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Shealy, Harvey earn 2017 SCORH Pioneer of the Year Awards

Thu, 2017-10-19 08:49
Posted: Thu, 10/19/2017 - 8:49am

Buck Harvey, PA-C, and Neal Shealy, MD, of Beaufort Memorial Harrison Peeples Health Care Center in Varnville, were jointly presented the South Carolina Office of Rural Health (SCORH) 2017 Pioneer of the Year Award at an awards luncheon held during the organization’s 21st Annual Rural Health Conference in Greenville on October 11.

“The Pioneer Award is presented to a provider or providers who have contributed significantly to the delivery of primary health care in a rural environment,” said SCORH CEO Graham Adams, PhD. “Dr. Shealy and Mr. Harvey have been the backbone for primary care in the Hampton County area for more than 25 years.”

The SC Office of Rural Health (SCORH) is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring equitable access to quality healthcare for all rural South Carolinians.

Buck Harvey began his healthcare career in the 1970s as a medical lab technician working with rural hospitals in the Lowcountry. After graduating from the MUSC Physician Assistant program in 1979, he began working in Estill, population 2,308, under the preceptorship of Dr. Harrison Peeples.

Eleven years later, the Harrison Peeples Health Care Center was founded in Varnville to honor Dr. Peeples. As its Executive Director, Mr. Harvey has integrated inter-professional team-based care and rural healthcare research to promote patient engagement and collaboration. For 35 years Mr. Harvey has served on numerous state, local and regional boards and commissions to expand economic development of a four-county region that includes Hampton County. He has been a continuous advocate of the “Grow your own” pipeline for rural primary care, and has precepted countless students from MUSC’s Medical and Physician Assistant schools.

Dr. Neal Shealy graduated from the MUSC College of Medicine, completed his residency at Greenville Hospital System/Greenville Family Medicine and spent almost a decade as owner and provider of a rural practice in Crossnore, North Carolina. He returned to South Carolina in 1991, where he joined Harrison Peeples Health Care Center and became its Medical Director. Dr. Shealy served on the American Academy of Family Physicians board and as the SC Academy of Family Physician’s President from 2007-2008. He makes medical mission trips yearly, and most recently returned from a trip to Uganda this past June. For 25 years, Dr. Shealy has precepted hundreds of students and shared his love for rural practice and community.

In 2014 Mr. Harvey and Dr. Shealy worked closely with Beaufort Memorial Hospital to create a partnership that has further enhanced patient care and broadened Harrison Peeples’ work and mission, through the formation of the non-profit Beaufort Memorial Harrison Peeples Health Care Center.

“I can’t think of two people who have contributed more to the health and care of this area than Dr. Neal Shealy and Buck Harvey,” said Beaufort Memorial President and CEO Russell Baxley. “They are living examples of our mission, and we’re honored by their commitment and proud of their legacy.”


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NDMS Homecoming

Wed, 2017-10-18 13:30
Posted: Wed, 10/18/2017 - 1:30pm
  • Photo by Matt Popovich, the Guardian.







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On the Write Track

Mon, 2017-10-16 17:39
Coffee is my breakfast of championsBy: Shellie D. MurdaughContributing Writer Posted: Mon, 10/16/2017 - 5:39pm

Before I decided many years ago to make journalism my career choice, I never really wanted a cup of coffee.

Things changed a few years into the career for me. It is as though I figured out just how much coffee can help me get through my days.

I am not sure what everyone considers the best kind of coffee, but to be honest, I’ll take almost anything that says coffee on the container or Keurig coffee cups.

Getting back into a routine has made me realize just how important coffee is to me in the mornings.

I realize that some say coffee is bad for you, but I will take that risk and have a cup each morning before starting my day. If I don’t, it just seems as though I have trouble getting my thoughts together to write. It seems like my mind cannot get through the fog without the coffee.

There are probably many readers out there that can relate to how I function. I would probably have to have coffee every morning, no matter my chosen profession.

Coffee has just become a part of me that I hope never gets mad at me and wants to part ways. I couldn’t handle that departure. There’s just no other beverage to replace it. While I do love sweet tea, it is just not the same as coffee, my dear friend.  

When I get ready to begin working on my assignments, plain coffee seems to help me organize things and begin to speak like a normal person and not an angry gremlin.

I know the caffeine in the coffee helps get the day going, but I also enjoy the different flavors on the market today. This time of year, I enjoy purchasing the pumpkin spice variety and will rotate that with French vanilla flavors in my coffee.

While some don’t like the Keurig coffee cups, they certainly are convenient in the mornings. The only thing you have to remember when you are still half asleep it to put a cup into the machine. Using the Keurig is a good way to make sure you don’t accidentally put too much coffee into the filter at dawn. That kind of mistake could cause you to have extremely strong coffee, the kind that will have you bouncing off the walls.

Some might prefer to bounce off the walls in the mornings, but I don’t need but just a small amount of caffeine to get me through the day.

I don’t know about the readers out there, but I can certainly tell when I have to rush in the mornings and forget my coffee. The lack of coffee usually leads to a very rocky day. Usually, I don’t have time to go and purchase a cup of coffee if I can’t find a cup around an office, I just hang in there and finish the day. I never like leaving home without coffee, but it does happen.

The best part about coffee is that there’s so many choices out there for everyone to enjoy. Another example would be iced coffee, which is the same as coffee, only a lot colder. It took me a few times of trying this kind to like it, but I finally decided it was a good selection. So many coffees, so little time.

For me, coffee is my breakfast of champions.









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Jasper Delegation officer files $300,000 suit

Mon, 2017-10-16 17:37
Posted: Mon, 10/16/2017 - 5:37pm

The first and only delegation officer for S.C. House and Senate members from Jasper County has filed a lawsuit seeking more than $300,000 from her employers. 

Helen Pittman has served as delegation officer for Jasper County since 2005. She filed the lawsuit Sept. 28 in the Court of Common Pleas against Jasper County, Hampton County, and state lawmakers who represent Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton and Hampton counties. 

Pittman, who is retiring after almost three decades of qualified state service, seeks reimbursement for retirement benefits for which she has been held qualified by the Public Employees Benefits Agency, the complaint says. 

“I have dedicated several decades to the citizens of Jasper County and have always done my best,” Pittman said. “I love the people of Jasper County and as any other Jasper County employee worked for their retirement, I did too.” 

A statement from Pittman’s attorney J. Lewis Cromer said the delegation has resisted paying for her retirement and claims she is an “unfunded retiree.” 

“My client did not want to bring this lawsuit and was forced to do so because of the way that she has been treated by certain members of the delegation over the last year of her service,” Cromer said. 

“Ms. Pittman loves the residents of Jasper County and is willing to do anything she can to continue her personal support for them. She needs her health insurance and has earned her status as a qualified retiree. It is hoped that these issues can be promptly and fairly resolved.” 

The lawsuit says an arrangement was reached years ago in which Hampton County would be responsible for collecting, withholding and reporting Pittman’s retirement and other financial obligations while she continued to serve as delegation officer for Jasper County. 

This arrangement did not change the fact Pittman remained a Jasper County employee, the lawsuit says, and Jasper County remains responsible for the payment of her retirement and health insurance benefits. Some delegation members maintain Pittman was an employee of Hampton County. 

The lawsuit says Pittman worked overtime at the request of her supervisors with the understanding she would be compensated as funds were available and at the time of her retirement. 

She has not received the overtime and back pay, the suit says. 

Pittman is seeking $80,000 for breach of contract and quantum meruit, and $300,000 for gross negligence. 

Jasper County is being represented by Beaufort attorney David Tedder and Hampton County by Estill attorney A.G. Solomons. 

The individuals named in the lawsuit are state Sen. Tom Davis, Rep. William K. “Bill” Bowers, Sen. Margie Bright Matthews, Rep. Bill Herbkersman and Rep. Weston Newton. The lawmakers are represented by Robert Achurch, an attorney with the Howell, Gibson and Hughes Law Firm in Beaufort. 

