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    Shot Pouch Greenway construction fly-by

    A new nature trail that will soon connect Swan Lake-Iris Gardens to Dillon Park is under construction and should be completed by year's end.
    This Penny for Progress project aims to encourage biking, walking and enjoying the great outdoors.

    McCain and Byrd retain titles of County Council Chairman and Vice Chairman

    Jan 13 2021 Sumter County Council 1

    Sumter County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. and Vice Chairman James “Jimmy” Byrd Jr. both retained their respective titles of chairman and vice chairman after Council voted on its officers at the outset of Tuesday’s regular meeting, the first of the year.

    The terms are for two years.

    Councilman Carlton Washington received his official Sumter County Council pin from Chairman McCain as Washington begins a four-year term representing District 1.

    Jan 13 2021 Sumter County Council 2

    Jan 13 2021 Sumter County Council 3

    South Carolinians 70 years old and older can schedule Covid-19 vaccine beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, 2021

    Governor Henry McMaster and the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC) announced that beginning Wednesday, Jan. 13, any South Carolina resident aged 70 or older, regardless of health status or preexisting conditions, can begin scheduling their appointment to receive COVID-19 vaccine.
    Call this DHEC Care line - 1-855-472-3432 or use this online resource to receive the vaccine:

    Seven elected officials sworn into four-year terms

    Jan 4 2021 Sumter County officials swearing in ceremony Sumter County Judicial Center 4

    Seven elected officials were sworn into office for four-year terms on Monday, Jan. 4, 2021, at the Sumter County Judicial Center.

    Sumter County Council Chairman James T. McCain Jr. welcomed everyone before the Rev. James Goodman offered an invocation.

    The Sumter County Sheriff’s Office Honor Guard posted the colors and Inv. Kyle Hake sang the National Anthem.

    S.C. Supreme Court Associate Justice George James Jr. swore into office Clerk to Court Jamie Campbell and then Sumter County Sheriff Anthony Dennis.

    Justice James then swore into office newly elected Councilman Carlton Washington.

    Councilman Jimmy Byrd, Councilwoman Vivian Fleming-McGhaney and Councilman Eugene Baten were then sworn into office by Justice James.

    Sumter County Coroner Robbie Baker was sworn into office and Justice James then concluded the brief ceremony.  

    Jan 4 2021 Sumter County officials swearing in ceremony Sumter County Judicial Center 10

    Jan 4 2021 Sumter County officials swearing in ceremony Sumter County Judicial Center 13

    Jan 4 2021 Sumter County officials swearing in ceremony Sumter County Judicial Center 16

    Jan 4 2021 Sumter County officials swearing in ceremony Sumter County Judicial Center 2

    Family Court's Neasman is upbeat, positive

    Dec 3 2020 Derwin Neasman Family Court 4
    Derwin Neasman Jr. started working for Sumter County Government when he was only 18 years old.

    He landed a summer job, helping supervise kids in day camp at Salterstown Community Center. This was after he graduated a year early from high school.

    “When everybody was having fun in the summer, I was in school,” he said. “I doubled up on my classes.”

    The William Thomas Academy graduate said his first job with Sumter County Government definitely required a high degree of active participation.

    “It was fun and challenging,” he said, and involved helping supervise “a whole lot of kids. I definitely enjoyed it -- I like working with kids.”

    He grew up with four sisters and an older brother and the ability to embrace a high-energy environment. That mindset has served him well in his other job, where he works part-time on the coaching staff at Team Robinson MMA & Fitness, training kids in martial arts.

    “I enjoy it so much,” he said.

    He was first exposed to martial arts at the Salvation Army Boys and Girls Club when he was a kid, but he wasn’t serious about it. As he got older, his mother Angela Pinkney encouraged him to try boxing and then he slowly got back into martial arts.

    “And ever since then I fell in love with it,” he said. “For one, it’s confidence – a self-esteem builder, knowing I’m able to protect myself and anyone around me if anything should happen.”

    He recently earned his brown belt, and he’s already working toward his black belt.

    “Just to be able to say – when I earn my black belt, I can forever say I’m a black belt,” he said.

