Pregnant teen shot, killed in Estill

A pregnant 16-year-old Estill resident in the final term of her pregnancy was shot and killed around 9:30 p.m. Aug. 31 on 5th Street East in Estill. Alydia Ling, of 861 5th St., Estill, was pronounced dead at the scene by Hampton County Coroner Ernie Washington. 

The young girl succumbed to injuries sustained by a single gunshot wound, say officials.

National Farm Safety and Health Week

Each year since 1944 the third week in September has been recognized as National Farm Safety and Health week. This time is set aside to remind farmers and ranchers to take precautions to prevent farm related injuries and fatalities. Although National Farm Safety and Health Week last only 7 days, farmers are encouraged to practice farm safety 365 days a year. Farming and ranching is dangerous business. For the last 40 years agriculture has ranked in the top 3 most hazardous occupations in the U.S according to the National Safety Council.

Yemassee Shrimp Festival begins

The Town of Yemassee will again host its annual Shrimp Festival September 14-16. Although many of the much-loved attractions will be found at the Yemassee Municipal Complex, expect changes and omissions this year, say organizers. 

This will be the 24th year of fun and games, arts and crafts, and the best food you can imagine. Join residents and town officials as they celebrate the history and pride the town has for everything shrimp!

Hampton County man arrested on child pornography charges

(COLUMBIA, S.C.)  On Wednesday, Aug. 23, South Carolina Attorney General Alan Wilson announced the arrest of John Edward Benson, 52, of Varnville, S.C., on ten charges connected to the sexual exploitation of a minor.  Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force investigators with the Attorney General's Office made the arrest. Investigators with the Hampton County Sheriff's Office and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), also part of the state's ICAC Task Force, assisted with the arrest.



Two weeks ago, the Guardian reported that Hampton Mayor John Rhoden would not run for re-election in September:  To clarify, Rhoden will not seek re-election in December during municipal elections held at that time. The mayor will not declare his candidacy during the filing period in September, and will not run during January municipal elections.


Area county officials graduate Institute of Government for County Officials

Twenty-three county officials graduated on August 1 from Levels 1 and 11 of the Institute of Government

for County Officials at SCACs 50'" Annual Conference, held July 29 - August 2.

"We are proud of your achievement," said SCAC President Julie J. Armstrong (Charleston County Clerk

of Court), who recognized graduates at the conference's general session. "Your commitment to county

government is admirable, your perseverance is commendable, and your success is well-deserved."

Hampton County gov't offices, District 1 closed Tuesday

Hampton County Government Offices and state offices in Hampton County will be closed tomorrow. This is due to power outages within in the county.

As well as county and state offices, Hampton District One schools have announced the cancellation of classes for September 12.

For additional updates regarding the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, log on to the Guardian's Facebook page.

Hurricane safety tips from the Red Cross

(NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. – Sept. 7, 2017) – The Palmetto region of the American Red Cross has shifted into high gear, planning our response to Hurricane Irma as the storm nears Florida before making its way toward South Carolina.  Irma is the most powerful Atlantic Ocean storm on record and South Carolinians should get prepared now, as parts of the state now lie in the storm’s possible path.


Hurricane Irma Updates

With Hurricane Irma slowly but determinedly making its way toward the southeastern United States—and a possible landfall in the South Carolina Lowcountry, S.C. Gov. Henry McMaster on Wednesday declared a state of emergency for the Palmetto State and is urging all residents to prepare for Irma. As the path and landfall of this hurricane is still uncertain, the Guardian will keep its readers informed and updated of any changes to the path of this storm, evacuations, announcements, closings or other breaking news via this website and on our Facebook page.

Wheelchair bound Individual survives train strike

Hampton County EMS officials report that a wheelchair-bound pedestrian was struck by a train Sunday in Luray and miraculously survived.

The man, Henry Bryant, 66, was reportedly completely “run over” by a train at approximately 11:52 a.m. on Aug. 27. Currently, it is unclear to officials how Bryant ended up lying in between the rails, out of his wheelchair. The man was spotted by train conductors travelling at 55 miles per hour with an 81-car load as he popped his head up for a brief moment with the fast-moving train quickly barreling down on him.

WHHS graduate to succeed AgSouth’s Chief Human Resources Officer

Pat Calhoun, CEO of AgSouth Farm Credit, announced that Sharmequa M. Franklin will succeed AgSouth’s current Chief Human Resources Officer Lisa Peden when Peden retires in December.

Peden has been with the association for 34 years, serving as head of human resources for first Palmetto Farm Credit and then AgSouth Farm Credit after the associations merged in 2004. The company employs approximately 250 employees and is headquartered in Statesboro, Ga. Peden will be working with Franklin over the next six months to ensure a smooth transition of responsibilities.

Lockdown situation at WHHS Weds.

On August 30, a lockdown situation occurred at the Wade Hampton High School. The lockdown was initiated due to reports of weapons being brought to the school’s campus.

The HCSO stated shortly after the lockdown weapons were discovered by officers and confiscated. Two juvenile students were taken into custody, a release reported.

“Any and all threats to students, faculty and the community have been resolved,” read the release.

Estill takes first vote to abolish municipal court, public works

Town of Estill Council members passed the first reading of an ordinance abolishing the town’s municipal court and public works department Aug. 16 after a nearly three-hour-long executive session during a special called meeting.

Estill Town Hall was filled with long-time public works, municipal court and other town employees who attended the meeting in hopes of receiving word they would keep their jobs. A second and final reading of the ordinance to eliminate the departments will occur at 5 p.m. Aug. 24 at the Bull Durham Center during a special called council meeting.

On the Write Track

I was amazed to see just how much people enjoyed watching the total solar eclipse this week.

What amazed me more than anything was that no matter your age, color of your skin, religious background or other affiliation, the nation came together for one goal.

The goal was a simple one.

Everyone wanted to get a glimpse of the moon as it traveled across the sun. They all wanted to see the corona, and for once, look at a diamond ring that was not materialistic at all.

Former Estill Mayor dies in tragic drowning

A former Town of Estill mayor and longtime resident of Hampton County died Saturday in a tragic drowning incident off of Sea Pines beach on Hilton Head Island.

Andrew Barnard Harper, 61, of Estill, died around 4:45 p.m. on Aug. 19, according to the Beaufort County Coroner’s Office. His wife, Cindy, was at his side. The Island Packet newspaper reported that witnesses told the Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office that a rip current may have contributed to Harper’s death.  

County votes to create commission, rename airport

Hampton County Council voted unanimously to move forward with the formation of a county controlled Parks and Recreation Advisory Commission during an Aug. 21 regularly called meeting.

Council has debated the idea of forming a parks and recreation commission in the past after announcing the next large Penny Sales Tax project would be a state-of-the-art county recreation complex. The complex is anticipated to provide convenient recreation opportunities to citizens in all parts of the county. 

“It has been the consensus of council to do this,” said Chairman Roy Hollingsworth.


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