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Library Books & Community Focus on "Between the World and Me"

This February the Anderson County Library launched their new program “Book & Community.” In order to bring national conversations to a community level through the lens of an award-winning book.
For this Books & Community, the chosen book is the National Book Award Winner "Between the World and Me," by Ta-Nehisi Coates. Limited copies of the book are available for free on a first-come, first-served basis, as well as additional copies at each library location available for checkout. "Between the World and Me" will be a starting point for book group conversations and panel discussions led by various community leaders.
On Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Westside Community Center the panel will focus on the experience of black men in America, past, present, and future. The event will feature Professor Ron Talley, Minister Marian Tarrant from “Men at Work,” Courtney Robinson from the Upstate Fatherhood Coalition, and Pickens High School student Jordan Rucker.
The final panel will take place on Sunday at 3:30 p.m. at the Anderson County Main Library and will look at three different generations and their experiences of the themes within "Between the World and Me." Anderson Mayor Roberts will be joined by Anderson University’s Tyrome Philson, Call Me Mister’s Justus Cox, and Anderson Human Relations Council’s Elizabeth Strong at the event.
More “book club” style conversations surrounding the book will take place across Anderson County. On Wednesday, February 21 at 7:30pm at the Carolina Bauernhaus Ales, Anderson University professors will facilitate. Then Thursday, February 22, at 6:00pm there will be a discussion at the Pendleton Branch Library. The final book discussion will take place at 12pm on Wednesday, February 28, at the Anderson County Library.
Journalist and author Ta-Nehisi Coates is one of the leading contemporary writers on racial identity as well as a national correspondent for The Atlantic. His works include "The Beautiful Struggle" and "Between the World and Me," as well as a recent run of Marvel’s "Black Panther" comics, the inspiration behind the new film starring Anderson native Chadwick Boseman.
Styled as a letter to his son, Coates delves into how the social necessity of identification through race lines has dictated the history of the American people. He writes to his son from an earnest place rooted in his personal experiences, imploring his son to accept what Coates sees as the distressing reality of the status of “his” body as a young black man. Through an exploration of his own childhood, education at Howard University, and experiences as a father, Coates chronicles how he has come to these conclusions on what it means to be a black man in America today.
This event is part of Books & Community, a new program at the Anderson County Library in which a series. This year’s Books & Community is sponsored by the Anderson County Library, Anderson County Human Relations Council, the South Carolina Arts Commission, and South Carolina Humanities.



United Way Seeks Valentine Partners to Feed Children

An anonymous donor has challenged the community to join together this Valentine’s Day to support the United Way’s Weekend Snackpack Program, which feeds 1,000 school-age children in need every weekend during the school year throughout Anderson County.

On Wednesday, the United Way will host its 3rd annual “Buy A Box” Day. 

What’s in a box?  A box, which cost $40, holds 8 Weekend Snackpacks that will feed 8 children over the weekend so that they can return to school ready to learn.

For every dollar raised through the “Buy A Box” Campaign, the donor will match it with another dollar up to $25,000.  This means, $25,000 donated by others, turns into $50,000 to help feed our children.

“This year, it seems very appropriate for “Buy A Box” Day to fall on Valentine’s Day, as the gift from our anonymous donor has truly shown the love and care for others that Valentine’s Day is really supposed to be all about!” said Mike Morris, United Way of Anderson Board Chair. “Our generous donor has a very special place in his/her heart for making sure all children in Anderson are well feed and nourished, cared for and have a chance to succeed.”  

The Weekend Snackpack program provides a bag of food every Friday to children in need to bridge the weekend meal gap -- when school lunch and breakfast programs are not available. Teachers, nurses, and school counselors identify the children who are at greatest risk of missing meals during weekends. These children often have little or nothing to eat at home, and return to school on Monday hungry, tired, and ill-prepared to learn.  The effort has been made possible through a partnership among the United Way of Anderson County, faith-community, all five area school districts, Golden Harvest and a variety of other organizations and volunteers who help pack and deliver the Snackpacks.  

Donnie Campbell, a lead volunteer in the packing and delivery of the Snackpacks, believes in the cause and the impact it has on local children.  “It costs approximately $190,000 to feed 1,000 children every weekend for an entire school year.  This is a small price to ensure our youngest citizens are well-fed and can come to school ready to learn,“ said Campbell.


S.C. Christian Fictions Writers to Meet Feb. 24

The South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers will meet Feb. 24 from 2-5 p.m. at North Anderson Baptist Church. Visitors are welcome.

The meeting consists of a free class the first half and critique of manuscripts the second half. Visitors must sit in one critique session before submitting and they must follow the guidelines for submission on the chapter blog at http://scwritersacfw. Note: In case of snow, chapter meetings are cancelled.

