2019: The Year In Review

By Betsy Finklea
2019 will be a year to remember in Dillon County as we close another decade.
There were joys, sorrows, and other happenings that marked the year.
Here are the notable events of 2019:
JANUARY
JANUARY 1: Chamber, First Steps receive grants from Ports giving program… Reception held for new county administrator…2018 Year-In-Review appears.
JANUARY 3: Cotillion Club Winter Ball held…City of Dillon to hold general election…City of Dillon Police investigating death.
JANUARY 8: Stevie Grice and Buzzy Finklea are re-elected as Dillon County council chairman and vice-chairman…Dillon County councilmen Harold Moody, Gerome McLeod, and Stevie Grice are sworn into office…Probate Judge Teresa Campbell Smith sworn into office…Lake View election set…several City of Dillon employees receive service awards.
JANUARY 10: Latta man arrested in armed robbery…South Carolina Ports welcomes new agriculture export transload facility… Dillon mayor Todd Davis announces that he will not seek re-election…Suspicious fires near Latta under investigation…Darius Leonard named to AP All-Pro Team…S.C. Ports Authority achieves six percent growth in 2018…City of Dillon receives good opinion on audit.
JANUARY 15: Fire occurs at Dillon residence…Annual “Celebrating Dillon County” Economic Development and Achievement Summit held…Erika Jones is new 4-H agent.
JANUARY 17: Bond set on Phillip Turner is charged with voluntary manslaughter…Tractor-trailers collide on I-95…Dr. Mamdouh Mijalli named Chief of Staff at McLeod Dillon…Dillon County administrator forms ministerial alliance.
JANUARY 22: South of the Border named third best Rest Stop in America…McLeod Health hosting “Go Red For Women” luncheon.
JANUARY 24: County Administrator Tony Clyburn names Clay Young as new director of economic development…Gas prices stop dropping for first time in months…Criterion Club celebrates Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.
JANUARY 29: Filing ends for Dillon City election …County Administrator to speak at Chamber of Commerce banquet…Gas prices on the rise.
JANUARY 31: Sheriff’s office investigating burglaries of businesses…Latta United Methodist Women express appreciation to Latta water and sanitation department workers.

FEBRUARY
FEBRUARY 5: Councilman Archie Scott says during meeting that he has never asked the county administrator to do anything illegal…Dillon Mayor Todd Davis gives final State of the City address…County Council gives administrator new contract.
FEBRUARY 7: City of Dillon awards upfit incentive and facade grants…City of Dillon’s new council clerk, Tina Scott, enjoys serving citizens.
FEBRUARY 12: Dillon mayor, J. Todd Davis, named Dillon County Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year…Go Red For Women observed at Lake View Elementary…S.C. Baltimore Oriole Winter Survey and Great Backyard Bird County set for February 15-18.
FEBRUARY 14: Town of Lake View’s new police chief, Charlie Watson, striving to make a difference in the community…Council For The Aging will always hold special place in the heart of former agency director, Joni Spivey.
FEBRUARY 19: Woman charged in incident at local daycare…Jacob Mijalli headed for National Spelling Bee…Smithsonian Traveling Exhibition about Rural America coming to Dillon County.
FEBRUARY 21: Man sentenced to eight years on crack cocaine charge…Purple Martin returns to South Carolina.
FEBRUARY 26: Missing man, William David McDonald, located deceased, coroner orders autopsy… Federal & State outlook given at economic development summit…Technical College Presidents share focus and priorities at Coastal and Pee Dee Economic development…Gas prices continue to climb.
FEBRUARY 28: Hospital auxiliary, library partner on “Grow With Books” literacy project…RALI Dillon County and Blueprint For Health hold premiere of video series…New video series shows healthy eating on a budget is possible.

