Year in review: July to December
• Former Fairfield County Administrator Phil Hinely resigned the day after SLED was in Winnsboro investigating Hinely’s alleged use of a county computer to view pornography.
• The Jenkinsville Water Company retained the services of attorney Jeff Goodwin to represent JWC president Gregory Ginyard in his lawsuit against Jeff Schaffer. The lawsuit seeks actual and punitive damages totalling $50,000.
• Following two years of planning, downtown Winnsboro opened a Farmers Market next to the Napa Auto Parts store on Congress Street.
• State Sen. Creighton Coleman asked SLED to continue its investigation into alleged improper computer use by former county administrator Phil Hinely.
• Winnsboro Mayor Roger Gaddy, District 2 Councilman Stan Klaus and District 4 Councilman Jack Wilkes took their oaths of office.
• Fairfield County Council accepted Phil Hinely’s resignation as county administrator and approved 90 days of severance pay for him.
• Winnsboro teen and Richard Winn Academy student, Creighton Ellison, competed in the finals of the National High School Rodeo for the fifth consecutive year.
• During their inaugural season, Fairfield County’s AAU basketball team, Fairfield Thunder claimed their first tournament trophy by defeating the Columbia Hornets.
• Dr. Robin Hardy accepted the principal position at Fairfield Middle School.
• The Lake Wateree Home Owners Association held its annual meeting to celebrate their 25-year milestone and to honor those who helped the group become established.
• School board in Fairfield County’s School District unanimously approved students to be allowed to bring their computer devices to Fairfield Central High School and Fairfield Middle School for the 2013-14 school year.
• Fairfield County Council approved hiring Milton Pope as interim county administrator.
• Mekra Tool & Mold located in Ridgeway celebrated its 10-year anniversary.
• Following a letter from State Senator Creighton Coleman, Fairfield County Council stopped insurance payments and tuition reimbursement programs for county council members.
• In the midst of a 1,500-mile journey, the Bike 4 Friendship tour passed through Ridgeway. The cycling tour started as part of an effort to raise money for the organization, Friendship Circle.
• In an effort to lure people to downtown Winnsboro, Hoot’s restaurant partnered with three entities (Cotton Yard Market, Over the Top and Fairfield Arts Council) to sell their products inside Hoot’s.
• A fire destroyed part of home on Kincaid Bridge Road in Winnsboro.
• At a specially called county council meeting, Fairfield County Economic Development Director Tiffany Harrison announced a $7.5-million project that could bring 500 jobs to the county.
• Fairfield County residents Robert Shull and Val Green protested the paving of Chinook Drive in Blair by parking a log skidder in the driveway to prevent the paving.
• Blair’s Women on a Mission group held its first “healthy” yard sale to help people by educating and empowering them.
• Fairfield County School District’s letter grades fell from a B (84.9) to a D (63.8).
• Fairfield County Council unanimously passed a final reading of an ordinance authorizing an infrastructure credit agreement between the county and Project Palmetto. The ordinance was passed to enable the $7.5-million economic development project to continue.
• Winnsboro’s local live theatre, Pine Tree Players, debuted its newest musical comedy — Doo-Wop Wed Widing Hood.
• Fairfield County deputies solved a rash of burglaries on Winter Street. Robert C. Branham was arrested after investigation recovered five carloads of stolen property.
• The Center for Disease Control visited Winnsboro to highlight the success of Fairfield County’s implementation of the Healthy South Carolina Initiatives including Faith Based Tobacco Education Prevention, Healthy Eating and Youth Empowerment.
• During a media day at the V.C. Summer Nuclear facility, SCE&G announced the two new reactors under construction remain under budget.
• The Town of Winnsboro began renovations on the Town Clock. Workers repaired the framework of the bell tower and changed the face of the clock from white to black.
• Fairfield Central’s girls’ tennis team marked the start of the 2013 season with a midnight practice.
• Around 200 people turned for Winnsboro’s first ever Spirit Fest. The inaugural event brought together downtown businesses and area schools in support of the young people of the county.
• During a joint meeting between Fairfield County Council and the Town of Winnsboro, a provisional contract for water and sewer service to the industrial park was discussed.
• At Fairfield County’s back to school convocation, Fairfield Middle School teacher Cynthia George was announced as the district’s Teacher of the Year.
• Less than a week before the 2013-14 school year began, the Fairfield County School District determined that the air quality and mold-related issues were corrected at Fairfield Middle School.
• Project Palmetto was revealed, when Element Electronics formally announced that its television manufacturing company would move into the old Perry Ellis building on Bypass 321.
• Lexington-Richland School District Five, the District 5 Foundation for Educational Excellence and locally owned Midlands Biofuels of Winnsboro signed an agreement to encourage local restaurants to sell their used cooking oil to Midlands Biofuels.
• The Fairfield County Cookbook debuted at Honeysuckle Acres Bed-n-Breakfast. The cookbook contains 635 local-recipes from Fairfield County residents.
• Richard Winn Academy’s football team comes up short in opener when they lost 30-26 to the Patrick Henry Patriots.
• Richard Winn Academy’s volleyball team soared by Ben Lippen 25-7, 25-10 and 25-10 to win their season opener.
• Fairfield Central’s football defeated the Redhawks of Westwood in the first game of the regular season by a score of 35-26 on the road. The Griffins erased a 7-0 deficit to win the game.
• The STEM Institute was granted a charter by the S.C. Public Charter School District to open during the fall of 2014.
• During a Fairfield County Council meeting, a staff attorney for S.C. Association of Counties presented the group’s argument against the waste flow bill (House Bill 3290’s). The presentation prompted State Senator Creighton Coleman, a supporter of the bill, to request 30 minutes to speak in rebuttal. His request was approved by council.
• In their season opener, the Lady Griffins’ volleyball team fell to Lower Richland 22-25, 25-22, 17-25 and 17-25.
• Around 60 people attended a rally set up by county councilman Kamau Marcharia. The rally was to protest the distribution of tax dollars in Fairfield County, particularity as it related to recreation facilities in the western side of the county.
• In its second year, the Big Grab yard sale expanded to a 43-mile loop.
• The Jenkinsville Water Company suffered a loss of 65,000 gallons when a construction company pulled water from a tank near the campground on S.C. 215 without permission.
• In a competitive blood drive between Fairfield Central and Chester High School, the Griffins collected 61 units of blood compared to 49 for the Cyclones.
• During the public comments section of a Winnsboro Town Council meeting, the Friends of Mt. Zion Institute requested a time to meet with town council to discuss the future of the Mt. Zion property.
• Eau Claire Cooperative Health Centers and the Town of Jenkinsville held a ground breaking ceremony for the new Lake Monticello Family Practice medical facility in Jenkinsville, located at 9017 S.C. 215.
• Sixteen arrests were made in a county-wide narcotics operation.
• Winnsboro Rotary held its first 4way test 5k run/walk to raise funds for Rotary service projects, Fairfield Steps and Polio Prevention.
• Fairfield County Council unanimously approved replacing its existing expense allocation policy. Council members are now required to turn in receipts for expenditures.
• Fairfield County School District’s SAT scores declined by 20 points.
• Rock Around the Clock’s beauty pageant winners were crowned. Lauren Brooke Smith was 2013’s Miss Rock Around the Clock.
• Two independent studies revealed that all county funds were accounted for and that local option sales tax (LOST) credits were passed onto tax payers.
• Fairfield County School District’s AP test scores improved their pass rate by 18-percent, which exceed the statewide 8.7-percent.
• Sarah Grier Thompson was crowned as Richard Winn Academy’s homecoming queen.
• Winnsboro’s town council unanimously voted to deny Ridgeway’s request for a $1,400 refund related to a water purge.
• Midlands STEM Institute won the “Most Original Float” award in the Rocking Chair Parade during the Rock Around the Clock festival.
• Two robbed the Dollar General at gunpoint on S.C. 34 in Ridgeway.
• Fairfield Memorial Hospital Foundation raised $15,000 at its second annual Barbecue, Bluegrass & Blue Jeans Benefit.
• Richard Winn Academy’s athletic director Joe Pitt was inducted to the hall of fame at Union County High School.
• Interim County Administrator Milton Pope said the millage calculations for the county needed to be changed and the findings showed the county needed to stop using the LOST funds to adjust millage rates early in the tax bill process.
• District 41 Rep. Mary Gail Douglas informed county council members David Ferguson, Mary Lynn Kinely and Mikel Trapp that Sen. Creighton Coleman intended to file a class action lawsuit on behalf of at least 20 plaintiffs.
• Landowner Val Green brought the paving of Chinook Drive to a standstill after filing a restraining order against Fairfield County and the paving company.
• Ridgeway resident Virginia Miles appeared on BYU-TV’s show “The Story Trek.”
• Two confirmed cases of rabies were found in Fairfield County. Two adults from the Winnsboro area were treated for rabies following exposure to a dog that tested positive for the disease.
• Midlands STEM Institute chose Marie Milam as the school’s first executive director.
• Over a thousand people rode the Pumpkin Patch Express out of the S.C. Railroad Museum on the final Saturday in October.
• Town of Winnsboro celebrated Halloween with inaugural Pumpkin Fest in downtown Winnsboro.
• Fairfield County Council unanimously voted that any recreation spending of the $500,000 bond money must by approved by a majority vote of council.
• Fairfield County Council implemented a new policy for reimbursement to council members.
• District 3 County Councilman Mikel Trapp told The Herald Independent his constituents were okay with him missing council meetings, because he received 230 replies from a letter he sent out to his constituents. After an investigation, The Herald Independent was unable to recover one of the letters or confirmation from voters in district 3 they received a letter.
• The Lady Griffins’ tennis team’s season ended after a playoff loss at Abbeville 4-3.
• Richard Winn’s volleyball team’s season came to an end in the post-season. The Lady Eagles soared to a record of 17-6.
• Ridgeway’s 15th annual Pig on the Ridge festival saw Some-R-Swine take first place in the professional bracket and Gals Can’t Quit Smokin’ take first place in the amateur bracket.
• Midlands STEM Institute’s board of directors chose the former residential care facility at 1403 Greenbrier Mossydale Road outside Winnsboro as the site for the new public charter school in Fairfield County.
• The Fairfield Magnet School for Math and Science gained notice from S.C. Association of School Administrators it is being considered for the Palmetto’s Finest Award.
• Public raised concerns about the Town of Winnsboro’s discolored water. Mayor Roger Gaddy stated that because of a turnover in the reservoir, there was a sediment called manganese that was picked up from the bottom causing the discoloration.
• SLED’s case investigating former Fairfield County Administrator Phil Hinely’s alleged viewing of pornography on county computers was closed with no charges being filed.
• Winnsboro’s town council announced it would offer the Mt. Zion property to the Friends of Mt. Zion Institute.
• Fairfield Central student-athlete Compton Walker was selected to participate in the North/South all-star game.
• Fairfield County Council changed its bylaws in regards to public comments. Speakers are required to state their name and district they live in. They are allowed a three-minute window to speak. Comments must pertain to the meeting’s agenda.
• Ricard Winn girl’s basketball team opened the 2013 season with a 76-10 blowout win.
•Interim County Administrator Milton Pope recommended Fairfield’s County Council reinstate the committee process. Council approved the recommendation unanimously.
• Ben Arnold Beverage Co. made a $5,000 donation to the Fairfield Community Food Bank.
• The Town of Winnsboro was awarded a $100,000 grant to create a park and walking trail on the property in front of the Mt. Zion Institute.
• Fairfield Central’s football became Upper-State champions for the second season in a row after a 37-13 at Cheraw.
• County officials were told Fairfield County will seek an engineering firm well versed in recreation projects to consult and oversee projects in each district.
• David Toney, the defensive coordinator for Fairfield Central’s football team, was put on administrative leave after being arrested for a marijuana possession charge.
• The Griffins’ football team lost to Dillon in the state title game by a score of 41-3. Fairfield Central’s overall record was 13-1.
• Fairfield Central girl’s basketball team opened their regular season with a convincing 61-12 win over Great Falls.
• Friends of Mt. Zion Institute (FOMZI) and the Town of Winnsboro verbally agree on a deal to transfer the Mt. Zion deed to FOMZI.
• Lang Mekra donated $1,000 to the Fairfield Community Food Bank.
• Jenkinsville Water Company absorbed an excess bill from Mid-County Water Company after using 700,000 gallons over its normal amount because of purging water in an attempt to clear out discolored water.
• A $6,000 grant from NASA paid for the Fairfield Central Griffins Robotics Team 5327’s trip to compete in Myrtle Beach at the 11th annual Palmetto Regional Robotics Competition.
• Ridgeway’s town council tabled a vote to set up security camera in the downtown area.
• Pine Tree Players brought a Christmas mood into Fairfield County with the production of It’s A Wonderful Life: A Live Radio Play.
• Economic development in Blythewood spurred a water request for the Town of Winnsboro. Fowler Realty requested the installation and service of 95 water taps for a housing development and a long-term project that would request 80,000-100,000 gallons per day for a mixed-use commercial development.
• The Fairfield Memorial Hospital (FMH) Foundation was the recipient of a $2,500 grant from SCE&G to provide FMH’s emergency department with a portable vital signs monitor.
• Friends of Mt. Zion Institute signed a contract with the Town of Winnsboro to purchase the Mt. Zion property.
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