Expanded County Fair to Bring Back Agriculture Exhibits

On Monday, organizers announced the line up for the 2013 Great Anderson County Fair during a press conference at the Civic Center. The 2013 Great Anderson County Fair will take place from April 30 through May 5 at the Civic Center of Anderson. 

Nightly concerts will take place in the William A. Floyd Amphitheater and include the Piedmont Boys & Old Southern Moonshine Revival, Ross Coppley & Randy Houser, Outshyne & Colt Ford, Midnight Special, and Stool Pigeon & 38 Special. Fair-goers will also enjoy a variety of shows including Eudora Farms Exotic Petting Zoo, Sea Lion Splash Show, Rowdy Rooster Puppet Show, Brian Ruth’s “Master of the Chainsaw”, Horses! Horses! Horses!, and the Great James H. Drew Midway.

This year’s fair will bring back an Agricultural component. Organizers have partnered with Clemson Extension, 4-H and the USDA to plan the agriculture future for the Great Anderson County Fair.  Plans are underway for themed nights with shows/demonstrations and quick hands-on activities for youth at the Anderson County 4-H and Youth Development Tent. Planned themes include: Rabbit Show/Demonstration, Poultry Show/Embryology, Gardening/4-H Vegetable Gardening Project KickOff, Health Lifestyles/Cooking Contests, Shooting Sports Trailer/Program promotion, and a Dog Show/Demonstration. Letters have been sent to superintendents from all 5 school districts, inviting Kindergarten through 5th grade student classes to Kid’s Activity Day on May 1.


“Recognized as one of three exciting new fairs by the South Carolina Association of Fairs during their 2013 Annual Convention held in Atlanta, Georgia, the Great Anderson County Fair has a bright future,” said Anderson County Councilman Tommy Dunn. “We are excited that the organizers are working to bring back 


Agriculture as a component of the 2013 Fair. Through partnerships with the Clemson Extension, 4-H Programs and the USDA, Anderson County will once again have a Fair that demonstrates our rich agricultural history as well as provides a place for entertainment and fun.”


“We are amazed by how all parties involved came together in 2012 to put on a first class fair for the residents of Anderson County,” said Tod Miller of JRM Management and 2013 SC/GA Fairman of the Year. “It usually takes four to five years to grow an event to this size and level of quality. It was a true partnership between the Drew exposition, Anderson County of Anderson and the friends of the Fair committee to pull off such an event. I expect even greater developments in the future.” Mr. Miller and Jimmy Drew of Drew Exposition made a presentation regarding fair/carnival relationships during the 2012 Georgia/South Carolina Association of Fairs Annual Convention, held in Atlanta, Georgia.

Bill Hall, General Manager of Anderson Ford Mazda stated, “As the Presenting Sponsor for the 2012 Great Anderson County Fair, I can say that the organization and experience was wonderful.  The Fair allowed us to present our vehicles and our dealership to more than 50,000 people and our business is still reaping the benefits of that a year later.  As a group they exceeded my expectations in the placement of our tent and our vehicles to maximize our exposure to the general public.  I plan on being a sponsor again this year and for many years to come.”

“We are grateful to Anderson County, Anderson Ford Mazda and our title sponsor, Camping World for their tremendous support of this endeavor,” said Ray Bianco, Chief Organizer of the Great Anderson County Fair. “Fair-goers supported us in 2012 and judging from our website and Facebook pages, we are expecting even more buzz this year. I would invite everyone to come out and support our efforts to grow the Great Anderson County Fair into a unique event that more than meets the expectations of Anderson County residents and visitors.”

Visit www.thegreatandersoncountyfair.com for more information.


Meals on Wheels Spaghetti Fundraiser Thursday

The Meals on Wheels-Anderson Spaghetti Fundraiser is scheduled for Thursday, with lunch from  11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. & dinner from 5 to 7:30 p.m. Dine in or take out.

