Officials urge city to clean up before festival; coach seeks 400th win

Posted 2/18/18

75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Sept. 11 - Sept. 17

- Lt. H. N. Stelle, 23, whose wife is the former Miss Virginia Yates of Sumter, was killed Thursday afternoon in the crash of a plane at Dale Mabry Field, Tallahassee, Florida, The Item was informed. …

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Officials urge city to clean up before festival; coach seeks 400th win


75 YEARS AGO - 1943

Sept. 11 - Sept. 17

- Lt. H. N. Stelle, 23, whose wife is the former Miss Virginia Yates of Sumter, was killed Thursday afternoon in the crash of a plane at Dale Mabry Field, Tallahassee, Florida, The Item was informed. Mrs. Stelle, Mrs. Otis Kirby and Mr. J. B. Davis left for Arlington, Virginia, where the funeral services will be held. Lt. Stelle had been an instructor at the Florida Field. He had taken his basic cadet training at Shaw Field and graduated at Spence Field, Moultrie, Georgia. He and Miss Yates were married in February of this year. Surviving in addition to his wife is his mother, Mrs. Annette Stelle of Arlington.

- The spirit of appreciation in the real American was beautifully portrayed by one hundred and more ladies as they assembled at the Center and motored out to Shaw Field to entertain the black troops on this historic Labor Day. Joy and laughter were the keynotes, and their melody echoed throughout the evening. The recreational personnel sponsored this entertainment. The refreshment and decoration committees were headed by Susie Richardson and Bessie Sampson, who also served as hostesses for this enjoyable occasion.

- Sumter High School's football squad has only four more practice days in which to prepare for the opening game here next Friday night against Lake View, but it will be the middle of next week before Coach Johnnie McMillian will have any idea of how he will line the boys up against the strong visiting team. Tackles, ends and an extra blocking back are providing the Gamecock mentor with most of his worries. There are some 20 sophomores out for practice, and it is hoped these will remain out for some must be called on as reserves. This squad tapered down the rough work the past week and worked on precision tackling and blocking.

- One hundred and 42 stations of the Blue Network will carry the coast-to-coast broadcast of Tony Pastor and his famous orchestra from Shaw Field on Thursday evening. A. T. Health Jr., of the Carolina Coca Cola Bottling Co. of Sumter, said today that Tony Pastor will salute the men and women of Shaw Field with a three-hour program of dance music, 25 minutes of which will be broadcast throughout the nation. Tony Pastor and his orchestra are being sent to Shaw Field for a personal appearance by "The Victory Parade of Spotlight Bands," heard six nights a week from Army, Navy, Marine, Coast Guard and Merchant Marine Bases and from war production areas.

- One of the largest crowds ever to gather at the Cadet Club turned out for the chicken barbeque supper Saturday night, Mrs. R. C. Williams, club hostess, said today. Six hundred cadets, their wives or friends were on hand for the meal which was served in the garden in back of the clubhouse. The barbecue had been prepared at the cadet mess. The supper was the second event in the new series planned for Shaw Field aviation cadets. The winter entertainment program opened with a formal dance Sept. 4, and dances will be held each fortnight, the second one scheduled for this coming Saturday night. On alternate weekends, informal parties will be held.

- R. M. Cooper, general manager of the South Carolina Public Service (Santee-Cooper) Authority announced that the Board of Directors at a recent meeting had approved the immediate purchase by the authority of $200,000 worth of war bonds in the "Back the Attack" campaign now under way. Funds from the contingency fund will be used for the purchase of these bonds which will be equally credited against the quotas of each of the 16 counties of the state.

- The University of South Carolina Gamecock football squad speeded workouts today in preparation for a scrimmage under the lights with the 59th Signal Battalion 11. Acting Athletic Director Furman Cannon said the small staff of volunteer coaches, drawn from university personnel, felt the Bird squad was "rounding into shape and learning their plays." The scrimmage game was slated as the 59th's final heavy workout before the meeting Saturday night with the Newberry Indians, who continued their hourly afternoon workouts under Coach Billy Laval at Newberry in preparation for the contest, their opener.

- C. B. Dailey, traveling agent of the Atlantic Greyhound Lines, and R. M. Twyman, traveling passenger agent and auditor of the Queen City Coach Co., were in the city today making final plans for the opening of the new bus station at the Claremont Hotel. Oct. 6 was the date now set for the opening; due to the scarcity of materials, the opening has been delayed. E. S. Dunn will be manager of the bus station.

