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Green Pond Glows with St. Patrick's Day Colors

Green Pond Landing has gone green, iridescent green. Hydro Glow fish attractant LED lights now illuminate a green halo around the courtesy docks at the Green Pond Landing Mega Boat Ramp.  Designed to attract all spectrums of fish to the cove, this pier lighting project will also draw anglers and onlookers to Lake Hartwell’s brightest spot on the water after the sunsets.

“It is exciting to see projects completed that support recreational fishing and provide the public with good access to the 56,000-acre of Lake Hartwell,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. "It is important that we preserve our natural resources and maintain the public’s enthusiasm for fishing and boating, and provide a quality experience for folks utilizing our facilities"

Hydro Glow Fishing Lights enhance and accentuate the circle of life in a fishery. The green lights boost microorganisms in the water column which are the food base for Shad and Herring; bait fish population in the area. The result is a localized variety of fish feeding or passing through the light and dark water.

“This is the second virtual aquarium exhibit on the waters of Lake Hartwell. The hydro glow fishing lights were also installed in April 2017 at the Brown Road Bridge boat ramp,” said Matthew Schell, Parks Manager. “Hydro lights are clearly visible on the water and from the Double Bridges on Highway 24, creating ambience for our local anglers and visitors to Lake Hartwell.”


Poll: 73 Percent of Educators Oppose Arming Teachers

A new survey Friday said nearly three-quarters of teachers and educators oppose the notion of carrying guns in schools.

The Gallup poll was conducted after President Donald Trump proposed that teachers be armed following the Feb. 14 shooting at a South Florida high school. 

According to the poll, 73 percent of teachers said they are against the idea.

The survey also showed 58 percent said carrying guns in schools would make schools less safe. Eighteen percent said they would be willing to carry a gun in school buildings.

Trump, along with the National Rifle Association, advocates for the policy with the slogan: "To stop a bad guy with a gun, it takes a good guy with a gun."

The poll says U.S. teachers overwhelmingly disagree with the two main arguments for arming teachers -- that it would make schools safer and limit casualties during a shooting.

Only 20 percent of teachers think it would make schools safer and 22 percent said it would make no difference. Less than 30 percent said arming teachers would be very or somewhat effective, while 71 percent say it would not be effective.

In contrast, recent Gallup research showed 42 percent of Americans favor arming teachers and staff. Better background checks and better active shooter training for first responders have almost unanimous support.

When teachers were asked if they would be willing to go through special training to carry a gun, only 18 percent said yes. A quarter said they own a gun -- a group Gallup found four times as likely as non-gun owners to say they would take the training, if offered.


Oklahoma Anglers Lead After Day One of Bassmaster

GREENVILLE, S.C. — After one day of fishing on Lake Hartwell, the leaderboard for the GEICO Bassmaster Classic presented by DICK’S Sporting Goods has a familiar look. 

Oklahoma angler Jason Christie leads the way, with Edwin Evers — a fellow Okie and Christie’s roommate on the Bassmaster Elite Series — sitting close behind in second.

Local favorite Casey Ashley is in 14th place after the first day of competition.
Christie said a change in strategy near the mid-point of Day 1 helped him to his tournament-best weight of 20 pounds, 14 ounces.
“I’ve got two little deals going, and I did the first little deal for the first three or four hours,” said Christie, who claimed the GEICO Everyday Leader Award of $2,500. “But then it just kind of ran out.
Christie said he caught fish all day, but patience was required for finding the type of big fish that helps an angler win the Classic.

Evers, who brought in 19-9 Friday, got off to a fast start with a good early-morning bite that he said might have been due to bass feeding on blueback herring.
“I honestly don’t know what they were doing,” he said. “I got really lucky and found a place that had a bunch of fish in it. It was an early-morning deal. I caught them every cast.”
Like Christie, Evers caught his biggest fish — two largemouth that each weighed 4-10 — in the afternoon hours.
“Those fish came around 12:30 or 1 o’clock,” he said. “It made for a better day than I thought I was going to have. I thought I was going to catch 16 or 17 pounds and maybe get a couple of big bites to push that up — and that’s what happened.”
The last time these two anglers waged a close battle in a Classic was 2016 on Grand Lake O’ the Cherokees in their home state. Back then, Christie led the first two days, only to see Evers overcome him with a giant catch on the final day.
With two days left to fish on Hartwell, there are several other anglers who are within excellent striking distance of the $300,000 first-place prize, including reigning Classic champion Jordan Lee of Alabama.
Lee, who raised the Classic trophy last year on Lake Conroe in Texas after struggling the first day, had a solid opening round on Hartwell, bringing in five bass that weighed 18-10.
“It was fun to come out and have a good start for a change, especially when you consider that I wasn’t really on anything in practice,” Lee said. “I fished a lot of boat docks today, and that’s what I really like to do. I didn’t get many bites, but I caught a few big ones.”
California angler Brent Ehrler is in fourth with 17-8, followed by Tennessee’s Ott DeFoe (16-8) and yet another Oklahoma pro, James Elam (16-7).


