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Editorial: Hearts & Darts

Hearts.… to those who braved a downpour last week to attend the ribbon cutting for Step of Faith’s new $1.1 million gym. The Ridgeland private school has raised money for several years to have the gym finally offer their students a home-court advantage and Thursday’s event introduced the 15,000-square-foot facility to the public.

Despite the rain, a nice crowd arrived and crammed inside to watch the school’s elementary band perform and the alumni face students in basketball and volleyball games that served as the facility’s first game action.

Principal Donna Carter and Step of Faith’s board vice chairman Wilbur Daley have long said the gym will be for the community.

There are summer camps planned and Daley said the facility will see “a lot of people come through here.”

We look forward to seeing the gym be a prime spot for community activities.

Hearts.… to John Paul II Catholic School’s share of a region boys soccer crown. The private school on Okatie Highway is growing fast. In three years it went from a fledgling soccer program to one that tied for a region championship — its first in any sport — and earned a top seed in this week’s SCISA Class A state playoffs.

The school features many multi-sport athletes, including 17 who played three sports this school year. Several Golden Warriors teams feature Jasper County residents, including four standouts who star for the soccer team.

Congratulations on a successful season.

Darts.… to two county homicides just days apart. Gun fire has haunted Jasper in recent weeks. Two officers were shot and the suspect was killed in Hardeeville in April, and this month began with slayings on May 2 and May 5. Both victims were killed by gunshots. The disheartening violence clearly affected our readers as many posted their thoughts on our website and Facebook page.

“Lord please! I have no words,” Cynthia O. Simmons Parker commented. “I have lost a nephew, a great nephew and now a cousin in this area in the last four years. Get it together people.”

Jeanette Wright wrote: “Everyone needs to get together and take the town back from the devil.”

We are saddened by the violence and hope anyone who has information related to the shootings will help the Jasper County Sheriff’s Office solve the cases.

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