Tickets: $8 Adults; $4 Child (12 and under). Delivery available for 10 or more orders to one location. Delivery orders must be placed by noon March 19. To place an order, contact April Cameron at: 225-6800 or april@acmow.org


S.C. Veterinarians Say Shelters Hurting Business

Veterinarians in South Carolina want state lawmakers to rescue them – from animal shelters they say are taking away their business.

The shelters, which not only spay or neuter feral animals, but also provide heartworm tests and dental care, have animal doctors up in arms. They claim the issue is the standard of care, as well as the fact that the shelters are paid with taxpayer funds and donations.

“Donor-subsidized care should not mean substandard care for people who go to a humane society or shelter to adopt a pet,” said Patricia Hill, president of the South Carolina Veterinarians Association.

A bill making its way through the state Legislature would limit care animal shelters can offer to homeless animals or pets. Animal welfare advocates say the veterinarians are putting their business ahead of the pets they mend. 

“When we take an animal into our facility, we try to meet any needs that they have while we have them under anesthesia,” Denise Wilkinson , CEO of Pawmetto Lifeline, told FoxNews.com. “If they have a tumor, if they have an issue with their eyes, we try to take care of those issues.

“If they come to us because we have a more affordable rate, then so be it,” added Wilkinson.

Read more: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2013/03/18/south-carolina-veterinarians-say-their-business-is-being-neutered-by-shelters/#ixzz2NvMeu5t7


USA Today: Most Get News from Online Newspapers, Sources

Nearly one in three consumers has stopped reading or watching a news outlet because it reduced coverage, according to a report released Monday by Pew Research Center.

Facing falling advertising revenue and increased competition from smaller, nimbler online news sites, traditional media organizations are slashing payrolls and turning to other cost-saving measures that weaken their news coverage, says Pew's 10th annual report on the health and status of American journalism.

On local television, news stories have shrunk in length and audiences were down across every key time slot in 2012, the report says. Coverage of government has been cut in half compared with 2005. Sports, weather and traffic account for 40% of the content.

Cable news stations' coverage of live events fell 30% from 2007 to 2012. Interview segments, which are cheaper to produce, were up 31%.

News magazines' influence also is waning, as Newsweek ended its print edition andTime cut about 5% of staff in early 2013 as a part of broader company layoffs.

And newspapers' reach is shrinking, too. Using estimates for newsroom cutbacks in 2012, the report says newspaper employment has fallen 30% since its peak in 2000 and below 40,000 employees for the first time since 1978.

"There are all sorts of contributors in the evolving landscape of news and, in many ways, more opportunities for citizens to access information," says Amy Mitchell, acting director of the Pew Research Center's Project for Excellence in Journalism. "But there are more signs than ever that the reduced reporting power in the news industry is having an effect and may weaken both the industry's capacity to produce in-depth journalism and its credibility with the public."

Full Story Here


S.C. Unemployment Up in January

South Carolina's unemployment rate continued to creep upward in January, state officials announced Monday.

The state's jobless rate was 8.7 percent in January, according to the Department of Employment and Workforce. That's up from a revised rate of 8.6 percent in December and 0.4 percent higher than one year ago.

The national jobless rate also increased slightly in January, from 7.8 percent in December to 7.9 percent, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. South Carolina's unemployment was tied with Georgia for the nation's ninth-highest unemployment. California and Rhode Island tied for the country's highest jobless rates, at 9.8 percent.

In South Carolina, trade and transportation sectors marked 9,600 in job losses in January. Government employment also dropped by 8,500 jobs, a loss the agency said was expected because of seasonal layoffs and the closing of schools between semesters.

Professional and business services, education and health services and leisure hospitality jobs fell by a combined total of 12,700. The information sector was the only segment of South Carolina's economy to add jobs in January, with 600 additional positions.

The state's peak unemployment rate was 12 percent in November 2009.

Unemployment was up in all but two of South Carolina's 46 counties. Marion County had the state's highest jobless rate at 19.2 percent, while unemployment was lowest in Lexington County at 6.8 percent.

