Aiken Area Progressive

Progressive blog for the Central Savannah River Area.

Tag: Barnwell County

Easter Monday tornados kill at least seven in the CSRA

Hampton — At least seven people are dead in the Central Savannah River Area after violent storms shredded the area early Easter Monday.

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Another round of severe weather may be on the way, and the Williston School District 29 is already using up its last early release day of the school year

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The school day forecast for Wednesday is calling for scattered strong thunderstorms with a maximum of 78.

However, the Williston School District 29 will be using its last early release day of the 2016-2017 school year on Wednesday, a day which was originally scheduled for April 26.

The temperature at the end of the school day, which will be 10:48 for Kelly Edwards Elementary School and 11:00 for Williston-Elko Middle and High School, will be 72 with thunderstorms starting to fire up. The storms could be strong at times. For the beginning of the shortened school day, it is expected to be overcast and 66.

UPDATE @ 21:08: Orangeburg Consolidated School District has alerted its three district zones (Orangeburg 3, 4 and 5) that they will also end the school day early. This information comes from the Times and Democrat.

UPDATE @ 22:13: WJBF-DT is reporting that McCormick County School District is shutting down for the entire day. They will make up this day on April 24. The news station is also reporting that Barnwell School District 45 and Blackville School District 19 will also dismiss at 11:00.

Image of Williston-Elko High School via Facebook

Barnwell AT&T, Lumia 950s robbed by four men

Barnwell — Barnwell County Sheriff’s officers and Barnwell Police Office deputies are looking for a quartet of African-American men who robbed the AT&T in the Dunbarton Plaza and made off with cash and smartphones, including the limited stock of Microsoft Lumia 950s.

The People-Sentinel reported that the robbery happened just before closing.

https://m.facebook.com/thepeoplesentinel/posts/1390415454316509

According to social media reports, this is the third time that particular store was targeted for robbery since January 6.

Call the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office or the Barnwell Police Office if you have any additional information about this.

Williston Telephone Company (TDS Telecom) publishes two anti-choice centers under “Women’s Health Services”

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On Thursday, residents of the towns of Williston, Windsor, Elko, Neeses, North, Norway, Wolfton and Woodford all got their telephone books, which was 15 days earlier than usual.

Usually, no one cares to look near the front, but I did (because I wanted to look at prefixes and area codes) and disgusted does not even begin to describe my reaction when I looked at the Human Services section, which is before you even get to the White Pages. Read the rest of this entry »

Today in Weather History: the 30th anniversary of the coldest low (and day) in Barnwell County’s history – in Williston

Yesterday and today are important weather anniversaries – and yes, both of 30-year anniversaries.

It may have been a spring-like 60°f for a max temp on Tuesday (and the same forecast again today), but 30 years ago today, that was not the case.

On January 21, 1985, the day started off as the second coldest day in the county’s history day temperature-wise – it was –2°f. A Banana Front so powerful shredded its way through the nation, and the historic cold was just about to be in store for the town of Williston, or Barnwell County for that matter.

The skies cleared throughout the night the previous night.  That allowed the temperatures to fall like a rock.

At 1am, the mercury in Williston fell to –3°f, tying the record set in Blackville on Valentine’s Day 1899. This would prove to be the last minutes that the Valentine’s Day 1899 record would stand as the county’s coldest ever.

At around 1:30 am, the mercury dipped to a mind-boggling (at the time) –4°f, breaking the mark set at the Clemson Extension station in Blackville in 1899.

Then, just before sun up, a new county record was set again: this time, –5°f.

Then it started to ‘heat up’ once the sun went up.

It did not get above zero until 11am, when the temperature hit 1°f.

It was still 5°f at noon.

It got above ten at 2pm, when the temperature hit 12°f.

It got up to 18°f the next hour, and then 19°f at each reporting hour after that for the rest of the day.

However, the max temperature in Williston was 20°f – but that temperature was not reached until 23:59:36, just 24 seconds in front of January 22, 1985.

Yes, Williston School District 29 missed being below 20 by 24 seconds on this day in 1985.

