Tuesday, September 1, 2015
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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.

Crews from Lugoff Fire-Rescue were dispatched to respond to Interstate 20 around 8:15 PM Thursday night just below the Eastbound Rest Area near mile marker 94 for a major vehicle collision involving a pick-up truck and a school bus. Lugoff units used the interstate median crossover and arrived to find a Ford pick-up truck wedged in between some trees and a full-size school bus in the woods beside the interstate. The driver of the pick-up truck was trapped inside the truck which sustained significant body damage from the crash. Rescue crews had to work between two trees and the school bus for several minutes to extricate the driver that was heavily pinned inside the truck. Rescue tools were brought in off of Lugoff Rescue 10 on-scene allowing crews to remove parts of the truck and spread away other parts to get the driver out of the vehicle. Once the driver was free from the truck around 8:40 PM, crews assisted Kershaw County EMS with stabilizing the patient who was transported by the LifeNet helicopter to Palmetto Richland Trauma Center. Units from Camden Fire Department closed Interstate 20 and landed LifeNet on the Interstate. The driver of the school bus was transported to Kershaw Health by EMS. The school bus was new and being delivered to a school district out of state. The bus was only occupied by the driver.

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“Our personnel were faced with a very difficult extrication when they arrived due to the extent of the damage to the pick-up truck and the location of the truck between the trees and the bus (see photo). Our crews had to work carefully in a very tight area in order to remove the patient from the mangled pick-up without causing further injury. Our new rescue tool technology really paid off and gave our staff maneuverability in the tight area. I could not ask for a better extrication performed by our staff and I am very pleased with how they handled the incident. Our thoughts are with the driver they rescued for a hopeful recovery” Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray stated.

One lane of Interstate 20 was opened around 9:30 PM and Lugoff crews were clear the scene around 10:30 Thursday night. The SC Highway Patrol is investigating the cause of the crash.

Haier America has announced plans to expand its Kershaw County refrigerator manufacturing operations, which will support Haier’s continued growth and help the company deliver on its commitment to provide whole-home solutions for modern living in the U.S. A subsidiary of Haier Group, the world’s leading appliance brand, Haier America will contribute $72 million more to its existing $40-million facility, creating 410 new jobs in Camden, South Carolina, within the next five years.

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Gov. Nikki Haley

Haier broke ground on the Kershaw County Haier Industrial Park in April 1999, making it the first Chinese company to establish manufacturing operations in the U.S. Located at 50 Haier Boulevard; the facility opened its doors in March 2000. As a part of the expansion, Haier will invest heavily in state-of-the-art equipment and tooling, as well as construct a 250,000-square-foot addition to the existing 365,000 square-foot facility, allowing the company to increase its annual refrigeration production up to 500,000 units.

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State Senator Vincent Sheheen

The expansion of the Camden facility demonstrates Haier’s continued investment in the U.S. market, highlighting Haier’s continued commitment to meeting the needs of American consumers and the importance of the U.S. in the company’s international expansion.

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County Council chairman Julian Burns

Construction is anticipated to be completed in the second quarter of 2018 with hiring for the 410 new positions expected to begin in the summer of 2016. Those interested in joining the Haier America team should visit the company’s careers page online. For more information on Haier Group, visit www.haier.com.

Lugoff Fire-Rescue was dispatched to respond to a reported house on fire on Wildwood Lane near Richardson Blvd. in Lugoff on Tuesday August 18 around 6 PM. Lugoff Battalion 1 was the first arriving unit from the department who reported heavy smoke coming from the home eaves and fire coming from the back of the house located just off Wildwood Lane. Lugoff Fire-Rescue Engine 10, Rescue 10, Squad 8, Engine 9, and Marshal 1 all responded to the incident and quickly began attacking the fire. The fire had already spread into the attic with flames coming from the roof when crews entered the house. Another crew completed a primary search of the home through the smoke to verify no one was inside. Engine 9 and Pine Grove Engine 1602 laid 1200 feed of 5-inch water supply hose from the closest fire hydrant to supply the crews with firefighting water supply. Wildwood Lane had to be closed down from traffic since the large water supply line blocked the roadway coming from the hydrant on the opposite side of the road. The Kershaw County Sheriff’s Department provided traffic control at Richardson Blvd. and at the entrance to the Pine Mark subdivision diverting traffic away from the incident. The roadway was opened back up around 8:30 PM Tuesday night after crews re-loaded all of the large diameter supply hose. No one was home at the time of the fire and there were no injuries. The Lugoff Fire Marshal’s Office is currently investigating the cause of the fire and interviewing witnesses. Departments from Pine Grove, Blaney, and Doby’s Mill assisted Lugoff crews with the fire as well as a QRV from Kershaw County EMS standing-by for firefighters as they exited the home.

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“I really had strong doubts about our ability to stop the fire from progressing when we first arrived due to all of the fire involvement that had already begun. Our crews immediately deployed two hand-lines flowing over 150 gallons per minute from our Engine to the fire and quickly stopped the fire from progressing any further in a matter of 8-10 minutes. Another crew began searching the home for any victims while yet another crew cut a ventilation hole in the roof to allow trapped smoke and vapors to escape helping crews inside fighting the fire. This was a well-run, well-planned and coordinated fire attack that proved very successful and effective. I am very pleased with how all of the crews worked together to get the job done in the afternoon heat and humidity” Lugoff Fire Chief Dennis Ray stated.

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All crews left the scene around 9:00 PM but returned several times during the night and on Wednesday to re-check the scene preventing any flare-ups. The location of the fire in the rear of the home had involved the power meter and power line feeding the home creating a very hazardous work area for crews on the back side of the home. Fairfield Electric responded to the scene and terminated power to the home so crews could safely work around the fire area.

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It was a successful start of a new school year in Kershaw county earlier this week.  That was the word Tuesday as Dr. Frank Morgan, Kershaw County School Superintendent briefed school board members on the first day of school.  Morgan says, with the exception of a couple of glitches things went well. Morgan said the glitches involved a couple of school buses that would not start and some minor computer problems.  Morgan said the opening went so smoothly because of the on-line registration process which provided administrators with up to date data regarding enrollment which meant staffing decisions could be made earlier. Morgan telling school board members that he’s looking forward to a great school year.