Budget cuts hurting Greenwood library

February 5, 2004

Index-Journal senior staff writer

In the place of Redbook is a pink card, informing readers that the magazine’s subscription has been canceled by the Greenwood County Library because of budget cuts.
The same kind of card is displayed in place of Discover, ESPN, Barron’s and dozens of other magazines axed this year because of state budget cuts.
“I used to read Poptronics,” said Greenwood resident James E. Powell, who scoured library magazines Wednesday to collect Web page addresses. “I used to read Sandlapper, too.”
The library did not renew subscriptions to either magazine this year.
State budget cuts forced the library to cancel 55 magazine subscriptions this year, in addition to pulling the plug on all Spanish-language and book mobile magazines.
This leaves 75 titles on the racks, said Library Director Prudence Taylor, but more budget cuts are on the way this year.
“The state budget cuts really, really hurt us bad,” Taylor said, “and it’s going to get worse.”
The library lost $5,000 this year, she said, with another $2,000 in cuts expected in the coming year.
Magazines took the biggest hit, but cuts affected other areas of the library, as well.
State aid for children’s books was slashed from $16,000 to $8,000 this year, while adult non-fiction lost $11,000.
Money for books on tape was cut by $3,000.
The Greenwood County Library also receives money from county government, Taylor said. Because state and local governments deliver payments at different times of the year, state aid is used to maintain subscriptions at the start of the fiscal year.
County aid does not arrive until October, she said, and this money is primarily used to pay utility bills.
The library receives a per capita payment of $1.01 right now — about $66,000 a year — which will drop to $1 in July, Taylor said. Library staff and supporters across the state want to increase this level to $2, as well as double lottery funding to $3 million.
Since 2000, state aid to libraries has been cut 50 percent, according to the Association of Public Library Administrators, the lowest it’s been in the state since the mid-1970s.
Anyone interested in boosting state revenue to libraries should contact members of local state legislature, Taylor said.
“Call and ask them to support the public library,” she said, “to work to increase our state aid and to double our lottery money.”

Wallace McBride covers Greenwood and general assignments in the Lakelands. He can be reached at 223-1812, or: wmcbride@indexjournal.com

Thelma Gray Clark

ABBEVILLE – Thelma Gray Clark, 93, of Abbeville wife of the late Hugh Allison Clark, Sr., died Tuesday, February 3, 2004 at the McCormick Health Care Center. She was bornJanuary 28, 1911 to the late Alexander and Elizabeth Pavletich Gray.
Mrs. Clark retired as a seamstress for Belk Simpson Department Store and was a member of Abbeville First Baptist Church.
She was predeceased by a son Aleck G. Clark. Surviving Mrs. Clark are her two sons, Hugh A Clark, Jr. of Fort Meyers,FL, and Melvin J. Clark of Abbeville, two sisters, Marguerite Ramsey of Ocala, FL, and Alice Readdick of Savannah, GA, nine grandchildren, and eighteen great-grandchildren.
The family will receive friends 10:00AM - 11:30AM Friday, February 6, 2004 at the Abbeville First Baptist Church. Funeral Services will be 12:00PM in the church sanctuary. Burial will follow in Melrose Cemetery.
Memorial Contributions in honor of Mrs. Clark may be sent to the Abbeville First Baptist Church 307 N. Main St. Abbeville, SC 29620 OR to the Upper Long Cane Presbyterian Church 194 Hwy. 20 Abbeville, SC 29620.
HARRIS FUNERAL HOME of Abbeville is assisting the Clark family.

Marshall Mathis Sr.

