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Bassmaster Announces Big Changes for 2019 Season

The Bassmaster Elite Series, which will vist Anderson's Green Pond Landing April 4-7 of next year, is announcing some major changes for the 2019.

After 50 years of setting the world standard for professional bass tournament competition, B.A.S.S. made historic changes to the Bassmaster Elite Series on Monday, which will attempt to elevate the sport new levels. Elite Series pros will begin the 2019 season with a smaller field of competition, vastly increased payouts, dramatically reduced entry fees and the promise of more exposure through the company’s industry-leading media platforms.

“We just celebrated our 50th anniversary at B.A.S.S., and made the decision to create an environment second to none in the world of professional bass fishing,” said Bruce Akin, CEO of B.A.S.S. “Our anglers have been loyal to the Elite Series, and we want to not only reward that loyalty, but also redefine what it means to be a professional angler. We feel the new Elite Series format accomplishes these goals, and also provides bass fishing fans with more of the content they crave.”

The 2019 Elite Series field size will be based on 80 anglers, down from 110 last year. This reduction in the number of competitors will not only allow the pros to get more exposure through B.A.S.S. media platforms, but also will improve their odds of winning and qualifying for the Bassmaster Classic.

The new format features three no-entry fee events that will payout $1 million each: Toyota Bassmaster Texas Fest benefiting Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, Toyota Bassmaster Angler of the Year Championship and the Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods, bass fishing’s crown jewel. Additionally, the eight regular-season Elite Series events will now pay the entire field of anglers, a first in the world of professional fishing. First-place prize will remain $100,000, but now the last-place angler will earn $2,500. In total, B.A.S.S. is investing an additional $3 million in payouts and reduced entry fees for the 2019 Elite Series.

Not only has B.A.S.S. made a historic financial commitment to anglers through lower entry fees and higher payouts, but the organization also announced an increased investment in exposure opportunities for the pros. Starting with the 2019 season, the incredibly popular Bassmaster LIVE show on, which has generated over 2.5 million video views and 59 million minutes of content consumed by fans, will be produced all four days of Elite Series events. Plus, there will be live-streaming cameras on every boat on semi-final Saturday, as well as Bassmaster LIVE cameras on every angler for Championship Sunday.

The Bassmasters TV show is being revamped with a renewed focus of on-the-water footage featuring more anglers, catching more bass. Other opportunities for Elite Series anglers to get exposure for their sponsors include Bassmaster Magazine, which has a readership of 4.4 million; B.A.S.S. Times, which reaches 100,000 of the nations most avid anglers; Bassmaster Radio, which airs on 200 stations on the SB Nation network; and, which averages over 1 million unique visitors per month.

“We are beyond excited here in Anderson County to be hosting the Bassmaster Elite Series at Lake Hartwell and Green Pond Landing,” said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson. “To be able to host the Elite Series on the heels of the most-attended Bassmaster Classic of all time is a tremendous honor for our community. We look forward to providing a great experience to the best anglers in the world, the team at B.A.S.S. and the multitude of passionate fans of bass fishing.”

This year’s Classic was held at Green Pond in mid-March and drew more than 143,000 fans — a record for the "Super Bowl of Bass Fishing.


Scientists Fear Non-Pest Insects on Decline

OXFORD, Pa. (AP) — A staple of summer — swarms of bugs — seems to be a thing of the past. And that's got scientists worried.

Pesky mosquitoes, disease-carrying ticks, crop-munching aphids and cockroaches are doing just fine. But the more beneficial flying insects of summer — native bees, moths, butterflies, ladybugs, lovebugs, mayflies and fireflies — appear to be less abundant.

Scientists think something is amiss, but they can't be certain: In the past, they didn't systematically count the population of flying insects, so they can't make a proper comparison to today. Nevertheless, they're pretty sure across the globe there are fewer insects that are crucial to as much as 80 percent of what we eat.

Yes, some insects are pests. But they also pollinate plants, are a key link in the food chain and help decompose life.

"You have total ecosystem collapse if you lose your insects. How much worse can it get than that?" said University of Delaware entomologist Doug Tallamy. If they disappeared, "the world would start to rot."

He noted Harvard biologist E.O. Wilson once called bugs: "The little things that run the world."

The 89-year-old Wilson recalled that he once frolicked in a "Washington alive with insects, especially butterflies." Now, "the flying insects are virtually gone."

It hit home last year when he drove from suburban Boston to Vermont and decided to count how many bugs hit his windshield. The result: A single moth.


The un-scientific experiment is called the windshield test. Wilson recommends everyday people do it themselves to see. Baby Boomers will probably notice the difference, Tallamy said.

Several scientists have conducted their own tests with windshields, car grilles and headlights, and most notice few squashed bugs. Researchers are quick to point out that such exercises aren't good scientific experiments, since they don't include control groups or make comparisons with past results. (Today's cars also are more aerodynamic, so bugs are more likely to slip past them and live to buzz about it.)

Still, there are signs of decline. Research has shown dwindling individual species in specific places, including lightning bugs, moths and bumblebees. One studyestimated a 14 percent decline in ladybugs in the United States and Canada from 1987 to 2006. University of Florida urban entomologist Philip Koehler said he's seen a recent decrease in lovebugs — insects that fly connected and coated Florida's windshields in the 1970s and 1980s. This year, he said, "was kind of disappointing, I thought."

University of Nevada, Reno, researcher Lee Dyer and his colleagues have been looking at insects at the La Selva Biological Station in Costa Rica since 1991. There's a big insect trap sheet under black light that decades ago would be covered with bugs. Now, "there's no insects on that sheet," he said.

But there's not much research looking at all flying insects in big areas.


Last year, a study that found an 82 percent mid-summer decline in the number and weight of bugs captured in traps in 63 nature preserves in Germany compared with 27 years earlier. It was one of the few, if only, broad studies. Scientists say similar comparisons can't be done elsewhere, because similar bug counts weren't done decades ago.

"We don't know how much we're losing if we don't know how much we have," said University of Hawaii entomologist Helen Spafford.

The lack of older data makes it "unclear to what degree we're experiencing an arthropocalypse," said University of Illinois entomologist May Berenbaum. Individual studies aren't convincing in themselves, "but the sheer accumulated weight of evidence seems to be shifting" to show a problem, she said.

After the German study, countries started asking if they have similar problems, said ecologist Toke Thomas Hoye of Aarhus University in Denmark. He studied flies in a few spots in remote Greenland and noticed an 80 percent drop in numbers since 1996.

"It's clearly not a German thing," said University of Connecticut entomologist David Wagner, who has chronicled declines in moth populations in the northeastern United States. "We just need to find out how widespread the phenomenon is."


Most scientists say lots of factors, not just one, caused the apparent decline in flying insects.

Suspects include habitat loss, insecticide use, the killing of native weeds, single-crop agriculture, invasive species, light pollution, highway traffic and climate change.

"It's death by a thousand cuts, and that's really bad news," Wagner said.

To Tallamy, two causes stand out: Humans' war on weeds and vast farmland planted with the same few crops.

Weeds and native plants are what bugs eat and where they live, Tallamy said. Milkweeds, crucial to the beautiful monarch butterfly, are dwindling fast. Manicured lawns in the United States are so prevalent that, added together, they are as big as New England, he said.

Those landscapes are "essentially dead zones," he said.

Light pollution is another big problem for species such as moths and fireflies, bug experts said. Insects are attracted to brightness, where they become easy prey and expend energy they should be using to get food, Tallamy said.

Jesse Barber of Boise State is in the middle of a study of fireflies and other insects at Grand Teton National Park. He said he notices a distinct connection between light pollution and dwindling populations.

"We're hitting insects during the day, we're hitting them at night," Tallamy said. "We're hitting them just about everywhere."

Lawns, light pollution and bug-massacring highway traffic are associated where people congregate. But Danish scientist Hoye found a noticeable drop in muscid flies in Greenland 300 miles (500 kilometers) from civilization. His studies linked declines to warmer temperatures.

Other scientists say human-caused climate change may play a role, albeit small.


Governments are trying to improve the situation. Maryland is in a three-year experiment to see if planting bee-friendly native wildflowers helps.

University of Maryland entomology researcher Lisa Kuder says the usual close-crop "turf is basically like a desert" that doesn't attract flying insects. She found an improvement — 70 different species and records for bees — in the areas where flowers are allowed to grow wild and natural alongside roads.

The trouble is that it is so close to roadways that Tallamy fears that the plants become "ecological traps where you're drawing insects in and they're all squashed by cars."

Still, Tallamy remains hopeful. In 2000, he moved into this rural area between Philadelphia and Baltimore and made his 10-acre patch all native plants, creating a playground for bugs. Now he has 861 species of moths and 54 species of breeding birds that feed on insects.

Wagner, of the University of Connecticut, spends his summers teaching middle schoolers in a camp to look for insects, like he did decades ago. They have a hard time finding the cocoons he used to see regularly.

"The kids I'm teaching right now are going to think that scarce insects are the rule," Wagner said. "They're not realizing that there could be an ecological disaster on the horizon."


Storms, Climate Show Outer Banks $2.4B Economy May Not Be Sustainable

RODANTHE, N.C. (Reuters) - When Florence was raging last Friday on North Carolina’s Outer Banks, the hurricane tore a 40-foot (12-meter) chunk from a fishing pier that juts into the ocean at the state’s most popular tourist destination. 

The privately owned Rodanthe pier has already undergone half a million dollars in renovation in seven years and the owners started a new round of repairs this week. 

“The maintenance and upkeep on a wooden fishing pier is tremendous,” said co-owner Terry Plumblee. “We get the brunt of the rough water here.” 

Scientists have warned such rebuilding efforts are futile as sea levels rise and storms chew away the coast line but protests from developers and the tourism industry have led North Carolina to pass laws that disregard the predictions. 

The Outer Banks, a string of narrow barrier islands where Rodanthe is situated, may have been spared the worst of Florence, which flooded roads, smashed homes and killed at least 36 people across the eastern seaboard. 

Still, the storm showed North Carolinians on this long spindly finger of land that ignoring the forces of nature to cling to their homes and the coast’s $2.4 billion economy may not be sustainable. 

Some have called for halting oceanside development altogether. 

A backhoe removes sand from the street after the pass of Hurricane Florence, now downgraded to a tropical depression in Rodanthe, North Carolina, U.S., September 18, 2018. REUTERS/Eduardo Munoz

“We need to actually begin an organized retreat from the rising seas,” said Duke University geologist Orrin Pilkey. 

In a government study published in 2010, scientists warned that sea levels could rise 39 inches by 2100. (

Higher sea level will cause more flooding and render some communities uninhabitable, as well as affect the ocean vegetation, jeopardize the dune systems that help stabilize the barrier islands, and cause more intense erosion when storms like Florence make landfall, scientists said. 

Developers said the study was too theoretical to dictate policy. 

Some argue policymakers do not need a 90-year projection to know something needs to change. 

“When we have a hurricane, that shows everybody where their vulnerabilities are today, forget 100 years from now, but right now,” said Rob Young, a geologist at Western Carolina University who co-authored the study by the state’s Coastal Resources Commission (CRC). 

Young said he would like to see development move back from the ocean’s edge and laments that homeowners and developers rebuild almost any structure damaged or destroyed by a bad storm.


Millions Using Home Equity Line to Pay Bills, Survey Shows

Millions of Americans are using the equity in their homes to pay bills.

Ramsey Solutions financial expert Chris Hogan discusses the new survey from, which shows that homeowners think it’s a good idea to tap into the value of their homes to pay bills and the best time for millennials to buy a house.

As personal debt continues to climb, many flat-broke Americans believe maintaining everyday household bills is a good reason to tap into the value of their homes.

Twenty-four million Americans think that withdrawing cash from their home equity is suitable for making home improvements, according to a new survey.

Home equity is the property’s market value minus any outstanding loan balance, typically the mortgage. A home equity line of credit, often referred to as a HELOC, is a second mortgage that gives homeowners access to cash and uses their home’s equity as collateral.

“Home equity lines of credit are essentially a big credit card attached to your home,” Ramsay Solutions financial expert Chris Hogan explained to FOX Business’ Dagen McDowell on Wednesday.  “It’s a brilliant marketing plan by the banking industry because they never call it what it is — it’s a mortgage. It is a lien on your home.”

By taking out a HELOC, homeowners increase the risk of losing their home, he said, and devising a savings strategy is a much better way to pay for renovations.

“Home improvements are not a necessity; that’s a want. And what we can’t do is get our wants confused with our needs,” he said. “Leave your equity alone, save up, pay cash for improvements and other things you want to do.”


Council Oks Studies on Courthouse Square, Best Way to Use Hospitality Tax Revenue

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

Anderson County Council moved forward on a new subdivision, a self-insurance plan for county employees, a market study on the development of old Bailes/Woolworth property, the sale of property for an expansion at TTI as part of Tuesday night’s meeting and supported a study on the best use of hospitality tax money, should it be implemented in the unincorporated areas of Anderson County. 

During the meeting, held at the Anderson Civic Center due to the failure of the elevator in the historic courthouse, council approved, on second reading,  a new 74.6-acre subdivision in the area around Midway Road, Harriet Circle and Crestview Road which would bring between 170-180 single-family houses to the property. Council also approved moving forward with a plan to  

As part of the new project, Anderson County Councilman Craig Wooten said he supports reaching out to S.C. Rep. Brian White and the Anderson County Legislative Delegation to secure funding to expand the intersection of Midway Road and Crestview Road. 

The proposed project, which will be renamed “Spencer’s Trail,” would be built by Falcon Real Estate Development, and would set aside 25 acres of the property as green space, which would include a trail, a dog run and playground area. Two entrances to the subdivision, one on Crestview, one on Midway would also be included in the current plan. More details on the project here. 

As part of the project, Anderson County Councilman Craig Wooten said he supports reaching out to S.C. Rep. Brian White and the Anderson County Legislative Delegation to secure funding to expand the intersection of Midway Road and Crestview Road.  

Following up a special council meeting last week, council gave an update on a plan to provide an improved health insurance plan for county employees. The goal of the plan which would be a self-insurane program, is to offer improved service for employees and to save the county money. 

“This is something we’ve been talking about for months and really working on for over a year,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. “What where’re trying to do is make the healthcare for our employees better, and to make it sustainable for the future.” 

“If we go to a self-insured program, we have a lot more flexibility to provide better services and save money at the same time,” said Anderson County Councilman Tom Allen. “We do not want to degrade the current health program. What ever we come up with will be just and good and probably better.”

The program could be in place by January of 2019.

More information on the plan here.

On Tuesday night, council also approved a resolution for an outside study to discover the best way to spend an money collected from a hospitality tax in unincorporated parts of the county which do not currently have the tax. An advisory opinion on the hospitality tax is already on the November ballot. Wooten said the study would also be an advisory move to give the council direction on the best way to use the funds based on state law.

Passing a resolution before the election, if were to pass, we would pursue an independent feasibility study on the best use of the hospitality tax money for the county, the greatest impact. 

“The community wants to know what would be of maximum benefit,” Wooten said. “Such a study would also be purely informational, but it would hold us accountable.”

Opinion: Hospitalty Tax Critical for Growth 

Meanwhile, the county gave the go ahead to Peach Properties of Columbia to do a market study and explore options for the development of the courthouse square property, former location of the Bailes/Woolworth Building 

“We are not embarking on any path without the information we need to begin the process of what should go on that site,” Burns said. “This should be a significant building that will benefit all the citizens of Anderson County.” 

Peach Properties has already purchased and developed the future site of Groucho’s Deli across the street from the property.

In other moves, council also approved the sale of 4.04 acres at the Southwest corner of Martin Road and Orange Way, to One World Technologies, Inc., (TTI), for $155,000, the appraised value of the property. 

“They intend to put another facility on the property, which I think will be a great benefit to Anderson County and will be on the tax books,” said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns.

Council also gave the go ahed to a emergency shelter, paid for by Duke Energy Carolinas, at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Complex. The shelter will provide “solar photovoltaic power aways, voltage regulations, and power quality regulation,” offering citizens a shelter with electricity in the event of an emergency. 

Wooten said the solar project would cost the county $8 million if not for Duke Energy constructing the project. “This will be a tremendous benefit to public safety,” said Anderson County Councilman Ray Graham. “We want to thank Duke Energy for their investment in Anderson County."

Also on Tuesday night, council:


