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Friday Last Day to Sign Up at

SALEM — Friday is the last day to get 2018 health insurance during open enrollment.

Oregonians who do not get coverage through their job or another program should go to and choose a plan before time runs out. is the only place to get help paying for coverage.

“People who need coverage and haven’t enrolled at could be leaving money on the table,” said Chiqui Flowers, administrator of the Oregon Health Insurance Marketplace. “They should go to by Friday and see if they qualify for financial assistance.”

In 2017, more than 70 percent of Oregonians using qualified for financial assistance, and they received an average of $346 per month to help pay for coverage. This year, individuals making less than about $48,000 annually or families of four making less than about $98,000 annually may qualify.

A recent analysis estimated that many Oregonians who were eligible to use and receive financial assistance did not enroll last year, including more than 78,000 men and more than 33,000 people ages 25 to 34.

“Enrollment this year has been strong so far, but as the deadline approaches, it’s essential to take action if you need coverage or, if you’ve already signed up, remind your friends and family that it’s time to enroll and see if they can get help paying for coverage,” Flowers said.

To start shopping for plans, visit or call 1-800-318-2596 (TTY: 1-855-889-4325).

After the Dec. 15 deadline, people will be able to get 2018 coverage only in special circumstances, like when they move or lose job-related coverage.


Doug Jones Elected Alabama's New Senator

Dec. 12 (UPI) -- Doug Jones on Tuesday narrowly won Alabama's tightly contested race over controversial Republican Roy Moore -- becoming the state's first Democrat elected to the Senate in a quarter-century.

Jones topped Moore by about 1 percent of the vote.

"Thank you ALABAMA!!" Jones wrote on Twitter following the win.

In his victory speech, Jones said Alabama has "shown the country the way, that we can be unified."

"I have always believed that the people of Alabama have more in common than divides us," he said.

Jones' victory narrows the Republican Senate majority to 51-49 -- meaning the upper chamber could switch majorities after next year's midterm elections. No Democrat from Alabama had been elected to the U.S. Senate since 1992.

Moore refused to concede the race, with Jones leading by about 20,000 votes with virtually all the votes counted, according to NBC News.

"When the vote is this close, it's not over," Moore said at his election night rally. "Part of the problem with this campaign is that we've been painted in an unfavorable and unfaithful light. We've been put in a hole."


Creator of Bible App Reveals Most Popular Scripture of 2017

In 2017, more people than ever read, listened, reflected and shared the Word of God, according to the popular YouVersion Bible App. But what was this year's most popular scripture passage?

The Bible verse that was shared, bookmarked and highlighted most often by the global Bible App community during 2017 is Joshua 1:9, which reads, "This is my command — be strong and courageous! Do not be afraid or discouraged. For the Lord your God is with you wherever you go."

However, the report says that in the United States, this year's most popular verse was Romans 8:28: "And we know that in all things, God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose."

Created in 2008 as one of the 200 apps available in the iPhone app store, the YouVersion Bible App has now reached the 295 million download mark.

On average, 1.4 people installed the app and 10.8 verses were shared each second of every day in 2017.

"We believe the Bible is an enduring source of courage and strength," YouVersion founder and Life.Church Pastor Bobby Gruenewald said in a statement to Faithwire. "We are encouraged to see from this year's data that people all over the world are finding hope in God's Word."

He added, "In recent years, technology has made it possible to accelerate Bible translation like never before. There's incredible momentum around this effort that we know won't stop until every person has Scripture available in their heart language."


Meals on Wheels Anderson to Benefit from Subaru Charity Event

Meals on Wheels-Anderson is proud to announce that it is participating in the tenth annual "Subaru Share the Love Event" as a member of Meals on Wheels America – one of four national "Share the Love" charitable partners. Now until January 2, Subaru will donate $250 for every new Subaru sold or leased to the customer’s choice of participating charity. Meals on Wheels-Anderson, will receive a share of the revenue raised by Subaru in their state. 

"It is part of our culture at Subaru to support causes important to our employees, retailers and owners and we are proud to have continued that tradition for ten consecutive years," said Alan Bethke, senior vice president of marketing, Subaru of America Inc. "Through the Share the Love event, we are excited to continue our commitment to support our national and hometown charity partners and aim to donate $115 million in total by the end of this year's campaign."

