75 YEARS AGO -1944
July 22 - July 28
- Completing his AAF basic training this week was Aviation Cadet T. Vandell Young, son of the late S. W. Young of Rembert, who left for advanced flying school where he will receive further specialized …
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- Completing his AAF basic training this week was Aviation Cadet T. Vandell Young, son of the late S. W. Young of Rembert, who left for advanced flying school where he will receive further specialized training. A final review of all work and formal parade of the entire cadet detachment were activities for the scores of young aviators now ready for the final steps that will soon lead to combat wings in the mighty AAF of the United States.
- The Shaw Field Fliers scored their third-straight win in the Servicemen's league when they beat the 309th Bombers of the Columbia Army Air Base on that field last night. Turbeville was on the mound throughout the game, allowing only two hits. For the first time, Turbeville used a new pitch which he has developed. The experiment was very successful, and the pitcher will use the throw in the next game against the 15th Armored team from Fort Jackson.
- A store on the corner of Sumter Street and Railroad Avenue was considerably damaged by fire at 7:15 this morning, Fire Chief E. H. Lynam reported. Loss was estimated at about $300. The fire was well underway when firemen arrived. The cause of the conflagration is not known, according to the chief. The store was owned by Mrs. George Ricker and was operated by James Herriot.
- Junior Southall pitched and battled sensationally in Camden, but Lady Luck denied him a well-deserved victory as Camden won 3-2. Camden secured nine hits off the diminutive Sumter hurler, but more than half of them were of the scratch variety and on a faster field would have been put-outs. Southall walked twice and hit a double and a single. Morris got Sumter's other two hits; both were hard singles.
- Auto thief known by an alias of "McKay" of Charlotte, who allegedly stole four automobiles, one of them in Sumter, has been turned over to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Chief W. C. Kirven reported this morning. The 17-year-old youth was arrested in Florence and brought to this city. Weekend arrests by city policemen numbered 21, with 11 of that number being arrested for gambling. Two persons were apprehended for disorderly conduct, one for having no brakes, one for being drunk and disorderly and three for public drunkenness.
- Arthur M. Felder of Pinewood, 73, died at Tuomey Hospital this morning after an illness of several months. Mr. Felder carried the mail for 31 years in Silver, retiring nine years ago. He was a steward in the Methodist church of Pinewood and a member of the Masonic Lodge of Summerton. He lived a long and useful life and had a number of friends throughout the community who will miss him greatly.
- Game Warden E. W. Nettles Jr. announced that every lake at Poinsett Park and Poinsett Forest has been stocked with 300 bass averaging three-quarters of a pound and 2,300 bream averaging six ounces. In addition to these 12,000 bass and 150,000 bream, fingerlings and fry were put in lakes. The fish were raised by Nettles and P. A. Broughton in the five rearing pools at Burnt Gin. All the lakes at Poinsett Forest area are open for fishing every day except Sunday from daylight until dark.
- Reid H. Montgomery, assistant to the superintendent of the Sumter city schools since the beginning of the 1943-44 session, has been assigned to serve as principal of the Junior High for the 1944-45 session, in addition to continuing as assistant to the superintendent. This faculty change was made necessary by the transfer of Percy Wise from the Junior High to the principalship of Edmunds High and the transfer of J. T. McLeod, elected to succeed Wise at the Junior High, to the elementary schools principalship upon the resignation of Charles H. Chewning, for the past four years principal of the elementary schools. Superintendent W. H. Shaw had been acting principal of Edmunds High for 18 months since the resignation of Principal Hugh Stoddard to accept a commission in the Marine Corps, but the temporary arrangement could not continue without detriments to the administration of the schools.
- The Officers' Wives Club of Shaw Field met Saturday and voted to join the National Association of Army Air Force Women, also called the National Women's Volunteer Branch, which operates within the Officers' Wives Club, which has been very active in organizing the Army wives for Red Cross work for volunteer help at the ration board and canteen work on the field. Affiliation with the national organization will keep the local group informed on matters pertinent to their work, an officer's wife said.
- Active committees of the state department of the American Legion held commissions after appointment here by Commander Hoyt Fulmer of West Columbia. All appointments were confirmed immediately by the department executive committee. Among those appointed were J. H. Beaman of Sumter, Woodrow Wilson Home Committee; Marvin James of Union, child welfare; E. E. Barnhardt of Rock Hill, employment; Paul M. Ealy of Rock Hill and George D. Levy of Sumter, rehabilitation; and James L. Hollingsworth of Greenwood and Harry Davis of Sumter, publicity.
50 YEARS AGO - 1969
March 23 - March 29
- Eleven Sumter boxers won before their hometown fans at Edmunds High School gym in the 17th-annual Optimist Club Amateur Boxing Show. Proceeds of the program went to the club's boys' work programs. Sumter won three out of four Small Fry fights, one out of three in the Mite Division, two out of six Sub-Novice Division bouts, two out of three in the Novice Division and three out of three in the Open Division.
