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Monday, November 30, 2009


DECEMBER 3, 2009, 9:00 A.M.


ITEM #2)              PUBLIC HEARING
ITEM #3)              ADJOURN

City Council Meeting - Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

City Council Meeting

6:30 p.m.

Colclough Building


1.    CALL TO ORDER………………....……………..….Mayor Pro Tem Ennis Bryant, Sr.

2.    INVOCATION……………………………….….……………….……..Mike Morrow









11.     ADJOURN

Individuals who need auxiliary aids for effective communications concerning the above meeting should contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator, Gregg McCutchen, at 484-5948, 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.  City Council meetings are scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m.; the deadline to be placed on the agenda is Friday at noon before the scheduled meeting.

Sunday, November 29, 2009


Tuesday, December 1st at 6pm, the community will gather to hear Willow Drive Elementary, Kingsbury Elementary and Crestwood High School Chorus along with other special words from the Pilot Club and Council of Garden Club president’s. 

You’ll hear from our Mayor and Shaw AFB Commander as well as others will come together for one of the largest lighted displays in South Carolina; the world famous Swan Lake Iris Gardens! 

The Opening Ceremony is celebrating the 22nd annual Fantasy of Lights and the 30th Anniversary of the Floating Christmas Tree! 

Join Joseph T. McElveen, Jr., Mayor, City of Sumter and Joseph T. Guastella, Commander, 20th Fighter Wing of Shaw AFB as tradition continues with the flipping of the switch to the world famous 150 acre Swan Lake-Iris Gardens as they illuminate with more than a million lights and 100 lighted figures! 

Come to Sumter and see one of the largest FREE lighted displays come alive; Tuesday evening December 1st in Sumter, South Carolina! 

The Fantasy of Lights! 

For more information call the Swan Lake Visitors Center at (803) 436-2640, 800-688-4748 or log on to.

Wednesday, November 25, 2009







ITEM #5)              ADJOURN

Bishopville Police Request Public Assistance In Possible Kidnapping



November 25, 2009

The Bishopville Police Department is requesting assistance from the public in gathering information relating to a possible kidnapping that took place this morning on Main St and Church St.  Chief John E. Ewing Jr. states that multiple witnesses have informed the police department that around 9:30Am an African American female (unknown on age or any other description) was driving either a grey or light brown newer vehicle on Main St.  The vehicle has been described as looking like a Chevy CavalierWhen the vehicle turned on Church St. a tall skinny African American male wearing black and orange baseball cap walked in front of the vehicle.  The male then started beating the female and jumped inside the backseat and the two drove off.  The vehicle was last seen heading North on Hwy 15 towards Darlington County.

Chief Ewing stated “At this point we are not sure if the two individuals know each other or not.  We also have very little information to go on.  We know we are looking for a small grey or light brown newer model vehicle that looks similar to a Chevy Cavalier.  The only description we have on the female is that she is African American. The male is described as being an African American in his late 20’s possibly early 30’s around 6’ and 175Lbs.  The black cap fell off and we are currently sending it to SLED for DNA testing.  Even though we have very little information to go on, we are very concerned about this incident and until we know more, we are investigating this as a kidnapping.

Chief Ewing stated that he hopes that anyone that was in the area that may have seen something will come forward with information that will assist in the investigation.  

Anyone with information pertaining to this incident can contact the Bishopville Police Department at 803-484-5309 or they can call Crimestoppers at 1-888-CRIMESC.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

The History of Thanksgiving in North America

Thanksgiving is closely related to harvest festivals that had long been a traditional holiday in much of Europe. One of the earliest celebrations was had by the Frobisher Expedition in 1578. Another event on December 4, 1619 when 38 colonists from Berkeley Parish in England disembarked in Virginia and gave thanks to God.

U.S. tradition associates the holiday with a meal held in 1621 by the Wampanoag and the Pilgrims who settled in Plymouth, Massachusetts. The Pilgrims did not hold Thanksgiving again until 1623, when it followed a drought, prayers for rain and a subsequent rain shower. Irregular Thanksgivings continued after favorable events and days of fasting after unfavorable ones. Gradually an annual Thanksgiving after the harvest developed in the mid-17th century. This did not occur on any set day or necessarily on the same day in different colonies. Some of the details of the American Thanksgiving story are myths that developed in the 1890s and early 1900s as part of the effort to forge a common national identity in the aftermath of the Civil War and in the melting pot of new immigrants.

