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Event Set Tonight to Help Community after Townville Shooting

In light of recent events at Townville Elementary School Foothills Community Health Care has scheduled a "Grief to Hope Thursday" from 6-8 p.m. to help those trying to process the events of yesterday.

The event is free and open to the public. The group lists goals for the event as follows.

  • Our goals are processing the events with a focus on moving towards hope

  • Helping our children cope with violence as we ourselves are shaken to our core

  • Prevention and early recognition of traumatic responses

  • Information & resources about trauma and resilience as individuals, families, and communities


Hero: Townville Firefighter Jamie Brock Stops School Shooter

Townville Firefighter Jamie Brock, one of the first emergency responders to arrive at Townville Elementary School after shots rang out Wednesday afternoon, was able to stop the teen suspect and hold him until deputies arrived, Anderson County Emergency Management Director Taylor Jones said.

Deputies said a 14-year-old opened fire on the school’s playground just before 2 p.m. Two students and a teacher were hit by the bullets.

A 14-year-old boy shot and killed his father before driving to his school in South Carolina and opening fire with a handgun.

He reportedly shouted "I hate my life!" and fired shots into the air before turning on two young pupils and a teacher on Wednesday.

Volunteer firefighter Brock was one of the first on the scene and managed to wrestle the boy to the ground until reinforcements arrived.

His heroic actions in the playground behind Townville Elementary School allowed a teacher time to get students inside the building.

The teenage gunman was wrestled to the ground before he could enter the school, and never managed to enter the school building.

"He risked his life to mitigate this incident," Jones said. "He used enough force to take him to the ground."

Brock has served the Townville community as a firefighter for 30 years. He also volunteers with the Crossroads Fire Department in Oconee County. Last year, he won Firefighter of the Year for the department.

Deputies said within one minute of their arrival, the teen was in custody. 

“It’s just another example of how all the departments in Anderson County work together when emergency situations arise,” Jones said.

Jones has spent years providing training to offiers and officials, and preaching the gospel of preparedness in emergency situations in the county. The training obvious helped blunt the scope of what could have happened in Townville yesterday.


Report: 50 of Americans Check Amazon When Shopping

More than half of U.S. online consumers begin their product searches on's website or mobile app, a survey found. That means that heading into the busy holiday season, the company is advancing its lead over major retailers like Wal-Mart Stores and search engines as the starting point for online shopping.

Fifty-five percent of those surveyed go to Amazon first when searching for products, an increase from 44 percent a year earlier, according to a Labor Day weekend poll of 2,000 people released by the Internet marketing firm BloomReach Inc. The second annual survey showed search engines, such as Google and Yahoo, and retailers losing ground to Amazon. Search engines were the starting point for 28 percent of those surveyed, declining from 34 percent a year earlier. Specific retailers were the starting point for 16 percent, down from 21 percent.

"Amazon has become the reference point for shoppers," said Jason Seeba, head of marketing for BloomReach. "Shoppers will go to Amazon first to find a product and check prices."

The survey results are bad news for Wal-Mart and other retailers trying to make headway against Amazon in online shopping. E-commerce sales are expected to increase 13 percent to $385 billion this year, according to eMarketer. Wal-Mart last month agreed to buy e-commerce startup for $3.3 billion, its biggest attempt yet to catch up.

Amazon Prime, the Seattle-based company's $99-a-year subscription that includes delivery discounts, video and music streaming and online photo storage, has been key to overshadowing competitors in the minds of consumers, said John Blackledge, an analyst at Cowen & Co. Blackledge estimates Amazon had 49 million prime members in August and subscription growth is accelerating.

Amazon has added free same-day delivery and two-hour delivery to Prime subscriptions, as well as food delivery in many cities, increasing the value of membership.

"Amazon keeps adding layers and is innovating at a faster pace than everyone, especially with Prime," Blackledge said. "Prime members have the Amazon app on the front screen of their smartphones. That definitely hurts Wal-Mart."

Alphabet Inc., owner of the Google search engine, can withstand the pressure from Amazon because its advertising revenue is diversified, including video ads on streaming site YouTube, said Ali Mogharabi, an analyst at Morningstar Investment Service.

"This trend has been taking place for the past four or five years and it has still not hurt Google search," he said.


Rising Pension Costs Hurt State, Employees

South Carolina’s 32,442 state employees are contributing more of their paychecks than ever to the state’s pension system, yet a deficit of $16.8 billion is projected to grow even more, representatives of state employee groups told lawmakers Tuesday.

The impact on paychecks, which aren't high to begin with, has gotten so big that teachers, police, parole and corrections officers are leaving their jobs in droves, according to many of those who testified.

“It’s not right to make state employees shoulder this burden,” said Carlton Washington, executive director of the S.C. State Employees Association. "Many are working for less now than when they first started working for the state.”