    Now a 21-year-old, the Sumter native has been working in Family Court for two years and stays busy as a scanner and file clerk.

    Family Court Chief Deputy Clerk Marie Witherspoon said Neasman’s upbeat and positive personality stood out during his initial interview.

    “We felt he would be a good addition to Family Court and we were correct,” she said. “He picked up his job as a scanning clerk very quickly and when we implemented the new statewide Family Court system he adapted immediately. With his young age he has the potential to have a long and prosperous career with the Sumter County Clerk of Court’s Office.”

    Neasman doesn’t shy from hard work wherever he is.

    In describing a file he’s currently working on, he said he was simply, “In the zone.”

    To earn his brown belt, he endured two hours of sparring as his techniques were carefully reviewed and scrutinized.

    “And each time you get a new belt, or you’re teaching kids, you’re learning new stuff every single time,” he said. “With my job, I’m learning more and more every day about how our court system works.”

    Neasman gets along well with his work family and said he finds his coworkers “very helpful.”

    “I thank them so much every day,” he said.

    Like many 21-year-olds, he enjoys playing video games, roller skating and going to the movies with his girlfriend.

    He’s also a bit of an aficionado with watches and currently has 13 in his collection.

    “My father (Derwin Neasman Sr.) started me into watches and when I was growing up, I saw him wear different watches,” he said.

    He appreciates the craftsmanship and look of a well-made watch, he said, and it bolsters his confidence to sport a handsome timepiece.

    “There’s nothing like a good watch,” he said. “It’s very eye-catching.”
    Dec 3 2020 Derwin Neasman Family Court 2


    Family Court Public Access now available, allows you to search online for case updates

    If you have a case in Family Court, you can now go online to check for any updates.

    The Family Court Public Access allows you to go online and find out about scheduled hearings, the ability to search the docket, and the opportunity to search and find relevant case information quickly and easily.

    The link is available through Sumter County’s website here: http://cms7.revize.com/revize/sumtersc/departments/e_-_i/family_court/index.php

    Family Court mug

    SWRTA offering free bus rides

    Oct 12 2020 SWRTA free service 5

    The Santee Wateree Regional Transportation Authority is offering free rides on its buses and shuttles in Sumter County for the foreseeable future.

    “We want to assist our citizens and to build up ridership and to let them know we are doing all we can do for our citizens,” said Lottie Jones, the Executive Director of SWRTA.

    As the coronavirus has impacted pretty much every aspect of our lives, public transportation has been hit hard as well.

    “We understand the hardship it’s had on folks in our area. And for the unemployed who may need to go places, but may not have funds,” she said.

    Right now, SWRTA is operating only in Sumter and Lee counties, but continues to offer service to and from Columbia. The mid-day Express Commuter Route has been especially helpful for veterans who have appointments at the VA Hospital in Columbia, she said.

    This service runs on Tuesdays and Wednesdays and is available not just for veterans, but for anyone who needs to go to Columbia and get back to Sumter.

    Riders are required to wear masks, she said, and social distancing measures are in place. The SWRTA is in the process of putting hand-free sanitizer on the buses, she said, while several daily cleanings are now part of the normal protocol.

    “We’ve taken many safety precautions,” she said, “and we want folks to feel secure while riding our vehicles.”

    For more information, call (803) 775-9347 or visit https://www.swrta.com/

    Oct 12 2020 SWRTA free service 6

    Oct 12 2020 SWRTA free service 4

    Oct 12 2020 SWRTA free service 1

    Coronavirus statistics for Sumter County -- Free testing now available

    As of 11:59 p.m. on Jan. 18, 2021, there have been 399,843 cases of Covid-19 in South Carolina, according to the state Department of Environmental Health and Control (DHEC).

    There have unfortunately been 6,328 deaths, with 16,689 hospitalizations and a total number of tests reaching 4,458,244.  Our state recovery estimate stands at 88.9  percent.

    For Sumter County, we’ve seen 7,137 cases of Covid-19, with 396 hospitalizations and 133 deaths. The total number of tests performed has been 75,724.

