75 YEARS AGO - 1943
Sept. 4 - Sept. 10
- Approval of a Federal Works Agency project for renovating and equipping the recently acquired frame dwelling on Council Street for using as a recreation center for Negro soldiers was announced by Mayor …
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- Approval of a Federal Works Agency project for renovating and equipping the recently acquired frame dwelling on Council Street for using as a recreation center for Negro soldiers was announced by Mayor F. B. Creech, who was advised of the approval by Sen. Burnet R. Maybank and Rep. H. B. Fulmer. Estimated cost of the project will be $10,500. A grant of $9,020 will be made. A government field expense of $460 and application fund of $1,020 will make up the remainder.
- Across the nation, people are wearing the Star of Honor. The Star of Honor is made of sterling silver and is only 1 to 2 inches in diameter, with clasp. The Star of Honor is worn by any member of a family who has a relative, sweetheart or friend in the service. A limited supply of these stars were secured by Osteen Publishing Co. and were on sale at the office for 25 cents.
- Engineer Gunnery Sgt. Leslie Craft McCormic of Sumter, hero of Army air combat in the Pacific, 24-year-old son of Mrs. Leslie F. McCormic, is expected to be one of the guests of honor at a joint dinner meeting held by the four leading civic clubs at the YWCA Assembly Hall, on 106-108 N. Main St. Sgt. McCormic, born in North, South Carolina, 24 years ago and a resident of Sumter since his 2nd birthday, holds the Soldier's Medal for Heroism, the Silver Star for Gallantry, the Distinguished Flying Cross and the Oak-Leaf Cluster which indicates a second award of the Army's Distinguished Flying Cross.
- Aviation Cadet Leland Sheppard of Columbia, 23, was killed in an airplane crash 8 miles west Baltimore, Maryland, it was reported to the Item. Cadet Sheppard graduated from the University of South Carolina in 1940 and entered the Air Corps on June 10, 1942. He is survived by his parents who reside in Columbia, a brother and sister of Columbia and another sister who resides in Sumter.
- The German prisoners of war, who are to be encamped at the nearby town of Hampton to help harvest the peanut crops of Hampton and Allendale counties, had not arrived up to 8:30 o'clock last night. The armed guard, however, which was to have charge of them reached Hampton during the day and all is now in readiness for the Germans' arrival. J. C. Anthony, Hampton County farm agent, who oversees allocating the prisoners to the various farms, said that he had strict orders not to announce when the prisoners would arrive but that he could say that they would be at work on the farms Thursday morning.
- Warning: Better do your Christmas shopping now - if it's for a man in the service overseas. The Post Office department has announced that the dates for mailing Christmas packages to men in the Army overseas are from Sept. 15 to Oct. 15 - for men in the Navy, Coast Guard, and Marines from Sept. 15 to Nov. 1. Regulations governing size and weight are the same as those for packages sent to men overseas throughout the year - that is, not more than 5 pounds, not over 15 inches long, and not over 36 inches for combined length and girth. Nothing perishable, of course, and no matches or other flammables.
- Four South Carolina enlisted WAVES now are on duty with the Navy Department in the nation's capital, where they are serving as direct replacements for Navy men, releasing them for fighting duty at sea with the fleet. They are: Julia Lee, yeoman third class, daughter of S. C. Lee of Manning, a graduate of Manning High School who enlisted last December and received her indoctrination and training at Stillwater, Oklahoma; Mary Lillian Jones, seaman second class, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. John Isadore Jones of Sumter who attended Sumter High School before enlisting in June and received her indoctrination at Hunter College; Sylvia D. Huskey, seaman second class of Gaffney, a graduate of Boiling Springs High School who enlisted in July and received indoctrination at Hunter College; and Mariam J. Pettus, seaman second, of Fort Mill and a graduate of Indian Land High School, who enlisted in June and received her indoctrination at Hunter College.