Accounts of the 1621 Thanksgiving in Massachusetts
Governor William BradfordOf Plymouth Plantation

    They began now to gather in the small harvest they had, and to fit up their house and dwelling against winter, being all well recovered in health and strength and had all things in good plenty. For as some were thus employed in affairs abroad, others were exercised in fishing, about cod and bass and other fish, of which they took good store, of which every family had their portion. All the summer there was no want; and now began to come in store of fowl, as winter approached, of which this place did abound when they came first (but afterward decreased by degrees). And besides waterfowl there was great store of wild turkeys, of which they took many, besides venison, etc. Besides, they had about a peck of meal a week to a person, or now since harvest, Indian corn to that proportion. Which made many afterwards write so largely of their plenty here to their friends in England, which were not feigned by true reports.
Edward Winslow, in Mourt's Relation:

    Our harvest being gotten in, our governor sent four men on fowling, that so we might after a special manner rejoice together after we had gathered the fruits of our labor. They four in one day killed as much fowl as, with a little help beside, served the company almost a week. At which time, amongst other recreations, we exercised our arms, many of the Indians coming amongst us, and among the rest their greatest king Massasoit, with some ninety men, whom for three days we entertained and feasted, and they went out and killed five deer, which we brought to the plantation and bestowed on our governor, and upon the captain and others. And although it be not always so plentiful as it was at this time with us, yet by the goodness of God, we are so far from want that we often wish you partakers of our plenty.

Like George Washington, many of the Pilgrims were Freemasons, bringing their legacy and destiny to the American continent, locked/encoded in Masonic Symbolism. Washington, the leader of the revolutionary forces in the American Revolutionary War, proclaimed a Thanksgiving Day in December 1777 as a victory celebration honoring the defeat of the British at Saratoga. The Continental Congress proclaimed annual December Thanksgivings from 1777 to 1783. As President, Washington continued the tradition from 1789-1795. President John Adams declared Thanksgivings in 1798 and 1799, and President James Madison declared the holiday twice in 1815.

In 1863, President Abraham Lincoln set the holiday as a regular annual event for the final Thursday of November.

In 1941, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt signing this bill into law.

Sumter Poinsettia Festival Celebrates the Holiday Season

November 21, 2009 
For More Information & Contacts Call
Swan Lake Visitors Center/Swan Lake-Iris Gardens
(800) 688-4748 or (803) 436-2640                                                                                               

As it grows cooler outside, thoughts are turning to the upcoming holiday season as the time approaches for Sumter’s annual Poinsettia Festival.  December 1-18 celebrates the season with a variety of holiday-themed events throughout the community.

The festivities begin with the opening of the Fantasy of Lights on December 1, hosted by the City of Sumter and the Pilot Club.  For the entire month of December, the gardens come alive nightly with a display of twinkling holiday imagery created by more than one million lights.  Santa and Mrs. Claus arrive in grand style on December 4, and on Fridays and Saturdays through December 20, visitors will have a chance to enjoy refreshments and live entertainment at Santa’s Village from 6 to 8 p.m.

Many other exciting holiday programs will take place throughout the Sumter community, with some of the highlights including:
  • “Frosty the Snowman,” performed by the Columbia City Ballet (matinee performances at Patriot Hall, December 2-4);
  • The annual lighting ceremony for Sumter County’s community Christmas Tree at the Sumter County Courthouse, followed by “A Walk with St. Nick” (December 4);
  • “The Nutcracker,” performed by the Columbia City Ballet (Patriot Hall, December 5,6);
  • Breakfast with Santa at the Sumter County Recreation Department (December 5);
  • The Holiday House Tour, hosted by the Sumter Council of Garden Clubs (various locations, December 5);
  • The Evening Optimist Club’s annual Christmas Parade (Main Street, December 6);
  • The Sumter-Shaw Community Concert Association presents the “USAF Heritage Band Christmas Concert” (Patriot Hall, December 8).

