History made again: Jackie Blackwell’s unexpected journey to the Clarendon coroner’s office and barriers she broke along the way

Jackie Blackwell, coroner of Clarendon County, was sworn in Jan. 4, becoming the first African-American woman elected as coroner in the county.
On the morning of Jan. 4, Jackie Blackwell stood in unison with five other elected officials as they were sworn into office by Clarendon County officials. Blackwell, 66, wore a smile under her jet-black mask as she raised her right hand to take …
Studio Sumter

Sumter Today: A Sumter police officer helps older residents stay connected during the pandemic

Senior Corporal Warren Davis, more affectionally known as Papa G, runs a program at the Sumter Police Department called Project Checkmate.

He checks on about 40 participants via phone calls and …

Panorama

If a stranger offers you student loan forgiveness, hang up

Student loan scammers have a brand-new hook: "Biden student loan forgiveness" or "stimulus forgiveness." Behind the pitch is the same old fraudster playbook, one that persuades federal student loan …

Nation & World
FDA says single-dose shot from J&J prevents severe COVID

WASHINGTON (AP) — Johnson & Johnson's single-dose vaccine offers strong protection against severe COVID-19, according to an analysis released Wednesday by U.S. regulators that sets the …

Judge bans enforcement of Biden's 100-day deportation pause HOUSTON (AP) — A federal judge late Tuesday indefinitely banned President Joe Biden's administration from enforcing a 100-day moratorium on most deportations. U.S. District Judge Drew Tipton …
Capitol defenders blame bad intelligence for deadly breach WASHINGTON - Faulty intelligence was to blame for the outmanned Capitol defenders' failure to anticipate the violent mob that invaded the iconic building and halted certification of the presidential election on Jan. 6, the officials who were in …
Iran officially imposes curbs on international nuclear inspections TEHRAN, Iran (AP) - Iran officially started restricting international inspections of its nuclear facilities Tuesday, a bid to pressure European countries and President Joe Biden's administration to lift crippling economic sanctions and restore the …
SPLC: At least 160 Confederate symbols taken down in 2020 NEW YORK - When rioters tore through the U.S. Capitol last month, some of them gripping Confederate battle flags, they didn't encounter a statue of the most famous rebel general, Robert E. Lee. The Lee statue, which represented the state of …
State News
Former S.C. utility CEO pleads guilty to nuclear plant fraud

COLUMBIA (AP) — The utility executive who spent billions of dollars on two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a single watt of power pleaded guilty to federal conspiracy charges …

South Carolina delays 5-year minimum for stealing packages COLUMBIA (AP) — A small group of South Carolina lawmakers decided Wednesday to postpone voting on a proposal to create a new law specifically to handle people stealing packages from porches, …
Woods gets initial OK to be S.C.'s Public Safety director COLUMBIA (AP) — A small group of South Carolina senators Wednesday approved the governor's nomination of a nearly lifelong member of the Highway Patrol to lead the state Department of Public …
Former S.C. utility executive to plead guilty in two courts COLUMBIA (AP) — The utility executive who spent billions of dollars on two South Carolina nuclear plants that never generated a single watt of power is expected to plead guilty to federal and …
Georgetown city ordinance encourages home solar installs GEORGETOWN (AP) — A South Carolina city has approved a zoning change to make it easier for residents to install solar panels, and get credit for any power they contribute to the grid.The …
Obituaries
EARLINE WALKER KELLY

Earline Walker Kelly, 61, wife of James Kelly, died on Wednesday, Feb. 23, 2021, in Atlanta. Born on May 14, 1959, in Sumter, she was a daughter of Robert Brown and Hattie Addison. In accordance with COVID-19 guidelines, the family requests …

DONALD LAW

BISHOPVILLE - Donald Law entered eternal rest on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at his residence, 67 Wilson Park Lane, Lynchburg. Funeral arrangements will be announced by Wilson Funeral Home, 403 S. Main St., Bishopville.

MACKEY DESCHAMPS

Mackey Deschamps, 82, husband of Adrianne M. Deschamps, died on Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, at McLeod Health Clarendon in Manning. Born in Sumter County, he was a son of the late Leon Deschamps and Henrietta Rhames Deschamps White and stepson of …

CINDY MARIE KEMP

Cindy Marie Kemp, 48, of 5240 Thomas Sumter Highway, passed away on Friday, Feb. 19, 2021, at her home. Bostick-Tompkins Funeral Home of Sumter is in charge of the arrangements.