    State and federal authorities continue to offer simple advice for staying healthy: Wear a mask in public, socially distance from others by staying at least six feet apart, wash your hands often, avoid crowds and crowded places and if you don’t feel well, stay home.

    If you don’t feel well you need to get tested.

    There will be FREE TESTING from 1 to 6 p.m. from Tuesday, Jan. 19 to Thursday, Jan. 21, at the Sumter County Civic Center, 700 West Liberty Street. Testing will also be available on Monday, Jan. 25, 2021 at the Civic Center. Neither an appointment nor referral is needed. For more information, call 803-670-2998

    There will be FREE TESTING from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Sumter County DHEC Building at 105 North Magnolia Street from Monday, Jan. 18 to Friday, Jan. 22. Neither an appointment nor referral is needed, but you are urged to pre-register here: https://scdhec.gov/GetTested

    There will be FREE TESTING from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. from Tuesday, Jan. 19 to Monday, Jan. 25 at Central Carolina Technical College, 506 North Guignard Drive, courtesy of Tour Health. No referral is needed, but an appointment is needed. You can register here: https://www.tourhealth.com/

    Other testing sites that charge a fee include Prisma Health Tuomey Hospital, 215 Main St., Colonial Family Practice, 325 Broad St., Sandhills Medical Foundation, 425 North Salem Ave., and CVS Pharmacy, 41 East Calhoun St.

    For more information, visit the DHEC website: https://scdhec.gov/

    May 6 2020 Sumter County Civic Center coronavirus testing

    Sumter County Council's Jan. 12, 2021, meeting

    Sumter County Council Tuesday evening met for just under an hour for the first meeting of 2021.

    Sumter City-County Planning Director Helen Roodman spoke to council members about a request to rezone a seven-acre tract of land at 475 Myrtle Beach Highway from Light Industrial Warehouse (LIW) to Heavy Industrial (HI).

    First reading was approved.

    A resolution authorizing a Fee-In-Lieu of Tax (FILOT) agreement with Thompson Construction Group Inc. saw first reading approved.

    First reading of an ordinance related to the FILOT was deferred.

    Councilman Eugene Baten reported on a Veterans group that meets regularly.

    Chairman James McCain reported that he and others met with staff members from U.S. Sen. Tim Scott’s office at the Sumter Economic Development building to discuss various matters.

    Councilman Carlton Washington advocated for helping his fellow Veterans through the Sumter County Veterans Affairs Office.

    Sumter County Administrator Gary Mixon said Roodman has created a way to track Covid-19 deaths in Sumter County and how they are broken down by age and gender.

    Mixon discussed the coming dispersal of the Covid-19 vaccine, which is being distributed by the S.C. Department of Health and Environmental Control and is initially being given to front line medical workers and first responders.

    South Carolinians aged 70 and older are now eligible to sign up for the vaccine, he noted.

    “We’re still daily having this conversation with the state,” Mixon said, about when the vaccine will be available to the general public.

    Litter was also a topic of discussion; Mixon said a Joint Litter Advisory Committee with the City of Sumter is in the planning stages.

    The meeting adjourned at 6:56 p.m.


    Expect traffic slowdowns at Wilson Hall and Carter Road intersection

    May 26 2020 Carter Rd and Wilson Halll intersection Penny for Progress 1

    The Penny for Progress project to improve the intersection of Wilson Hall Road and Carter Road officially got underway today as the Notice to Proceed was given from Sumter County Government.

    This project is scheduled to be completed within 365 days and the purpose is to improve traffic flow while making it safer for pedestrians and motorists alike.

    Improvements will include new turn lanes, installation of mast arms and signalization, along with drainage improvements and designated crosswalks.

    Utilities are currently being relocated and will cause traffic slowdowns, so please be patient as we work to improve this intersection.

    May 26 2020 Carter Rd and Wilson Halll intersection Penny for Progress 2

    December 2020 edition of Gamecock County Gazette now available

    An online newsletter from Sumter County Government is now available for free.
    Each month the Gamecock County Gazette will be delivered via e-mail, and for those who wish to receive a digital copy please send your e-mail address to jperry@sumtercountysc.org and our communications coordinator will add you to the list.

    To see the newsletter, click here

    December 2020 GCG