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Yesteryear - July 12, 2016

18 YEARS AGO -- July 11-17, 1998

Posted: July 11, 2016 5:32 p.m.
Updated: July 12, 2016 1:00 a.m.

A public hearing on the creation of a special tax district to fund rural fire protection is set for Kershaw County Council’s regular meeting Tuesday. 

Creation of the fire district under the Fire Protection Services Act would allow the county to levy ad valorem taxes and establish rates and charges for the furnishing of fire protection services within the district.

The proposed fire district would include areas of Kershaw County, which are not currently being provided with fire protection by any other political subdivision.

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Organizers’ struggles to revive the Miss Camden Pageant have proved to be well worth their efforts: Miss Camden 1998 is the new Miss South Carolina. Wendy Willis captured the title Saturday night at the Spartanburg Memorial Auditorium. Described as a petite blonde with a dynamic voice, the 23-year-old resident of Fountain Inn, competing as Miss Camden, was chosen from a field of 45 contestants.

She won a $12,000 scholarship, wardrobe and the opportunity to compete in the Miss America Pageant in September. Since physical fitness is an emphasis, Miss South Carolina also receives a personal trainer for the year of her reign.

For the talent competition, she sang a Manhattan Transfer song, “Operator,” the same number that helped the Clemson graduate and former Miss Clemson University win the Miss Camden Crown. For her personal community service project, Willis chose to focus on support for the physically and mentally challenged. Additionally, each contestant was also asked to work on a specified project: South Carolina Cares for Children.

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It may have been 60 years since Margaret Land Pitts was Miss Camden and Miss South Carolina, but when her voice came over the telephone from her home in Williamsburg, Va., it was brimming with the vivacity of the most adept pageant queens many years her junior.

“This was before Bert Parks,” said Miss Camden 1938, who went on to become Miss South Carolina 1938. She preceded Wendy Willis, Miss Camden 1998 and now Miss South Carolina 1998, by more than half a century. When she heard the news of the current Miss Camden’s accomplishment, her voice revealed her delight. 

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Five Kershaw County high school students were recently presented Military Excellence medals and certificates by the James Leroy Belk Post 17 of the American Legion. Honored were Roderick Forman, North Central High School; Richard N. Lewis Jr., Camden Military Academy; Keshone Jones, Lugoff-Elgin High School; Jonathan Deihs, Camden High School; and Arthur Danzy, Bethune High School. Cadets must have demonstrated outstanding qualities in military leadership, discipline, character, and citizenship as well as being in the top 25 percent of their class in academic and JROTC subjects.

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Fowler Hospitality LLC has named Leigh Anne Ansley as the new general manager for the Holiday Inn in Lugoff. She joins the Holiday Inn staff as the facility has just completed more than $400,000 in renovations. A native of Camden, Ansley graduated from the University of Tennessee with a bachelor of science degree in tourism, food, and lodging administration with a minor in business. She previously worked with another Fowler Hospitality property in Columbia.

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After two South Camden homeowners reiterated their concern for the potential impact of a rezoning request, Camden City Council voted to rezone property proposed as the future site of the Kershaw County Chamber of Commerce. The property in question, located at 506 Church Street, at the corner of Church and Bull Streets, is currently a vacant lot owned by Grace Episcopal Church.

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