At Orangeburg Municipal Airport; the Regional Airport in Augusta, Ga.; and Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the low was –1°f in each location.  All three are record lows that still stand to this day.

City or Town 
Max Temperature (1/20) 
Min Temperature (1/20) 
Max Temperature (1/21) 
Min Temperature (1/21) 
Average Temperature on Coldest Day 
Williston-Elko High 
43
-2
20
-5 
7
Aiken 
47
6
25
0
12
Orangeburg Municipal 
46
10
28
-2
13
Hampton 
 50
9
26
-1
12 
Beaufort 
 
 
26 
16 
Barnwell County Airport 
46 
18 
27 
-3 
12 
Charleston 
 
 
27 
6 
17 
Daniel Field 
55 
30 
15 
Augusta (Ga.) Regional 
46 
25 
-1 
12 
Owens Field 
39 
24 
-1 
11 
Cayce 
46 
26 
-1 
12 
Florence 
48
25 
13 
Darlington 
48 
3 
22 
-2 
10 
North Myrtle Beach 
 
 
26
15
Greenwood 
38 
-1 
20
-8 
6
Greer 
40
26
-4
11 
Asheboro Regional 
40
0
26
-8
10
Greensboro 
36
-6 
21
-8
7
Asheville 
32
-13 
7
-16
-5
Jefferson, N.C. 
32 
-11 
0
-12
-6
Tarboro, N.C. 
47
10
17 
-5
6
New Bern 
53 
22
1
11
Charlotte 
41
-2 
24 
-5
9
Winston-Salem 
39 
-3
20 
-10 
5
Wilmington 
 
 
27 
5
16 
Statesboro 
54 
28 
0
14
Savannah-Hilton Head 
 
 
26
15
Macon 
45 
24
-6
9
Atlanta 
43 
-6
18
-8 
5
Knoxville, Tenn. 
24
-18
10
-24
-7
Nashville 
7
-16
17 
-17
-4 
Crossville, Tenn. 
-21
11 
-21 
-8
Memphis 
17 
-4 
24 
1 
6
Drakesboro, Ky. 
0 
-16 
8
-14 
-8
Paducah, Ky. 
1
-15 
17
-10
-7 
Woodbine, Ky. 
-2 
-18 
6
-16 
-10
Lexington, Ky. 
1 
-18
9
-16 †
-9
Louisville, Ky. 
2
-16
12 
-11 
-6 
Jackson, Ky. 
-18
5
-18 
-6
Olive Branch, Miss. 
22
-4 
26
2 
9
Tupelo, Miss. 
18 
-4
24 
-6 
9
Huntsville, Ala. 
18 
-9
16 
-11 
3
Muscle Shoals, Ala. 
16
-8
17
-11 
3 
Bristol, Tenn. 
25
-16
0
-21
-11
Roanoke, Va. 
30
-10
9
-11
-1
Washington, D.C. 
21
-7
17
-7 †
5

† – not a record low (records are as follows: in Lexington, Ky., –17°f on January 21, 1984; in Washington, D.C., –16°f on January 21, 1984.)

There are many other records that are not on the list, as this was the historic cold event in the United States history.  Look up those on http://wunderground.com/.  Type in the airport code and access the records for both January 20 and 21, 1985.  It’s free!

With the notable exception of the beach counties (Jasper, Beaufort, Colleton, Charleston, Georgetown and Horry), every county’s record low occurred some time between 1982 and 1985.  Those six aforementioned counties are the only six counties that still have a record low from Valentine’s Day 1899.

Today in Weather History: 30th anniversary of the third coldest low in Barnwell County’s history – in Williston

Today and tomorrow are important weather anniversaries – and yes, both of 30-year anniversaries.

It may have been a spring-like 60°f for a max temp today, but 30 years ago today, that was not the case.

On January 20, 1985, the day started off as a normal winter day temperature-wise – the max was 43°f. However, a Banana Front so powerful was shredding its way through the nation, little did some know what would be in store for the town of Williston, or Barnwell County for that matter.