The speaker for the February free class is Elva Cobb Martin, vice president and co-founder of the South Carolina Chapter of American Christian Fiction Writers. Martin's two Christian novels, "Summer of Deception" and "In a Pirates Debt" were released in 2017 by Lighthouse Publishers of the Carolinas. Both novels have spent time on Amazon's 100 Best Sellers List for Women's Religious Fiction. Elva's articles have appeared in "Home Life," "Charisma," and "Decision" magazines. She will share writing craft information on point of view and offer author tips on obtaining a book trailer and releasing an audio book. 

To learn more about the national ACFW organization, check out To learn more about the South Carolina Chapter go to the chapter blog listed above. For more information about this meeting contact Fran Anderson, President, at



Clemson Marks 50 Years Coastal Research at Baruch Facility

GEORGETOWN — Any anniversary shindig worth its salt will include some reminiscing, and that was in no short supply at a place with saltwater in its soul.

Reflecting on a half-century of what director Skip Van Bloem called “a Tiger spirit … with some Hobcaw seasoning,” Clemson University’s Belle W. Baruch Institute of Coastal Ecology and Forest Science celebrated its 50th anniversary last week at its headquarters.

But Thursday’s milestone event was just as much about moving forward and the belief that, at the Baruch Institute, as Clemson President Jim Clements put it, “The best is yet to come.”

Located on Hobcaw Barony, Clemson’s Baruch lab was established in 1968 to take full advantage of research opportunities for faculty and students in an ecological reserve of forests, high-salinity marsh estuaries, and brackish and freshwater marshes.

Clements told the audience of faculty and staff, trustees, current and former students, partners, media and members of the public that the institute was an “incredible example of how an act of visionary philanthropy long ago has led to partnerships and collaborations that have literally changed people’s lives in a very positive way and improved the quality of life in our state for many generations.”

That impact on the state epitomizes Clemson’s mission, as South Carolina’s primary land-grant institution, of teaching, research and outreach, Clements said.

“That is also very much the story of Thomas Green Clemson and Clemson University, which is why we are proud that, through the Baruch Institute, Clemson is a part of Hobcaw — and Hobcaw is a part of Clemson,” he said.

Hobcaw Barony is a 16,000-acre tract of undeveloped land along the Waccamaw Neck that Wall Street financer and advisor to presidents Bernard Baruch purchased in 1905 to be used as a winter hunting retreat and sold to his daughter, Belle, 50 years later.

Upon her death in 1964, Belle created the private, non-profit Baruch Foundation to manage and conserve the property for future generations and invited South Carolina’s colleges and universities to use the land as an outdoor laboratory.

The Belle W. Baruch Professorship of Forestry was established at Clemson in 1965, and the Baruch lab was established three years later to take better advantage of the facilities at Hobcaw.

“I think Miss Baruch would be very pleased with what we have been able to accomplish in the 50 years since then,” Clements said.

Today, Baruch research covers an array of areas that impact South Carolina’s natural resources and the related sectors of its economy, including forest management and water quality, the economic value of eco-system services, the impact of environmental toxins on humans and wildlife, and how forests respond to extreme weather events and climate change. The University of South Carolina also established a marine lab at the institute in 1969.

The institute is one of only two university field stations with year-round resident faculty dedicated to forestry and, with the establishment in 2014 of the James C. Kennedy Waterfowl and Wetlands Conservation Center, is the headquarters of the first endowed waterfowl conservation center along the 3,000-mile Atlantic flyway stretching from the Canadian Maritimes to the Gulf of Mexico.

The Baruch Institute has 10 resident scientists and two more with emeritus status. Since 1968, there have only been 21 resident scientists at the facility, which Clements characterized as “a remarkable retention rate.”

Baruch’s current faculty are also remarkably productive, with more than $8 million in research grants.

“None of this success would have been possible without many of our partners who are in this room,” Clements said. “It takes partnership and collaboration to make a difference in the world.”

Few, perhaps, have seen the impacts of Baruch more personally than former director and Clemson Vice President for Public Service George Askew, who is now stationed on Clemson’s main campus but spent more than two decades at the place he said holds a special place in his heart.

“The saying goes that you can take the Tiger out of Clemson, but you can never take Clemson out of a Tiger,” Askew said. “Well, you can take me out of the Lowcountry and out of Hobcaw, but you can’t take it out of me.”

Van Bloem thanked the audience for helping to kick off the institute’s Golden Anniversary year and pointed to its status as a field station as vital in helping its students develop into scientific leaders.

