50 years later: A look back at Sumter’s first year of desegregation with 3 Black students who went on to become community leaders

Larry Blanding and Third Judicial Circuit Solicitor Ernest “Chip” Finney III sit outside the former Edmunds High School in Sumter. After full integration, the school was renamed Sumter High School, Haynsworth Street Campus. Both men graduated from the integrated Sumter High. What is now Patriot Hall served as the school’s auditorium.
The year was 1970, and music records, bell bottoms and platform shoes were big, but also there were big changes taking place in Sumter, South Carolina, with full integration in the city's school district. The landmark Brown v. Board of Education …
Studio Sumter

Sumter Today: We get to know a groundbreaking private school in Sumter County

Shawn Ragin’s journey has taken him from two different school districts in the Midlands to his current role as founder and headmaster of Ragin Preparatory Christian Academy.

Now seven years …

Panorama

Monarch butterflies down 26% in Mexico

MEXICO CITY (AP) - The number of monarch butterflies that showed up at their winter resting grounds in central Mexico decreased by about 26% this year, and four times as many trees were lost to illegal logging, drought and other causes, making 2020 …

Nation & World
J&J's 1-dose shot cleared, giving U.S. 3rd COVID-19 vaccine

WASHINGTON (AP) — The U.S. is getting a third vaccine to prevent COVID-19, as the Food and Drug Administration on Saturday cleared a Johnson & Johnson shot that works with just one dose …

House passes $1.9T pandemic bill on near party-line vote, now moves to Senate WASHINGTON (AP) — The House approved a $1.9 trillion pandemic relief bill in a win for President Joe Biden, even as top Democrats tried assuring agitated progressives that they'd revive their …
Russian diplomats hand-push trolley over North Korea border MOSCOW (AP) - A group of Russian diplomats and their family members returned to Russia from North Korea on a hand-pushed rail trolley on Thursday because the coronavirus pandemic has halted all passenger traffic between the countries, Russia's …
U.S. consumers rebound to boost spending 2.4% as income jumps WASHINGTON (AP) - Bouncing back from months of retrenchment, America's consumers stepped up their spending by a solid 2.4% in January, the sharpest increase in seven months and a sign that the economy may be poised to sustain a recovery from the …
How U.S. airstrike in Syria sends message to Iran BEIRUT (AP) - A U.S. airstrike targeting facilities used by Iran-backed militias in Syria appears to be a message to Tehran delivered by a new American administration still figuring out its approach to the Middle East. The strike was seemingly a …
State News
S.C.'s biggest hospice piloting homebound COVID-19 vaccines

COLUMBIA (AP) - As communities across the U.S. work toward finding ways to vaccinate the homebound against COVID-19, South Carolina's largest hospice provider is partnering with state health officials to pilot an effort to vaccinate eligible …

Clemson researcher seeks to make peanuts, wheat easier to digest FLORENCE- Peanuts and wheat are nutritional powerhouses but contain protein allergens that can be detrimental for some people. However, a Clemson University researcher thinks that if he can target these proteins, he can breed for safer, …
S.C. lifts pandemic limits on alcohol sales, mass gatherings COLUMBIA (AP) — South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster is lifting state pandemic restrictions on mass gatherings and alcohol sales, his office announced Friday.Starting Monday, restaurants and bars …
South Carolina lawmaker: Trump can be buried at our Capitol COLUMBIA (AP) — A South Carolina Republican lawmaker said he is filing a bill that would allow former President Donald Trump to buried on the grounds of the state Capitol if Trump is banned …
South Carolina House passes COVID liability protection bill COLUMBIA (AP) — A bill that would prevent lawsuits against businesses and other groups by people who contract COVID-19 as long as federal and state health guidelines were being followed passed …
Obituaries
JOHNNY LEE KINLAW JR.

Johnny Lee Kinlaw Jr., age 56, departed this life on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, in Sumter. He was born on July 7, 1964, in Manning, to the late Rosa Lee China and Johnny Lee Kinlaw Sr. Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced later by …

MARY T. DOUGLAS

Mary T. Douglas, 77, was born on June 24, 1943, in Bishopville, a daughter of the late Walter Boone Sr. and Essie Louise Dix. She departed this life on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, Sumter. She leaves to cherish her …

IDELLA GRAHAM SEABROOK

SUMMERVILLE - Idella Graham Seabrook, 80, widow of Samuel Mark Seabrook, died on Friday, Feb. 26, 2021, at her residence, 200 White Church Lane, Summerville. She was born on Sept. 17, 1940, in New Zion, a daughter of the late Heyward and Marie …

NORMAN MANNING

Norman Manning, 78, husband of Joann Mack Manning, departed this life on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital. He was born on Oct. 15, 1942, in Yazoo City, Mississippi, a son of the late Warren Manning and Bettie …

LARRY LEROY DICKERSON

Larry Leroy Dickerson, 64, husband of Shelia H. Dickerson, died on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021, at his home. Born on Sept. 13, 1956, in Sumter, he was a son of the late William Leroy Dickerson and Mary Elizabeth Bailey Dickerson. Mr. Dickerson was a …