Achurch did not respond last week to a request for comment. 




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South Carolina to ShakeOut for Earthquake Preparedness Week

Mon, 2017-10-16 13:18
By: Derrec BeckerChief of Public Information & External Affairs, SC Emergency Management DivisionPosted: Mon, 10/16/2017 - 1:18pm

Columbia, S.C. - Governor Henry McMaster has proclaimed Earthquake Awareness Week for 2017 be observed October 15-21 in South Carolina.  The S.C. Emergency Management Division encourages everyone to take this opportunity to learn about our state’s seismic fault system and how best to prepare for earthquakes.  A highlight of the week will be the Great Southeast ShakeOut earthquake safety drill next Thursday, October 19 at 10:19 a.m.


More than two million people across eight states and Washington D.C. will take part in the Great SouthEast ShakeOut earthquake safety drill.  The regional ShakeOut drill is part of an international effort in which participants simultaneously practice how to stay safe during an earthquake — “Drop, Cover and Hold On”. For most people, in most situations, this means to:


  •   DROP where you are, onto your hands and knees;
  •   COVER your head and neck with one arm and hand, as you crawl for shelter under a nearby table or desk;
  •   HOLD ON to your shelter with one hand until shaking stops (remain on your knees and covering your head and neck with your other arm and hand).


Schools, businesses, organizations, government agencies, communities and households are all encouraged to participate in the drill.  Worldwide, 25 million people are currently expected to participate in Great ShakeOut Earthquake Drills next Thursday. Although the primary activity of the ShakeOut is based upon a drill procedure similar to a fire or tornado drill, participants are encouraged to take actions to become better prepared for all disasters.  This could include:


  •   Securing heavy items to prevent them from causing injuries during an earthquake
  •   Creating an emergency plan and/or updating emergency supply kits
  •   Talking with their families and neighbors about emergency preparedness


Registration on the Southeast ShakeOut site is an important part of this event.  The Great ShakeOut is open to everyone in South Carolina.  To register, go to


Similar to other emergency preparedness drills sponsored by SCEMD, the signal to begin the drill will be broadcast next Thursday at 10:19 a.m. on NOAA tone-alert weather radio and broadcast media. All media are encouraged to participate in the ShakeOut by broadcasting the drill message issued by SCEMD and the National Weather Service.


There have been ten low-magnitude earthquakes recorded in South Carolina since October 2016.  Our state experiences approximately ten to 20 earthquakes a year according to geologists with the College of Charleston.  The epicenter of the largest earthquake ever recorded along the eastern United States coast was just outside of Charleston on August 31, 1886.  The 7.3 magnitude quake devastated the region and was felt from Chicago, Ill, to Cuba.  According to a study commissioned by SCEMD, an earthquake of similar magnitude occurring today would result in tremendous loss of life, severe property damage and extreme economic loss.  Results of the study are detailed in the South Carolina Earthquake Guide


South Carolina Earthquake Resources:

Earthquake Drill Guidance for Media Organizations
Southeast ShakeOut Resources page
ShakeOut Frequently Asked Questions page
South Carolina Earthquake Education & Preparedness Program

USC Seismic Network

State Geological Survey


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District one gets $999,993 grant

Mon, 2017-10-16 12:30
Hampton District One school board receives large facilities grant which will act as “as shot in the arm” for district repairs, updates. By: Matt PopovichStaff Writer Posted: Mon, 10/16/2017 - 12:30pm

Hampton District One Superintendent Dr. Ronald Wilcox recently outlined a $999,993 facilities grant courtesy of a lawsuit by multiple South Carolina rural school districts known as the Abbeville Lawsuit, of which the district was a participant.

The money gained by the district has already been accounted for and appropriated to fund the completion of several projects.

The district will spend $198,722 to renovate outdated bathrooms at six schools, $23,450 on the installation of entry buzzers at six schools, $93,647 to provide surveillance equipment for all schools, $25,000 to install handicap ramps to meet state requirements at Wade Hampton High School, $41,756 to replace the roof at Brunson Elem., $46,200 for a new roof for the BES gymnasium, $94,022 for a new roof at Ben Hazel Primary and $214,896 for a new roof at Hampton Elementary. Portions of Brunson’s and Ben Hazel’s roof have been previously updated.

Another big aspect the district hopes to improve upon with the grant funding is student comfort while at school. According to Wilcox, student ease is greatly promoted by way of fresh paint and updated facilities. As well as providing students with upgraded classrooms, the grant funds will help allow the district to hire/retain teachers. The hiring of more teachers will allow district students to learn in smaller classrooms settings, creating fewer distractions for students and aiding in the education process.

“The board has a goal of improving the classroom environment so that it is conducive to learning. We do not want impediments in the classroom to keep children from learning, such as a noisy air conditioner or one not working, or a heat system that doesn’t work or things of that nature that make a child uncomfortable so that they can’t learn. And we want a classroom to be aesthetically appealing. That means paint, so that they [students] can come in and take a look at their school and take pride in it and help take care of it….If you let a school run down, children are not going to have any pride in it and are not going to keep it looking good.”

The district plans to repair and replace outdated heating and air-conditioning units. As well as improving student comfort, the new units will also provide improved air quality for teachers and students, alike. The $214,200 it will take to replace the HVAC units will also come from the recent grant.

Further grant-funded updates include the replacement of an outdated gas oven at Hampton Elementary School at a cost of $23,500; the replacement will improve both safety and efficiency. WHHS will receive upgraded natural gas connections in the school’s science lab, which will increase safety for students at a cost of $5,000. Finally, handicap ramp covers to meet safety regulations will be installed above all district ramps, at a cost of $19,600.

The grand total of expenditures for the updates totals $999,993, the total amount of the grant.

“It is a major shot in the arm of the district,” said Wilcox. “We will continue to apply for additional grants to continue to improve district facilities.”

He went on to say that, “Rural poverty-stricken school districts do not have the funds that the larger, more affluent have. We don’t have the sales tax base or the industry.”

“Since you don’t have all the sales tax and the growth, the only way you can raise revenues for schools is to raise property taxes. And it’s difficult to raise property taxes; it’s just a phenomenon you have to deal with,” said Wilcox of funding school districts in areas of stagnant economic growth.

“I give the board credit for being a progressive and supportive board and wanting to see these things fixed up,” concluded the superintendent. 





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South Carolina gets $405,000 for cancer research

Sat, 2017-10-14 11:15
By: Joni AverySusan G. KomenPosted: Sat, 10/14/2017 - 11:15am

Susan G. Komen, the world’s leading breast cancer organization, today announced 2017 research funding of $30.7 million for 98 research grants, with a focus on new treatments and understanding of the most lethal forms and stages of breast cancer. Komen funding to institutions in 27 states and 7 countries also includes research into new screening technologies, treatments for metastatic and aggressive types of breast cancer and disparities in breast cancer outcomes.

The grants include $405,000 in new funding for research at one institutions in South Carolina bringing Komen’s total research investment in South Carolina to $1,946,116 since 1982.

“We are focused on new treatments, ways to overcome drug resistance in breast cancer patients, and a better understanding of how and why breast cancer spreads, so that we can better treat metastatic breast cancer or prevent it all together,” said Ellen Willmott, interim president and CEO of Susan G. Komen. “This focus on aggressive and metastatic disease is the foundation of our Bold Goal to reduce U.S. breast cancer deaths by 50 percent by 2026.”

Metastatic breast cancer – which is breast cancer that has spread to other parts of the body like the brain, liver, bones or lungs – is responsible for almost all of the nation’s 40,000 annual breast cancer deaths. More than 154,000 women are living with metastatic disease in the U.S. today. By targeting metastatic disease, Komen is hoping to reduce breast cancer deaths dramatically in the U.S.

