Dear my Newberry family,
Hello, I pray that you have had a safe and relaxing summer with your family and friends, whether in person or virtually. I also pray that everyone stays healthy and safe during the COVID-19 pandemic. As mentioned last quarter, I will provide you with quarterly updates from Newberry City Council District 3, updates around Newberry Town and Town Hall. If you have any questions, comments, or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact me through the provided channels we offer from City Hall.
COVID-19 vaccines are available to citizens throughout the state of South Carolina and locally throughout Newberry County. South Carolina’s phased approach to deploying its COVID-19 vaccine is focused on saving lives, which is why those most at risk of serious illness and death have been prioritized to receive the vaccines in first. With more and more vaccines available and more people receiving their vaccines, South Carolina is now able to open vaccines to anyone 12 years of age and older. According to the DHEC: 2,066,937+ residents of SC have completed their immunizations, representing approximately 48.1% of the state’s population. Also reported by DHEC: 2,453,544 residents of South Carolina have received at least one injection of the COVID-19 vaccine. This equates to 57.1% of South Carolina residents. Here in Newberry County, just over 37% of residents have completed their immunizations. We are very grateful to all of our local COVID-19 vaccine suppliers for their dedicated service to public health. You can call our local pharmacies or medical offices and schedule your vaccine appointments. Remember, our local DHEC always offers free COVID-19 tests and vaccinations throughout the week.
The summer of 2021 has been a busy one for the Town of Newberry and District 3. We would like to congratulate the Newberry Juneteenth Committee and the Town of Newberry Parks, Recreation and Tourism Department for a fantastic job with the first annual festival. Newberry Juneteenth. Residents and visitors were able to celebrate African American-owned businesses, a showcase of live music and talent, a car show, a basketball competition and visit the historic Juneteenth exhibit at the Opera House. by Newberry. Residents were also able to enjoy a variety of delicious food from local vendors. We are very grateful to everyone who participated in the talent showcase during the festival. A total number of calculated people who attended the Juneteenth festival was 5,000 participants.
We would like to congratulate the Newberry Museum for their fantastic work with the exhibit / tribute to Mr. Israel Brooks Jr. Residents can still visit the museum and view the exhibit until October. Mr. Israel Brooks Jr. was a native son of Newberry County, where he had a distinguished career in law enforcement. His commitment to service has earned him pride and esteem at the local level, but has also been recognized at the state and national levels. Please consider stopping by the Newberry Museum and reading and viewing the rich life and legacy of U.S. Marshal Israel Brooks Jr.
Over the summer, Newberry City Council was able to attend the annual SC Municipal Association meeting / training in Hilton Head. The Town of Newberry received some honors and distinctions at the MASC Annual Meeting. We were able to receive the Joseph P. Riley Award for Economic Development for the WC Fiber project. This is a huge statewide honor for the Town of Newberry. We are very grateful to have a strong partnership with WC Fiber and to continue to work together to ensure that every home and business is equipped with the appropriate technological resources they need to thrive in the 21st century.
Businesses are thriving in the town of Newberry, especially in District 3! We are very grateful for making our local businesses thrive, even during a pandemic. We have welcomed so many new businesses over the summer. We are very grateful to the leadership and community staff of the Newberry County Chamber of Commerce for ensuring our business district is well equipped with resources to survive during the pandemic.
First Friday Dine and Shop has been a huge success so far. The Newberry Downtown Development Association will launch its Fall Wine Walks which will coincide with the First Friday events taking place downtown. Please continue to support our small retail stores as well as local restaurants. Main Street will be open to pedestrians downtown only from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m.
Teachers and students officially started the new school year successfully. We are delighted to also welcome two new administrators to the Newberry County School District. Mr. Alvin Pressley has been appointed by the Newberry County Board of Education to serve as the new Superintendent. We would like to thank Mr. Jim Suber for his exceptional leadership and service to our teachers and students. We also welcome Mr. Chris Earl to Newberry County. Mr. Earl is the new Assistant Superintendent of Student Services. Newberry College and Piedmont Technical College also officially started their new academic year. We would like to continue to keep all of our Newberry County students and educators in our prayers as they continue to monitor and adapt to the changes that have been made during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The SC Department of Transportation has announced the replacement of the Boundary Street Bridge, also known as the (John E. Caldwell Bridge) over the CSX rail line in Newberry. Construction will begin on September 13. The project is expected to last two years. For residents who live near the bridge, they will need to reorient themselves to the assigned routes that have been decided by the SCDOT. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact SCDOT.
September 11, 2021 marked the 20th anniversary of the September 11 terrorist attacks on our country. I was only eight years old. However, I vividly remember the reaction of my teachers and parents to these events when they first learned of the attacks. We are very grateful to our men and women who have served our country with honor. We will never forget the sacrifices and the lives lost that day.
Main Street Pothole Updates: The city began its portion in early February. This consisted of bringing the underground infrastructure into compliance before the complete repaving of the road. Hopefully, SCDOT will be completely repaved in 2022. The resurfacing will begin at the Main-Wilson Road intersection and continue to downtown.
Grocery stores are still actively recruited by the county and city. We can assure you that it is being actively discussed, and the need for another grocery store is extremely obvious to everyone. We appreciate your patience as we continue to work together to resolve this situation.
Please continue to follow all protocols and guidelines given by the CDC and DHEC. Hope you enjoy the next fall season with your family and friends in a safe way. If you have any questions, comments or concerns, please give me a call and let me know what you think. You can reach me by cell: (803) 271-3767 or by email: [email protected].
Carlton Kinard is the District 3 Councilor for the Town of Newberry, he can be reached at (803) 271-3767 or [email protected].