75 YEARS AGO - 1944
May 20 - May 26
- Lt. H. George Huettig, whose wife, the former Miss Bea Sharpton, resides in Sumter, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism of an extraordinary nature while on aerial flight. The award …
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- Lt. H. George Huettig, whose wife, the former Miss Bea Sharpton, resides in Sumter, has been awarded the Distinguished Flying Cross for heroism of an extraordinary nature while on aerial flight. The award was made May 8, only a month after Lt. Huettig received the Air Medal for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight. The pilot of a B-24 bomber and a member of the 15th Air Force which operates in the Mediterranean theater, Lt. Huettig received his basic training at Shaw Field and later won his wings at Stuttgart, Arkansas.
- Mayor F. B. Creech, who has served the City of Sumter as mayor for the past 12 years, announced that he would not be a candidate for re-election for a fourth term. In a letter to The Item, which was addressed to the citizens of Sumter, Mayor Creech said, "I feel that I have served long enough. I appreciate the many kindnesses shown me." A mayor and three members of City Council must be elected this year. No candidates have announced for mayor or city council.
- Memorial services for Pvt. Pete Way of Summerton, who was killed in action on the Italian front a few weeks ago, will be held at 5 o'clock at Andrews Chapel Methodist Church.
- The graduation for Shaw Field's 26th class of aviation cadets, 44-C, will be held at the armory here. Dancing will get under way at 8:30, and music will be furnished by the post orchestra. A formal review will be staged at the field and a banquet, at which awards to the outstanding members will be made the following night.
- Parents of pupils who will enter the first grade in the city schools next fall are asked to register these pupils in the principal's office in Central School on Tuesday and Wednesday between the hours of 9 and 4. Birth certificates should be presented when a child is registered. Children who are not six years old prior to Dec. 1, 1944, will not be registered. Parents are urged to attend to this matter promptly, as it is impossible for school authorities to plan wisely for next year unless it is known how many children will enter first grade.
- Charter members of the YMCA Health Club have been invited to meet at the Y at 6:15 this afternoon to inspect the club's facilities and hear explanation of its plans for operation. Beginning soon the club will open for operation daily from 3 to 9 p.m. Letters from J. Cliff Brown, chairman of the Health Club committee, inviting those who already have signed up as members to the open house were mailed out. "The Health Club committee is delighted to welcome you as a charter member," the communication read in part, "and urges you to come regularly to this modern health center. It will add zest and physical security."
- Shaw Field's Fliers, with a new shortstop and a band to inspire them, will seek to hit the comeback trail at Municipal Park when they take on the 347th Infantry nine from Fort Jackson. The Shaw band, under the baton of Chief Warrant Officer Robert Simpson, will play from 7:45 until game time. A loud speaking system will be in operation. The 347th, which recently joined the Servicemen's League, holds third place among the loop teams.
- Joe Ramsey, Robert Galloway and Russell Hurst led the top-place Dragons to an 11-4 victory over the Eagles in the YMCA Centennial Softball League. Hugh Humphries rapped out a homer for the Dragons in the third inning. George Nichols and Harold Swann played well for the Eagles.
- A city baseball team, given the support of city officials and leading businessmen, will soon be seen in action in Municipal Ball Park. The team is rounding into first-class playing condition and should be ready to go all out within another week, one of the organizers said. Money to finance the organization and additional players, however, are being sought.
- Construction of Tuomey Hospital's new wing is scheduled to begin on July 3. If all goes well, the job will be completed by Nov. 4, six months from the date the FWA grant was made, May 4. Robert LaFaye and George LaFaye Jr., architects of Columbia who are designing the wing, were in the city yesterday.
- Swan Lake-Iris Gardens were very beautiful last week and were at the peak of bloom Sunday when crowds thronged the place. Throughout last week there were many visitors daily. Last Sunday the attendance was at its maximum, many coming from other sections of the state, especially Columbia, Camden, Florence and other comparatively nearby communities. The gasoline and tire shortage worked against the customary overflowing throng of flower lovers.
50 YEARS AGO - 1969
Jan. 19 - 25
- Edmunds High School's girls and junior varsity boys suffered defeats at the hands of Lower Richland teams. The girls were defeated by 55-38 while the junior varsity fell in another close contest, 41-35. Betty Stuckey flipped in 14 points and Carol Catoe 12 to lead the Lady Gamecocks in the loss. Art Beasley was the only player in double figures for the J. V. Team with 16.
