Monday, August 31, 2015
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Smiles all around as groundbreaking ceremonies took place Saturday morning for the Kershaw County Community Playground in Lugoff.   In less than nine months organizers were able to raise over $300,000 to fund the project and Saturday morning the Central Carolina Community Foundation presented a check for $50,000 to help fund the project.

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Kershaw county council chairman Julian Burns telling the crowd the project shows that people in Kershaw county have a vision.

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Laurey Carpenter chair  of the playground committee said the Kershaw County Community Playground is just the first step in making Kershaw county the best place to live in the southeast. Construction will start in the coming weeks and ribbon cutting ceremonies are set to take place in November.

KC playground conceptual

A wreck Friday afternoon at the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 34 (Ward Road) in Lugoff.  The wreck appears to have involved a car and a tractor/trailer truck.  As of 4:30pm traffic is moving slowly but drivers may want to consider an alternate route when going through Lugoff.  Emergency personnel are on the scene.

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The subject Tuesday was infrastructure for economic development and making Kershaw County competitive  in the battle for new industry.  Kershaw county councilmen were briefed on potential projects  to improve infrastructure at the county’s industrial parks in an effort to bring in new industry.  County administrator telling council that Kershaw County has fallen behind other counties in the area of economic development.  Carpenter said the county needs to grade and landscape the land at the county’s three industrial parks in put in roads and signage and consider the construction of “spec” or speculative buildings that can be occupied quickly by a client. Carpenter presented four scenarios- two with a price tag of $15 million and two with a price tag of $17 million.   Carpenter agreed that the projects could be carried out in phases which could lower the initial costs. The projects could be funded through general obligation bonds. Carpenter said that reserve funds could be used under one scenario to lower the debt millage in the first years of the project.  Under another scenario millage could remain level throughout the life of the bonds.  Carpenter said if the projects bring in new industry that would lower the debt millage.  Council will continue to discuss the proposal at their next meeting.

On Saturday August 29, 2015 at 10 AM, a Groundbreaking Ceremony will take place marking the start of construction for the new Kershaw County Community Playground. The location will be at the Kershaw County West Complex off Highway 1 in Lugoff off of Whitehead Road. This project was paid for, in full, by donations from the communities in and around Kershaw County with a project cost just over $300,000. The mission of the project is to improve the quality of life in Kershaw County while enhancing the physical and social development of our children.

KC playground conceptual

This state of the art playground will meet all of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA) requirements, providing a safe and accessible recreation area for special needs children and youth, as well as their families. It will be the first of its kind in Kershaw County. It will provide a “field trip” destination for special needs children during the school year. Additionally, it will provide a playground facility within walking distance of a growing residential area. Please see the attached conceptual drawing of what the completed project will look like.

Kershaw County citizens age 65 years or older can receive lifetime Golden Circle passes that allow them to attend school-sponsored activities or athletic events free of charge.  The passes are good from year to year.  Admission to athletic playoffs is not included.

“Having family support at our extracurricular activities is very beneficial,” said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Frank Morgan.  “We have offered these passes for several years, and they have been very popular so I encourage any eligible resident who has not gotten one before to do so this school year.”

Golden Circle passes are available at all three high schools—Camden High, Lugoff-Elgin High and North Central High.  Interested persons should contact the main office at each school for more information.  (Camden High:  425-8930; Lugoff-Elgin High: 438-3481 and North Central High: 432-9858).

The Kershaw County School District has reopened its PowerSchool Parent Portal, an online system for parents to view their students’ attendance and grade information.

“We average close to 975 parent logins each day for Parent Portal,” said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Frank Morgan. “This has become an important component for how parents can stay actively involved in their students’ school progress.”

Parent Portal can be accessed via any school website or the district’s website at www.kcsdschools.net.

Parents who used the system last school year will use their same sign in and password information this school year.  New parents or parents who did not use the system last school year can sign up at their children’s schools.

In addition to current averages in each class, the online system contains grades for individual assignments.  Parents can also e-mail teachers directly from the system.  Attendance for elementary and middle school students is recorded on a daily basis while high school students’ attendance is recorded for every class.

Camden High School (CHS) and Lugoff-Elgin High School (LEHS) students use the week leading up to their rival football game to raise money for the United Way of Kershaw County. This year, that coincided with the first week of school.

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As announced at halftime of last night’s football game, Lugoff-Elgin High raised $44.290.07 and Camden High raised $22,824, a new all-time record high total for the student campaign.  Over the past seven years, the two schools have brought in approximately $250,000 to help the local community.

Katie Gilson, agricultural instructor at the Applied Technology Education Campus (ATEC), has been honored with the Outstanding Young Member Award by the National Association of Agricultural Educators for both South Carolina and the southeast region.

As a result, she will be recognized with five other regional winners from the United States at the NAAE national conference in New Orleans this November.

The award is sponsored by John Deere as a special project of the National FFA Foundation for agriculture educators who have taught between three and five years. It is designed to encourage young teachers to remain in the profession.

Gilson joined ATEC in fall 2011 when the agriculture program was established. Since then both she and the ATEC agriculture program have received numerous honors and recognition by FFA for outstanding achievement.

“We are very proud of Katie and her accomplishments” says ATEC director Gordon Morris. “She has worked hard since arriving on campus to create a strong agriculture program that is attracting an increasing number of students.”

NAAE is the professional organization for agricultural educators.  It provides its nearly 8,000 members with professional networking and development opportunities and extensive awards and recognition programs. It is headquartered in Lexington, Ky.