  1. Approved the finalizing of an agreement with Peach Properties of Columbia to develop the vacant lot behind the historic Anderson County Courthouse which formerly served as home to the Bailes/Woolworth businesses. The goal has long been to build a public/private partnership facility on the site, one which will bring more people downtown and provide both retail, office and potentially residential space. Burns said he would like whatever is constructed on the site to be the most significant building downtown. 
  2. Gave final approval to a $2.8 million for plans to expand the Starr-Iva Landfill which is nearing capacity. The expansion will be paid by new debt service payment of $289,000. The current debt service payment of $358.000 wil be complete this year, so the new funds for expansion could represent some savings. A mulcher/grinder machine for the site is also being considered. The machine would cost approximately $550,000, with an estimated $75,000 per year additional cost to run the new equipment. More information here: The mulch created at the facility would be free to Anderson County citizens.  
  3. Gave final approval to tax incentives for JB Ferguson Properties, LLC, to purchased and renovate a number of buildings on South Main across from City Hall. The properties are expected to eventually generate approximately $70,000 in tax payments for the county. 
  4. Gave final approval to tax incentives for the collaborative project with the City of Anderson for a $12 million, 90-bed hotel downtown at the corner of South Main and East Market Streets. 
  5. Approved, on second reading, tax incentives for an established international company which will bring $6.2 million in capital investment, and 31 highly skilled jobs with an average salary of $23.81 per hour, and an annual payroll of $1.2 million. Anderson County Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson. said the 20-year economic impact of the company (in business for more than 100 years old) on the community is estimated at more than $261 million. The business, which will involve detailed technical testing of equipment, will require highly-skilled positions and require a two- or four-year degree. It will be located in Anderson County Council District Six, which makes up the northeast corridor of the county. 
  6. Approved, on second reading, a tax-incentive agreement to work with the City of Anderson to help develop unused buildings in downtown Anderson to recruit and bring in new businesses. The buildings are directly across South Main Street from City Hall. The buildings are being renovated for commercial use. The infrastructure credit agreement will allow investors to pay reduced property taxes on those properties.
  7. Gave final approval to tax incentives for the collaborative project with the City of Anderson for a $12 million, 90-bed hotel downtown at the corner of South Main and East Market Streets. 
  8. Agreed, on first reading to lease .75 acres at the Anderson County Sports and Entertainment Complex to Duke Energy Carolinas, to provide “solar photovoltaic power aways, voltage regulations, and power quality regulation.” The move is for an emergency shelter that will provide power for Anderson County citizens in the event of an emergency. Wooten said the value of the solar project would cost the county $8 million if not for Duke Energy constructing the project. “This will be a tremendous benefit to public safety,” said Anderson County Councilman Ray Graham. “We want to thank Duke Energy for their investment in Anderson County."


At an earlier meeting Tuesday night, council also honored Anderson County Public Works Director and Deputy County Administrator Holt Hopkins for being named the South Carolina American Public Works Association’s Manager of the Year for his leadership and management over the past three years at Anderson County Pets Are Worth Saving (P.A.W.S.). Under his direction, P.A.W.S. has been transformed, and has become a resource for neighboring counties and agencies.

“Mr. Hopkins is passionate about his work with public works and is very deserving of this award,” said Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns.


Salvation Army to Take Angel Tree Applications Oct. 8-12

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

The Salvation Army of Anderson is getting into the holiday spirit a little early to help our friends and neighbors in need this Christmas. The annual "Angel Tree" campaign, a needs-based program which provides Christmas presents for chidren birth to age 12 and special needs of any age through the generosity of the community.

Anderson residents who would like to sign up to receive toys and clothing for their children are asked to visit the Salvation Army of Anderson, 112 Tolly Street, Oct. 8-12, during the followin hours: Mon, Tues, Wed, Fri, 9-12 p.m. and 1-3 p.m., and Thursday 9-12 p.m. and 1-6 p.m.

The following information will be required for eligibility:

1. Current photo ID for the person applying
2. Proof of residency (something with your current Anderson county address on it)
3. Birth certificates for all children aged 12 and younger
4. Income verification within the last 30 days (Sept.) for all members of your household
5. Proof of expenses within the last 30 days (Sept.) for the household where you reside
6. If you receive government assistance, bring Current DSS Household Summary
(if an individual brings #6, items 4 and 5 are not required)

Applicants are also asked to bring clothing and shoe sizes for all children 12 and younger as well as three toy ideas for their wish list (no electronics or items over $50 will be considered).

For more information, including how to donate to help families in need, call The Salvation Army of Anderson at 864-225-7381, extension 5.


Elevator Issues Move Tonight's Council Meeting to Civic Center

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

Tonight's 6:30 p.m Anderson County Council meeting is being moved to the ballroom of the Anderson Civic Center because of a non-functioning elevator in the historic courthouse downtown.

The elevator, which was installed in the early 1980s, will probably need to be replaced, according to Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns.

Burns said it will cost $3,000 for a study to determine the best path for replacing it, and that it was likely to be an expensive project. He said there is no timetable on the upgrade, but added that it would be done "as quickly as possible."

The elevator is required for access to public meetings, which is why tonight's meeting has been moved.


Kenyon to Speak at Friday Touchdown Club Meeting

Sid Kenyon, the general manager of the Colonial Life Arena at the University of South Carolina, will be the featured speaker at the Anderson Touchdown Club meeting on Friday.

