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Friday
Nov302018

Parades Cancelled Due to Rain in Forecast

Three Anderson County Christmas parades scheduled for Saturday have been cancelled due to heavy rain in the forecast. The Belton, Honea Path and Pelzer/West Pelzer parades will not be held. 

None of the three has made a decision on a potential make-up date.

Friday
Nov302018

Bosch Anderson Expansion Brings 20 Jobs, $45 Million Investment

Bosch is expanding in Anderson, bringing 20 new jobs with an average salary of $24.44 to Anderson. The expansion, in the old AFCO building, will include a new, $45 million investment.

“Bosch continues to strengthen its Anderson operations and Anderson County appreciates Bosch’s continued investment and the economic impact on our community and the Upstate," said Anderson County Council Chairman Tommy Dunn.

County council has provided tax incentives, and Coordinating Council for Economic Development has also approved job development credits related to this project. A $100,000 Set Aside grant was also awarded to Anderson County to assist with the costs of site preparation and building construction.

The Bosch Anderson facility was founded in 1985 to produce fuel rails and has added production capabilities from a number of Bosch divisions that span many areas of the vehicle – including Powertrain Solutions, Automotive Electronics and Car Multimedia. The facility currently employs more than 1,200. More information about open positions at the Anderson facility and other Bosch locations is available at www.bosch.us/careers

Bosch employs approximately 402,000 worldwide, and is a leading Internet of Things company that offers innovative solutions for smart homes, smart cities, connected mobility and connected manufacturing. Its strategic objective is to deliver innovations for a connected life. With its sales and service partners, Bosch’s global manufacturing, engineering and sales network covers nearly every country in the world.

“Anderson County is pleased to experience another growth with one of our community’s longstanding economic partners. I am delighted to have Bosch as a corporate neighbor in the community," said Anderson County Councilman Tom Allen.

Friday
Nov302018

Marriott Starwood Hotel Perks Plan Hacked, 500 Million Exposwd

(Reuters) - Marriott International said on Friday that hackers illegally accessed its Starwood Hotels brand’s reservation database since 2014, potentially exposing personal information on about 500 million guests. 

Shares of the company fell nearly 6 percent to about $115 in trading before the bell. 

The company said for 327 million guests, personal information compromised could include passport details, phone numbers and email addresses. For some others, it could include credit card information. 

The company said it learned about the breach after an internal security tool sent an alert on Sept. 8. On further investigation, the hotel chain learned data had been hacked long before. 

The company, which bought Starwood in 2016, said it had reported the incident to law enforcement and had begun notifying regulatory authorities. 

Marriott said it would send emails to affected guests, starting Friday. 

“We are still investigating the situation so we don’t have a list of specific hotels. What we do know is that it only impacted Starwood brands,” Marriott spokesman Jeff Flaherty told Reuters. 

Marriott said it was too early to estimate the financial impact of the breach and that it would not affect its long-term financial health. It also said it was working with its insurance carriers to assess the coverage.

Thursday
Nov292018

Volvo Cuts Hiring at S.C. Plant Due to Trade Tariffs

(UPI) -- Volvo said it has scaled back hiring plans for its South Carolina assembly plant due to tariffs brought on by the trade war between the United States and China.

Volvo global CEO Håkan Samuelsson told USA Today the company throttled expansion plans for the assembly plant just outside Charleston, S.C., which originally included hiring 1,500 workers by the end of 2018 and 4,000 when production was brought up to full speed. 

"We ... thought Charleston could build cars for China," Samuelsson said at the Los Angeles Auto Show Wednesday. "That will not work."

Volvo opened the $1.1 billion plant in South Carolina with plans to begin producing its S60 sedan and add production of its next-generation XC90 sport-utility vehicle in 2021. The intent was to distribute the vehicles to the United States, Europe and China.

But after China increased tariffs on U.S. vehicle imports from 25 percent to 40 percent, Samuelsson said the Chinese-owned Swedish company plans to build the S60 in China for sale to customers there.

Samuelsson has called for all vehicle tariffs worldwide to be eliminated and said any move by the Trump administration to add additional duties on vehicles being shipped between the United States and Europe could result in "big consequences" such as "more expensive cars and probably also lower volumes."

BMW's North American CEO, Bernhard Kuhnt, confirmed his company explored similar options for SUVs produced at its own South Carolina assembly plant, which has become "the highest value exporter of U.S.-made vehicles," CNBC reported.

