In This Weeks Edition: 02-10-2010

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New Parking Signs for Downtown Shoppers

Nancy C. Hiers, Contributing Writer

Some of the confusion over parking availability in the downtown Bamberg area will soon be remedied. New signs will be installed directing shoppers to parking locations behind Main Street businesses. Many local shop owners have expressed disappointment in the past at the lack of adequate signage to inform potential customers about the available parking spaces in the rear of shops. City Council announced at the Monday, February 8th meeting that four new signs will be placed to alert shoppers from all directions to the ample parking available in the rear and Main Street lots.

Council recognized Rex Williams to discuss concerns of discrimination by Council regarding a potential basketball program, and after much debate and discussion of proper protocol in developing a program, suggestions were made by Council members to guide the actions necessary for progress in this community program.

Sanitation Commissioner Bo Griffin addressed citizen concerns regarding debris pickup and customer complaints of early morning trash removal. Both are being addressed.

Insurance Commissioner Janeth Walker reported that the new insurance program for City employees, effective February 1, 2010, is going well. According to City Clerk Bruce Watson the transaction and following service has been “a smooth transition.”

Police Chief George Morris reported to Council concerning the need for replacement of City Police Department vehicles, and gave an update on potential candidates. Council assured Chief Morris that this will be a priority during future budget discussions.

A second reading of Ordinance 10-1 to accept deeded property from U.S. Group passed, which would transfer the former Elm Street liquor store property to the City of Bamberg.

Mayor McCollum reported that a meeting was held to discuss Civic Center renovations and a presentation will follow to explain the results of this meeting at a later date.

B-E Band Director Charged

Bamberg-Ehrhardt High School’s band director Michael Miller turned himself in on Thursday afternoon, February 4, to the Bamberg County detention Center and will face two counts each of lewd act on a minor under 16 and second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Bamberg.

Miller was taken before the Bamberg County magistrate Friday and bond was set at $20,000 with a 10 percent option.

Orangeburg County Sheriff’s Office investigators charged Miller with two counts of second-degree criminal sexual conduct with a minor in Orangeburg County.

On Monday, February 8, Miller was taken before an Orangeburg County magistrate and bond was set at $50,000.

Both Miller, who has been the B-E Band Director for 10 years, and his wife, BEHS Assistant Principal Denise Miller, had been on paid administrative leave pending investigations.

Denise Miller has been cleared of all allegations.

Relay for Life

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

One of the main goals of the Bamberg County Relay for Life Committee this year is to get more people in the county involved in the annual event that raises money for people whose lives have been or will be touched by cancer.

Mollie Jo Brandemuehl, committee chair and captain of the First Baptist Church team said the Relay for Life event is so important to her because, “I’ve lost too many friends to cancer and it is very vital to our county to continue with this fund raising that can help save so many lives.” For more information visit

Gwaltney Joins

Jerry E. Halmon, Staff Reporter

Dr. Danette F. McAlhaney, the new owner of the Bamberg Family Practice located at 450 North Street, announced last week that Holly Gwaltney of Bamberg will be joining her staff of health service providers as a Family Nurse Practioner on February 15.

“We have seen an increase in the need for patient care here, in patients calling and needing a primary care doctor,” McAlhaney said, adding, that she was familiar with Gwaltney, who worked in Dr. William H. Glenn’s Office for seven years before a brief stint in Barnwell.


Douglas Stokes receives the O-C Tech 2010 Administrative/Manager Award.

Douglas Stokes is the Chief of Campus Safety and Security at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College and joined the college as an administrator in 1994. Under his leadership, the department has grown from a security department into a public safety department and is viewed as a progressive unit by others outside the college.

Cursive Writing

Joyce M. Searson, Publisher

The Washington Post recently reported in a story titled, 'The Handwriting on the Wall,' that the decline of handwriting instruction in elementary schools and the likelihood that future generations will not acquire the cursive handwriting skill is inevitable.

After realizing that 99 percent of her students in her 6th grade class could neither read nor write in cursive, Nancy Watson decided to take it upon herself to do something about it and teach a course.

Beginning on March 2, Watson will be teaching a four-week course on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Bamberg House of Pizza in the private dining room.