Tuesday, May 26, 2015
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At its meeting Tuesday night, the Kershaw County School Board voted to approve Gordon Morris as the director for ATEC starting with the 2015-16 school year.

​     ​“Mr. Morris brings a wealth of knowledge to this position,” said Kershaw County School District Superintendent Frank Morgan.  “We look forward to welcoming him back home after he spent a year outside our district.  I know he will bring new ideas to build upon the outstanding work already being done at ATEC.”

​     ​Morris served as the assistant director for ATEC from 2009-2014 and as an assistant principal at Lugoff-Elgin High School from 2006-2009. He started his educational career as a social studies teacher at North Central High School and is the current assistant director for the Lexington Technology Center.

​     ​“I want to thank Dr. Morgan and the Kershaw County School Board for giving me this opportunity,” Morris said. “I look forward to working with the great faculty and staff at ATEC to provide quality career​ educational ​​opportunities for the students of Kershaw County. I also want to thank Chet Horton for the strong leadership he has provided at ATEC over the last seven years.”

​     ​Morris will replace Chet Horton who decided to return to a guidance counselor position to spend more time with his family.  Horton has served as ATEC’s director since 2008. Under Horton’s leadership, the school earned Excellent Absolute and Growth state report card ratings and four Palmetto Gold awards.

​     ​Morris has a Bachelor of Science degree from Wingate University and a Master of Education degree from the University of South Carolina.  Married to Lugoff-Elgin High School PE teacher Susan Morris, they have three children.

Kershaw County Council Tuesday evening passed first reading by title only of the county budget for the fiscal year that begins in July.  The measure passed with a unanimous vote.  The measure has to pass two more readings before it becomes final.   At second reading budget figures for the spending plan will be provided.

Kershaw County Council Tuesday evening turned down the recent request by the Lugoff Fire Department for a 2.6 mil increase to fund the purchase of a new pumper truck to replace a 30 year old pumper.  The request died for lack of a motion.   One option for the Lugoff Fire Department to fund a replacement pumper is to levy a fire protection fee in the Lugoff Fire District.  County council would not have to approve a fire protection fee levied by the Lugoff Fire District.

Jackson School’s second grade classes observed a butterfly’s life cycle, which takes approximately three weeks. The students learned about parts of a caterpillar, chrysalis and butterfly and how a caterpillar changes into a chrysalis and then a butterfly. They also learned that a caterpillar’s head falls off when it changes to a butterfly! They learned which stage is the longest and shortest. It was a very fun unit!

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KershawHealth trustees were briefed Monday evening on organizational changes that will be taking place as Kershaw county’s healthcare system prepares for M.U.S.C./Capella healthcare to assume management later this year.  Terry Gunn, KershawHealth  C.E.O. telling trustees that the organizational and management structure is being flattened to make it more efficient by removing an administrative layer. Gunn said that KershawHealth will also advertise for the position of chief quality officer, a position he says is present at all Capella healthcare facilities.  Gunn said that position would be filled after M.U.S.C./Capella assumes management of KershawHealth.  Gunn told trustees that quality of service will be a major consideration in the transition to M.U.S.C./Capella healthcare later this year.

Last week local dignitaries and emergency service personnel gathered at I-20 between the Lugoff and Elgin exits to mark the opening of a crossover between the east and westbound lanes that should make answering emergency calls a lot easier for emergency responders in the county.  Lugoff fire chief Dennis Ray says that in the past emergency crews responding to incidents on I-20 would have to drive to the Elgin exit to respond to calls in the eastbound lane of i-20 and that crews from the Blaney Fire Department would have to go to the Lugoff exit to respond to calls in the westbound lane.  Ray credited the South Carolina Dept. of Transportation and state senator Vincent Sheheen with assisting in the project to construct the crossover which can support the weight of emergency vehicles.

The Finally Friday Free Concert Series returns to the grounds of the Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County (FAC) on May 29 with a Midlands favorite, Under the Sun. The concert will take place from 6:00 to 8:30 p.m. on the Joe and Sandy Shull Pavilion behind the Wood Auditorium. Rain location will be on the stage of the Wood. Finally Friday is sponsored by NBSC, TruVista, Alpine Agency, Graham Realty, Warrior Fitness, Powers Funeral Home and City Laundry & Cleaners.

This outdoor concert series provides a casual family atmosphere in which to enjoy a variety of live musical styles. Admission is free and food and beverages will be available for purchase. Guests are encouraged to bring a lawn chair or blanket. No coolers, please.

• About the band

Under the Sun is a cover band who has been entertaining folks in the Midlands for 6 years. They have performed as far north as the Piedmont of North Carolina, and as far south as the coastal low country of South Carolina.  Their sets include both old and new rock, pop and country music along with requested music whenever possible. The band consists of Elizabeth Johnson (lead vocals,) Russ McKissick (lead guitar/backup vocals,) Ryan Johnson (drums, acoustic guitar, cajon, vocals,) and Kell Donald (from Tokyo Joe, on bass.) To hear some of the music from Under The Sun visit their website at www.bandunderthesun.com.

Modeled after other successful free concert events around the state, this series is produced by musician and sound technician Kevin Taylor, a 1991 graduate of Full Sale in Florida and former sound engineer for country music star Vince Gill for almost 10 years.

For more information, please call 803-425-7676, ext. 300, or visit www.fineartscenter.org. The Fine Arts Center of Kershaw County is located at 810 Lyttleton Street in Camden. Summer office hours are Monday through Friday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.

The Fine Arts Center is a 501c3 organization that is funded in part by the Frederick S. Upton Foundation and the South Carolina Arts Commission, which receives support from the National Endowment for the Arts. Additional funding provided by the City of Camden, Kershaw County, and BlueCross BlueShield of South Carolina along with donations from businesses and individuals.

Authorities are investigating the cause of a fire that destroyed two Elgin businesses Sunday afternoon.  According to the Kershaw county fire marshall the fire started at Jesus Auto Repair on Railroad Avenue.  Also destroyed was Sloan Roofing and Repair on Rose Street.  Authorities say the fire appears to be accidental but that the cause is still under investigation.  Folks in Elgin say they heard a loud explosion Sunday afternoon.  There were no injuries reported.