Air WACs hold open house; 12th grade added in Sumter

Posted 4/1/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Oct. 23 - Oct. 29

- Cadet Charles Propst, of Calhoun Street Sumter, now in his third class, sophomore year at The Citadel, has been chosen for membership in the Pre-Medical Society at that college. Cadet Propst is a member …

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Air WACs hold open house; 12th grade added in Sumter


75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Oct. 23 - Oct. 29

- Cadet Charles Propst, of Calhoun Street Sumter, now in his third class, sophomore year at The Citadel, has been chosen for membership in the Pre-Medical Society at that college. Cadet Propst is a member of the standing hop committee, a member of the varsity basketball team and is active in intramural sports. He graduated from Edmunds High School in 1942. While there, Cadet Propst was a member of the swimming team, a member of the varsity basketball team, a member of the Block "S" Club and president of his class.

- Warrant Officer Jesse Ben Pack, son of Mr. and Mrs. L. M. Pack of Pocalla, was killed as his outfit maneuvered in the desert of California. Details of his death have not been reported to his family here. Officer Pack was killed the day before he would have marked the second anniversary of his entry into the Army. He was 20 years old.

- An opportunity to see how members of the Women's Army Corps live - what they eat, where they sleep, how they work and play - will be given the women of South Carolina when the "Air WACs" of Shaw Field hold open house throughout the day. Women in all parts of the state are invited to visit the huge basic flying school near Sumter where the Air WACs are performing vital duties that are helping to win the war. Visitors will have the opportunity to see the WACs' living quarters, recreation rooms, mess facilities and other accommodations.

- The trophy which will be presented to the winning company at the competitive drill, State Guard, at Edmunds High School is donated by Company I, Sumter, and will be known as "The Thomas Lemmon Trophy" in honor of Ensign Thomas Lemmon, a charter member of the State Guard, who is missing in action. Ensign Lemmon was a member of the Sumter Bar Association, a member of the Sumter County delegation and was prominent in club activities prior to going into the Navy. At the close of the war, when the State Guard demobilizes, the trophy will be presented to Ensign Lemmon's mother.

- Sumter High School gave the City Schools team of Columbia a tough battle in the Capital City before going down to defeat in an action-packed fourth quarter. The final score was 20-7. Coming to life suddenly in the last period, the Gamecocks roared to a touchdown, and Tommie Hughes kicked the extra point to knot the score at 7-7, but a bad case of the jitters, which followed the Birds all night, quickly turned the tide of battle in favor of the Capitals.

- John James Britton, 79, prominent businessman and farmer, died at his home on Calhoun Street after an illness of one year. Mr. Britton was the son of the late John James and Anna Ware Britton. He was an active member of the Sumter County Board of Commissioners and a director of the National Bank of South Carolina. He also was a successful farmer at Britton's and a lifelong member of Zoar Church, serving as a steward and a member of the board of trustees. Besides his wife, Mrs. Willie Britton, the following children survive him: Mrs. John D. Lemmon, Mrs. R. A. Ridgill, Mrs. James W. Boney, Roy J. Leonard and Benjamin Britton, 17 grandchildren and four great-grandchildren.

- A large audience of cadets, their wives and friends enjoyed the stage show broadcast at the Cadet Recreation Hall at Shaw Field. Aviation Cadet Carl Peterson and Pvt. Al Sandwina acted as masters of ceremonies, presenting talented cadets in musical numbers and novelty entertainment. A/C Janiszewski played the accordion, rendering several selections. Ogden and Schlansky were presented as a guitar team. The songs of the Cadet Choral Group under the direction of Cadet Mundell were well received. The Shaw Field Dance Band played during the broadcast.

- Chris Chokos, 57, died this morning at 9:15 at Tuomey Hospital after a lengthy illness. He was proprietor of Manhattan Coffee Shop and one of Sumter's most well-known and well-liked citizens. He belonged to many civic clubs and was a Mason and a Shriner. Mr. Chokos was born in Kastania, Greece, in the province of Prosos. He came to America as a young man and has been successful in the restaurant business in this country. Mr. Chokos came to Sumter over 30 years ago. He was survived by his widow, Mrs. Aspasia Chokos; a daughter, Irene; and a son, George. He also left behind a nephew, Gus Cricos, and a brother-in-law, George Stevens. He also has relatives in Greece.

