Pioneer Award winners devoted lifetimes to Hampton County

With more than 75 years of health care experience between them, these two medical pioneers have offered their healing skills to three generations of Lowcountry residents.

That is why Neal L. Shealy, MD, and Harold B. (Buck) Harvey, PA-C, of Beaufort Memorial Harrison Peeples Health Care Center in Varnville, were jointly presented the South Carolina Office of Rural Health 2017 Pioneer of the Year Award during SCORH’s 21st Annual Rural Health Conference in Greenville on Oct. 11.

Car collision with mobile home fatal

An elderly Luray man died following a vehicular collision with a mobile home, but it was a heart condition that proved to be the fatal factor.

Around 4:40 p.m. Friday, Hampton County EMS and other emergency officials responded to a reported collision at 1439 Luray Highway, Hampton. Frank Brown, 74, of 143 Groton Road, Luray, was pronounced dead on arrival at the scene, according to Deputy Coroner and EMS spokesperson Susanne Peeples.

Estill Middle/High School 1st Annual GATOR PRIDE Day

Estill Middle/High School Principal Johnnie Miller, Jr. announced this week that he is incredibly proud of the attendance of 40 individuals including alumni, faculty, staff, parents, students, community members and other stakeholders at the 1st Annual GATOR PRIDE Day that was held Saturday, July 22.

GATOR PRIDE Day is an event that Miller has established and would like to continue annually. This is an opportunity to involve everyone who has an investment in the lives of the students at Estill Middle/High School.

Fatal vehicle accident tragic start to a new year

Hampton County emergency officials responded to a report of a two-vehicle crash involving a roll-over with possible fatality on Highway 3 (Matthew’s Bluff Road) around 7:45 a.m New Year's day. It was a mangled scene involving a fuel tanker and a passenger car in a head-on collision, with the driver of the car entrapped beneath the fuel tanker. After a lengthy hazardous material extrication process, the car’s driver, Leonor Simental Perez, 44, of Clarke Avenue, Estill, was pronounced dead at the scene, said Hampton County Coroner Ernie Washington, Sr.

Local author dedicates book to animal advocate

VARNVILLE—Hampton County Animal Shelter Manager Amanda “Mandy” Strickland doesn’t like attention or accolades, but when you make such a huge difference for animals and pet lovers around the Lowcountry, such praise can’t be avoided.

Her latest shining moment? On Saturday, local author and pet lover Ellen D. Freeman announced that she had dedicated her second book, Duke (Plus One), to Strickland. Freeman made the announcement during Saturday’s HCAS Yard Sale Fundraiser, much to the surprise of Strickland.

This ain't your Dad's Great Outdoors

Do you remember the “good old days,” when the only dangers an outdoor sportsman or sportswoman had to worry about were venomous snakes, rogue gators, wild boars, and the occasional rabid coyote? Yeah, good times, good times.

My aging fatherand his equally antiquebuddies are always making fun of my generation of modern sportsmen and our “newfangled technology.” Here is a line I never get tired of hearing around the campfire:

Hampton gets solid audit report

For yet another consecutive year, the Town of Hampton has received an exemplary independent audit report.

Each year, in accordance with state law, Hampton invites an independent auditing firm to inspect its books. During the June Hampton Town Council meeting, auditor Bill Hancock gave the town another excellent “unmodified” opinion.

“There were no unusual transactions or controversial transactions,” Hancock said. “We didn’t’ find anything wrong that needed fixing.”

The Men Behind the Cooter

Slippery and often smelly, cooters come in various sizes and colors. But a Carolina Cooter isn’t something that a gentleman would normally take home to momma or talk much about in Sunday School or at dinner parties. It is the scourge of Lowcountry fishermen everywhere, a stealer of bait, a robber of crawdad traps. But you strap a pair of racing shoes and a contestant number on that repugnant little reptile, and you’ve got yourself a mascot that a small, rural South Carolina county can rally around.

The Legend of the Cooter

Allendale County Cooter Fest 2016, May 6-7


Some towns try to be all fancy and host their peach festivals, their strawberry festivities, their orange blossom affairs. But here in down-to-earth Allendale County and surrounding areas, we love the sweet, pungent aroma of our Carolina Cooter.

Which came first, the egg or the hemorrhoid?

I pride myself on being a farmer with a conscience, but sometimes making extra cash as a chicken/egg farmer feels a lot like being a pimp: the women do all the dirty work, and some man rakes in all the profits.

You didn’t hear it from me, and if it comes up in court I’ll lawyer up and plead the Fifth, but at the present moment I have about a dozen working girls out there on the strip right now, laying eggs and making money for Big Daddy down at DeWitt Family Farms.  But I can’t help but feel a little sorry for my ladies. It can’t be easy being an egg-laying, working girl.

Fish Farms and Other Crazy Schemes

It was shaping up to be a day for the Daddy Diary.

I was sitting, legs swinging carefree, on the dock of the family fish pond wearing Old Crusty, my lucky fishing hat that I have never washed, and a T-shirt with ventilation holes under the armpits and a treble hook still embedded in the sleeve. I took off my shoes so I could dip a toe in the warm water every now and then.

Hampton raises millage rates, cuts raises

HAMPTON – After several years of having the luxury of giving hardworking employees raises and not raising taxes, the Town of Hampton will be feeling a financial pinch this year.

On Tuesday, March 1, the Hampton Town Council gave second and final reading to its 2016-17 budget while explaining the financial challenges the town is facing this year. A loss of industrial tax revenue and a state-mandated requirement to create a town court system independent of the police department has a town that has recently enjoyed strong finances now feeling a pinch this year.

One order of chicken, please-hold the sex change operation

A normal, totally heterosexual farmer/writer asks the burning question: “How do you like your chicken: original, extra crispy or she-male hermaphrodite?”


There may be some freaky business going on at DeWitt Farms, but I am secure enough in my masculinity to tell you about it. The question is: are secure enough to believe it.

Metal thieves caught, melt under pressure from police

HAMPTON – Good police work – and interagency teamwork – have brought down a pair of busy burglars, but officials say this may just be scratching the surface of a ring active around the Lowcountry.

The Hampton Police Department arrested two men last week in connection to a pair of break ins at the dormant Nevamar factory at 1 Nevamar Place in Hampton, but further investigations have led to charges from the Town of Varnville as well and possibly charges from Hampton County police and others.


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