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P.A.W.S. Spring Adoption Season: $10 Large Dogs, Cats Free

The puppy and kitten shower is still in full swing at Anderson County Pets Are Worth Saving(P.A.W.S.) Donations needed to help save all of the orphaned pups and kits and moms and litters this season.

Large dogs adoptions are $10, and cats adoptions are free.


AU Now Accepting Applications for Physical Therapy Program

ANDERSON, SC – The Anderson University School of Physical Therapy is now accepting appliecations for the summer of 2019, when the university will become the third physical therapy doctorate program in South Carolina.

The new school, announced in 2017, marks the latest expansion of AU’s offerings at the University Center of Greenville. The inaugural class is expected to begin in June, 2019 on AU’s main campus, home to the Center for Medical simulations as well as a cadaver lab. The remaining coursework then shifts to the Greenville campus and new, state-of-the-art teaching and research labs.

Physical therapy is one of the fastest growing career fields, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Career opportunities are expected to grow by 28 percent over the next eight years. The need for physical therapists is even greater in  South Carolina, where predicted job growth is 34 percent. The median salary for physical therapists is more than $86,000 per year, with starting salaries averaging between roughly $65,000 and $70,000 annually, government statistics show.


Clemson to Send Cotton into Outer Space

CLEMSON, South Carolina — A Clemson University scientist is sending his research on the cotton genome into outer space after being selected as a winner in the Cotton Sustainability Challenge.

Christopher Saski, associate professor in the plant and environmental sciences department, is the principal investigator on a project that seeks to explore the cotton genome and how it reacts in microgravity and normal gravity.

“We are using a systems genomics approach in a very unique environment to fully understand the developmental programs and molecular mechanisms that orchestrate the regeneration of plant cells into whole plants,” Saski said. “This new understanding has the potential to unlock plant genomes to biotechnology and subsequently transform agriculture.”

The Cotton Sustainability Challenge, run by the Center for the Advancement of Science in Space (CASIS) and sponsored by Target Corp., provided researchers and innovators the opportunity to propose solutions to improve crop production on Earth by sending their concepts to the International Space Station (ISS) U.S. National Laboratory.

CASIS announced Monday the selection of three projects as winners of the challenge, which sought potential solutions to benefit cotton production by improving water sustainability. Through the collaboration, CASIS and NASA will facilitate hardware implementation and in-orbit access to the ISS National Lab, while Target will provide grant funding for selected proposals.

Saski’s project proposes to examine gene expression, DNA methylation patterns and genome sequences of embryogenic callus material that respond differently to regeneration in tissue culture during the process of regeneration under micro- and normal gravity environments.

This innovative approach could have the potential to unlock the phenomenon of genetic recalcitrance (resistance) to regeneration, advancing fundamental biological knowledge and can have translational impacts to other plant species that are critical to global agricultural sustainability.

“Dr. Saski’s proposal is such a novel idea and epitomizes the goal of our department’s research, which is translational, problem-solving science to advance crop agriculture in South Carolina and beyond,” said Paula Agudelo, interim associate dean of research and graduate studies for Clemson’s College of Agriculture, Forestry and Life Sciences.

Saski’s transdisciplinary team of investigators includes Li Wen, a scientist from Changsha University of Science and Technology in China and a visiting scholar at Clemson University; Shuangxia Jin, a renowned cotton scientist at Huazhong Agricultural University, also in China; and Jeremy Schmutz, a faculty investigator at the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology.

“Space science provides unprecedented opportunities for the study of molecular biology where we can investigate the molecular mechanisms of life development and growth regulation from a unique perspective aboard the ISS,” Jin said.

On the space station, a variety of physical and biological phenomena can be tested in ways not possible on Earth.

“Microgravity is a unique trigger that alters epigenetics and gene expression and will have a profound influence on understanding the genetic programs of plant regeneration,” Wen said.

HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology, located in Huntsville, Alabama, is a nonprofit institute dedicated to developing and applying scientific advances to health, agriculture, learning and commercialization.

