Chapin Labor Day Festival

For the first time I can remember, my family won’t be see you along the parade route; but there will be hundreds of other entries and thousands of friends and neighbors for you to see in downtown Chapin on Labor Day Weekend!

Saturday, August 31
Justin Pepper 5K: Walk, Run, Ruck 7:00 AM – 11:00 AM
Saturday night concert on Beaufort Street benefiting We Care at 7 pm featuring Tokyo Jo.

Sunday, September 1
Concert on Beaufort Street featuring Noel Lindler and the Bank Walkers party starts at 7 pm.
Bring your lawn chairs, but no coolers allowed

Monday, September 2
Labor Day Parade begins at 9:30 am (Streets close at 9 am) at GIS parking lot (912 Chapin Road) and travels to St. Peters Church Road
Classic Car Show in the Mt. Horeb parking lot of Beaufort Street presented by Columbia Classic Chevy Club.
Over 130 Vendors with Children’s Play Area and three bounce houses.
Chapin Library Book Sale immediately following the parade at Town Hall. Sale ends at 2:00 pm.
AMROC Model Train Exhibit held in the American Legion Post 193 Building.

14th Annual Irmo Community Prayer Breakfast

Still cannot believe it was 13 years ago when Chip and I first felt led to put this event on for the Irmo Community. God continues to bless this area and we know everyone looks forward to this annual event as the “unofficial kickoff to the Okra Strut”.

Hope you’ll join us again this year at our host church, St. Andrews Presbyterian. Please RSVP and let Desiree know if you’d like to sponsor a table for your group or organization!

This year we will have a mother and daughter share their moving testimony.

Tammy Maier-Scher, a native of Irmo, SC grew up attending Our Lady of the Hills Catholic Church and was confirmed there as a teenager. After marrying her high school boyfriend Chuck Maier she attended River Hills Baptist Church where she found herself spiritually led to becoming saved January 1989. Three months pregnant at that time, Tammy felt all the joy and fulfillment a person has when The Lord comes into their heart.

Three months later Tammy found herself deathly sick with a rare blood disorder just 25weeks into her pregnancy. An emergency delivery of the baby saved Tammy’s life but not without creating an enormous struggle for the infant, (named Brittany) who was diagnosed both blind and autistic.

Despite her limitations, at the age of six Brittany was blessed with a God-given gift of music which prompted Tammy and Brittany to begin a journey of life together that led Brittany to becoming the leading savant pianist in the world and whose story won a national Emmy award with WLTX-TV19 in 2001. Having shared Brittany’s miraculous story with millions over two decades, Tammy finds it to be her mission to share God’s gift of Brittany with all who feel His love and power through her.

Brittany Maier was born in April of 1989. Premature by four months, she weighed a pound and five ounces. Even though she was diagnosed blind, autistic, and mentally disabled, Brittany Maier’s amazing musical talent surfaced when she began playing Schubert’s Ave Maria on a toy piano at age six. Able to duplicate a song after having just heard it a few times, Brittany Maier memorized music with no limit to style, instrument, or language it was recorded in. At age ten, after receiving formal music instruction at The University of South Carolina’s School of Music, Brittany began composing her own original songs and she released her first album “20/20” when she was just twelve years old

In 2005, Brittany Maier moved to New York where her talent found a larger audience through television appearances on Dateline NBC, Paula Zahn – Now! and the Montel Williams show. She performed as a guest of honor at Governor and Mrs. Pataki’s Annual Prayer Breakfast, has entertained a crowd of fifty-five thousand Met fans at Shea Stadium, has been welcomed in a countless number of houses of God by religions of all denominations and origins and was recently privileged to grace the hallowed and prestigious stage of Carnegie Hall.

Brittany Maier’s second CD, titled “A World of My Own,” was released through Barnes & Noble stores nationwide in America in 2006. In 2007 her music grew to a worldwide audience when she appeared on German television for Die Show Der Merkwurdigkeiten (“Show of Miracles”). Headlines from newspapers called her “A Gift from God” and “A Musical Miracle” and those thoughts are echoed daily by her fans.

