Edition: 10-02-2013
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Preacher joins Bamberg PD

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Richard Preacher from Allendale was sworn in as the newest Bamberg Police Department officer after graduating from Voorhees College with a degree in Criminal Justice.

Preacher said, "When I was growing up, most of my family was always getting in trouble and I wanted to make a difference. I wanted to get on the right side instead of the wrong side."

Preacher said, "I really love Bamberg from doing ride along. There is a good community base and [the community] helps the officer out. I really like that and I think it can become better."

Bamberg Mayor Blain Crosby said he was excited about Preacher joining the force after coming out of college. "That's just a drive right there, knowing he graduated from college and now wants to come on the police force. It's outstanding and good for the community. He will be able to watch the kids grow as he grows too."

“I'm mostly excited about having the honor of wearing the badge. Not a lot of people get the opportunity,” said Preacher. Preacher now lives in Bamberg, and plans to stay in order to protect and serve Bamberg for the citizens.

Bamberg Police Department Chief George Morris said, "Every time someone comes on board it's a learning experience. Everybody brings different ideas and personalities."

Morris later said Preacher will be on the streets of Bamberg patrolling for a few weeks until he will be sent to the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy. Once at the academy Preacher will learn, "advanced and specialized training in understanding gang culture, criminal domestic violence, traffic safety and enforcement, forensics, behavioral science, defensive tactics, emergency vehicle operations and the proper handling of firearms."

Red Cross honors Kling

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Bamberg County Chapter of the American Red Cross Coordinator Harvey Kling was honored Wednesday at the Chapter’s September quarterly business meeting held at Frye’s Restaurant in Bamberg. In recognition of his long service to the organization, Kling was presented with a plaque by Joey Hutto, Red Cross Disaster Services Specialist that stated the following:

The Palmetto SC Region Service Award In honor of Harvey Kling’s 22-years of dedicated service to the American Red Cross Bamberg County (1991-2013). Also during the meeting Bamberg Mayor Blain Crosby presented Hutto with a gift from the Bamberg County Chapter to be given to Executive Director for this area Lindsey Finley, who is taking another job out of state.

Kling reported the Red Cross has “two good clubs” in the county’s two public schools with 24 students at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School and 26 students at Denmark-Olar High School. The B-E group was recently able to visit Governor Nikki Haley at the State House and had “a great day.” “The kids are our future,” Kling said. Kling noted a recent blood drive was a success collecting 21 of 22 pints of useable blood. Coordinator Kling also noted the Chapter would like to schedule a planning session with local teachers and faculty members in the future.

Disaster Services Specialist Joey Hutto reported the agency deployed five volunteers to help with the flooding in Colorado. He noted the agency’s number one goal is to get people trained as the region prepares for disasters. Hutto noted that it has been relatively quite locally since the heavy rains back in the summer. He also commented that local fire departments would be receiving training in disaster relief probable in mid October.

American Government shuts down

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Talk of the government shutdown, which took place after the House and the Senate could no longer come to a compromise over what The Affordable Care Act, also known as, Obamacare would do to American Citizens, many are wondering what exactly will take place.

While some agree all Americans should have healthcare coverage, others feel they should have the choice to make the decision. Either way, due to the disagreements and unsettling arguments, the government is now shutdown.

So what exactly will happen now? According to WIS-TV News 10, "The last time the government shutdown was late 1995 into 1996," and, "it lasted for 21 days," costing the country $1.4 billion. As time moves on, the citizens of America will find out what this shutdown in government will cause.

However, the "basics of what you need to know," for this shutdown seems it might shutdown the lives of some Americans. President Barack Obama, in hopes of avoiding the shutdown, tried to pass a "short-term spending measure to keep government agencies operating. Another struggle the president faces is raising the credit limit to prevent exceeding the $16.7 trillion credit card. It was reported President Obama felt a shutdown was better than defaulting on the credit card, despite the shutdown being like throwing a wrench into the gears of a recovering economy.

For starters, Social Security, unemployment and Medicare benefits will continue, but there might be holdups in processing new disability applications. Meals at school, and food stamps or Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program will also continue. Head Start programs and food assistance programs like the Special Supplemental Nutrition Program for Women, Infants and Children, could shut down. These programs serve children and health care referrals and nutrition education for pregnant women, mothers and kids.

The mail will still be delivered, due to the US Postal Service receiving no tax money for operations and the military will still fight. It has been reported the 1.4 million active duty personnel can expect a delay in paychecks. However, President Obama said, "Those of you in uniform will remain on your normal duty status. Congress has passed, and I am signing into law, legislation to make sure you get your paychecks on time. And we'll continue working to address any impact this shutdown has on you and your families."

Some citizen employees from the Defense Department will be furloughed, along with 335,000 members from the American Federation of Government. The other 335,000 American Federation of Government Employees will not be paid until after a decision is reached. Air traffic control, national security and border protection employees will still be working. Taxes will still need to be paid, and bonds will still be issued.

All veterans hospitals and federal prisons will still operate as if the shutdown did not take place. However, "new patients will not be accepted into clinical research at the National Institutes of Health." Other medical studies could be delayed, and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention will no longer be able to investigate any disease outbreaks.

