Search Amazon Here

News Links




Sidewalk Project Near Westside High School Under Way

The long-awaited Jackson Street project, which will provide a new, safe sidewalk between Hillside Drive and the rear entrance of Westside High School, is now underway.

The project's active construction phase comes as a result of the significant and collaborative efforts of County Councilwoman Gracie S. Floyd and County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn, who represent County Council Districts Two and Five, respectively.

"I am glad to see this long-awaited project now in the active construction phase," said Floyd. "It's been a long time coming, but I am glad children near Westside will now be able to walk to school safely."

"We are on schedule to finish at or before the scheduled completion date of November 30, 2019 [and] on schedule to complete work requiring a lane closure by August 17." said C.T. York assistant program manager for the South Carolina Department of Transportation. "This project has an estimated total construction cost of $500,000 and is funded through a [federal] grant program called the Transportation Alternatives Program [including] a local 20 percent match from Anderson County."

"This project is another example of the County working together with community partners for the benefit of the safety and welfare of our children and their families," said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. "I'm glad to see work in progress."


Moore Asks UoSC to to Stop Planned Vote on President

Billionaire businesswoman Darla Moore is asking University of South Carolina trustees to stop a planned vote Friday on a new president.

Moore sent a note late Thursday to Board of Trustees Chairman John von Lehe that voting instead of restarting the search would do "irremediable damage" to the university.

Moore's note reminded von Lehe she is the university's biggest donor. She gave $45 million in 2004 for the business school named after her.

Trustees were set to pick a president among four finalists in April, but instead voted to continue the search after complaints from students and professors that front-runner retired Army general and West Point Superintendent Robert Caslen wasn't qualified.

Protesters thought that meant the university would look for new finalists. But earlier this month, trustee Charlie Williams said Gov. Henry McMaster started pushing them to choose Caslen.


S.C. to Pay $15M for Study on Santee Cooper Sale

MONCKS CORNER, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's public utility has agreed to pay $15 million to help pay for a study to determine if it should be sold.

The Santee Cooper Board of Directors unanimously approved the payment Wednesday, but not before board member Stephen Mudge complained the payment wasn't discussed in legislation passed this year.

The new law requires state officials to hire a consultant to study if Santee Cooper should be sold, turned over to a private company to run or left alone.

The utility is $8 billion in debt, with about half coming from two nuclear reactors that never produced power.

Several board members and new Santee Cooper CEO Mark Bonsall say they are happy to give the state money so it can hire the best people to study the utility's future.


Gluck Mill Voting Precinct Moved to Homeland Park School

An Anderson County Precinct, Gluck Mil will move to a new polling location. This move follows requests from local citizens that opening the facility on Election Day was a burden. The new polling place will be Homeland Park Elementary School.

“We are required to ensure that every polling place is open and ready for voting by 7 a.m. To meet this requirement, workers must arrive by 6 a.m.and for varying reasons that can become a burden to some facility owners and operators” said Katy Smith, executive director of Anderson County Voter Registration and Elections. “When a situation like this arises we have no choice but to look for an alternate polling location.”

The Gluck Mill precinct is one that will be voting in the Homeland Park Elementary School location starting with the Presidential Preference Primaries in 2020.

“Every effort is being made to let voters within this precinct know that their polling location has changed,” said Smith.

New voter registration cards will be mailed out beginning today containing the new polling location and address, along with a notification.


Budweiser Clydesdales to Appear at Celebrate Anderson

The world-famous Budweiser Clydesdales will make an appearance at Celebrate Anderson Sept. 1, beginning at 2 p.m.

The eight-horse hitch will be harnessed and hitched to the famous red beer wagon at the Anderson Sports and Entertainment Center as part of a special event made by the traveling hitches. Canadians of Scottish descent brought the first Clydesdales to America in the mid-1800’s. Today, the giant draft horses are used primarily for breeding and show.