This year’s funding also includes $17.6 million to early-career investigators. “Funding for early-career researchers ensures a continuum of breast cancer research, across generations, which is critical in a time of tightening federal research dollars,” Willmott said.

Komen’s 2017 portfolio includes*:


  • 37 grants expanding our knowledge of metastatic breast cancer and how to better treat it or prevent it;
  • 37 grants looking into novel treatments for aggressive types of breast cancer (specifically, triple negative, inflammatory breast cancer luminal B, and ER-positive recurrent breast cancer).
  • 59 grants focused on new therapies, including 10 for targeted therapies and 20 for drug development
  • 24 investigating drug resistance (why drugs stop working in some patients)
  • 9 on disparities in breast cancer outcomes and 2 involving Big Data


*Eds Note: Numbers may add to more than 98 because individual studies may be classed in more than one category.


Komen’s Investments in South Carolina


Komen’s research program is funded in part by contributions from Komen’s nationwide Network of Affiliates, which directs 25 percent of funds raised locally to Komen’s national research program, while investing the remaining 75 percent into community outreach programs that serve local women and men facing breast cancer.

Since 1995, Komen South Carolina has funded $10,964,471 to community programs serving local women and men, while contributing $3,981,689 to Komen research since 1997.

“We are so thankful for the friends, family and neighbors that fight alongside us, helping to reduce the number of breast cancer deaths in South Carolina, both on the ground and through research,” said Lucy Spears, Director of Mission Programs. 

In South Carolina, researchers will receive the following.


University of South Carolina
Susan Steck, Ph.D., and Angela Murphy, Ph.D., will receive $405,000 to create the Interdisciplinary Graduate Training Program in Cancer Disparities at the University of South Carolina. Doctoral level students will leverage the institution’s strength in health disparities to conduct research that aims to reduce and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in breast cancer.

These new funds bring Komen’s total research investment in breast cancer to more than $956 million since opening its doors in 1982, the largest of any nonprofit and second only to the U.S. government. In addition to research, Komen and its nationwide network of Affiliates serve women and men in thousands of communities. To date, more than $2.1 billion has been invested in community programs that provide education, screening and treatment support.


About Susan G. Komen®
Susan G. Komen is the world’s largest breast cancer organization outside of the federal government, funding more breast cancer research than any other nonprofit while providing real-time help to those facing the disease. Since its founding in 1982, Komen has funded more than $956 million in research and provided more than $2.1 billion in funding to screening, education, treatment and psychosocial support programs. Komen has worked in more than 60 countries worldwide. Komen was founded by Nancy G. Brinker, who promised her sister, Susan G. Komen, that she would end the disease that claimed Suzy’s life. Visit or call 1-877 GO KOMEN. Connect with us on social at


Grants are contingent upon signed and executed contracts with Komen



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Weekly Reads

Fri, 2017-10-13 16:06
By: Scott D. StrawnDirector of the Allendale-Hampton-Jasper Regional Library.Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 4:06pm

“Boo” Time!

It’s that time of year when the world gets a little bit scary - skeletons in windows, tombstones on lawns, pictures of monsters everywhere.  For those older pre-school kids there might be a bit of a struggle to understand what’s going on.  Their caregivers might struggle to introduce the kids to Halloween customs without spooking them (pun intended).  Here are some titles that are more giggles than gross, more fun than fear. 

Monster Trucks by Anika Denise with illustrations by Nate Wragg


Your little reader is probably past the phase where the roar of an engine scares them and into a phase when they think that big cars and trucks are super cool – the louder, the better.  If so, this is the Halloween book for them.  Frankenstein Truck, Vampire Truck, Zombie Truck…they’re all here, roaring and rumbling at their best.  This is a perfect road to fun holiday reading.

Mary McScary by R. L. Stine with illustrations by Marc Brown


Mary McScary ain’t afraid of nothin’.  In fact, she likes to make sure that she can scare everyone.  Everything’s fine in Mary’s world until her cousin Harry shows up.  Harry’s out to put some scare into Mary but nothing seems to work.  Kids will love the antics of both Mary and Harry.

Bonaparte Falls Apart by Margery Cuyler with illustrations by Will Terry


Bonaparte is one troubled skeleton.  No bones about it, he seems to be constantly loosing body parts.  His friends, Franky Stein, Mummicula and Black Widow all have solutions to the problem.  Franky’s solution seems to be a little too sticky, Black Widow’s gets Bonaparte all strung up and Mummicula’s gets Bonaparte all wrapped up in trouble.  In other words, all their solutions fail.  What is to be done?  Kids will love the solution that Bonaparte and his friends finally find.  It’s a doggone good one!

How to Catch a Monster by Adam Wallace with illustrations by Andy Elkerton

A young ninja warrior is determined to finally catch and tame that nasty monster who inhabits his closet.  It doesn’t seem to be working until the young warrior begins to look at the situation in a new light.  This is a book about unexpected friendship and it just might calm some closet-monster fears.  Readers who enjoy this book will appreciate the others in the series which tell how to catch leprechauns, elves, the Easter Bunny and the Tooth Fairy.

Día de los Muertos by Roseanne Greenfield Thong with illustrations by Carles Ballesteros

Besides it being Halloween time, it’s also time for Día de los Muertos or Day of the Dead, a holiday that’s celebrated in Mexico, parts of Latin America and in many communities in the United States.  It’s a day that takes note of ghosts and skeletons.  Rather than to be feared, these spirits are recognized and honored as those of deceased relatives and friends.  Thong explains this in an afterword and also includes a glossary of terms.   Children and adults will find this a fun introduction to Día de los Muertos.

Mr. Strawn is Director of the Allendale-Hampton-Jasper Regional Library.


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Fri, 2017-10-13 16:04
Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 4:04pm

Ellie Fields

BRUNSON - Mr. Ellie Fields was born January 29, 1934, in Hampton County, South Carolina, the son of the late Lee and Minnie Fields. Ellie received his primary education in the public schools of Hampton County.

On August 5, 1961, he was united in Holy Matrimony to the late Retha M. Broughton Fields. After marriage, he and his wife moved to Paterson, New Jersey. This union was blessed with five children.
He was an employee of Marriott Hotel for 25 years. A few years after retirement, he moved to Brunson, SC, (Hampton County). Ellie cultivated his love of family, fishing, landscaping and gardening. He was a tenacious fighter of living life to the fullest.

In addition to his wife and parents; he was preceded in death by one sister; Birdie Lee Chislom; four brothers: Lee Fields Jr., Walter Fields, Captain Fields, and Henry Fields; one aunt: Rose Ella Brown; special cousin: Anderson Brown; and a faithful friend: the late Edward Deary; special relative: the late Nathaniel Singleton.

God called Mr. Ellie Fields to rest from his labor on Wednesday, September 20, 2017 at his home in Brunson.

He leaves to cherish his memories four daughters: Melekine (Robert) Weaver, Linda B. (Alford) Joyner, Ionetta (Dexter) Walker, and Deborah W. (Charles) Fields; one son: Charles E. Fields; six grandchildren: Shaunte (Sherman) Pegues, Melynda Walker, Sheenae Dennis, Dexter Walker, Quadare Dennis, Desean Deary, and Ikeisha Joyner; five great grands: Tin-Ica, Iyawna, Leonni, Malerie, Jabori, and Amori Joyner; three sisters: Nora Brown, Ivertia Roberts, and Minnie Lou Housey; three brothers: James, Cyrus, and Archie; loving and kind caregivers Sondra Sanders (niece); Johnny Mack Warren (nephew); special relative Luverta Singleton; a true friend and neighbor, Joey Rosier; a host of nieces, nephews, many other relatives, co-workers, neighbors, and sympathizing friends.

Funeral service for Mr. Ellie Fields, 83, of 344 Suzie Drive, Brunson, was held 11 a.m. Thursday, September 28, 2017 at Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist Church, Gifford, South Carolina, Reverend Marcel Smith, Pastor. Interment followed in the church cemetery in Gifford. In lieu of flowers please make donation to American Cancer Society in honor of Mr. Ellie Fields.

