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New Express Oil Change Coming to S.C. 81 N Near McDonald's

Cason Development Group of Columbia has begun construction on a new Express Oil Change and Tire Engineers on East Greenville Street/S.C. 81 North between McDonald's and Holly Creek Drive. 

The business will include 4428-square-foot building, which will six service bays, is being built on an one-acre lot at this location.

The project is the first by Cason Development Group in the Anderson area, but Cason already has others in the pipeline in the same area. Completion is expected in the fourth quarter of this year.


School Dist. 1 Chooses Two New Assistant Principals

Anderson School District One has named a new principal for Wren Middle School and a new assistant principal who will serve Powdersville Middle School and Concrete Primary School.

Jon Shoffstall will be the new principal at Wren Middle School. He is coming from Lakeview, Ohio and has 14 years educational experience in the classroom and in administration. He earned a Bachelor of Arts from Baldwin-Wallace College, a Master of Arts from Wright State University and completed his Superintendent Licensure Program from the University of Dayton. 

“I am blessed to be able to join such a caring school district that makes you feel like family from day one," said Shoffstall. "I am excited for the future of Wren Middle School and am looking forward to meeting the students, parents and staff members in the upcoming days.” 

Kevin Williams will serve as assistant principal at Powdersville Middle School and Concrete Primary School. Williams will serve in dual capacities for the 2019-2020 school year. He has served as Assistant Principal at Pickens Middle since 2017. He earned his Bachelor degree from Clemson University, his masters from Southern Wesleyan University and a Master of Science in School Leadership from Arkansas State University. He is married to Ashley Williams and they have two children. 

“I am thrilled to come back to Anderson One as an Assistant Principal," said Williams. "It is a blessing to be working at two incredible schools, Concrete Primary and Powdersville Middle. Ms. Padgett and Mr. Binnicker have built positive cultures at each of their respective schools, and I am looking forward to working alongside the students, teachers, and community members.


Poll: 86 Percent of Grandparents Don't Safeguard Medications

July 1 (UPI) -- Many seniors aren't safely securing their medications to keep them away from grandchildren, new findings show.

About 86 percent of grandparents put their medication in the same spot when their grandchildren come over to visit, making it easier for any opioid to be found and abused, according to a poll published Monday in National Poll on Health Aging. Another 72 percent report keeping their drugs in their purses or bags during visits to see their grandchildren. 

This is particularly problematic since roughly one in 10 grandchildren live with their grandparents, the poll says.

"Prescription medicines, and even over-the-counter medicines and supplements, can harm children and teens who find them in grandma's purse or on grandpa's kitchen table," Preeti Malani, a researcher at Michigan Medicine and the poll's director, said in a news release. "Meanwhile, opioid painkillers and sleep medicines can be diverted for recreational use by teens. No matter how old your grandchildren are, you need to think about medication safety."

The researchers asked more than 2,000 people between ages 50 and 80 how they stored their medication. Just over half of the respondents identified as grandparents, with about 74 percent over age 65.

"We know that grandparents love spending time with their grandkids. A few simple steps can keep those little ones safe when you're together," Alison Bryant, AARP senior vice president of research. "Don't leave medications in your purse or on a kitchen counter -- it's best to keep them locked up. It's also a good idea to go through your medications every few months and safely discard any that are expired or no longer needed."

The poll found two-thirds of parents babysit their grandchildren, with 42 percent providing monthly care and 18 percent providing weekly care.

One solution to this problem is to move the drugs from the traditional pill bottle to another container. However, only 29 percent of seniors in the poll reported transferring their drugs.


AnMed Now Using New Tech to Treat Irregular Heartbeats

Heart rhythm expert Dr. Rick Henderson with AnMed Health Arrhythmia Specialists is using new, cutting-edge technology to treat irregular heartbeats.
The new technology is the CardioInsight mapping vest, a 252-electrode vest that helps pinpoint the locations of electrical malfunctions in the heart that cause irregular heartbeats. Dr. Henderson’s practice is the only one in South Carolina using the CardioInsight mapping vest.
The CardioInsight mapping vest allows heart rhythm experts to see and destroy the electricity inside the heart, which causes the irregular heartbeat. For the patient, the new technology is less invasive with a quicker recovery. The CardioInsight mapping vest, which gathers data from the body surface, is designed for single use and is disposable.
Millions of people experience irregular heartbeat or arrhythmia, which is caused by a disturbance in the normal electrical activity of the heart. The change in electrical activity leads to abnormal heart rhythm, making the heart beat too fast, too slow or erratically. Some of the symptoms include shortness of breath, dizziness, sweating and fainting.
A recent study found that one in four adult Americans over the age of 40 could develop an irregular heartbeat, especially if they are obese, have coronary heart disease, or are under constant stress.



