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Local veterans honored with Quilts of Valor ceremony at Veterans Affairs

  • 15 October 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 597
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Local veterans honored with Quilts of Valor ceremony at Veterans Affairs

Five area veterans were recently awarded Quilts of Valor in honor and recognition of their service to our country.
They were honored Oct. 8 for their sacrifice during a socially distanced ceremony outside the Marlboro County Veterans Affairs Office. Crescent Hospice is a partner with Quilts of Valor, which is a national organization whose members produce hand-made patriotic quilts to honor veterans throughout the country.
The recipients were Michael Hopkins of Bennettsville, Richard Hubbard of Bennettsville, Hamer McRae of Clio, Brenda Curry of Chesterfield, and Jeffery Wyatt of Blenheim.
Hopkins is a U.S. Army veteran who served from 1967-1970. He was in Vietnam in 1968. 
Hubbard is a U.S. Marine veteran who served from 1965-1967. He received two Purple Hearts.

Drive-in church services provide a sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic

  • 2 October 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 936
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Drive-in church services provide a sense of normalcy during the COVID-19 pandemic

During the COVID-19 pandemic, many things have changed from how students are educated to going out to eat.
But one area significantly altered was church worship.
According to a recent Pew Research Center survey, many churchgoers reported that their congregations have closed regular worship services to the public.
But congregations like Community of Grace Church in downtown Bennettsville have adjusted their way of worship for a temporary new normal.
Since the first Sunday in April, the congregation has met in the parking lot of the old Carl’s Food Center.
On Sunday mornings, the sounds of singing and praise were heard as 75 to 100 cars parked.
Pastor Eddie Davis said those numbers have always been there.
At the time, a whole lot of churches were not having services or going virtual. 
“We decided to try the parking lot and the social distancing within the cars,” he said.

MCSD receives $4.5 million federal grant

  • 2 October 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 601
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Marlboro County School District is one of 11 public school districts in the nation to be awarded the Teacher School Leader Incentive grant, which will provide $4.5  million over three years to improve and enhance instruction for students.
Superintendent Dr. Gregory McCord said it would allow the district an opportunity to refine instructional practices that support student achievement. 
“It gives us another opportunity to reward our teachers with an incentive base model. As our kids excel, our teachers receive financial benefits as well,” he said.
MCSD was the only school system in the state to receive the award.

New Clio mayor is working to change town’s financial situation

  • 2 October 2020
  • Author: Dan McNiel
  • Number of views: 923
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New Clio mayor is working to change town’s financial situation

CLIO  — Since being sworn in as mayor of Clio in July, Ben Petrone has worked hard to get a hand on the town’s state of affairs.
“The situation was worse than I thought,” he said.
With the town behind on several fiscal year audits, Petrone thought initially he could get the state to release some funds they had been holding but he was told no.
The only things those funds could be released to pay for were the health insurance and pension for town employees.
The town is in a catch-22. The town needs the audits to be completed but can’t afford to pay for them out of the general fund.
“If we can’t pay for them, and they are not going to get done, then we are going further and further in the hole.

Former Marlboro County deputy arrested for selling his agency-issued taser

S.C. Law Enforcement Division officials arrested a former deputy with the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office on Thursday for illegally selling his agency-issued taser weapon.
Phillip Ryan Gardner, 38, was charged with misconduct in office.
SLED investigated the case at the request of the Marlboro County Sheriff's Office.
On Sept. 22, Gardner pawned the taser for $180 at Carolina Jewelry and Pawn in Laurinburg, N.C. 
According to the warrant, Gardner did not have authorization from any Marlboro County official to pawn the TASER.
Gardner was booked at the Marlboro County Detention Center.
The case will be prosecuted by the Fourth Circuit Solicitor's Office.

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