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Clemson Summer Graduation Set for Friday

Clemson University will confer more than 1,000 degrees during the summer graduation ceremony at 9:30 a.m. Friday in Littlejohn Coliseum. Visitors should plan extra time for travel and prepare for metal detectors at each entrance and the enforcement of the clear bag policy as well.

Students from the university’s seven colleges will participate in Friday’s ceremony. A doctoral hooding ceremony for approximately 85 prospective Ph.D. candidates will take place at 3 p.m. Thursday in the Brooks Center for the Performing Arts.

Thursday’s doctoral hooding and Friday’s graduation will be streamed live for those unable to attend.

Allow extra time for travel

Families and guests should plan extra time for travel due to the presence of construction at various parts of the main campus. Please visit the university’s interactive map for up-to-date areas impacted by construction and resulting alternate traffic routes.

Police officers will be directing traffic to help visitors get to the coliseum for the ceremonies. Parking is available in several lots near the coliseum. The lot directly north of Littlejohn is reserved for vehicles with handicap access, while the Avenue of Champions and C-9 parking areas will be reserved for event staff.

All lanes of Highway 93 (Walter T. Cox Boulevard) will be open Friday. Doors open for the event at 7:30 a.m.

More information on clear bag policy, etc., here.


Air Quality Alert for Upstate Tuesday

If you have any breathing issues or respitory illnesses, you might want to take special care on Tuesday.

An Air Quality Alert has been issued for the Upstate form 10 a.m.-8 p.m. because of elevated ozone levels.

If you can, stay inside. If not, you might consider a mask to filter the air on Tuesday.


Saturday's 24-Hour Musical to Benefit Lot Project

Anderson Observer

The Anderson Theatre Festival's 24-Hour Musical is set for Saturday in the Henderson Auditorium of the Anderson University's Callie Stringer Rainey Fine Arts Center, with all proceeds going to benefit The Lot Project in Anderson. The Market Theatre Company is in charge of the production.

Admission is free, but donations will be received at the door for the charity. Seating is first come, first served.

True to the 24-Hour Musical's name, the show that is being performed, as well as the cast list, is a mystery (to the cast and to the public) until the Kick-Off Party just 24 hours before showtime. Everything is learned, created, gathered, and rehearsed in 24 hours by an expansive team of volunteers.

When the cast and crew come together for the first time, they will have only 24 hours to memorize lines, learn choreography and music, build sets, find/make costumes, market the event, and prepare every aspect of the production.

The goal of the 24-Hour Musical is to create excellent theatre to better our community, while also building a creative atmosphere for artists to commit themselves fully to their craft. The group attempts to do this by welcoming imperfection and building a relationship with the audience, an audience that understands passion means more than perfection.

The name of the show will be announced Thursday.

For more information, visit The Market Theatre Company. For more information on the charity, visit The Lot Project.


Mill Town Players "Broadway Cabaret" Begins Friday

The Mill Town Players will present a concert featuring some of their top singers performing popular Broadway tunes Friday-Sunday at 7:30 p.m. at the Pelzer Auditorium. 

Will Ragland, founder and director of the Mill Town Players, said some of the Upstate's favorite actors will be singing a variety of Broadway standards you know and love.

"David Watson will be on piano, and each night will feature 20 performers," Ragland said. "We run this Friday through Sunday!"

"A Broadway Cabaret" will include a varied selection of songs from the Golden Age of Broadway to current favorite American musicals.

For tickets, visit here. 

For more on the Mill Town Players, visit


Council to Discuss Mill Site Cleanups Tuesday

Anderson Observer

Anderson County Council will discuss cleanup at the Toxaway Mill and Pelzer Mill sites as part of a busy agenda for Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. in the history courthouse downtown.

At 6 p.m., the council will honor retired Tri-County Technical College President Ronnie Booth.

Full agendas for both meetings here.


Anderson County Democrats to Meet Saturday

The Anderson County Democratic Party will meet Saturday at 9 a.m. at the main branch of the Anderson County Library.

The meeting agenda includes discussion of the Sept. 22 BBQ event and a training session Aug. 17 in Columbia.



S.C. Governor Wants Census to Count Everyone

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) — South Carolina's governor has established a committee to raise awareness about the 2020 survey, saying he wants everyone in the state to be counted.

The Post and Courier reports Gov. Henry McMaster made the announcement Thursday.

McMaster was an early backer of Donald Trump for president. He sidestepped a question about Trump's request to include a citizenship question in the census.

Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court blocked Trump's proposal.

The paper reports Lt. Gov. Pam Evette will lead the newly formed 2020 Complete Count Committee. She had earlier called for encouraging all "citizens to participate." McMaster clarified, saying she meant "all residents."

The committee includes 55 government agencies and organizations.

The census helps determine how the government distributes federal funds, and how many congressional seats states have.


One-Third of Anderson County Residents Not Getting Enough Sleep

More than one-third of the residents of Anderson County are not getting enough sleep. according to a study from data using County Healthy Rankings.

Getting seven hours of sleep at night is often defined as a threshold for obtaining a healthy, sufficient amount of sleep. Unfortunately, for many counties in the United States, that threshold is one that eludes them and they're not receiving enough sleep.

Using data from County Healthy Rankings, writer Bo McCready has created a graph that shows the rate of insufficient sleep in every US county (for an interactive version of the graph, see here). In his graph, he also marked the positive correlation between the rate of insufficient sleep and other health indicators, such as mental illness, obesity and smoking rates. 

