FAIRFIELD COUNTY — Now that we’ve put 2013 on the books for good, it’s time to take a look back at some of the bigger stories covered by The Herald Independent over the last 12 months.
Some of the stories have been touting what we already know — that Fairfield County and its environs are great places to live — a nugget of information that seems to be spreading outside the walls of the county.
The resignation of former county administrator Phil Hinely on the heels of an investigation by the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division was the subject of many stories after allegations were made that he had pornography on his work computer.
The Fairfield County Council found itself in the headlines too, as sentiment for the panel to work together and be transparent became a familiar underlying theme at county council meetings.
But the sun also was shining on Fairfield County, with the county school district making some noticeable advancements with its STEM efforts and its Bring Your Own Device policy. State Superintendent Mick Zais also visited the county.
In sports, the Richard Winn Lady Eagles basketball team won RWA’s first state championship since 1990 and the Fairfield Central High School Griffins made it to the finals in football, only to lose for the second year in a row.
Here are some of the bigger headlines to grace our pages:
• The Fairfield County public library added e-books to its system, partnering with the Jasmine Digital Library.
• At its annual meeting the Jenkinsville Water Company chooses not to participate in a regional water authority.
• Fairfield County School District launched its first STEM Early College Academy cohort.
• The Shaw Group, now known as Chicago Bridge and Iron, opened a recruitment center at the Midlands Tech Quick Job Center in Winnsboro.
• Two students were arrested for fighting at Fairfield Middle School.
• A group of FCHS students attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama.
• Incumbents Kamau Marcharia, Mary Lynn Kinley and Carolyn Robinson are sworn in to Fairfield County Council.
• State Superintendent of Education Dr. Mick Zais visits Fairfield County and is impressed with the FMS literacy focus and with the districts emphasis on science and technology.
• Ridgeway Town Council approves hiring a new town police officer.
• Officials from Midlands Technical College, Fairfield Central High School and SCANA hold a ribbon cutting for the school’s student success center, computer lab and classroom space that gives MTC a physical presence on the FCHS campus and provides resources for high school students to prepare for higher education.
• Dewayne Maurice Green, 43, and Tonya L. Harris, 48, were arrested in conjunction with the death of Thomas Green, 63, of Bellfield Road in Ridgeway. Green was arrested for Abuse of a Vulnerable Adult Resulting in Death and Harris was arrested for Neglect of a Vulnerable Adult.
• Fairfield County receives its first ever Outstanding Safety Award from the S.C. Association of Counties.
• The Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office seized 27 video poker machines throughout Fairfield County in a joint operation with SLED. Officers said they acted on tips from concerned residents.
• A rash of copper wire thefts hit Winnsboro.
• Pitmaster George King and teammate Gary Freeman defend King’s state BBQ title.
• SLED closed its investigation into the Jenkinsville Water Company and the findings resulted in no criminal charges against JWC or its employees.
• A student was caught with a BB pistol at Geiger Elementary School. The incident was forwarded to family court and dealt with according to the district’s code of conduct.
• Merger between the Shaw Group and Chicago Bridge and Iron becomes official.
• Fairfield County received a dusting of snow, February 16.
• Fairfield County Sheriff’s officers believed three Ridgeway burglaries might be connected involving jewelry theft and an m.o. of kicked in doors at victims’ homes.
• Richard Winn boys basketball was eliminated by Palmetto Christian in round one of the SCISA playoffs.
• Fairfield County School Board unanimously passed a $20 million bond resolution to fund construction of a new career center.
• Residents turned out at a county council meeting to protest rezoning of Highway 213 property for use as a medical center.
• Summer Day gift shop opened on Congress Street.
• The Richard Winn Lady Eagles basketball team defeated Marlborro Academy 46-31 to win RWA’s first state championship since 1990.
• Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office held its first Citizen’s Academy.
• Fairfield County received awards for safety from Risk Management Services of South Carolina, including a Platinum Award for its speed in reporting workplace-related injuries.
• Winnsboro youth Logan Robinson earned all 134 merit badges from the Boy Scouts of America.
• The Town of Winnsboro and area water companies’ steering committee continued to work toward a regional water authority which would link resources to address the county’s long term and short term water needs.
• Winnsboro Town Council approved renovation plans for the historic town clock.
• The Town of Winnsboro received a $272,492 Infrastructure Authority Grant.