M.F. Riley’s Funeral Home of Fairfax was in charge of the arrangements.


Wilean Dobson

DENMARK - Mother Wilean Dobson, 88, daughter of the late Mr. Willie Roy Smoak and Mrs. Helen Smoak, departed her life on Saturday, September 23, 2017 in Denmark, at the residence of her daughter. Mother Dobson was born in Allendale County, SC, June 29, 1929.

At an early age, Mother Dobson joined Trinity CME Church and later joined Long Branch Missionary Baptist Church of Gifford, South Carolina.

She was employed for many years with Nix Florist in Hampton, South Carolina. She was joined in Holy Matrimony to the late Mr. Otis Lee Dobson Sr. They were happily married for forty-six years until his death in 1995.In addition to her parents; Mother Wilean is preceded by her husband Mr. Otis Dobson Sr., one son, Willie Dobson, who passed on February 23, 2017. She is also preceded by several siblings.

Mother Wilean Dobson was one of the most kind and considering person anyone could have come in contact with. She was a great wife, mother, grandmother, and superb cook.

Mother Dobson leaves her memories: three daughters: Vallentine (Alexander) Newton; Estill, South Carolina, Adeline (Norman) Council, Brunson, South Carolina, and Myrtis (Frank) Williams, Denmark, South Carolina; five sons; Oscar and Isaac Dobson, both of Brunson, South Carolina, Darnell and Otis (Debra) Dobson, of Columbia, South Carolina, and Marion (April) Dobson, Bamberg, South Carolina; Three sisters; Anna Douglas, Philadelphia, PA., Elease Lott, Estill, South Carolina and Dorothy Ginn, Brooklyn,New York; five brothers; EJ and Bobby Smoak, both of Brunson, South Carolina, Dennie (Irene) Smoak, Philadelphia, PA., Johnnie (Liz) Smoak, Estill, South Carolina, and Freddie (Betty) Smoak, Hallandale, Florida; (40) grandchildren, (65) great grandchildren, (5) great great grandchildren; a special god-son Love (Earline) Johnson; a special nephew RC (Hattie) Dobson; a host of nieces, nephews, cousins, and sympathizing friends.

Funeral services for Ms. Wilean Dobson, 88, of 837 McCain Drive, Denmark, formerly of Brunson, were held 11 a.m. Saturday, September 30, 2017 at Open Arms Fellowship, 402 Hoover Street North, Hampton. Interment followed in the Long Branch Baptist Church Cemetery, Gifford.

M.F. Riley’s Funeral Home of Fairfax was in charge of the arrangements.


Jacqueline Dobson

HAMPTON - Ms. Jacqueline Dobson was born in Hampton County, South Carolina on March 14, 1967 to the late Deacon Matthew Dobson Sr. and the late Dorothy Kearse Dobson.  Seeking God's direction and guidance, she joined the Long Branch Missionary Baptist Church in Gifford, SC, where she served faithfully until she was called from labor to reward.
Jacqueline received her early years of education at the Gifford-Luray and Brunson Elementary Schools. She graduated from Wade Hampton High School class of 1985. Jacqueline loved cooking, eating, and shopping was her down time to meditate. Her love and kindness to all was expressed in such a warm way.
In addition to her parents, she is preceded in death by her two brothers, Matthew Dobson, Jr. and Edward Dobson. Two sisters, Catherine Dobson and Judy Ann Dobson Brant. Jacqueline transitioned from earth to eternity on Saturday, September 30, 2017 at MUSC, Charleston, SC.

Cherishing her loving memories are: two daughters; LaShonda D. (Author) Taylor, Hampton, SC, Jaquetta L. Dobson; One son: Matthew Dobson both of the home. One granddaughter Janiya Taylor. Three sisters: Mary Francis Dobson, Minnie Sue (John Frank Sr.) Jones, and Daisy Dobson all of Brunson, SC; three brothers, LD Dobson, LB Dobson both of Brunson, SC and Richard Dobson (Lena) Rincon, GA; one niece, Tameka Dobson; two nephews, Kevin Dobson and James Williams whom she reared in the home. Two aunts; Janie Bowers and Janeva Deloach both of Fairfax; A devoted cousin Deacon James Henderson to include many other loving cousins and caring friends.

Funeral service for Jacqueline Dobson, 50, was held 12p.m. Saturday, October 7, 2017 at Open Arms Fellowship, 402 Hoover Street North, Hampton. Interment was in the Long Branch Church Cemetery, Gifford, South Carolina.


Chief Harry Francis Bennett

YEMASSEE - Chief Harry Francis Bennett, 63, of Yemassee, entered into eternal rest, Tuesday, October 10, 2017 at his residence.

Funeral services will be held at 2 pm, Thursday, October 12, 2017 at The Brice W. Herndon and Sons Funeral Chapel, Varnville.  Interment will follow in Rice Patch Christian Church Cemetery, Islandton. 

Born January 13, 1954 in Hampton County, he was a son of the late Harry Wendell Bennett and Myrtle Bell Bennett.  He was the Supervisor for Hampton Regional Waste Water Plant.  He was the retired Fire Chief of Yemassee Fire Department, where he had served as Chief for 10 years.  He had also worked at Barnwell, Burton, Beaufort, and Hampton Fire Departments.  He attended Rice Patch Christian Church.  Harry loved fishing and riding in his boat, but most of all, loved working with the fire department.

Surviving are: his fiancé, Rachel Simmons of Yemassee; her children that he loved as his own, Timothy Freeman, Ashley Henninger, and David Freeman and his wife Robin; 8 grandchildren that he dearly loved, Austin, Madison, Nathaniel, Chloe, Gracie, Jacob, Robbie, and Logan; sister, Teresa Grayson of San Antonio, Texas; nieces, Brandi Thompson and Tommi Thompson; great nephew, Gage Dunbar; great niece, Taylor Beebe; and his beloved companion, “Lizzi Mae”.

The family will receive friends Thursday from 1 pm until the hour of service at THE BRICE W. HERNDON AND SONS FUNERAL HOMES AND CREMATORY, VARNVILLE – HAMPTON CHAPEL, 1074 Yemassee Highway, Varnville, 803.943.5016.  Visit the guestbook online at:


Ellen Holmes Hooper

ST. GEORGE - Mrs. Ellen Holmes Hooper of St. George died Monday, October 9, 2017 in the St. George Health Care Center after an extended illness.

Mrs. Hooper was born November 9, 1960 in Burgaw, North Carolina, a daughter of the late Johnny and Maude Woodcock Holmes.  She was a homemaker and had attended the Church of Christ in St. George.

Surviving are:  Son: Keith Lee Harrison of Yemassee; Daughter: Sophia Marie Harrison of St. George; Brothers: James Lee of Jacksonville, FL, Harvey Henry of Olar, Carl Henry of Allendale and Joseph Connor of Wilmington, NC;  Sister:  Nettie Ann Beaver of Olar;  5 grandchildren and 2 step grandchildren.  Mrs. Hooper was predeceased by her husband Talmadge Lee Hooper and a son Jimmy Holmes.

Memorial services will be announced at a later date by Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home in Hampton.


Wayne Allen Shafer

BRUNSON - Mr. Wayne Allen Shafer of North Railroad Avenue in Brunson, died Monday, October 9, 2017 in the Colleton Regional Medical Center in Walterboro.

Mr. Shafer was born in Wakeman, Ohio, December 15, 1933, a son of the late Harry J. Shafer and Mildred Riddle Shafer.  He had served in the Air Force for 24 years and had retired as a Master Sergeant.  After his military career he worked with Salisbury Hardware Company in Summerville as a Salesman.  He was a member of the Brunson Lions Club and the Brunson Baptist Church and had celebrated 60 years of marriage.