- Since the Sumter City Board of Education announced the plan for the 12th grade to begin in the Sumter schools in the fall of 1944 there have been many questions which have been asked by students and patrons relative to the 12th-grade program, according to William Henry Shaw, superintendent of the city schools. The question most frequently asked of Mr. Shaw has been what effect will the 12th grade have on the students who are now in high school? The students who have already started their high school program will not be affected by the 12th grade, he said, unless they desire to take advantage of the 12th-grade program. In this way, they would rearrange their course of study for whatever number of years they now have to stay in high school to allow them to take extra units, including a full extra year of English. The pupils who begin the 9th grade in the fall of 1944 will be the first group to graduate from the 12th grade in 1948.

- Warships, planes and troops of Adm. William F. Halsey have stormed the Treasury Islands, 30 miles south of Bougainville, as the entering wedge to pry the Japanese loose from their last Solomons bases and fling open the door to Rabaul. The operation, disclosed in war reports, was executed brilliantly. Beginning last Friday, American bombers completely knocked out nearby enemy airfields with 500 tons of explosives.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

June 23 - 29

- Air Force Col. William M. Reynolds Jr., veteran command pilot with more than 26 years of service, has been reassigned to Tokyo, Japan. Col. Reynolds, who since 1964 has been chief of the fighter branch of the Pentagon-level Directorate of Aerospace Safety at Norton Air Force Base, San Bernardino, California, will be chief of the Air Force Section, Military Assistance Advisory group in Tokyo.

- Dr. Samuel Perry Davis will assume the chairmanship of the Sumter County Board of Health from Dr. William Young, whose board term expires in June. Dr. Davis is "very active in the field of preventive medicine" and holds a monthly prenatal clinic for the health department in Pinewood. A native of Sumter County, he graduated in 1951 from Edmunds High School, attended The Citadel and graduated in 1958 from the Medical College of South Carolina. Following his internship at Medical Center Hospitals in Charleston, he began general practice in July, 1959, in Pinewood.

- Imported fire ants, already infesting 50,000 acres of Clarendon County, have moved into an area on the Sumter County line near Lake Marion. The ants have spread to three miles south of Interstate Highway 95 and east to about four miles beyond Summerton. Since its discovery in South Carolina in 1952, the pest has invaded four million acres in 17 countries. Although the fire ant resembles the common black ant, it is a serious threat to animals, people and land cultivation. In addition to its sting, the ant's solid, three-feet-wide mounds often damage farm equipment.

- Work is progressing satisfactorily on the new Little Theater building, according to Marvin Trapp, president of the local drama group, and the building will probably be "under roof" by the first of August. If all goes well, the Little Theater will open in October with its first production in the new $76,000 structure, which is located in Palmetto Park.

- Catcher Timmy Haley, batting a lowly .118 coming into the contest, unloaded a two-run double in the bottom of the seventh inning to propel Sumter's hustling P-15's to a 3-1 triumph over Olanta at Riley Park. Haley's big belt, which came with two out, boosted Sumter's record to 7-1 and gave Coach Bernie Jones' crew a two-game lead in League III over Camden, which was upset by Manning last night.

- Play in the 1968 Sumter closed City Tennis Tournament gets underway and will run through July 13 with 30 division titles on the line. Registration is now underway at the Recreation Office in Memorial Park and will continue through tomorrow. Entry fee is $1 per entrant, per event. Fred Wilson, tournament director, indicates that there must be at least six entries in each division for that division to be staged.

- Two incumbents and one new face were nominated to the S.C. House of Representatives in the Democratic primary runoff. Leading the voting was incumbent James Cuttino with 5,505, followed by incumbent C.W. Goodman with 4,869. Ramon Schwartz, making his second bid for the House after a close try in 1964, squeaked by Arthur S. Bahnmuller for the third spot by a hair-thin 91 votes, 4,265 to 4,174.