The Food and Drug Administration will work on high-risk recalls and meat inspections will continue. Other inspectors with the federal occupational safety and health inspectors will quit workplace inspections unless otherwise "imminent danger," is apparent.

"If you need a federal loan for your house or business, if you want a gun permit, that will not be possible until the government is back up and running. Some federal contractors' projects could be delayed if they need paperwork filed with the government."

"The State Department will continue processing foreign applications for visas and US applications for passports, since fees are collected to finance those services," according to The Boston Globe. The National Weather Service will continue giving forecasts and NASA will keep some employees at the office in Houston and other offices due to the six people currently deployed in space.

But no further information seems to be found on the web on news stations for citizens and their families. These citizens simply have to wait for the government to decide when they'll be back to work, and once that happens, employees are still unsure as to if they will receive back pay.

B-E Cross Country program beneficial to other athletic programs

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

The Cross Country Program at Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School is “beneficial” to all the other athletic programs that involve movement, B-E head cross country coach Mike Jolly wants people to know. “This program is beneficial to every program, where there is running, moving, jogging, sprinting, basketball, football, wrestling and golf just to name a few, it’s there,” Jolly, who is in his fourth year as head coach said Monday before practice.

And Jolly is seeing an increase in the number of participants coming out for the program, which has 25-27 members on its roster, including five senior boys for the first time. The team has no senior girls on the team, which bodes well for the future of the program on the girls’ side. With just two meets under their belts so far this season, things are going “so far so good,” according to Jolly.

The team is looking to build on last year’s solid finishes that saw the girls team finish in second place in the region and the boys finish in third place. The team is lead by All Region selections Kirkland Lee Rizer, Paul Glenn (fourth year in program) and Brooke Thomas (third year in program) . Also returning for the girls’ team is Sky Westbury. Others returning on the boys’ side are Will Gilland and Matt Maxwell.

Jolly noted that in his four years as head cross country coach, he has seen the program develop well. “The more people find out the better it will be. There seems to be a slight aversion by some folks to running.” Jolly stressed that any athlete who plays a sport that is not in season can come out and get in shape by running cross country.

“The coach can teach the fundamentals of the sport they play without putting the conditioning time in. That’s what this program can be here far,” Jolly said. Jolly noted that soccer coach David Choi, wrestling coach Jake Stewart and new boys basketball coach Shaun Middleton are some of the coaches taking advantage their athletes participating in cross country.

“There is nothing outside of tidily winks that doesn’t involve your legs and running and doing when it comes to sports,” Jolly noted was his favorite saying in promoting the sport of cross country.

BEMS Safety and Emergency Response Plan meeting

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

One- by- one all of a sudden a large number of students start to become sick at Bamberg- Ehrhardt Middle School. Who does what in this type of situation? What are the responsibilities of the principal, counselor, school nurse, custodial staff, teachers and students? These were just some of the questions members of the Bamberg-Ehrhardt Middle School Safety and Emergency Response Plan Team answered Monday afternoon in a Table Top Exercise held in the BEMS Library.

Fortunately, this was only a make believe situation Monday afternoon as Bamberg School District One Federal Projects Coordinator Phyllis Overstreet took members of the BEMS team through a number of different crises scenarios that included a pretend “mass illness” at the school they hope will never happen.

‘How does the staff deal with parents, who are concerned about the well being of their children, the media, are students allowed to use cell phones in an emergency situation’ were other topics group members discussed. Overstreet noted that each school in Bamberg School District One has done its own needs assessment because each school has its own student body, parents and staff population.

“So each school has done a needs assessment based on that and the configuration of the school. Each school has developed a Safety and Emergency Response Plan based on their needs assessment.” Overstreet note that the plan is to have another district Table Top Exercise with the principals, and superintendent probable during a January staff development meeting and also include the police department, fire chief and other emergency personnel “to be on the same page with our outside people. If something untoward happens your training will kick in, we’re all on the same page,” Overstreet said.

BEMS Principal Troy Phillips noted that it was important to keep things in the proper perspective when planning for a crisis situation. “We don’t want to overreact,” Phillips said, adding “we want to make sure that people know what’s going on.” Phillips noted that plan as they may there is no way every situation can be planned for. “Is every situation covered, probably not, you can’t think of all situations. If you’re doing your regular procedure almost every situation can be accounted for.”

Other Bamberg School District One Safety and Emergency Response Activities include the following:

All schools have updated safety and emergency response plans; There is also a district plan, which includes procedures related to staff training, and a requirement that all plans be reviewed and updated by September 1st of each year; School plans take into account the current student, parent, and staff populations, with information related to any special physical or other needs of those populations related to safety and emergency response; An initial district Table Top Training exercise that included all principals, the superintendent, assistant superintendent, school nurse, school resource officers, school psychologists, and Assistant Chief Kirby was held on August 8th. A second district-level Table Top exercise will be conducted in January, and will include representatives from local police, fire, rescue squad, and other community emergency response representatives and Table Top exercises will be conducted at all three schools.