By purchasing or leasing a new Subaru during the Event and selecting Meals on Wheels America as your charity of choice, you can help deliver nutritious meals and other important services to the elderly and disabled right here in Anderson County.

For more information, visit To find out how you can support Meals on Wheels-Anderson financially or as a volunteer for the program, call 864-225-6800 or visit


Green Pond Books Another Bass Championship for 2018

The 2018 American Couples Series National Championship, presented by American Bass Anglers, will be hosted by the Anderson Convention & Visitors Bureau on Sept. 16-21, 2018 at Green Pond Landing and Event Center.

“We are so excited about the opportunity to have the ABA Couples Championship back in Anderson County, Green Pond Landing and Lake Hartwell after hosting them in October 2016," said Neil Paul, Executive Director of Visit Anderson. "In hosting the Couples Championship, we found that the participants traveled to Anderson and made a significant economic impact to our community in addition to being able to enjoy our great facilities and our championship lake. "

 The event will be open to couples that have competed in four, one-day events. These couples will be competing for the first-place prize of $4000, and bragging rights for the year. 

“Returning to Lake Hartwell is always a pleasure and our Couples love the fishing and the community support," said Morris Sheehan, President of American Bass Anglers. "Anderson County is the most angler friendly of any host community we have been associated with, their support for the fishermen is second to none.” 

For more information on this tournament, call ABA at 256-232-0406 or visit



Utility Offers to Give S.C. Failed and Unfinished Nuclear Site

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The parent company of South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. is offering the site of a failed nuclear reactor project to the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

The State newspaper reported SCANA proposed giving the Fairfield County site to Santee Cooper so the project could be preserved and perhaps finished later.

SCE&G and Santee Cooper abandoned the effort July 31 after spending more than $9 billion.

The newspaper said choosing not to preserve the site is part of SCANA's strategy to show it has abandoned the effort and deserves a $2 billion tax write-off.

Santee Cooper worries that accepting ownership of the site would stick its customers with the full cost of maintaining the site. Santee Cooper doesn't like a provision to prevent it from suing SCANA over the failed project.


Haley: Women Accusers Should Speak Up; Even When Accusing Trump

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley said on Sunday she believes any woman who has felt violated or mistreated by a man has every right to speak up, even if it is President Donald Trump they are accusing. 

United States ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley addresses the U.N. Security Council meeting on the situation in the Middle East, including the Palestine, at the United Nations Headquarters in New York, U.S., December 8, 2017. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

Accusations of inappropriate sexual behavior or misconduct have led to the resignations of three members of Congress this month. The growing wave of women reporting abuse or misconduct has brought down powerful men from Hollywood to Washington, from movie producer Harvey Weinstein to popular television personality Matt Lauer. 

More than 10 women have accused Donald Trump of sexual misconduct before he was president, and Trump, while filming a segment of the television program “Access Hollywood,” said he has kissed and groped women. The tape emerged during the 2016 presidential campaign. 

Haley, discussing a cultural shift of women coming forward on the CBS “Face the Nation” program, applauded women who have come forward: “I‘m proud of their strength. I‘m proud of their courage.” 

Asked how people should assess the accusers of the president, Haley said, it was “the same thing.” 

“Women who accuse anyone should be heard. They should be heard and they should be dealt with, and I think we heard them prior to the election,” she said. “I think any woman who has felt violated or felt mistreated in any way - they have every right to speak up.” 

Whether Trump’s election settled the matter was “for the people to decide,” Haley said. 

“I know that he was elected but women should always feel comfortable coming forward and we should all be willing to listen to them.”


Legislative Delegation Approves $350,000 for Green Pond

The Anderson County Legislative Delegation has endorsed a request from Anderson County for $350,000 in funding through the State’s Water Recreation Resource Fund for infrastructure improvements at the Green Pond Landing and Event Center on Lake Hartwell.

The site of the upcoming 2018 Geico Bassmaster Classic, Green Pond Landing has hosted 15 major fishing tournaments since opening as a tournament facility in Feb. 2015.  The events have generated an economic impact in excess of $27 million and attracted more than 16,000 participants and attendees. 