“Field stations are special places,” he said. “Their very nature encourages students and faculty that are here to live and breathe science for an extended period of time. They say the best way to learn a language is to immerse yourself completely in it. Similarly, field stations allow us to immerse ourselves completely in science and research with few distractions.”

Baruch students share a roof for 15 weeks, and Van Bloem pointed out some of their numerous accomplishments, including designing more resilient canals and ditches for Horry County, revising forest management plans for the Clemson Pate Forest, constructing rainwater retention ponds to use for Extension programs and tracking Eastern diamondback rattlesnakes and fox squirrels after they were re-introduced to new habitats.

“Each project benefits from having the fresh perspective and energy of students, and each project provides a benefit to those living in and managing our Lowcountry natural environment,” he said.

Because the student experience is an essential part of the work at Baruch, Van Bloem said it only made sense to involve them in shaping the plan for its next 50 years. With the institute bursting at the seams with projects and ideas, its leaders turned to Clemson’s school of architecture to develop a new master plan focused on research support, housing and landscape design.

“Architecture students made five trips to Hobcaw to meet with our faculty, staff, students and partners,” Van Bloem said. “They listened to all kinds of complaints and desires. And they developed great solutions that are on display today.”

Van Bloem also said the institute owed a debt of gratitude to the Wallace F. Pate Foundation for Environmental Research and Education, which supports student experiences at Baruch by helping to fund student intern stipends through the Pate Partners program.

“Some of you here today have supported this program in the past,” Van Bloem said, “and we hope you will continue to do so. With your help, we can continue to grow, and more importantly, we can have an even greater impact on the students we teach, the community in which we live and the beautiful natural resources that we all love and benefit from so much.”


JROTC Upstate Regional Drill Championships March 3

Pendleton High School JROTC and Anderson Lights of Hope host and present the 4th Annual Upstate Regional Drill Championships (URDC) March 3 beginning at 8 a.m. at the Adnerson County Civic Center.

Marching in a straight line, turning around, carrying a rifle, and doing push-ups may look easy but once you see these disciplined cadets in action, your mind will change and a new respect for these high schoolers develops. The JROTC units drill for hours each week, learning commands, and practicing to sharpen their skills.   

Twenty-Four schools representing more than 1,000 cadets from Georgia, North and South Carolina will compete in Regulation and Exhibition drills. The winning cadets will receive trophies and medals for their accomplishments. What sets URDC apart from other drills is the scholarship funds for the winning units.

The doors open at 8 a.m., competition begins at 9 a.m. following the opening ceremony. Present and past military personnel/veterans are asked to attend the event.  Judges for the event include active personnel from the 263rd National Guard Unit in Anderson, Clemson ROTC, recruiters and drill sergeants from all branches of the military.  Static displays, vendors, and concessions will be available. 

The overall winners of the Regulation and Exhibition categories will receive a name plate on the traveling Colonel James L. Harden award. Colonel Harden was a resident of Anderson, South Carolina, served in the United States Army “B” Company 341st Infantry 86th Division during WWII. He also served on Dwight D. Eisenhower’s personal staff. He was decorated with the Silver Cross and received two Purple Hearts during his tour of duty in Europe. 

This event is FREE and open to the public.

For questions or more information, please contact Ben Phillips, Event Coordinator at Anderson Lights of Hope at 864.933.2547.

For more about the event, teams competing, and past results, please visit or the Facebook page,


Four Horses Reported Missing from Anderson County Pasture

Four Anderson County horses were reported as missing presumed stolen since Jan. 31, according to Olin “Red Top” Porter. Porter said he last saw his horses in the pasture on Jan. 31 around 1 p.m. When he returned to feed them that evening around 6pm the horses were gone. He was informed by a neighbor that they had spotted a truck/trailer at the property that afternoon.

Porter asked Stolen Horse International for assistance in locating his horses. Mr. Porter advised that Anderson County Sheriff Department has been notified of the missing horses and are actively investigating the case.

Stolen Horse International, a nonprofit organization also known as, is well known as the “lost and found’ place for horses on the internet for the equine industry. offers horse theft and equine ID education and assist in search and recovery of stolen or missing horses, as well as other equine equipment.

“I miss my horses. It is upsetting that someone would come and take them.”, Porter said. “Three of the horses are 3-4 years of age and one is 12 years old. They are very special to me and I want them back home.” Porter went on to tell Stolen Horse International that there were tracks on the side of the road where the truck/trailer was parked and spun away from the scene. A neighbor saw a woman, man and two children in a red truck with a shiny silver trailer at the pasture.

