Edition: 01-02-2013
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Town of Ehrhardt gets ‘Clear Opinion’ on 2012 Audit

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

The town of Ehrhardt received a "Clear Opinion" on its 2012 Audit Report, Ehrhardt Town Council members were told at their December 18th, meeting. According to auditor Tim Cornelison the town’s balance sheet showed net assets of $579,000 and a total of $4.7 million in the public works account. The town’s account shows a balance of $300,000 with cash expenditures of $56,000. "The town’s records look really good," Cornelison said of the 2012 audit.

Also during the meeting: Public Safety Chief Chad Dilling reported the Ehrhardt Fire Department responded to 10 fire calls during the month including; responding to several brush fires. Chief Dilling thanked all those that helped with the Soup Supper that raised $1200. The chief reported the Ehrhardt Police Department created several case files for the month including a case of a stabbing/cutting that required SLED to become involved.

In the public works department report it was noted for the month of November collections were $10,942.68, with 25 customers having their water service cutoff for nonpayment of their bills. Collections for December to date were $10,336.79.

Plans for the town’s streetscape project are in the process of being drawn up and a meeting with PRT officials was held last week, with plans for the Towns beautification project to be drawn up. Mayor Bill Stanley gave an update on the grant application for a new police car. town should get something in writing in the next 30 days concerning the grant.

After a year and a half of hard work, the town received permission from DHEC (Department of Health and Environmental Control) to use Well #3 with, "a few other things that need to be done," to make the well usable. It was noted that Mr. Leon Brunson of the Orangeburg Family Health Clinic will be contacted as to an update on the status of the health clinic for the town of Ehrhardt. Jason Marchant of Pendarvis Ambulance Service was contacted for an update on ambulance service to the town and received no response.

Council members also gave first reading approval to an Ordinance on how insurance company will collect premiums from businesses.

Sarah Guess Noel sworn in

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Shortly before noon on Monday, December 31, 2012, in the Bamberg County Probate Judge’s Office in the Bamberg County Courthouse, surrounded by a host of family members and friends, newly elected Bamberg County Probate Judge Sarah Guess Noel was sworn in to office by Bamberg County Clerk of Court Pedie Hiers.

“It is my honor and privilege to follow Judge Nancy Green in this position as Probate Judge for Bamberg County,” incoming Probate Judge Sarah Guess Noel said. “To all my friends, to all the people that will walk through this courtroom, I honor you. I feel privileged to serve you and I look forward to the next four years. I wish Judge Green well; she is a mentor and a giant in Bamberg for her service.”

Judge Noel will be replacing Judge Nancy Green, who is stepping down after serving 39 years in the Probate Judge’s office. Judge Sarah Guess Noel, a Democrat, defeated Petition Candidate Donna Blume Brown by a count of 4,012 for Sarah Guess Noel to 2,660 votes for Donna Blume Brown in the November 6, 2012 election. Judge Noel noted that Judge Green did an ”outstanding job” as Probate Judge of Bamberg County and her plans are to carry on her footsteps.

Sellers announces fiscal responsibility reforms

State Representative Bakari Sellers (District 90) announced a new package of kitchen table fiscal reforms designed to instill a new sense of responsibility into the state’s finances.

“I want to start this year off right,” said Rep. Sellers. “That means getting our fiscal house in order.”

Sellers’ reform package consists of three bills which, if passed, would prohibit the Budget and Control Board from raiding the Insurance Reserve Fund, designate funds to pay for a one-time small business tax break and require the state legislature to recognize and approve deficit spending by state departments.

“When you boil it all down, what we’re talking about here is putting away the credit card and holding ourselves accountable to our budget,” says Rep. Sellers. “Families across South Carolina use these same principles when they’re paying bills or balancing the checkbook. The least we can do is hold ourselves to their standard when we’re spending their tax dollars.”

Representative Bakari Sellers’ Kitchen Table Fiscal Reform Package:

• H 3154: A Bill To Amend The Code Of Laws Of South Carolina, 1976, By Adding Section 1-11-143 So As To Prohibit The State Budget And Control Board From Borrowing, Transferring, Pledging, Or Other Encumbering The Funds Of The Insurance Reserve Fund For Any Purpose Not Specifically Authorized By Law For The Use Of Those Funds.

• H 3157: A Joint Resolution To Provide That Revenues Of The Capital Reserve Fund For Fiscal Year 2012-2013 To The Extent Not Appropriated For Infrastructure Needs Must Be Used To Offset The General Fund Revenues Not Collected Because Of A One Time Small Business Tax Reduction Which Must Be Enacted By The General Assembly In Its 2013 Regular Session.

