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Monthly Archives: April 2016

SC Ports Authority, CSX discuss need for second inland port facility

Rail News: CSX Transportation

The South Carolina Ports Authority (SCPA) on Wednesday announced plans for a second inland port facility as a result of the success of its Inland Port Greer and the demand for more efficient international container movement between the Port of Charleston and growing markets in South Carolina and North Carolina.

Port officials are in discussions with CSX to determine the viability of Dillion, S.C., as a potential location for the next inland port, said SCPA President and Chief Executive Officer Jim Newsome in a press release. The parties hope to finalize plans by year’s end, he said.

The Dillion site offers access to an existing CSX mainline, which opens a different intermodal marketplace from Inland Port Greer and provides access to the Southeast and Midwest, port officials said. The location also would be close to Interstate 95, a key transportation artery in the Southeast.

“A second inland port in South Carolina would expand transportation options in the state, lowering shipping costs for South Carolina businesses and improving competitiveness,” said Dean Piacente, CSX vice president, intermodal. “This project would also generate substantial public benefits by creating jobs, spurring economic development and reducing traffic congestion on I-26 and I-95.”

Hamburg Port Consultants are studying facility design, cost and construction timeline. Port authorities are pursuing federal funding through the Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) program to help pay for the project.

About 23 percent of containers imported or exported through Charleston last year moved by rail, with nearly 260,000 international intermodal rail lifts handled in 2015. Intermodal volume has increased 166 percent since 2011, driving increased demand for additional inland port facilities, port officials said.

Duke Energy and Reading Is Fundamental partner to boost childhood reading skills

– Program to be piloted in South Carolina’s Pee Dee region

– More than 3,000 second graders expected to participate

– Program reflects a $400,000 investment by Duke Energy

CHARLOTTE, N.C., April 19, 2016 /PRNewswire/ — Duke Energy and Reading Is Fundamental (RIF), the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, are partnering to minimize the summer slide and improve the reading proficiency of more than 3,000 current second graders in South Carolina.

The program will be available in 36 Title I elementary schools in the Pee Dee region in northeast South Carolina.

“Our philanthropic investments in childhood literary proficiency are aimed at giving children a chance to succeed throughout school and into adulthood,” said Shawn Heath, president of the Duke Energy Foundation. “Reading proficiency is the foundation to help children succeed and get excited about science, technology, engineering and math.”

As part of RIF’s Read for Success program, the students will receive eight summer books of their choosing and a book bag of items to take home.

In addition, teachers will receive a collection of 35 fiction and nonfiction books for the classroom and school library; printed and online access to enrichment and instructional activities; and in-person and online professional development to effectively implement the program model.

Families in participating South Carolina schools will be encouraged to take part in the summer book distributions and share stories together to help students develop a love of reading and experience the magic of books.

RIF will also have available supplemental booklists and fun activities for families to experience reading throughout the summer.

“The unfortunate reality is that many children do not have access to books, especially at home; this is something most of us take for granted,” said Carol Rasco, president and CEO, Reading Is Fundamental. “The eight books students receive at the end of the school year to own and take home really motivate them to read over the summer.”

During the summer months, all children are at risk of losing some of the learning and skills they’ve acquired over the school year. If the summer learning slide is not addressed at an early age, some children may fall behind as much as three years in reading comprehension by the end of fifth grade. In addition, existing research shows that 75 percent of students who read poorly in third grade, a benchmark for literacy skill building, remain poor readers in high school.

“The Read for Success program has been tested over two years among 33,000 students,” Rasco said. “Results show it can reverse the trend of summer reading loss for more than half the participating students.”

School districts in the South Carolina program include: Chesterfield, Clarendon, Darlington, Dillon, Lee, Marion, Marlboro, and Williamsburg.

“Once again, Duke Energy has stepped up its level of commitment to public education,” said Dr. Eddie Ingram, superintendent of Darlington County School District. “We deeply appreciate the partnership between Duke Energy and Reading Is Fundamental, and the resources they are so unselfishly providing. Fostering a lifelong love of reading is paramount to develop a child’s ability to create, communicate, collaborate and problem solve. Our teachers and students are very excited about the new books.”

The results of the program will be evaluated in the fall as part of Duke Energy’s ongoing efforts to support childhood literacy in the states it serves.