Green Pond Landing also serves as a free-to-the-public lake access facility open to boaters and visitors year-round.  Thousands of boaters from across the region visit Green Pond each year, primarily due to the quality of its facilities and easy access to I-85.


Big Green Pond Landing Boat Ramp Closing for Upgrade

Beginning Sunday, Green Pond Landing & Event Center's 3-lane boat ramp and hillside truck/trailer parking area will be closed for a 3-month facility expansion project.

The boat ramp will remain closed to the public until March 9, only opening for three scheduled angling tournaments: January 6, February 10, and 18. However, the pre-existing single-lane boat ramp at Green Pond Landing with 20-count truck/trailer parking spaces will remain open to the public throughout the construction period.

"Anderson County appreciates the community's patience during this temporary closure, and encourages visitors to come to the spectator lot and watch the progress; there will be some impressive activity," said Matt Schell, director of the Anderson County Parks Department.

The upgraded Green Pond Landing will reopen prior to the 2018 Geico Bassmaster Classic scheduled for March 16 – 18 as well as a feature is an additional 350 linear feet of floating courtesy dock.  The increased dock space will allow the full field of 52 professional anglers to tie-up simultaneously prior to launch.  This will also relieve day-to-day stress at the ramp and create a bookend-type safe zone for launching and trailering boats.

"We can feel the positive impact on the community, state, and region from here in Columbia South Carolina."  He went on to say "we were all excited at the opportunity help improve Green Pond Landing and invite everyone to come out and enjoy Lake Hartwell, the Classic, as well as the ever-growing lakefront park."

This large expansion project is made possible by the dedicated and continued partnership of South Carolina Department of Natural Resources, who endorsed and submitted for the sizable federal boating access dollars.

"We can feel the positive impact on the community, state, and region from here in Columbia South Carolina, said Capt. Robert McCullough, of the South Carolina Department of Natural Resources. 


Tips and Tricks to Keep Your Christmas Tree Fresh

CLEMSON — With the countdown to Christmas upon us, don’t let the clock run out on your tree before the big day arrives.

While traditions vary, no matter when or where your family gets its Christmas tree, there are tricks to ensure it stays fresh and green throughout the holiday season, Clemson University Cooperative Extension Christmas tree agent Mark Arena says.

First, pay attention to the cut of the tree. Pre-cut trees need at least an inch cut off the base after purchase to create a fresh cut that will allow the tree to take water.

“When you get a fresh-cut tree, they’re going to cut the tree fresh off the trunk and they’re going to place it in your car,” said Arena. “Within an hour, you should get the tree home, in the stand and fill the stand with water, and keep the water in the stand constantly full. The difference between getting a fresh-cut tree and a pre-cut tree is the length we cut off the base. With a pre-cut tree that you get at a large box store or a Christmas tree farm, you want to take at least an inch off the base and create a fresh cut that will be able to take up the water.”

Next, make sure to have a stand large enough to hold at least a gallon of water and check the water level every 24 hours.

Many stores and tree farms, such as the one Clemson University emeritus faculty member George Kessler has operated near Six Mile since 1971, offer stands in one-, two- and three-gallon models, depending on the size of your tree.

“One of the things we emphasize is to make sure they get the tree promptly in water once they leave this place,” Kessler said. “We tell them they have one hour to have the tree back in water, and if it’s not back in water in that time, they need to re-cut it themselves.”

Additives such as sugar, soda or baking soda don’t enhance the life of a tree. Water is the key.

“The best thing you can do is keep the water base full and let the tree take that fresh water up and over time the tree is actually going to slow down on that water uptake,” Arena said. “So just make sure you keep the water at the bottom of the base and that’s the best thing you can do.”

After buying a tree, take steps to make it as clean as possible prior to bringing it into your house. Many farms offer a vibrating mechanism to remove dead needles. Too many dead needles, however, is a bad sign.

“A simple way to check and see how fresh the tree is, is to bump it on the ground or sidewalk,” Kessler said. “If you get a bunch of needles shedding out of the tree when you do that, you probably better look for another tree.”

Once a tree is cut, it will regulate the amount of water it can take up its base on its own. No need to worry about overwatering.