Thursday
Nov292018

Clemson Researchers Measure All of History's Starlight

From their laboratories on a rocky planet dwarfed by the vastness of space, Clemson University scientists have managed to measure all of the starlight ever produced throughout the history of the observable universe.

Astrophysicists believe that our universe, which is about 13.7 billion years old, began forming the first stars when it was a few hundred million years old. Since then, the universe has become a star-making tour de force. There are now about two trillion galaxies and a trillion-trillion stars. Using new methods of starlight measurement, Clemson College of Science astrophysicist Marco Ajello and his team analyzed data from NASA’s Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope to determine the history of star formation over most of the universe’s lifetime.

A collaborative paper titled “A gamma-ray determination of the Universe’s star-formation history” was published Nov. 30 in the journal Science and describes the results and ramifications of the team’s new measurement process.

“From data collected by the Fermi telescope, we were able to measure the entire amount of starlight ever emitted. This has never been done before,” said Ajello, who is lead author of the paper. “Most of this light is emitted by stars that live in galaxies. And, so, this has allowed us to better understand the stellar-evolution process and gain captivating insights into how the universe produced its luminous content.”

Putting a number on the amount of starlight ever produced has several variables that make it difficult to quantify in simple terms. But according to the new measurement, the number of photons (particles of visible light) that escaped into space after being emitted by stars translates to 4×10^84.

Or put another way: 4,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000, 000,000,000,000,000,000,000,
000,000,000,000,000,000,000 photons.

Despite this stupendously large number, it is interesting to note that with the exception of the light that comes from our own sun and galaxy, the rest of the starlight that reaches Earth is exceedingly dim – equivalent to a 60-watt light bulb viewed in complete darkness from about 2.5 miles away. This is because the universe is almost incomprehensibly huge. This is also why the sky is dark at night, other than light from the moon, visible stars and the faint glow of the Milky Way.

The Fermi Gamma-ray Space Telescope was launched into low orbit on June 11, 2008, and recently marked its 10-year anniversary. It is a powerful observatory that has provided enormous amounts of data on gamma rays (the most energetic form of light) and their interaction with the extragalactic background light (EBL), which is a cosmic fog composed of all the ultraviolet, visible and infrared light emitted by stars or from dust in their vicinity. Ajello and postdoctoral fellow Vaidehi Paliya analyzed almost nine years of data pertaining to gamma-ray signals from 739 blazars.

Blazars are galaxies containing supermassive black holes that are able to release narrowly collimated jets of energetic particles that leap out of their galaxies and streak across the cosmos at nearly the speed of light. When one of these jets happens to be pointed directly at Earth, it is detectable even when originating from extremely far away. Gamma ray photons produced within the jets eventually collide with the cosmic fog, leaving an observable imprint. This enabled Ajello’s team to measure the density of the fog not just at a given place but also at a given time in the history of the universe.

“Gamma-ray photons traveling through a fog of starlight have a large probability of being absorbed,” said Ajello, an assistant professor in the department of physics and astronomy. “By measuring how many photons have been absorbed, we were able to measure how thick the fog was and also measure, as a function of time, how much light there was in the entire range of wavelengths.”

Using galaxy surveys, the star-formation history of the universe has been studied for decades. But one obstacle faced by previous research was that some galaxies were too far away, or too faint, for any present-day telescopes to detect. This forced scientists to estimate the starlight produced by these distant galaxies rather than directly record it.

Ajello’s team was able to circumvent this by using Fermi’s Large Area Telescope data to analyze the extragalactic background light. Starlight that escapes galaxies, including the most distant ones, eventually becomes part of the EBL. Therefore, accurate measurements of this cosmic fog, which have only recently become possible, eliminated the need to estimate light emissions from ultra-distant galaxies.

Paliya performed the gamma ray analysis of all 739 blazars, whose black holes are millions to billions of times more massive than our sun.

“By using blazars at different distances from us, we measured the total starlight at different time periods,” said Paliya of the department of physics and astronomy. “We measured the total starlight of each epoch – one billion years ago, two billion years ago, six billion years ago, etc. – all the way back to when stars were first formed. This allowed us to reconstruct the EBL and determine the star-formation history of the universe in a more effective manner than had been achieved before.”

When high-energy gamma rays collide with low-energy visible light, they transform into pairs of electrons and positrons. According to NASA, Fermi’s ability to detect gamma rays across a wide range of energies makes it uniquely suited for mapping the cosmic fog. These particle interactions occur over immense cosmic distances, which enabled Ajello’s group to probe deeper than ever into the universe’s star-forming productivity.