EDGEFIELD — Marshall Mathis Sr., 90, of 403 Timmerman St., died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004 at Edgefield County Hospital.
A native of Edgefield County, he was retired from the S.C. State Office Department of Public Safety. He was a member of Willow Spring Baptist Church, where he served on the Deacon Board.
Survivors include seven daughters, Emma Hayes and Deloris Mathis, both of New York, Catherine Morgan and Geraldine Mathis, both of Edgefield, Cora Timothy of Pennsylvania, Mary Mcauly of Charlotte, N.C., and Nancy Lowery of Texas; a son, Brodie Mathis of Pennsylvania; 21 grandchildren; 23 great-grandchildren.
Services are 2 p.m. Saturday at Willow Spring Baptist Church, conducted by the Rev. Dr. E.L. Cain. Burial is in the church cemetery.
Visitation is either at the home or, after 1 p.m. Friday, at G.L. Brightharp & Sons Mortuary.
G.L. Brightharp & Sons Mortuary is in charge.

Jerome Scurry

EDGEFIELD — Jerome Scurry, 51, of 30 Dorn Road, died Sunday, Feb. 1, 2004 at his home.
Born in Washington, D.C., he was a son of Hattie Anderson Scurry and the late Willie Floyd Scurry. He was an employee of Clendenin Lumber Co., Ware Shoals. A member of Springfield Baptist Church, he graduated from W.E. Parker High School in 1970 and received a welding certificate from Piedmont Technical College.
Survivors include his mother of Edgefield; a daughter, Sierra Scurry of Saluda; five brothers, Ansel “Tony” Scurry of Greenwood, Dennis Scurry and Purvis Scurry, both of Johnston, Jeffery Lee of Maryland and Marcus Phillips of Edgefield; a sister, Fonda Walker of Johnston.
Services are 1 p.m. Saturday at Springfield Baptist Church, conducted by the Rev. Earnest Gordon, assisted by the Revs. Nathaniel Langford, Sloan Gordon, Johnny Peterson and Ronnie Gordon. The body will be placed in the church at 12. Burial is in the church cemetery.
Pallbearers are friends of the family.
Flower bearers are members of W.E. Parker Class of 1970 and family friends.
The family is at the home of his mother, Hattie Scurry, 730 Highway 378 E.
Butler & Sons Funeral Home, Saluda, is in charge.

James Anthony Washington

WASHINGTON, DC – James Anthony Washington, 40, of Washington, DC died Jan. 31, 2004. He was the son of Lem C. Jackson of Greenwood, SC and Mary Jones Jackson of Saluda, SC.
In addition to his parents, he is survived by a brother, Earl Jackson of Washington, SC. Sisters, Jacquelyn C. Robertson of Greenwood, SC; Ophelia Jackson and Mariam Jackson of Washington, DC. Four aunts, Amanda J. Martin and Lunette J. Crawford of Greenwood, SC; Carrie J. Cunningham of Iva, SC; Alice J. Cunningham of Washington, DC.
Service and burial are in Washington, DC at 11:00 AM Friday, Feb. 6, 2004. Horton Funeral Home in Washington, DC is in charge.
Announcement courtesy of Parks Funeral Home, Greenwood, SC.

Annie Kate Wells

McCORMICK — Annie Kate Wells, 57, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004 at Self Regional Medical Center in Greenwood.
Born in McCormick, she was a daughter of the late Alex and Elmira Williams Wells. She was a member of St. Charlotte Baptist Church and a homemaker.
Survivors include a daughter, Annie Ruth Wells of the home; a son, Jason Allen Anderson of the home; a granddaughter reared in the home, Brittany Alisha Wells; a sister, Lula Wells Crite of Lincolnton, Ga.; three brothers, Johnny Wells of Adairsville, Ga., Fred Wells of Lincolnton and Milton Wells of McCormick.
Services are 1 p.m. Saturday at St. Charlotte Baptist Church, conducted by the Rev. Gil Harper, pastor. The body will be placed in the church at noon. Burial is in the church cemetery.
The family is at the home, Wells Road, Bordeaux section, McCormick County.
Walker Funeral Home is in charge.