Testimony came at a hearing of a joint committee created by S.C. House Speaker Jay Lucas and Senate President Pro Tem Hugh Leatherman to hear about the magnitude of the problem and then propose solutions for the legislature to consider in the upcoming session.

Washington said lawmakers have approved increases in employee pension contribution rates each year since 2010-11, when it was 6 percent, to 8.66 percent this year. Further, he said cost-of-living increases for retirees have been cut from 2 percent in 2012 to 1 percent currently, and he's been told that is in danger of being eliminated altogether.

It’s not just employees who are struggling. Employers are also being required by the legislature to contribute more each year at the same amount, several officials said.

Harry Miley, financial officer for one of the state’s largest school systems, Richland School District 2, said rate increases in the past three years have cost his district $3 million. Without state funding for the increases, the only options are cutting programs or positions, or seeking local property tax increases.

With more money being taken from teachers’ paychecks, he said, morale, retention and recruitment are hurt.


Sheriff Warns of Phone Scam after Report

A report by a local senior citizne has led the Anderson County Sheriff's Office to issue a warning about giving out personal information over the telephone.

The citizen reportedly lost $2,000 to a scam artist claiming that a family member was in jail and money was needed to secure his release. The caller stated that he was an attorney working on behalf of her incarcerated relative.  He instructed her to purchase money cards and provide him with the card numbers, in order to pay the necessary jail fines.

This particular call appeared to be coming from a Montreal Canada exchange (438), but the caller could be using spoofing software to disguise his true location. The Sheriff’s Office would like to warn citizens to be extremely leery of this type of call.

“If you receive calls or emails that you suspect are fraudulent, please write down the phone number or email address and call us”, said Anderson County Sheriff John Skipper. “Do not give out your personal or financial information and do allow these thieves to take your money.  Do not become a victim!”


Gas Prices Expected to Fall Slowly after Pipeline Repair

Motorists will get relief at gas pumps as prices will gradually decrease since gas began re-flowing through Colonial Pipeline Line 1 last Wednesday, according to AAA.

The line was partially shut off Sept. 9, tightening gas supplies in six states including Georgia. During the shutdown, the state average for regular unleaded gas climbed 28 cents, AAA reported. Repairs were reportedly completed last Tuesday.

The state average is 2 cents lower since gas was restored to the line. As of Monday, $2.09 was the average price in South Carolina, according to AAA.

The average reportedly was $2.11 Saturday and $2.09 Sunday. 

“The reduction in pump prices are a good sign that supplies are reaching the areas most affected by the outage,” said Mark Jenkins, AAA spokesman. “It could take a couple of weeks, but prices should eventually return to levels seen before the leak, then fall in line with other states as they follow a downward trend through the rest of the year.”


Plan Would Bring Another Nuclear Dump to S.C.

A plan has surfaced to establish another nuclear waste disposal ground in South Carolina, a state with a history of taking atomic refuse from across the country.

An organization called the Spent Fuel Reprocessing Group wants federal approval to open a disposal area near Barnwell and the Savannah River Site nuclear weapons complex. Spent fuel, a type of highly radioactive waste, would be moved from the state’s four nuclear power plant sites and stored indefinitely at the new facility, records show.

The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission in July received notice of the plan. The proposal is a long way from becoming reality, but if eventually approved by the federal government, it would create a place for nuclear waste disposal that is likely to draw opposition.

Several environmental groups said this week they are preparing to fight any effort to create what they called an atomic waste dumping ground. Politicians, including Gov. Nikki Haley, also expressed reservations Monday.


The subject of nuclear waste disposal is a touchy one in South Carolina because many people say the state has shouldered more than its share of the nuclear waste burden.

South Carolina already stores highly radioactive material from around the country and world at the Savannah River Site. It also has a low-level waste dump in Barnwell County that was used for decades to bury nuclear garbage from power plants across the country. That site has leaked radioactive tritium into groundwater.

Now, the government is being asked to allow an interim disposal site for high-level nuclear waste from power plants in South Carolina. The site would be near the Barnwell low-level waste dump, environmentalists said Monday. The site would be considered an interim disposal ground that would hold the nuclear waste while the government figures out what to do with it in the long run.

“I’d like to learn more, but I’m sure there will be considerable concern,’’ state Rep. James Smith, D-Richland, said.

Contacted Monday, Haley’s office said: “South Carolina will not become a permanent dumping ground for nuclear waste regardless of where it would be housed or who would house it.”

Supporters of the disposal site plan could not be reached Monday. But records show enthusiastic support from the Spent Fuel Reprocessing Group.

A letter the group sent to the NRC said the disposal ground is needed to help power companies get rid of nuclear waste, which is created in the generation of electricity.