“Scientists have tried to measure the EBL for a long time. However, very bright foregrounds like the zodiacal light (which is light scattered by dust in the solar system) rendered this measurement very challenging,” said co-author Abhishek Desai, a graduate research assistant in the department of physics and astronomy. “Our technique is insensitive to any foreground and thus overcame these difficulties all at once.”

Star formation, which occurs when dense regions of molecular clouds collapse and form stars, peaked around 11 billion years ago. But though the birthing of new stars has since slowed down, it has never stopped. For instance, about seven new stars are created in our Milky Way galaxy every year.

Establishing not only the present-day EBL, but revealing its evolution in cosmic history is a major breakthrough in this field, according to team member Dieter Hartmann, a professor in the department of physics and astronomy.

“Star formation is a great cosmic cycling and recycling of energy, matter and metals. It’s the motor of the universe,” Hartmann said. “Without the evolution of stars, we wouldn’t have the fundamental elements necessary for the existence of life.”

Understanding star formation also has ramifications for other areas of astronomical study, including research regarding cosmic dust, galaxy evolution and dark matter. The team’s analysis will provide future missions with a guideline to explore the earliest days of stellar evolution – such as the upcoming James Webb Space Telescope, which will be launched in 2021 and will enable scientists to hunt for the formation of primordial galaxies.

“The first billion years of our universe’s history are a very interesting epoch that has not yet been probed by current satellites,” Ajello concluded. “Our measurement allows us to peek inside it. Perhaps one day we will find a way to look all the way back to the Big Bang. This is our ultimate goal.”

Other contributing authors on the paper include Kari Helgason of the University of Iceland; Justin Finke of the Naval Research Laboratory in Washington, D.C.; and Alberto Dominguez, a former postdoctoral researcher in Ajello’s group who is now at the Complutense University of Madrid.

Thursday
Nov292018

400 Wrestlers from 5 States to Compete at Civic Center

More than 400 students from five states are scheduled to participate in the first “Southeastern Border Wars” wrestling competition, Saturday and Sunday at the Anderson County Civics Center.

The two-day event, hosted by the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association, is presented by TRZ Management, LLC.

"This is the first annual state Border Wars,” said Todd McCormick, one of the event organizers. “It's the first step in making South Carolina a power house in wrestling, and we look forward to making it bigger and better every year". 

Competitors from South Carolina, North Carolina, Georgia, Florida and Tennessee are set to particiapte in the freestyle wrestling competition.  It is the largest event of this type ever hosted in Upstate South Carolina.  Competition begins at 9 a.m. Saturday, and concludes Sunday afternoon.

Tickets for Southeastern Border Wars are available for the general public at www.trackwrestling.com.  Out-of-state guests can find hotel and restaurant information by visiting www.andersonevents.com.

Registration details for interested wrestlers are available on the Facebook page of the South Carolina Youth Wrestling Association. Sign-up ends today at 10 p.m.  There is a $25 registration fee per wrestler.

Thursday
Nov292018

NASA Inks Pact with Partners to Return to Moon

Nov. 29 (UPI) -- NASA plans to announce new commercial partners Thursday in the U.S. space agency's quest to return humans to the moon -- and eventually Mars.

Administrator Jim Bridenstine will reveal the companies from NASA headquarters in Washington, D.C, at 2 p.m. EST on NASA TV and its website, according to a press release.

"Working with U.S. companies is the next step to achieving long-term scientific study and human exploration of the moon and Mars," NASA said. "Under Space Policy Directive-1, the agency will lead an innovative and sustainable exploration of the moon together with commercial and international partners."

"The U.S. is returning to the surface of the moon, and we're doing it sooner than you think!" Bridenstine wrote on Twitter.

NASA plans to have astronauts orbiting the moon again by 2023 with a landing a few years later. No one has walked on the moon since Apollo 17 left in December 1972.

The space agency has partnered with SpaceX and Boeing to send astronauts to the International Space Station. SpaceX's Crew Dragon is scheduled for the mission in June and Boeing's Orbital Flight test is set for August.

Wednesday
Nov282018

Christmas Parades Just Around the Corner

With Christmas less than a month away, Anderson County is kicking off the holiday, as usual, with a series of parades.

The following Christmas events have been announced in Anderson County: 

Dec. 1, Honea Path, 11 a.m.