Surviving are:  his wife, Annie Rose Mason Shafer of Brunson; Son: Wayne Shafer, Jr. of Wilmington, N.C.; Daughter: Mary S. Pernell and husband Dan of Summerville; Grandchildren: Ryan James Shafer, Zachary Allen Shafer, Jason Pernell and Sarah P. Thomas; and two great grandchildren: Olivia and Kaylee; also, his beloved dog, Evelyn.

Graveside services with Military Honors will be 2 P.M. Thursday, October 12, 2017 in the Lebanon Cemetery near Scotia, conducted by Rev. R.P. Hodge and directed by Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home in Hampton.

Friends may visit with family members immediately following the services at the cemetery.

Peeples-Rhoden Funeral Home of Hampton was in charge of the arrangements.




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Freedom Alliance hosts event for wounded veterans

Fri, 2017-10-13 15:59
By: Pepper AilorFreedom AlliancePosted: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 3:59pm

When Freedom Alliance hosts an event at the same location for five years in a row, we do so because there are several factors being met:  a generous donation or discount, fun activity, and positive impact and feedback from the participants.  This year, we celebrated five years hunting at Cypress Creek Hunting Lodge in Estill, South Carolina.  Owners Danny & Becky Harrell and their team go above and beyond to ensure our troops get the best taste of Southern hospitality while living out their tagline “pursue the experience.”

The group we selected consisted of veterans from each branch of service and endure a variety of disabilities and obstacles.  Five years ago, Air Force veteran Matthew Lutynski introduced us to Cypress Creek, and we use this event to invite Matt back each year for some recreational therapy.  Matt spent 17 years in the Air Force working on munitions, 9 years of which he was deployed to various locations overseas.  He has endured two hip replacements which has limited his mobility and keeps him in constant pain.  Matt has become a close friend of Freedom Alliance, and we have seen him progress through some very dark times in his life. The environment at Cypress Creek has become one of his sole outlets.  Another Cypress Creek customer, Vietnam-era Navy veteran Frank Denicola, treats Matt to some extra hunting days, too.  Frank is from New York but recently moved to Estill where he has found family in Danny and Becky Harrell.  

Representing the Army were Mike Wells, Bob Barta, Scotty Walling, Adam Stasiak and Justin Shellhammer.   Mike had heard about Freedom Alliance through his friend Cory Lewis – one of our Marine veteran constituents who has attended many recreational trips and was given a mortgage-free home.   Mike served over 18 years in the Georgia Army National Guard as an M1 Armor Crewman.  He was wounded while serving in Iraq in 2005-06 and was awarded the Purple Heart Medal.  He still suffers from PTSD and TBI. 

Bob and Scotty have similar service histories.  Both served in Operation Desert Storm and left the service afterwards, but later rejoined and became friends at the training camp for those with prior service.  Bob became an Explosive Ordinance Disposal (EOD) technician and deployed to Afghanistan in 2010-11.  Scotty returned as a combat engineer and served in Afghanistan in 2012-13. Both men have experienced IED blasts that left them with brain injuries and both have symptoms of PTSD that surfaced after the war. 

Adam Stasiak served on two deployments – first to Iraq in 2004 and again in late 2005.  He served on convoys and a Quick Reaction Force, responding to enemy assaults.  After suffering an injury in 2009, Adam sank into depression but with the help of his family, several programs and counseling, and charitable programs like ours, he has seen big leaps of improvement.  Adam attended the Rogue River fishing excursion with Freedom Alliance in 2014 and participated in a bow fishing stingrays excursion in 2015.  Adam has five kids and was selected for our Presents for Patriots program in 2016.

Justin Shellhammer served as a MP in the 101st Airborne and deployed to Iraq, Africa, and Afghanistan. While on a foot patrol 3 weeks into the deployment to Afghanistan, he stepped on a land mine resulting in the loss of his left leg. After retiring medically, he became the first amputee to successfully pass the police academy in South Dakota.  This was Justin’s first experience with Freedom Alliance.

Steve Fantau is a Marine veteran who fought in the Battle of Fallujah (2004) as the First Sergeant for Fox Company, 2d Battalion, 1st Marine Division.  While on patrol, an IED detonated under his vehicle, killing the machine gunner and seriously wounding Steve and the three other Marines − all of whom were evacuated stateside for emergency treatment.  Steve endured reconstructive surgery on his face, but returned to duty.  He later retired as a Sergeant Major and became a Recovery Care Coordinator at Camp Lejeune, taking care of wounded Marines and their non-medical needs.  This was Steve’s first hunting experience.

Lastly, we hosted Navy veteran Todd Johnson.  Todd served 24 years in the Navy as a rescue swimmer and combat door gunner on aircraft. He has deployed several times resulting in back issues and PTSD. He was part of an air unit that delivered special operations teams in Iraq and retired in 2014 as a Command Chief. His awards include three Navy Commendation Medals, Navy Air Medal with "V" for individual direct action and for sustained strike flight operations, and a Combat Action Ribbon among other various medals and decorations.  He was selected for this event from a partner organization’s annual deer hunt (The Bill Inman Wounded Veterans Guided Deer Hunt of Roane County) in 2016 where his name was drawn from a raffle.  

Over the course of the long weekend, the men enjoyed the comforts at the lodge where they were treated to five meals per day (or at least it seemed like it) consisting of barbeque pork, chicken, hamburgers, fried fish, and more.  Each morning and evening they would head out to a box stand on one of the properties in hopes that a deer or pig would emerge.  In between the hunts, volunteers Mike and Skibo from the lodge would take the troops to the rifle range for some skeet shooting.  Frank Denicola (mentioned above) coordinated a competition and gave out prizes to the top rifle shot and top score in skeet.  After the evening hunts, a big meal was served and Danny brought a musician from the Charlotte area in North Carolina to perform for our guests. 

On Friday night, Justin told the guides that he shot at a nice buck, but didn’t see it go down, and in the dark they didn’t see any signs to track.   The next morning, Danny and another guide went to see if they could find any evidence of a shot animal.  Around lunchtime, Danny rolled into the parking lot as Justin came running out of the house – nearly falling down the stairs in excitement!  “They found it, they found it,” he shouted. All the troops headed out to see the eight-point swamp buck on the lawn!

A few other animals were harvested but not our usual bounty.  However, the hunting is one small aspect of the trip.  The most important part for Freedom Alliance is that the participants experience healing in several ways.  The time in nature creates a sense of being part of something bigger and can clear the mind.  We also see the This group coalesced by the first night and friendships were forged that will be beneficial in the healing process.  While in the airport awaiting the flights home, Scotty, Justin, Bob, and Adam asked if Freedom Alliance would put together another event where the same group could come together for a reunion…and it may happen in 2018!  

View the discussion thread.

WHHS takes top spot at Lake Warren CC meet

Fri, 2017-10-13 15:30
By: Matt PopovichStaff Writer Posted: Fri, 10/13/2017 - 3:30pm

Wade Hampton High School Cross Country team runners placed highly during a Oct. 4 meet at Lake Warren State Park. The meet drew a crowd of supporters for the runners from several area schools. Un-official results place the WHHS boy's team in first place, and the Red Devil ladies in third.

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YPD: suspect busted with fake IDs, crack cocaine, pills, credit cards, more

Wed, 2017-10-11 16:27
By: Yemassee Police DepartmentNews Release Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:27pm

Yemassee officers conducting a routine patrol Sept. 16 pulled over a vehicle for failure to maintain lane on Yemassee Highway, near the intersection of Willis Street. The suspect, later identified as Demonti Shonta Mulligan, 36, of Moses Road, Burton, has been charged with giving false information to police, possession of drug paraphernalia and with driving without a license.

According to reports, Burton allegedly exited the vehicle and approached the two patrol vehicles. He was quickly escorted to the front of the patrol vehicle where he was questioned. Officers later discovered he provided a false name.

When he exited the car, the driver door was left open and in plain view was a small clear baggy on the driver side floor containing what was believed to be “crack” cocaine, according to reports. Mulligan was detained and handcuffed, after which he provided a false name when officers attempted to locate his driver’s license.