And the events just keep on coming!  December also features the return of “The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,” a much-loved favorite holiday performance at the Sumter Little Theatre (December 10-13 and 17-20).  Area churches will also celebrate the holidays with themed plays and live nativities, and the Sumter County Museum will host their annual “Carolina Backcountry Christmas” on December 12.

The Poinsettia Festival is named in honor of Joel Roberts Poinsett, the first US Ambassador to Mexico and an avid botanist who is interred at the historic Church of the Holy Cross in Stateburg.

printable brochure featuring a detailed listing of events is available online  For more information, please call the Swan Lake Visitors Center at (803) 436-2640 or 1-800-688-4748.

Susan H. Wild
Communications Director, City of Sumter
P O Box 1449
Sumter, SC 29151
Phone: 803-436-2500
Fax: 803-774-3975

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Biocrude Ltd. - Will it be a Good Fit for an Economically Depressed County?

In a series of articles beginning in early October of 2009,  Randy Burns, staff reporter for the Item Newspaperhas chronicled efforts to locate a bio-fuel processing facility in Lee County, South Carolina. 

Biocrude Ltd. of Houston, Texas is very interested in Lee County because of its location near required feedstock sources, its proximity to Interstates, the coast and population centers in the East. 

After reading Randy's articles, I'm thinking that the company is confident in its product and believes that an agreement can be reached with local government leaders. It is so confident that it has expended funds to have shipped a majority of the equipment which will be needed for operation. 

The equipment is stored in Lee County, while the company waits as the necessary governmental prerequisites are satisfied. The company CEO has said that if they have to they will simply ship the equipment to another location. 

Biocrude Ltd. is a company which stores and processes high organic waste feedstock, which it then converts into a product similar to #6 Fuel Oil. According to the company's website, the innovative conversion process also substanturally reduces waste disposal while assuring post-process water (gray water) to be pathogen and colliform free.

It is important to understand that in the collection process of feedstock, tanker trucks will be required. And those trucks will be making stops at local feedstock sources, such as but not all inclusive; food processing plants, city water and wastewater treatment plants, restaurants, hotels, and other facilities which may have what the company needs... waste by-products from poultry, grease traps and/or used cooking oil, etc. 

These tankers have to dump their contents somewhere, therefore sludge tanks will have to be available for storage prior to and during the conversion process. Terra Renewal, the company identified in an earlier article by Randy Burns as having applied to SC Department of Health and Environmental Control for the construction of a sludge tank, fits nicely into all this because they are in the business of transportation of raw material (feedstock) needed by Biocrude Ltd. to convert the feedstock into Fuel Oil. 

Additionally, Terra Renewal hauls food processing residuals to authorized farm sites (DHEC) for injection into the subsoil for use as fertilizer or soil supplements by use of specialized agricultural equipment. 

In Randy's latest Item Newspaper article, dated November 22, 2009, Biocrude's Chief Executive Officer Jerrell Branson is reported as being concerned about the rumors (misinformation) circulating and he wants what his company does to be transparent to the citizens of Lee County. 

I'm not through yet... I'm all for individual citizens having the right to sell their property to anyone. I believe property should not be restricted from sale as long as the sale does not impose undue hardships on other land/business/homeowners in the immediate vicinity.

Additionally, I believe it to be the responsibility of the members of County Council to revisit zoning ordinances concerning county owned industrial property. If any restrictive language is found prohibiting Biocrude's use, then change the text allowing its use.  

Finally, I believe that Biocrude Ltd. will be a marvelous fit for economically depressed Lee County for these reasons:

  1. #6 fuel oil will be generated by the conversion process and be available for use by local and nearby industry including the port of Charleston
  2. 14 lucky citizens will get to split the approximately $500,000 payroll
  3. The county will realize an $6 million investment
  4. Local farmers will have another source of beneficial soil additives
  5. Local companies  and all those company's who produce the waste that is feedstock to Biocrude Ltd. will have a potential purchaser. 
Looks as if Biocrude has its ducks in a row. The only hold ups appear to be a site which:

  1. conforms to the county's zoning ordinances
  2. complies with all the permitting requirements.