Brittany Maier performs nationally for charitable organizations that raise awareness for autism and many other special needs causes.

The New York Daily News wrote of her: “Brittany is a brilliant testimony to God’s gracious, miraculous presence among us,” then cited her as “perhaps the leading female musical savant in the world.” Dr. Scott Price, from USC’s School of Music stated to Dateline of Brittany’s skills, “To find all of those qualities housed in one person…we start listing names like Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Liszt…”And the opinion of Dr. Darold Treffert, leading and world renown specialist on savants who says “Brittany fits the spectacular, rare, musical genius seen in prodigious savants,” and cites that there are only twenty people in the world with talent such as hers.

Inspiring millions around the world without saying a word, Brittany’s life is meaningful, purposeful and divinely directed. Brittany enlightens people that they can overcome any obstacles in life they are presented with and still pursue their dream. Where her talent will take her, or what greatness she will achieve, no one knows. There is no stopping the power of God, which works its way through and around her, illuminating every audience she reaches. Brittany penetrates the soul, mesmerizes the mind and captures the heart through her music.

For more about past breakfasts (some with video footage), click here .

2018 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Jose Alvarez, retired Atlanta Braves Pitcher, FCA
2017 River Springs Church – speaker Dr. Wendell Estep, retired First Baptist Church of Columbia
2016 Union United Methodist Church – speaker Marcus Lattimore
2015 St. Paul AME Church – speaker in memory of Senator Clementa Pinckney
2014 Gateway Baptist Church – speaker Chris Joye
2013 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker Shelley Bryson King, Miss South Carolina 2006
2012 Riverland Hills Baptist – Jim “Soni” Sonefeld – member Hootie and the Blowfish
2011 Seven Oaks Presbyterian – Steve Arnold, operator Chick-fil-A Ballentine
2010 First Baptist of Irmo -speaker Adrian Despres, chaplain USC football team
2009 St. Mary’s Episcopal – speaker Eddie Walker, then principal of Irmo High School
2008 Gateway Baptist – speaker Jeff Davis, former Clemson football player
2007 St. Andrews Presbyterian – speaker A.V Strong, director A Better Way, Project Gang Out
2006 Riverland Hills Baptist – speaker Bob McAlister, McAlister Communications

District Five Back to School Bash: August 19

Sales Tax Free Weekend: August 2 – 4

During the annual Sales Tax Holiday, a variety of back-to-school essentials are exempt from the state’s 6% Sales Tax and any applicable local taxes. Tax-free items range from clothing, accessories, and shoes to school supplies, backpacks, and computers. Shoppers will also find tax-free items for their home or dorm room.

Broadly, exempt items include: clothing and accessories; footwear; school supplies used for school assignments; computers, software, and printers; certain bed and bath supplies. Check out the shopping lists on this page for examples of exempt and non-exempt items.

For more info, visit: SC Department of Revenue SC Tax Free Weekend website!

2017 Equifax Data Breach impact you?

July 2019

AFFECTED BY THE EQUIFAX BREACH?

In September of 2017, Equifax announced a data breach that exposed the personal information of 147 million people. The company has agreed to a global settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and 50 U.S. states and territories. The settlement includes up to $425 million to help people affected by the data breach.

To read more and to easily check if you were impacted, click here and follow the instructions.

More about 2017 can be found here . And, of course, we all remember the 2012 incident in our state as well.

Am I the only one leery of even clicking where that link advised and putting in “last name” and “last 6 of social”. Hate to be paranoid but last week got me really thinking “big brother” is out there !

I went ahead and did it. Took Karen and I 30 seconds to see we were NOT impacted. Hope you weren’t either! Fingers crossed.

Richland County Recreation News

You may recall the past mess that was the Richland County Recreation Commission .