MARCH
MARCH 5: One person found dead, another person found unresponsive at location in Latta area…Florida man killed in wreck near I-95 & S.C. 38…Reptile Expo held at South of the Border Convention Center.
MARCH 7: Victim on McDowell Court identified by coroner…East Elementary School students collect items for Dillon County Animal Shelter…Gas prices increase…Educators summit held in Dillon.
MARCH 12: Dillon men arrested in North Carolina on drug charges…police officers learn way to avoid force…over 100 indictments moved during General Sessions Court.
MARCH 14: C&M Hog Farm holds open house to take a look at transloading facility…Sunshine Week observed.
MARCH 19: Dillon County man arrested for Marlboro County ATM thefts…NFL player Darius Leonard recognized with day in his honor in Lake View…City of Dillon holds St. Patrick’s Day event.
MARCH 21: Athletes Appreciation Day held at Fork Presbyterian Church…S.C. Ports Authority reports record February volume.
MARCH 26: Lt. Governor to speak to Dillon Rotary Club…Soccer season underway.
MARCH 28: Sellers man charged in assault of 74-year- old woman…City election is April 2.

APRIL
APRIL 2: Three priests who served in Dillon are on list of Diocesan Priests with a credible allegation of child sexual misconduct or abuse…Gas prices continue to rise…Quinton Mills shares story, music at local church…I-95 bridge repair set for April 3rd…Case involving Nichols man and Latta lawyers is subject of book and magazine article.
APRIL 4: Corey Jackson and Tally McColl to be in run-off for mayor of Dillon…Tim Cousar, James Washington, and Douglas Jackson elected to Dillon City Council…Mertis Barnett and David Johnson retain Lake View council seats…Dillon Kiwanis celebrating 60 years of Dixie Youth baseball.
APRIL 9: Perdue Farms invests $25 million in Dillon County expansion…City of Dillon Wellness Center celebrating twelfth anniversary…overflow crowd attends crusade.
APRIL 11: Governor, Secretary of Agriculture praise Perdue expansion…Town of Latta considering proposal to allow Grand Strand Water and Sewer manage their system.
APRIL 16: Latta Middle School Academic Challenge Team wins state title…McLeod Health Dillon nurses receive 2019 Palmetto Gold award…United Way is still active non-profit organization in Dillon County…East Elementary students collect funds for heartworm project at animal shelter.
APRIL 18: Corey Jackson elected City of Dillon’s mayor…outgoing mayor Todd Davis and outgoing councilwoman Connie Manning honored at Dillon City Council meeting…Jacorie McCall wins secretary of Wofford campus union.
APRIL 23: Latta Springfest held…Marlboro Electric announces rate decrease…several matters heard during General Sessions Court… Dillon County ranks near the bottom of health outcomes and health factors.
APRIL 25: Film to be shown in conjunction with Smithsonian traveling exhibit…Flag retirement ceremony planned.
APRIL 30: Dillon couple charged in connection with missing funds from the Free Medical clinic…Celebrate Main Street held…Betty Stout named president of S.C. Association of Hospital Auxiliaries.

MAY
MAY 2: Dillon County Relay For Life to be held Saturday…Johnnie Daniels wins two photography awards in S.C. Press Contest…Unserviceable flag retirement ceremony held at Dillon VFW post.
MAY 7: Victim bound and robbed at own home…National Day of Prayer service held.
MAY 9: Dillon’s mayor elect charged with 11 counts of sexual exploitation of a minor…Pipe organ being restored at First Presbyterian Church…Latta High School student holds animal shelter donation drive.
MAY 14: ATV National Motorcross Series held at South of the Border…Latta Community Singers to perform under new director Polly Kopituk…Local industries saluted…Inland Port Dillon celebrates one year.
MAY 16: Fayettville woman killed in fatal wreck on I-95…Dillon County technology Center to offer new emergency medical services program in 2019-2020 school year…Latta School District wins Energy Project.
MAY 21: Chase ends with driver running vehicle into lake…Dillon mayor proclaims DIPG awareness day.
MAY 23: Spectrum Quartz launching new manufacturing operation in Latta…Quality of life events and tourism are topics of Industry Appreciation luncheon…Smithsonian traveling Exhibit opens.
MAY 28: Lonnie Turner honored for years of service to Kiwanis at prestigious ceremony…Memorial Day ceremony held.
MAY 30: John Braddy resigns from Dillon City Council…Butterfly release held at East Elementary School…Charles Russell Lee posthumously recognized with County Distinguised Deceased Veteran Award…Maggie Bethea celebrates 102nd birthday.

