Edition: 11-07-2012
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Voters exercise right to vote

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Tuesday, November 6, 2012, was Election Day in Bamberg County and across the country. Like in many other places across the nation voter turnout was reportedly strong with long lines of voters braving chilly temperatures to cast their vote for a full slate of local, state and national offices. Reports of voter problems were few, but one voter called in to The Advertizer-Herald to report that when she arrived at her traditional polling place at the Hunters Chapel Fire Department Tuesday morning, she was told she would have to go four miles from her home to the Edisto Substation to cast her vote. As the day wore on more and more people could be heard asking “have you voted yet?” and “I’ve got to go and vote,” fulfilling their constitutional right to vote.

Bamberg County:
"Unofficial" 2012 General Election Results, click here.

New county administrator pushing the limits

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Joey Preston, Bamberg County's new administrator comes to the area with a long list of problems, rumors and history behind him. Earlier this week, a trial concerning the return of his $1.1 million severance package from Anderson County, ended and a ruling is currently weighing in the air.

Along with the awaiting ruling, Preston will have to answer to the many questions Bamberg County citizens have concerning what The Anderson Independent Mail stated in an article concerning Preston's misuse of company credit cards, "an eight-year extramarital affair," with former Anderson County employee Kelly Nichols, and his affiliation with Ron Wilson and the suspected Ponzi scheme which Preston invested $200,000.

Preston previously stated he wishes to leave the problems from Anderson County, in Anderson County. However, when "accusations of fraud and [ethical] violations," are in the minds of Bamberg County citizens, trust problems they may have can be understood without issue.

Preston was contacted about the statements made in The Anderson Independent Mail. However, he never replied with a comment concerning the issues brought up during the trial. As Preston waits for a ruling, Bamberg County citizens will wait for more answers, not just from a court, but from Preston himself.

Main Highway paving project nears completion

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Motorists in the city of Bamberg should be able to resume their usual travel plans after Wednesday, November 7th. According to Thomas Guess, resident construction engineer in this area for the South Department of Transportation, the 1.2 miles of paving of North Main Highway (that is being funded through a federal aid project) is all but complete except for putting in some driveways, intersections and hand work.

Guess noted the Main Highway Project in the city of Bamberg is the second paving project to be done in Bamberg County. Recently completed was 6.94 miles of roadway near Rivers Bridge. The paving is being done by Charlotte North Carolina-based REA Construction Company, whose regional office is located in Columbia, South Carolina. The company (which purchased the J. W. Cleckley Paving Company) also has an Orangeburg Division of its South Carolina Regional Office. And with its local ties to the community, the company seeks to employ a number of local people.

“They’re a good company and do a good job,” Guess said.

Red Raiders face Woodland in second round rematch

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

After finishing the regular season as Region 5-AA Runner-up and earning a first round bye, the Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raiders will face Woodland in the second round of the Class AA Lower State Division 2 Playoffs Friday night at Leon Maxwell Stadium at 7:30 pm. The game marks a rematch of the week two contest won by the Red Raiders 39-27 over the Wolverines in Bamberg.

The game between the Red Raiders (9-1) and the Wolverines (9-2) offer a contrast in styles. The Red Raiders featured a ground oriented wishbone attack featuring two running backs that carried the ball for over 1,000-yards on the season. Senior Demetrius Odom lead the way with 1,241-yards and 15 touchdowns. He is followed by fellow senior Devondree Williams with 1,084-yards and nine touchdowns. B-E junior quarterback Sumner Cooler has rushed for another 257-yards and scored 10 touchdowns on the ground.

The Red Raiders are also capable of going to the air with Cooler completing 46 of 85 passes for 761-yards and 11 touchdowns with 10 interceptions. Cooler’s favorite targets have been junior consensus All-America K.C. Crosby, who has recorded 21 receptions for 493-yards and nine touchdowns. Senior Landon Sandifer has been a clutch receiver recording 15 catches for 199-yards and three touchdowns.

In the kicking game, B-E junior place-kicker Matt Maxwell has been consistent in making his point after touchdowns, and Cooler has been steady as a punter.

The Wolverines spread attack will be led by quarterback Michael Delee, who was 86 of 132 passing for 1,785-yards and 17 touchdowns and six interceptions. Leading receivers for Woodland are Chris Goddist with 25 receptions for 513-yards and four touchdowns and Herbert Johnson with 17 receptions for 387-yards and six touchdowns.

Woodland’s pass offense will face a Red Raider defense that has recorded 41 sacks on the season. The defense is lead by junior Markus Moody with 109 tackles, followed by senior Mark Moody with 87. Senior Lan Hiers has recorded 60 tackles, followed by junior Jeremy Davis with 56, senior North-South selection Nick Halmon has recorded 53 after missing the first three games of the season, and senior Maurice Duggans 52. Senior Larry Cann Jr. leads the team in sacks with 10 on the season. The B-E secondary is lead by senior Landon Sandifer with three interceptions. He is followed by K.C Crosby with two, Marcus Moody two, while Jeremy Davis, Maurice Duggans and Nick Halmon have one each.