- Sumter swimmer Cindy Ogle turned in an exceptional performance, setting two new state age group records while leading her team to a fourth-place standing after one week of competition in the S.C. Indoor Age Group Swimming Championships. Both of Cindy's marks were in the freestyle for 9-10 swimmers. In the 50-yard freestyle, she snapped the old record of :32.7 with a time of :32.0. Then she was second in the 100-yard free style event but still broke the state record of 1:13.5 with a time of 1:11.8.
- Antiwar demonstrators, holding their own inauguration, have elevated Richard M. Nixon to the position of No. 1 target for their protests. Even before taking the oath as the 37th president, Nixon was made sharply aware of what life in the bull's-eye is going to be like. Nixon masks and effigies were featured in a counter inaugural parade by 5,000 demonstrators.
- Formal groundbreaking ceremonies for 300 new housing units at Shaw Air Force Base will take place soon. Expected to attend the ceremonies and deliver the main address is First District Congressman L. Mendel Rivers, chairman of the House Armed Services Committee. The new housing costs $5,531,100 and is being constructed by Lake McDonald Co. of Vidalia, Georgia. Completion date is June 1971.
- Two WDXY disc jockeys are "going to jail" from noon Friday through noon Saturday in front of the police department on Main Street to help raise funds for the March of Dimes. Billy Williams and Ken Martin have been "sentenced" to the March of Dimes jail by Tom Winstead, campaign director, for forgetting to contribute to the March of Dimes campaign last year. Bond for the two has been set at $1,440, or a dollar a minute for 14 hours.
- The Sumter County Heart Fund Campaign has begun its annual drive. Doran A. Bramlett, president of the Sumter County Heart Unit, announced that the campaign will be conducted throughout February. Bramlett will be assisted by Col. Hugh Knight as general city chairman and Sheriff I. Byrd Parnell as general county chairman.
- The National Commander of the Salvation Army, Commissioner Samuel Hepburn, will speak at the annual Advisory Board meeting. Commissioner Hepburn, who has filled this position since 1966, also serves as a chairman of the Salvation Army Commissioners' Conference, the national body within the Salvation Army which establishes policy in this country.
- Mrs. Louise M. Beard recently was named administrator of the Hillhaven Convalescent Center according to Fred C. Diamond of Tacoma, Washington, president of Hillhaven Inc. Mrs. Beard, born in Dalzell, has been a resident of Durham for more than 31 years. She graduated from Hillcrest High School and Duke University School of Nursing.
- St. Jude's Padres snapped a three-game losing streak by defeating Dennis, 78-58. Ronald Pickering pumped in 19 points, Frasier Eperson 23 and Calvin Glisson 12 to spark the winners. In jayvee action, Dennis defeated St. Jude 37-35 in three extra periods. Francis Gilliard topped the St. Jude scoring with nine points and also led in rebounding with 12.
- Turning up the heat in the second half, Summerton bombed Manning here 76-34, in a non-conference high school cage game. Summerton outscored the Monarchs in every period and enjoyed a huge cushion the entire contest. Manning was never in the game after the first period. Johnny Touchberry scored 21, Wayne Martin 22 and Danny Chewing and Timms Walker 10 apiece for the winning Blue Streaks.
- Bob Cherry, a coaching veteran here of four years, will be the new head track coach at Edmunds High School. Forty-six candidates turned out for the first regularly scheduled practice for the team which has dominated the sport in the state for the past two years. Cherry, who has been an assistant in jayvee football, was formerly the track assistant to Bill Painter, who will be changing jobs.
- After four hectic months of planning layouts, features and photography, the staff of the EHS Literary magazine will distribute WINTER SIGNATURE, a masterpiece unequaled by any previous school publication. This year the magazine is more creative, featuring a symbolic collage centered about a hornet's nest, a pictorial essay of awareness, tombstone rubbings and a handlettered list of patrons and advertisements.
- Despite a hot performance by William Blyther, the Lincoln Bulldogs suffered their fourth defeat in 16 games, losing to Burke, 79-59. Blyther, a 6-2 senior, scored 23 points and hauled down 10 rebounds to spark the Bulldogs in the losing cause.
- Ah! What a relief it is to be rid of those horrible semester examinations. Last week, the faces of many Lincolnites were so "long" with worry and anxiety that they were almost unbearable to look upon. All over the school the million-dollar question was, "Do you think you passed your test?" But now semester exams are over (until the end of the year) and with the exception of report cards, there is no foreseen element which will destroy the happiness of the school family.
