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August 2, 2012 Issue

Elections end with two runoffs
In, Through, and Out
Students prepare to return to class

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Elections end with two runoffs

By Faye Ellison and Carol McLeod
Staff Writers

Unofficial results were announced in Tuesday’s general primary by election officials in both Jefferson and Glascock counties.


Jefferson County
In Jefferson County 4,481 registered voters turned out to cast their ballots.

For Sheriff, incumbent Gary Hutchins kept his seat with 3,394 votes and Johnny Lee Nelson had 1,062.

For County Commission Chairman, the winner was Mitchell McGraw with 2,317 votes, incumbent William W. Rabun had 1,526 and Robert Dwayne Morris 531.

In the Superior Court Clerk race Anne Durden received 1,983 votes, Amy Howard had 1,350 and Richard “Ricky” Sapp had 878.

In the Tax Commissioner race Nancy W. McGraw received 2,140 votes, while John Brent Dye had 1,336 and Albert Young had 920.

For County Commission District 2, incumbent Johnny Davis kept his position with 641 votes. Charles Washington had 387.

Brannen Bargeron won the County Solicitor position by fewer than 20 votes. Bargeron received 2,072 to Dalton Dowdy’s 2,054.

Incumbent Edward James won the Coroner race with 2,756 votes, while Jerry Lee Taylor had 1,516.

For the Chief Magistrate Judge, incumbent Murry Bowman won with 2,359 votes to Betty Williams Kirby’s 2,010.

A run-off will be needed in the Tax Commissioner and Superior Court Clerk races as none of the candidates receive 50 percent or more of the votes cast. The top two candidates will face a run off on Aug. 21.

The T-SPLOST passed in Jefferson County with 2,651 votes in favor and 1,830 against the referendum.

Glascock County
In Glascock County 940 registered voters turned out to cast their ballots in the general primary.

In the Sheriff race, incumbent Dean Couch beat out Commission Chairman Ant Griswell with 530 votes. Griswell had 217.

For the Gibson District in the County Commission race, Lori Boyen got the most republican votes with 124 to Cary Deal’s 50.

The Board of Education At-Large seat was won by James Stephens Jr. with 568 votes, while Robin Usry had 283.

For County Treasurer, Linda Usry won with 389 votes. Judy Deal had 287.

The T-SPLOST failed in Glascock County with 429 votes in favor and 465 against the referendum.

See next week’s edition for a more complete report on election results.

In, Through, and Out

By Philip Muller

The woods have been a source of inspiration for many stories through history; just think of The Wizard of Oz or Hansel and Gretel. Any characters that enter the woods are left to their own judgment to navigate their way through and exit again safely.

For the newest show at The Fire House Gallery, called In, Through, and Out, artist Mary Robinson has created a forest of drawings and paintings that seeks to recreate that familiar feeling that only the woods can give us.


Robinson is someone who has always sought to stay close to nature. As professor of printmaking at The University of South Carolina, she often travels to Congaree National Forest and other South Carolina state parks to find inspiration for the complex paintings that she creates.

While hiking the trails, she likes to focus on the intricate groups of tree roots and limbs that grapple and tangle around one another, and to bring those observations back to her studio where she uses paint and graphite to recreate the scenes. In the intertwining of these organisms, Robinson sees a strong connection between the natural structures and life.

“When I look at a group of trees, I’m reminded of how everything is connected,” Robinson said.

Robinson has always had a fascination with this motif; but it took on a deeper meaning for her after travelling to India and becoming a regular practitioner of yoga. In an interview in her Columbia studio, Robinson recounted how all of the colors, new sounds, and surroundings of India inspired her work.

It was there that she first began to develop the idea of traveling through a forest as a larger metaphor for life. She also told us about the disorientation that one might experience in yoga.

“During a complex pose, I can really lose sense of which way is up,” Robinson said.

It is this sense of disorientation that she seeks to bring into her drawings and paintings by creating scenes that make the viewer wonder where he or she might stand in relation to the tangle of limbs that wrap around the canvas.

No matter where she finds her inspiration, Robinson begins each piece by making photographs and drawings from life. She then takes those images back to her studio where she works to recreate the feelings they provoked.

As a printmaking professor, much of her prior work has utilized lithography and intaglio methods, but for this series she elected to use paint and graphite to take advantage of the immediacy of those mediums. By cutting many of the steps in printmaking, Robinson has been able to work more freely and spontaneously.

“With paint, I can gob it on where I want it thick and let it drip, which reminds me of the South Carolina swamps and humidity,” she explained.

The southern landscape has become a major part of her work over the years. Though Robinson studied painting and printmaking in Wisconsin and Indiana, she grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., and has lived and worked in Columbia, S.C., for more than 10 years.

“The light that we have here has become such a big part of my work; and, I’m not sure what my work would look like without it,” she said.