“The natural sap in the tree will start to close the cells that take up the water,” Arena said. “So watering it through the base of the tree I don’t see how one could overwater it. Some people do get out a misting bottle or a hose and they wet down the trees. There’s not really much water uptake through the foliage once the tree is cut, so we don’t recommend that method, especially if you have electrical cords or other electrical objects on the tree. It’s just not really a safe thing to do: put water with electricity.”

Make sure to keep the tree away from other heat sources, too.

“We also tell customers they need to keep it in a place in the home that is away from ducts, fireplaces and wood stoves,” Kessler said. “The other thing we tell them is to make sure they’re using proper electrical equipment around the trees, something that doesn’t have any shorts. I know a lot of people worry about fires with Christmas trees, but in reality, if you keep it fresh, you’re not going to have a problem with fire.”

If you’ve waited later in the season, trees growing in the ground are more likely to still be fresh; pre-cut trees may not take on water even after making a fresh cut.

“Look for a healthy tree; all the Christmas tree farmers in South Carolina are growing trees in the ground,” Arena said. “That’s my preference because it’s a healthier tree and a local tree and they tend to do better. Just look at the tree and be happy with it. With a Christmas tree, everybody has a different taste and appeal about what they think is a pretty tree.”

For those looking for a local farm, the South Carolina Christmas Tree Association offers a free search engine to find farms within a 50-mile radius by entering your zip code at

“That’s a great resource to find out where the local people are who are selling trees, and I encourage you to buy from the farmers who are putting a lot of hard work and energy into these trees and support our local businesses,” Arena said.

While many municipalities offer pickup service after the Christmas season has passed, there are always plenty of other opportunities for recycling your tree.

“Another option is that wildlife organizations are always looking for trees to make dens for small animals and also for putting in lakes (for fish habitat) and things of this nature,” Kessler said. “Another interesting thing you can do is to take it outside and kind of use it as a bird feeder for a couple of months or until spring comes. It gives the family the chance to still see their tree in use in some fashion right around their house.”



Anderson Buys TTI S.C. 28 Facility, Pickens TTI Site

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Anderson County announced today that it has acquired the Techtronic Industries (TTI) sites in Anderson and Pickens counties.

Both sites were purchased for $9 million with grant funds received from the State of South Carolina. The state has provided an additional $1 million dollars for the creation of a “soft landing zone” at the Anderson facility Pearman Dairy Road.

The Anderson location, which features 535,000 square feet of usable space, will be used to provide new industries with a "soft landing zone," a place to train and begin operations before their buildings are constructed. The goal is to expedite new job creation and allow industries to get up and running faster.

The space will also consolodate a number of county agencies, including the Anderson County Public Works Division, which currently is in an aging structure with insufficient room for all operations.

TTI will leave all furniture and offices “as is” so that as TTI moves out, county operations can move in. This process will occur in phases over the next two years. The county will continue to consolidate its operations at the Pearman Dairy Road facility over time. The Historic Courthouse and the courthouse annex will not be included in this consolidation.

"These initiatives will provide an enormous boost to our local economic development strategy, giving Anderson County a distinct advantage in recruiting tomorrow’s industries to our county and enhancing the county’s efforts to sustain, accelerate, and diversify our local economy," said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn. 

One of the intial projects at the Anderson site is a state-of-the-art materials lab that will develop research and materials with worldwide implications. All of the companies are internationally-based start-up companies.

While TTI will not completely vacate the sites until the end of 2019, Tri-County Technical College Economic Development and Government Relations Director Dan Cooper said part of the facility will be available by the summer of 2018 to begin the incubator facility.

"The purchase also gives us a substantial amount of frontage property on S.C. 28 which can be used for ecnonomic development," said Anderson County Adminstrator Rusty Burns

Plans for the Pickens location are under review with several options under consideration. The Pickens TTI complex covers 95.31 acres with 480,000 square feet under roof.

"We already have significant intertest from a number of industries for the Pickens site," Burns said.   

In December of 2016, TTI announced Thursday announced plans to create more than 250 new jobs in Anderson, with an average salary of $60,000 per year, as part of an additional $75 million investment in the facility near the intersection of Interstate 85 and S.C. 81. 