For more information on the horses and a printable flyer in the listing, which is where any updates or leads will be posted. Anyone interested in helping can search for report number NR005414 or use this direct link on the site:



Trump Rejects Democrats Response to Dossier Memo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A classified memo by congressional Democrats related to investigations of Russian influence in the 2016 U.S. presidential election is “very political and long” and must be “heavily redacted” before it could be released, President Donald Trump said on Twitter on Saturday. 

The release of the memo was blocked by Trump on Friday, kicking off a new skirmish between Democrats and the White House. Written by Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee, is was intended to rebut a Republican document made public last week with Trump’s consent. 

The memo by committee Republicans claimed bias against Trump by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Justice Department in the federal investigation of Russia and the 2016 U.S. election. 

The Intelligence Committee had voted unanimously on Monday to release the document drafted by the panel’s Democrats, contingent on the Republican president agreeing to reclassify it. 

“The Democrats sent a very political and long response memo which they knew, because of sources and methods (and more), would have to be heavily redacted, whereupon they would blame the White House for lack of transparency,” Trump tweeted. “Told them to re-do and send back in proper form!” 

Trump’s decision to block the release of the memo infuriated Democrats, who said it showed a double standard on transparency on the part of the Republican president. 

Representative Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat on the Intelligence Committee, said in a statement on Saturday that he will review redactions recommended by the FBI and Justice Department.


Flu Could Break Recent Records

SATURDAY, Feb. 10, 2018 -- This year's dangerous flu season shows no sign of waning, and "may be on track to break some recent records."

That was the sobering assessment offered Friday by U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Acting Director Dr. Anne Schuchat.

In South Carolina, more than 100 deaths have been reported.

Flu activity across the country has reached new highs compared to other recent severe flu seasons, Schuchat said. For example:

  • Levels of influenza-like illness across the country are as high as observed at the peak of the 2009 H1N1 pandemic.
  • The current hospitalization rate is approaching the final rate seen at the end of the severe 2014-15 season.
  • Middle-aged people are being stricken at nearly twice the rate seen in 2014-15, although health officials aren't sure why. The flu usually is hardest on the very young and the very old.

Unfortunately, the flu season probably won't start winding down anytime soon, Schuchat added.

For the past five years, the flu season has lasted between 11 and 20 weeks, she said.

"We're only at week 11 now, so we could potentially see several more weeks of increased flu activity," Schuchat said.

As of Feb. 3, a total of 48 states continued to experience widespread flu activity, according to the CDC's latest surveillance report. In Oregon and Hawaii, flu is occurring at a more limited regional level, rather than statewide.

Flu-linked hospitalization rates continue to rise -- from 51.5 per 100,000 people for the week ending Jan. 27 to 59.9 per 100,000 people for the week ending Feb. 3.

"Overall hospitalizations are now significantly higher than what we've seen for this time of year since our current tracking system began almost a decade ago, in 2010," Schuchat said.


Clemson Trustees OK $5M Childcare Facility

Clemson University trustees Friday approved the final step in building a childcare facility to serve faculty, staff and student families among other business in their quarterly meetings on campus Feb. 8-9.

The trustees approved the $5 million budget to construct a 12,700-square-foot childcare facility, which will be operated by a private, third-party provider for infant, toddler and preschool children. The construction will be funded through an established endowment for faculty and staff benefits, with expected completion in 2020.

The board also approved the first phases of three current or new facility projects:

  • $1 million for the design of an expansion and renovation of Daniel Hall, a 68,000-square-foot general classroom building in the center of campus. The project, with a total budget of $45 million, will be paid for with a mix of state institutional bonds and maintenance and stewardship funds. Daniel Hall was built in 1969. Completion of this project is planned for spring 2021.
  • A new 186,000-square-foot interdisciplinary Advanced Materials Science Complex research lab. The board approved $2.2 million in maintenance and stewardship funds to begin design work for the $110 million instructional and research lab, which will be funded through state institutional bonds and private gifts. Planned completion is 2021.
  • $175,000 to begin design of an on-campus, non-denominational chapel. The Samuel J. Cadden Chapel will provide students, faculty and staff with a quiet space for reflection and meditation, as well as a place for the celebration and remembrance of Clemson students. The total project cost is estimated at $5 million and will be funded with private gifts. Completion is planned for 2020.

The trustees also set graduate student tuition to be in line with competitive rates. Clemson’s rates are currently approximately 33 percent lower than similar programs in South Carolina. The adjusted new pricing structure will be phased in over two years and does not apply to any students currently enrolled in these select programs.