About Duke Energy
Headquartered in Charlotte, N.C., Duke Energy is a S&P 100 Stock Index company traded on the New York Stock Exchange under the symbol DUK. More information about the company is available at

The Duke Energy News Center serves as a multimedia resource for journalists and features news releases, helpful links, photos and videos. Hosted by Duke Energy, illumination is an online destination for stories about remarkable people, innovations, and community and environmental topics. It also offers glimpses into the past and insights into the future of energy.

Follow Duke Energy on Twitter, LinkedIn, Instagram and Facebook.

About Reading Is Fundamental
Reading Is Fundamental (RIF) transforms lives through the power of books. By providing children in need with access to books of their choosing, RIF empowers young minds to embrace the world of reading and develop a love of learning. As the nation’s largest children’s literacy organization, RIF has provided more than 412 million books to 40 million RIF kids over 50 years, inspiring generations to read, learn and grow. Visit us online to learn more at

Anne Sheffield, Duke Energy
24-Hour: 800.559.3853

Tracey Beeker, Reading Is Fundamental

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To view the original version on PR Newswire, visit:

Students Participate in SC 4-H Engineering Challenge

Publsihed April 13, 2016 by Marlboro County School District

Jontavius Loyd, Tyqueshis Bridges, Fredrick McCray, and Joey McCray of Marlboro County High School proudly display their trophy after winning 1st place in the “Mystery Challenge” during the 2016 SC 4-H Engineering Challenge held at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College in Orangeburg, SC on April 9, 2016.  The students were chaperoned by Ms Maria Maderal, TAP STEM Master Teacher, Mr Selase Fianu and Dr Genaro Alderite, science teachers at the high school.

Selected students of Marlboro County High School participated in the 2016 SC 4-H Engineering Challenge held at Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College, Orangeburg, SC on Saturday, April 9, 2016.  The event was an opportunity for students to learn, have fun, demonstrate the STEM skills and compete for individual and team honors. This was also an opportunity to expose the students to the STEM fields and to prepare them for effective involvement in an increasingly technological society. The MCHS students participated in the Bridge-building Challenge, GPS Challenge, Energy Challenge, Rocketry, and Mystery Challenge where the team of Jontavius Loyd, Tyqueshis Bridges, Fredrick McCray, and Joey McCray won 1st place. This is MCHS’ first time to participate in this statewide challenge.

The challenge was presented by enLIGHTenSC with support from Science on the Move-a SC 4-H initiative; Clemson Cooperative Extension, S2 STEM Centers and Orangeburg-Calhoun Technical College.

Front row, L-R: Ms. Maria Maderal, TP STEM Master Teacher, Kalia Thomas, Laqueshia Bridges, Kelifa Gillespie, Tyqueshis Bridges, Joey McCray, Jontavius Loyd, and Dr Genaro Alderite, Science teacher

Back row, l-R: Mr Selase Fianu, science teacher, Noah Harper, Dylan Quick, Leigh Oxendine, Arian Garner, Cedric Little, Bobby Morrison, Trashoan Cain, and Xavier Smith.

Sandhill ConNEXTions To Serve Marlboro County

April 1, 2015 – Jefferson, SC – Sandhil ConNEXTions has acquired the cable assets in Marlboro County from MetroCast Communications. Sandhill is a well established provider of high-speed internet, digital television, voice, security, and wireless solutions.

The same great service that MetroCast has been providing of television, internet, and phone will continue with only minor changes initially. We will provide more info in the near future of plans for the community’s service. Some of these plans include the addition of the AMC Network, adding more fiber capabilities for business in the area, and reaching previously unserved areas of the County.

“We are committed to providing the people of Bennettsivlle, Tatum, McColl, and Clio with affordable, reliable services and great customer service. Our number one priority is caring for our customers by meeting their needs with the latest technology,” said CEO/General Manager Lee Chambers. “We’ve been providing local service for over 60 years and look forward to adding the communities and people of Marlboro County to our service area.”

Existing MetroCast customers and non-customers alike are encouraged to contact the local office in Bennettsville at 843-479-4063 to learn more about what is available.

Sandhill ConNEXTions is a subsidiary of Jefferson-based Sandhill Telephone Cooperative, a cooperative owned by its members since 1951. Sandhill is a technology advanced telecommunications provider serving residential and business members with an array of services that include local phone, long distance, high-speed broadband, cell phone service, digital television and security systems.