South Carolina groups say school mask mandate ban is disrupting kids' learning

Students at Rafting Creek Elementary School line up on the first day of class in August. Masks are optional in Sumter School District this year.
COLUMBIA - As the South Carolina Supreme Court considers the legality of a state rule that effectively bans masks in most schools, health care workers and educators are renewing calls for state lawmakers to repeal the provision …
Studio Sumter

Sumter Today: Ragin Preparatory Kicks Off Hispanic Heritage Month

September 15th marked the beginning of National Hispanic Heritage Month. The celebration exists to honor the contributions and influence of Hispanic-Americans to the history of our …

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SPORTS
Panorama

American yards are quietly going electric

For Jared Anderman, of Croton-on-Hudson, New York, switching from gasoline-powered tools to electric ones for lawn care was a no-brainer. "I'm concerned about climate change and wanted tools that are more eco-friendly, and also quieter. I like …

Nation & World
Q&A: America's new COVID-19 rules for international travel

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Biden administration is rolling out new international travel policies affecting Americans and noncitizens alike who want to fly into the U.S. The goal is to restore more …

J&J: Booster dose of its COVID shot prompts strong response LONDON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson said Tuesday that a booster of its one-shot coronavirus vaccine provides a stronger immune response months after people receive a first dose.J&J said in …
Pfizer says its vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 Pfizer said Monday its COVID-19 vaccine works for children ages 5 to 11 and that it will seek U.S. authorization for this age group soon - a key step toward beginning vaccinations for youngsters. The vaccine made by Pfizer and its German partner …
U.S. launches mass expulsion of Haitian migrants from Texas DEL RIO, Texas - The U.S. is flying Haitians camped in a Texas border town back to their homeland and blocking others from crossing the border from Mexico in a massive show of force that signals the beginning of what could be one of America's …
UN chief warns China, U.S. to avoid Cold War UNITED NATIONS - Warning of a potential new Cold War, the head of the United Nations implored China and the United States to repair their "completely dysfunctional" relationship before problems between the two large and deeply influential countries …
State News
Consultants sued over 2018 deaths of women in sheriff's van

The estates of two South Carolina women who drowned while locked in the back of a sheriff's department van during Hurricane Florence have filed lawsuits alleging negligence by a company that created …

Shooting in South Carolina town leaves 1 dead, 7 others hurt YEMASSEE (AP) — Police were searching for suspects after a shooting left one person dead and seven others injured — including several children — in the small town of Yemassee.The …
Solicitor: Man shot by trooper used stun gun in fatal fight
COLUMBIA (AP) - The South Carolina man killed by a state trooper last week after running away from a traffic stop took control of the officer's stun gun before the fatal shot, prosecutors said. The trooper shot Tristan Vereen once in the chest …
Lawyer Murdaugh exits jail after $10M insurance fraud arrest COLUMBIA — Instead of a suit and tie, lawyer Alex Murdaugh found himself in a jail jumpsuit Thursday in a cramped South Carolina courtroom, struggling to wipe tears from his eyes with …
S.C. reaches 50% vaccination rate as COVID-19 cases dip COLUMBIA - Half of all South Carolinians eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine are now fully inoculated, the state Department of Health and Environmental Control announced Thursday. The benchmark puts the state closer to a 70 to 80% vaccination goal, …
Obituaries
TAMMY KAY TRUETT COMPTON

Tammy Kay Truett Compton, 59, wife of Charles Richard "Ricky" Compton, died on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at McLeod Health Clarendon in Manning. Born on March 2, 1962, in Hartsville, she was a daughter of the late James W. and Rudine Tanner …

ELIZABETH INGRAM MCCRAY

Elizabeth Ingram McCray, 85, widow of James McCray, departed this life on Monday, Sept. 20, 2021, at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital. She was born on Dec. 14, 1935, in Sumter County, a daughter of the late George and Lenora Potts Ingram. The …

VIRGINIA FORD BUTLER

Virginia Ford Butler, 87, widow of Ernest Butler, departed this life on Saturday, Sept. 18, 2021, at Henrico Doctors Hospital in Richmond, Virginia. She was born on Jan. 19, 1934, in Sumter, a daughter of the late Woodrow and Geneva Pearson …

LOUISE RAY GAULDING

Louise Ray Gaulding, age 90, beloved wife of the late Andrew Gaulding, passed away on Sunday, Sept. 19, 2021, at her residence. The family has chosen Bullock Funeral Home for the arrangements.

