75 YEARS AGO - 1945
Feb. 23 - March 1
- Sgt. William H. Seale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Seale of this city, is home on a 30-day leave, having just returned from overseas. "Bill" has served overseas with the famous First Infantry division for …
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- Sgt. William H. Seale, son of Mr. and Mrs. Julian Seale of this city, is home on a 30-day leave, having just returned from overseas. "Bill" has served overseas with the famous First Infantry division for 31 months and has participated in seven major campaigns. He fought in Africa, Sicily, Italy and the ETO. He was with the first contingent that landed in Normandy on D-Day. Three days later he was wounded and evacuated immediately to an English hospital, where he remained for three months before rejoining his outfit just before the savage battles of Aachen Forest and the capture of Aachen.
- Ruth Morrison, black dramatic soprano, who is a native of Wedgefield and who is trying for the Marian Anderson music scholarship, will render four selections at the First Presbyterian Church. The singer will appear under the sponsorship of the Senior Girls Sunday School class and will be heard in the main auditorium of the church. Other girls and the men's classes, along with the general public, have been invited to the concert.
- Three semifinal bouts leading to the National Junior AAU championships will take place in an amateur boxing tournament in Sumter. Richard Peterson of Camp MacKall, North Carolina, and Charles Wheeler of Shaw Field, Sumter, meet in the heavyweight headliners for the right to face Ed Zednik of Camp MacKall. Zednik, winner of the Carolinas Golden Gloves crown, advanced on a forfeit from a fellow paratrooper, Lewis Fender. The other two bouts pit four light-heavies, Harry Levenbaski against Jack Hall, both of MacKall, and Cliff Haskins of Shaw Field against Lovell Perkins of Myrtle Beach.
- With Army casualties steadily increasing, General of the Army George C. Marshall, chief of staff, U.S. Army, has announced the opening of a recruiting drive to enlist WACs for the newly created Women's Army Corps medical units, for service at the Army's 60 general hospitals in this country. Women qualified for training as medical and surgical technicians, and other skilled women are urgently needed for these hospital units to aid in the care and rehabilitation of returned soldiers. More than 8,000 additional WACs are required for this purpose.
- Clyde Lucas and his nationally known orchestra, lately remodeled, will make the music for the graduation dance of Cadet Class 45-C, it was announced last night. The dance will be held from 9 p. m. to midnight on Thursday, March 8, at Sunset Country Club, just a short drive from downtown Sumter.
- The fire department was called to the Brooklyn-Cooperage Co. last night, where a fire had broken out in the dry kiln division. The men began fighting the fire at 9:45 p.m. and were still struggling with the blaze at press time today, although it was under control. Fire Chief E. H. Lynam said that three kilns burned during the night, and all of the kilns were full of lumber. Losses have not been estimated.
- The second-annual South Carolina high school Invitational Class A basketball tournament will be held in Sumter next weekend, March 1-3, with nine teams entered, it was announced today. Teams to compete for the Palmetto championship include Spartanburg, Florence, Charleston, Greenwood, Olympia, Columbia, Sumter, Camden and Greenville. Drawings were held this morning in The Item office with Dooley Matthews, Sumter coach; William Henry Shaw, superintendent of the city schools, and J. E. McKnight, of The Item, present.
- Theo (Mack) Pringle, age 53, died at Tuomey Hospital after an illness of a few days. Mr. Pringle was the owner of the Rainbow Caf along with brother James Pringle. He had been in the caf business in Sumter for the past 25 years and had made scores of friends here and across the state.
- Pvt. Frank A. Warren, son of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas R. Warren of Sumter, has been missing in action since Jan. 4 in Belgium, according to word received here. He entered service on Dec. 8, 1942, receiving basic training at Camp Clairborne, Louisiana, Camp Howze, Texas, and Fort Meade, Maryland. He has been overseas since last June.
- Eleven counties in South Carolina, where the highest incidence of malaria has been found, will be given the fatal shock of their lives April 1, when the state board of health and the United States public health service launch their carefully planned spray blitz. The eleven counties are Calhoun, Orangeburg, Berkeley, Williamsburg, Georgetown, Charleston, Sumter, Colleton, Hampton, Beaufort and Clarendon.
- Cpl. Charles F. Shipley Jr., USMCR, arrived here last week for a 30-day furlough with his parents, Mr. and Mrs. C. F. Shipley. It was his first visit home since June 28, 1943. In the interim, Cpl. Shipley has served overseas, taking part in the Pacific invasions of the Marshall Islands and Saipan. He was wounded on Saipan on June 18, 1944, and since then has been in various hospitals in the Pacific. He was returned to the states a month ago and is now stationed at the Naval Hospital, Pensacola, Florida.