- "We could pick up trash in three minutes with this container rise system that is taking us 20 to 30 minutes now," narrated Lester Mathis of the City Department of Public Works as he showed slides of Sumter's present garbage collection system and of Winston-Salem's container rise operation. Bids will be requested shortly by the City of Sumter on an over $50,000 garbage collection system composed of large enclosed containers for the downtown area, a train of smaller containers for other commercial and outlying areas and a mother truck that automatically lifts and accepts refuse from the containers for transport to the dumping area.

- The Sumter County United Fund has announced the appointment of Richard P. Moses, a lifelong resident of Sumter and a local businessman, as campaign chairman of the 1969 United Fund Drive. Moses, who last year served as vice chairman of the Sumter County United Appeal drive, has been associated with the Henry P. Moses Co., a real estate and insurance firm, for the past 19 years where he currently holds the office of vice president.

- Olanta took to the air here last night, but Camden came up with two home runs - one in the ninth with two out - and stumbled to a 9-7 victory that tightened its hold on second place in American Legion League III. Camden, with lackluster pitching and fielding, still looked a little like the team that lost 8-4 to hapless Manning. The bright spot last night was Post 17's hitting - Camden batters managed nine hits, even though the nine hits came from only four players.

- Col. Robert D. Williams, Wing vice commander, has received orders for Ramstein Air Force Base, Germany, where he will serve as vice commander of the 36th Tactical Reconnaissance Wing. Col. Williams came to Shaw in June 1966 but was not named vice commander until January 1968. Before his appointment, he served as commander of the 4411th Combat Crew training squadron during its deactivation.

- The rosy-checked peach that tempts the New York housewife today was hanging on a Sumter County tree yesterday in the B.J. Barnett Inc. orchard. Bearing the Gamecock trademark and Blue Goose emblem, the tree-ripened ambassadors bring a bit of Sumter to connoisseurs of quality fruit in Montreal, Toronto, Detroit, Chicago and New York, to name a few destinations.

- Pawley's Island's "gray man" was multiplied by 13 recently when 13 gray-headed members of the Sumter Boys' High School Class of 1921 gathered at Pawley's for a weekend reunion. Henry Shelor of Sumter invited his classmates to the H.J. Harby house at Pawley's. Attending were: Henry McLaurin, Vivian Weldon, Hubert Lawrence, Turner Davis, Desaussure Edmunds, Randolph Guthrie, Charles Cuttino, Blanding Upshur, Bill DuBose, John A. Blackwell and Harry Ryttenberg. Absent members contacted via a telephone conference call were George Wray, Ed Buck, Pinckney Bradley, Harrell Whilden and Bill Moran.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

March 26 - April 1

- Lee County Council's redistricting committee and local NAACP members say they are close to a compromise on the redrawing of Lee County's political lines. Both parties met to discuss the most recent proposal made by the council committee. Andrew Moses, a local member of the NAACP, said, "We are close to where we need to be as far as having a plan we can agree on." The NAACP and Lee County Council have been butting heads since last year over the redrawing of county council and school board voting lines.

- Success implies responsibility. That was the message delivered by top-flight black business executives to 35 Morris College men during the school's annual Career Awareness and Planning Seminar. The executives told the students that giving back to their community - even while they're still in school - should be an immediate goal of black students. For 25 years, business executives have converged on Morris College for the historically black school's career planning seminar.

- It was wet, windy and cold, but a bit of history was made at Sumter Memorial Stadium. The first-year Sumter High School girls' soccer team played its first-ever home match against Spring Valley. The results on the scoreboard weren't what head coach Heather Meeds desired, a 6-0 defeat. However, the preseason goal that was set for the fledgling team was met. "We're improving, and that's the key," Meeds said. "Our goal is to improve in every one of our games."