Duke Energy, which operates three of the four commercial nuclear plant sites in South Carolina, was not aware of the plan and declined comment. Attempts to reach SCE&G, which is building two new nuclear reactors at its Fairfield County power plant, were unsuccessful.

Mike Stake, a former president of the Aiken County Tea Party, submitted the proposal listing himself as president of the Spent Fuel Reprocessing Group. He was not available Monday for comment.



Clinton Calm, Trump Chaotic in First Debate

Donald Trump’s freewheeling approach spun wildly out of control in the first presidential debate as he was forced on the defensive during a chaotic clash with Hillary Clinton.

Goaded by Clinton and pressed hard by moderator Lester Holt, the Republican nominee angrily defended his record against charges of racism, sexism and tax avoidance for much of the 90-minute clash at Hofstra University, outside New York.

Trump hit Clinton on trade and her political record – issues that have helped him draw level in recent polls and may yet dominate the election – but the property tycoon appeared thin-skinned and under-prepared as he sniffled his way through the debate.

“It’s all words, it’s all soundbites,” he retorted after a particularly one-sided exchange, adding that Clinton was a “typical politician: all talk, no action”.

But the Democratic nominee seized on Trump’s meandering responses and apparent loss of focus as their long-anticipated clash wore on.

“Words matter when you run for president, and they really do matter when you are president,” said Clinton.

“I think Donald just criticized me for preparing for this debate. And yes I did. You know what else I did? I prepared to be president,” she added.

In her sharpest exchanges, the former secretary of state accused Trump of racism for questioning Barack Obama’s citizenship.

“He has a long record of engaging in racist behavior. And the birther lie was a very hurtful one,” said Clinton.

She also accused him of “stiffing thousands” of contractors by declaring bankruptcy as a businessman. And in a powerful closing argument she highlighted Trump’s record of sexism, noted that he had called women pigs and slobs and, in one case, called a beauty contest Miss Housekeeping “because she was Latina”.

In turn, Trump attacked Clinton’s suitability as president in blunt terms. “She doesn’t have the look and she doesn’t have the stamina,” he said. “I’ve been all over the place. You decided to stay home,” he added.

But after rattling off her record of visiting 112 countries in four years as secretary of state, Clinton shot back: “When Donald Trump spends 11 hours testifying in front of a congressional committee, he can talk to me about stamina.”

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Study: Riding Roller Coasters Can Dislodge Kidney Stones

Roller coasters could dislodge small kidney stones, according to a new study from Michigan State University.

The study was spurred by years of patients claiming a visit to an amusement park had helped them pass the stones. Urologists at Michigan State put together the study that appears in this month's Journal of the American Osteopathic Association.

"Imagine giving birth to a porcupine," says David Wartinger, professor emeritus at the Michigan State University College of Osteopathic Medicine, describing the experience of passing a kidney stone.

Kidney stones occur in about 1 out of every 11 people, making them a relatively common problem.

The stones form from a buildup of calcium and other minerals in the kidney and small stones -- less than 4 millimeters -- can pass thru the bladder and urethra easily, but larger stones can be extremely painful, sometimes requiring seeing a doctor.

The urologists highlighted a patient who claimed to have passed three stones after a ride on the Big Thunder Mountain Railroad coaster at Disneyland.

A medium-intensity ride like Big Thunder Mountain Railroad should do the trick, the urologists found. They also agreed with coaster aficionados that riding in the back gives the greatest affect, with an average passage rate of 63.89%.

Riding in the front provided only a 16.67 percentage passage rate.


S.C. Botanical Garden Plant Sale Oct. 7-8

The South Carolina Botanical Garden Fall Plant Sale is scheduled for Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. and Oct. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. The Friday sale will be open to members of Friends of the Garden, (memberships available at gate). The Saturday sale will be open to the public.

All sales will be held in the nursery section of the Botanical Garden, located at 154 Lacecap Loop.

Garden volunteers and staff have prepared a large variety of gardening materials for sale, including trees, shrubs, fruits and berries, grasses, bog plants, perennials, ferns, tropical plants and orchids. Many native plants and landscape plants grown from the garden plant collection will be available for purchase. The Children’s Garden will be offering chrysanthemums and pansies. New offerings for this sale are in the Southwestern Corner featuring plants that are heat- and drought-tolerant and tropical orchids from the garden’s collection.

“Our semi-annual plant sales each fall and spring are a major source of revenue for the South Carolina Botanical Garden,” said Jeanne Briggs, nursery manager of the garden. “Proceeds are used for special projects that would not be possible without income generated by the plant sales.”

Briggs also said the sale is an excellent educational opportunity for everyone interested in gardening. Horticulturists will be present to answer questions about the many hard-to-find plants available.

Garden staff, master gardeners and Clemson horticulture faculty will be available on both sale dates to assist with selection of plants. A catalog of plant material will be available online at the garden website before the sale. The catalog also will be available at the gate.