Workforce officials said they planned to release information about South Carolina's February unemployment figures later this month. The director of South Carolina's unemployment agency resigned earlier this year following weeks of criticism from legislators about the ending of one-on-one help at rural offices. Abraham Turner's resignation came a day after senators demanded answers for why the agency, since August, has given 69 employees raises totaling nearly $440,000, but is cutting one-on-one help for people seeking benefits in 17 rural offices statewide.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/news/article/SC-unemployment-up-slightly-in-January-4363572.php#ixzz2NvN8UM6c


Reassessment, New Business on Council Agenda Tuesday

Reassessment and a tax free structure proposal for a new business are on the Anderson County Council's agenda for Tuesday night at 6 p.m. in the historic courthouse downtown.

The full agenda packet, which includes two public hearings, can be found here. 


S.C. Lawmakers Fast Tracking Bills

It took the state Senate five weeks last year to debate and pass a bill restructuring state government – a bill that ended up dying, in the Senate, on the last day of the legislative session.

This year, the Senate passed government restructuring in just a week. In fact, the Senate – known as the General Assembly’s “deliberative body” – has been on a roll, approving 41 bills through March 12, according to the Senate’s records. That’s 16 more bills than the Senate passed through March 12, 2011, which, like 2013, was the first year of a two-year legislative session.

What’s behind the newfound sense of urgency?

Leaders say they want to ensure the Senate is not tagged as “dysfunctional,” like the U.S. Congress. And, they add, the Senate’s loss of some “obstructionist” members, who retired or were defeated last fall, also has helped.

The Senate has worked so fast that it has decided to give itself a two-week, mid-session unpaid vacation. That’s something the S.C. House traditionally does every year but the Senate rarely has participated in, as it tried to catch up on its work.

“We’ve earned this,” Senate President Pro Tempore John Courson, R-Richland, told the Senate just before it voted earlier this month.

In addition to government restructuring, the Senate this year has passed:

• A bill outlawing sweepstakes machines, which many compare to video poker. The highly polarized issue is championed by well-paid lobbyists, once making it ripe for delay, but not this year.

• A bill changing how candidates file for office, addressing last year’s election debacle that saw nearly 250 candidates kicked off the ballot. The Senate tried, but failed, to pass similar legislation last year so the disqualified candidates could be put back on the ballot. This year, the proposal passed in the first two weeks of the legislative session.

• A bill allowing nonprofits, including churches, to hold raffles. Former state Sen. Glenn McConnell, R-Charleston, unsuccessfully tried to pass the bill for years. This year? The Senate passed it in the session’s first two weeks as McConnell, now lieutenant governor, watched from the Senate’s podium.

• A bill to allow early voting in the days before an election, an issue that spent last year in legislative limbo

Courson jokes the Senate is becoming “a racetrack.” But both he and Senate Minority Leader Nikki Setzler, D-Lexington, say the famously slow Senate has worked faster this year because it doesn’t want to be compared to the U.S. Congress, which has historically low approval ratings after not acting to avert budget cuts, known as “sequestration.”


Pope Says Jesus, not Pope, Head of Church

The newly elected pope addressed the media for the first time on Saturday, reminding Catholics that Jesus, not the pope, is at the center of the Church, which he said should be "poor, and for the poor." The pontiff also explained his choice of the name Francis.

There were about 5,000 reporters from more than 80 countries at the Paul VI hall at the Vatican when Pope Francis said Catholics should remember that Jesus, not the pope, is the center of the Church.

Cardinal Jorge Mario Bergoglio from Argentina chose Francis to be his papal name because St. Francis of Assisi is "the man who gives us this spirit of peace, the poor man," explained the only Jesuit and first Latin American to be chosen as leader of the Roman Catholic Church. "Oh, how I would like a poor Church, and for the poor," he added.

St. Francis, who died in 1226, renounced his family's fortune for a life of charity and poverty.

Pope Francis is also known for his simplicity. In Argentina, where he was archbishop, he lived in a simple apartment, cooked his own meals and used public transport to go to work.