Court Says S.C. Law Puts Student Rights at Risk

A federal appeals court says students' freedom of expression and due process are put at risk by a South Carolina law that led to the arrest of two high school students for videotaping a classmate being flipped out of a chair.

In a ruling issued Thursday, the Fourth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals vacated a District Court decision and remanded it for further action. The appeals court found the "disturbing schools" law was applied disproportionately toward black students.

In October 2015, a Richland County sheriff's deputy arrested a Spring Valley High School student who refused to surrender her cellphone and leave a classroom. Two classmates videotaped Deputy Ben Fields flipping the teen out of her chair and tossing her across the room.

Both students were charged with disturbing schools.


Bassmaster Classic Under Way at Green Pond

The Bassmaster Classic kicked off at Green Pond Landing when the professional anglers launched their boats at 7:30 a.m.

The three-day tournament, the Super Bowl of bass fishing, will be held on Lake Hartwell with daily weigh-ins in Greenville. Free public events include the daily 7:30 a.m. launches, boat demos, weigh-ins, and an Outdoor Expo at the TD Convention Center in Greenville.

Weigh-ins will be held each day at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena from 4 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. Doors will open daily at 3:15 p.m.

Country music star Jason Aldean will perform at a free pop-up concert on Friday during the first weigh-in. Seating is first-come-first-serve and and doors will open at 3:15 p.m.


Bi-Lo to Close Stores in Anderson, 93 Other Locations

Southeastern Grocers, parent company of grocery stores such as BI-LO and Winn-Dixie, is voluntarily filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

The company made the announcement Thursday and said it is entering a Restructuring Support Agreement. As part of the decision, Southeastern Grocers will be closing 94 underperforming stores.

The following stores in the Upstate will be affected:

  • BI-LO at 1706 E. Greenville Street in Anderson
  • BI-LO at 501 Old Greenville Highway in Clemson
  • BI-LO at 1818 Woodruff Road in Greenville
  • Harveys at 714 Bypass 25 NE in Greenwood
  • Harveys at 1937 Wilson Road in Newberry
  • BI-LO at 115 Rochester Highway in Seneca
  • BI-LO at 140 Ferwood Drive in Spartanburg

"It is our goal to work through our financial restructuring as quickly and efficiently as possible and we expected to emerge within the next 90 days," said a Southeastern Grocers spokesperson.


County to File Suit Against Opioid Manufacturers

Anderson County Council will reportedly announce plans to move forward on filing it's own suit against the manufacturers of opioids during a special called meet Friday at noon in the historic courthouse downtown.

Several other counties in the state have joined a similar collective lawsuit, but reports suggest Anderson will file its own suit in the matter.


Clemson Expands Hours for Sheep Barn Student Center

The doors opened to Clemson University students on Feb. 18, 2017. Only this time, it was newly refurbished.

Known best as the ‘Sheep Barn’ during the days it was still Clemson College, the Barnes Center was repurposed into a full-fledged, late-night social programming destination.

And since that re-opening of sorts, over 90 programs have been held inside the venue named in honor of alumnus Frank S. Barnes Jr.

“We’re just trying to be a place where students can come hang out and have fun for a couple of hours,” said Hannah Muldoon, assistant director for programs in Campus Activities & Events. “We want this to be a place for every student on this campus.”

So far, so good.

Named to the National Register of Historic Places in 1990, the Barnes Center renovation preserved some of the building’s original features, including a strip of concrete flooring and two silos, which are now used to seat bigger groups.

Muldoon said the response to the Barnes Center’s programming has been overwhelmingly positive. She reports anywhere from a 96 to 98 percent satisfaction rate and personally reads every piece of feedback received from the students who utilize the space. When the students desired a “Bob Ross” night — a night of painting named after the late television host — she obliged and scheduled one for the spring semester.

And while late-night, alcohol-free programming was the initial purpose behind the re-opening, the Barnes Center has since expanded its menu — literally.

“As we continue to grow, we decided to open the building longer so students could utilize it more,” Muldoon said. “We now offer food service from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, in addition to new late-night hours.

“They have a lot of great food options, from wings to sushi to flatbreads and breakfast sandwiches. It’s definitely a cool place to come check out, grab some food and spend time with other students.”