Horses chosen for the Budweiser Clydesdale hitch must be at least three years of age, stand approximately 18 hands – or six feet – at the shoulder, weigh an average of 2,000 pounds, must be bay in color, have four white legs, and a blaze of white on the face and black mane and tail. A gentle temperament is very important as hitch horses meet millions of people each year.


Anderson County Council Recap, July 16, 2019


County to Partner with AnMed to Expand Morgue

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

Anderson County Council discussed new details on partnering with AnMed to expand morgue facilities in the county. Anderson County Administrator Rusty Burns said current space is not adequate and the morgue is rapidly running out of space.

“AnMed has been providing this service at no cost to the county,” said Vice Chairman of Anderson County Council Ray Graham. 

The cost of the remodel is between $112,000-126,000. The public safety committee of county council recommended to put up to $130,000 for the remodel for the facility. Graham said the updated morgue is built for the future. The funding from the county would also provide a 50-year lease on the morgue. The funds would come from part of the $3 million sale of the county-owned Pickens TTI building. 

“This will protect the county for a long time to come,” said Anderson County Councilman Jimmy Davis. 

Meanwhile, council approved a recommendation from the finance committee, a $815,792 project that would allow more accessibility and expansion at Green Pond Landing, as part of Phase II expansion of the site. The money would be paid for from the $650,0000 PCB settlement fund and the balance from county accommodation tax funds. 

Anderson County Administrator Burns said the funding for phase two would exhaust current funding for Green Pond, and any future work on Green Pond would have to come from grants or other sources.  

Also on Tuesday, council moved ahead on second reading to limit large commercial trucks on several roads in the county.  Council passes ordinance to prohibit large commercial trucks on Ballard Road, off U.S. 29 North.  The trucks have been causing issues on the road with insufficient radius areas, and have reportedly knocked down three power poles knocking out power for those areas. Council also agreed to limit traffic to prohibit large commercial trucks on Camelot Forest and Murphy Roads in the area around landfill near tank farms close to Belton.   

Limiting some traffic on Stoneybrook Road was also approved on second reading.

“There have been several incidents of 18-wheelers using this road taking out power poles,” said Anderson County Councilwoman Cindy Wilson. Wilson suggested Duke Energy was in favor of keeping the big trucks off this road.

During the meeting council also: 

Approved, tax incentives for expansion for Flexon, an existing company in the county, bringing 55 jobs and an capital investment of $8.5 million. The 20 economic impact on the community will be $44 million, according to  Anderson County Economic Development Director Burriss Nelson. 

Approved recommendations from the pubic safety committee to expand Three & Twenty (Slabtown) EMS service from 12 to 24 hours and the EMS near Athrex to a new 12-hour service. See story here.


County Now Provides EMS Coverage for Slabtown

Anderson County Council has approved additional funding to expand Emergency Medical Services in the Slabtown Community.

Under a partnership with Three & Twenty Fire Department, Pelzer EMS will now provide ambulance coverage 24 hours a day. The ambulance is stationed on Pickens Drive in a rural area of the county that historically has had longer-than-average response times to EMS calls.

“I am pleased that Anderson County is providing an additional level of safety for our residents in the Slabtown and surrounding communities, including Pendleton," said Anderson County Councilman Brett Sanders.

The addition of this ambulance is part of continuing broader investment the County Council has been making in EMS countywide over the past several years. Without a tax increase, the County Council was able to prioritize the additional funding necessary for this expanded resource in its budget for Fiscal Year 2019-2020, which passed on third reading late last month.

“The coverage this ambulance provides is needed to serve citizens in a growing area," said Anderson County Councilman Jimmy Davis. "The 24/7 service will also allow for back up as needed in nearby areas, Powdersville included.” 


Report: Former SCDOT Chief Ordered Emails Destroyed

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — Prosecutors say a former South Carolina transportation commissioner told a government witness who had made payments to him to destroy emails before the FBI could find them, according to a sentencing memo filed Monday in federal court.

The court filing detailed the accusation and investigation against John Hardee, who in January agreed to plead guilty to tampering with evidence in a federal investigation.

