Edition: 10-03-2012
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Norway man charged in collision with Bamberg Police Officer

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

A Norway man faces a number of possible charges after the car he was driving struck a City of Bamberg Police Officer cruiser Saturday night. Demetrius Williams, 20, of Norway, faces a number of possible charges including reckless driving, hit and run and following too close according to sources.

According to Lance Corporal Judd Jones of the South Carolina Highway Patrol, at 9:45 p.m. Saturday, September 29, 2012, a 1998 Toyota driven by Demetrius Williams was traveling south on Midway Street in Bamberg; when it disregarded a stop sign and came through and struck a 2005 Crown Victoria driven by Bamberg Police Cpl. Allen Cook. According to Trooper Jones, Cook’s vehicle, which was traveling east on Highway 362, was struck on the right rear quarter panel.

Officer Cook was transported to Palmetto Health Richland in Columbia Saturday night by helicopter with non-life treating injuries. According to published reports, Cook has been released from the hospital and is said to be “recuperating.” Williams, the driver of the Toyota, did not go to the hospital. According to sources Williams made bond on Monday afternoon and was released from the Bamberg County Detention Center.

Olar house fire described as ‘a mess’ by firefighters

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

“A mess,” is how Ehrhardt Fire Chief Chad Dilling described the fire he and other fire fighters from other departments in the county fought on Saturday afternoon, at a home located on 14873 Ehrhardt Road (Highway 64) and Cave Avenue in Olar. Dilling noted the older, wooden structure house was built of fat lighter, which made it harder to bring under control. Fortunately, for the firefighters, the weather wasn’t as hot as in previous months this year, still the fireman needed more support battling the extreme heat and heavy smoke coming from the structure.

According to Sheriff Darnell

According to Sheriff Ed Darnell, three burglary suspects have been arrested and placed in jail in part due to a citizen tip. On August 21, 2012, a residence on the Edisto River Road near Branchville, was broken into. Several rooms in the residence were ransacked and a variety of tools, clothes, jewelry, money and electronics were stolen.

A watchful citizen informed a constable about a pair of suspicious males he observed buying just a drink and a pair of gloves from a convenience store in the area.

The alert citizen wrote down the license tag, which was run through the dispatch center and resulted in the first lead in this case.

Investigators continue to explore and work on various leads. Their diligent work led to the arrest of three subjects. Joshua Petty, 35, of North Charleston is charged with Burglary and his bond has been denied at this time. A second subject, Michael Moore, age 45, of Holly Hill has been charged with Burglary. His bond was set at $40,000.00 Surety. The third subject arrested was Joseph Dean, age 34, of Summerville. His bond was denied.

Officers have located some of the items stolen at this time.

Sheriff Darnell states, that persons outside of our area have committed some of the recent burglaries and he wants us to be good neighbors and report anything out of the ordinary to law enforcement. He also is very proud of how hard his investigators have worked to solve these burglaries and put those responsible behind bars.

Electronic Voting

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Before the Bamberg Board of Public Works meeting was adjourned on Thursday, September 27th, an update concerning the policies and procedures for the board and its employees were made. The BPW commissioners can now vote electronically.

The commissioners voted unanimously to change the policy allowing them to be counted as present at a meeting via teleconferencing, if they are away for work, but only if all at the physical location of the meeting and the individual calling-in are able to hear all items being discussed and all laws. It was stated by Will Martin, BPW Manager, the phone system in the current meeting location is sufficient for this new policy; therefore no money would need to be spent. In other policy updates, board employees who are considered on-call personnel for the BPW may use a BPW vehicle to drive to and from work when responding to calls.

As the Bamberg BPW continues making space for equipment and finishing up the work on the new field office building on Elm Street, other changes and updates are being made to several other areas, but not to any water or electrical services. The BPW received and will be receiving money in the future from insurance companies dealing with wrecks and contamination problems from previous years. Money is also expected to flow into the BPW account from a disbanded local government insurance group.

In other matters of construction and renovation, Martin was given permission to search for quotes for an update to the warehouse fuel dispenser station, which has been around since 1990. The updates would consist of a computer programming system to keep track of information that is currently being tracked by hand.

Martin was also asked to find more quotes from companies specializing in industrial painting. The money to be used for this update has been in the budget for some time, but due to the type of specialization of the job, there have been hold ups in completing the project.

Martin and the commissioners then went into executive session to discuss personnel matters.

Ehrhardt Town Council approves cap on business license fees

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Ehrhardt Town Council members voted to cap business license fees at $2,000 at their Tuesday, September 18th, town council meeting. It was noted that a business owner with fees over $2,000 could come before council and request approval to pay the $2,000 fee. Businesses with fees over $2,000 would be reviewed “on an individual basis.” Mayor Pro Tem Bill Edinger, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor Bill Stanley said, the proposal to cap the license fee at $2,000 came up because of the high cost of gasoline and low profit margin gas station operators in town were experiencing. “So that’s why we’re talking about a cap limit,” Edinger said.

Also during the meeting; in the streets and sanitation department report, Mayor Pro Tem Edinger reported the town received a $25,000 grant through Representative Bakari Sellers to do work on the town’s sidewalk and work on a ditch. “Representative Sellers did his part, and I really appreciate that,” Edinger said, noting that bids went out two weeks ago. He stated that “eventually” the town would be looking at doing a streetscape project.

In the public works department report Commissioner Freddie Copeland reported August collections amounted to $10,186.73. It was reported 16 customers were cutoff for nonpayment of water bills in August. September collections to-date amounted to $11,066.68.

Public Safety Chief Chad Dilling reported the fire department received a letter stating the town’s ISO rating had dropped to a level five in the town limit for citizens that live within 1,000-feet of a fire hydrant. He noted the new rating will not come into effect until December 1, 2012. “That’s excellent,” Chief Dilling said, noting the members of the fire department have worked “very hard” the last few years to get the rating down.