The research aims at solving a quandary that affects everyone: No tractable solution is in place to satisfy the growing demand for fuel, food, and fiber as the global population continues to expand. Better understanding gene function and the use of genome engineering technology has the potential to change the lives of everyone and everything on the planet.

In 2005, Congress designated the U.S. portion of the International Space Station as the nation’s newest national laboratory to maximize its use for improving life on Earth, promoting collaboration among diverse users and advancing STEM education. The unique laboratory environment is available for use by other U.S. government agencies and by academic and private institutions, providing access to the permanent microgravity setting, vantage point in low Earth orbit and varied environments of space.

The challenge provided researchers a novel way to leverage microgravity to evaluate avenues for more sustainable cotton production. Cotton is a natural plant fiber produced in many countries and one of the most important raw materials required for the production of textiles and clothing.

Cotton cultivation requires sustainable access to natural resources like water that are increasingly threatened. This challenge sought to engage the creative power of the research community to leverage the ISS National Lab to innovate and generate ideas that will improve the utilization of natural resources for sustainable cotton production.


Bennie Cunningham Dies at 63

The State

Former Clemson All-American and Steelers Super Bowl winner Bennie Cunningham has lost his battle with cancer.

Cunningham died Monday morning at the age of 63, Clemson announced in a release. 

Cunningham died at the Cleveland Clinic in Ohio. He had been fighting cancer and was in the Cleveland Clinic since early January.

The Seneca native played for the Tigers from 1972-75, earning All-American honors for the Tigers in 1974 and 1975.

Cunningham is arguably the greatest tight end in ACC history as he was the only tight end chosen to the ACC’s 50th Anniversary Team in 2003, which named the top 50 players in league history. He completed his Clemson career with 64 receptions for 1,044 yards and 17 touchdowns. His seven touchdown receptions in 1974 stood as a Clemson record for a tight end until 2011 when Dwayne Allen had eight.

“Bennie Cunningham was one of our greatest players, arguably the greatest tight end in our history and ACC history,” Tigers coach Dabo Swinney said in a release. “He set the standard for players at that position. But, more importantly was the way he represented Clemson as a professional athlete and in his life after football. With his passing, the Clemson football program remembers him and his family with highest regard today."

Cunningham was drafted in the first round of the 1976 NFL draft by the Steelers and went on to play for Pittsburgh from 1976-85.

He won a pair of Super Bowl titles during his time with the Steelers and finished with 202 catches for 2,879 yards and 20 touchdowns during his NFL career.

Cunningham returned to the Clemson area after his playing days and earned an undergraduate degree and a masters degree in secondary education. He had a long career as a guidance counselor at West Oak High School in Westminster.

Clemson ranked Cunningham No. 13 on its "25 Greatest Players Of The 20th Century" list published in 1999

Full story at The State

Study: Artificial Sweeteners Linked to Diabetes, Obesity

April 23 (UPI) -- Artificial sweeteners could be linked to diabetes and obesity, according to a study of rats and cell cultures.

Researchers at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University conducted what they believe is the largest study to assess biochemical changes caused by artificial sweeteners and sugars.

Lead researcher Brian Hoffmann, an assistant professor in the department of biomedical engineering at the Medical College of Wisconsin and Marquette University, presented the findings Sunday at the American Physiological Society annual meeting.

Artificial sweeteners are one of the most common food additives, including in diet and zero-calorie sodas.

"Despite the addition of these non-caloric artificial sweeteners to our everyday diets, there has still been a drastic rise in obesity and diabetes," Hoffman said in a press release. "In our studies, both sugar and artificial sweeteners seem to exhibit negative effects linked to obesity and diabetes, albeit through very different mechanisms from each other."

Earlier research on the negative health aspects of artificial sweeteners, including an increased risk for diabetes and for obesity, has revealed links similar to the new study, but no conclusive evidence of a cause-and-effect factor has been found.

