Newberry County Landlords are invited to attend one of two safety seminars hosted by the City of Newberry Fire Department and Newberry Housing Authority on Wednesday, February 20 at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. While the seminars are required for landlords who rent their property to any Section 8 tenant, they are also open to any landlord in the county, said Carrie Epting of the Newberry Housing Authority.

The informational session will go over the requirements of having carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in homes. While smoke detectors are required in every home, carbon monoxide detectors are also mandatory in all units with a fuel-fired heating source.

Sessions will be held at the Clara D. Werts Activity Center, 3600 Grant Avenue in Newberry. While the seminars are open to the community, seating is limited, and registration is encouraged by no later than 5 p.m. on Monday, February 18. Interested parties may register by emailing Epting at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or by calling 803-276-1049, extension 5.

Epting said sessions such as these are important to the community because it keeps them informed.

“We offer briefings and sessions yearly and when it is something that effects the community as a whole we always strive to invite everyone,” she said. “We would love to see all property owners in Newberry here.”

Newberry Fire Chief Keith Minick said it’s always a great thing when the city can partner with other agencies to discuss fire and life safety with the community.

“We want to continue to keep our citizens, visitors and first responders safe and what better way to do so than by having an educational seminar,” he said.

Minick said those with any questions could reach out to the Newberry Housing Authority or to the Newberry Fire Department at 803-321-1030.

A downtown Newberry route may soon be a part of the Palmetto Trail. Scott Sawyer, director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism for the city updated City Council Tuesday night.

Sawyer said the department had recently been contacted by The Palmetto Conservation Foundation with interest of connecting the Palmetto Trail through the City of Newberry. The group is proposing that Newberry be an urban passage, designating Newberry as a “refueling” stop for food, drink, supplies, shopping or spending the night.

The proposed passage would enter the city limits at Jollystreet Road and US 76, follow sidewalks to Main Street and go through downtown before heading out College Street.

With no objections heard from council, Sawyer said he would be back in touch with the organization.

“I think this will be great for tourism and a destination for hikers,” Sawyer said.

Mayor Foster Senn updated council with a few announcements Tuesday to include Newberry’s recent recognition as one of the 50 most charming towns in America as named by the Travel Channel. Senn said the article referred to Newberry as a college town among other compliments and was among distinguished company in the article with other notable cities such as Nantucket, MA, Kennebunkport, ME and Carmel, CA.

The City of Newberry Utility Department recently received a $1 million-dollar grant, Senn said from Santee Cooper to assist in the construction of a 3.5-million-gallon ground storage tank and associated pumps and piping that is being constructed near the Kraft Heinz processing facility.

City Manager Matt DeWitt said the tank would serve as a dedicated source of water for Kraft, should there be a break in the city’s water system, but would also allow the city to lower their water pressure throughout the system. A half-million-dollar grant was also awarded from the Rural Infrastructure Authority (RIA), for the tank, DeWitt said, helping tremendously with the tank’s cost.

Other updates from council included a contract awarded to Electricom for installation of fiber optic cable for the city’s fiber network. Utility Director Tim Baker said the estimated timeline for completion would be summer 2020.

Public Works Director Mac Bartley informed council that proposed improvements to Adelaide Street had recently been approved from the South Carolina Department of Transportation (SCDOT) with federal funding. Improvements would begin at US 76 and run through Main Street. The proposed completion is set for 2020.

From the city’s fire department, Chief Keith Minick said they had been in contact with the Newberry Housing Authority to offer two information sessions on the necessity and requirements of having carbon monoxide and smoke detectors in homes. These sessions will be held on Wednesday, February 20 at the Clara D. Werts Activity Center, 3600 Grant Avenue at 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. These sessions are open to any property owner in Newberry County. Seating is limited, and registration is required by emailing Carrie Epting with the housing authority at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or calling 803-276-1049 extension 5.

 

Special recognitions

Several city employees were recognized for their years of service Tuesday by City Council. Boris Alvarado, was honored for his 10 years of service with the city’s police department. Alvarado began working with the department on December 1, 2008 and holds the position of Police Lieutenant.

Senn said Alvarado was one of the best-known policemen in Newberry as he was present at city festivals, parades and always worked to keep citizens safe.

