In The Hard Copy - 03-18-2009

Civic Center to get $1 million

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

From a press release sent out by Congressman Clyburn’s office March 9 to Bamberg Mayor Alton McCollum, $1 million in Homeland Security funds has been allocated to South Carolina Adjutant General Major General Stanhope S. Spears for a Community Emergency Staging Center at the Bamberg Civic Center, the former SC National Guard armory.

In February, 2008, Mayor McCollum and a Civic Center committee submitted a grant application to Clyburn’s office for renovations funding to the former National Guard armory and adjacent buildings. Included in the grant application was a catering facility, emergency power, upgrading the electrical system, a telecommunications system, a new mess kitchen in the General Jasper Varn Mess Hall building for large events and emergency use by the National Guard and Red Cross. The Jasper Varn Mess Hall, following renovation, would be used “as a staging area during coastal emergencies.”

McCollum is currently communicating with the Adjutant General’s office and Dalton Tresvant of Clyburn’s office for clarification and coordination of the Bamberg Homeland Security Project.

Prescription Discount Drug Card

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

According to Bamberg County Administrator Rose Dobson-Elliott, starting on April 1, 2009, every resident in the county can apply for a prescription discount drug card.

“This is something the county has been working on for the past five years and it is no cost to the county. This is a benefit of being a member of NACO (National Association of Counties). Everyone is eligible and there are no age or income requirements. Any county resident, whether they have prescription coverage or not, can apply, because their existing coverage may not cover some of the drugs that the county card will,” Dobson-Elliott stated.

There are no claim forms to fill out and no annual fees to pay.

One of the main reasons for the county doing this is to help those who have no type of coverage and no type of insurance.

The card will have to be used at one of the participating pharmacies in the county such as Padgett’s Pharmacy, Rite Aide, CVS and Daniels Pharmacy.

In order to get one of these cards, you will have to go the courthouse and ask for Ruthie Brown and bring a picture ID. Only one prescription card per household will be issued for the family.

For more information concerning this call Ruthie Brown at 803-245-5191.

“County Council has been very supportive and very much behind this to help the citizens of the county,” said Dobson-Elliott.

Illegal tampering and removal

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

Once again political signs that have been placed throughout the city have been vandalized by unknown perpetrators.

“This is illegal and if caught, they will be prosecuted to the fullest extent,” said Janeth Walker, a candidate for mayor and owner of the signs that have been stolen.

Walker says that at 11 different locations, her signs have either been stolen or vandalized and she has replaced them only to find later that they were again missing. There are a total of 29 missing signs and this can be very expensive to keep replacing them.

Lisa Stokes, another candidate for mayor, says that she has not noticed any of her signs being tampered with at this time.

Mayor Alton McCollum said he is missing only one sign that was on Pine Street.

Police Chief George Morris said, “We always have this kind of vandalism during election, but whether it is teenagers playing a prank or someone doing it for spite, the fine can be as high as $500.00.”

The Bamberg Police department is investigating the incident.

If you know of anyone involved with the removal of these signs or have seen anyone removing them, please contact the Bamberg Police Department at 803.245.2462.

Food Distribution serves 330 families

Thirty four volunteers helped distribute rice, grits, chili, pasta canned fruits and vegetables and much more to more than 330 families at Saturday’s United Way/Golden Harvest Food Bank food distribution.

A total of 847 individuals in those households benefited from thirteen individual food items. “We distributed 9,904 pounds of food," WadeDelle Moody said.

Disabilities Awareness Month

“Empowering and assisting people with special needs to exercise their rights to contribute and achieve interdependence, independence, and inclusion in the community and society,” reads in part the Mission Statement of the Bamberg County Department of Special Needs Board.

On Thursday morning March 12, 2009 members of the Bamberg County D.S.N. Board recognized Disabilities Awareness Month with the Honorable Carrie S. Simmons, Mayor of Denmark, and the Honorable Alton McCollum, Mayor of Bamberg, signing a proclamation in observance of the month issued by South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.