Brandon Jamison leads the Woodland defense with 59 tackles. The Wolverine secondary has recorded 16 picks on the season. Prediction: In the playoffs it’s all about the team that can run the football and be more physical. In those areas, the Red Raiders win hands down. On defense, it’s about stopping the run and the Red Raider defense has recorded 41 sacks on the season, it’s hard to throw the ball from the seat of your pants.

Nikki Haley, SLED, U.S. Secret Service, S.C. DOR respond

The S.C. Department of Revenue announced on October 26, 2012 that approximately 3.6 million Social Security numbers and 387,000 credit and debit card numbers have been exposed in a cyber attack.

Governor Nikki Haley, South Carolina Law Enforcement Division Chief Mark Keel, United States Secret Service Special Agent in Charge Michael Williams, South Carolina Department of Revenue Director Jim Etter and State Inspector General Patrick Maley today responded to news of the cyber attack with consumer safety solutions during an afternoon press conference.

Video of the press conference is available here: http://www.youtube.com/watch? v=0Dax66JEzVs& Attached you will find a press kit that includes consumer safety solutions.

Anyone who has filed a South Carolina tax return since 1998 should take the following steps:

1. Call 1-866-578-5422 where you will enroll in a consumer protection service. The call center is open 9:00 AM – 9:00 PM EST on Monday through Friday and 11:00 AM – 8:00 PM EST on Saturday and Sunday.

2. Then you will determine if you wish to have an online or US Mail alert mechanism.

3. For the online service, visit http://www.protectmyid.com/scdor. For the US Mail service, you will receive notifications via the US mail.

Experian’s ProtectMyID™ Alert is designed to detect, protect and resolve potential identity theft, and includes daily monitoring of all three credit bureaus. The alerts and daily monitoring services are provided for one year, and consumers will continue to have access to fraud resolution agents and services beyond the first year.

RMC groundbreaking

Mallory Biering, Staff Reporter

Betty Henderson, Chairman for The Regional Medical Center Board of Trustees Strategic Planning Committee, stated, "what we do here today makes a better tomorrow for people," at the groundbreaking event for the new, free-standing $6.8 million, 16,000 square-foot facility Dialysis Access Institute to be located on the RMC campus last Thursday, November 1st.

Many of the speakers thanked Dr. John R. Ross, the Medical Director for the Dialysis Access Institute, with more than 38 years of experience in the medical field, for his hard work and dedication to this project. Ross later thanked those involved in making this possible for Orangeburg County, including a late loved one, his wife. He continued to say there must be a, "vision to do something extraordinary," and according to those who spoke, they had that vision and have accomplished something extraordinary. Ross came to Orangeburg after the Bamberg County Hospital closed in 2011. His move from BCH to TRMC was a large step for both hospitals as well as Ross's family. Ross gave credit to his late wife and daughter for supporting his hopes and dreams to help serve the communities he serves.

As members of the community and staff members of RMC gathered in front of the Same Day Surgery speakers echoed Henderson by saying the day was, "a great day for Orangeburg County." The new facility will enable RMC to grow from 3,000 to more than 6,000 dialysis access procedures each year. The current team participates in the training of physicians throughout the United States and other countries for dialysis procedures.

RMC’s current Dialysis Access Institute team performs more than 3,000 surgeries a year, and physicians throughout the United States and other countries are visiting RMC to be trained in these procedures.

President and CEO of RMC, Thomas C. Dandridge, also known as 'Tom,' explained Ross and his team have already begun this training through video streaming during operations. A couple of weeks ago, over a thousand surgeons watched Ross perform an operation on a split screen, which allowed surgeons to ask Ross questions throughout the operation and allowed Ross's response. Dandridge stated the dialysis team will be 'internationally known' for their knowledge and work put forth to make this institute possible.

This establishment will help "to serve end stage renal (kidney) disease patients whose access to the bloodstream for dialysis has been compromised." The capital campaign, 'The Best for Our Community,' have submitted partial funds to help pay for the construction of the Dialysis Access Institute. According to RMC Foundation Interim Director Margaret Frierson, "The fundraising campaign is a critical part of the plans for the Dialysis Access Institute and the Mabry Center for Cancer Care, and its success is important to making sure that treatments for patients who have kidney disease or cancer are available locally."

The Regional Medical Center serves Orangeburg and Calhoun counties and surrounding areas with a 286-bed acute-care facility employing more than 1,200 healthcare professionals.