After sunup, the skies clouded up first.

After that, while the daytime talk shows were on, the divebomb began.

While there was only a trace of snow, it was enough to deal a devastating blow to the temperatures.

When the snow began in Williston, at roughly 11am, the temperature was 40°f. When the front blew the doors off Blue Devil Country the next hour, the temperature dropped all the way down to 18°f at high noon.

At sundown, roughly 17:45 on the day, the temperature fell to 10°f at the Williston School District.

At 20:00, it was down to 8°f.

By 22:30, it was down to 0°f at the School District 29.

Finally, at the very last minute of the day, it was –2°f.

That temperature was briefly the second coldest day in county history, only behind the –3°f set in Blackville on Valentine’s Day 1899. January 20, 1985 would be the last day that the 1899 record would stand as the county’s coldest ever.

At Orangeburg Municipal Airport, the low temperature was 9°f; at the Regional Airport in Augusta, Ga., the low was 8°f; and at Columbia Metropolitan Airport, the low was 5°f. All three were record lows that still stand to this day.

Coming up Wednesday…it’s the 30th anniversary of the coldest day in Barnwell County’s history. We’ll have more on some of the numbers from that day.

Weather Underground Columbia

Weather Underground Augusta, Ga.

BREAKING NEWS: Snow in Williston

Seems like we jumped from summer straight into winter.

Snow is currently falling in Williston. We have also gotten reports of snow in Ridge Spring, Trenton, Johnston and at the Waffle House on FRONTAGE RD in Aiken. This snow is expected to continue until noon.

Are you a Central Savannah River Area resident currently seeing snow? Sign in to Disqus or register for a Disqus account and leave your location and answer in comments!

UPDATE @ 9:13: The National Weather Service in Columbia has issued a Winter Weather Advisory for the snow for the northern part of the Central Savannah River Area of South Carolina and the northeastern part of Central Georgia.

Street name signs BLATANTLY HINDERED the search for Darius Brown

WILLISTON — On Tuesday, Barnwell County coroner Lloyd Ward confirmed everyone’s worst fear: the body that they found in a sewage area was, in fact, that of Darius Brown, a 2006 graduate of Williston-Elko High School.

Now, the fallout has begun.

While everyone – including myself – are rightfully blaming the suspects (only one of whom is in custody as of this posting) still on the run, there is something else that deserves much of the blame for this unfortunate outcome.

Something that is green, rectangular and most definitely non-human.

That something is the street name signs.

As I posted on Facebook 1.25 years ago, the street name signs in Barnwell County are about 5 inches in length (less than half the minimum size that the feds required all signs to be in 2000) – and that is the rectangular blade. More then 95% of the signs are non-retroreflective, and all but 3 signs (yes, THREE) countywide are in all-uppercase lettering – a gross violation of the 2009 Manual Uniform of Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

And on top of all that, all of the non-retroreflective, all-uppercase street name signs (except for three more they installed late last year, which will be explained later) are way past the end of their lifespans as it has been 14+ years since they were first installed (and I showed my displeasure with the signs when they first went up in late 1997 – that dislike for the county’s signs have only intensified since) and, in 1999, they were exposed to record-breaking 110 degree heat that nearly tied the state record of 111 set in Blackville in the previous century and millennium.

The average life span of regulatory, warning, overhead guide and post-mounted street name signs is 7-12 years.  The average life span of post-mounted guide signs (except street name) are a little bit longer, between 10-21 years.

In a bid to avoid installing a mixed case sign, Barnwell County installed three ‘new’ signs — two near IGA and First Baptist Church, and one on LAKE DR (near where Mr. Brown spent his very short life) — as recently as November 30, 2011, seven months AFTER the state of South Carolina adopted the tough new MUTCD.  Notice the word new is in air quotes because the signs violate the law and they will have to come down before January 22, 2015 — regardless of its lifespan.  All non-retroreflective signs that are in mixed-case can remain posted until they are at the end of their service lives.  Like I mentioned in the sixth paragraph, only three signs countywide qualify to remain posted until the end of their service lives, including the only one posted on the 1-mile stretch of HWY 125 in Barnwell County (the rest of SC 125 in Barnwell County is technically in Aiken County, since that stretch is on Savannah River Site’s property).