50 YEARS AGO - 1969
Oct. 26 - Nov. 1
- McCrory-McLellan-Green (MMG) variety stores will open a new McCrory store in Sumter on Oct. 30, it was announced by John F. King, senior vice president of the company. The new store is located in Wesmark Plaza. King also announced the appointment of Colin E. Gibbs as manager of the new McCrory store. The new McCrory store will incorporate some of the most modern methods of merchandise selection and display and will carry several distinct merchandise lines at sensible prices to meet the family's shopping needs.
- The U.S. Command today awaited further work from the Viet Cong on its plans for the release of three American soldiers. In a broadcast by its Liberation Radio, the Viet Cong said it would free the three GIs as a demonstration of its "lenient and humane" policies. The U.S. Command identified the men as Spec. 4 Willie A. Watkins of Sumter; Pfc. James H. Strickland Jr. of Dunn, North Carolina; and Pfc. Coy R. Tinsley of Cleveland, Tennessee. All were members of the American Division.
- For Coach Steve Satterfield and his undefeated Edmunds High School Gamecocks, high noon comes this Friday night, which also happens to be the night of goblins. Not that Satterfield's superstitious, mind you, but he'd probably just as soon not be facing Lancaster for the Region 3-AAAA title on Halloween. There's one advantage, though: The Gamecocks will be on their home grounds for the first time in six weeks. Few suspected six weeks ago that Satterfield's squad would return home with a perfect record intact.
- Jim Munn and Harry Demosthenes will square off for the Sunset Country Club's Men's Championship as both survived semifinal matches in recent play. Munn topped E. H. Moses III, 2 and 1. Moses is the golfer who eliminated Lou Degenhardt, who has dominated club championships at Sunset for so many years. Demosthenes defeated Jim Puryear, 5 and 4, to make the finals. The two finalists must play a 36-hole match.
- A cutback in military personnel and operations across the United States is expected to be felt at Shaw Air Force Base. It was announced by the Pentagon that five aircraft and 107 military personnel will be cut from the RB-EB-66 combat crew training squadron. This will probably affect the 4417th Combat Crew Training Squadron at Shaw. The 9th Air Force Headquarters will also lose 53 military and seven civilians in the cutback.
- Two members of the Sumter Airport Commission, Chairman Bruce Campbell and Treasurer Loring Baker, outlined a proposed airport expansion program to the Sumter County Commission. The two men told the commission that the state has appropriated $24,000 for Sumter from a special maintenance fund, and the money may be used in any manner desired by the Airport Commission. They asked the county and city to consider matching the state funds on a 50-50 basis to carry out several projects at the airport.
- The Board of Trustees of Sumter School District 17 announced that a new school desegregation plan for the 1970-71 school year has been submitted to the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare, and negotiations are currently taking place. "Under the most recent plan, children would be assigned on the basis of geographical zones, and the integrity of the neighborhood school will be preserved, insofar as possible," school officials said.
- The boys in a cottage at the State Hospital in Columbia have been adopted by the volunteers of the Sumter County Mental Health Association and other local civic clubs. Several clubs during the year have given parties and gifts to the boys in the cottage. Their quarters have been brightened up with the help of members of the Brewington Home-makers Extension Club. Other organizations have donated various items.
- Billy Ray Priest, captain in charge of the traffic division of the Sumter Police Department since 1954, will assume duties as Bennettsville's chief of police. Priest joined the Sumter Police Department in 1947 and received training in Sumter, Columbia, Rock Hill, Kingstree and Brevard, North Carolina.
- The No. 1-ranked team in the state, Edmunds High School's Gamecocks, are sitting on top of the rankings - with an angry mob of Lancaster Hurricanes hoping to knock them off in a Region 4A game. According to Edmunds High Coach Steve Satterfield, "All of the marbles are in the ring for this one." The winner of the match probably will be the Region III Conference champion.
- The Sons of the American Legion, Flight No. 15, had as their guest speaker for the October meeting Chief Leslie Griffin of the Sumter Police Department. Chief Griffin showed a film on police work and gave an interesting and informative talk to the flight. Chief Griffin is a former commander of the Sumter American Legion Post 15.
- Fourteen downtown Sumter firms will observe a "Harvest Festival of Values" with special buys being offered. The promotion will feature clerks dressed in old-fashioned costumes for the event. Display windows of stores on Main Street will be decorated for Halloween by local groups and clubs.
- Julian Schwartz, one of Sumter's leading merchants, died early this morning at Tuomey Hospital after an illness. Mr. Schwartz was born in Sumter on March 27, 1893, the son of Isaac Schwartz and Edith Solomons Schwartz and was a lifelong resident of this city. He received his formal education in the Sumter city schools and at Washington & Lee University. He was a veteran of World War I. He was a former member of the Kiwanis Club and a member of the Sumter Assembly and Sunset Country Club.