Players of the week and the coach of the week will be also honored from the previous Friday night games.

Memberships are still available to the club.  An individual membership fee is $50 and a Corporate membership (which includes 5) is $200. 

A meal is served and members are charged $10 and visitors $15.  The food line opens at 11:30, the program begins about 12:10, and the program concludes at 1:00 pm. 

For further information about the cub or to join, call Bill Brissey at 864-226-7380 or Nancy at 864-616-6471.


Collision Shuts Down I-85 Northbound in Anderson County

UPDATE: One lane has reopened.

Law enforcement is asking drivers to detour at Exit 4 to S.C. 243 and return to I-85 at at Exit 11. 

A collision at 7:30 this morning has shut down the northbound lanes of I-85 between Exits 8 and 10 

Details emerging...


Annual Meals on Wheels Oyster Roast Set for Saturday

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer 

The 14th annual Meals on Wheels Oyster Roast and Low Country Boil, presented by Eco Waste Services, Inc. and Piedmont Automotive, is scheduled for Saturday from 5-8 p.m, at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center.

This Meals on Wheels Anderson fall tradition offers all-you-can-eat roasted oysters, a Low Country boil featuring boiled shrimp, sausage, potatoes and corn as well as Brunswick Stew from Creekside Barbeque. 

Tickets are $40 for adults and $15 for children under 12. Children 5 and under are free. 

Tickets include all food and beverages and may be purchased online at; at the Meals on Wheels Center at 105 S. Fant St.; or by calling 864-225-6800. It is recommended that tickets be purchased in advance but a limited number will be available at the door. 

Meals on Wheels of Anderson serves more than 400 homebound elderly and disabled residents of Anderson County by providing hot, nutritious meals each weekday and frozen meals for weekend use when requested. Every dollar raised will help the program continue to reach out, as well as help us extend our reach, to these vulnerable residents of our county in maintaining their health, independence, and quality of life.


Granddaughter of Caesar Chavez to Speak at Clemson

CLEMSON — Christine Chavez, granddaughter of Cesar Chavez, the co-founder of the National Farm Workers Association, which later became the United Farm Workers. She will speak at 6 p.m. Oct. 11, in the Watt Family Innovation Center auditorium. Her visit is one of two planned in the Upstate. Clemson teamed up with Hispanic Alliance to host Chavez at 5 p.m. Oct. 12. at Greenville One.

Chavez follows in the steps of her legendary grandfather, serving as an outreach coordinator for the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s National Resource Conservation Service, where she helps farmers from various communities, including Hmong, Latinx, African-American, veterans and LGBTQ, ensuring no one fails to benefit from the groundwork of equality laid by her grandfather.

The civil rights activist's visit is part of Clemson's celebration of Latinx Heritage Month, which runs through Oct. 15. For complete information about the month's speakers and events, visit here.


Study: Infant Walkers Pose Safety Hazard

from CBS Report

While some parents may think infant walkers are a way to give young children more independence, pediatricians are once again warning the public that they are a safety hazard. 

A new study, published online Monday in the journal Pediatrics, found that more than 230,000 children age 15 months or younger were treated in hospital emergency departments in the United States for infant walker-related injuries from 1990 through 2014.

"Baby walkers give quick mobility — up to 4 feet per second — to young children before they are developmentally ready. Children at this age are curious, but do not recognize danger," senior study author Dr. Gary Smith, director of the Center for Injury Research and Policy at Nationwide Children's Hospital, told CBS News. "It only takes a young sibling to leave the door to the basement stairs open briefly for an injury to occur. A child in a baby walker would be across the room and down the stairs before the parent could respond."

The majority of injuries in the study, about 91 percent, were to the head or neck. About 30 percent of the injuries were concussions or skull fractures. 

Almost three-quarters of the injuries were caused by children in walkers falling down the stairs. Other common problems included falls out of the baby walker, and injuries that occurred because the walker gave the child access to something they wouldn't normally be able to reach, such as burns from touching a hot appliance. 

The American Academy of Pediatrics has spoken out against the use of infant walkers for decades and has called for a ban on their manufacture, sale, and importation in the United States, but they continue to be sold by many major retailers.Smith says parents often seem shocked by how quickly a child in a walker can get into a dangerous situation.

The report recommends parents not buy a baby walker for their child, and if they have one they should remove the wheels and dispose of it.


Rusty Burns Talks About State of Anderson County, Sept. 2018