For information, contact Briggs at 864-656-3405,


Oct. 22 Airshow to Feature Super Hornet, Shockwave Truck

On Oct. 22 the skies over Anderson will ring with the Sound of Freedom as the U.S. Navy Tactical Demonstration Team’s “RHINO” F/A-18 SUPER HORNET takes off to headline the 2016 Anderson Regional Airshow.
Presented by Anderson County. the show will also feature the world-famous "Shockwave" Jet Truck, billed as the most powerful truck in the world. Capable of world-record speeds in excess of 375 miles per hour, Shockwave’s three J34-48 Pratt & Whitney Jet Engines and 36,000 total horsepower will offer an impressive display.
Both vehicles will serve as special backdrops for the 2016 show's salute to those who served in Vietnam.
The events will include a veterans walk and appearance by the Special Forces Association Parachute Team, featuring active duty and retired military parachute jumpers supported by current members of the Department of Defense.  The Army Aviation Heritage Foundation (AAHF) will perform a tactical demonstration using Vietnam-era UH-1H “Huey” & AH-1F “Cobra” helicopter.
The sculpture “Take Me Home Huey”, by artist Steve Maloney in partnership with Light Horse Legacy, will also be on display. Made from a boneyard Huey helicopter which was shot down with two casualties during a 1969 Medevac mission in Vietnam, “Take Me Home Huey” was created to promote healing and awareness of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.  In what is sure to be a very special Legacy moment, the three surviving members of the “Take Me Home Huey” crew will be reuniting at the airshow and flying together in a Huey for the first time since their chopper were shot down in Vietnam.
Other attractions will be available on the ground and in the air for spectators to enjoy, including the WWII-era “Tinker Bell” C-46 Commando.
Admission is free and the public is invited. Gates will open at 10 a.m. with the show kicking off at 1 p.m. Parking is free but limited, so attendees are encouraged to arrive early.  Acts and schedules are subject to change, so check for changes by visiting webthe site: 

Homeland Park Church Bus Crash Injures 12

UPDATE: All but four of the accident victims have been released from the hospital. The four were kept overnight to monitor bleeding issues.

Twelve people were hospitalized after a crash involving a church bus on I-85 South near mile marker 9 Monday morning, according to troopers

I-85 South was shut down at mile marker 11 due to the crash, which happened just before 10 a.m. Traffic was moving slowly in the area by 11:30 a.m. and traffic was still backed up as of 1 p.m.

At 1:30 p.m. troopers said both southbound lanes would likely be closed for an hour as tow trucks removed the wrecked vehicles and encouraged drivers to use the following detour:

Exit 11 to Highway 24 to Highway 243 and then back onto I-85 South at Exit 4.

Troopers said the crash involved a church bus and a pickup truck. The church bus overturned.

All twelve people on board the bus, including the driver, were taken from the crash scene by ambulance. Emergency dispatchers said four patients were in critical condition.

Troopers said the driver of the pickup was not hurt.

The bus was carrying members from Homeland Park Baptist Church's senior citizen group. 

The group was heading to  Unicoi State Park and Helen, GA on Monday morning.


100 Million Expected to Watch Debate

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump will face off for the first time on Monday in a presidential debate that could rank as one of the most watched and highly anticipated political showdowns in U.S. history.

The tight race for the White House and the unpredictable clash in styles between well-known but polarizing foes has generated wide interest in the potentially pivotal encounter, which comes six weeks before the Nov. 8 election.

The size of the television-viewing audience is expected to challenge the presidential debate record of 80 million who watched the 1980 encounter between Democratic President Jimmy Carter and Republican Ronald Reagan.

The 90-minute debate will begin at 9 p.m. (0100 GMT on Tuesday) at Hofstra University on New York's Long Island. It is the first of three planned presidential debates.

Both Trump and Clinton, who polls show are the least liked White House candidates in modern history, hope to use the debate to erase lingering voter doubts and address campaign-trail weaknesses.

The volatile Trump, a New York businessman and former reality television star, will get a chance to show a depth and steadiness worthy of a credible commander in chief, while the cautious Clinton will be able to try to connect directly with voters who do not trust her, strategists said.

But Trump, a political newcomer who has often shown more affinity for putdowns than policy, could benefit from lower expectations from voters.

"There is no question it's a lower bar for Trump," said Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist who is now a political scientist at the University of Southern California. "He doesn't have to be brilliant, he just can't be too bombastic."

The stakes are enormous. The debate comes as polls show Clinton's once sizable lead over Trump has evaporated amid more questions about her family foundation and her use of a private email server while secretary of state under President Barack Obama.

A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Monday showed half of America's likely voters would rely on the debates to help them make their choice. More than half, 61 percent, were hoping for a civil debate and were not interested in the bitterness shown on the campaign trail.

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