I say... Git her done!

Comments are welcomed

Saturday, November 21, 2009


It is Billy and Louise "Haphesis" McCutchen's 51st wedding anniversary on Saturday November 28th.

Friday, November 20, 2009

SC Department of Health & Environmental Control Hosting Community Meeting

Make plans to attend a Community Meeting
about the Lee County Landfill

Sponsored by the South Carolina
Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC)

WHEN: Tuesday, December 1, 2009

TIME: 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Lee Central High School Auditorium
1800 Wisacky Highway
Bishopville, SC 29010

PURPOSE: At this meeting citizens will be able to:

· Hear about what has been done at the landfill since the last DHEC Meeting held in March.
· Participate in a discussion about the air quality.
· Ask questions.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

The Parrot

A young man named John received a parrot as a gift.  The parrot had a bad attitude and an even worse vocabulary.  Every word out of the bird's' mouth was rude, obnoxious and laced with profanity.  John tried and tried to change the bird's attitude by consistently saying only polite words, playing soft music and anything else he could think of to "clean up" the bird's vocabulary.

Finally, John was fed up and he yelled at the parrot.  The parrot yelled back.  John shook the parrot and the parrot got angrier and even ruder. John, in desperation, threw up his hands, grabbed the bird and put him in the freezer.  For a few minutes the parrot squawked and kicked and screamed.   Then suddenly there was total quiet.  Not a peep was heard for over a minute.

Fearing that he'd hurt the parrot, John quickly opened the door to the freezer.  The parrot calmly stepped out onto John's outstretched arm and said "I believe I may have offended you with my rude language and actions.   I'm sincerely remorseful for my inappropriate transgressions and I fully intend to do everything I can to correct my rude and unforgivable behavior."

John was stunned at the change in the bird's attitude.  As he was about to ask the parrot what had made such a dramatic change in his behavior, the bird continued, "May I ask what the turkey did?"

Wishing you a very Happy Thanksgiving!!!

Thanks Joey!

Lee County Library aids the Lee County Cooperative Ministries with The Library Candy Cake Raffle


Tickets: One can or food donation

North Main Street

Raffle on Nov. 25

For more information:


200 N. Main Street Bishopville SC 29010 


Lee County Cooperative Ministries

315 N. Dennis Ave.

Bishopville, SC 29010

(803) 484-6350

Friday, November 13, 2009

City Council Meeting - Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

City Council Meeting

6:30 p.m.

Colclough Building


1.    CALL TO ORDER………………....……………..….Mayor Pro Tem Ennis Bryant, Sr.

2.    INVOCATION……………………………….….……………….……..Dr. Ken Currie





                                                        CONTRACTUAL MATTER



10.                     COMMITTEE REPORTS

11.                     PUBLIC COMMENTS

12.              ADJOURN

Individuals who need auxiliary aids for effective communications concerning the above meeting should contact the ADA Compliance Coordinator, Gregg McCutchen, at 484-5948, 24 hours prior to the scheduled meeting.  City Council meetings are scheduled on the 1st and 3rd Tuesdays of each month at 6:30 p.m.; the deadline to be placed on the agenda is Friday at noon before the scheduled meeting.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Happy Trails To You Until We Meet Again

From my brother, Carlisle Reames

At an event at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, I had the opportunity to shake Roy Roger's hand and let him know he was my childhood hero. 

I will never forget this. This was one of the highlights of my career in the event management business.
Growing up in Bishopville, SC, I spent many a Saturday with Roy, Trigger and Dale at the movie.
This is sad to hear. By the way, you can contact the Rogers family direct .... see the phone number & email address below.

Special Announcement from Roy Rogers Jr.

I have been personally agonizing over how to start this letter. I guess I will start by saying thank you. Thank you for the years of love, support, prayers and loyalty to the Rogers Family. You, the fans, and our Board of Directors, are the ones who have kept our family's museum going for over 42 years. It has been a wonderful ride. After millions of visitors and countless stories of what Roy and Dale have meant to you, the Board of Directors have voted to close our doors of the Museum at the end of 2009. This has not been an easy decision. Many very emotional and financial issues have been addressed by all of us, as you can well imagine.