Jeff Craft Chosen to Head Crescent Varsity Softball

Anderson School District Three has chosen Jeff Craft as Varsity Softball Coach at Crescent High School.

In a Facebook Post the District wrote: "Coach Craft brings with him a wealth of coaching experience at both the high school and collegiate levels. Coach Craft has served at Crescent High School as the JV Softball Coach/Varsity Assistant since 2003 and moved to the fulltime Varsity Assistant position in 2015. With his 16 years of experience in the program, Coach Craft is the ideal person to continue the strong tradition of Crescent Softball and move the program to the next level."

Craft is a 1985 graduate of Crescent High School. Prior to coming to Crescent to teach and coach, Craft worked as Director of Admissions at Erskine College and was the Head Softball Coach at Erskine College from 1991-1995.


Powdersville Top Areas in S.C. in Job Search Listing Site

The job search site Zippia has listed Powdersville as the third most successful "city" in South Carolina for 2019. The ranking of Powdersville, which in unincoporated, is based on reports in such news organizations as CNN, USA Today and Forbes.

Criteria that are indicative of a successful place include residents with lots of education, high earnings, and jobs offerings.

Powdersville continues to be one of the fasted growing areas in the South Carolina, and the upcoming census is expected to reflect this growth.

Tega Cay tops the list, followed by Boiling Springs and Powdersville.




Belton Museum Camps for Kids to Examine Germs

The Belton Area Museum Association is sponsoring two summer STEAM camps, for kids 7-12 at the Belton Depot.

The camps are in conjuction with the musuem's current exhibit: "Epidemics: Diseases Gone Wild."

The first, set for July 16-18 from 10 a.m.-noon, is called "The Bad Guys," and will focus on examining and putting into action safety practices for bad germs. Campers will discover the germs (inactive examples) behind the diseases that people and plants experience, learn safe hygiene practices that can prevent diseases, and utilize laboratory equipment to make the unseen world come to life.  

The second camp, set for July 23-25 from 10 a.m.-noon, is called "The Good Guys," and will focus on and examine the germs that help keep bodies running smoothly, grow bacteria that create the foods we eat, and utilize laboratory equipment to make the unseen world come to life.

Both camps will have speakers from the medical field and the opportunity for genetic investigation.

The cost is $45 for BAMA members and $55 for non-members. Thanks to the patronage of WebbCraft Family Foundation, scholarships are available. Registration deadline is July 2 and spaces are limited.

Please call Abigail Burden, BAMA executive director, at 338-7400 or by email at to register.


Observer Profile: The Rev. Josh Hunt, Anderson First Baptist Church


Facebook to Ban Ads Telling People Not to Vote

(Reuters) - Facebook Inc will ban ads that discourage people from voting ahead of the 2020 U.S. presidential election, according to its second annual Civil Rights Audit published on Sunday.

Facebook pledged to put its new “don’t vote” policy prohibition into effect in the fall, before the 2019 U.S. elections on Nov. 5, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg said in a blog post announcing the report.

Last year, Facebook expanded its policies against voter suppression by banning posts that spread misinformation on voting methods, election dates and times, and polling locations. Those rules include banning intimidation tactics such as misrepresentations on whether votes will be counted.

The new “don’t vote” policy is in its developmental stages and the company is seeking advice from voting organizations.

Facebook said the policy is likely to only apply in the United States in its initial release and will not include the policing of organic posts from users.

Facebook said it works proactively to remove malicious election-related content. The company is now encompassing “do not vote” ads in its efforts to ward off coordinated efforts to influence elections.


Precautions Urged to Deal with Summer Heat

Temperatures in the mid-90s in Anderson will create dangers for more adults, children and animals across parts of the United States in the days leading up to Independence Day.

Across the nation, near-record heat has had serious results. A 3-year-old boy was found dead inside a minivan in Morristown, Tenn., during the late-evening hours of Thursday 

"Investigators believe, at this time, the child entered the vehicle without anyone knowing and became trapped," the Morristown Police Department said. "The investigation is continuing; at this time, it appears to be a tragic accident."

The toddler's death marks the 15th child in the U.S. dying in hot cars so far this year, including one in South Carolina according to the National Safety Council. The organization stated that, on average, 38 children die from heatstroke after being left in vehicles annually across the nation.