Dec. 1 West Pelzer, 4 p.m.

Dec. 1, Belton, 3:30 p.m.

Dec. 2, Anderson City, 3 p.m.

Dec. 8, Piedmont, 11 a.m.

Dec. 8, Iva, 2 p.m.

Dec. 8, Williamston, 3 p.m.

Dec. 9, Pendleton, 2 p.m

 

Know of other Anderson County Parades/Christmas events? Email Us

Tuesday
Nov272018

USPS Will Help Santa Send Personal Answer to Letters

Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus — and the U.S. Postal Service can help you prove it when Santa replies to your child's letter — complete with a North Pole postmark.

Here are the steps for your child to get a letter back from Santa:

Have your child write a letter to Santa and place it in an envelope addressed to: Santa Claus, North Pole.Later, when alone, open the envelope and write a personalized response.Insert the response letter into an envelope and address it to the child.Add the return address: SANTA, NORTH POLE, to the envelope.Affix a First-Class Mail stamp to the envelope, such as one of the new holiday stamps.Place the complete envelope into a larger envelope — preferably a Priority Mail Flat Rate envelope — with appropriate postage and address it to: North Pole Postmark Postmaster 4141 Postmark Drive Anchorage, AK 99530-9998

"Letters from Santa" must be received by the Anchorage, AK, postmaster no later than Dec. 15. Santa's helpers at the Postal Service will take care of the rest.

Be sure to share the experience on social media using #LettersFromSanta.

To save paper, write Santa's response on the back of your child's letter. If you keep them together, your child will also be able to recall what he or she wrote.When responding as Santa, make the response as personal as possible by highlighting your child's accomplishments over the past year, for example, helping around the house, receiving good grades in a particular subject at school or participating in community service activities.This is a great activity to do at Thanksgiving that the whole family can enjoy, including parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles and other caregivers.

The Letters from Santa program adds to the excitement of Christmas and is ideal to interest children in letter writing, stamps and penmanship.

A large variety of holiday themed postage stamps is available for purchase at Post Offices locations, online at usps.com and by toll-free phone order at 1-800-STAMP-24 (1-800-782-6724).

Additional information can be found at usps.com/holidaynews.

The Postal Service receives no tax dollars for operating expenses and relies on the sale of postage, products and services to fund its operations.

Please Note: For U.S. Postal Service media resources, including broadcast quality video and audio and photo stills, visit the USPS Newsroom. Follow us on TwitterInstagramPinterest, and LinkedIn. Subscribe to the USPS YouTube Channel, like us on Facebook and enjoy our Postal Posts blog. For more information about the Postal Service, visit usps.com and facts.usps.com.

Tuesday
Nov272018

Public Meeting on Watershed Plan Set for Thursday

A public meeting to discuss the "Three and Twenty River Watershed Based Plan,” a grant funded project targeting bacteria, sediment, and nutrient pollution in the Three and Twenty Watershed rivers, is scheduled for Thursday at 6 p.m. at the Anderson Joint Regoional Water office at 998 Hunters Trail in Anderson.  

This watershed based plan provides a comprehensive overview of the sources of bacteria, sediment, and nutrient pollution in these watersheds and identifies critical areas for restoration and protection. The plan will also provide strategies to reduce or eliminate pollution loads within watersheds.

The public is invited to attend and to learn more about this process and provide important feedback. For more information, contact Erika Hollis at ehollis@upstateforever.org

Tuesday
Nov272018

Cyber Monday 2018 Largest Shopping Day in U.S. History

Nov. 27 (UPI) -- Consumers spent nearly $8 billion on Cyber Monday this year, making it the largest shopping day in U.S. history.

Consumers were projected to spend $7.9 billion by the end of Cyber Monday, up 19.7 percent from last year, Adobe reported. A large part of the online buying frenzy came from Amazon, which said Cyber Monday was the biggest shopping day in the e-commerce company's history.

Consumers worldwide purchased 18 million toys and more than 13 million fashion items on Black Friday and Cyber Monday combined, Amazon reported. Sales from small- and medium-sized businesses who sell through Amazon were up 20 percent on Black Friday compared to last year, the company said.

From Thanksgiving to Cyber Monday, Amazon reported that it sold more than 180 million items.

Amazon's top sellers included the Echo Dot, former first lady Michelle Obama's new book Becoming, block game Jenga, Bose headphones and AncestryDNA testing kits.