When the election results became clear on Wednesday, Cardinal Claudio Hummes of Brazil, who was sitting next to Bergoglio, hugged and kissed him and told him, "Don't forget the poor," Reuters quoted the pope as recalling. "And that's how in my heart came the name Francis of Assisi," he said. "I thought of wars .... and Francis (of Assisi) is the man of peace, and that is how the name entered my heart, Francis of Assisi, for me he is the man of poverty, the man of peace, the man who loves and protects others."

St. Francis is also revered by environmentalists because he loved nature and preached to animals. "Right now, we don't have a very good relation with creation," the pope said.

Pope Francis also thanked the journalists for covering his election, and said they should "always try to better understand the true nature of the Church, and even its journey in the world, with its virtues and with its sins." He urged them to seek "truth, goodness and beauty" in the world and in the Church.

The pope, who demonstrates people's skills and pastoral care for the people, smiled often while speaking. He joked as well. "You have been working hard, eh?" he told the journalists. The delighted reaction was immediate.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/pope-francis-jesus-not-pope-at-the-center-of-the-church-92023/#lfUFbS8XEdLXqZZI.99 


The State: Bill Would Stop Doctors from Discussing Guns

COLUMBIA - Some 57 House lawmakers have signed on to a bill that would make it illegal for doctors to discuss gun safety with their patients.

The bill has stunned some doctors, especially pediatricians, who say they do talk with patients about safety steps to be taken when there’s a gun in the household, to make sure a child isn’t accidentally shot. Besides, they say, they are guaranteed free speech under the First Amendment, just as gun owners have gun rights under the Second Amendment.

“They (gun rights supporters) are trying to get Big Government to come in and dictate what we can and cannot say, while at the same time, they are trying to tell Big Government to stay out of their right to own guns,” said Dr. Deborah Greenhouse, a Columbia pediatrician who is president of the S.C. Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.

In the past 10 years, Greenhouse said, two children who were patients of her pediatric group’s practice were killed in home gun accidents that might have been prevented if more safety procedures had been in place. Since then, she said, she has made it a point to ask patients if guns are in the home and, if the answer is yes, to review a safety checklist.

“No one has ever taken offense, and numerous people have thanked me,” she said. “Many families aren’t aware of all the safety procedures I discuss. And you wouldn’t believe how many children know where their parents’ guns are.”

That’s exactly the kind of doctor-patient conversation that a bill by Rep. Joshua Putnam, R-Anderson, would outlaw in South Carolina.

“We don’t want citizens to feel like they are going to be intruded upon whenever they go to a physician,” Putnam said in an interview last week.

Under Putnam’s bill, except in relevant emergency situations, doctors would not be able to ask patients if they have guns. Since many gun safety discussions originate with that question, the bill could stop doctors from initiating conversations about safety.

The reason for the bill, Putnam said, is that he’s trying to protect doctors from any future federal law that might force them to ask patients about gun ownership.

“What we are kind of scared of is where this will go down the road,” Putnam said.

The bill contains no penalty. “We don’t want to charge them with a felony or anything like that,” Putnam said.

Some powerful lawmakers like the bill. House Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Greg Delleney, R-Chester, said, “I don’t think it’s a doctor’s business to be asking about guns as part of medical treatment. People go to a doctor’s office to be treated. That’s not part of the treatment.”

Delleney said he’s not trying to limit doctors’ freedom of speech, since a doctor can always talk about gun safety after office hours. “If doctors want to call them up or go visit them at home as a friend, I don’t have a problem with that,” Delleney said.

Delleney also said he’s worried that doctors will keep a record of which patients own guns. “It’s going to wind up recorded somewhere that they have guns, and it’s their right to have guns,” he said.

Putnam’s bill doesn’t refer at all to medical records. But Delleney, who in his job as a lawyer sees medical records, says, “That’s what would happen.”


WP: Why U.S. Health Care Most Expensive in World

Steve Brill’s massive Time article focused national attention on the price of health-care services in the United States. Sarah Kliff got further data showing an MRI can cost anywhere from $400 to $1,861 in Washington, DC alone. But as startling as the price difference between one hospital and another, or one insurer and another, can be in America, the difference between America and other countries is even more extraordinary. I wrote this piece in March 2012. But it’s worth revisiting now. 