Rebecca Williamson

CLEMSON — Rebecca Victory “Vicki” Dennis Williamson, 49, of 210 Wesley St., wife of Timothy Williamson, died Tuesday, Feb. 3, 2004 from injuries received in an auto accident.
Born in Montgomery, Ala., she was a daughter of Helen Larkins Dennis and the late Clarence O. Dennis. She was an employee of Oconee Memorial Hospital and a member of Clemson Church of God. Survivors include her mother; her husband; a son, Timothy Hugh Williamson II; three daughters, Helen Ruth Williamson, Mrs. Charles (Mildred) Dawn Hudson and Melody Bliss Williamson; three brothers, Robert J. Dennis Sr. of Dacusville, John A. Dennis of Greenville and David Dennis of Atlanta; two grandchildren.
Services are 2 p.m. Friday at Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central. Burial is in Memory Gardens.
Visitation is 6-8 tonight at the funeral home.
Duckett-Robinson Funeral Home, Central-Clemson Commons, is in charge.


National Signing Day

Four sign on dotted line

February 5, 2004

Index-Journal sports writer

Mario Norman and Ansel Scurry have been football teammates at Greenwood High School since ninth grade.
But by courtesy of signing their names on several pieces of paper Wednesday morning, the two Greenwood seniors will spend the next four years as conference rivals.
Norman and Scurry continued the line of Eagles to sign their collegiate scholarships on National Signing Day, the first day high school football players can sign with a college.
Those two weren’t the only ones from Greenwood and the Lakelands to make it official on signing day, as former Emerald standout Joe Woolridge signed with Western Kentucky and Abbeville’s Trey Wells also made his intentions known by signing with Newberry College.
Norman, a Shrine Bowl and an All-Lakelands defensive back, signed to play at Coastal Carolina University, while Scurry, a North-South All-Star and an All-Lakelands wide receiver, signed to play for Big South conference-rival Gardner-Webb.
“I hope I’m going to line up against him next year,” Norman said.
“I’m going to lock him up. He isn’t getting off the line.”
Scurry also can’t wait for the chance to play against his friend and former teammate. “It’s going to be fun to line up against Mario,” Scurry said. “I’ve done it at practice. I’ll just be physical with him.”
Shell Dula, the Greenwood football coach and athletic director, stood by each of them as they finally achieved many high school football players’ dream.
“It’s a great honor for Ansel and Mario both and it’s a great honor for our program,” Dula said.
“I think any time you can have young men achieve and reap the benefits of hard work, it’s inspiration to other young men. Hopefully, our other young men can realize that this can happen to them one day. It’s a great honor, but it’s also a great motivational tool for others.”
Woolridge, a Shrine Bowl and an All-Lakelands player, is set to finish his time at Georgia Military College in the summer and he said that Western Kentucky was the right fit.
“It’s the best place for me,” he said. “They said that I should fit in at nose guard and even start. They play the same type of defense we do down here. And they lost a lot of D-lineman last year.”
Wells, an All-Lakelands offensive lineman, who played in 58 varsity games in his career, was surrounded by a bevy of friends, family, coaches and administrators as he signed his letter of intent.
“It just goes to show how many people have been behind me all of the way,” he said. “They are one reason that I’m here.
“This is one of the goals that I’ve always wanted to reach. They want me to come in and try to fight for a starting spot.”
Wells joins fellow Abbeville grad Jason Devette on the Newberry roster, along with Ware Shoals’ Terrence Leverett and McCormick’s Jonta Sibert.
“It’s great for Trey and it’s great for our program,” Abbeville coach Jamie Nickles said. “He has been such an asset to our community. It speaks volumes about him to have so many friends and family to want to be here for this.”
But for Wells, signing day offered him a chance to relax and to get focused on finishing out his time at high school.
“It’s a relief, because I know what I’m going to be doing for the next four years,” he said.
“It’s a lot off my shoulders.”
Norman agrees.
“I’m glad to get it over with,” the future Chanticleer said. “I feel happy to sign and get everything out of the way so I can concentrate on school and getting ready for fall.”
Norman will be reacquainted with former Greenwood teammate Les Rice along with Emerald grad Frankie Tolbert.
“It’s a good place to go,” Norman said. “I like the people and the environment. And being close to the beach doesn’t hurt either.
“It’s a new program and I’m ready to go down there and produce. Maybe, set some new records.”
Coastal Carolina finished its inaugural football season with a 6-5 overall record and was 1-3 in the Big South.
“They have a pretty strong coaching staff and we’re excited about Coastal (Carolina) being a new program,” said Roy Norman, Mario’s father. “The sky’s the limit for where that program can go. He just needs to stay focus and do his work in the books and he’ll do well.”
Scurry will join Ninety Six graduate and All-American safety Mario Williams on the Gardner-Webb roster.
“This means a lot to me,” Scurry said. “It’s a chance to get a good education and play football at a good level, as well. I’ve been waiting a long time for this.”
Gardner-Webb finished 8-4 overall and 4-0 in the Big South for its second straight conference title.
“I chose Gardner-Webb because they are going to give me the opportunity to play right away,” Scurry said. “It’s not too big and I feel I have a chance to get in there and play this year.”
Signing day isn’t just about the player and the athletic program, it’s also a momentous occasion for the parents.
“It’s certainly something the entire family can enjoy, because it’s a great relief of a financial burden,” Dula said. “It’s good to see the parents, because they are such an integral part of any athlete’s success. It’s a great day for both the parents and the athletes.”
It’s something that Sandra L. Norman, Mario’s mother, has gone through for her two older sons. Renaldo plays basketball at Edward Waters College in Jacksonville, Fla. and Orlando plays football at North Carolina A & T in Greensboro, N.C., Norman said.
“This is our third child to go to college and play a sport,” she said. “We’re very thankfully. It always helps to have a full scholarship. He’s a very strong individual and I know he’ll do well. I’m sure he will make Greenwood proud.”
Trenice Scurry, Ansel’s mother, agrees.
“We’ve been working on this for a long time,” she said. “This has been one of our goals right here.”
Greenwood senior Laura Armstrong also signed Wednesday morning to play soccer at South Carolina.