That fact truly comes through in the color of Robinson’s paintings. This show is dominated by several large, black-and-white drawings that concentrate strongly on the structure or roots of the trees – but together, the many paintings of the show create a feeling of looking through the brightly backlit canopy of a forest.

There is much to experience in Robinson’s paintings, which convey both a sense of natural beauty and a feeling of entrapment within the scenery.

“I’m trying to create a forest of work that viewers can enter, go through and hopefully escape,” said Robinson.

Hopefully, everyone will make it back out of Robinson’s forest of paintings at The Fire House Gallery. For a dry run, try the video interview with Robinson at http://vimeo.com/45712826.

In, Through, and Out will run from Aug. 1 through Sept. 8. The opening reception will be Saturday, Aug. 4, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Students prepare to return to class

By Faye Ellison
Staff Writer

The last days of summer freedom are fading fast for students and teachers as those in the area prepare to go back to school next week.


Jefferson County
In Jefferson County, the first day of school will be on Monday, Aug. 6, with the school system welcoming a total of 2,856 students and 207 teachers.

“When schools work together with families to support learning, children tend to succeed not just in school, but throughout life,” Jefferson County Superintendent Dr. Molly Howard said. “The evidence shows that children who have parents or guardians who are involved in their learning have better attendance, achieve at high levels and are more likely to graduate. However, parent involvement should be a support, not a substitute for the true work of schools: good teaching and learning.”

The school day runs from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. for Carver Elementary, Wrens Elementary and Louisville Academy, from 7:20 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Louisville Middle, 7:35 a.m. to 3:15 p.m. at Wrens Middle, and from 7:55 a.m. to 2:55 p.m. at Jefferson County High School.

Open house will be held for three days at the various schools to help parents with more than one child attending this year. Louisville Middle and Jefferson County High School will hold open house on Thursday, Aug. 2 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. Carver Elementary, Louisville Academy and Wrens Elementary will hold open house on Friday, Aug. 3, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. Wrens Middle will hold open house on Sunday, Aug. 5, from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m.

“The start of school is the most exciting time of year for most students,” Dr. Howard said. “However, the beginning of school can be a stressful time as well, with new teachers and classmates, new routines and more schoolwork that may be more difficult. Many students fear they may not be up for the challenge socially, emotionally or academically.”

Glascock County
Glascock County Consolidated School will begin the school year on Monday, Aug. 6, with the school day running from 7:50 a.m. to 3:10 p.m., welcoming 636 students.

“At Glascock County Consolidated School, we take pride in the educational opportunities we are able to provide for our children,” Glascock County Superintendent Jim Holton said.

“Our teachers and staff members work very hard to meet the needs of all students. We know that students are learning and making good progress, and we consider this to be an important indicator of success. Several different assessments of student achievement have shown us that our students are making significant gains.”

Open house will be held in Glascock County on Friday, Aug. 3, from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“This will be an excellent opportunity to meet with returning teachers and new faculty members, as well as learn of new program and course offerings,” Holton added.

The Annual Title I Parent Meeting will also be held on Aug. 3 at 3 p.m. and 6:30 p.m. in the school’s cafeteria, as well as Freshman Parent Orientation will be held on Aug. 3 in the cafeteria at 7 p.m.

Holton noted some changes in the student handbook this year including the addition of an in school suspension program designed to decrease out of school suspension rates while reducing distractions to the regular education learning environment; third through fifth grade skirts, dresses or shorts that are shorter than fingertip length when standing, and tops with spaghetti straps or strapless tops are prohibited; sixth through 12th grade shirts or tops that allow skin to be exposed in the chest or midriff area are prohibited, and shorts/pants and dresses/skirts must come to the knee.

Thomas Jefferson Academy will welcome around 250 students on Tuesday, Aug. 7. The school day runs from 7:55 a.m. to 2:45 p.m., but will dismiss at noon on the first day, Aug. 7.

“We are still accepting enrollment and applications throughout the school year,” Thomas Jefferson Headmaster Chuck Wimberly said. “We urge everybody that has an interest in our school to come on in and sign their kids up.

“I am really excited about our new school year. It is generation next. It is the people who I went to school with and now they have children that are coming through Thomas Jefferson right now. There are so many people that I know that I was in school with and now they are putting their kids back through. Seeing those last names is really exciting.

Open house will be held for Thomas Jefferson on Friday, Aug. 3, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.

“It will be a drop-in session,” Wimberly said. “It is nothing formal, just a meet and greet for the teachers and students, as well as a chance to see if there are any last minute supplies the students will need. I encourage all parents to come to the open house.”

Wimberly said that elementary classrooms have new computers and smart boards in each one.

“That is something we are really proud of having here at Thomas Jefferson,” he added.

The buildings, classrooms and hallways have also been painted. Wimberly also mentioned that the school’s sports teams are in full swing with football, softball and cheerleading.

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