JUNE
JUNE 4: Corey Jackson sworn in as mayor of City of Dillon…James Washington, Douglas Jackson, and Tim Cousar take oath of office as Dillon City councilman… Mayor Corey Jackson suspended from office by Governor…City Councilman Phil Wallace elected Mayor Pro-Tem of City of Dillon…Public must adhere to golf cart laws.
JUNE 6: Couple gets probation and restitution for taking $67,000+ from Free Medical Clinic…Tray Rogers announces candidacy for Sheriff…Gayle Page Gandley retires after 44 years as an educator….Alpha Lambda Chapter of Delta Kappa Gamma celebrates 90th birthday.
JUNE 11: Firefighters save kitten…Sheriff’s office investigating two shootings…Law enforcement searching for missing 85 year old woman.
JUNE 13: Missing elderly woman located alive in Columbus County, N.C….Latta High School alumnus, O.J. Stroud, to participate in international internship.
JUNE 18: Occupied residence shot multiple times…Motocross returns to South of the Border…caretaker charged in case of elderly woman who went missing.
JUNE 20: Dr. Frank McMillan wills Latta library $2,000,000…Dillon District Four presents 2019-2020 budget…Latta School Board passes balanced budget…Road issue to be addressed at Lake View Elementary…Dillon County Board of Education approves budget.
JUNE 25: Fuel User Fee increases…Another occupied residence and three vehicles shot several times…Investiture ceremony held for new magistrate, Andrew V. Bethea…Dillon County ATEC presents balanced budget…The Bridgers House demolished.
JUNE 27: Carl Edwards takes home top prize in car show…Need for a hotel discussed at Dillon City Council meeting…Price of full-pay student lunch rising slightly in Latta district.

JULY
JULY 2: Public meeting on future of Latta library to be held…Veteran James Brewer receives quilt of honor…Latta Town Administrator Jarett Taylor gives update on Grand Strand contract and more.
JULY 4: City of Dillon to host Dixie Youth Baseball state tournament…Arrest made in Latta murder…Jamie Arnette accepts position as senior pastor at Dillon First Baptist Church…Ceremonial flag burning held.
JULY 9: Kenya Purnell killed at Sunflower Apartments…shots fired at home on East Dargan Street…Dixie Youth Baseball state tournaments underway…Kromer Stephens and Tristen Smith crowned tomato kings.
JULY 11: Jamie T. Thomas named new campus coordinator at NETC-Dillon…Dillon District Four serves 7,886 free meals during June as part of Seamless Summer Program… Salkehatchie campers working in Dillon County.
JULY 16: Tax and fee increases included in 2019-2020 City of Dillon budget…Dillon City Council approves recommendations for accommodations tax disbursements…some streetlights in Dillon to be converted to LED…Increasing problem for Dillon City Public Works department discussed.
JULY 18: Tracy Pelt announces candidacy for Dillon County Sheriff…Dillon School District Four chairperson Ethel Taylor passes away…Latta 12U softball wins state championship.
JULY 23: Charge upgraded in case involving death of baby at local daycare…Dr. Richard Alderman recognized for 60 years of sharing the gospel…Dillon School District Four entering second year of Hootie and the Blowfish funding…Beloved conductor and other train memorabilia stolen from historic Rowland train depot…arrest made in death of Aljawan Lee…Sheriff’s Office looking for missing man, Julandon Malik McCallum.
JULY 25: New child support system is up and running in most S.C. counties…Union Baptist Church youth participates in mission work…Possibility of bringing PDRTA Bus Service to county discussed.
JULY 30: Discover Dillon County special issue released…Dillon native Lewis Jackson serving in naval hospital in Florida.