Democrat Declares Victory in Pennsylvania Election

Democrat Conor Lamb declared victory Wednesday afternoon in the special election for Pennsylvania's District 18, but Republican Rick Saccone said he intends to challenge the close results.

The New York Times called the race for Lamb after thousands of absentee ballots were counted. The ballots gave the Democrat a 627-vote advantage with about 500 provisional, military and other absentee ballots left to count. 

"It took a little longer than we thought, but we did it. You did it," Lamb told supporters in Canonsburg, Pa.

But Republican officials are alleging voting irregularities in the congressional race.

Even with a margin that close, state law does not require an automatic recount in congressional races. Parties can request it after all the votes are tallied.


McMaster Calls Student Walkout Day "Shameful"

South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster spoke frankly against the actions of students across the country who participated in National Walkout Day just one month after 17 people were killed in a shooting at a Florida high school. 

Addressing members of the media at the State House, McMaster called the demonstration shameful, and that the protests are a tactic implemented by a left-wing group and use teens to disseminate their political agenda. 

"I understand that there is a left-wing group that is coordinating this around the country," McMaster said. "I think the children, it appears that these school children - these innocent school children - are being used as a tool by these left-wing group to further their own agenda. It is not about the tragedy, it's not about the school children or what we should all do and what these students should do."

The governor went further to express his point. 

"I imagine a lot of them intend to do is pray and to hope for the families of those who were slain," McMaster continued. "But this is a tricky move, I believe, by a left-wing group from the information I've seen, to use these children as a tool to further their own means. It sounds like a protest to me, it's not a memorial, it's certainly not a prayer service, it's a political statement by a left-wing group and it's shameful." 

Thousands of high school students across the country, including in South Carolina, participated in various demonstrations. Several schools opted for demonstrating inside their school and others did alternative protests such as prayer vigils, kindness acts, and more. 

National Walkout Day was held one month after 17 people - including 14 students - were killed at the hands of a single gunman on Feb. 14 at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL. 


S.C. House Sends Budget to Senate

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina House lawmakers have approved a budget to fund state government for the coming year.

Legislators late Tuesday voted 116-2 to approve the state's more than $8 billion budget plan. The chamber reconvened early Wednesday for another required vote on the measure before sending it to the state Senate.

The only dissenters to the overall budget bill were Reps. Jonathon Hill of Townville and Josiah Magnuson of Campobello.

Those Republicans many times were the only two to oppose individual sections of the funding proposal. Hill proposed multiple amendments to reallocate money to fund local governments, but they were not successful.

Lawmakers deliberated two days and into the early morning hours of Wednesday. Senators will take up the budget for debate later this year.


Bellwether Pennsylvania Election Too Close to Call

CANONSBURG, Pa. (Reuters) - The Democrat candidate claimed a congressional election in a Republican heartland in Pennsylvania, as a vote seen as a referendum on Donald Trump’s performance as president remained officially too close to call early on Wednesday. 

In an ominous sign for Republicans eight months before national midterm elections, official results with all ballots from voting booths counted showed moderate Democrat Conor Lamb leading conservative Republican Rick Saccone by a fraction of a percentage point. 

Trump won the Pennsylvania 18th Congressional District that they are contesting by almost 20 points in the 2016 presidential election. 

With TV networks, which often call U.S. elections, yet to predict a winner, officials were continuing to count several hundred absentee ballots to try to determine the result. 

Democratic sources said that, once those ballots were included, they expected Lamb to have won the election by more than 400 votes. 

“It took a little longer than we thought but we did it. You did it,” Lamb, a U.S. Marines veteran, told cheering supporters late on Tuesday. 

Speaking before Lamb claimed victory, Saccone - who has described himself as “Trump before Trump was Trump” - said the contest was not yet over. 

“We’re going to fight all the way to the end. You know I never give up,” the 60-year-old state told supporters. 


The strong showing by Lamb, 33, seems certain to buoy Democrats nationally as they seek to win control of the U.S. House of Representatives from Republicans in the November elections. 

Republican dominance had been so strong in the district, a patchwork of small towns, farms and Pittsburgh suburbs, that Democrats ran no candidates in the previous two U.S. House elections here. Lamb’s image as a moderate seemed to have worked in his favor. 

Saccone led the race by more than 10 percentage points in January.


P.A.W.S. Offering Free Big Dog Adoptions Through Saturday

P.A.W.S. is offering free adoption of large-breed dogs through March 17 as part of their “Larger then Leprechans” event. Good time to adopt a big dog if you have been looking.

Visit here for more information. You can also find the pets of the week and more information on the county animal shelter here.