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County Unemployment Rates Drops in September

Anderson County's unemployment rate dropped by seven-tenths of a percentage point in September, down to 4.5 percent, following a series of rising jobless rate numbers over the summer.

Of the county's workforce of 89,474, a total of 85,432 had jobs. leaving 4,042 unemployed. The rate dropped from 5.2 percent in August.

Statewide, the number of South Carolinians working in September rose to an all-time high while the state’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate dropped below 5 percent for the first time since April 2001. South Carolina’s seasonally adjusted unemployment rate decreased to 4.9 percent in September from 5.1 percent in August. The state’s unemployment rate also dropped below the national rate for the first time since April 2014.

Nationally, the unemployment rate increased from 4.9 in August to 5 percent in September.


Pay Raises Unlikely for State Employees

Key legislators say South Carolina is unlikely to be able to afford a pay raises for state employees next year, but workers' advocates say the state can't afford not to raise salaries.

The State newspaper in Columbia reports ( that lawmakers say they'll need to budget money to pay for damage caused by Hurricane Matthew and shore up the state's ailing pension system, among other needs.

House budget-writing chairman Brian White, R-Anderson says he doesn't believe money will be available for a pay raise.

But a pay study last year showed that South Carolina's low pay makes it difficult to recruit and retain qualified state workers. S.C. State Employee Association Director Carlton Washington says the state will spend more money in the long run if it doesn't increase salaries.


Clinton Surges in Polls; Trump Camp Admits Uphill Battle

Hillary Clinton’s increasingly confident campaign has warned against complacency, as new poll numbers suggested Donald Trump may drag Republicans into a rout in just over two weeks time.

In the final days after their televised debates, the candidates have adopted starkly different tactics to reach the more than 200 million Americans who have registered to vote in the election.

While Trump has doubled down with raucous swing state rallies that some have compared to a rock music tour, Clinton is spending heavily on TV advertising and local organising, with an eye toward states in once safely Republican territory.

The strategy could take the candidate well past the 270 electoral college votes needed to win the White House, and marks a turn to helping other Democrats win back control of Congress.

Speaking at a rally in Orlando, Florida on Sunday night, Democratic vice-presidential candidate Tim Kaine said data from early voting states suggested Clinton was headed toward a “very big and historic win” on 8 November.

However, Clinton campaign aides insisted they had not discounted the risk that Trump could benefit from an unpredictable 2016 electorate, especially in swing states like Ohio where polling remains tight.

“These battleground states are called that for a reason,” her campaign manager, Robby Mook, told CNN on Sunday. “They are going to be incredibly close. We don’t want to get ahead of our skis here. We are just as focused on Ohio, Iowa, Florida as we have ever been.”

Trump advisers acknowledge they are facing an uphill battle, but maintain the country’s anti-establishment mood will work in their favour in the final few days.

“We are behind,” campaign manager Kellyanne Conway told NBC. “She has some advantages, like $66m in ad buys just in the month of September. She has a former president, happens to be her husband, campaigning for her, and she’s seen as the incumbent.”


Chamber Sets S.C. House Candidate Forum Nov. 3

The Anderson Area Chamber of Commerce will sponsor a South Carolina State House Candidates Forum Nov. 3 from 7:30-9 a.m. at Tucker's restaurant.

Candidates running in opposition for South Carolina State House are scheduled to address their views, present their platform and answer questions. Candidates will present as available for District 8, 9, and 10.

Tentative Speakers include:

  • District 8 – Jonathon Hill (R) – Incumbent
  • District 8 – Barbara Jo Mullis (D)
  • District 9 – Mary Geren (D)
  • District 9 – Anne Thayer (R) - Incumbent
  • District 10 – Anna Brown (D)
  • District 10 – Joshua A. Putnam (R) - Incumbent

Registration is $12 for chamber members who pre-register, $15 at the door for members adn $20 for non-chamber members.

For more information contact Gayla Bolt at (864)226-3454 or or register here


School for Arts Presents "White Christmas" Saturday

The South Carolina School for the Arts at Anderson University will present "White Christmas," Saturday at 7:30 p.m. at the Henderson Auditorum on campus.

Based on the iconic Christmas film, WHITE CHRISTMAS, with music by Irving Berlin, is the story of two former World War II soldiers who have made careers as musical theatre entertainers.  In an interesting turn of events, they find themselves at a Vermont inn working to produce a successful Christmas production to honor their former army commander.   Music includes “Blue Skies,” “Sisters,” “The Best Things Happen When You’re Dancing,” and “I Love a Piano.”  

For more information or ticket information, visit here.


Cubs Looking for Magic Season to Continue

Leave it to Joe Maddon’s wife, Jaye, to find a seemingly meaningful bit of symbolism.

“Did anyone notice,” Jaye asked a group of reporters surrounding her husband, “that the game ended at military time, 19:45?”

Well, the actual time was 9:45 local, 21:45 military. But after 71 years, who’s counting?

The clock might as well have stopped at the moment the Cubs completed their 5-0 victory over the Dodgers in Game 6 of the NLCS to reach the World Series for the first time since, yes, 1945.

The celebration at Wrigley Field was just starting. The noise was deafening. The fans were waving their white “W” flags all over the ancient park, as if time was standing still.

Everything seemed so perfect for the Cubs, it’s difficult to imagine how it could get any better. But the bigger party is yet to come, provided the Cubs, seeking their first title since 1908, defeat the Indians, seeking their first since ‘48. 

Drought I vs. Drought II. Tito vs. Theo. Andrew Miller vs. Aroldis Chapman.

Francisco Lindor vs. Javier Baez, both gifted young infielders from Puerto Rico.

Mike Napoli vs. Jon Lester, John Lackey and David Ross, all members of the 2013 World Series champion Red Sox.

The Indians are not to be dismissed, not after going 7-1 against the Red Sox and Blue Jays in the first two rounds, not with right-handers Danny Salazar and Trevor Bauer possibly returning to fortify their rotation.

Yet on Saturday night, more than a century’s worth of agony in Chicago ended almost poetically. A foul pop landed near the infamous Bartman seat in the ninth inning. The game finished on a 6-4-3 double play, reducing to a footnote the one that the Cubs failed to turn in 2003. 
“The thing I’ve always heard about the Cubs being lovable losers, I never quite understood that. That’s not the way I was raised,” said Maddon, who left the Rays for the Cubs prior to the 2015 season. 
“Getting here and not paying attention to the superficial nonsense, the superstition that really has dragged a lot of people’s minds down ... to escape that is great, to continue to move it forward. The perception has changed.”


Report: 32gb iPhone 7 Slower than Other Models

Not all iPhone 7s are born equally, according to new tests, which appear to show the cheapest, 32GB versions are significantly slower than the more expensive 128 or 256GB versions and that some have much poorer 4G reception.

Testing by both GSMArena and Unbox Therapy found that the speed of the storage within the 32GB iPhone 7 is significantly slower than that in the more expensive 128GB iPhone 7. Reading data from the storage of the 32GB version of the iPhone 7 was 200Mbps slower than the 12GB version, 656Mbps and 856Mbps respectively. The difference in read speed over 600Mbps is unlikely to be noticeable in day-to-day usage.

However, writing to the storage – saving data including photos, videos, music, apps or any other type of file – was found to be significantly slower on the 32GB iPhone. The 128GB iPhone 7 wrote to memory at 341Mbps, but the 32GB iPhone 7 was over eight times slower at just 42Mbps.

GSMArena found similar results in its testing of the iPhone 7, with a 32GB iPhone 7 Plus reaching write speeds of only 39.6Mbps compared with a 128GB iPhone 7 writing at speeds of 308Mbps.

Meanwhile, testing of different versions of the iPhone 7 Plus have also apparently revealed discrepancies in their cellular performances. According to New York-based Cellular Insights, which conducted tests using networking equipment, the iPhone 7 Plus smartphones with model numbers A1778 and A1784, including those available in the UK and Europe, performed noticeably poorer than those with model numbers A1660 and A1661, including those available in the US.

A1778 and A1784 iPhone 7 Plus smartphones have an Intel modem chip that connects them to the 4G network, while the A1660 and A1661 models use a modem supplied by Qualcomm, a common supplier of modems and processors to many Android smartphones, including the new Google Pixel.

The Intel iPhone 7 Plus models showed at least 30% worse network performance, and in some cases as poor as 75% worse, than the Qualcomm iPhone 7 Plus models. This performance gap means that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models will have poorer 4G reception than the Qualcomm versions and slower download and upload speeds.

Milan Milanović from Cellular Insights said: “In all tests, the iPhone 7 Plus with the Qualcomm modem had a significant performance edge over the iPhone 7 Plus with the Intel modem. We are not sure what was the main reason behind Apple’s decision to source two different modem suppliers for the newest iPhone.”

In Cellular Insights further testing, it showed that the Intel iPhone 7 Plus models had worse reception than the iPhone 6S in the majority of signal conditions.

Most of the time users blame mobile phone operators when the signal drops out on their smartphone or data speeds are slow, but the testing indicates that depending on smartphone model, it might not always be the fault of the network provider.

Apple did not reply for request for comment.


More Children Being Hospitalized with Headaches

A growing number of American children with headaches are being seen at pediatric emergency departments and admitted to the hospital, researchers report.

The researchers at the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh looked at headache-related visits made to their ER between 2007 and 2014. The children were all between 4 and 20 years old.

Headache visits doubled from 2 percent to more than 4 percent of all visits, the researchers said.

Hospital admission rates for children with a headache increased from 10 percent to 24 percent, the study found. Girls were more likely to be admitted than boys.

The study was scheduled to be presented Friday at the American Academy of Pediatrics' annual meeting in San Francisco.

The study results suggest that headaches are a growing burden on patients and the healthcare system.

"It is not uncommon to see patients and parents that have missed significant amounts of school or work because of chronic headaches," the study authors noted.

But, one big question remains. Why are headache-related ER visits and hospital admissions on the rise?

"Our findings show a worrisome trend, and we need to figure out why so many children are ending up in hospitals with headaches," study co-author Dr. Regina Toto, pediatric chief resident at the hospital, said in an AAP news release.

Findings presented at medical meetings are generally viewed as preliminary until they've been published in a peer-reviewed journal.

The U.S. National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke has more on headaches.


State Employees to be Paid for Time Lost to Hurricane

State employees in 26 counties whose offices were closed because of Hurricane Matthew will be paid for those days.

Gov. Nikki Haley issued an executive order Friday granting leave with pay for employees who work in the state offices she ordered closed from Oct. 5 through Oct. 7.

As the hurricane headed to South Carolina, Haley ordered all public schools and government offices in 26 counties to close amid her coastal evacuation orders. She said that would ease traffic for the hundreds of thousands of people leaving the coast, while some schools served as shelters.

Her latest order does not apply to the employees of school districts and local governments that had to close.


National Parks Service Director to Speak at Clemson

The Institute for Parks at Clemson University will feature the director of the National Park Service and an acclaimed author and environmentalist as speakers at the 38th Annual George B. Hartzog Jr. Lecture at 2 p.m. Oct. 25 in Tillman Hall auditorium. Jonathan Jarvis, director of the National Park Service, and Terry Tempest Williams, author and naturalist, will use the lecture series to discuss issues facing national parks and a vision for the future.

Robert Powell is the George B. Hartzog Jr. Endowed Professor in Philosophy, Parks and Environmental Ethics and also serves as director of Clemson’s Institute for Parks. Powell said the 2016 Hartzog lecture will be a special event due to this year’s National Park Service centennial; the 50th anniversary of Clemson’s parks, recreation and tourism management department; and the caliber of speakers slated to appear.

“With the centennial just a couple of months behind us, this has been an exciting year for professionals in our field,” Powell said. “This is the perfect time to reflect upon the history and role parks play in our lives and how the National Park Service may better serve the public in its second century. To have the National Park Service director and an author of William’s caliber to discuss the past, present and future of parks is very exciting.”

Jarvis has made issues related to relevance and environmental sustainability a priority for the National Park Service since he began his term as its director in September 2009. He has pushed to create policy change that would require park superintendents to make decisions based on sound science, accurate fidelity to the law and long-term public interest.

“This is truly a watershed moment in the history of environmental sustainability, especially related to national and state parks,” Powell said. “We just happen to have two of the greatest minds on these subjects speaking at the same event.”

Jarvis is the 18th director of the National Park Service and has served the park service for nearly four decades. In addition to his work on sustainability policy, Jarvis has worked to bolster educational aspects of parks and programs; engage new generations and audiences; and ensure the welfare of National Park Service employees.

Williams has written extensively about parks and nature, and her work consistently touches on subjects including environmental and social justice issues. Her recently published novel, “The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks,” focuses on the past, present and future of national parks.

“I think attendees can expect to gain great insight from this event, but more than anything they’re going to hear from two very impassioned speakers,” Powell said. “[Jarvis and Williams] complement one another well because they share a passion for our national parks, but express it in very different ways.”