• Richard Winn Academy defeated FCHS 13-5 in varsity baseball.
• CAT Country, 93.9 FM WSCZ, launched in Winnsboro.
• Abba’s Sweet Treats and Gift Boutique was awarded Winnsboro Business of the Year.
• SCE&G completed placement of the nuclear island base mat for V.C. Summer Unit 2.
• FCHS eighth grader Stanley “Monk” McManus threw a no-hitter against Eau Claire.
• FCHS Senior Calvin Johnson, an actor and singer, made the top 10 in This School’s Got Talent.
• Winnsboro mayoral candidates and town council candidates participated in a town hall forum.
• Pope Francis I was elected.
• Yahya Abdul Salaam, 50, of Flora Circle was arrested on child pornography charges after he set off an alarm inside of FMS. Surveillance showed he appeared to be naked from the waist down during the incident. During the investigation Salaam’s computer was searched and found to contain pornographic images of females, some of whom appeared to be under age 10.
• Fairfield County Council approved a $14.06 million bond issuance to fund public safety, mandatory communication upgrades, courthouse improvements, renovations to the administration building, upgrades to fire stations, and a reserve fund.
• Town of Winnsboro election results favored incumbents with Mayor Roger Gaddy, Councilman Jackie Wilkes and former town councilman Stan Klaus winning the 2013 elections.
• Don Wilder was named group revenue director for S.C. Civitas newspapers.
• Inge Conrad, 79, was discovered drowned in Lake Wateree.
• Matthew Richard Mahorsky was arrested and charged with the murder of his parents Ruth Marion Mahorsky and Ricahrd F. Mahorsky of Blair.
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission held meetings to discuss the V.C. Summer Nuclear Plant Performance.
• Water restrictions were lifted for the town of Winnsboro that had been in place since February 2012.
• Deputies uncovered an indoor marijuana growing operation at the home of Michael Eugene Davison, 34, of 73 Railroad Avenue.
• Local author Virginia Schafer published a book on legendary locals of Fairfield County.
• Former Winnsboro Public Safety Officer Michael Roseboro pleaded guilty to assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature in the October 2012 shooting of his estranged wife, Kisha.
• South Carolina naturalist Rudy Mancke gave a tour at the South Carolina Railroad Museum.
• Fairfield County cut the ribbon on a 75,000-square-foot speculative building in the Walter Brown II Industrial Park.
• Angela Jones was hired as Fairfield County 4-H Youth Agent.
• Ridgeway residents posthumously honored long time public servant Roy Hudson, 94, including flying an American Flag from a ladder truck in his honor in downtown Ridgeway.
• Terrorist bombs detonated at the end of the Boston Marathon, killing and maiming participants. A Blythewood woman was near the finish line when the bombs went off but escaped unharmed. In the days that followed several residents reflected on years past when they ran the marathon.
• Fairfield County Council approved third and final reading on a $24.6 million bond issuance to fund an economic stimulus program through 2020.
• The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission issued favorable safety findings for 2012 at V.C. Summer.
• Branch Chief of Government Engagement for the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Kelvin Coleman served as grand marshal for the Blair family day and parade.
• Fairfield County Council and Winnsboro Town Council disagreed on cause of community block development grant falling through for a water/sewer project for the Middlesix area. Town council said there was a communication issue at heart for the controversy while county council said the town chose to reject the project. Mayor Roger Gaddy said the town could not take on additional expense for its sewer system, which operates at a loss in Winnsboro, as many municipalities’ sewer systems do.
• FCHS wins the first baseball playoff game in school history, defeating Central of Pageland 9-6.
•A gas leak caused employees to be evacuated from the county judicial court building.
• The Mike Kelly Law Group filed a class action suit against the Columbia VA Hospital concerning a security breech at the Dorn VA Medical Center with regard to an unsecured laptop putting personal information of roughly 7,500 veterans at risk.
• The need for collaboration and communication among town and county leadership was discussed at an intergovernmental meeting.
• RWA baseball was swept in the opening round of the AA SCISA playoffs.
• FCHS baseball was eliminated from the playoffs at home versus Central of Pageland.
• Tracie Swilley took over as principal at Fairfield Central High School.
• Judge Brooks Goldsmith reduced the sentence of Michael Roseboro to 12 years in the case of assault and battery of a high and aggravated nature toward his estranged wife Kisha.
