Edition: 10-23-2013
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District 3 rally comes to B-E High

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

"It's amazing to bring kids together with different backgrounds to share ideas and improve communities," said Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School (BEHS) Senior and Student Body President Matt Maxwell, at the District 3 Rally.

Maxwell, along with the other members of student council hosted the first ever district rally held at BEHS on Monday, October 21st. The rally had more than 320 students from the district three region, and held more than 15 workshops for those students to come together as a group to determine how to better their schools and leaderships skills.

Elizabeth Saitz, Senior at BEHS, Student Body Vice President and District 3 Chair of the South Carolina Association of Student Councils (SCASC) said the workshops focused on fundraising, school spirit, teacher appreciation, community service, team building, scrapbooking, charity work, and much more. Saitz is the first student at BEHS to hold a state position with SCASC, and encourages her fellow peers to also strive for state positions.

Saitz and student council advisor Bridget Kinard have been working since April towards the rally at BEHS. The students and parents worked over the weekend to decorate the school in preparation for the rally's events.

Over the past six years Mrs. Kinard has been advisor the student council has greatly grown. She shared, "This event is good for past, present and future student council members. I appreciate all student council, parent, community, and faculty support. We have an amazing student council and the event wouldn't have been possible without them."

B-E Wrestling team ranks 2nd in 2A-1A pre-season polls

Jerry E. Halmon, Sports Editor

After recording a record third straight state wrestling championship last year and graduating one of the best group of high school wrestlers across any classification, in (Lan Hiers, Player Long, Mark Moody and Malcolm Jones) a recent SCMAT Pre-season 2A-1A Poll has the 2013-14 Red Raider wrestling team ranked second in the state. The Red Raider wrestling team will be led by three wrestlers who qualified or placed in the state. Top returnees for the Red Raiders are senior Damion Johnson (132) ranked third in the state, senior Jeremy Davis (170) ranked 4th in the state and was a state qualifier in 2012 at 182 and senior D’Angelor Tyler (285) was a state qualifier. In a press release Mark Buford of SCMAT stated he felt Bamberg-Ehrhardt has the athletes and should “easily reload with a solid team.” Buford went on to note it is a question now of how the next generation of leadership and determination to win kicks in after losing the best four seniors he could recall in ages across any classification.

The SC 2A-1A Wrestling Pre-Season Top 10 are as follows: 1. Battery Creek, 2. Bamberg-Ehrhardt, 3. Liberty, 4. Aynor, 5. Indian Land, 6. Crescent, 7. Chesnee, 8. Cheraw, 9. Pendleton and 10. Abbeville.

New aeration process working well

Mallory D. Biering, Staff Reporter

Will Martin, Manager of the Bamberg Board of Public Works (BPW) reported at the Thursday, September 26th meeting the new aeration process is working well. Martin said, "It looks good and all the lab results have been great." It was stated instead of the battleship gray colored water, the water is actually green and it looks like a pond.

In other portions of Martin's report, he shared a thank you letter from Dixie Darlings Softball Team for the contribution the board gave towards their ball games. A commitment letter from McGregor and Company was also shared with the board.

The individual who ran into the fence at the wastewater treatment plant is currently paying restitution to the BPW for repairs to correct what was damaged during the wreck.

Martin said they continue to get information on the bleach change over discussed at previous meetings. BPW is the sixth lowest in the state for electric utilities compared to information provided to the board.

Martin along with BPW Supervisor Gene Searson went to the rural water conference earlier in September where they received good training. Martin received a plaque for completion of the water utility management certification. He was also elected as district 2 board member for the South Carolina Rural Water Association.

Problems with the Upstate have trickled down to the low country and the Department of Health and Environmental Control have ordered any public owned treatment works to test for Polychlorinated Biphenyls or PCBs. It has occurred due to illegal discharges, with an emphasis on grease traps.

According to the US Environmental Protection Agency, PCBs, "have a range of toxicity and vary in consistency from thing, light-colored liquids to yellow or black waxy solids. Due to their non-flammability, chemical stability, high boiling point, and electrical insulating properties. PCBs were used in hundreds of industrial and commercial applications including electrical, heat transfer, and hydraulic equipment; as plasticizers in paints, plastics, and rubber products; in pigments, dyes, and carbonless copy paper; and many other industrial applications."

According to Martin, "the samples have been sent to our contract lab, however we have not seen the results of the report," as of October 8th.

A member of the public, Robert Ayer asked the board members of the BPW about the flat fee for customers who are only sewer, and not water. Board member Matt Medlin let Ayer know they would find a way before the next meeting to figure out what BPW can do to help keep the flat fee from rising as it has done in the past years. Ayer said, "Do what you can to help me."

Hospital board approves sale

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

In a special called meeting on October 8, the Bamberg County Hospital Board of Trustees gave conditional approval to the sale of all the closed hospital’s medical and non-medical assets to Chicago Illinois-based Centurion Services Group. It was noted that the board solicited bids from other companies, but received only two bids, with no other companies showing any interest in the hospital’s assets. Also during the meeting hospital board Chair Dr. Danette McAlhaney reported that Hospital Corporations of America was “still showing interest” in developing an emergency room on the site of the hospital. “It’s ongoing, we will have to see what happens,” McAlhaney said, in noting that representatives of the company recently spent a whole day looking over the property.

It was also reported that the hospital was showing a balance of $196,548.70 after paying off its debt with Regions Bank of $500,000. The hospital continues to pay its bills with the light bill being one of the highest at about $1,200 a month. “very expensive,” it was noted of the hospital’s light bill.

Federal Funds

Bamberg County has been awarded federal funds made available through the Department of Homeland Security/Federal Emergency Management Agency under the Emergency Food and Shelter National Board Program.

The county has been chosen to receive $9,054 to supplement emergency food and shelter programs.

The selection was made by a National Board that is chaired by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s FEMA and consists of representatives from the American Red Cross; Catholic Charities, USA; National Council of the Churches of Christ in the USA; the Jewish Federations of North America; the Salvation Army; and United Way Worldwide. The Local Board was charged to distribute funds appropriated by Congress to help expand the capacity of food and shelter programs in high-need areas around the country.