25 YEARS AGO - 1993
Oct. 22 - 28
- Sumter School District 17 may soon build a much-needed third middle school at the intersection of U.S. 401 and U.S. 378/76, in the easternmost area of the district. District 17 Superintendent Dr. Andrena Ray said that district officials are considering buying a large plot of land on the southeast side of the intersection as a possible construction site. The district needs to build a new middle school because overcrowding at its seven elementary schools is expected to quickly affect its two existing middle schools. The district serves nearly 10,000 students.
- Sumter School District 2 trustees met in executive session to discuss contractual matters related to school construction. Trustees met with five small groups for about 30 minutes each during the first part of the meeting. One member of one of the groups did not identify the firm for which he works but said the firm is interested in acting as site manager for the district's construction project. District 2 voters approved a $38.5 million bond referendum that will finance the construction of two new high schools and the re-roofing of 10 other schools.
- Planning consultants bent over backward to convince owners of property around Shaw Air Force Base that a plan to stop new development that encroaches on the base won't prevent them from using their land. The plan recommends changing the zoning designation of some areas around the base and Poinsett Weapons Range, located south of the base off S.C. 261, to lower the maximum allowable density of house construction. Developers would be allowed to finish building existing, platted subdivisions if new houses are built to specifications that would reduce the volume of jet noise audible inside them.
- Hudgens head football coach Bill Pate won a big game in his career thanks to Cougar running back Brandon Campbell. Campbell ran for 271 yards and two touchdowns, and Pate picked up his 200th career victory as Hudgens rolled to a 46-0 win over Wilson Hall at Spencer field.
- A tractor-trailer carrying industrial batteries from a Sumter plant flipped over on U.S. 15 north of Sumter, dumping two of the batteries into Whites Mill Pond. The batteries each contained about a gallon of sulphuric acid, which leaked into the pond, said Ronnie Driggers, an environmental specialist with the state Department of Health and Environmental Control. Driggers said, however, the spill was not large enough to threaten wildlife or residents in the area.
- Jimmy McDuffie Jr. is a friend of the city of Sumter and a lover of children. That explains why he's a tireless promoter of the flora and fauna of Swan Lake. He's also the newest recipient of the Mayor's Community Service Award. Sumter Mayor Steve Creech surprised McDuffie with the award during a ceremony at the Opera House. McDuffie came to the opera House for another reason. He had Swan Lake on his mind again and had come to ask Creech and Sumter City Manager Talmadge Tobias if they had made any progress in getting permission from the state highway department for either a tunnel or a catwalk across Liberty Street that would connect the south and north ends of Swan Lake.
- It is a known fact that turnovers can hurt a football team. Sumter coach Tom Lewis learned that lesson again the hard way as his Gamecocks fumbled three times in a 13-7 loss to Irmo. The cold and rainy weather may have had something to do with the turnovers, but Irmo coach Joe Turbeville credited good defense by his Yellow Jackets.
- In the past eight years, Michael and Cheryl Bennett have visited a lot of churches in South Carolina. Big ones on busy roads and small ones on back roads, apparently unknown to anybody but their congregations - churches representing dozens of denominations and even one of a faith the Bennetts still haven't quite figured out, but which seemed to them vaguely Christian. The Bennetts are Bennett's Church Furniture, a small Sumter County company on U.S. 76/378 west of Shaw Air Force Base that for the past eight years has been making custom-ordered, hard-wood pews, pulpits, tithing stands, chairs for pastors and deacons, communion tables, offering tables - almost anything any church needs, including the low chair-side table holding the water pitcher and glass for the sweat-stained preacher who has just finished a righteous sermon.
- The Sumter High School Marching Band came away with an important win at the Annual Columbia Northeast Festival of Bands. The 160-member band under the direction of Joe Allison and Brian Lambeth placed first and was named the festival's Grand Champion. The festival was billed as a preview to the up-coming State Marching Band Championships competition because it featured competition among the top five finishing bands from last year's state finals. Sumter High beat out reigning state champions, Lexington High School, which finished in second place.
- Sumter Police Chief Harold Johnson has been getting some pretty interesting phone calls lately. First he was called by Washington, D.C., Mayor Sharon Pratt Kelly. Then he received calls from reporters from The Washington Post and The Los Angeles Times. Johnson said the calls have been about Operation Crackdown, a five-day joint effort between city and Sumter County law enforcement officials and local National Guard units that cleaned up the streets of Sumter Johnson appeared on "The Today Show" to talk about Operation Crackdown, a three-day joint effort.
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