Hot car deaths June 29

With summer in full swing and heat dominating a large swath of the nation in the days leading up to Independence Day, residents will have to take the necessary precautions to protect themselves, elderly, children and pets against heat-related illnesses or fatalities.

Sunday is expected to bring another day of widespread temperatures approaching or exceeding 100 degrees across the central and southern United States during the late morning and afternoon hours.

Sunday RF June 29

On Monday, similar dangerous readings are anticipated from St. Louis to New Orleans, La.; Atlanta; and Orlando, Fla., as well as across the desert Southwest.

Mon RF June 29

The number of communities enduring highs in the upper 90s and lower 100s will increase from northern Florida to North Carolina, away from the beaches, these days.

Augusta, Ga., and Charleston, S.C., are among the cities where record highs are in jeopardy.

"Many areas in the Deep South will see very little reprieve from the heat during the overnight hours as well," according to AccuWeather Meteorologist Brandon Buckingham. "Temperatures will only drop into the upper 70s and lower 80s in most areas."

Temperature readings rising into the 90s daily through the holiday will put a strain on anyone around Washington, D.C.; Cincinnati, Ohio; and Chicago.

Even where actual temperatures only top out at around 80 degrees throughout the nation, sealed vehicles sitting out in the strong sun can quickly become death traps for children, pets and others without means to open doors.

Hot car June 29

"As temperatures soar this week, be sure to check up on individuals who are more vulnerable to heat-induced illnesses," Buckingham said. "When temperatures exceed the 100-degree mark, heat-related issues can occur faster than one may expect."

Amid sweltering heat, drink plenty of water, wear light clothing and avoid strenuous activities during the hottest times of the day -- the midday and afternoon hours.

"Our furry friends are not immune to the heat either, so be sure to tend to your pets," Buckingham added. "Make sure they have plenty of water and if they have to be left outside, try to provide at least a shaded area for them to lay under."

Potential dangers include dehydration, heat stroke, sun stroke and muscle cramps. With hot temperatures of 90 to 100 degrees, caution is advised, and very young and elderly should participate in minimal activity. With very hot temperatures of 101 to 107, very young and elderly should minimize activity. And with dangerous heat of 108 to 115, minimize outdoor activity and hydrate regularly.


City Says Shock This Block Is Just The Beginning


Miss Clemson Crowned New Miss South Carolina

Jeff Wilkinson, The State

COLUMBIA SC (AP) - Miss Clemson, Morgan Nichols, is the new Miss South Carolina.

The Lexington resident received a $60,000 scholarship — the highest of any state pageant in the nation and $10,000 more than Miss America received last year. She will go on to compete in the Miss America pageant this September.

It was Nichols’ first appearance in the pageant — a rarity among Miss South Carolina winners.

“I’m just in shock right now,” she said. “I can’t believe it. This my first time ever competing in the Miss South Carolina organization. And I’m just so happy.”

Nichols lists as her platform a commitment to STEM – science, technology, engineering and mathematics – with a goal of convincing students to stick with those fields. She plans to seek her Master of Business Administration at Harvard.

Nichols, 22, was crowned by former Miss South Carolina Davia Bunch. Bunch, 22, received a $50,000 scholarship last year. She plans to complete her senior year at the University of South Carolina in political science and go to law school.

“There is just a lot of emotions,” Bunch said after relinquishing her crown. “I have gotten so close with all the girls throughout the year and am so proud of all of them.”


School Dist. 1 Administrator Honored for Lifetime Work

Anderson School Distrcit One's Jane Harrison recently received the South Carolina Association of School Administrators Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition for the lifetime achievement for administrators.

Anderson School District One's Jane Harrison, right, with S.C. Superintendent of Education Mollly Spearman.“I am deeply humbled by this award," said Harrison. "I have been very blessed to serve my entire career in Anderson One, the best school district in the state. I have served under great board members, previous district leaders and most recently under the leadership of our Superintendent Robbie Binnicker.”

Harrison served as a teacher and administrator at Concrete Primary School before coming to the district office as Director of Elementary and most recently as Assistant Superintendent for Instruction. She is married to Walter Harrison and has two married children with five grandchildren.  

Harrison has been an advocate for education and has implemented many instructional initiatives in Anderson School District One to support teachers and students. She established a Mentor Program in all 14 schools to provide a trusted adult for students needing support. 

“There are none more deserving or this prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award," said Anderson School Distrcit One Superintendent Robbie Binnicker. "Her career is evidence of a lifetime of serving students and teachers. Anderson One, our community, and our students are blessed to have such a wonderful role model  leading our instructional program. Her positive impact will be felt for a very long time.”