The Hartzog Lecture will be open to all audiences, and ClemsonTV will livestream the lecture in its entirety.

The Institute for Parks at Clemson University hosts its annual Hartzog Lecture Series in Tillman Auditorium. The institute also hosts its annual Hartzog Awards Program, which recognizes individuals who have made significant contributions to solving complex issues facing national and international parks.

The Institute for Parks provides a comprehensive program of research, education, training and outreach to enhance the management of the world’s parks and protected areas.


SHJ: S.C. Mental Health Problems Acute

South Carolina is among the states with the highest prevalence of adult and youth mental illness and the worst access to care, according to Mental Health America’s latest report.

The report, “The State of Mental Health in America 2017,” ranks all 50 states and the District of Columbia on 15 measures, including the prevalence of mental illness and access to treatment and resources.

South Carolina ranked 37th in the nation for the prevalence of adult and youth mental illness and access to care in 2014, the most recent available ranking in the report. The state has seen progress since 2011, when it was ranked 45th overall.

Broken down by age, South Carolina was among the top 15 states with the most adults struggling with a mental illness — nearly 17.6 percent, or 636,000 adults in the state.

Nationally, 20 percent of adults have a mental health condition, which equates to about 43.7 million people, the report said.

The state ranked 37th for the prevalence of mentally ill youth in 2014, but did see an increase in access to mental health coverage for children from 2011-14.

Access to mental health care improved slightly in South Carolina between 2011 and 2014, when the state was ranked 46th and 45th, respectively. Access to care includes access to insurance, treatment, quality and cost of insurance, access to special education and workforce availability, the report said.

“It is heartbreaking that so many people cannot access the help they need,” said Maya H. Pack, associate director with research and strategic initiatives with the South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health in Columbia. “The mental health system in our country, and in South Carolina, needs significant investment to be able to provide necessary care through community-based services, crisis response services and inpatient psychiatric beds. The existing shortages create a backlog of patients in emergency departments and, tragically, in our jails and prisons.”

The report also highlighted “a serious mental health workforce shortage” across the nation. Nationally, there is one mental health provider for every 529 individuals, the report said. The ratio in South Carolina is 650:1, based on 2013 data, the most recent available.

The report defines mental health providers to include psychiatrists, psychologists, licensed clinical social workers, counselors, marriage and family therapists and advanced practice nurses specializing in mental health care.

Pack said South Carolina’s public mental health system, along with many other entities, is working to fill the gaps and prepare for future mental health needs.

The South Carolina Institute of Medicine & Public Health plans to release a report next week documenting progress on its recommendations to improve the state’s behavioral health service system, Pack said.

More at SHJ


Rice Cookers Recalled Over Electric Shock/Fire Hazards

Electrical issues have prompted a recall of about 175,000 rice and slow cookers, The Consumer Product Safety Commission said. Improperly installed wiring can cause electrical shorting in the products, posing fire and shock hazards.

The recall affects the following 3 Squares products:

  • TIM3 MACHIN3 Model 3RC-3010S (with Fixed Power Cord)
  • TIM3 MACHIN3 Model 3RC-3020S (with Fixed Power Cord)
  • TIM3 MACHIN3 Model 3RC-9010S (with Fixed Power Cord)
  • TIM3 MACHIN3 TWO Model 3RC-5020
  • MINI TIM3 MACHIN3 Model 3RC-3434

The cookers, which were imported from China by Sherwood Marketing, were sold at stores nationwide and online, including Amazon, Bed Bath & Beyond, Best Buy, Costco, Home Depot, Kohl's and Target.

Customers should stop using the rice cookers and contact 3 Squares for a free replacement, including shipping. Full instructions and a downloadable form to mail in are available from the company online.

For information, contact 3 Squares at 800-390-0249 from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. PT Monday through Friday or email


Timms Harley-Davidson Townville Fundraiser Saturday

Timms Harley-Davidson of Anderson is raising money to support the Townville community and to show appreciation for first responders after a school shooting tragedy.

On Saturday Timms Harley-Davidson is bringing the community together again for an event to support Townville and thank the first responders who saved lives on the day of the shooting.

The event will feature fire engines, free food, raffles and more. All proceeds raised from purchases as the event will be matched, dollar for dollar by Timms Harley-Davidson, and donated to the Townville community.

Timms Harley-Davidson
4110 Clemson Boulevard
Townville Fundraiser and First Responder Appreciation Event
Saturday, Oct. 22 | Noon to 4 p.m.