So, for those in the far right wing mainstream media — like the morons at the New York Daily News and New York Post — who whine and complain about ‘perfectly good street name signs’ being replaced, tough shit.  The street name signs are not even close to being perfectly good, because it they were perfectly good, then all street name signs across the nation would be mixed-case right now.

In addition to the suspects who killed Mr. Brown, Barnwell County is also liable because it was their street name signs that HINDERED this search operation. You can’t control Mother Nature (it rained on three days of the search operation), but goddamn it, you CAN CONTROL the street name signs that you install!

I’ve had it up to the gills about the excuses that pundits, politicians and editorialists make about the reasons why street name signs cannot be switched over to the new mixed-case standard.  The only reasons why the municipalities won’t switch to mixed-case are: 1) they utterly mismanaged their money in good economic times and didn’t plan for the turmoil we are now just starting to get our way out of, and 2) the federal government utterly wasted money on a wild goose chase in Iraq and, to make matters worse, they LOST $2,000,000,000.00 in Iraq and have never accounted for it!

So, don’t tell me that there is no money to make this life-saving switchover.  Although they didn’t HAVE to do it as their much older signs were already in mixed-case, Aiken County made the switchover in October 2010, when the economy was in even worse shape than it is now.  There is money to be found and given to municipalities so that they can make this switchover, the federal and state government politicians are simply selfish and lazy and won’t try to help the counties.  And the conservative claptrap about street name signs being perfectly good when it is clear with your own two eyes that the signs are NOT isn’t helping matters, either.

While justice for the Brown family may take a long time, we can give them the first step towards the justice that they are looking for and so rightfully deserve right now by giving Barnwell County’s current street name signs the death penalty.

BREAKING: Williston man found dead.

WILLISTON — A Williston man missing since February 24 has been found.  But, it is not the ending anyone was hoping for.

Darius Brown, 23, was found dead near LAKE DR on Monday morning.  Police discovered the body near a pond off the street.

Mr. Brown was a 2006 graduate of Williston-Elko High School.

Funeral arrangements have not been made.  Police have one woman in custody for obstructing the investigation.  Williston Police Chief Roger Kaney say that more arrests in this case are possible.

An autopsy will be given later this week.

Help find this missing 23 year old from Williston!

WILLISTON — Darius Brown, 23, has been missing for a week now.  If you are in the area, please help look for him and call the Williston Police Department at 266-7011 or the Barnwell County Sheriff’s Office.

Here is a video from WJBF-DT.

Shameful move by Williston-Elko’s new principal

For the past two Fridays, people at Williston-Elko High School have found the cheerleaders in their Monday-Thursday clothing.

Why?

Because the new principal, Brian Newsome, has ruled with an iron fist, banning the uniforms because they are ‘too short’.

We have heard this misogynistic excuse before.

From none other than the commish of the NFL, Roger Goodell.

Mr. Goodell warned the 26 orgs with squads to ‘control their cheerleaders’ in 2007, just before I began this blog.

Goodell says the cheerleaders’ pregame warmups are “very distracting” and that the women are “influencing” the outcome of games by doing “lascivious” dances on the away team’s sidelines.

That is a strawman argument. And Mr. Newsome’s claim that the Blue Devil cheerleading outfits ‘distract’ their classmates and schoolmates is every bit of a strawman argument as Goodell’s claims about the NFL cheerleaders were three years ago. What makes Mr. Newsome’s move to ban the outfits during school hours triply insulting is the fact that I am a 2002 graduate of Williston-Elko.

Mr. Arrowood did not ban the uniforms. The late Mr. Atkins never banned the uniforms. And Mr. Lax never banned the uniforms, either.

So why they are a problem for Mr. Newsome?

His excuses for banning them are totally weak. He should reverse his decision and allow the W-E cheerleaders to wear their uniforms to school during the day.

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