Once the delegation was able to make changes, we finally had someone from our area serve – and serve well, she has. Cynthia Shepard served for the past two years and recently stepped down to focus on other things in life. I’m hopeful the 14 Democrats and my fellow Republican on the delegation will support replacing Cynthia with another qualified individual from our area – so that we are not forgotten about while other parts of the county are seeing vast improvements and we are left with two antiquated parks.

Bill Malinowski is our county councilman and works directly with the county budget. I’m trying to help use some state funds that are set aside for each county to use in their parks. The county commissions must request the funds and our commission hasnot since 2017.

Today, I have again asked the county to support Friarsgate Park and Ballentine Park in our community. Because the majority of the delgation refuses to meet more than once a year, it will probably be January before I can hopefully give a positive update on my email to the County Recreation Commission Assistant and my colleagues on the legislative delegation.

As I learn more, I’ll obviously update!

***

To: Cornelia Watts;Jimmy Bales;Wendy Brawley;Beth Bernstein;Ivory Thigpen;Kirkman Finlay;Christopher R. “Chris” Hart;Todd Rutherford;Seth Rose;Leon Howard;Kambrell Garvin;Annie McDaniel;John Scott;Dick Harpootlian;Darrell Jackson;Mia McLeod;Thomas McElveen;
CC: Kim Janha

Ms. Watts, please share this email with the Chairman and Board. I do not have their emails.

Chairwoman Cotten and others,

First, thank you for your tireless service to the county and the commission. I cannot tell you how glad I am we no longer hear of the former turmoil and activities that occurred prior to your service.

As you know, a board member from my community recently resigned. We greatly miss Cynthia and I hope the delegation will meet soon and appoint a replacement. I will push for a replacement from our area as we have multiple county run parks that are very outdated compared to the others in Richland.

I’m sending this email to you and the delegation for 3 reasons:

1) Let’s appoint a replacement commissioner in the next 60 days – per notice by law, etc. I can certainly find very qualified individuals from the Irmo/Chapin area.
2) Can you and the Board contact the Irmo Little League (run from Friarsgate Park) and ask what safety and other improvements they NEED for that park?
3) Can you and the Board contact the Ballentine Civic Association (who, along with others, use Ballentine park) and ask what safety or other improvements they NEED for the park?

Today I received a packet from Alseha Cushman with SC Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism showing the Richland County PARD account balance is $513,308.08. I also see there have been no requests for 2018 or 2019 or for the upcoming 2020 budget year.

I’m certain our parks – especially the two mentioned above (Friarsgate and Ballentine) could use improvements that these funds were created for.

I’m also certain any matching funds could be raised by the groups that use the facilities.

Please call me if you have any questions or if you need contact information for Irmo Little League or the Ballentine Civic Association. It’s my hope the delegation will discuss and support requests this year to help our county parks – and keep county funds servicing county parks.

I hope you’ll visit my website often to stay informed about what’s going on in the State House and in our community!

Nathan Ballentine

www.nathansnews.com

House of Representatives, District 71

Richland-Lexington Counties

320A Blatt Building

Columbia, SC 29221

UPDATE on proposed housing projects in the area

Received this email Tuesday (screen shot below) after I followed up for a constituent about the status of the two proposed housing projects in our area.

Our community has experienced this before and I’m not sure what the final outcome will be. I’ve learned much during the past several years about these situations and frankly it comes down to “how much money is in the (federal) program” and “how may projects will that money cover”. The agency pretty much starts with high score and goes down the list of scores until money runs out.

One very interesting item is that during this past session (just months ago) a bill came to the House floor that would EXPAND this program to include STATE DOLLARS. Based on the feedback Rep. Huggins and I have received from y’all over the years, we quickly looked to amend the bill. If STATE DOLLARS are going to be used in the future, Rep. Huggins and I can have impact on that. As it stands currently, this program runs pretty much like I shared above.

As always, we will keep you informed as we learn more.

To view the scorecards of all projects in the state, click here .

D5 teachers, we need your input!