AUGUST
AUGUST 1: Sales Tax Holidays to be observed…Lake View native Josh Miller to participate in Cross Fit games.
AUGUST 6: Public meeting held on future of Latta library…Dillon District Four principals and assistant principals train in preparation for the new school year…Purple Heart recipients recognized.
AUGUST 8: Gracen Grainger crowned Miss Clemson Teen USA…Latta 12U Ponytails are World Series Champions…Public-Private Partnership asks Dillon County Council for $50,000.
AUGUST 13: Antonio Anderson of Mullins dies in one-vehicle crash on State Park Road…S.C. National Guard solders honored with deployment dinner and special program…New Dillon District Four teachers honored with luncheon…Jeffrey W. Lee Sr. names 2019 Safari Hunter of the Year…Rich McFee is national champion sporting clay shotgun shooter.
AUGUST 15: Puerto Rico mission trip bears strong Floydale influence…High School football scrimmages underway.
AUGUST 20: School starts…”Sober or Slammer” campaign underway…several break-ins reported.
AUGUST 25: Special election for Dillon District Five city council seat is Tuesday…Bootley Whiskey: A Once Thriving Business in Dillon County…Opioid-involved overdose deaths increased in state in 2018.
AUGUST 27: Dr. John Kirby receives CareSouth Community Partnership Award…Dillon Downtown Development awarded $5,000 grant from “Eat Smart, Move More South Carolina”…Cheap crude oil paves way for significant savings at the pump.
AUGUST 29: Jay David wins District Five City Council election by seven votes…Cliff Arnette announces candidacy for Sheriff.

SEPTEMBER
SEPTEMBER 3: Two Latta High School students arrested for threatening school with violence…Randy Roscoe’s 45,000+ mile journey is his way of saying thanks to veterans…Tip Rogers retires after 42 years of service as judge…Coach Daryl King gets 100th win with Lake View’s victory over Johnsonville.
SEPTEMBER 5: Historic school building on J.V. Martin campus burns…Reggie German being called a hero after saving handicapped person’s life.
SEPTEMBER 10: Marlboro Electric Coop energizes new substation in Dillon County…Sheriff’s Office investigating deadly shooting… County Council votes to spray for mosquitoes…Hurricane Dorian passes through county…Carol P. Rogers named Lake View Club Woman of the Year…Earl Gleason, Burt Rogers, and Mike McRae elected as new Dillon District Four board officers.
SEPTEMBER 12: Several gather to remember the September 11, 2001 tragedy…Jay David sworn in as City of Dillon councilman.
SEPTEMBER 17: Nan Carmichael named Dillon District three (Latta) Teacher of the Year…Pop-up Farmers Market held…Reward offered for suspicious fire on East Hudson Street.
SEPTEMBER 19: Leigh Ann Moody named Dillon District Four Teacher of the Year…Lottery ticket left in car wins Dillon man $250,000.
SEPTEMBER 24: Missing Dillon County soldier, Army Corporal Harold Pearce, accounted for from Korean War…Man charged in death of Kenya Purnell.
SEPTEMBER 26: Sheriff’s office looking into social media threat…Recently identified army soldier from Korean War returns home.

OCTOBER
OCTOBER 1: Cpl. Harold Pearce who fought in Korea laid to rest in Dillon County after 69 years…local districts to receive school resource officer funds.
OCTOBER 3: Carley Wiggins recognized… Marching Cats win awards at competition…Real ID’s to be required for South Carolinians in one year.
OCTOBER 8: National Newspaper Week observed…more than $1.6 million spent on labor for county vehicles during the past three fiscal years…County and Town of Lake View resolve capital sales tax issue with agreement.
OCTOBER 15: Help For Veterans Health Fair is Thursday…NFL star Darius Leonard holds give back event at Lake View Elementary.
OCTOBER 17: Jamal Dow gets 42 years for fatal shooting of his girlfriend, Ashley Blackmon…The Forgotten Sheriff of Dillon County recalled…Dog attack reported on Oaky Point Road in Latta…Darius Leonard’s jersey retired.
OCTOBER 22: Christian Jones and Zipporah Legette killed in wreck…Help For Veterans Health Fair is success.
OCTOBER 24: Tony Smith killed in hit and run; suspect arrested…Union Baptist Church opens new campus in Latta area…Latta Harvest Festival and Hoe-Down held.
OCTOBER 29: County Council approves funds for PDRTA Bus Service… Spooktacular Hallowe’en house featured.
OCTOBER 31: Junior Charity League Fall Festival held…Various hallowe’en activities featured.