TTI is building two new buildings on the site, including a $70 million To house a 300,000-square-foot Innovation Centerbuilding visible from I-85 ,and a $5 million testing facility.


"Significant" Economic Development Announcement Today

According to the Anderson County office of public information, a "significant" economic development announcement is scheduled this morning in the lobby of the Techtronic Industries Power Equipment, Inc. (TTI) facility on Pearman Dairy Road at 11:00 a.m. today. 



America Remembers Pearl Harbor Day

Today marks the 76th anniversary of the attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, which led the United States to enter the Second World War. A series of invasions by the Japanese into China and rising tension with the U.S. made conflict between the two countries “inevitable” but American military forces did not expect that Pearl Harbor, 4,000 miles from Japan and 2,000 miles from the U.S. mainland, would be targeted.

Pearl Harbor: Date and time of attack

The Japanese attacked the U.S. Naval base in Hawaii on December 7, 1941. The assault took American forces by surprise early in the morning. The first wave of Japanese fighters fired on the island at 7:55 a.m. Hawaiian time and five additional attacks followed throughout the day, until 9 p.m.

Defenders of the military base were caught unprepared as they expected any attack, if one occurred, would come from the sea rather than the air.

How many people died during the Pearl Harbor attack?

More than 2,400 Americans sailors, soldiers, and civilians died during the attack and another 1,000 were wounded.

Few of the veterans who experienced the attack are still alive. On this anniversary, two men will be awarded medals posthumously for their bravery in saving the lives of fellow sailors in 1941. The late Lt.j.g Aloysius Schmitt, the Navy chaplain who sacrificed his life to save his shipmates, will receive the Silver Star. The remains of Schmitt, chaplain on the USS Oklahoma, were identified last year using DNA evidence. Chief Boatswain's Mate Joseph George of the USS Vestal, who died in 1996, will receive the Bronze Star for saving the lives of several sailors aboard the USS Arizona.

Ira “Ike” Schab, 97, is the lone survivor of Navy Band Unit 13. He was a 21-year-old tuba player when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor and he returns there whenever possible.

"I feel I have a duty to go back. At least to, you know, talk to the guys. I go back to that memorial and I'll sit there and I'm having conversations with them,” he told The Oregonian.

How many ships were sunk in the Pearl Harbor attack?

Nearly 20 American naval vessels were destroyed in the attack, including eight massive battleships. More than 300 airplanes were also lost.

Japanese forces did not target the most important vessels in the U.S. Pacific Fleet, aircraft carriers which were all away from the base on December 7, or vital facilities like oil storage depots, repair shops, and shipyards. This made recovery easier for the U.S. Navy after the attack.

Earlier this week, a crew of researchers explored the wreckage of the USS Ward, the first U.S. ship that fired on the Japanese vessels during the Pearl Harbor attack. The ship has remained unseen at the bottom of the Ormoc Bay in the Philippines since it was destroyed by a kamikaze plane in 1944.

The U.S. response to the Pearl Harbor attack

President Franklin D. Roosevelt addressed the nation at a joint session of Congress the next day calling December 7 “a date which will live in infamy” and called on legislators to approve a declaration of war against Japan.

In the wake of the attack, prejudice-fueled rumors spread about Japanese-Americans sabotaging the war effort. Many American media outlets, including Fortune, painted a racist picture of the enemy as well as Japanese immigrants and their American-born children living in the U.S.. Time magazine published “How to Tell Your Friends from the Japs” two weeks after the Pearl Harbor attack, outlining the differences between stereotypes of Chinese and Japanese people.

The New York Times also contributed to anti-Japanese rhetoric, explaining how the Japanese “have kept their savage tradition 'unbroken through ages eternal,’ from the fabulous age of their savage gods to the present day," as did Newsweekand the Los Angeles Times.

Hollywood also participated in the response with films—such as those by director Frank Capra, who is known for It’s a Wonderful Life and Mr. Smith Goes to Washington—that included racist anti-Japanese propaganda despite being presented as documentaries.

Two months after the attack, President Roosevelt signed Executive Order 9066, which initiated an evacuation of all Japanese-Americans from the West Coast of the U.S. This resulted in the creation of internment camps across the country where approximately 120,000 people, many American citizens, were held for years during World War II in a serious violation of their civil liberties.