The memo shows that federal officials had investigated Hardee for bribery but determined he did not commit that offense. Prosecutors wrote that his "crime lies only in his decision to attempt to obstruct an investigation" into payments he received.

Hardee was on the South Carolina Department of Transportation board from 1998 to 2007 and from 2014 to 2018. The expressway to Columbia's airport is named for him.

A defense lawyer for Hardee did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Prosecutors wrote that a cooperating witness said he had paid Hardee money to influence contract awards. However, investigators said they found no evidence of contracts that were awarded because of the payments and therefore did not bring bribery charges against Hardee.

"Although Hardee's acceptance of payments that (the witness) intended to be bribes is distasteful, the United States Supreme Court has found it to be lawful so long as there is no official action," prosecutors wrote.

However, prosecutors said Hardee did instruct the witness to destroy emails after learning of the investigation.

Investigators recorded a meeting between the two in a restaurant parking lot. During the meeting, prosecutors said the witness "indicated that he was not sure he could convince the FBI of Hardee's story because of emails between (them) showing the payments were not for a loan or payment for old work."

"Hardee then instructed (the witness) to destroy the emails before the FBI could find them," prosecutors wrote.

Federal prosecutors wrote that sentencing guidelines suggest a sentence of between 10 and 16 months imprisonment, but they believed a sentence of probation would be sufficient.


Council to Discuss Phase II of Green Pond Construction

Anderson County Council will discuss planned improvements to Green Pond Landing as part of Tuesday's meeting at 6:30 p.m. at the historic courthouse downtown.

Council will also honor Honea Path First Baptist Church for 150 years service to the community at the 6 p.m. recognition meeting.

Full agenda here.


West Pelzer Names New Police Chief

The Town of West Pelzer recently named Alexis Eliopoulos as their new police chief.

Mayor Blake Sanders selected Alexis Eliopoulos to serve as West Pelzer’s Police Chief after Chief Chris Brewer announced his retirement earlier this year. Eliopoulos emerged as the top candidate for the position after discussing with Chief Brewer and casting a renewed vision for a strengthened department.

Eliopoulos began her public safety career in the City of Anderson where she served as a Corporal on the DUI Task Force and Street Crimes Units. She then served in local municipal departments before electing to serve as a Sergeant for the Clemson University Police Department, working with a diverse population responding to calls for service, crime investigation, and protection of people and property.

Since joining the West Pelzer Police Department in 2017, Eliopoulos has focused on answering calls for service, crime investigating, traffic enforcement, and well as leading the training for all full and part-time officers. Chief Eliopoulos desires to continue to be an active Chief in patrol and  investigations but is passionate about building trust between the community and the surrounding public safety agencies through an enriched community engagement.

Eliopoulos earned Police Officer of the Year for the City of Anderson in 2008 and was the 2009-2011 DUI Enforcement Hero Award recipient from the South Carolina Department of Public Safety and Mothers Against Drunk Driving. 


S.C. Lottery Posts Record Year

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — The South Carolina lottery has posted a record year for revenue.

The South Carolina Education Lottery said in a Thursday news release that the lottery set records in the last fiscal year for proceeds raised for education, prizes paid to players and commissions earned by retailers.

The lottery raised $487.6 million for education programs during the fiscal year that ended June 30. Players won more than $1.3 billion in prize money during the fiscal year.

The lottery organization said the selling of a $1.5 billion Mega Millions jackpot ticket in October and a sustained interest in instant scratch-off games contributed to the record year.


Pendleton Shopping Center Expected to Break Ground Soon

Groundbreaking is planned for a new shopping center in Pendleton within the next few weeks.

The property, developed by John Wright, Jr., is located on the property next to the Waffle House on Highway 76 in Pendleton. Three of the spaces in the new development have already been leased, leaving three remaining openings in the strip shopping center.

The Peoples Bank, Little Caesars and a Nail Salon have committed to the new development.