CHARLOTTE JOHNSON

Charlotte Johnson, 80, died on Sunday, Feb. 14, 2021, in Brooklyn, New York. She was born on Aug. 8, 1940, in Pinewood, to the late Sylvester and Ethel Johnson. Funeral services are incomplete and will be announced at a later date. Services …

Faith
Church News: Friday, Feb. 19, 2021 St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church, 1715 S. Guignard Drive, announces: * Saturday, March 13 - A drive-by celebration for the second anniversary of Pastor Calvin K. Hastie Sr. will be held at 2 p.m. at St. Matthew Missionary Baptist Church.
The Rev. Dr. Clay Smith: Fighting prejudice ... I pumped gas into my truck, hung up the nozzle and climbed back in. Before I could shut the door, a young African-American male came up and asked me how I was. It was a little strange; people wave and nod at the gas station but do not make …
Survey: Black Americans attend church and pray more often NEW YORK (AP) - Black Americans attend church more regularly than Americans overall and pray more often. Most attend churches that are predominantly Black, yet many would like those congregations to become racially diverse. There is broad respect …
The Rev. Dr. Clay Smith: Score one for the old guys... I am old enough to remember when the only big-league team in Florida was the Miami Dolphins - and they only arrived in 1966. Tampa, the city nearest us, built a new stadium in hopes of luring an NFL team to town. The sports editor for The Tampa …
Celebrations
Winsteads of Sumter celebrate 71 years of marriage Mr. and Mrs. Tom Winstead Sr. of Sumter celebrated their 71th wedding anniversary on Monday, Feb. 1, 2021. They were married on Feb. 1, 1950, in San Antonio, Texas. The couple's three children are Tom Winstead Jr. of Elkin, North Carolina, Rick …
Schumachers announce birth of a daughter, Elvie Evans Blake Edmund and Sarah Cutler Schumacher of Columbia announce the birth of a daughter, Elvie Evans Schumacher, on Jan. 13, 2021, at Lexington Medical Center, Lexington. Elvie weighed 8 pounds and 3 ounces. She was 19 1/2 inches …
5 generations of the Chandler family Five generations of the Chandler family from left, seated on sofa: Tonya Gainey Casselman, grandmother; Louise Chandler, great-great-grandmother, holding Clinton Casselman, child; Debbie Chandler Gainey, great-grandmother; and seated on floor, Haley …
McLeods of Sumter celebrate 65 years of marriage Mr. and Mrs. James McLeod of Sumter celebrate their 65th wedding anniversary today, Saturday, Feb. 6, 2021. They were married on Feb. 6, 1956. The couple's three sons are Leroy McLeod, Douglas McLeod and the late James McLeod. The couple has …
Dear Abby
Pets for adoption
Handsome Higgins is waiting to meet his new family at Sumter Animal Control

BELOW: This handsome fella is Higgins. He weighs 43 pounds and is approximately 2-3 years old. He is sweet and gentle and enjoys going on long walks with the volunteers. Higgins is heartworm positive and will be starting his treatments soon. This …

Weddings
Lynch-Coker Katherine Lorena Lynch of Alcolu and Zachary Scott Coker of Turbeville were united in marriage at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, at First Baptist Church in Sumter. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Neal C. Lynch of Alcolu and the …
Glaze-Burr CHARLESTON - Sally Glaze and John Aaron Burr IV, both of Myrtle Beach, were united in marriage at 4 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 10, 2020, at John Wesley United Methodist Church. The bride is the daughter of Mr. Lee Glaze and Mrs. Frances Glaze of Sumter …
Underwood-Coleman Ellen Andrea Underwood of Charleston and Charles Clayton Coleman Jr. of Sumter were united in marriage at 4:30 p.m. Saturday, Oct. 31, 2020, at Coleman Family Farms in Sumter. The bride is the daughter of Mr. Andrew Underwood of San Diego, …
Hage-Hart FOLLY BEACH - Kayla Diane Hage of Lexington and Thomas Edwin Hart of North Charleston were united in marriage at 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 21, 2020, at The Pelican Watch Pavilion. The bride is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Kris Eugene Hage of …
Engagements
Morris-Winn Mike and Tammie Morris announce the engagement of their daughter, Tiffany Alexandria Morris, to Arthur Ryan Winn, son of Arthur and Eileen Winn, all of Sumter. The bride-elect is the granddaughter of the late James and Edna House and Carol Morris …
Cox-Sowards Richard and Sherry Cox of Dalzell announce the engagement of their daughter, Allison RayAnn Cox of Dalzell, to Garrett Hunter Sowards of Merritt Island, Florida, son of Bradford and Stephanie Sowards of Melbourne, Florida. The bride-elect is the …
Reflections

Reflections by Sammy Way: Sumter has been visited by several presidents

Wikipedia Encyclopedia defines Presidents Day as "Washington's birthday, being a federal holiday celebrated on the third Monday of February in honor of George Washington, the first president of the United States, who was born on Feb. 22, 1732. The …

Yesteryear
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Northrop Black Widow on display at Shaw; former SHS athlete will carry torch 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 July 31 - Aug. 6 - Cotton is already beginning to open in various sections of Sumter County, and, if favorable weather prevails during the next week or 10 days, picking will get underway generally before the middle of the …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Sumter police seek Piper cub thief; Sumter Volunteers offers 'shares' 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 July 24 - 30 - Sumter is a good place to live and a good place to work. Most employers pay good wages either because they are fair minded or because, in a competitive sense, they are obliged to do so in order to maintain …
Yesteryear by Sammy Way: Pinewood Chamber in the works; conference brings innkeepers to Sumter 75 YEARS AGO - 1946 July 17 - 23 - The daily Vacation Bible School of the Fraser Memorial Presbyterian Chapel began Monday at the Wilder school with an enrollment of 71, with 10 teachers and helpers in charge. Since that time, the attendance …
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