By Elyssa Parnell
WHITMIRE — Pastor Geneva Ware said the Town of Whitmire did a great job this summer with their Summer Feed Program. Ware presented the results to council on Monday night.
“We serviced every child that wanted a meal and we did this without incidents, accidents or physical issues,” Ware said.
The program this year, Ware said, added another age group of eight months to 21 years of age to the program as long as the children were in school. The meals were provided from June 14 until August 14, Ware said.
Throughout the summer, 125 meals a day were served, equaling 6,000 meals served in the Town of Whitmire over 80 days.
Ware said the camp also took on another type of camp entitled ‘No Bounds Care.’ This is a veteran based organization that helps people that need to find their way back and help them on the road to life, Ware said.
“We are starting off with the after school program which now serves 42 and counting,” she said.
Under new business, Whitmire Community School Student Council President Darian Gilliam informed council of the plans they would like to hold again this year for homecoming. The game will be on October 16 at 7:30 p.m.
Gilliam said that last year they held a community pep rally which was a great success. The parade would be at 3:45 p.m. on that day with the pep rally to follow.
“Like last year, everyone is invited and we hope for a larger turnout this year,” Gilliam said.
Council approved the request for the use of Main Street for the pep rally and parade.
Principal Joey Haney of WCS said they had a fantastic opening of the school year, bringing in 555 in enrollment, with some students from Laurens and Union Counties. Haney said he was excited that word was continuing to spread and that parents were choosing to send their children to school in Whitmire.
WCS started a Science, Technology, Engineering and Math (STEM) program at the middle school level this year, with an emphasis in robotics.
“We’re hoping to have a few robots by the end of the year made by our students,” Haney said.
On Nov. 11 at 9:30 a.m., the school will have its Veterans Day assembly for the entire community. After the assembly, lunch will be provided for the veterans.
This fall, something new the school wanted to try, Haney said, was to have a public services appreciation day. He said he had started talking to some people to plan for it, but no date had been set yet. Haney said the day would be for law enforcement, EMS, fire department and other careers to share their jobs with the kids similar to a career day as well as for the school to show their appreciation to these responders for what they do.
Michelle Long, with the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce told council she was pleased with the turnout and the conversation from the recent Cultivating Community workshop held in Whitmire.
Long said there would be a follow-up forum on September 23 from 4 p.m. until 5:30 p.m. at the Whitmire Fire Department. The homework from the last session involves participants returning with three things to discuss: what they will keep doing, what they will stop doing and what they will start doing. Charles Weathers will be facilitating the discussion again.
Christianna Gilliam with the Whitmire Jaycees told council they had a successful turnout for the YMCA program for free swimming lessons for children. Gilliam said those that most of those that attended were already step one certified and some were up to step two, which meant they could swim on their own.
The Whitmire Jaycees will hold their annual yard sale on Oct. 3, Gilliam said, on Main Street from 8 a.m. to noon. The spaces are $10 to rent and are first come, first serve. Applications had not been put out yet, Gilliam said.
Council designated the day for trick-or-treating in Whitmire to be on Halloween, October 31 this year. The Jaycees have taken over doing the Halloween carnival, Gilliam said, which will be held at 7 p.m. It will be $2 for adults and $1 for children (ages 1-18) to get into the carnival. Gilliam said bracelets to jump would be $5 apiece. Gilliam said they were talking with organizations for concessions and would allow them to keep all of their profits.
During their second quarter convention, the Whitmire Jaycees won an award for their Party in the Pines festival and for their couponing workshop.
Mayor Billy Hollingsworth said he along with Scott Cain, the Newberry County building inspector, and a few others had a meeting set for Sept. 21 at 6 p.m. at the Courthouse Annex in Newberry to discuss how to handle dilapidated buildings in the town of Whitmire.
“After that, we can start making plans of how we want to handle it,” Hollingsworth said.
Hollingsworth also told council that he had received information on the Capital Project Sales Tax which they would need to discuss. Council set aside a special meeting for Sept. 28 at 6 p.m. to discuss projects they may want to include for the referendum. Also to be discussed at the meeting is information from the aforementioned meeting about dilapidated buildings.
Council member Cassie Fowler said that Nancy Williamson with the small business development center in Newberry would be coming to Whitmire to do a Google workshop for small business owners.
The name of the workshop is titled: Let’s Put Whitmire on the Map, Fowler said.
Fowler said that Williamson would do a presentation and that those that participate could bring their laptop or tablet to participate along with Williamson. The workshop will be on Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to noon. It will be free. Council unanimously voted to hold the workshop.
Hollingsworth also reminded council and the community that he had spoken with a representative from SeaPro who was concerned that the people of Whitmire had been misled.
The representative told Hollingsworth that from the emails and calls he had received, the idea seemed to be that SeaPro was expected to hire 238 people immediately, which would not be the case.
“It is a start-up operation and certainly the first people they hire will be people that they’ve hired in the past, with previous experience,”Hollingsworth said about his discussion with the representative.
Hollingsworth said that the representative said that SeaPro would be hiring all the Whitmire people that they could, but he did not want the expectation to be that it would happen instantaneously.
• Synthia Sinclair and Jimmy Dunaway were recognized by council for their 30 years of service to the town of Whitmire.
• Council member Chrystal Harsha said that both junior and pee-wee teams had began practicing, with their first game on Thursday. Flag football still has not started, as they need more to play, Harsha said. Applications to play can still be submitted.
• For the month of August, Jeremiah Sinclair, police chief said the Whitmire Police Department filed 69 incidents and issued 84 citations for the month. Some of the department’s calls included domestic violence, shoplifting, identity theft, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, driving under the influence and open container. The department investigated four traffic collisions.
• For the month of August, the Town of Whitmire had a beginning balance of $25,959.98. Deposits for the month equalled $46,671.51 and expenditures totaling $50,452.13. The ending balance for the month for the town was $22,179.36.
• Council approved a law enforcement mutual aid agreement with the city of Newberry Police Department. The agreement is for a two-year period.
• Council approved a $150 donation for the WCS band. Hollingsworth had received a letter from Chris Wofford with the WCS band boosters asking if they would help in their fundraising efforts.
Reach Elyssa Parnell at 803-276-0625, ext. 1868, or on Twitter @TheNBOnews.