controlling, and communication, calling a SWAT team, and gathering intelligence in a shooting situation. Officers were taught how to use tone and volume and how not to escalate the situation. “Don’t get caught in a lie and don’t promise anything you can’t deliver,” Ellis said.

The Lexington County SWAT team leader noted that in an active shooter situation, which can be emotionally charged, volatile, and unstable with the victim being killed or attacked, it is most important for the responding officers to work as a team.

Captain Bernard Holman, Jr., of the DPD noted that the workshop was important given the recent events in places like Aurora, Colorado. Voorhees College Chief of Security James Weldon stated, “If there is a shooting in Denmark, Denmark Technical College and Voorhees College are ready because they [security officers] are all going through the training.”

Bamberg County Council and Bamberg Hospital Board

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Last Thursday, August, 29th, the Bamberg County Council and Bamberg Hospital Board met to discuss future plans for the future of healthcare in Bamberg County. After an interview with Dannette McAlhaney, Chairman of the Bamberg Hospital Board, hopes for a hospital to arrive on our county's doorsteps is a goal we are striving to achieve. However, with situations like this at hand, the importance of deciding who is best to welcome in the community can be a long process.

McAlhaney, and other board members began the meeting by discussing the amount of money the hospital currently has, as well as the storage space, and other matters concerning the closing of the hospital.

The executive members then went into executive session for over an hour where proposals for a hospital were discussed. Once the floor was opened, it was very soon made clear this was no time to have questions answered.

Only the council and hospital board are aware of the number of proposals and who those proposals are coming from. According to Chris Wilson, County Council Chair for District One, the proposals need to be reviewed from a legal standpoint, and the amount of time that will take is unknown. The only thing made clear to the citizens is that as soon as the county council and hospital board reach a decision, they will know.

However, until then, the fate of healthcare is left up to the council and board. They are aware of the importance of healthcare in Bamberg County, and they are doing all they can in order to bring it back to its citizens.

Bamberg District One receives Palmetto Silver Awards

Mallory Biering, Staff Reporter

At the Bamberg School District One (BSD1) Board meeting on Monday, August 27th, Phyllis Schwarting, BSD1 Superintendent, announced Bamberg School District One as a recipient of the 2011-2012 Palmetto Silver Awards. Bamberg-Ehrhardt High (BEHS) and Middle School (BEMS), as well as Richard Carroll Elementary School (RCES) were acknowledged as winners of the award.

The award is given for general performance, closing the achievement gap, or for both categories, which is found on the school report card. BEHS received the award due to closing the achievement gap, while BEMS and RCES received the award due to general performance.

In other business, Schwarting asked for permission to pursue research on new buses for the school. It was brought to the board's attention the amount of money and time being spent on the current activities bus. This bus has left students stranded on the side of the road, which is unsafe for any person. Schwarting was granted permission to continue researching prices and other information from Blue Bird Bus Dealers, as well as another source.

Each principal gave an update of how the schools were doing with just six days into the calendar year. The students and renovations were all completed on time, and in a fashion that benefits the students of the school. Of course, as each principal noted, there are some minor issues such as chipped paint, etc., but the engineers and contractors are continuing to perfect their work. It was also noted the contractors have a one year warranty to fix any problems that may arise in the future.

Schwarting shared the high attendance of over 50% of the freshman class to participate in the Freshman Bridge Program. Randy Maxwell, Principal of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School noted that each day the number of freshman participating increased, and they even "had more students on the last day than the first."

Before the close of the meeting Schwarting also shared that Dollar General donated $2000.00 to the Bamberg Middle School for books and other sources of technology for use by students.

The momentum behind each school is a result of higher testing scores for the district, and the enthusiasm from the more than 1,400 students has Bamberg School District One standing tall and proud. The hopes for more success to come for these students spreads community wide.

Raiders victory over Wolverines

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

B-E senior running back Devondree Williams, {who rushed for 146 yards} touchdown with 1:12 left in the game lifted the B-E football team to a 39-27 win over an upset minded Woodland team Friday night at Leon Maxwell Stadium. Senior Maurice Duggans 78 yard return of the opening kickoff put the Red Raiders up 7-0 after junior Matt Maxwell’s PAT was good. B-E junior quarterback Sumner Cooler, {who rushed for two touchdowns} quarterback sneak at 7:19 of the first made the score 13-0 B-E. In the second quarter, senior Demetrius Odom’s two yard run made the score 21-7 after senior fullback Sean Paul Morais two point conversion run was good. Morais two yard TD run gave the Red Raiders a 27-13 lead at halftime.

The Wolverines first half points came at 2:54 of the first quarter on a one yard TD run and at 3:10 of the second on pass. In the second half the Wolverines were able to cut the 27-13 halftime deficit to 33-27 at 10:45 of the fourth quarter. But touchdowns by Cooler and Williams and a key interception by Duggans were enough to give the Red Raiders their third non-region win of the season.

AJA & JDA

It was a tough night Friday night for SCISA 8- Man teams Andrew Jackson Academy and rival Jefferson Davis Academy. The young Confederates (0-2) on the season, lost to Carolina Academy 50-0 in Lake City. The Confederates were led on defense by Christian Lee with seven tackles. On offense AJA was led by Matthew Avant with 35 yards rushing. The Raiders of JDA (1-2) on the season lost a close contest to Patrick Henry in Estill.

Denmark-Olar falls

The Denmark-Olar Vikings hopes of pulling a repeat of their upset of the Blackville-Hilda Hawks of a couple of seasons ago was not to be Friday night, as the Hawks came away with a 27-6 win in Denmark. The Hawks scored touchdowns in each quarter, while the Vikings points came late in the fourth quarter on a determined 10-yard run by junior “A-back” Xavier Reed.