The decision to close the Museum has come after two years of steady decline in visitors to the Museum. A lot of factors have made our decision for us. The economy for one, people are just not traveling as much. Dad's fans are getting older, and concerned about their retirement funds. Everyone is concerned about their future in this present economy. Secondly, with our high fiscal obligations we cannot continue to accumulate debt to keep the doors open.This situation is one I have not wanted to happen. Dad always said- “If the museum starts costing you money, then liquidate everything and move on.” Myself and my family have tried to hold together the Museum and collection for over 15 years, so it is very difficult to think that it will all be gone soon.

What will happen to Roy Rogers, Jr and his family? For those of you that have heard I am retiring, nothing could be farther from the truth. My company, Golden Stallion, and its show tribute to Roy and Dale, will continue. I plan on taking the show to another venue in Branson. We are looking for space now. The show will also be available to travel around the country and take the message of Roy and Dale wherever we travel. I feel that this country needs the message that Roy and Dale always put forth, not only in their professional lives, but in their private lives as well.

The Museum's last day of operation will be December 12th. We want everyone to have the opportunity to visit the Museum one last time to see the collection in its entirety. This will be your last chance to see Roy and Dale's collection. Tell your friends and encourage them to come, before we close. This will be your final chance!!

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers. Remember, Roy Rogers and Dale Evans will live forever in our hearts and minds, and will continue to ride across the silver screen through their movies. Every time you think of Roy and Dale, that warm feeling you have always felt, will always return.

Watch our website for further announcements and special dates.

I leave you all with Dad's favorite saying- Good bye, Good luck, and may the good Lord take a likin' to ya! See you in Branson, or on the road.

Love to all of you!
Happy Trails.
Dusty and Family

Contact Dustin Rogers
417-339-1900 Ext 231

To Our Veterans - Thank You!

Veterans Day Poster

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Letter to Editor - Monday, November 9, 2009


Thank you so much for sending me the blog link. While I was deeply saddened to hear about Tommy, seeing his picture with that great smile took some of the sting out of it. Also, reading about his life helped too. I remember Tommy well. He was one of my High School heroes, just 2 grades ahead of me. He will be missed by many. 

And speaking of high school heroes, I remember Tommy Jordan as a football hero. Thanks for sending me the names of several other Bishopville "Celebritys" from days gone by. 

You and your team are doing a great job. Judy Leach called us and had a very nice conversation with my wife, Helen.

This gathering has success written all over it.

Henry (Hirschman) BHS Class of 1951
St. Augustine, FL 32092

Friday, November 06, 2009

Applebee's Treats Veteran and Active Military to Free Meal

How about it Veterans and Active Military, did you see this? 

Applebee's is giving away a free entree to all veterans and active duty military on Veterans Day, Wednesday, November 11, 2009. Let's spread the word - give a huge 'thanks' to all who serve. Support the program and pass it on!

Valid Veteran and Active Duty Identification to Obtain Free Entree:

  • U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card
  • U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card
  • Current Leave and Earnings Statement (LES)
  • Veterans Organization Card (i.e., American Legion and VFW)
  • Photograph in uniform
  • Wearing uniform
  • DD214
  • Citation or Commendation

Thomas Herbert Alexander - November 6, 2009

Bishopville, SC

Thomas Herbert Alexander, 78, husband of Mary Oeland Alexander, died Friday, November 6, 2009 at McLeod Regional Medical Center in Florence.

Born in Bishopville, he was a son of the late William Ray Alexander and the late Mary Richardson Kennedy Alexander. more information

From the desk of Leo DuBose - Friday, November 6, 2009

We will surely keep Tommy's family in our prayers. His home going to be with our Lord is not the kind of news that we want to hear about those we really care about.
While I had not seen Tommy in years, I remember being in the Bishopville National Guard unit with him and have only the best things to remember about him.
As I remember, Tommy was indeed a credit and blessing to those whose lives he touched. 