- The state highway commission said today it would award a contract for sheet asphalt surfacing of five miles of road near Shaw Field in Sumter County. The commission said a bid of $79,821 by E. D. Sloan of Greenville was lowest of five submitted.

50 YEARS AGO - 1968

May 13 - 18

- Work progresses steadily on Interstate 95, due for completion to the outskirts of Manning by the summer of 1970. The new highway completely bypasses Manning. It crosses Highway 301 four miles south of Manning on Summerton Highway. Citizens of Manning, planning now to offset problems caused by the sudden end to tourist traffic flowing through the town when the new highway officially opens, are pleased over the construction of three motels at the intersection of I-95 and Highway 301.

- The public is reminded that night services provided by the adult services department, Sumter County Library, are limited chiefly to public use of the library for reading and browsing, self-study and to circulation of books and other materials. After 6 p.m., the department's reference desk is closed, and generally, direct reference and readers' advisory services are not available. Library personnel stationed at the charge desk will, when possible, offer such reference and readers' advisory services as time and circumstances permit.

- Billy Baker evened things up for the Fords at Sumter Speedway on Saturday night. Baker grabbed the pole position of the 40-lap late model main event, led the whole race and roared to victory in his 1956 Ford. The New Zion native's triumph made it two wins for the Fords and two for the Chevrolets at the Sumter track thus far this season.

- The annual banquet to honor all athletic teams of Mayewood High School will be held in the Mayewood gymtorium. Speaker for the affair will be Billy Tiller, assistant football coach at Presbyterian College. Awards and letters will be presented to the members of the Rebel football, basketball (boys and girls), baseball and track teams. Handling the event will be J. Harold Wilson, outgoing president of the Mayewood Booster Club. A.O. Smith will take over as president for next year.

- City Council learned yesterday morning that the Federal Water Pollution Control Administration had approved a $102,530 federal grant for a sewage project in western Sumter. Sen. Ernest F. Hollings and Rep. Thom S. Gettys had informed Mayor Robert E. Graham that the project received final approval in Washington, D.C. The $315,700 project, to be funded 70 percent locally, will include laying of sewage collection lines along Second Mill, installation of a lift station near Liberty Street and doubling the capacity of the existing treatment plant at Green Swamp.

- Four Shaw personnel were among the students honored last week at graduation ceremonies for Class 68-3 of the Tactical Air Command NCO Academy. Master Sgt. Leonard J. Klemas of the 363rd Field Maintenance Squadron received the Speech Award, and Master Sgt. William B. Lancaster, also from the 363rd FMS, graduated in the top 10 percent of the class. Other graduates from Shaw were Master Sgt. David M. Shuler of the 363rd Supply Squadron and Tech. Sgt. Charles H. Lee of the 363 Combat Support Group.

- The South Carolina Indian Museum was officially opened Feb. 17 on Highway 301 about 16 miles south of Manning on Summerton Highway. The attractively modern building is located on a site actually occupied at one time by the Santee Indians. The site adjoins Cantey Bay, a portion of Lake Marion, and has picnicking facilities provided along the shoreline. Historic Fort Watson is nearby.

- Sumterites were urged to undertake a vigorous clean-up and beautification campaign prior to the Iris Festival, scheduled for the last week in May and expected to attract thousands of out-of-town visitors, during a meeting of community leaders. The clean-up plea came on the heels of a report by G.B. (Mac) McEwen, chairman of the Iris Festival, stressing that emphasis on this year's event would be placed on the natural beauty of the iris and gardens rather than on commercialization.

- Harry E. Wilkinson Jr., president of The National Bank of South Carolina, announced the extension of the "First Bank Card Plan" to the Sumter, Manning and Bishopville markets. "First Bank Card" is the successor to "Southern Charge Plan," which was recently merged with a major North Carolina credit card plan. The merger brought together over 5,000 participating merchants in North Carolina and South Carolina, and "First Bank Card" now offers its convenient retail services to 400,000 card holders in the two states.

- Sumter City Manager Wade S. Kolb officially named Leslie Griffin, 39, as Sumter City police chief at a supper meeting attended by members of the city police force. Griffin, a 15-year Sumter Police Department veteran, has been acting chief since the resignation of former Chief Clarence N. Kirkland. Hired as a patrolman on the force in 1950, he was promoted to detective a year later. In July 1959, he was promoted to shift lieutenant in charge of an eight-man shift and in 1965 was appointed assistant chief.