Chief Dilling reported the police department had a “very busy month” creating 10-case files. The cases included the following: DUS, open container, driving without a license, forgery, harassment, malicious damage to real property, trespassing, juvenile problem and animal complaint.

In the parks and recreation report it was noted new chain nets were placed on the basketball goals.

Denmark road widening project starts accepting bids in November

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

In the City of Denmark, a road widening project, which includes a new roadway, sidewalk and shoulder construction is tentatively scheduled to be let on November 12th, Thomas A. Guest, resident construction engineer said in a letter to City officials at their September 17th, meeting Monday night. The construction will start at the end of the four lane section of Sawdust Avenue near (Denmark-Olar High School) and widen the two lane section to Solomon Blatt Boulevard 0.6 miles toward the City of Bamberg.

Also during the meeting:

Denmark Police Chief Leroy Grimes reported the department created 95 new case files, including the following cases: DUS, hit and run, vehicle collision, simple assault, assault and battery disorderly conduct, burglary, CDV, vandalism, missing person, harassment, trespassing, shoplifting, animal complainant and dog bite.

In the fire department report, it was said by Fireman Sandifer the department responded to 11 fire calls since the last meeting. The department averages 12 members per business meeting and 12 members per call, with 29-total members on the roster.

In the public works report, it was noted the department repaired five water leaks and 11 new meters were installed or changed. Water and distribution system training was held for department employees. The department also replied to DHEC’s consent order for fire flow testing in its water meters. It was noted by department manager, Mr. Hudson, the department has not received a reply from DHEC.

The city’s monthly financial report showed general fund revenues in access of $44,000 and funds in the water and sewer accounts in access of $4,500.

After several months of soliciting bids on linings for a lagoon, council members accepted a low bid of $338,197.60 from Palmetto Environmental & Safety, LLC.

Mayor Gerald Wright noted that construction on the new Denmark Library is on schedule.

Late field goal takes Bulldogs to victory over Red Raiders

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

It was a tale of two halves Friday night in Petticoat Junction as the No. 7 ranked Bulldogs of Silver Bluff High School would come away with a 31-29 victory over the No.1 ranked Red Raiders of Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School, in a game that harkened back to the glory days of the rivalry in 1989 and 1990. The Bulldogs win came on the strength of a 40-yard field goal by senior kicker Pedro Zambrano with 6.4 seconds left in the Region 5-A thriller that saw the Bulldogs take a leg up in the region championship race.

“The first half kind of put us under a little bit,” B-E head Coach Kevin “Butch” Crosby said after the game. Crosby noted the Red Raiders (5-1,0-1) had some defensive breakdowns in the first half, but “found something that worked” in the second half and held the Bulldogs (5-1,1-0) to three points in the second half. That was something that worked for the Red Raiders was going to an even front on defense. “It’s something; we’re use to doing, the kids felt good with it.”

In fact, the second half was pretty much all B-E, who trailed at the 9:38 mark of the second quarter by a score of 28-7. The Red Raiders carried momentum in the dressing room at halftime after B-E quarterback Sumner Cooler threw a 16-yard strike to flanker Landon Sandifer on a crossing pattern in the end zone with 7.3 second left in the first half, making the score 28-14 Silver Bluff at halftime after a Matt Maxwell PAT.

With momentum clearly on their side in the third quarter, the Red Raiders would take the opening kickoff and go on a 70-yard, 15-play drive, that took 6:48 seconds off the clock, ending on a five yard touchdown run by Demetrius Odom. The Red Raiders elected to go for the two - point conversion making the score 28-22, with 5:02 left in the third quarter.

After another stop by the B-E defense, that held the Bulldogs offense to just 13-offensive plays in the second half and a total of 189-yards on the ground in the game. D. J. Odom’s one yard run at the 8:34 mark of the fourth quarter tied the game at 28-28. Matt Maxwell’s third PAT would give the Red Raiders their first and only lead of the game at that point 29-28.

The Red Raiders seemed to have had the game in the win column, when with 6:50 left in the game, B-E’s K.C. Crosby came up with what appeared to the hundreds of be fans that made the trip to Petticoat Junction and media on the sidelines, a diving interception of a Jalen Jackson pass that was ruled incomplete by the officials.

“It was apparently a catch, but they said he trapped it on the ground, but you got to give and take here and there,” Coach Crosby said about the controversial call by the officials, that will no doubt be remembered for years to come. “If we get a couple first downs here and there they don’t get the football back,” Crosby added.

On B-E’s next possession the Red Raiders would pick up a first down with 5:19 left in the game. On third down, with 3:26 left on the clock, an interception by Silver Bluff junior R.J. Stalling gave the Bulldogs possession on the B-E 45 yard line.

The Bulldogs were only able to move the ball to the B-E 31- yard line with 13.5 seconds left in the game, but was in range of their senior place kicker Pedro Zambrano, whose 40-yard boot gave the bulldogs the 31-29 win.

“They have a heck of a weapon over there,” Coach Crosby said of Zambrano. “Once he got in sight he had a great opportunity of making it.”

Coach Crosby was upbeat about his team’s performance in the second half and noted that there was still a lot of football to be played this season. “I commend our kids, they fought back in the second half and played well,” he said. “This isn’t the end of the world. In Class 2-A, everybody goes to the playoffs so it’s not like we’re not going to the playoffs. We just got to keep our heads and stay focused.”

In the second quarter, the Bulldogs added two more touchdowns on a seven yard run by Myles Corbitt and a two yard touchdown run by Shaquez Wright making the score 28-7 Silver Bluff before the Red Raiders mounted their comeback.