- Robert E. Lee's Jason Welch and Laurence Manning's Layne Osteen locked up in a classic pitching duel on a cool, wet, windy afternoon. On this day, it would be Welch who would claim the advantage as the right-hander pitched his first high school no-hitter, striking out 12 and walking only two batters. The Cavaliers managed to put three hits on the board and defeated the Swampcats 1-0.

- Families, organizations, churches and schools must work together to provide a brighter future for all children. That was the message that Maggie Wallace Glover - the first African-American woman elected to the South Carolina Senate - gave at the YWCA of the Upper Lowlands' annual membership meeting and Women of Achievement Awards Banquet. The YWCA recognized six local women who have made outstanding contributions to their community, state and nation. Their selection was based on the impact of their contributions on others, especially in their respective area, their service as a role model for women and the enduring value of their achievements.

- Seven Sumter High School students have been selected by audition to attend the South Carolina Governor's School for the Arts at Furman University. The Governor's School for the Arts is a comprehensive, five-week program for those students showing artistic abilities in one of five categories including dance, drama, instrumental music, vocal music and visual arts. Students must undergo an extensive interview and/or performance in front of a panel of judges to be accepted into the program, which is open to high school seniors and juniors. Those students from Sumter High and their artistic area of study are: Heather de los Santos, creative writing; Dorinda E. Thomas, dance; Michael P. Oubre, trumpet; Timothy E. Sharper, trumpet; Dion Muldrow, tuba; Eric J. Belin, voice, tenor; and Eric L. Abrams, visual arts.

- The framed aerial photographs that hang thickly on the walls of Phil Ballinger's office tell the story of Sumter County's transformation - the transformation over the last 30 years of a largely agricultural economy to one in which more than one-fourth of the workers are employed by industrial plants. The color photographs, some dim or now faded, are of the plants of companies that Ballinger - as president and CEO of the Greater Sumter Chamber of Commerce for the last 23 years - played a large, many say decisive, role in luring here. The 70-year-old Ballinger, who has served as the county's chief industrial recruiter since assuming the professional leadership of the Chamber in 1970, is retiring.

- A polished, fast-paced revue was given three performances at patriot Hall by the Freed Spirits Dance Theatre. Modern, tap, ballet, Latin, rap, boogie and jazz routines were smartly performed, as choreographed (mostly) by Andrea Freed-Levenson. The show, called "This is Our Moment," got off to a rousing start with "Wilomania," in which the 17 Freed Spirits, in cowgirl attire that could glow in the dark, expertly twirled lariats. This was one of two numbers from the current Broadway musical, "The Will Rogers Follies. "

- Bertha Ellison has always wanted to own her own home. This spring - thanks to a score of students who traded in their traditional week of beach parties and sunbathing for tool belts and splinters - she's going to get her wish. About 100 students from nine universities and colleges gave up their spring break to help Ellison build her three-bedroom, 1,110-square-foot house in Sumter.

- Shawn Thomas expected a typical performance at an untypical track meet when he walked into the Sumter Memorial Stadium for the Sumter Optimist Relays. And when it was all over, he sprinted away with three first-place medals and was named Male Athlete of the Meet. Was that a typical Thomas performance? "Just a regular day," the Sumter High sprinter joked. "I knew things were going to be tough today, but I felt confident about our relay teams."

- Video poker machine opponents scored three victories last week in the state Legislature in their effort to ban what they call the "crack cocaine" of gambling addicts. The state Senate this week agreed to regulate the payoffs of the machines, to hold a referendum on the continuation of the industry and to allow each county to decide if it wants the machines to operate there. But mere regulation and voter input won't satisfy opponents: They want the Legislature to outlaw the machines.

- State and local fire officials are trying to determine what sparked a blaze that gutted eight businesses in the Lost Creek Plaza on S.C. 441. Sumter Fire Chief Eli Parnell said the 3:47 a.m. blaze did an estimated $350,000 in damage to the building alone. No damage estimates were available on the contents of the businesses damaged in the fire. "We have not yet determined the cause or origin of this fire," said an exhausted Richard Newman, a Sumter Fire Department battalion chief. "We are in the process of determining that now."