- Shaw has a new Airman of the Month in A1C James B. Trent of the USAF Regional Hospital. Being in the spotlight is nothing new to October's Airman of the Month. Airman Trent was a squad leader in the 3764th Training Squadron at Lackland Military Training Center, Texas, and a flight leader with the 3794th Medical Student Squadron at the Sheppard Technical Training Center, Texas.
25 YEARS AGO - 1994
July 28 - Aug. 3
- The number of major crimes in Sumter and Lee counties dropped from 1992 to 1993 but rose in Clarendon County, according to a report released by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division. The decrease in Sumter and Lee counties in the total number of crimes tracked by the report was largely due to a drop in property crimes rather than violent crimes. Overall, crimes reported in Sumter County fell by 13.3 percent. In Lee, they fell by 13.7 percent. But all four violent crimes tracked by the report, except robbery, did decrease in Sumter County.
- Like Mexican jumping beans, kids bounced from seat to seat on the bus, hung over the backs to chat with neighbors and whipped their heads around to view passing attractions. They vibrated as only a group of excited third- and fourth-graders can. A seven-week pilot program called "My Community and Me" takes participants from local schools around Sumter. They are accompanied by Jo Anne Morris and volunteer chaperones; the kids meet role models and learn about their community. Sumter Volunteers director Morris proposed the program to School District 17, which funded it with a "Project Defy" federal grant administered by Shaw.
- A new Manning lumber company announced it plans to expand its operations, adding at least 25 jobs at its newly purchased facility. Southwoods Lumber and Millwork Inc., which purchased the 40-year-old Stuckey Lumber Co. of Manning Inc., will create a new manufacturing division in addition to operating the lumber-drying kiln that Stuckey has in the past. All 23 Stuckey employees were retained by Southwoods, which plans to hire at least 25 additional employees, most of whom will work in the manufacturing division.
- Sumter's lofty team batting average and abundance of runs scored failed to impress Tommy Fambrough, who handcuffed the P-15's on three hits to lead Florence to a 4-0 win at South Florence High School. The Florence win evened the best-of-five American Legion baseball state semifinal series at one game apiece with Game 3 scheduled at Riley Park.
- The Sumter P-15's took a while to score, and they did their scoring all in one inning, but it was enough to come away with a win. Sumter didn't score until the sixth, but it put six runs on the board as it rallied to defeat Florence 6-4 in the third game of their American Legion baseball state playoffs semifinal series at Riley Park. Sumter now leads the best-of-five series 2-1.
- Voters in Sumter, Lee and Clarendon counties apparently have their voter registration cards in hand and are ready to go. The number of registered voters in the three-county area has risen considerably since the 1992 general election - at least 12 percent in each county, based on 1990 U.S. Census figures. In Sumter County, 42,014 residents, about 57 percent of the voting-age population, are currently registered to vote, according to voter registration and 1990 U.S. Census figures. That's a 12 percent increase from the 37,475 residents registered to vote in the November 1992 general election.
- Some often-quoted person once said, "You can't teach an old dog new tricks." The obvious remedy to this problem would be to begin the lesson while the dog is still young. That is the task of the growing number of youth ministers in the Sumter area, who seek to reach younger parishioners before they become too set in their ways to change for the better. A few years ago, only a few churches employed people who worked specifically with young members. Now, youth ministers are almost standard fixtures.
- It is an everyday act of optimism: A letter drops into the darkness of the blue curbside box, the lid clanks shut behind it, and in the mind of the sender, wherever that letter is going, it's as good as there. But is it really? Roughly one out of five letters doesn't arrive on time. A few never arrive. This year a record amount of mail was delayed, and a chorus of complaints rose up from the disillusioned. "Of course, complaints about the post office are as perennial as complaints about the weather. But the sun has no competition. The U.S. Postal Service is losing customers. The postal service has to compete against fax machines, computer e-mail and electronic money transfers which are becoming commonplace.
- Many neighborhood watch organizations ban together to try to shut out crime when it rears its head on their streets. But a neighborhood on the southern side of Sumter has decided to head crime off at the pass - before it makes its way into their usually tranquil community. "Most communities wait until things get out of hand," said Samuel Brown, president of Guignard Park's Crime Watch Association. "We want to eliminate things before they happen." The residents of Guignard Park have been having monthly meetings with Sgt. John Herriott of the Sumter County Sheriff's Department to discuss different ways they can keep their three-street neighborhood safe.
- As the assistant executive director of the South Carolina High School League and a former high school teacher and coach, Ronnie Matthews watched with interest as Sumter School District 17 considered eliminating the athletics programs from its middle schools. "Their decision not only had an impact on this county, but state-wide as well," Matthews said of the district school board, which did phase out athletics for financial purposes before reinstating it when the necessary funds were found. "That's not the first time this has happened. Maybe it is in South Carolina, but not over the country. It's happening all over."
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