In This Weeks Edition: 09-02-2009

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More Budget Cuts

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Writer

District One Superintendent Phyllis Schwarting said at Monday night’s board meeting the district had “received some more bad news” and would be receiving between a four and five percent budget cut. Schwarting noted the district “should be alright” for this first round of cuts because its budget was based on a lower base student cost than was recommended by the State Department of Education to start the 2009-2010 year.

Schwarting reported the district was not alarmed at this point about a possible outbreak of the Novel N1H1 Virus or Swine Flu in the district.

“We’re certainly not overly alarmed,” Schwarting said. “Approximately 18 students went home today (Monday August 24) from the high school. We’re not to be alarmed until we send 30 or 40 home from one school.”

Schwarting said she wasn’t sure that all of those that went home Monday had swine flu and at least one had a sinus infection. The Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) has sent letters home to all parents advising them of the precautions to use in preventing their student from contracting the virus.

Also during the meeting:

It was also noted that the district had an increase of 75 students so far this school year.

The Superintendent informed the board the district is in the process of securing bids for the repair of the roof of the old community center located next door to the district office. The building houses district records that must be kept for another 70 years and is home to several district programs including the Adult Education Program and Children and Parents Program (CAPS). The district has secured one estimate of $33,000 to repair the roof plus $14.00 per sq. ft. to repair any structural damage that may be found related to rotten wood.

“We must do something with the community center or lose it,” Schwarting said.

The district has received C-Funds in the amount of $63,000 from the highway department to pave a road from the Richard Carroll Primary School to Zeigler Street that would relieve some of the congestion.. Principals of each of the district’s four schools reported that they had a “smooth opening of school “last week and are off to a “smooth start.”

The district had the deed to the Ehrhardt facility that was pretty much complete except for a few signatures.

The district was awarded a $72,000 energy grant by the state and will be working with Lonnie Carter of Santee Cooper to do an energy audit of the district.

School Board Vice Chairperson Rita Sease reported that she and board members Robin Holmes and Tony Duncan recently attended a School Law Conference and said the most important thing members of the board could do is “abide by and follow the district’s policies.”

Reed Donates

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Writer

Voorhees College historian Richard Reed recently donated a microfilm machine to The Advertizer-Herald Newspaper last week.

Publisher Joyce Searson said, “I have been talking to Richard Reed for over a year about all the microfilm we have at the newspaper, but we had no way of looking at it except going to the county library. When he told me he had a machine that he would donate to the paper, I was so excited and I am very thankful for his generosity in doing this. We have microfilm that is dated back to 1899 and now we can actually view it at our office.”

Nursing Facility Picnic

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Writer

The yellow t-shirts the employees were wearing said it all, “Bamberg County Hospital Survivor Celebrating Our Success.” On Wednesday, employees of the Hospital and Uni-Health Post Acute Care (nursing center) enjoyed a picnic sponsored by the management and staff of the facilities. This is a way to show the employees their appreciation for the progress they have made over the last year in helping to turn a $2.3 million deficit into a $2.9 million positive upswing.

Heritage Corridor

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

Aiken, Barnwell, Bamberg and Orangeburg counties are coming together to celebrate the success and to discuss the future of their historical preservation and educational efforts on Monday, September 14 from 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. at the newly renovated Old Springfield High School.

The four counties represent the Rivers, Rails and Crossroads Region of the South Carolina Heritage Corridor (SCNHC). Sponsored by the Orangeburg County committee for the SCNHC, the showcase will include dinner, music by Flatland Express, an update on the future endeavors of the region and the SCNHC as a whole, and a presentation on local historical properties by Brad Sauls of the SC Department of Archives and History.

Long Journey...

Jerry Durgan, Contributing Writer

The Harrison's, Dad Bill, Mom Amarins, and kids Jasmine, 4, Robin 2 and Cheyenne, 7 took a short respite in Bamberg Saturday, Aug. 29, on the way to the cold country of Alaska, the first family to pedal 7,000 miles on a quint bicycle from Kentucky to Alaska across the North American Continent. The quint is a specially built 5-seater bicycle with cargo trailer by an Oregon company.

“Our journey to Alaska will provide limitless opportunities for discovery about nature, people and the United States, Bill Harrison said. “We are on a journey to inspire others to live their dreams. Don't give up! If we can live this dream, you can surely live yours! Risk-taking is what made this country great,” he says. “It wasn’t politics or religion. It was about risking to go around the next bend in the river or over the next mountain. If we still took those risks today, this would be a better world.”

The entire journey is chronicled on the family web site http://www.pedouins.org.