• Public defender Michael Lifesy received provisional basis to represent defendant Michael Mahorsky in a double murder trial in which Mahorsky was accused of killing his parents and Judge Brooks Goldsmith granted Lifesy’s request Mahorsky have a court ordered mental evaluation to determine if Mahorsky were mentally fit to stand trial.
• Aliyah Miller, Jada Martin, and Devonta’ Foster competed for individual track and field state championships. Miller, Martin, Shytaneece Woodard, and Chelsea Siebles competed in 4 x 100 meter relay and Foster, Larry Bell, Joseph Young and Shadarious Hopkins competed in the 4 x 100 meter boys relay.
• Lucas Vance joined the Herald Independent as staff writer.
• Ex-county detention officer Kisha Roseboro was charged with breech of trust with fraudulent intent for embezzling between $1,000 and $5,000 of funds placed into a trust for inmates.
• FCHS student Aliyah Miller placed first in the 100 m dash in the AA State Championships.
• Heartland Publications merged into Civitas Media, the new parent company of the Herald Independent.
• Jenkinsville hosted its inaugural small mouth bass fishing tournament.
• Residents question council council about the county budget and tax rates at the May 13 meeting.
• FCHS theater department performed Les Miserables.
• The deaerator arrived at the Jenkinsville nuclear construction site.
• County Administrator Phil Hinely disputed allegations he viewed pornographic emails using his county computer.
• Dan Dickerson was hired as head football coach at Richard Winn Academy.
• Fairfield County School District settled an ongoing lawsuit with former superintendent Patrice Robinson for $150,000 with the district paying $56,250 and the district’s insurance carrier paying $56,250. Neither party admitted wrongdoing in the settlement which board chairwoman Beth Reid called a cost effective conclusion to the case.
• An NRC review found rebar issues associated with construction at V.C. Summer to be less serious than initially assessed. The findings followed an April 30 presentation by SCANA representatives explaining the assessments of the situation and corrective actions taken as a result of those findings
• Fairfield County School District reported gains in algebra instruction and kindergarten programming.
• County Administrator Phil Hinely was placed on six month’s probation and given a five percent salary reduction following council’s investigation into Hinely’s allegedly using his county computer to send or receive pornographic email. Hinely also was required to make a public apology.
• Winnsboro Town Council approved a contract to purchase water from the City of Columbia, allowing the town to purchase up to one million gallons per day. The additional gallons were purchased in an attempt to get water to the county industrial park.
• SCANA extended projected times for nuclear reactors two and three to go online in Jenkinsville, citing delays in construction and shipping of sub-module components. Unit two’s completion was extended from March 2017 to late 2017 or early 2018. Unit three’s completion was extended along a similar time frame until May 2018.
• The prospective regional water authority met with legal counsel to discuss four models of how to form a water authority.
• Adam Eugene Stafford, 26, of Cook Road was arrested for carjacking, kidnapping, armed robbery, forgery, third degree burglary and first degree burglary for an incident at the AM/PM Food Mart on Highway 34 in Ridgeway.
• Deputies from the Fairfield County Sheriff’s Office arrested Henry Neville Brice, 57, of 12091 Highway 321 North, Blackstock during a narcotics investigation. Brice was charged with disregarding a stop sign, failure to stop for a blue light and siren, driving under suspension, reckless driving, possession of marijuana, possession of cocaine base (crack cocaine), manufacturing marijuana and possession of a controlled substance.
• The Fairfield County Arts Council found a permanent home in Ridgeway with monthly meetings held at the Century House.
• Christ Central continued renovations on Mission Ridge Golf Course Retreat, relying on volunteers to help keep the golf course open in efforts to contribute to economic stability and revitalization of down town Winnsboro.
• The Town of Winnsboro temporarily passed an ordinance that allowed peddler’s license fees to be waived and helped the Fairfield County Chamber of Commerce’s efforts to launch the Fairfield Farmer’s Market, a grant funded program connected to the CATCH program and Eat Smart, Move More Fairfield County.
• A Christian Biker Ministry led by videographer and pastor Mike Seay profiled Winnsboro’s small town charm as part of its outreach marketing ministry.
• Mary Lynn Kinley retired from Fairfield Memorial Hospital after working over 15 years in public relations for FMH.
• Christ Central’s first GED graduating class included Lacy Faile, who graduated with honors.
• Fairfields Artsworks Camp presents excerpts of the musical Annie.