25 YEARS AGO - 1993

Feb. 12 - 18

- Just when his team needed him most, Hillcrest's Ray Allen showed why he is the top high school player in South Carolina. With Spring Valley defenders literally hanging on his uniform, the 6-5 senior blew through the Viking defense for 11 third-quarter points to stretch his team's slim four-point advantage to an 11-point bulge. The rest of the Wildcats did the bulk of the work in the fourth quarter en route to a 62-54 victory that clinched at least a tie for the Region IV-4A title.

- Covenant Place of Sumter has reached 82 percent of its goal to raise donations and pledges in order to begin construction of the nonprofit senior living community, according to a report presented to the board of directors by Glen Sharp, president and chairman. Sharp pointed out even though $1,380,000 has already been secured through donations and pledges, about $290,000 must be raised before groundbreaking can occur at the site, which is at the intersection of Carter and Terry roads.

- At the urging of a local minister, Sumter School District 17 trustees will hold a public hearing before giving final consideration to a policy that would ban prayer at school-sponsored events. The decision came after trustees unanimously gave preliminary approval to the policy. District policies must be approved on two readings. District 17 board Chairwoman Dr. Laura Ayers said she hopes the hearing can be held before next month's board meeting.

- ShawFest '93, Shaw Air Force Base's annual open house, has been cancelled. The event was scheduled for May 8. Some of the money, people and resources normally earmarked for ShawFest, however, will be directed to supporting Sumter's Iris Festival, scheduled for May 29-31. Extensive repairs to the ramp system on the base's flight line, scheduled for the spring, would make it impossible to accommodate the display aircraft that normally fill the ramp area during the event. Another factor was the unavailability of the aerial demonstration team, the Air Force's Thunderbirds.

- As Ronnie Burgess prepares for his seventh season as a Sumter High School football coach, he finds that he has come full circle. Gamecock head coach Tom Lewis announced that Burgess, who had been in charge of the junior varsity program, will take over as varsity wide receivers coach. Burgess replaces David Waldkirch, who resigned. Burgess began his football career as a quarterback at Sumter High before moving on to Wake Forest University followed by two seasons with the Green Bay Packers of the NFL before returning to Sumter High.

- Manning coach John Thames will go after his 400th career win as his Lady Monarchs play at home against Kingstree. The veteran mentor amassed his 399th at home against North Charleston as his team defeated the Lady Cougars 52-40. That improved the 1992-93 version of the Lady Monarchs to 18-4 overall and 8-2 in Region VII-3A competition. That victory put Manning in a first-place tie with North Charleston and Holly Hill in the fight for the region title.

- The Sumter County Legislative Delegation has asked state senators to kill a bill that would combine the county's election commission and voter registration board. Disagreements between the delegation and Sumter County Council about the bill and how it came about prompted the move, state Rep. E.B. "Mac" McLeod Jr., D-Pinewood, said. The bill, which was introduced by McLeod and given initial approval in the state House, is expected to be tabled in the Senate, which would kill the measure.

- The prices of corn, soybeans and wheat are set here for the entire free world. The value of soybean contracts alone traded each day surpasses the value of all stocks traded daily on the New York Stock Exchange. It is, in itself, one of the most fascinating places one can visit to view open free trade at its best. Twenty-one farmers and agri-business people from the Sumter County Marketing Club visited the Chicago Board of Trade several weeks ago for the purpose of increasing their knowledge of the agriculture futures market. The club sponsored the trip along with assistance from Farm Credit Service and National Bank of South Carolina.

- Call them the "Twin Towers" of Dalzell. Thomas Sumter Academy's Lacey Griffin, 6'2", and Rebecca Huggins, 5'8", seem like two tall towers to their PAC opponents. They are also two reasons the Lady Generals are 13-8 this season. But they don't see it that way. "Together!" said Huggins. "That's what we shout during the game. We say that after a huddle and everything. Together is not something we came up with this year. We do everything as a team, and that's why it works."

- Sumter School District 2 is looking for a few dozen good men - and women - to help the district develop a better picture of its facility needs and public image. District 2 trustees voted last month to use focus groups to help set priorities for improving the district's facilities. Now, they're looking for volunteers. Eight groups of District 2 residents will be asked to meet for 75 minutes for one discussion about the district and its building needs. The information will help the district formulate the specifics of a bond referendum it plans to hold to ask residents to pay for at least one new school.