Sen. Bernie Sanders to hold town halls in CSRA; many in Denmark didn’t know he was coming

CSRA News

DENMARK, S.C. (WJBF) — A presidential hopeful is making his way to Denmark, South Carolina, Saturday, May 18. But many didn’t know about it.

“I did not know Bernie was coming. I definitely want my students to go out and hear him,” Jayme Bradford Kinard told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

Senator Bernie Sanders is stumping through the CSRA holding a series of town hall events.

Kinard is an educator at one of the local colleges.  She said that she was there when presidential candidate Senator Cory Booker came to town and Sanders will be no different, now that she knows. “I’m definitely, I’m interested to hear what he’s going to talk about regarding healthcare, also employment opportunities,” she said. “We’re in a small rural community where there is a lack of economic opportunities and growth so I definitely want to hear his views on that and also education,” she added.

The town hall will be focused on a number of issues including one making recent headlines — the Denmark water situation.

In South Carolina, the Department of Health and Environmental Control perform sanitary surveys on all public water systems every one to five years depending on system classification. Based on a survey result, the system is rated satisfactory, needs improvement, or unsatisfactory. In Denmark, a recent survey shows the system as unsatisfactory.

“People are concerned and they don’t know what to do next,” R. Oneal Gibson told NewsChannel 6’s Shawn Cabbagestalk.

In a survey in January, the system was rated needs improvement, by the South Carolina Department of Health and Environmental County. A follow-up survey conducted last month, the City received an unsatisfactory rating.  We told you about that report last week.

“The proof is in the puddling. Show me the facts and right now, the City of Denmark nor DHEC has been able to provide us with any concrete facts on if our water is truly safe to drink outside of their words,” Denmark Citizens for Safe Water Founder Deanna Miller Berry said. “We on the other hand, our experts, we’ve got the proof that shows there’s something wrong with this water. Let’s do something about it and let’s work from where we are to get to where we need to be,” she added.

The back-drop will be Denmark Techincal College. A school that has faced its share of the spotlight following a possible closure.

Shawn did reach out to officials to learn additiional information on extra security presence or traffic pattern changes.

The event begins at 2 p.m. Senator Sanders will host another event in Augusta at the Jessye Norman Amphitheater at 5 p.m.

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