Big news in Bethune today, and I just missed seeing it for myself! Here it is from the Columbia TV Station:
(Bethune) November 17, 2005 - The Sandhills Bank in Bethune was robbed shortly after 12:00pm Thursday, and authorities are still searching for the suspect.
According to Kershaw County Sheriff Steve McCaskill, a man approximately 5'10" tall, weighing about 180 pounds and wearing a black mask and black coat entered the bank armed with a revolver and demanded money.
He fled in a white Blazer that was registered as stolen from West Columbia. A citizen followed the Blazer, and as the suspect was changing vehicles, he fired shots at the citizen. The person was not hit, but his truck was. No one was injured in the robbery or shooting.
The suspect then fled in a new model blue extended cab Chevy Silverado. Authorities are still looking for him.
I drove by the bank on my way to the post office at about 11:45 AM. I almost stopped in at the bank on the way back because we have discussed switching to Sandhills Bank, as our bank is 20 miles away-but I decided to put it off as there was much to do at home and Mrs. Curley promised lunch at noontime. Mrs. Curley went by the bank at 2:00 and the police were still everywhere.
Route 1 (for those readers on the East Coast) runs right through Bethune. (For those not on the East Coast, Route 1 used to be the main route from the Northeast to Florida and saw lots of traffic in former days.) I'm sure in those days before Interstate 95 was built, Bethune was one of those Southern speed traps on the way to Florida. Speeding tickets provided the economy for the town government, but there was other income too... The building of I-95 really killed these small towns as the traffic no longer exists to support motels, restaurants, gas stations, etc. I am surprised we even have a bank in town-(I think it has 3 branches, each in one of these small towns along Route 1).
I guess it is not surprising the bank got hit. We only have one policemen in town (County Sheriff helps with these types of crimes) and the bank is on a major road.
From Bethany, the small holding outside Bethune....Oremus pro invicem!