• H 3194: A Bill To Amend Section 1-11-495, As Amended, Code Of Laws Of South Carolina, 1976, Relating To Monitoring Revenues And Expenditures To Determine Year-End Deficits And The Procedures To Recognize And Approve An Agency's Deficit, So As To Provide That The Budget And Control Board Only May Recognize And Approve A Particular Agency's Deficit In An Amount Not Exceeding Two Percent Of The Agency's Total Funds Expenditure Authorization As Reflected In The Annual General Appropriations Act, And To Provide For An Additional Procedure By Which The General Assembly May Recognize And Approve An Agency's Deficit Above This Limit.

For more information, contact Rep. Sellers at (803) 734-3003

Red Raider Basketball teams have strong showing in Hawk Invitational

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School Red Raider Varsity Girls and Boys basketball teams had strong showings in last week’s Annual Hawk Invitational Basketball Tournament in Blackville held in the Danny Atkins Gymnasium. In their first game of the tournament on Wednesday the Lady Red Raiders would drop a 41-29 decision to Ridge Spring-Monetta. The Lady Red Raiders were led by LaShaye Clark with nine points. She was followed by Akayla Frazier with eight points and Morgan Varn added five points. In their second game of the tournament on Thursday afternoon the Lady Red Raiders would come away with a 42-27 win over the host Lady Hawks.

The Lady Red Raiders would take an 8-5 lead at the end of the first quarter and lead 16-10 at halftime. The Red Raiders would go on a 15-8 run and extend their lead to 31-18 at the end of the third quarter in claiming the 42-27 win. The Red Raiders were led by LaShaye Clark with 16 points, followed by Alexis Toomer with 12 points and Mironda Murdaugh would add seven points.

B-E second-year head girls’ basketball Coach Fred Smart said he was pleased with his young teams’ performance in the tournament and so far this season but there was still room for growth. “We’re still young in certain areas; we’re still growing and improving,” he said. Coach Smart said his team should have taken the win in their first game of the tournament, “but that’s how the luck goes sometimes,” he said.

Smart noted his team was at the point in its development where he wanted to be. “Things are going great. This is my second year with them; I have a good group of girls’ and our goal is to make the playoffs this year.” Smart noted that this year’s Lady Red Raider team consists of 12 players, of which six are seniors, three juniors, one freshman and two sophomores.

Coach Smart said that he would be looking for help in the coming years from players on the middle and JV teams. He noted that he was trying to “change the culture” of girls’ basketball in Bamberg. He said he had to give credit to the Bamberg City League Basketball Program for helping the girls’ program at B-E “tremendously.” “If we can keep that going (Bamberg City League Basketball Program) and maintain a solid middle school program, we’ll be fine.”

In varsity boys action in the Hawk Invitational Basketball Tournament on Thursday evening The Red Raiders lost a thriller in overtime to host Blackville-Hilda 61-58. A free throw by B-E’s LaSamuel Davis with 0.03 left in the game tied the score at 53-53 sending the game into overtime, where the Hawks would come away with the win.

“Blackville, they took it, they took it, we didn’t give it to them, Coach Beasley (Mike) did a wonderful job in coaching those guys tonight,” B-E first-year head varsity boys’ basketball Coach Russell Branch said after his team’s tough lost to the Hawks. He then turned his attention to the January 8, region home game with Calhoun County. “We’ve got Calhoun County coming in next week, it (Hawk Invitational) was good for our conference race, so it was a great tournament,” Coach Branch said. Branch noted that things are “looking well” for his team. He noted that last year this time the team was (0-9) and presently have a record of (5-4). “So we’re doing wonderful with a lot of freshmen and sophomores on the team, we’ll be good for the next couple of years,” Coach Branch said.

The Red Raiders were led in the game with Black-Hilda by Ches Gleaton with 12 points, followed by Chris Graham and Austin Brown with 9 points each; A. C. Crosby 8; J. Kearse and L. Davis 5 points each; Tav Schwarting and T. Goldenson 4 points each and J. Johnson 2. In Wednesday afternoon’s game the Red Raiders dropped a 75-59 decision Ridge Spring-Monetta. Leading the way for B-E was Chris Graham with 16 points, followed by A. C. Crosby with 12 points and LaSamuel Davis chipped in 10 points.