Faith
The Rev. Dr. Clay Smith: Questions from the children They asked me to meet with the kids at church and answer their questions. No problem. I figure with a college degree and two graduate degrees, I can handle what the kids throw at me. Can anyone see the humble train coming down the track for …
Church News: Friday, Feb. 26, 2021 Freedom Worship Pentecostal Holiness Church, 1490 Florence Highway, announces: * Today-Saturday - Gospel singing at 6 p.m. nightly. Epps Family, Second Chance and Next Chapter will be featured Friday, and Combs Family, The Masters and Next …
Church News: Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church, 1715 S. Guignard Drive, announces: * Saturday, March 13 - A drive-by celebration for the second anniversary of Pastor Calvin K. Hastie Sr. will be held at 2 p.m. at St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. Dr. Clay Smith: Fighting prejudice ... I pumped gas into my truck, hung up the nozzle and climbed back in. Before I could shut the door, a young African-American male came up and asked me how I was. It was a little strange; people wave and nod at the gas station but do not make …
Celebrations
Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hall of Sumter celebrate 60 years of marriage Mr. and Mrs. Gary Hall, of Sumter, celebrated their 60th wedding anniversary on Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021. They were married on Feb. 25, 1961. The couple's two children are Randy Hall of McDonough, Georgia, and Michelle Cipov of Sumter. The …
Winsteads of Sumter celebrate 71 years of marriage Mr. and Mrs. Tom Winstead Sr. of Sumter celebrated their 71th wedding anniversary on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. They were married on Feb. 1, 1950, in San Antonio, Texas. The couple's three children are Tom Winstead Jr. of Elkin, North Carolina, Rick …
Schumachers announce birth of a daughter, Elvie Evans Blake Edmund and Sarah Cutler Schumacher of Columbia announce the birth of a daughter, Elvie Evans Schumacher, on Jan. 13, 2021, at Lexington Medical Center, Lexington. Elvie weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces. She was 19 1/2 inches …
5 generations of the Chandler family Five generations of the Chandler family from left, seated on sofa: Tonya Gainey Casselman, grandmother; Louise Chandler, great-great-grandmother, holding Clinton Casselman, child; Debbie Chandler Gainey, great-grandmother; and seated on floor, Haley …
Dear Abby
Pets for adoption
Sumter SPCA's Bailey is a sweet, active girl

LEFT: Bailey is a housebroken and spayed 5-year-old Lab/hound mix. She is sweet, friendly and affectionate. Bailey is an active girl who loves to run and play but needs a home without small, loud children or other dogs. She loves people and any kind …

Weddings
Hodge-Frierson Faith Hodge and Hervey Richardson Frierson were married on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, at the home of the couple in Sumter. The bride is the daughter of the late Mr. Judge Thomas Hodge and the late Mrs. Noonie Lee Frierson Hodge. The bridegroom is …
Curtis-Johnson LENOIR, North Carolina - Sara Suzanne Curtis of Lenoir, North Carolina, and Samuel Lawrence Johnson of Sumter were united in marriage at 2 p.m. on Saturday, Nov. 14, 2020, at Yadkin Valley Baptist Church. The bride is the daughter of Jeff and …
Lynch-Coker Katherine Lorena Lynch of Alcolu and Zachary Scott Coker of Turbeville were united in marriage at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, at First Baptist Church in Sumter. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neal C. Lynch of Alcolu and the …
Glaze-Burr CHARLESTON - Sally Glaze and John Aaron Burr IV, both of Myrtle Beach, were united in marriage at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at John Wesley United Methodist Church. The bride is the daughter of Mr. Lee Glaze and Mrs. Frances Glaze of Sumter …
Engagements
Allan-Miles Mr. and Mrs. Troy William Allan of Summerton announce the engagement of their daughter, Morgan Addison Allan of Summerton, to Mason Hunter Miles of Manning, son of Ms. Stacy Leigh Mosier and Mr. Laurence Wade Andrew McLeod, both of Manning. The …
Morris-Winn Mike and Tammie Morris announce the engagement of their daughter, Tiffany Alexandria Morris, to Arthur Ryan Winn, son of Arthur and Eileen Winn, all of Sumter. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late James and Edna House and Carol Morris …
Cox-Sowards Richard and Sherry Cox of Dalzell announce the engagement of their daughter, Allison RayAnn Cox of Dalzell, to Garrett Hunter Sowards of Merritt Island, Florida, son of Bradford and Stephanie Sowards of Melbourne, Florida. The bride-elect is the …
Reflections

Reflections by Item archivist and historian Sammy Way: James H. Aycock, planter and entrepreneur

Reflections recalls a country store once strategically located in Wedgefield, remembered by many as the center of commercial activity in the area. The building was constructed by an entrepreneur, James H. Aycock from North Carolina, who realized its …

Yesteryear
Yesteryear by Item archivist and historian Sammy Way: Young boxer in beach tournament; octogenarian 1st-time author visits Sumterites 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 Aug. 7 - 11 - South Carolinians were at the polls today in their state Democratic primary to nominate a governor, all state constitutional officers, six congressmen, 147 members of the General Assembly and five solicitors. …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Northrop Black Widow on display at Shaw; former SHS athlete will carry torch 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 July 31 - Aug. 6 - Cotton is already beginning to open in various sections of Sumter County, and, if favorable weather prevails during the next week or 10 days, picking will get underway generally before the middle of the …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Sumter police seek Piper cub thief; Sumter Volunteers offers 'shares' 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 July 24 - 30 - Sumter is a good place to live and a good place to work. Most employers pay good wages either because they are fair minded or because, in a competitive sense, they are obliged to do so in order to maintain …
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