NOVEMBER
NOVEMBER 5: Dillon and Sellers get Hometown Economic Development grants…Annie Mae Bethea celebrates 102nd birthday…Dillon County Theatre announces events for 2019-2020 season.
NOVEMBER 7: Impact of S.C. Ports Authority on Pee Dee Region highlighted at luncheon…Dillon District Four students recognized for perfect state test scores.
NOVEMBER 12: Sheriff’s Office investigating larceny of residence with power company impersonators…Tabernaculo Evangelico Hispanic Church celebrates 20 years in Latta.
NOVEMBER 14: Farm-City Week banquet set…Ronnie Stone named Veteran of the Year.
NOVEMBER 19: Dillon District Three students recognized for making perfect scores on state test…City of Dillon hosts Holiday Goodness…Dillon Police officers not shaving in November to raise money for American Cancer Society and Hope Lodge.
NOVEMBER 21: Farm-City Week banquet held…Record number of Thanksgiving travelers expected.
NOVEMBER 26: Dillon County LTRG awarded funds from One SC fund…Dillon County and City of Dillon get RIA grants…Man sharing gospel in hopes others will give their lives to Christ.
NOVEMBER 28: “Pay It Forward” Blood Drive being planned in honor of Courtney Jordan Hillman…Douglas Pernell announces candidacy for Sheriff…Harbor Freight Tools and Help For Veterans team up to make Thanksgiving happy for those who served…The Parham Family gifts picture of first Latta librarian to Dillon County Library System.

DECEMBER
DECEMBER 3: Sheriff’s Office investigating deadly shooting of Montresse Dudley…Dillon County Fire Station Five made substation under Dillon County Fire Station One…CareSouth Carolina’s MAT program takes steps to fight area opioid epidemic…Blue Lodge #142 celebrates 150th Anniversary… S.C Aeronautics Commission representative speaks to Dillon County Council about airport.
DECEMBER 5: City of Dillon Christmas tree lighting held…Dillon County’s last tobacco farmers, the Gasque family, recognized…Dillon County Library gets new circulation desk…Building of primary school in Dillon is high priority among future projects…Auditor said Dillon District Four had overall good year…Joe Williamson, Melinda Robinson, and Abbott Shelley elected to Latta Town Council.
DECEMBER 10: Dillon County Council gives blessing to Latta Library renovation… Search warrant results in arrests of three men…Dillon Wildcats finish as Lower State Champions.
DECEMBER 12: Marlboro Development Team Developing 253,800 sq.ft. Class A speculative industrial facility in Dillon County…Two people arrested in armed robbery at Roger’s Convenience.
DECEMBER 17: A.B. Jordan, III, passes away…Local business owner, J.W. Bailey, killed in armed robbery of his store…Two-year-old child shot.
DECEMBER 19: Firefighter’s funeral held for J.W. Bailey…Arbor Day observance held at Wellness Center.
DECEMBER 24: Sheriff’s Office investigating burglary at J.W. Bailey’s store…S.C. Ports Authority in strong position heading into 2020…Clarence “Sonny” McRae announces candidacy for Dillon County Council District Three.
DECEMBER 26: William Mason charged in murder of J.W. Bailey…Allen Little, Jr., sought on murder charge…Joshua B. Manning reported missing… Main Street United Methodist Men deliver Christmas food boxes.
DECEMBER 31: Bond hearing held on William Mason…Year-In-Review.
As we say goodbye to 2019, let’s hope that the next year and the next decade will be a bright one for Dillon County.