“You always have a smile on your face and are a great representation of the city of Newberry,” Senn said.

Police Chief Roy McClurkin said Alvarado had done a wonderful job and was a dedicated employee to the city.

“You do a wonderful job for the citizens of Newberry and the police department,” he said.

Joe Kitchen was recognized Tuesday for his 15 years of service with the city’s Public Works department. Kitchen began working for the city on December 1, 2003 and holds the position of Heavy Equipment Operator.

Bartley said he couldn’t say enough good things about Kitchen and the work he did for the city and he hoped that he would have many more years within the department.

For his 20 years of service to the city’s Parks, Recreation and Tourism department, council recognized Scott Sawyer. Currently holding the position of director of the PRT department, Sawyer began working with the city on January 18, 1999.

DeWitt said in everything Sawyer did he focused on the quality of how it would turn out and he did a great job of facilitating all aspects of his department.

“I can’t thank him enough for everything that he does,” DeWitt said.

As a special recognition, Marquerite Palmer, director of the Newberry Arts Center recognized teachers, teens and adults that volunteered their time to the arts center. Palmer thanked each of the volunteers for working as hard as they did to make the arts center, and therefore the community, a more active and exciting place to live and visit.

“We could not do this without them,” she said of the volunteers.

Palmer informed council of the upcoming South Carolina Clay Conference being hosted in town the weekend of February 22. On Thursday, February 21, artist Winnie Owens-Hart would be presenting A Mark in Time: Clay from Africa to America to the Newberry Opera House at 7 p.m. The presentation would cover the African American Slave Trade and its influence on pottery produced in the South. A pottery sale at the arts center will take place all weekend as well and is also open to the public.

New Business

Under new business, Gaalon Lukie, Miss Newberry 2019 and Elizabeth Hunter, Miss Newberry Outstanding Teen 2019 discussed their platforms before City Council. Both Lukie and Hunter’s platforms involve living healthier lifestyles – whether that be with cooking healthier meals, exercising or spending more time outdoors. Hunter invited the community to a fundraiser at Sonic of Newberry on March 12 from 5-8 p.m. to raise money for the Children’s Miracle Network.

First reading of an ordinance was passed Tuesday to amend the current business license ordinance to conform to state standards. The ordinance, Senn said required minor adjustments to align the city with the model ordinance from the Municipal Association of South Carolina (MASC). The most notable adjustment would change the due date for all business license applications from April 15 to April 30 of each year, beginning in the year 2020. The time period covered in the license would be May 1 and run through April 30 each year rather than the traditional January to December period. The changes were recommended by MASC to streamline the process and alleviate confusion for businesses that needed licenses for multiple cities within the state. Motion was made by Councilman Thomas Louis Boyd and seconded by Councilman Zebbie Goudelock.

Motion was made by Boyd and seconded by Councilman Lemont Glasgow for first reading of an ordinance to relocate an existing easement located on Confalonieri Drive, also known as Cannons Creek Way. Samsung has recently expanded its manufacturing facility, Senn said and has plans for further expansion. The future expansion will be located on Confalonieri Drive where the city has existing utilities in place. Samsung has requested the city relinquish its existing easement in exchange for a new easement around the proposed construction site. They have agreed to reimburse the city for all utility relocation costs.

First reading also passed Tuesday of an ordinance to amend the purchase power adjustment calculation. Senn said the Piedmont Municipal Power Association (PMPA) voted to issue each participating city a wholesale credit on their bill for the next two months based on their base billing demand. Total amount expected to be credited to Newberry is approximately $827,990. City staff request that the city credit the entire amount to customer’s accounts to be spread over a 10-month period as outlined in the ordinance. Motion was made by Boyd and seconded by Councilman Edwin Wicker.