The vehicle was searched and a clear bag was found with several white pills believed to be a Schedule II Narcotic, five clear and yellow baggies containing what is believed to be “crack” cocaine that appeared to be packaged for sale. There was also a black bag on the back seat that contained a pistol magazine with unspent rounds, a scale and a razor blade in the glove box. A body search revealed a small clear bag with white pills, also believed to be a Schedule II Narcotic.

Officers also reportedly  located several credit and gift cards along with several drivers’ licenses from different states with the subject’s picture, all identifying the subject under different aliases. After further investigation, it was determined that the subject’s real name was Demonti Mulligan.

The subject was then placed under arrest and transported to the Hampton County Detention Center without incident. Mulligan was cited on charges of no South Carolina Driver’s License, no proof of insurance, giving false information to police and possession of drug paraphernalia. Officers later secured warrants for the drug possession.


Weekly crime Beat

The following individuals have recently been arrested and booked into the Hampton County Detention Center:

  • Samuel Patrick Boggess was arrested Sept.  5 by the Yemassee Police Department and charged with speeding more than 10 but less than 15 mph over the limit, uninsured motor vehicle fee violation and driving under suspension.
  • Ubaldo Carmona, Sept. 5 by the YPD and charged with driving without a license and with speeding more than 15 but less than 25 mph over the limit.
  • Kyle Christopher Hadwin, Sept. 6 by the Hampton Police Department and charged with petit or simple larceny.
  • Brandon Lamar Tate, Sept. 6 by the Hampton County Sheriff’s Office and held on a bench warrant for failure to pay.
  • Tyler Chambers, Sept. 12 by the HPD and charged with muffler violation, vehicle tire violation, failure to possess a registration card, failure to maintain proof of insurance inside a motor vehicle, operating or permitting operation of a vehicle which is not registered, uninsured motor vehicle fee violation, driving without a license, driving on the wrong side of the road, reckless driving and failure to stop for blue lights.
  • Jacob Gabriell Rivers, Sept. 8 by the Estill Police Department and charged with possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana, possession of other controlled substance in schedule I, to V, unlawful carry of pistol and with possession of a firearm by person convicted of a violent felony.
  • Joseph Shane Smith, Sept. 13 by the HCSO and charged with driving under suspension.
  • Jonathan Austin Carrillo, Sept. 14 by the HPD and held on a bench warrant for assault and battery.
  • Teisha Shymaker Frazier, Sept. 14 by the HCSO and charged with driving under suspension, giving false information to law enforcement and held on a bench warrant for assault and battery.
  • Stefanie Pauline Lee, Sept. 15 by the YPD and charged with driving under suspension, giving false information to law enforcement, possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana, speeding more than 15 but less than 25 mph over the limit and held for the State Highway Patrol.
  • Jonathan Orr, Sept. 15 by the HCSO and charged with driving a vehicle at a greater speed than is reasonable under conditions and driving under the influence.
  • Glenda Kay George, Sept. 17 and held for Allendale County.
  • Tyriece Mikell Wiggins, Sept. 18 by the HCSO and charged with contraband, furnish, or possession of county or municipal prisons prohibited.
  • Javon Wright, Sept. 18 by the YPD and held on a bench warrant for failure to comply drug paraphernalia. 
  • Rahsied Micheal Brown, Sept. 19 by the HCSO and charged with driving without a license and held on a bench warrant for no SC drivers’ license.
  • James Martin Garrett, Sept. 19 by the HPD and charged with attempt to possess unlawful substance.
  • Breana Rashette Moody, Sept. 19 by the EPD and charged with failure to dim lights and driving under suspension.
  • Ahmad Deshawn Simmons, Sept. 19 by the HPD and charged with two counts of possession of 28 grams or less of marijuana and with attempt to possess unlawful substance.
  • Lawrence Darnell Walker Sr., Sept. 19 by the HCSO and held on two bench warrants.
  • Jaquan Devon Bostick, Sept. 20 by the HSCO and charged with petit or simple larceny.
  • Skye Hayes, Sept. 22 by the HCSO and held on a warrant affidavit for assault and battery.
  • Tiffeny Carmelia Jordan, Sept. 21 and held for Allendale.
  • Leonard Rodrecus Terry, Sept. 21 by the HCSO and charged with assault and battery.
  • Aldolphus Brewer Jr., Sept. 22 by the YPD and held for Georgia.
  • Daniel Robinowitz, Sept. 23 by the HPD and charge with open container of beer or wine inside a motor vehicle, speeding more than 15 but less than 25 over the limit and with general provisions of driver’s license chapter.
  • Doris Smoaks, Sept. 24 by the State Highway Patrol and held for Allendale.
  • Courtney Anne Whittier, Sept. 23 by the HPD and charged with open container of beer or wine inside a motor vehicle.
  • Marcus Terrell Johnson, Sept. 25 by the HCSO and charged with domestic violence.
  • Renee Wiedenman Johnson, Sept. 25 by the HCSO and charged with domestic violence.
  • Kelvin Lamar Mays, Sept. 25 by the HCSO and charged with assault and battery and held on a bench warrant for shoplifting.
  • Joe McArthur Rivers, Sept. 22 by the EPD and charged with domestic violence and with assault and battery.

Brenda Ann Wilson, Sept. 25 by the EPD and charged with petit or simple larce


View the discussion thread.

On the Write Track

Wed, 2017-10-11 16:15
The Cubs got it right with their ringbearersBy: Shellie D. MurdaughContributing Writer Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 4:15pm

I am very honored to be able to write a column each week and I am thankful for my freedom of speech to be able to express my opinions here in print.

While this world needs a tune up when it comes to how each person treats one another and forgives for wrongdoings, I do not believe that sports and politics should intermingle.

I grew up collecting baseball cards and even some football cards and still have them today. I watched college and pro football and racing each week, and enjoyed it. It was my main hobby for many years.

Fans are precious to any sport, they are the life support for them, they help them get through the tough times. One such team that I will commend for supporting their fans would be the Chicago Cubs. Those fans remained unbreakable, always full of hope, patience and understanding even when their team had not won a World Series for 108 years.

During this time, there might have been some controversy, but they always knew they were there for their team.  The Cubs became the Chicago Cubs in 1903 after beginning as the White Stockings in 1876. For those who might not follow baseball, this is an American professional baseball team in Chicago, Illinois, competing in the National League Central Division. They play at Wrigley Field, have been in 11 World Series, and won back to back World Series Championships in 1907 and 1908.

While I realize that’s a long way from where I live, my point in writing this column is that this team did something special for their fans. There was a long, tiring road to reach the World Series in 2016, when they won it all. At this point, I respect the Cubs for their willingness to reach out to 20 special fans to help them in celebrating their win.

Following the World Series win, the Cubs wanted to do something special for their fans. For all of those years of holding out hope for a championship, for all of the years of tears and disappointment, and for just remaining loyal to their team, the Cubs did something really unique for those 20 selected fans.

You know the fans they were seeking, the ones who always were there for them, saying there’s always next year. The ones who truly never gave up on them.

When the Cubs received their World Championship rings last year, it was done with the help of 20 of their most tried and true fans who were named honorary ringbearers that presented the rings to various players. The 20 were chosen through videos that showed their loyalty and dedication. These fans were truly humbled by the experience, thankful for the chance they were given.

These fans ranged in age from 13 to 90, the ones who helped make the Cubs who they are today. Some of those who presented included a grandfather who saved a 1984 bottle of champagne for his championship toast, a cancer survivor, a young woman with spina bifida who plays baseball for her Miracle League Cubs team and a father who named his children after a few Cubs baseball players.

Some of the ringbearers chosen did not even know they had been entered into the contest and were very surprised to receive the news. All were amazed that the organization gave them a chance to be a part of such a special event. The chosen fans received two tickets to a game, commemorative jerseys that had ringbearer written in gold across the back, and accommodations for the night.