- The first in a series of Friday afternoon parties at the Cadet Club, for wives of Shaw Field's aviation cadets, will be held this afternoon. Wives of the cadets in both the upper and lower classes have been invited to the club to play bridge, ping pong or engage in other activities for the afternoon, and five prizes, each a 50-cent War Stamp, will be awarded. Light refreshments will be served.
- Sumter has established a "community market basket" where prices and the whole business of price checking is made easy, so simple that even the youngest shopper can keep track of food money. Here is how it works. "Market Basket" prices are being set town by town for all communities in South Carolina. They are on now in Sumter. Your corner grocer, who gives you delivery and credit services, can charge so much, the supermarket down the street can charge so much, so you will find the same price differences that you have always found from store to store. But you need never be in doubt about the highest price you should pay. All stores are required to post their community ceiling prices and the class of store to which they belong. He can charge you less, of course, but never more.
50 YEARS AGO - 1968
May 5 - May 11
- Paul Bradham, J. Ben Lewis, G. B. "Mac" McEwen and I. Harby Moses will compete for nomination to two seats on the Sumter City Council in the Municipal Democratic Primary election. Mayor Robert E. Graham will seek re-election for a second term unopposed. The local real estate and insurance man also served previously on City Council. The two council candidates polling the most votes in the election will appear on the Democratic Party ticket at the general election in August. No Republicans have announced for City Council, so nominations will be tantamount to election.
- A prominent Clarendon County businessman and president of the Clarendon County Broadcasting Corp. died Saturday morning in a fire which swept through his trailer where he had been living with his wife for some 10 years near the Santee Dam. He was Jim Roper, owner and president of radio station WYMB in Manning and a much sought-after radio engineer.
- Twelve-year-old Linda Whitener of Rock Hill became South Carolina's state spelling champion on her third try in as many years. She spelled "zouave" correctly to win the 22nd-annual state bee at Forrest College. The event was sponsored by the Anderson Daily Mail and the Anderson Independent. Runners-up in order were Carl K. Murray, 14, an eighth-grader from Spann Junior High in Dorchester County; Alex Robinson, 13, of Easley Junior High; Carolyn Jeanette Ellis, 13, of Due West Elementary School; and Ann Lehtinen, 13, of St. Jude's School in Sumter County.
- The first Ford victory of the year at Sumter Speedway came when Jimmy Hatchell in a '64 Ford crossed the checkered flag some 12 lengths ahead of H. C. Pritchard in a '57 Chevy. In a complete reverse situation of some two weeks ago, the racing card at the speedway went off so smoothly that many spectators could not believe that the checkered flag fell on the late-model event at 10:35.
- Voting in the Sumter Municipal Democratic Primary election was running generally light at 11 a. m., three hours after polls opened at the nine precincts in the city. The heaviest turnout was reported in Ward 12, where 30 persons had voted at V. L. Brown's Store at 330 Broad St. The lightest participation was recorded in Ward 18, where only four persons had cast their ballots at Vinning Furniture Store, 11 Caldwell St.
- Scott Rigby, chairman of the board of Clarendon Memorial Hospital, has announced plans for a $293,000 expansion program. The new addition will be a second floor to the existing South wing of the hospital. Included in the project will be the air conditioning of the operating room, new equipment and an elevator. Twenty additional beds will be gained by connecting the second floor lounge into much-needed bed space. A committee was formed with Mrs. Taylor H. Stukes serving as chairman, to seek local funds for financing the project.
- Presentation of awards, the rifle drill team and monkey drill are on the agenda for the afternoon's Awards Day program for the Edmund's High Air Force ROTC unit. A special event of the afternoon will include a flyover by Shaw Air Force Base planes at Memorial Stadium, site of the program. The ROTC unit is under the direction of Lt. Col. James D. McCrary.
- Col. James W. Logan (USAF Ret.) is now associated with the law firm of Purdy and Logan at No. 3 Law Range in Sumter. Upon his recent retirement, the 22-year service veteran was presented the First Oak Leaf Cluster to the Air Force Commendation Medal for his meritorious performance while assigned as Staff Judge Advocate, Headquarters, Fourteenth Air Force, Gunter Air Force Base, Alabama. Col. Logan had at one time been assigned to Shaw Air Force Base as Staff Judge Advocate. For his work here, he was presented the Sumter Community Relations Award.