Other updates:

  • Under old business, with a motion by Boyd and seconded by Wicker, council approved second reading of an ordinance to provide amendments to the revenue and expenditure appropriations in the fiscal year 2018-2019 budget. First reading was held at January’s City Council meeting.
  • Peggie West and Meg Muir with the Newberry County Museum gave an update on the museum’s progress. West said they hoped for construction would be completed in March/April of this year as it was currently 85 percent completed. Muir requested that anyone with information, photos, etc. that would like to contribute to the museum to reach out to her.
  • Due to recent changes in staff for the town of Prosperity, council re-executed their mutual aid agreement with the town’s police department. Motion was made by Goudelock and seconded by Boyd.
  • With a motion by Boyd and seconded by Wicker, council approved to award Clayton Construction the contract to build the baseball/softball fields at the recreation complex and to re-engineer certain areas to reduce cost. DeWitt said grading of the property is still ongoing and that the site was still on track for a summer completion date.
  • Council approved a resolution of adding Sherwin Williams’ color ‘Brainstorm Bronze’ to the Architectural Review Board’s (ARB) color palette. The ARB said it was extremely closed in appearance to approved color ‘Downing Earth’ and with council’s approval, the addition to the palette could be made. Motion was made by Glasgow and seconded by Goudelock.
  • Motion by Goudelock and seconded by Boyd, authorization to allow alcohol in designated areas of Irish Fling was approved. The event area includes Main Street from Nance to Holman Street, Boyce Street from Nance to Lindsay Street, McKibben from Boyce to Main Street, Caldwell from Boyce to Main Street, College from Boyce to Main Street, Lindsay from Martin to Main Street and Martin Street from Lindsay to Graham Street. Irish Fling is on Friday, March 15 from 5 p.m. until midnight.
  • Returning from executive session into open session, a motion was made by Goudelock and seconded by Boyd to appoint Ed Satcher to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Satcher’s term will run retroactively from January 1, 2019 to January 1, 2022. Motion was made by Councilman David DuBose and seconded by Boyd.

 City Council recognized Boris Alvarado for his 10 years with the city's police department. Alvarado began working with the city on December 1, 2008 and holds the position of Police Lieutenant. He is pictured with Police Chief Roy McClurkin.

 City Council recognized Joe Kitchen for his 15 years of service with the city's Public Works department. Kitchen began working with the department on December 1, 2003 and holds the position of Heavy Equipment Operator. He is pictured with Public Works Director Mac Bartley.

 

Newberry Arts Center teachers were recognized by City Council. From left to right: Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Katie Walters, Victoria Gilbert, Bridget Carey, NAC Director Marquerite Palmer, Anne Hightower-Patterson White, Marjorie Huwa, Paula Riddle and Mayor Foster Senn. Not pictured were Mike Johansen, Julee Ringer, Peggy Thomas and Debbie Burton.

 Newberry Arts Center teen and adult volunteers were recognized by City Council. From left to right: Councilman Zebbie Goudelock, Riley Eldridge, Evelyn Shepperd, Elise Shepperd, Natalie Schnackenburg, NAC Director Marquerite Palmer, Barbara Miller, Cathy Cain, Marianne Shunamon, Dan DeWitt and Mayor Foster Senn. Not pictured were Kenna O’Brien, Jim Hillard, Andy Hawkins, Ernie Shealy and Carla Cruickshanks.

 Scott Sawyer was recognized by City Council for his 20 years of service for the Parks, Recreation and Tourism department. Sawyer began working with the department on January 8, 1999 and holds the position of Director of Parks, Recreation and Tourism. He is pictured with City Manager Matt DeWitt. 

Newberry was most recently named one of 50 of the most charming small towns in America. In the article published by the Travel Channel, Newberry was the only town in South Carolina to make the list among other cities to include Nantucket, MA, Kennebunkport, ME and Carmel, CA.

“Newberry, South Carolina, is a college town with lots of extras: lovely architecture, a historic Opera House, a winery where rocking chairs beckon from a big porch and world-class dining and drinking experiences. Nicknamed the ‘City of Friendly Folks,’ it’s been called one of the 100 best small towns in America,” the article stated.

City Manager Matt DeWitt said it was nice to see that others were noticing what many citizens in Newberry had known all along.

“Newberry is a great place to visit, but an even better place to call home,” he said.

Mayor Foster Senn said more significant things were on the horizon for 2019 to add to Newberry’s charm, including the completion of the Old Newberry Hotel, the Newberry Museum, and The Standard on Main – new apartment living spaces downtown.

“We’re thrilled to be named one of the 50 most charming towns in America,” Senn said. “I see Newberry only getting better and more interesting in the future with the opening of these places as well as the new businesses that opened in recent months and other projects sure to develop because of the momentum that Newberry has.”