While America seems to want to concentrate more on trying to be negative and divisive, I do know that the Cubs organization, as a whole, stood for the National Anthem during the World Series last year. Whether you agree with the team on their stance then or now, you have to agree that this was one special thing for a sports team to do for their fans.

Let’s concentrate on the positive America, there’s so much out there to share.










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FHWA Awards $4 Million Grant to Greenville County for Automated Taxi Shuttles

Wed, 2017-10-11 15:38
By: Nancy SingerOffice of Public Affairs, Federal Highway AdministrationPosted: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:38pm

FHWA Awards $4 Million Grant to South Carolina’s Greenville County for Automated Taxi Shuttles

WASHINGTON – Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) officials today awarded a $4 million Advanced Transportation and Congestion Management Technologies Deployment (ATCMTD) grant to South Carolina’s Greenville County for its automated taxis.

“Technology is the future of U.S. transportation,” said Acting Federal Highway Administrator Brandye L. Hendrickson. “These funds will help Greenville County lead the nation into a future with more driverless vehicles, which will improve mobility for some and reduce traffic congestion for all.”

County officials will use the funds to deploy an integrated system of “taxi-shuttles,” known locally as “A-Taxis,” on public roads. These are driverless taxis providing shuttle service to and from employment centers–expected to improve access to transportation for disadvantaged and mobility-impaired residents.

FHWA’s ATCMTD program funds cutting-edge technologies that are ready to be deployed to enhance existing traffic capacity for commuters and businesses. This year, the program funded 10 projects valued at nearly $54 million that that range from advanced real-time traveler information for drivers, public transit riders and freight shippers, vehicle-to-infrastructure communications that will enhance safety and pave the way for autonomous vehicles, and congestion-relieving traffic management systems.

The ATCMTD program was established under the “Fixing America's Surface Transportation” (FAST) Act. State departments of transportation, local governments, transit agencies, metropolitan planning organizations and other eligible entities were invited to apply under the program.

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SBA Offers Disaster Assistance to Businesses and Residents of South Carolina Affected by Hurricane Irma

Wed, 2017-10-11 15:34
Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:34pm

WASHINGTON–South Carolina businesses and residents affected by Hurricane Irma  Sept. 6-13, 2017, can apply for low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration, SBA Administrator Linda McMahon announced today.
Administrator McMahon made the loans available in response to a letter from Gov. Henry McMaster on Oct. 4, requesting a disaster declaration by the SBA.  The declaration covers Beaufort and Jasper counties and the adjacent counties of Colleton and Hampton in South Carolina; Chatham and Effingham in Georgia.
“The SBA is strongly committed to providing the people of South Carolina with the most effective and customer-focused response possible to assist businesses ofallsizes,homeowners and renters with federal disaster loans,” said Administrator McMahon. “Getting businesses and communities up and running after a disaster is our highest priority at SBA.”
SBA’s Customer Service Representatives will be available at the Disaster Loan Outreach Center to answer questions about the disaster loan program and help individuals complete their applications.
The Centers are located in the following communities and are open as indicated:

Beaufort County
Burton Wells Park
1 Middleton Recreation Dr., Beaufort, SC 29906
Opening: Wed., Oct. 11, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Hours:  Thu. - Fri., Oct. 12-13, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 14, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun., Oct. 15, Closed   
Closing: Mon., Oct. 16, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

Jasper County
Jasper County Government Building – Zenie Ingram Conference Room
358 Third Ave.
Ridgeland, SC 29936
Opening: Wed., Oct. 18, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Hours: Thu. - Fri., Oct. 19-20, 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 21, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Sun,, Oct. 22, Closed   
Closing:  Mon., Oct. 23, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. 
“Businesses and private nonprofit organizations may borrow up to $2 million to repair or replace disaster damaged or destroyed real estate, machinery and equipment, inventory, and other business assets,” said SBA’s South Carolina Acting District Director R. Gregg White.
For small businesses, small agricultural cooperatives, small businesses engaged in aquaculture and most private nonprofit organizations, the SBA offers Economic Injury Disaster Loans to help meet working capital needs caused by the disaster.  Economic Injury Disaster Loan assistance is available regardless of whether the business suffered any physical property damage.
“Loans up to $200,000 are available to homeowners to repair or replace damaged or destroyed real estate. Homeowners and renters are eligible for loans up to $40,000 to repair or replace damaged or destroyed personal property,” said Frank Skaggs, director of SBA’s Field Operations Center East in Atlanta. 
Applicants may be eligible for a loan amount increase up to 20 percent of their physical damages, as verified by the SBA for mitigation purposes.  Eligible mitigation improvements may include a safe room or storm shelter to help protect property and occupants from future damage caused by a similar disaster.
Interest rates are as low as 3.305 percent for businesses, 2.5 percent for nonprofit organizations, and 1.75 percent for homeowners and renters with terms up to 30 years.  Loan amount and terms are set by the SBA and are based on each applicant’s financial condition.
Applicants may apply online using the Electronic Loan Application (ELA) via SBA’s secure website at
Businesses and individuals may also obtain information and loan applications by calling the SBA’s Customer Service Center at 1-800-659-2955 (1-800-877-8339 for the deaf and hard-of-hearing), or by emailing Loan applications can also be downloaded at Completed applications should be returned to the centers or mailed to: U.S. Small Business Administration, Processing and Disbursement Center, 14925 Kingsport Road, Fort Worth, TX 76155.
The filing deadline to return applications for physical property damage is Dec. 4, 2017.  The deadline to return economic injury applications is July 5, 2018.
For more information about the SBA’s Disaster Loan Program, visit our website at



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Rec. Department basketball registration information

Wed, 2017-10-11 15:30
Posted: Wed, 10/11/2017 - 3:30pm

The Hampton County Recreation Department is currently hosted basketball sign-ups. The registration period for children age five to 13 will end on Oct. 31.

The cost to participate in the basketball league is $50.

Officials would like to inform parents that if a child is going out for school basketball, you still need to have them signed-up at the Rec. Dept. by Oct. 31. The department will refund your money if your child makes the school basketball team.  

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Patriots win big during Homecoming

Tue, 2017-10-10 11:45
By: Mike McCoyPHAMatt Popovich, the Guardian Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:45am
  • Photo by Lynn Manuel, Guardian contributing photographer.
  • Photo provided by Mary Beth Poston

The Patrick Henry Academy Patriots football team was in fine form Sept. 22 at Cone Field for the school’s annual homecoming game. After the dust settled, the Pats came away with a 32-12 win over Jefferson Davis Academy.

Jefferson Davis is a solid team that you hate to have scheduled as a homecoming opponent, but due to the makeup of our schedule there was nowhere (else) to make homecoming,” said PHA Head Coach Mike McCoy. “We caught them at a good time for us. They are a different team when they are healthy, but still a solid football team either way. They were a very physical team and strong on their line.”

JD came out swinging and scored the first touchdown of the night when they returned a punt by Daniel Hauptmann to put six points on the board. The Pats took back the lead in the second quarter by way of a Batten Bostick touchdown run, which he then added to after a successful two-point conversion run.

With the lead 8-6, the Pats never looked back and held their lead for the duration of the matchup. A Kennedy Fairey touchdown pass late in the second quarter advanced the team’s lead to 10 at the half.

The third quarter was a defensive stalemate for both sides and the score remained at 16-6 going into the fourth. Late in the fourth quarter, PHA scored again on a quarterback run by Fairey; a pass to Wiggins for an extra two made the score 24-6. 

With time quickly dwindling in the final quarter, the Pats made a successful onside kick. On the very next play, Fairey connected with Garrett Griner for a 50-yard touchdown pass, with Neil Chassereau putting two extra on the board.

JDA would not be silenced, however, and proceeded to march the ball right back down the field for a touchdown of their own with time running out in regulation to make the score 32-12. The Pats took a knee to finish the game upon receiving the ball. 