- In the opening game of a best-of-three series for the AAA lower state championship, the Sumter lefthander, Billy Ardis, gave up only one hit as he struck out 13 to spark his teammates to a rousing 10-1 triumph over Brookland-Cayce, the Region 1 champions. After a shaky start, in which B-C took a 1-0 lead in the second inning, Ardis bore down and chalked up 13 strikeouts in the final 5 1-3 innings for his seventh win of the season.
- Sumter's Gamecocks completed one of their best tennis seasons ever by blanking Lancaster high School 9-0 at Memorial Park on Monday afternoon. The victory closed out the season for the Birds with a sparkling 13-4 won-lost record as Sumter chalked up its fourth shutout of the year.
- Shaw's Aero Club will be one of 32 United States Air Force Aero Clubs which will be honored by the Federal Aviation Administration for completing a full year of flight operations without a single aircraft accident. Administrator William F. McKee will present FAA Flight Safety Award Certificates to command representatives of the winning clubs at FAA Headquarters. The awards were first presented in 1964 as part of a joint Air Force FAA program to promote general aviation safety through special recognition of Air Force flying clubs with a record of no accidents or incidents.
25 YEARS AGO - 1993
Feb. 12 - 18
- Owners of a hazardous-waste landfill in Sumter County may have illegally cleared several acres of wetlands in Clarendon County during clay-mining operations, an Environmental Protection Agency scientist said. Laidlaw Environmental Services of South Carolina Inc. informed Charleston's Army Corps of Engineers that workers may have accidentally disturbed wetlands while bulldozing trees, shrubbery and topsoil from a 116-acre tract in Clarendon County before mining the clay underneath.
- The Swan Lake branch of South Carolina National Bank has been robbed for the third time in less than a year. This time, however, the robber dropped a bank bag as he was fleeing when he was tackled by a Sumter County sheriff's deputy and a dye pack in the bag exploded. The bandit then escaped and is being sought by police. "The money was recovered," said Linda Logan, a spokeswoman for the bank, "and no one was injured."
- Ray Mergil knew he was in for a busy spring when he opened the door to the Sumter County Recreation Department and discovered a line of people waiting to sign up for the Sumter Kids in Baseball program. "We've never had that happen before," said Mergil, Sumter County's athletic director. "Usually, we have a dozen or so sign up the first week and everybody else waits until the last minute. After two days of registration this year, we already had 111 children registered.
- The Hillcrest Wildcats maintained their fast-pace tempo for over three quarters of its Region IV-4A basketball showdown with Irmo at the Hillcrest gym. The Wildcats lost control of the tempo early in the fourth quarter and, in turn, lost the game as well. The Yellow Jackets were able to slow the game down in the fourth quarter, holding Hillcrest to five points, and came away with a 60-56 victory.
- Sumter High got off to a slow start and could not recover as Lower Richland claimed a 52-43 win over the Gamecocks at the LR gym. The Diamonds, 15-6 overall and 7-3 in Region IV-4A, scored the first six points of the game and were ahead 12-2 by the midway point of the first quarter. LR's Terrence Gilyard, who finished with 16 points and scored his 1,000th career point during the game, scored four points during the early run. The Gamecocks could manage only baskets by Heyward McFadden and Ulysses Preston during the first five minutes of the contest and were behind 20-9 at the end of the first quarter.
- Free throws. Oh, you hear coaches talk about them, but you never really pay attention to it. But when you go 3-for-17, you must expect to lose, especially when you face the top-ranked team in the state. Still, Laurence Manning did force two overtimes before falling to Florence Christian 73-63 at the LMA gym. "We shot three for 17, and I have no answers for that," Laurence Manning coach Woody Lathan said. "If you can go to double overtime and go 3-for-17, that says a lot for how our kids play defense and get on the boards.