Black vote positive sign for the electoral process

February 5, 2004

A funny thing happened on the way to the polls in the Democratic Primary election Tuesday.
Actually, funny is not the word, but significance is. So is the word revealing.
It may have gone unnoticed by some people in South Carolina, and indeed the rest of the United States, but the number of blacks voting Tuesday was more significant than just the obvious. The obvious, of course, was that of the large voter turnout – more than 300,000 – it was reported that maybe half were African Americans.
What should catch the attention of political scientists and politicians alike was indeed extraordinary. Whether any of them will notice, though, is anybody’s guess. What happened should be more than a footnote. The black vote was split among several candidates.

WITH AL SHARPTON THE only black candidate in the Primary, many observers likely expected he would get the lion’s share of the votes. That didn’t happen. John Edwards, John Kerry, Wesley Clark and the others all got black support, with Edwards and Kerry benefiting the most.
That division of the black vote is concrete evidence that the South is not totally dominated by whites anymore. Furthermore, the black vote cannot be taken for granted anymore as it has in the past.
The election process has taken a giant step forward. The most important factor is not who won and who lost. It’s the fact that more and more, blacks are beginning to trust white candidates, and vice versa. And that’s a positive reflection on all people.

GREENWOOD IS A GOOD example of that vice versa. Think about it. Floyd Nicholson is black, and he has been mayor for a decade. He has considerable white support as well as black, as do other black officeholders in this county, Lakelands counties, the rest of South Carolina and all across the South.
The majority of blacks are Democrats, as they’ve always been. There are signs, though, that the number of black Republicans is growing and that, too, is a plus for South Carolina, sure, but also for the entire nation.
It’s a definite sign that more people of all colors are thinking for themselves and making their own decisions about who and what to support politically.
With these things becoming a real factor in politics, how could the whole system and situation not get better?