Many factors may have contributed to the reasons why certain counties in the US are receiving less sleep than others. One of them may be poverty. As other Reddit users have pointed out, there is a great degree of similarity between this sleep graph and maps showing the poverty rate of US counties.  

It's not a flawless overlay though, and it would seem that poverty alone may not be enough to explain why some counties suffer from a lack of sleep. Insufficient sleep can also be attributed to causes such as light pollution, commute time, nightlife and the nature of the dominant industries and occupations in the county, with some may demanding more long hours of work than others.

For interactive maps from the study, visit here. 


Anderson County Busy as August Begins

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer


Study: S.C. 3rd Most Deadly in Road Fatalities

South Carolina is the third most deadly state when it comes to traffic fatalities, according to a new study by Esurance.

With 19.7 crash fatalities per 100,000 residents, S.C. posted a 22.2 percent increase in such deaths over the past year. Forty-two percent of those were attributed to speeding, which seven percennt caused by distracted driving according to the study.

The top 10 most dangerous states for drivers are chock-full of rural routes and country roads. And based on the analysis of four states, speeding — even more so than distracted driving — still tops the list of dangerous driving behaviors.

Esurance analyzed data from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration to see which states are most dangerous for drivers and which are seeing road safety improve.

Roads in the United States saw a 13 percent increase in crash fatalities between 2013-1017. 

The most dangerous states are largely rural

The states with the highest crash fatality rates, shows common theme: from Mississippi to Montana, the places atop this ranking are full of rural stretches. This finding jives with other traffic safety research suggesting rural roads tend to be more dangerous than urban ones.

So what makes rural roads more dangerous?

  • Local law enforcement is stretched thin.

    In some rural places, just a few police officers are tasked with patrolling miles of varied terrain. In top-ranked Mississippi, for example, police sometimes struggle to monitor the state's patchwork of rural roads. As a result, drunk and distracted driving, along with other driving violations, are common.

  • Speed limits are hazardously high.

    In city centers, speed is often limited to just 45 miles per hour. But with fewer obstacles and drivers, limits outside the city are much higher. Take second-ranked Wyoming, for example. With a speed limit of 80 miles per hour on many of the state's rural roads, residents can quickly find themselves in life-threatening circumstances.

  • There are fewer lights and more livestock.

    In the absence of street lamps or traffic lights, it can be difficult to see what's coming your way on rural roads. Additionally, you run a greater risk of coming across livestock or wild animals on the road.

  • Surfaces can be inconsistent.

    Rural roads might have unpaved surfaces, massive potholes, and uneven terrain. And in many cases, there's not much of a shoulder to pull over onto.

    The full study can be found here. 


Salvation Army School Supply Drive Saturday

The Salvation Army of Anderson will host at back-to-school supply drive Saturday, from 9 a.m.-4 p.m. at the Walmart on Liberty Highway in Anderson.

A school bus will be placed in front of the store to collect school supplies for the more than 1,200 students in Anderson County who will not have the items they need to start the school year.

Items needed include:

Backpacks, Crayons, Notebooks, Colored Pencils, Glue Sticks, Bottled Glue, Lead Pencils, #2 Pencils, Zip Lock Sandwich bags, Erasers, Construction Paper, Pencil Pouches, Paper Towels, Tissue Boxes, Hand Sanitizer, Clorox Wipes, Blue & Black Pens, Folders, Calculators, Lunch Boxes, Index Cards. Rulers, Loose Leaf Paper, 3-ring binders, Highlighters, and Markers.

To make supplies donation or volunteer, call The Salvation Army of Anderson County at (864) 225-7381. 

The distribution of back-to-school items will be distributed at The Salvation Army, 112 Tolly Street, on Aug. 12 at 7 p.m.


Mediterranean Food Fete Replaces Greek Festival Sept. 13-15

Anderson Observer

After more than a decade, one of Anderson's favorite festivals has a new name and is expanding food options. 

The new "Mediterranean Food Fete" replaces the Greek Festival, Sept. 13-15 at the Anderson Civic Center. Proceeds from the new event will benefit  The Shepherd’s Guild, a 501c3 nonprofit service organization of the Eastern Orthodox Church. The organization distributes the funds to local outreach projects and causes.

The concept of the new festival which hopes to "bring people together through food and music" is to blend the cultures of the Mediterranean and the South, both of which place a high value on hospitality. 

The three days will feature Mediterranean food, Greek pastries, Lebanese sweets, Turkish baklava, live music on Friday night, live Greek music on Saturday and live Lebanese music on Saturday night. (See examples of the foods which will offered.)

As part of the event, a walk/run to benefit Shriners hospital is also scheduled for Sept. 14.

This new festival needs more community support. To find out how to help, contact Fete Director Bill Stathakis. Affordable sponsorships are still available. Admission is free and the public is invited.

Admission is free and the public is invited. For more information, visit here.


McBride Top Gun at S.C. Sheriff's Shooting Match

Anderson County Sheriff Chad McBride recently won first place in this year’s South Carolina Sheriff’s Association Pistol match sponsored by Glock.

For his shooting skills, Sheriff McBride won a plaque and a new Glock pistol. The match was between several of the South Carolina Sheriff’s and took place during the month of July at the annual Sheriff’s Conference.