- Arthenia J. Bates, a native of Sumter, the daughter of Calvin Shepherd Jackson and Susan Emma David Jackson and a graduate of Lincoln High School and Morris College, has written a book of short stories, "Seeds Beneath the Snow," a collection of vignettes of black life in the South. Bates, who also has a M.A. degree from Atlanta University, also has training in creative wiring under Langston Hughes. Bates is listed in "Who's Who of American Women" and was recently awarded a Southern Fellowship Fund Grant to continue doctoral studies in English at Louisiana State University.
- Sumter's YMCA men's team won the Carolinas Council Tournament this weekend, staging a fantastic comeback in the semi-finals contest. Sumter defeated Kannapolis, North Carolina, 99-96 after trailing at the half, 53-35. Bob Brannon and Merrielees had 27 apiece while Jerry Pasqua had 28. Then Sumter defeated Columbia 111-89. Sumter's Mite team lost in the first round to Columbia 37-31 in the Camden Invitational Tournament in Camden.
- Things are beginning to take shape for the new season at Sumter Speedway with several much-needed improvements being made for the April 3 opening date. According to Clint Hyatt, a new guard rail will be installed in front of the grandstand along with a dirt bank to be poured between the guard rail and the wheel fence. Also, better lighting will be found this year along with new warning lights for the drivers.
- The "Wee Mr. and Miss Bishopville" and "Junior Miss Bishopville" benefit, sponsored by Robert E. Lee Academy Parents League, cleared $250 for the school. The Parents League will turn the money over to the academy for various needs of the school. In the Wee Miss Contest, Peggy McCutchen, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Billy McCutchen, was crowned "Wee Miss Bishopville," and Wendi Lou Merck, daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Robert Merck, was chosen first runner up. Trey Bradham, son of Mr. and Mrs. Jimmy Bradham, was crowned "Wee Mr. Bishopville."
- U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond announced the approval of an amendatory application to revise the financing plan for the Civic Center Urban Renewal Area in Sumter. The action is a prerequisite for the city's final application for an additional $399,811 federal grant. The current grant authority for the project is $1,194,965. The project area is adjacent to the central business district and bounded generally by Calhoun Street, Lafayette Street, Hampton Avenue and North Harvin Street. The Civic Center Urban Renewal area will include a complex of public buildings, well spaced, plenty of parking, in a beautiful park-like setting in the downtown area.
- Appointment of an assistant professor of engineering at The Pennsylvania State University's Capitol Campus was announced by Dr. Richard H. Heindel, dean of the Capitol Campus facility. He is Rudolph M. Jones, assistant professor of engineering at Clemson University Center, Sumter.
- It was a nightmare - for Camden. A barrage of 16 hits producing a total of 14 runs couldn't get over quickly enough for the Camden Bulldogs. But for the winning Edmunds High School team, it was all gravy. After opening the initial inning with a seven-run rally and sending 11 batters to the dish, Edmunds never had much trouble with the Bulldogs from that point on in a 4A game. Allen Johnson, starting in just his second game, lost his bid for a shutout in the fifth inning. Centerfielder Bill Brown probably had the top hitting day for the Gamecocks, pounding out three hits in the contest in four trips, scoring two runs and knocking in four.
- Tech. Sgt. Bernard L. Gaydosh of the 363rd Civil Engineering Squadron has been selected as Shaw's Non-Commissioned Officer of the Month. Sgt. Gaydosh, a construction inspector, was picked from his squadron, and his name and qualifications were put before a base board along with the other candidates.
- The presentation of the Legion of Merit, three Distinguished Flying Crosses and three Bronze Star Medals highlighted the third in a series of monthly retreats held at Wing Headquarters. Col. Erwin A. Hesse, 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing, was awarded the Legion of Merit for outstanding service. Distinguished Flying Crosses were presented to Lt. Col. Wendell B. Lawrence, 363rd Tactical Reconnaissance Wing; Maj. Roland L. Richardson, 4414th Combat Crew Training Squadron; and Capt. Joseph L. Melancon Jr., Combat Crew Training Squadron.
- The Sumter Jaycees will sponsor the annual "Battle of the Bands" project in the Edmunds High School Auditorium. Five rock-and-roll bands or combos will compete in this year's event for the first-place money of $200 and a chance to compete in the State Finals in Greenville. Each band will be given an allotted time to play, and their performance will be judged according to their musical ability, showmanship appearance and audience appeal. The purpose of the annual Jaycee project is to give teenage band members public exposure to competition, encouragement and reward them for their efforts.
- Leave 85 inches of snow and travel 1,100 miles to play gold for a week. Is it worth it? More than 50 Canadians who are visiting Sumter would surely agree that it is. The Canadians have been coming down to the warm weather for one week out of this month. About 20 were staying at the Downtowner last week, and more are expected this week. They drive or fly down, bringing with them their golf clubs for seven days of golf on the different courses around Sumter.