For more information on what’s going on in Newberry, check out www.cityofnewberry.com.

 

Newberry will continue “Moving Clay Forward” with the fifth annual South Carolina Clay Conference (SCCC) this month Thursday, February 21, through Sunday, February 24.  The conference, sponsored by the Newberry Arts Center and the City of Newberry, is co-sponsored this year with the University of South Carolina McKissick Museum through generous support from the National Endowment for the Arts. The South Carolina Clay Conference will take place in the Firehouse Conference Center in downtown Newberry. The SCCC features a weekend of festivities for attendees, a host of nationally and internationally known speakers from the clay community as well as a pottery sale that is open to the public featuring work by the SCCC presenters as well as many of the conference’s attendees.

The SCCC is one not like any other in the fact that it provides a chance for attendees to personally meet highly renown potters from all walks of life.  Marquerite Palmer, a founder of the South Carolina Clay Conference here in Newberry and director of the Newberry Arts Center, said that the conference is geared toward encouraging personal relationships among the speakers as well as the attendees. 

Before the SCCC was founded in Newberry in 2015, there was no prior clay conference held in the state, and the conference continues to grow annually, Palmer said.  What began as a small conference boasting less than 15 passionate potters has grown to an annual meeting of clay artists that has held as many as 90 people.  Palmer enjoys the size of the forum being reserved to around 85 members because it allows for the interpersonal relationships that make the SCCC so special.

This year’s conference is including five guest speakers that have greatly influenced the field, Palmer said that is this year’s theme, ‘Narrative Surfaces and Forms.’  The first night of the four-day event, features narrative potter Winnie Owens-Hart.  Owens-Hart will be the guest speaker for the conference’s public forum and will be explaining an intriguing take on pottery influence from the Transatlantic slave trade.  Friday and Saturday will host potters Matt Jones and Kevin Snipes.  Jones, a potter from Leicester, NC has owned Jones Pottery since 1998 and has created many pieces since then that represent historic southern narratives.  Snipes is a rising ceramic artist from Philadelphia that has created his own style based on his passion for creation. 

Sunday, February 24, will feature potters from the Catawba Indian Nation, Chief Bill Harris and Keith “Little Bear” Brown. These potters have practiced the art for decades and embody the true spirit of the Catawba Indian Nation, Palmer said. 

“The South Carolina Clay Conference offers the unique opportunity to meet and truly get to know these reputable artists first-hand,” she said.

The Newberry Art Center, 1200 Main Street, will be open to the public as attendees and speakers of the conference will be displaying their personal pottery for sale.  The arts center will be open Friday from 10 a.m. until 8 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for anyone to stop by and browse.  Alongside the pottery sale, Brown will also be at the arts center, Palmer said, providing spectators with a live demonstration of his work. In the building located beside the arts center will be a showcase of a collection of historic Edgefield pottery courtesy of Mary McDonald, which Palmer said they were grateful to have as a part of the weekend.

The registration prices for the conference range from $125 for students to $225 for potters, Palmer said with the deadline for registration for this year’s conference being February 15. The SCCC pottery sale is free and open to the public. For more information, reach out to the Newberry Arts Center at 803-597-1125.

 

The time is right for healthy, homemade chili this weekend in downtown Newberry! The City of Newberry’s sixth annual Healthy Chili Cook-Off will be held Saturday, February 2 in Memorial Park. The event will take place from 11 a.m. until 1:30 p.m.

Nine teams are set to compete in this year’s competition, said Mary Alex Kopp, tourism and events manager for the City of Newberry.

What makes this chili healthy? At a minimum, the event requires that competitors use four kinds of vegetables, two varieties of beans and if teams are making a meat chili, the meat must be at least 90 percent lean.

“We don’t allow any premade chili mixes or packets to be used to reduce the sodium content of the chili and other chemical additives,” Kopp said.” We are looking for quality, from scratch chili to win, and to educate people that your favorite dishes can be healthy as part of a balanced diet and healthy lifestyle.”

For just $5, chili lovers are able to sample a taste of each competitor’s recipe. They are then asked to vote in three categories: best booth decoration, most original chili and best overall chili. Kopp said under the best overall category, that a first, second and third place winner will be chosen.

Voting for each team will close at 1 p.m., so getting to the event early is encouraged, Kopp said so that taste-testers have the opportunity to vote for their favorites.

