Author Dr. M. B. (Beverly) Spears discussed her book, “Unsolved: A Murder in the Solid South” at the Hartsville Rotary Club meeting on Wednesday, August 18 at the Hartsville Country Club. The book is of particular local interest because it explores the 1952 murder of prominent Darlington attorney James U. “Red” Watts. Spears explained it as, “the most notorious unsolved murder in our region in the 4th Judicial District of South Carolina.” She spent a year researching the book.
Spears read excerpts from “Unsolved” captivating club members, some who recognized the names and places she described.
“Watts was shot to death as he drove his car home from work one night. His body was found in the car in a field off U.S. Highway 52 north of Darlington. The two men who were charged in the murder were never convicted,” she said.
Spears noted that she had five pages, double-columned of people who had provided recollections and contacts about the event. She continues to talk about it and gather information, asking Rotarians more questions than were asked of her.
Spears grew up in Darlington and is a retired Francis Marion University English professor. She was the first woman at Francis Marion to earn the top teaching rank of professor. She spoke at Rotary as the guest and personal friend of Phillip Gandy. She is the author of two previous books. “Mineral Springs Road 1940s” is a collection of reflections on childhood memories of growing up on her grandfather Cap’s farm on Mineral Springs Road near Darlington from the perspective of a 9-year-old girl. “County” is a similar collection about her life as a teenager growing up in Darlington city in the 1950s.
The book is dedicated to her father, George (Mac) Spears, Jr. She said she wished he had been alive to see the murder solved and have closure. She’s still working on it. Copies of her book were available for purchase and after the meeting she autographed them.
There are so many worthy charitable organizations in our area. One of the most rewarding things we do as a club is to help these organizations financially so that they are better able to achieve their goals. Each year, based on our fund-raising efforts, we give checks to groups we feel serve the needs of those less fortunate in our community. We raise most of the money we give each year through our Annual Soccer Classic and Silent Auction. For the next several months, we will invite representatives of these groups for lunch and the presentation of a check. So far, we have given out checks to East Cooper Meals on Wheels, ECCO (East Cooper Community Outreach, and the ECFN’s (East Cooper Faith Network) IBeam Literacy program.
The Rotary Club of Mt. Pleasant is proud of its commitment to Youth. Each year we give out renewable scholarships to deserving high school students headed to college as well as scholarships to students attending Trident Technical College.
The 2015 winner of our scholarship, renewal for four years of college, is Annika Bovender from the Academic Magnet High School. Annika will be attending Furman University where she will be on the Golf team. This year’s scholarship runner-up, winner of a one time scholarship, is Holland McDowell, who also attended the Academic Magnet High School. Holland will be attending George Washington University. Pictured below are this year’s winners as well as students Hope Snell, rising sophomore at USC, and Aaron Brown, rising junior at Erskine College. Hope and Aaron receive the next installment of their renewable scholarship.
Eau Claire North Columbia Rotarians were delighted to learn that club member Judge Tomothy Edmond has been named Midlands Technical College Distinguished Alumni at the annual Celebration of Philanthropy that recognized donors, friends, partners and alumni of MTC who are leaving a legacy in the community.
Judge Edmond’s law career has spanned the South Carolina House of Representatives, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, and the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED).
Edmond, a veteran of the U.S. Army, received degrees in public service with concentrations in criminal justice and criminology with a dual focus in social work from Midlands Technical College and the University of South Carolina.
“Judge Edmond personifies what an MTC graduate represents. He is a dedicated man,” said Tim Nelson, CEO of the Midlands Technical College Foundation. “His colleagues have told me he is a consummate professional, an outstanding leader and an extraordinary human being.”
Judge Edmond and his wife, Carroll, have two children, Tamara and DeQuita, and two grandchildren, Khiaro and Brianna. He serves as Magistrate for the Upper Township in North Columbia.
The following video was produced for the award presentation:
Rotary Club of Carolina Forest Sunrise donates $2000 in clothing to area elementary schools as one of three annual service projects for children in our community
Members of The Rotary Club of Carolina Forest Sunrise, the Rotaract Club of Coastal Carolina University are pictured with international students of CCU at Carolina Forest Walmart with clothing purchased as part of the Rotary Club’s support of Carolina Forest and Waccamaw elementary schools’ clothes closet programs. Also pictured is the CCU bus used to transport the students who selected the clothing for the schools. Both schools, classified as Title One schools indicating high percentage of pupils in need, have clothes closets built and furnished with new clothing purchased by the club from funds generated by various fund raising projects for the purpose of distributing clothing items on a need basis to children as administered by the respective school personnel. The club annually funds and administers three elementary school support programs totaling over $5,200 :” Warm Bodies” , coats, shirts, blouses, underwear and socks; ” Happy Feet”,providing new shoes ,often their first, for children in need;” P Cubed; Pads, papers, pencils for Pupils” for children identified by classroom teachers and administrators. The club wants students to feel better about themselves as they begin their new school year ,to be able to dress appropriately and warmly during the entire school year, while having adequate school supplies to foster their classroom and homework performance and success.
The Rotary Club of Carolina Forest Sunrise meets on the first and third Wednesday of each month at 7:00 am at Beef O’Brady’s , Carolina Forest/Kroger Shopping Center. New or prospective members are always welcome at our breakfast meeting..come and learn of the many service projects provided by our dynamic club in behalf of “Service Above Self” to our community and its citizens of all ages.
(photos by Ralph Jones)
The Rotary Club of Lexington recently welcomed Mayor Steve MacDougall (left), Rotary Youth Exchange student Charly (middle) from Hannover, Germany and Congressman Joe Wilson (right). They are pictured with club president Allison Ford and club member Dr. Luke Clamp.