25 YEARS AGO -1993
Dec. 23 - 29
- Former Sumter High School standout tailback Kelton Dunnican has signed to play football with Clemson. Dunnican, who spent two seasons at Northeast Oklahoma Junior College, is one of two JC players who said they have signed with the Tigers. Dunnican has graduated from junior college but will have three years of eligibility left because he was granted a medical redshirt this past season.
- A light blanket of snow that fell late Wednesday night and early today left Sumter, Clarendon and Lee counties more beautiful in the eyes of white-stuff lovers but otherwise largely unaffected. The snow stuck to the ground, tree limbs and roofs but didn't cling to most roads or bridges. No problems with roads, bridges or car accidents in Sumter County had been reported as of about 8:30 this morning, said Vic Jones, the county's director of public safety.
- The Sumter YMCA swim team won its second-straight state championship in the Blue Ridge Cluster meet for North Carolina and South Carolina. The meet was held in Hendersonville, North Carolina. Team members are Christy Parrott, Jennifer West, Jonathon Jones, Eric Jasuta, Mark Yeates, Charlotte Dinkins, Patrick Williams, Alex Ray, Jim Coghlan, Tiffiane Adams, Ryan Brunke, Andy Bieger, Lee Webber, Maggie Williams, J.P. Brunke, Tiffany Farrar, Addie Williams, Bree Walsh, Christian Keller, Amy Jalk, Megan Hill, Banafshea Amizadeh, Maria Chales, Scott Gero, Mike Williams, Blake Smith, John Keller, Terry Self and Clint George.
- The Christmas season in Sumter 50 years ago, as reported by The Item, concludes: During the final week (Dec. 20-25, 1943) leading up to Christmas, Sumter went about its business of preparing for the holiday as World War II raged around the world and news of local men dying in combat added a sad note to a normally festive time of the year. But there was some good news on the war front. The Russian army was moving steadily against the Germans on the eastern front while other reports told of Japanese troops fleeing Bougainville in the Pacific Theater. Allied planes were relentlessly striking Japanese positions between New Britain and New Guinea. On Christmas Eve, President Roosevelt announced the appointment of Gen. Dwight D. Eisenhower as supreme commander of the Anglo-American forces that would carry out the invasion of Europe.
- Members of the St. Paul Hunting Club think that if young people are in the woods looking for game, then they won't be on the streets looking for trouble. "I grew up hunting with my father, and it teaches you certain basic values," said Robert Shinn, secretary of the St. Paul Hunting Club, which hunts in Calhoun and Clarendon counties but includes members from throughout the Midlands and Lowcountry. "You learn respect for wildlife and respect for people. Kids today are missing out on those kinds of things, and that's why it's important to expose them to hunting."
- The 363rd Fighter Wing, which has called Shaw home since the 1940s, will be placed on the inactive roll as the wing is redesignated as the 20th Fighter Win on Jan. 3, 1994. At the same time, the 363rd's four squadrons will get new numbers, crests and nicknames, too. The Air Force wants to preserve units with the most significant histories because it considers history an important element in establishing unit pride, identity and esprit de corps.
- Bishopville boys head basketball coach Harold Galloway liked the way his team was playing before the Christmas break. However, he doesn't have an idea how the Dragons will perform in their own Lee County Invitational Christmas Tournament. Bishopville, which plays cross-county rival Mount Pleasant, in the final game of the opening round, will be without the services of a few players. Some of the Dragons missed a couple of holiday practices and will therefore miss some games as well.
- The year 1993 will long remain in the memories of Sumter School District 2 officials as the year residents passed a bond referendum that allowed the construction of two new schools. District 2 residents voted to support a $28.5 million bond issuance to finance the construction of two high schools and the reroofing of 10 others. The construction will eliminate more than 70 percent of the district's portable classrooms and alleviate crowding in the growing district, especially around Shaw Air Force Base.
- The Scott's Branch High School Artistically Gifted and Talented Marching Band has been invited to perform in the Africamerica's Festival Parade in May. The parade will be the grand finale of the two-week festival held each year in Philadelphia. "It is really a beautiful parade," Band Director Ophelia Darby said, adding that it receives national television coverage.
- The Shepherd's Center winter term of life-enrichment classes, activities and luncheons for older adults will begin with registration Jan. 5 and 6. The center program is open to anyone 55 years or older. The classes include everything from dancing to small engine repair.
- U.S. Sen. Strom Thurmond, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee pledged to "do everything I can" to keep Shaw Air Force Base off the next closure list. Thurmond, R-S.C., said the federal Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC) may go easier on South Carolina when the next base-closure list is released in 1995 because the commission hit the state hard economically this summer when it endorsed the Navy's plan to close most of its Charleston facilities.
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