“Other than the 4th quarter scoring, the game was really close. It really felt like we were in a tight ball game the entire way, and we were excited to gain a homecoming victory. The team always holds the homecoming game as a special game, so it felt good to come out of there with a win,” said the head coach.

Offensively, Bostick rushed for 151 yards and scored two touchdowns. Chassereau rushed for 31 yards off of only four carries; fullback Kyle Jarrell provided blocking for all of PHA's tailbacks, and rushed for 12 hard yards and had a reception for 22 yards;  Hauptmann caught a 27-yard pass for a touchdown; Griner caught a 50-yard pass for a touchdown and Fairey completed four passes for 102 yards off of nine pass attempts.

“Offensively, our line did a good job controlling the pace of the game and allowing us to move the ball against a solid defense," McCoy stated.

Defensively, Griner led the Patriots in tackles with six; he also had an interception. Bostick, Hauptmann, and Harley Beach each had five tackles. Jarrell had three tackles, Chassereau also had three and a batted pass and Jackson Wiggins had two tackles and a fumble recovery. Several other Pats came away with a tackle, as well.

"Defensively we did well adjusting to the multiple looks Jefferson Davis threw at us offensively. We played together as a team and a defensive unit on the field, making it difficult for them to score. I really think the team and coaching staff did a good job of shifting players around as the injuries came throughout the game. We finished the game with several key players on defense out… so the entire victory was a team effort,” said a proud McCoy.

Patrick Henry improved its record to 4-1 on the season. The Patriots have not played an away game yet due to Beaufort Academy having field problems and the game at Faith Christian getting canceled due to Hurricane Irma, and now the backside of the schedule will just about be reversed, with only one game at home out of the last five.

"We have truly had an unusual season by playing five games in a row at home. This will be a new kind of challenge to our team to not see but one game at home," stated McCoy.

The Patriots will travel to Coastal Christian Academy, of Mount Pleasant, this Friday. Coastal Christian is having a good season in their own right with a few big wins on the season and may be a tough road opponent for the Patriots.




View the discussion thread.

Estill, WHHS football from Sept. 22

Tue, 2017-10-10 11:33
By: Matt PopovichStaff Writer Posted: Tue, 10/10/2017 - 11:33am

Wade Hampton upsets Lakewood

The now 2-4 Wade Hampton High School Red Devils came away with a much-needed 32-13 victory Sept. 22 against larger 4A Lakewood High School, of Sumter.

According to WHHS Head Coach Jerry Brown, this was the first game of the season in which the Red Devils did not fumble the football or lose an athlete to injury. Although numerous athletes have sustained injuries in previous games, Brown believes his team is far from out of commission.

“I’ve always told players it’s not a matter of numbers:  you can’t get but eleven players on the field at a time,” said Brown. “But our eleven were better than their eleven. They had 50 and we had 20-something, but that doesn’t matter. Our kids played with a lot of heart.”

Last week’s matchup did see a few blunders by the Red Devils, with two touchdowns being brought back and negated due to penalties.

The week prior, the Red Devils fell to Oceanside Collegiate Academy, of Mt. Pleasant, by a final score of 41-21.This Friday the team will host 2-3 Battery Creek for WHHS’s homecoming. Brown says their tough quarterback will make the game challenging, but he believes the Red Devils have a real chance of adding a win to their record if they can pressure the Battery Creek quarterback.

Matt Smith was given praises this week by Brown for his nine tackles and four assists at the linebacker spot during the Sept. 22 win.


Gators Head Coach seriously injured in game

Estill Gators Head Coach J.C. Threatt suffered a severe leg injury on the sideline last Friday during an away game.

Estill High School Fighting Gators Head Football Coach J.C. Threatt suffered a broken knee while standing on the sideline during a Sept. 22 away game against Hunter-Kinard-Tyler.  Threatt is currently on medical leave from the school and could not be reached for comment. No word was issued of how long the team would be without their head coach.

The injury adds another layer to an already disappointing season for the young Estill team. So far, the team has compiled a season record of 0-4 (0-2 conference). The Gators have lost by double digits in all four of their games this season and fell to HKT by a final score of 38-0.

Look for Friday night lights to shine again in Estill on Sept. 29 at 7:30 p.m. as the Gators host conference rival North, who has a season record of 0-5 (0-2 conference). Who will go away with their first win of the season?

View the discussion thread.

District 1 School Board approves properties, senior cruise

Mon, 2017-10-09 17:32
By: Matt PopovichStaff Writer Posted: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 5:32pm

Hampton District 1 School Board members met at the Fennell Elementary School and were treated to a presentation by young students and Principal Willie F. Coker.

According to Coker, the school is now a Magnet School featuring a fully 1:1 computer/student ratio. He also explained to the board and the numerous parents in attendance the schools numerous updates, including a state-of-the-art computer lab. Board members congratulated the principal for his hard work and unwavering dedication to students.


WHHS Senior Cruise

Wade Hampton High School Principal Bonnie Wilson spoke to the board on behalf of her senior class, who together as a class voted to present the board with a proposal to switch their annual senior class trip from Orlando, Fla., to a Carnival Cruise ship.

New board members Kari Foye and Nicci Bennett recalled fond memories of their senior class cruises with a smile and quickly voted to allow the senior class cruise. It must be noted that only eligible seniors will be allowed to attend the trip: behavior and grades are considered. The cost of the four-day trip will be $750 per senior, which will have the students washing cars and organizing other fundraising events to offset the increased cost associated with a cruise. 

“There will be a couple of fundraisers to help defray the cost, but I made it very clear to them that we are still raising the funds for graduation and we would be limited in the number of fundraisers we could have,” said Wilson. “But they could certainly, outside of school, have their own carwashes and things of that nature.”

The seniors will be on board with other 2018 high school graduates and chaperones will be accompanying the students.


NDMS properties

Superintend Wilcox informed the board that the district had recently finalized contracts for two properties adjacent to North District Middle School. A property was purchased from Andy Smith for $6,000 and a property was purchased from Sandra Jones for $8,000.

The vote to purchase the properties passed with a unanimous vote. The motion to purchase the properties is contingent upon a State Department Facility approval. Funds from the district’s budget reserve fund will pay for the purchases.

As well as the recent purchase, a building already owned by the district has recently been retrofitted to be utilized as a storage building.



The Wade Hampton High School NJROTC cadets were honored by the school board for their recent winning of a competition at a West Ashley, S.C., NJROTC event. The team also placed highly in several other categories. 

The WHHS marching band was congratulated by the board for their recent victory in the Gold Division in both the 3A and 4A categories. 


In other District 1 news, the board:

  • Approved two HES Boy’s Club incentive field trips; one to Jacksonville for a NFL game and one to Atlanta for an NFL game. The request was approved.
  • Approved the American Red Cross’s usage of District 1 facilities.
  • Approved the WHHS BETA Club to take a field trip to Myrtle Beach for a convention and a field trip to Carowinds theme park.
  • Board Chair Phillip Strother announced the district currently has a fund balance of $1.9 million.
  • The school board voted unanimously to partner with TCL to provide, at no cost to the district, paid internships with Eckhart Workforce Development. The internships are provided to “at risk youth” say officials with EWD.


View the discussion thread.

Dancing Sensations hosts first showcase

Mon, 2017-10-09 17:25
Posted: Mon, 10/09/2017 - 5:25pm

The Dancing Sensations held their first showcase on Saturday, Sept. 16, at the Hampton County Recreation Center and organizers say it was the talk of the town. Founder and instructor, Letshia Brown, and her assistant, Cynquetta Luat, really put in a lot of time and effort to make this showcase a success and it was amazing, they add. The girls really did show up and show out in their awesome uniforms.

Dancing Sensations will be having tryouts at 5 p.m. on Oct. 11 at the Hampton County Recreation Center.  Girls ages 10  to 18 are invited to come join this sisterhood.


View the discussion thread.