Each of the winners will receive a trophy, with the third place overall also receiving a $50 cash prize, second place with $75, and a $100 cash prize for the first place winner. The team voted to have the best booth decoration also wins a $25 cash prize.

Money from all ticket sales raised will go back into the community, Kopp said with this year’s proceeds going towards a class project at Newberry College.

“We had a unique opportunity this year,” Kopp said.

The city was approached by a professor at Newberry College this year, looking for a way to get her students involved in the Newberry community. Students will be responsible for running the ticket booth at this year’s event, Kopp said and the proceeds earned from the event will be used for their class project, to be given back to the community in some capacity.

“They want it to be a project that’s food-based within the community,” Kopp said. “It’s a semester-long project that is community oriented.”

New to this year’s event, is the addition of another type of aerobics activity. Kopp said from 11 a.m. until noon, Stagemakers, led by Lane Joiner will hold a children’s movement class followed by a traditional Zumba class led by local instructors for all ages from noon until 1 p.m.

“We encourage those with little ones to come early so that they can participate in the kids portion,” Kopp said.

The Blood Connection will be back again at this year’s event and will set up starting at 10 a.m., giving people a chance to donate prior to the event. They will remain in the Memorial Park area until 1:30 p.m.

Kopp said for those interested in registering for a time to donate prior to Saturday can visit www.thebloodconnection.org and search for Newberry under their events. However, appointments do not have to be made to donate.

Anyone that donates blood Saturday will receive a $20 Wal-mart gift card, Kopp said, courtesy of The Blood Connection, as well as their chili sample ticket for free to the event.

Saturday’s event will once again house a health fair, organized this year by Carolina West Clinic of Chiropractic. Several groups will be represented along with them in the fair to include Anytime Fitness, Newberry Yoga, Your CBD Store of Newberry, Carolina Soapworks, Stagemakers and Young Living Oils.

“Carolina West Clinic of Chiropractic contacted us last summer and were interested in doing a health fair and we’re excited to partner with them on this event,” Kopp said.

Costco will be a sponsor of this year’s event and provided free bottles of water and will also have an information booth set up in Memorial Park.

Meet the Competitors

Back again in this year’s competition will be the winners of the Miss Newberry and Miss Teen Newberry scholarship competition. The team will be preparing a roast chicken chili, Kopp said that they’re calling the Queen of Hearts Chili.

Joy Ride, LLC will also be returning this year, Kopp said. Last year, the group won third place in overall best chili and were excited to return again.

Chili Bob’s will be returning this year with a similar recipe as last year along with Two Beans and a Pot with their bison chili.

Last year’s most original category winners, Carolina West Clinic of Chiropractic will also be joining the competition this year.

Teal Ness and her team will have the only vegetarian chili option this year, Kopp said. The group competed in the 2015 competition and is back to join in on the fun this year.

Last year’s best overall chili winner, Bear Arms Crossfit will once again have their lean turkey/beef chili.

“Last year’s compliment of their chili was that it was a good, classic chili recipe,” Kopp said.

Carolina Gardens of Lexington, a retirement facility in Lexington will also return this year with their team as well as their group of supporters.

“They get in a bus together and head to Newberry and have a great time,” Kopp said.

The group prepares during the month of January, Kopp said with the retirement center testing out different chili recipes and allowing everyone to vote to pick their favorite for the city’s chili competition. Last year’s recipe was a Sweet Heat Chili, she said.

Last but not least, new to this year’s competition is Megan Achelpohl, with her team, Cumin Get It. Their team will be preparing a Southwest turkey chili and is excited to join in this year.

“Folks may recognize Megan as she has sold her pottery at our Oktoberfest event for the past couple of years and is local to the area,” Kopp said.

Kopp said she was excited to see what this year’s competition would bring and for the variety of chili recipes represented in this year’s competition.

“We encourage folks to come around 11, walk around, try some chili sample, take a break to visit the health fair and then try some more,” she said.

 Chris Bartholomew and wife, Lindsay enjoy a few samples at last year’s Chili Cookoff event downtown.

 For just $5, chili lovers are able to sample a taste of each competitor’s recipe. They are then asked to vote in three categories: best booth decoration, most original chili and best overall chili.