Brick-and-mortar stores also did well on Cyber Monday as buy online, pickup in-store deals were up 50 percent year-over-year, Adobe reported. Physical stores had a 28 percent increase in online sales. The hottest sellers overall on Cyber Monday were the Nintendo Switch, Little Live Pets, Red Dead Redemption 2, LG Tvs, drones and Dell laptops.

Sales from smartphones topped $2 billion, a new record. Adobe estimated 43.6 percent of site visits were done on mobile devices.

Another 7.8 percent were from tablets. One-third of online sales revenue came from mobile devices. It's the first Cyber Monday where half of all site visits came from mobile.

This comes after overall online Black Friday sales topped $6.22 billion, up 23.6 percent from last year, Adobe Analytics reported.

Monday
Nov262018

Friday Christmas Tree Lighting Officially Kicks Off Season

On Friday evening, at 6 pm, residents will gather around the tree in the Courthouse Plaza for the Annual Christmas Tree Lighting and Holiday Walk. The Main Street Program’s Carey Jones will be joined by city and county officials and the T.L. Hanna Jazz Band in officially kicking off the Holiday Season in Anderson.

Additional weekend festivities include Anderson Heritage’s Homes for the Holidays Tour, the Downtown Christmas Parade on Sunday, Holiday Markets at the Farmers Market on Saturday and Anderson County’s Holiday Lights Tradition – the Lights of Hope.

“Spending this Friday evening in Downtown Anderson is a great way to get into AND share the Holiday Spirit,” said Carey Jones. “The T.L. Hanna Jazz Band will set the musical mood for the evening. After a few words from local officials, we will light the Tree and commence the Holiday Walk. Downtown shops plan to stay open late, so come prepared to do your holiday shopping with Downtown merchants. We need to Shop Local where the business owners are our neighbors, our friends and our family. A rising tide lifts all boats – let’s raise our local economy by keeping it LOCAL, especially during the Holidays.”

“There is no place better than Anderson County during the Holidays,” said Anderson County Council Chairman Tom Allen. “The glow of the lights really compliments the beauty of the historic Courthouse and the Plaza. I want to thank our faithful County employees who work tirelessly year after year to hang garland, adorn the Square with Christmas lights, and decorate the Christmas tree. They do this as a labor of love and in addition to their regular duties. I encourage everyone to take advantage of the many local opportunities to enjoy the season, while supporting our local economy and giving back to some very worthwhile charities.”

 

Monday
Nov262018

GM to Cut Car Productions, Nix Some Models

DETROIT/WASHINGTON (Reuters) - General Motors Co (GM.N) plans to announce as early as Monday it will significantly cut car production in North America and stop building some low-selling car models, a source briefed on the matter said. 

FILE PHOTO: The General Motors car assembly plant in Oshawa, Canada. REUTERS/Mark Blinch//File Photo

GM plans to announce a broader restructuring of its efforts as it shifts more of its focus toward electrified and autonomous vehicles, the source said. 

GM declined to comment ahead of an expected announcement at mid-morning. 

Cost pressures on GM and other automakers and suppliers have increased as demand has waned for traditional sedans. The company also has said tariffs on imported steel, imposed earlier this year by the Trump administration, have cost it $1 billion. 

The decision comes as the largest U.S. automaker is poised to idle an assembly plant in Canada. A Canadian union, Unifor, which represents most unionized autoworkers in Canada, said on Sunday it had been informed by GM that there would be no product allocated to the plant in Oshawa after December 2019. 

GM employs about 2,500 union staff in Oshawa, which produces both the Chevrolet Impala and Cadillac XTS sedans. It also completes final assembly of the stronger-selling Silverado and Sierra pickup trucks, shipped from Indiana. 

GM has internally debated for months how to address shrinking car demand, a person briefed on the matter said, and the issue is certain to re-emerge when GM holds contract talks next year with the United Auto Workers (UAW) union. 

GM has begun what is expected to be a long and expensive transition to a new transportation model that embraces electrified and automated vehicles, many of which will be shared rather than owned. 

The No. 1 U.S. automaker signaled the latest belt-tightening in late October when it offered buyouts to 50,000 salaried employees in North America. 

Lagging U.S. car sales has seen several car plants fall to just one shift, including its Detroit Hamtramck Assembly plant and Lordstown, Ohio, assembly plant. 

Rivals Ford Motor Co (F.N) and Fiat Chrysler Automobiles NV, have both curtailed U.S. car production. Ford said in April it planned to stop building nearly all cars in North America.

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