Regarding other academic matters, the trustees approved:

  • A new Clemson Operations Research Institute (CORI). The institute will serve as a hub for operations research students and faculty and will represent a portal for applied studies that promote economic development within the state.
  • A new online MBA program, effective 2019.
  • An additional instructional site location at Charleston Cigar Factory for the Master of Architecture degree and the graduate certificate in Architecture + CommunityBUILD.
  • Trustees also approved a formal expense policy and procedures for the board reflecting their current practices; and adopted a values statement after receiving input from faculty, staff and students.


President Signs Deal to End Shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A brief U.S. government shutdown ended on Friday after Congress passed and President Donald Trump signed into law a wide-ranging deal that is expected to push budget deficits into the $1 trillion-a-year zone. 

The bill was approved by a wide margin in the Senate and survived a rebellion of 67 conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives thanks to the support of some Democrats. Those conservatives were mainly angry about non-military spending increases. 

Trump’s signature brought an end to a partial government shutdown - or closure of federal agencies - that had been triggered in the early hours of Friday as Congress was still debating the budget deal. 

It was the second shutdown this year under the Republican-controlled Congress and Trump, who played little role in attempts by party leaders this week to end months of fiscal squabbling.


S.C. Electric Co-Ops Want State to Sell Santee Cooper

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Following a failed nuclear reactor construction project, South Carolina's electric cooperatives want lawmakers to consider selling the state-owned utility Santee Cooper.

Media reported the Electric Cooperatives of South Carolina told lawmakers Thursday they should test the market to determine if customers would save money if Santee Cooper was sold.

The proposal comes after Santee Cooper and South Carolina Electric & Gas Company spent $9 billion before abandoning the nuclear project last summer. The utilities blamed the bankruptcy of contractor Westinghouse.

Co-op executive Mike Couick told lawmakers whether or not Santee Cooper is sold, it needs changing.

The co-ops get most of their electricity from Santee Cooper and have seen rates increase since the nuclear project began.

Couick says lawmakers should set rules for how such a sale would work.


Clemson Bulls Could Improve S.C. Beef Industry

CLEMSON — It’s among the few college tests in which those who pass are immediately hired as sires.

The Clemson University Bull Test graduated its 42nd annual class of bovines in an auction attended by nearly 300 people Feb. 3 at the T. Ed Garrison cattle complex.

More than 50 bulls were sold for a total of $169,850 and immediately went to work improving the genetics of South Carolina cattle herds.

“This is the best group of bulls we’ve ever had, and that’s saying a lot,” said Steve Meadows, who directs the test and annual sale. “It speaks to the determination among cattle producers to improve the quality of breeding stock.”

The Clemson Extension Service holds the test to help cattle producers identify superior genetics in bulls that will help improve the next generation of cattle — and profits — in the South Carolina’s beef business.

The bulls, which were consigned by cattle producers from across the Carolinas and Georgia, typically gain roughly 500 pounds in the test. Some average as much as five pounds per day.

“The purpose is to help beef producers make better profits by reducing feed costs,” Meadows said. “The more efficiently bulls in the test gain weight, the more likely they are to pass that trait on to their offspring.”

The bulls began the test in September at the Clemson beef cattle farm at the Simpson Experiment Station near Pendleton. Only 51 of the 76 bulls that entered the test made the grade to be auctioned to cattle producers.

Another 35 open heifers, bred and raised at the university, also were auctioned at the sale, drawing $41,400.

Cattle buyers received a complete record of each animal’s feed intake and weight gain. The report also shows how efficiently the bulls turn feed into meat, a process scientists call “residual feed intake” or RFI.

“That’s important because it tells the cattle producer more than just growth rate alone,” Meadows said. “It looks at efficiency in feed conversion.”

A small difference in efficiency could mean well over $100 in the cost of feeding an animal — perhaps the difference between a cattle producer making a profit or losing money.

“The test compares bulls in the same breed and age group, so cattle producers can get a better idea of what kind of performance to expect,” Meadows said. “It all boils down to providing the best genetics possible for the South Carolina cattle industry. We want to give cattle producers every possible competitive advantage.”


S.C. Senate Names Two New State Agency Directors

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - The South Carolina Senate has confirmed the appointment of two directors for state agencies.

Gov. Henry McMaster's office announced Thursday that lawmakers confirmed Sara Goldsby as director of the Department of Alcohol and Other Drug Abuse Services. They also confirmed Joshua Baker as director of the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.

Gov. Henry McMaster issued separate statements on Thursday applauding the confirmations. Goldsby had been interim director prior to confirmation, and McMaster said she would "continue to be a tremendous asset to our state in our efforts to build a healthier South Carolina."

McMaster said he was grateful that he and Baker will join forces in identifying "innovative and efficient means" for delivering access to health care services in the most cost effective way possible.