Needless to say, he will be missed.
Leo DuBose

Letter to Editor - November 6, 2009

Thank you for the link to The Bishopville Presbyterian Church News.  Otherwise I wouldn't have known about Ewell Black's wreck and subsequent fall. Isn't it ironic that the news came to me from Bishopville when I live less than 15 miles from Presbyterian Village and Cobb WellStar Hospital?
I went by to see Mr. Black today.  He was sitting up, in good spirits, and ready to start his rehab therapy tomorrow.  The pin was inserted into his hip on Sunday and he was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday. He expects to be in the Morris Center at Presbyterian Village for 4 - 6 weeks of rehab and then to return to his residence. Typically he is concerned that "they're treating me like a baby and like I'm somebody important!"  Wouldn't it be wonderful if we let him know how important he is to us?
His address is Presbyterian Village, Morris Center (Room 8 A), 2000 East West Connector, Austell, GA 30106.  
The news about Tommy Alexander is heart breaking. He and his family are certainly in my prayers. Again, thank you for helping us mavericks keep up with the home folks.
Virginia Meldrum

Thursday, November 05, 2009

Mass Killing at U.S. Army Base in Texas

In breaking news out of Ft. Hood, Texas, the army has said that 12 are dead and 31 wounded and that one shooter has been killed and that two others have been apprehended. All are Army soldiers.

Update on Mayor Tom Alexander

As of 1:28 pm today Mayor Tom Alexander after having been removed from the ventilator, remains unresponsive. Please keep Mayor Tom in your prayers. Earlier, we had received incorrect information and we reported in error that the beloved Mayor had passed away. Please keep the prayer vigil.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Bishopville, SC Mayor Suffers Stroke

Long time Bishopville, SC Mayor Tom Alexander has suffered a major stroke last night, According to sources the stroke has caused massive brain hemorrhaging. He is in the trauma Surgery unit at McLeod Hospital in Florence. Updates as they occur.

From the Desk of Rachael Bradbury

Dear all,

Since I have emailed you in the past with information on the upcoming Images of America book I am working on, I wanted to let you know there is still time to share your photographs for publication. I am looking for another 50-100 pictures and hope that you will consider contributing one or two...or ten of your historical Lee County photos with me. The only guidelines are that pictures are original, pre-1960 and are not blurry. Cracks, spots, and wear all give character and authenticity and pictures with minor damage are welcomed.

If you have any questions about the book before you make a decision, please do not hesitate to contact me.

In addition, or alternatively, if you would share my information with others on your email lists that I may not know, I would sincerely appreciate it. I will be in Bishopville the Monday and Tuesday, possibly Wednesday before Thanksgiving. I will also be in Columbia that week. I will be glad to come to you and I will also have my scanner set up at the Cotton Museum.

Very truly,


Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Message from the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources

The South Carolina Department of Natural Resources is researching the possibility of making changes to South Carolina's recreational hunting and fishing licenses. Before we recommend any changes to the South Carolina General Assembly, we want your opinions about the license changes. We are researching the possibility of a multi-year and an apprentice license.

SCDNR has heard from some hunters and anglers that they would prefer a license that is good for 365 days after the purchase date instead of a license that is good from July 1-June 30 every year. Unfortunately, SCDNR's state-appropriated funding has been cut more than 40% this fiscal year. Because of these huge budget cuts, it is not financially feasible to offer a 365-day license at this time. DNR staff will continue to look into this option in the future.

Please take a few moments to complete an online survey by visiting After we compile survey results to determine what license changes are the most popular for hunters and anglers, we will take the recommendations to SCDNR Board for approval and if approved the recommendations will be sent to the General Assembly to try and encourage them to pass legislation to enact the suggested changes to the South Carolina hunting and fishing license structure.

Monica Linnenbrink
South Carolina Department of Natural Resources
Marketing Director
P.O. Box 167
Columbia, SC 29202
Office: (803) 734-3625
Cell: (803) 530-6470
Fax: (803) 734-4300

South Carolina's natural resources are essential for economic development and contribute nearly $30 billion and 230,000 jobs to the state's economy. Find out why "Life's Better Outdoors" at:

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