There is a simple reason health care in the United States costs more than it does anywhere else: The prices are higher.

That may sound obvious. But it is, in fact, key to understanding one of the most pressing problems facing our economy. In 2009, Americans spent $7,960 per person on health care. Our neighbors in Canada spent $4,808. The Germans spent $4,218. The French, $3,978. If we had the per-person costs of any of those countries, America’s deficits would vanish. Workers would have much more money in their pockets. Our economy would grow more quickly, as our exports would be more competitive.

There are many possible explanations for why Americans pay so much more. It could be that we’re sicker. Or that we go to the doctor more frequently. But health researchers have largely discarded these theories. As Gerard Anderson, Uwe Reinhardt, Peter Hussey and Varduhi Petrosyan put it in the title of their influential 2003 study on international health-care costs, “it’s the prices, stupid.”

As it’s difficult to get good data on prices, that paper blamed prices largely by eliminating the other possible culprits. They authors considered, for instance, the idea that Americans were simply using more health-care services, but on close inspection, found that Americans don’t see the doctor more often or stay longer in the hospital than residents of other countries. Quite the opposite, actually. We spend less time in the hospital than Germans and see the doctor less often than the Canadians.

“The United States spends more on health care than any of the other OECD countries spend, without providing more services than the other countries do,” they concluded. “This suggests that the difference in spending is mostly attributable to higher prices of goods and services.”

Full Story Here


Study: Affordable Care Act Will at $6.2 Trillion to National Debt

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, passed three years ago with President Obama saying it would not add one dime to the federal deficit, is now projected to add $6.2 trillion to the deficit and inflict severe cuts to Medicare and Medicaid payments to hospitals and physicians.

When Obamacare passed in March 2010, many Americans believed they would soon receive the same lifetime healthcare benefits as every member of Congress, and without incurring additional costs for themselves, their families or their businesses. The truth, however, is the Government Accountability Office (GAO) anticipates the Obamacare entitlement program will place a heavy burden on the U.S. economy, which currently has a national debt of $16.7 trillion.

According to the American Enterprise Institute (AEI), patients and their physicians are going to feel the full impact of the costs associated with Obamacare, and not only by adding $6.2 trillion to the national debt, but in ways that are far more tangible to families, and especially senior citizens.

In his analysis of the GAO's report, Chris Conover, an adjunct scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, notes the current law already requires "Medicare to slash physician fees by 25 percent next January (under the Balanced Budget Amendment)." He adds that by 2030, Medicare payments to physicians will be 60 percent less than payments received from patients who have private health insurance plans.

Likewise, Conover shows payments to hospitals that provide services to Medicare and Medicaid patients will be paid 61 percent less for procedures than payments from private health insurers; and physicians eventually will be paid 74 percent less under Medicare than private insurance.

"First, cuts of that magnitude will create huge problems of access to care," Conover said in a statement to The Christian Post on Friday.

Read more at http://www.christianpost.com/news/obamacare-to-add-6-2-trillion-to-national-deficit-obama-claimed-it-wouldnt-add-a-dime-91996/#f5Pek6VApyJopFfe.99 


KidVenture to Reopen Saturday

KidVenture park at the Anderson Sorts and Entertainment Complex is sset to re-open in anticipation of beautiful weekend weather Saturday.

Anderson County Building & Grounds will complete the first phase of improvements at KidVenture by the end of today. The park, located at the Civic Center of Anderson, will re-open so the community can take advantage of the beautiful weather expected this weekend. 


Governor Asks to Lower Flags for Fallen S.C. Soldier

South Carolina Governor Niki Haley requests that the flags be lowered to half-staff on Monday, in honor of Inez Baker, a 26-year army veteran, who served six tours overseas and made the ultimate sacrifice serving our country in Afghanistan.

Visit this web page for details: