Flash: ON   July 3, 2015 
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New Miss S.C. has local ties

A former Jonesville resident was crowned Miss South Carolina Saturday night.
Daja Dial, Miss Greenville County, won the title at Township Auditorium in Columbia.
 Dial is a 22-year-old from Moore. She sang "I Believe" for the talent competition.
Miss Fountain Inn, Leah Lawson, a former Union resident, was named to the top 10.
Miss Newberry College, Kelley Strong of Union, was named to the top 16.
Dial will compete in the Miss America Pageant in mid-September in Atlantic City, N.J.
Dial was second runner-up in the pageant in 2014 when she competed as Miss Fountain Inn. She competed in the pageant in 2013 as Miss Clemson University. She was the first black Miss Clemson and was sponsored by the Clemson cheerleaders, of which she was a member.
 "I want people to know that if you believe in yourself, believe in your rights and believe in your future, no matter what adversity or loss you face ... you will learn a lesson and you will be greater because of it," Dial said on her Facebook page.
Dial lived in Jonesville and attended school there through fourth grade. Her relatives in Jonesville include her grandmother, Dorothy Hill; her great-grandmother, Corrie Spears; and aunts and uncles including Lorraine Spears Kershaw, Thelma Simpson, Anita Spears, John Spears and Mark Spears. She is the daughter of Annette and Charles Goodwin of Moore and Darryl and Tonya Dial of Atlanta. She has three brothers, Devin, Darius and Patrick.
In an earlier interview, she said she has fond memories of Jonesville Elementary School, including buying Pickle Shooters (frozen pickle juice) in the school canteen.
She remembers being excited about her grandparents, William and Linda Dial of Simpsonville, picking her up at school. William had a Mercedes convertible.
"I remember telling every teacher that entire day that my grandfather was going to pick me up and he's going to pick me up in his convertible Mercedes," she said with a laugh.
Dorothy Hill, Daja's grandmother, said in a 2013 interview she isn't surprised by Daja's successes.
"Since she was a little girl Daja has always been outspoken," Dorothy said. "When they would have a play at church (Foster's Chapel Baptist) she knew her lines and everyone else's and tried to help them when they forgot."

(Posted June 29, 2015)

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