Matt Popovich

Salk Service 2017 rehabilitates homes, hearts

Each year, dozens of Christian campers converge on Hampton County to perform home rehabilitations for county residents who have obstacles preventing them from performing the home repairs themselves. The week long 2017 Salkehatchie Summer Service program ended last weekend, but the memories made by campers and homeowners will last a lifetime.

Hampton Elementary's Boys Club offers education, exercise

Although many students are sitting at home watching television and trying to stay cool during their summer break, a group of elementary and middle school aged children from multiple counties spend half their weekdays at the Hampton Elementary school learning advanced computer skills, mathematics and participating in athletic activities which improve both cognitive and physical skills.

Easy Rider Writer

Upon a motorcycle with the helmet visor up, or down when the “skeeters” get bad, is in my opinion one of the greatest ways to discover a new destination, especially after moving to a new area of the country as I did.

Hampton receives clean audit review

A representative from the auditing agency hired by the town stated this year’s review looks very similar to last years’, with the exception of some confusion which stemmed from new computer software used by the town this year. Although causing slight confusion on the part of outside auditors, no discrepancies were created by the software system and all confusion has been sorted.

First black, female treasurer sworn in

A teary-eyed Jennifer Ginn Youmans placed her hand upon the Bible and swore to perform her duties to the best of her abilities as she accepted the role of Hampton County Treasurer during a ceremony June 29 at the Hampton County Courthouse. Ginn Youmans is the first African-American to hold the position of Hampton County Treasurer, and the first new treasurer since 1981.

“I know being a servant is one of the most important things a person can do for another, and it brings me joy to be able to serve,” said Ginn Youmans. “When you help others, you are truly helping yourself.”

Taste of Hampton County a treat during festival

The annual Hampton County Watermelon Festival's Taste of Hampton County drew a throng of individuals to the Wade Hampton High School June 20 seeking a sampling of Hampton County's finest bites to eat. Residents prepared food they were proud of; their names were listed in front of each of their entries.  

The event was a success due to the numerous volunteers, including a large number of Watermelon Festival Belles and Beaus.

Fennell Elementary students grow vegetables for good

The Fennell Elementary School's Garden Club ended the school year by helping others. Sixth grade students, with help from school principal Willie Coker and teacher Corrie Frohnapfel, cultivated the one acre garden behind the school and donated the harvested vegetables to members of the community.

This is the sixteenth year for the FES Garden Club and students continue to enjoy time spent outside the classroom learning about science.  

2017 Watermelon Festival Kiddie Parade photos

The 75th annual Hampton County Watermelon Festival's Kiddie Parade took place June 19 in Varnville.

Organized by Watermelon Festival Committee member Kelly Green, the event was fun for children and allowed parents an opportunity to snap plenty of pictures.

Children competed for trophies in their respective divisions. Divisions included Walkers and Wagons; Strollers; Tricycles and Bicycles; Floats; Power Wheels; and 4-Wheelers and Golf Karts. Look for a complete list and pictures of the winners in next week’s edition of the Guardian. Photos by Matt Popovich, The Guardian.

Photos from festival Family Fun Day at Lake Warren

The watermelon was cool and sweet as participants gorged themselves during 75th annual Hampton County Watermelon Festival Family Fun Day watermelon eating contest. As well as an eating contest, children were granted the opportunity to take part in several different activities, including face painting, a waterslide and bounce house, fire truck sprinklers to cool down, kayaking, a petting zoo and carriage ride and several other activities for the entire family, including musical entertainment.

Photographs by Matt Popovich, The Hampton County Guardian.



Company Two continues battle with county


Varnville’s Company Two filed a civil lawsuit against Hampton County on April 28 in Hampton County Court of Common Pleas. The suit seeks a jury trial amidst allegations of breach of contract, promissory estoppel and specific performance.

The suit claims Company Two “is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of Georgia with offices and agents to transact business in Hampton County, South Carolina, and entering into contracts in Hampton County, South Carolina and owning property in Hampton County, South Carolina.”

Downtown Hampton displays themed benches

You may have spotted some interesting looking benches around the Town of Hampton. The watermelon-themed park benches were constructed by students from Wade Hampton High School’s shop class under the direction of Steve Crosby. The Town of Hampton purchased two benches; the benches were placed at the Lightsey Park by the town and were painted by local artist Joanne Phillips, who also painted the Lee Ave. Exchange Park mural. A bench was also purchased by Hampton resident Betty Ruth Crews and given to Lee Ave. business The Frock Shop as a gift.

Varnville church hosts human trafficking speaker

Dr. Carol Stephens, a retired nurse who resides in Bluffton, S.C., spoke May 22 to a small group at the Varnville Christian Church about the perils of human trafficking and sex trafficking. As well as giving the group statistical information about human trafficking, Stephens provided information  to help spot the signs of possible human/sex trafficking.

Stephens, who holds a doctorate degree from the University of Alabama, Birmingham, is a passionate advocate against violence to women. She is an active member of the Lowcountry Coalition Against Human Trafficking (LCAHT).

Photos from PHA graduation

The Patrick Henry Academy proudly graduated its' Class of 2017 on Thursday, May 25. A large gathering of family and friends attended the ceremony held in the school’s gymnasium. The 2017 Valedictorian was Julianna Beverly Corbin, who will attend Clemson University.  Salutatorian James Gillilan Griner will also attend Clemson University.


Man missing for over a week found deceased in rural area

According to Hampton County Sheriff’s Office’s Chief Deputy Billy Jarrell, a man missing for over a week was found deceased Saturday, May 27. William Stanley Heirs was discovered by chance by passersby’s in a rural area of Hampton County.  Citing the ongoing investigation, the Sheriff’s Office would not release details on where the body was found.

Upon the discovery of Heirs’ remains, the passersby immediately contacted the HCSO, who responded to the scene. According to Jarrell, officials are actively investigating the death of Heirs but have not yet released a cause of death.

Photos from 2017 Hampton County Relay for Life

Nearly $80,000 was raised during the annual Hampton County Relay for Life event May 19. The event, held at the Wade Hampton High School track complex, raised money for the American Cancer Society which will help fund cancer research and provide direct aid to individuals and families battling cancer.  

State Representative Bill Bowers Emceed the event for the 22-year, and several singers and dancers with the Beaufort Academy of Dance entertained the audience prior to the Survivors Walk.


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