3 Midlands schools up for Riley Award

Three Midlands schools are among six state public schools named finalists for the S.C. School Improvement Council's annual Dick and Tunky Riley School Improvement Award.

Local finalists include Camden Elementary School of the Creative Arts, Kershaw County Schools; Nursery Road Elementary, Lexington-Richland 5; and Round Top Elementary, Richland 2. Other schools are Chestnut Oaks Middle, Sumter 17; The Children's School at Sylvia Circle, Rock Hill-York 3; and Stone Academy of Communication Arts, Greenville County Schools.

The award, recognizing School Improvement Councils' efforts to foster parent and civic engagement, is named for former Gov. and U.S. Education Secretary Dick Riley and his late wife, Tunky.

The winner will be announced at the SC-SIC annual conference March 13 in Columbia.

- Staff Reports

Belser Arboretum open house is Sunday

The W. Gordon Belser Arboretum will hold its February Open House from 1-4 p.m. Sunday.

The trail system will be open, and a guided walk is planned at 2 p.m.

The Arboretum is at 4080 Bloomwood Road near the corner of Bloomwood, Poinsettia and Blossom streets, with a second gate on Wilmot Avenue. No pets.

- John Monk

4 free legal clinics to be held next month

The S.C. Bar Pro Bono Program will sponsor four free legal clinics next month.

The schedule includes:

- March 1: wills, estates and probate, 6:30- 8 p.m. at the Lexington County Public Library, 1500 Augusta Road, West Columbia

- March 11: Consumer law issues, 6-8 p.m. at the main Richland County Public Library branch, 1431 Assembly St., Columbia.

- March 18: Landlord and tenant issues, 6:30-8:30 p.m. at the Richland County Public Library branch in Northeast Richland, 7490 Parklane Road

- March 25: Landlord and tenant issues, 6:30- 8 p.m. at the Richland County Public Library in Lower Richland, 7421 Garners Ferry Road

A schedule of upcoming seminars statewide is available online at

- Staff Reports

State correctional officer of year named

Julian Greenaway of McCormick Correctional Institution is the S.C. Department of Corrections 2009 Correctional Officer of the Year.

Greenaway, who began his prisons career in , works in the maximum security prison's Special Management Unit, which houses inmates separated from the general population because of behavior, disciplinary infractions or for personal protection. He also serves on the agency's Special Operations Response Team, which is trained to contain crisis situations within the prison system and regain control through force.

Greenaway is from Augusta where he has been pastor of the Word of Life Ministries church for more than 10 years. He also is a U.S. Air Force veteran.

The following employees also have been recognized:

- Correctional Officer Supervisor of the Year: Maj. Sharonda Sutton, Broad River Correctional Institution

- Employee of the Year: Monica Wallace, coordinator of the Contract Labor Crew/Work Release Programs

- Supervisor of the Year: Alice Mascio, supervisor of the Central Visitation Office and Inmate Drug Testing Program for the Inspector General's Office

- Division Manager of the Year: Ann Gaston, director of Classification and Inmate Records Division

- Institution Manager of the Year: John Pate, associate warden of Allendale Correctional Institution.

- Noelle Phillips