- A Sumter businessman was honored in Myrtle Beach for his role in the economic development of the county. John M. Brabham Sr., 69, was named Sumter Business Person of the Year by the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce and First Union National Bank at a banquet during the chamber's annual retreat. Brabham, a member of the state Development Board since 1989 and president of the Black River Electric Cooperative, is the semi-retired founder of The Prudential John M. Brabham real estate firm in Sumter.
- The fate of 18 underprivileged children in the St. John Community still hangs in limbo, as it has since August when the State Department of Social Services announced it would cut the community's rural day-care center from its payrolls. Children and employees at the St. John Day Care Center are waiting for the final ax from DSS to fall. Along with centers in Charleston, Spartanburg and Colleton counties, DSS cut the St. John center from its budget last year in an effort to trim its $9.8 million deficit the department faced last year.
- Wally Maynard expects to see action as both a starting pitcher and reliever for the University of South Carolina's baseball team, but he is well-prepared to take on the dual roles. During the past year, the former Sumter High standout has performed as a starter, middle reliever and closer. As a freshman hurler for USC, Maynard made 21 appearances, all but one in relief. Used primarily as a middle reliever, he recorded a 5-1 record, three saves and a 3.359 earned run average.
- Thomas Sumter's combination of Lacey Griffin and Rebecca Huggins was too much for Wilson Hall. Griffin pounded in 16 points inside the paint and Huggins added another 11 as the Lady General dropped Wilson Hall 45-27. The Lady Barons, who fell to 11-7, had trouble stopping Griffin and Huggins on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Wilson Hall did not get many second chances to make a shot as Griffin and Huggins grabbed rebound-after-rebound.
- When Pat Veltre steps up to the small wooden podium and pulls out his baton, he commands attention. "Assurance," Veltre calls out at a community concert band rehearsal. The musicians pull the sheet music by John Ness Beck from their folders and position it carefully on the stands. "ONE. TWO. THREE." The conductor says as his hands gracefully move up and down and out to the beat pattern As beautiful sounds flow from the shiny instruments, Veltre communicates the nuances in dynamics, details of phrasing and articulation along with the general expression of the piece through the use of his hands and some facial gestures.
- Sumter County is full of homeowners who would buy nice mailboxes if only there were some way to protect their investment from baseball bat-wielding vandals. So, says "The Mailbox Man," Sumter native Frank Parkin Thomas, 65, a retired hardware salesman who has sold and installed some 300 mailboxes in the county since late 1991. Now Thomas thinks he has come up with a solution: a vandal-proof mailbox. Thomas has a patent pending on his design of a mounting assembly with springs. The assembly, hidden under a special mailbox made of heavy-duty, flexible plastic, is supposed to allow the mailbox to withstand repeated blows from a bat, brick or bottle.
- When Buddy Wescott opened his bicycle shop in 1985, he called a bunch of his friends each week and asked them to join him for a bicycle ride. And after two years, Wescott's weekly ride became somewhat of an event. So, the regulars came up with the idea of starting a cycling club. Wescott, who owns Buddy's Schwinn Cycle & Fitness in Sumter, helped originate The Sumter Chain Gang. The Sumter Chain Gang has about 50 members ranging in age from nine to 70.
- Radiologists at Tuomey Regional Medical Center have a new way of diagnosing problems related to blood circulation - and they're getting clearer pictures while doing it, too. A $1 million "angio suite" was recently installed at the hospital. It houses a new X-ray system that allows technologists to digitally record images of a patient. Greg Wetherby, a registered technologist in the hospital's radiology department, said the images can be enhanced and then viewed with much more accuracy than those taken by traditional X-ray equipment.
- When snow flurries turned heavy, Feb 9, 1973, T.A. "Gus" Green had been Sumter's fire chief for a little more than a month. His responsibility had grown at the beginning of February, when an agreement between the city of Sumter and Sumter County put him in charge of fighting fires throughout the county. The unusual snow storm dumped a record 17-24 inches of snow on the county. The road conditions paralyzed the fire department which fortunately had no fire calls.
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