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The Columbia Star
Columbia, South Carolina
September 25, 2009     The Columbia Star
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September 25, 2009

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Illliimll]likllaiMmllqlllqNiHillillmllllmlaqlllililaaliaOi1!liqilllit IMIMiHlliDIllii!JaONl I 10 - SEPTEMBER 25. 2009 C'iJ" THE COLUMBIA STAR SO ary Kay Martin Sample announces the engagement of her daughter Paige Hamlin Sample to Joshua Thomas Walters. The bride-elect is the daughter of Mr. and Mrs. Michael H. Sample of Columbia and Greensboro, North Carolina. She is the granddaughter of the late Mr. and Mrs. B.F. Martin and the late Mr. and Mrs. James H. Sample, all of Columbia. The bride-elect graduated from Irmo High School and Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia. She received a BA in design and advertising. She also has a master's degree in health promotions. She is employed by Stryker Medical as ter- ritory manager. The bridegroom-elect is the son of Ms. Patricia Waiters of Concord, North Carolina, and Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Waiters of Valparaiso, Indiana. His grandpar- ents are the late Mr. and Mrs. Joshua Henderson of Youngstown, Ohio, and the late Mr. and Mrs. David Walters, also of Youngstown. He graduated from Wheeler High School and Purdue University in West LaFayette, Indiana,  with a degree in electrical engineering. He is the Internal Systems director Integrated Motion. The weddiag is planned for December 5, 2009, at Jamestown United Methodist Church in Jamestown, North Carolina. The Columbia Star will be 4 6 years old October z4, 2oo 9 . Joshua Thomas Waltersand Paige Hamlin Sample Family gives of themsclves to the community lay McAlister, LR Ruritan awards Lisa Dixon with the club's "LR Ruritan of the Year." The Threatt Family accepts "LR Ruritan Family of the Year"' award fro their dad ghter,  Lisa Dixon, chairperson of the Social Development Committee. (L-r) Bill Harrieit and Par 9 Threatt. Contributed by The Lower Richland Ruritan Club The Lower Richland Ruritan Club honored The Threatt Family: Billy, Harriett, and Pam, with a plaque announcing them as the "Lower Richland Family of the Year Award at the September monthly meeting. Among their family projects, the family delivers useful, hand- made items for a local nursing home, donates to food pantries throughout the Columbia area, donates to several church's Christmas Child Programs, and donates holiday and mid-year items to a local" mental health facility housing with over 50 residents. Lower Richland Ruritan Club also awarded the Threatt's oldest daughter, Lisa Threatt Dixon with Lower Richland's Ruritan of the Year Award. Lisa contributed many items and time with her Threatt family but also completed over 17 LR Ruritan contributing projects in just one month. Some of these projects were working with the Family Readiness Program at Mclntire Air Base, crocheting prayer shawls, collecting books for med- ical waiting rooms, cooking casseroles for "Caring Casseroles," donating blood and organizing a blood drive, and donating meals for fire fighters in the Lower Richland area. CO00VAS,EE II .k I00',:,SIN T Wateree Santee Rivers Part 21: Manchester State Forest By John Cely Congaree Land Trust Manchester State Forest is located on the eastern edge of the COWASEE Basin in western Sumter County. Many Columbians pass through it on the way to the beach. In fact. the white hilly sands of Manchester along Highway 261 south of Wedgefield are reminiscent of the beach. As mentioned in a previous column, the initial impression of Manchester's "dreary pine barrens" as early explorers called the sandy pinelands, is under whelming. But initial impressions can be deceiving, and Manchester has its own charms as we shall see. The name comes from the defunct 1800s railroad town of Manchester, which had a rough and tumble rep- utation for gambling, horse racing cock fighting, and drinking. The state forest got its start during the Great Depression as a resettlement project. Farmers and share- croppers were so poor back then that they couldn't even afford to pay taxes on their farms and left the country- side in droves. Manchester's sandy soils were more con- ducive for growing trees than crops. The Civilian Conservation Corps initially rehabili- tated the cut-over, worn out land, and the South Carolina Forestry Commission, who leased the property from the federal government until 1955, began reforesta- tion and conducting demonstration projects. The forest at that time was called Poinsett State Forest. Their charge was to manage the 28,000 acre property under the multi- ple-use concept, featuring forestry, wildlife, and outdoor recreation. For Forest Director Harvey Belser, Manchester is a homecoming of sorts. His great-great-great grandfather, Jacob Belser, acquired a large plantation in the 1800s that later became part of the state forest. Manchester has a variety of recreational and outdoor opportunities. It has a number of trails and dirt roads suitable for off-trail motor- bikes, horses, mountain bikes and hikers. Fishing and hunting are popular and the Forestry Commission, in cooperation with DNR, manages food plots for deer. dove, turkey, and other wildlife. Last year they drew 500 hunters for the opening day of dove season. One of Manchester's most popular attractions is the rifle and pistol range. In addition to sandy pinelands, Manchester State Forest also contains extensive acreage in the Wateree Swamp including my favorite section of the Palmetto Trail, the "Wateree Passage." This wonderful trail, 7.2 miles long, starts near the Forest headquarters and runs along the edge of the Wateree Swamp for the first mile. It then climbs up on a steep bluff overlooking the Wateree Valley with scenic views (more so in the winter) stretching into Richland and even Calhoun County o n a clear day. Combined with the views and a beautiful hardwood forest of white oak, beech, and sour- wood, this portion of the trail reminds me of the South Carolina mountains. The trail then drops down into the Wateree River floodplain atop an old abandoned railroad causeway that goes all the way to the river, near- ly four miles away (for the last quarter mile to the river the trail is down in the floodplain). This is not a loop trail, and it can take a good bit of the day to complete. There are few hiking trails in South Carolina that can boast the kind of var- ied terrain and diverse habitats as found on the Wateree Passage. Mindful of its local community responsi- bilities, each year Manchester turns over 25% of its receipts from timber, pine straw, and recre- ational permit sales to the Sumter County School Districts, Last year the figure was an impressive $350,000, roughly equivalent to the property taxes paid by about 500 middle-class homes. Manchester State Forest has done a good job of meeting its multiple-use goals. The folks from the Sumter area have known this for years, but Columbia-area residents need to get to know it better. For more information, contact This 100-year home provides housing for Manchester State Forest employees and was at one time the residence of former Governor Richard I. Manning the Forest Headquarters, open from 8:30-4:00, Monday-Friday, at 803-494-8196 or see their website at / forest/refman.htm Next week: Congaree Bluffs Heritage Preserve