In the latest study, researchers examined the consumption of sugar or sugar substitutes in rats and their effects on cultured cells. They also examined the impact of both on vascular health and how the substances affect the lining of blood vessels.

Rats were fed diets high in glucose or fructose, which are forms of sugar, or aspartame or acesulfame potassium, which are common zero-calorie artificial sweeteners.

Three weeks later, researchers found significant differences in the concentration of biochemicals, fats and amino acids in blood samples compared with sugar.

The body changes how it processes fat and receives energy from artificial sweeteners, the researchers report. Acesulfame potassium also accumulated in the blood, including a harmful effect on the cells that line blood vessels.

Researchers said additional studies are needed to further explain the link between artificial sweeteners and obesity and diabetes, and whether they should be avoided.

Aisling Pigott, a dietitian and spokesperson for the British Dietetic Association, told Newsweek he would be cautious when considering the new study because a lot of the research suggesting the negative impacts of artificial sweeteners have been conducted with animals -- which have different metabolic pathways than humans. He added, however, that moderate use of any kind of sweetener is a good idea.


Power Outage Closes Clemson Monday

Updated at noon.

All classes at Clemson University's main campus are canceled today due to a power outage.

Classrooms and offices intially planned to open at 12:15 p.m., but later canceled all classes for the day. Officials said multiple utility poles were down on the Duke Energy line that feeds the campus substation, leaving virtually all of the main campus without power.


Anderson County Needs Poll Workers for Upcoming Elections

Anderson County’s Board of Voter Registration and Elections needs poll workers heading into the 2018 election season. 

The primaries, which begin in June, will require far more workers than have currently signed up to date. Some precincts across the county only have one or two workers signed up to work the June Primaries.

Officials said people can become election workers in just three steps.

  1. Complete the Election Worker Application. The completed application may be emailed, mailed or faxed. It can be found at  under the Poll Manager Tab.
  2. Make an appointment with the Precinct Coordinator by calling 864-260-4035 to fill out paperwork. 
  3. Cmplete Online Poll Manager Training to become a Certified Poll Manager. At the time of your appointment you will be given access to this training at under Poll Workers. This training is convenient and available 7 days a week 24 hours a day.  The only requirement is to be completed by the deadline given.

South Carolina’s poll managers get paid $75 to work Election Day and $60 for training for a total of $135. Clerks of the polls receive an additional day's pay at $60/day for a total of $195.


The State: 80 Percent in S.C. Wants Officers in Every School

About 8 in 10 South Carolinians want an armed resource officer in every public school, and nearly 7 in 10 Palmetto State residents say they would be willing to pay higher taxes for them, according to the most recent Winthrop Poll.

The poll, with four questions asked exclusively for The State newspaper, also found a majority of S.C. residents want tighter gun control laws — including raising the minimum age to buy an AR-15 and requiring completed background checks before gun sales.

Proposals to tighten South Carolina's gun control laws have failed to gain any traction in the Republican-controlled Legislature so far.

However, the poll's findings encourage S.C. Democrats who say the Legislature is flouting the will of South Carolinians.

Republican state lawmakers are more skeptical, arguing polls oversimplify complex issues and don't mirror what they hear from constituents back home.


Group Wants Active Shooter Vests for S.C. Law Enforcement

One non-profit is trying to make sure that local law enforcement is prepared for the worst. They are raising the money to outfit all South Carolina first responders with an active shooter vest.

Freiday it was a site becoming too familiar. Dozens of first responders rushing in after a shooting in a Florida high school. Luckily this one ended without any deaths. But, it raises concerns across the country and close to home for law enforcement here.

"We have to make sure that we provide the necessary equipment so that they are just as safe as we want them to keep us," Michael Letts said.

Michael Letts turned concern into action by forming a non-profit called In-Vest USA. It has one goal in mind; raise enough money to buy an active shooter vest for every member of South Carolina law enforcement, starting with Burnettown PD.

Letts says the heavy duty vest is something officers would carry in their cars. Anytime they roll up on an active shooter investigation they would throw it on. These vests costs around a thousand dollars each and are designed to stop high caliber rifle rounds. They are the latest model, using titanium steel alloy plates. 

Keith Barton is one of the officers getting this vest. He says it doesn't hurt to be prepared.

"It's essential to have the right tools and equipment to hopefully never have to use in the situation with active shooter," Barton said. "But, if you do, at least you're better prepared then you were if you didn't have it."

Letts isn't just stopping at one police department. He hopes to equip them all in South Carolina.


Earth Day Facts for 2018

But what exactly is Earth Day? Here's what you need to know:

1. When did Earth Day start?

The first Earth Day celebration took place 48 years ago, in 1970, after a devastating oil spill in America brought environmental issues to the forefront of public consciousness. According to the Environmental Protection Agency, 22 million people across the country came out in support of environmental reform.

"That day left a permanent impact on the politics of America," Gaylord Nelson wrote in the April 1980 edition of the EPA Journal. "It forcibly thrust the issue of environmental quality and resources conservation into the political dialogue of the nation.

"It showed political and opinion leadership of the country that the people cared, that they were ready for political action, that the politicians had better get ready, too. In short, Earth Day launched the environmental decade with a bang."

Since then, celebrations have only grown. This year, organizers estimate more than one billion people in 192 countries will participate in events the world over. The day is celebrated each year on April 22.

2. Is there a theme for Earth Day 2018?

This year, organizers are focusing on curbing plastic pollution.

"Our goals include ending single-use plastics, promoting alternatives to fossil fuel-based materials, promoting 100 percent recycling of plastics, corporate and government accountability and changing human behavior concerning plastics," the Earth Day Network, which partners with tens of thousands of organizations in 192 countries to organize Earth Day events, said on its website.

The organization also said it "will educate millions of people about the health and other risks associated with the use and disposal of plastics, including pollution of our oceans, water, and wildlife, and about the growing body of evidence that decomposing plastics are creating serious global problems."


3. How are people celebrating?

In Tokyo, thousands of people will attend beach cleanups, concerts, art exhibits, classes and other events coordinated by the Green Room Festival, according to the Earth Day Network. In India's Karnataka state, a "no plastic" event will feature workshops led by "organizations that are champions of environmental sustainability in fields including electric vehicles, solar power and zero-waste living," the network said. Cleanups also were scheduled in Palm Beach, Florida; New York; New Jersey and other locations across the United States and worldwide.

4. What are businesses doing?

Google marked Earth Day with a "video doodle" featuring primatologist Jane Goodall. 

“It is so important in the world today that we feel hopeful and do our part to protect life on Earth," Goodall said. "I am hopeful that this Earth Day Google Doodle will live as a reminder for people across the globe that there is still so much in the world worth fighting for. So much that is beautiful, so many wonderful people working to reverse the harm, to help protect species and their environments. And there are so, so many young people, like those in JGI’s Roots & Shoots program, dedicated to making this a better world. With all of us working together, I am hopeful that it is not too late to turn things around, if we all do our part for this beautiful planet.”

Apple also joined in on the celebrations, announcing on April 19 that "for every device received at Apple stores and through the Apple GiveBack program from now through April 30, the company will make a donation to the nonprofit Conservation International."

In addition, Apple "debuted Daisy, a robot that can more efficiently disassemble iPhone to recover valuable materials," according to a company press release.

“At Apple, we’re constantly working toward smart solutions to address climate change and conserve our planet’s precious resources,” Lisa Jackson, Apple’s vice president of environment, policy and social Initiatives, said in a statement. “In recognition of Earth Day, we are making it as simple as possible for our customers to recycle devices and do something good for the planet through Apple GiveBack. We’re also thrilled to introduce Daisy to the world, as she represents what’s possible when innovation and conservation meet.”


5. How can I get involved?

There are multiple ways to get into the Earth Day spirit, from participating in a local event to changing your bills from paper to paperless. Here are some suggestions from the Earth Day Network:

  • Urge your local elected officials or businesses to make a substantial tree planting commitment by starting a letter-writing campaign or online petition.

  • Lead a recycling drive to collect as much plastic, metal, and glass as possible.

  • Pick up trash at a local park or beach.

  • Set up a screening of an environmentally themed movie. Consider supplementing the screening with a speaker who can lead a Q&A following the film.


Officials Warn to Avoid All Romaine Lettuce Due to E. coli

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has expanded its warning about an E. coli outbreak connected to romaine lettuce to cover all forms of romaine, including whole heads and hearts of romaine grown in the Yuma, Arizona, growing area. A previous warning was limited to chopped forms of romaine, including salads and salad mixes.

The CDC based the new warning on eight new cases of acute gastroenteritis at a correctional facility in Nome, Alaska, that appear to be connected to the current outbreak affecting 53 people in 16 states. Thirty-one of those have been hospitalized, the CDC said, and although no one has died, five people have developed a type of kidney failure called hemolytic uremic syndrome.

"Because this outbreak involves a strain of E. coli bacteria (O157:H7) that can lead to serious illness including kidney failure, state officials are asking Alaskans to follow CDC recommendations and avoid any romaine lettuce products that could be contaminated," said a news release from the state of Alaska.

While the current cases are connected to the Yuma, Arizona, area, the CDC warns that package labels do not often identify growing regions. Therefore, consumers should throw out any romaine lettuce in their homes, even if partially eaten, and avoid eating romaine at restaurants unless the establishment can confirm that the lettuce is not from Yuma. No common grower, supplier, distributor or brand from the Yuma area has been identified.

Symptoms of this strain of E. coli include severe stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea, which is often bloody, officials said. Anyone with these symptoms should see a health provider immediately and report their infection to local departments of health and social services.

Infections from these bacteria often take three to four days to develop. Most are gone within a week, but some can last longer and be more severe, the CDC said.

E. coli are a diverse family of bacteria that can be found in the environment, in foods and in the intestines of people and animals. Most strains are harmless. To avoid becoming infected with a harmful strain, the CDC recommends using proper hygiene; cooking meat at proper temperatures; avoiding raw milk, unpasteurized dairy products and juices; and not swallowing water when swimming.

Since lettuce is suspected to be the cause of the current outbreak, would it help to wash your greens before eating? No, said Ian Williams, chief of the CDC's Outbreak Response and Prevention Branch. 

"This bacteria can actually get inside the lettuce leaf," he said. "Washing it doesn't make it safe."


Robot Could Help Find S.C. Uranium at Old Weapons Plants

COLUMBUS, Ohio (AP) - Ohio crews cleaning up a massive former Cold War-era plant in Ohio plan to send a high-tech helper into pipes where uranium was processed for use in nuclear reactors and weapons.

An autonomous, radiation-measuring robot will identify potentially hazardous uranium deposits to determine which pipes require special remediation at the Portsmouth Gaseous Diffusion Plant in Piketon.

Officials say using the RadPiper robot is safer, tremendously faster and more accurate than the current method of workers taking external measurements. They also say it could save tens of millions of public dollars on cleanups of that site and one near Paducah, Kentucky.

The robot was developed at Carnegie Mellon University for the U.S. Department of Energy, which envisions eventually using similar technology at nuclear complexes in South Carolina and Washington state.


Haley Comments Boost Political Future

NEW YORK (AP) - The public split between the White House and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley this week over Russia sanctions threw a spotlight on her at-times uneasy relationship with President Donald Trump. And her deft rebuttal bolstered talk about her own future political fortunes.

Haley's rejoinder to a putdown from a close Trump adviser about message confusion - she declared that "I don't get confused" - was seized as a rallying cry among some women and echoed the audacity the former governor displayed while upending the old boys' club in the South Carolina Statehouse. But the episode also called into question her standing on Trump's national security team ahead of tough decisions on North Korea, Iran and other fronts.

Haley is now considered to be on the shortlist of future GOP presidential candidates.