Hat tip to Ali Hendrick, a Dutch Fork High School social studies teacher, who was District Five’s 2018-2019 Teacher of the Year. Following her Twitter feed , I came across this:

From the SC Department of Education Website

At the direction of the South Carolina General Assembly through a Joint Resolution, the State Department of Education shall develop recommendations for reducing and streamlining the amount of paperwork and reporting required of teachers, schools, and school districts. These recommendations must include information on required reporting and administrative paperwork at the classroom, school, district, and state levels, the entity requiring the data or report, the method of reporting, and frequency of the report. The department shall report its recommendations to the Chairman of the Senate Education Committee and the Chairman of the House Education and Public Works Committee. The department has compiled the following survey questions in an effort to best prepare these recommendations.

Click here to help with recommendations!

What changed today? Monday, July 1st

From TheState.com

The S.C. General Assembly passed scores of new laws this year, some of which take effect Monday with the July 1 start of the state’s 2019-20 budget.

Here is a rundown of those changes and how they will affect South Carolinians.

PAY RAISES FOR STATE EMPLOYEES

The state’s 32,000 employees will get at least a 2% pay raise, starting in July.

On top of that, workers who earn less than $70,000 a year also will get a one-time $600 bonus.

Lawmakers are spending an extra $61 million this year on the raise and one-time bonus in an effort to retain state workers who have complained their low pay leads to high turnover and poor morale.

Most state employees haven’t had a raise in two years.

TEACHERS WILL GET AN EVEN BIGGER PAY RAISE

Improving South Carolina’s struggling public schools was the No. 1-stated priority of the General Assembly this year.

While state lawmakers failed to pass comprehensive education reform, they did agree to spend roughly $159 million more a year, starting July 1, to raise teacher pay in an effort to keep frustrated educators from fleeing the profession.

The money will raise pay for all 52,000 public school teachers in South Carolina by at least 4%.

Younger, less experienced teachers will get bigger raises than their more experienced counterparts as lawmakers seek to attract new educators and keep them in the classroom. The raise also will bump first-year teachers’ salaries by nearly 9.4% – to $35,000.

Teachers who choose to be paid only during the academic year – and not the summer – will see the increase in their paychecks when students return to school in August.

Read more of Avery Wilks’ story at The State

2019 COMMUNITY COOKOUT – coming soon!

I still remember the first time I hosted a Community Cookout in our area.

It was before the election in 2004 and I didn’t know what to expect as far as turnout. It was my first time running for office and I was running against a 16 year incumbent who was my party’s Majority Leader in the State House. Who was going to come? I assumed it’d be my family and maybe a handful of campaign volunteers and supporters – and that would be it.

Much to my surprise it was packed at the Rusty Anchor! I remember running out of food and I thought “everyone will be upset and mad now”. My consultant told me “Are you kidding me?? It’s a GREAT thing you ran out of food. You had far more people than we ever thought would be here!” Fast forward, I won the election weeks later and decided that going forward, I would always have an event like that for our area .

The cookout has grown and after that first year, I began inviting local and state elected officials to come so that you and your neighbors could mingle with them in a casual setting here on Lake Murray.

Every Governor since I’ve been elected has attended. Along with other statewide constitutional office holders, our national Senators/Representatives, local state Senators, Representatives, Mayors, County Council, School Board, Sheriff, Coroner and more!

We’ll have food, drinks, music and a great time on the shores of Lake Murray right here in Chapin!

Here’s a video of our last cookout (I host these every two years). The weather was bad, but everyone enjoyed it!

The invitation is above. It’s free to attend thanks to many sponsors, hosts and supporters! Please contact DREA BYARS at 804-413-5951 or dreabyars67@gmail.com to RSVP. All cookout sponsors, hosts and supporters will have a pre-reception before heading outside to join everyone else.

All contributions are appreciated! You an easily donate in 2 minutes by clicking here – or you can send a check to Ballentine for House, 108 Tapp Pointe, Chapin, SC 29036.

Please RSVP so we have a good headcount for food. As always, Jim LeBlanc will be playing his guitar for the crowd (he’s been playing at every cookout…I think 7 cookouts so far!)

Hope to see you there!