JAMES PETER MOUZON

ATLANTA - On Thursday, Sept. 9, 2021, James Peter "Cookie" Mouzon, husband of Vermell Calhoun Mouzon, exchanged time for eternity at the VA Medical Center of Atlanta. Born on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 1951, in the Foreston community of Manning, he was a …

Faith
Sumter Pastor Clay Smith: Grief from the inside The pain of losing someone you love doesn't stop when you leave the cemetery. In many ways it is just beginning. It has been three weeks since my brother passed, and I am still kicking over rocks, finding feelings I did not know I had. What makes …
Church News: Friday, Sept. 17, 2021 A Cry for Revival - Strike the Ground, meeting at Faith Outreach Assembly, 42 Callen Drive, announces: * Saturday, Sept. 25 - Community-wide conference will meet at 7 p.m. Come gather with us as we reclaim the orphaned wells of past revivals. …
Column from Sumter Pastor Joey Durham: The heart of God is displayed through kindness Today's devotion is "Kindness, a Display of the Heart of God." My text is Ephesians 4:31-32 where we see, "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to …
Church News: Friday, Sept. 10, 2021 First Baptist Missionary Church, 219 S. Washington St., announces: * Today - A food pantry giveaway will be held beginning at 1 p.m. while supplies last. Knitting Hearts for Christ Ministry, meets at Bethesda Church of God, 2730 Broad St., …
Celebrations
Ruth McFadden Neal celebrates 100th birthday Ruth McFadden Neal celebrated her 100th birthday on Thursday, Sept. 2, 2021, with a family celebration at her home. She was born on Sept. 2, 1921, in Sardinia, to the late Ulysses and Henryanna Kennedy McFadden. She is the oldest of 12 siblings …
Benjamins celebrate 50 years of marriage Kenneth L. and Dianne R. Benjamin of Sumter will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Sunday, July 25, 2021. A family cruise will be taken in the summer of 2022 in their honor.The couple has …
Dear Abby
Pets for adoption
Sumter SPCA's Shelby is a playful, cuddly pup

LEFT: Shelby is a 7-week-old tan-and-white Labrador mix. She is active, friendly and very playful and affectionate. Shelby adores romping around with her pup buddies and being held and cuddled. She is great with children and other dogs and would …

Weddings
Ricciarelli-Stolte ASHEVILLE, North Carolina - Brianna Marie Ricciarelli of Cary, North Carolina, and Graham Brooker Stolte of Mount Pleasant were united in marriage at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, July 3, 2021, at Point Lookout Vineyard. The bride is the daughter of Mr. …
Goodman-Conyers Nancy Goodman of Dothan, Alabama, and Matthew Conyers Jr. of Sumter and Bronx, New York, were united in marriage on Friday, Aug. 6, 2021, in Sumter. The bride is the daughter of Mrs. Eva Rabb and the late Mr. Benjamin Rabb, and the late Mr. …
Beaty-Speidel CHARLESTON - Mary Elizabeth Beaty of Sumter and Thomas Anthony Speidel of Athens, Greece, were united in marriage at 11 a.m. Saturday, June 12, 2021, at Redeemer Presbyterian Church. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Paul Wesley Beaty and …
Engagements
Alsbrooks-Mayhew Mr. and Mrs. Michael Steve Alsbrooks Sr. of Sumter announce the engagement of their daughter, Hannah Nicole Alsbrooks of Sumter, to Mr. Jeremy Allin Mayhew of Denver, Colorado, son of the late Mr. Edwin Dean Mayhew of Denver and Shelli Mayhew (nee …
Wilson-Chestnut Mr. and Mrs. John Joe Wilson Jr. of Manning announce the engagement of their daughter, Celia Burgess Wilson of Manning, to Mr. Hunter Tyson Chestnut of Conway, son of Mr. and Mrs. Homer Tyson Chestnut Jr. of Conway. The bride-elect is the …
Unhoch- Maccauley Mark Katz of Sumter and Loretta Burkholder of Wytheville, Virginia, announce the engagement of their daughter, Helena Unhoch, to Stephen Maccauley of Mineral, Virginia, son of Richard Maccauley of Louisa, Virginia, and Alvena Tierney of St. …
Reflections

Reflections by Sammy Way: Hurricane Hugo: 'South Carolina's Storm of the Century'

Thirty-two years ago, Sumter and South Carolina were confronted with a massive natural disaster. "Hurricane Hugo would make landfall near Charleston harbor just before midnight on Sept. 21, 1989. With winds clocked at 138 mph, this …

Yesteryear
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: District 17's cheese rolls win S.C. school baking contest; tennis fans meet to discuss getting courts in Sumter 75 YEARS AGO - 1947 Feb. 27 - March 1 - Three men of the Sumter area were among the 174 Furman University men included on the dean's list for the first semester of this school term. Those from the Sumter area who have maintained a scholastic …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Wildcats give coach his 'biggest victory'; new club built on Shaw 75 YEARS AGO - 1947 Feb. 18 - 24 - The chain reaction argument over who wanted the Smyth report published and how much of the atomic bomb's secret it revealed veered today toward the Army. A denial by the atom scientists of Chicago Inc. that …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Western Auto opens in Sumter; educator Dr. Stoddard honored 75 YEARS AGO - 1947 Feb. 11 - 17 - Ten Cub scouts of Den 3, Pack 38, were out Saturday morning enjoying a hike and picnic under the supervision of their den mother, Mrs. Freeman Parker, when a short way off they saw a field of burning broom …
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