Anderson County Transportation Committee, 4 p.m.


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Carolina Wren Park Holiday Ice Marks Another Strong Season

The ice was nice for downtown again this year.

More than 4,700 visitors strapped on the skates at the Carolina Wren Park Holiday Ice rink during the 2017 season, which ended Sunday.

“Our staff is always heartened by the looks of pure joy as we see parents and grandparents watch the little ones take to the ice for the first time or young people live out their dreams of gliding across the ice with professionally styled twirls,” said Bobby Beville, Parks and Recreation Director for the City of Anderson. “It’s just great fun for everyone.”

Beville said based on their analysis, another 4,800 non-skating visitors were also part of skating parties, brining the total number to 9,500 from the Upstate, Georgia and 27 other states.

Open from Nov. 22-Jan, 7, the rink attracted more skaters this year despite seven days of weather-related closings.  

“We can attribute this year’s success to several specific, strategic marketing and operational changes,” said Beville. “We introduced a new logo and brand identity and we made better use of social media. This, along with our efforts to target Northeast Georgia, translated into stronger participation.”

The rink also offered private-event nights, school nights and visits with Santa, attracted visitors and skaters from across the Upstate, Georgia and 27 states. 

A number of downtown merchants and restaurants have suggested the ice rink is good for business during the holidays.


S.C. House GOP to Focus on Nuke Project, Retirement System, Opioid Crisis

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - House Republicans plan to open this year's legislative session by finding ways to protect consumers after a costly nuclear power plant debacle left South Carolinians billions of dollars out of pocket.

House Majority Leader Gary Simrill told The Associated Press on Monday the GOP Caucus is focusing on bills that lower utility rates and prevent consumers from paying more toward the failed V.C. Summer nuclear project.

Last year, lawmakers took testimony from project co-owners SCANA and Santee Cooper, as well as ratepayers who were angry they'd been stuck with billions of dollars in SCANA's debt payments on the abandoned reactors.

Simrill said Republicans also plan to prioritize reform of the state retirement system and entitlement programs, as well as a plan to combat the opioid crisis.


Governor Says State Workers Not Paid Enough

South Carolina’s 35,000 state workers are not paid enough, according to a study comparing their pay to others. 

That will not change for most state workers if the Legislature adopts Gov. Henry McMaster’s 2018-19 budget recommendations for the state’s fiscal year that starts July 1. 

McMaster included pay raises for only a few of the state’s 35,000 workers in his roughly $8 billion spending plan, released Monday. The budget proposal includes almost $400 million in new spending.

McMaster did, however, propose phasing in income tax cuts for all South Carolinians, allowing taxpayers to keep more of their money, he said. It is the first budget proposal by the Richland Republican since taking office last year.

“We’ve got a 6-foot bed and a 4-foot blanket,” McMaster said. “Everybody can’t get what they want at once.” 

McMaster – who faces three challengers in June’s GOP primary for governor – said now is the “right time” for tax relief for every South Carolinian.

His proposed income tax cut would be phased-in over five years, he said, resulting in about $139 million in savings in one year and about $2.2 billion over the full five years.

The cut would save taxpayers an average of between $55 and about $54,000 over the full five years, depending on their income, and reduce the state’s revenue by more than $782 million, according to the S.C. Revenue and Fiscal Affairs.

McMaster also wants to cut – to zero – the amount that nearly 38,000 retired military veterans and more than 20,000 police officers, fire fighters and other peace officers pay in state income taxes on their retirement income.

That tax cut would save the retirees $22.6 million in the first year.

The tax cuts for law enforcement, firefighters and peace officers would be about $713 a year for retirees under 65 and $102 for those 65 or older. For retired military veterans, the cuts would total about $524 a year in savings for those under 65 and $210 for those 65 and older. 


The State: S.C. Colleges and Universities Want Long-Term Building Help

S.C. colleges and universities want less this year from the Legislature. But the answer could be the same: No.


Supreme Court to Examine State Curbs on Voting

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Government officials across the United States try to maintain accurate voter rolls by removing people who have died or moved away. But a case coming before the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday explores whether some states are aggressively purging voter rolls in a way that disenfranchises thousands of voters. 

“Voting is the foundation of our democracy, and it is much too important to treat as a ‘use it or lose it’ right,” said Stuart Naifeh, a voting rights lawyer with liberal advocacy group Demos, which is representing plaintiffs challenging Ohio’s policy along with the American Civil Liberties Union. 

Voting rights has been an important theme before the Supreme Court during their nine-month term that began in October, in particular the question of whether actions by state leaders have disenfranchised thousands of voters either by marginalizing their electoral clout or by prohibiting them from voting. 

Two other cases could have a big impact on U.S. elections. At issue is whether Republican-drawn electoral districts in Wisconsin and Democratic-drawn districts in Maryland were fashioned to entrench the majority party in power in such an extreme way that they violated the constitutional rights of certain voters. The practice is called partisan gerrymandering. 

The conservative-majority court also could take up other voting rights disputes this term including a bid by Texas to revive Republican-drawn electoral districts that were thrown out by a lower court for discriminating against black and Hispanic voters. 

Most states periodically cleanse their voter rolls to prevent irregularities, such as someone voting more than once on Election Day. Ohio is one of seven states, along with Georgia, Montana, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, that purge infrequent voters from registration lists, according to the plaintiffs who sued Ohio in 2016. 

“Among those, Ohio is the most aggressive. It has the shortest timeline for removing people for non-voting,” Naifeh said. 

Full Story Here


Clemson on Two-Hour Delay Monday

Clemson University will open at 10 a.m. Monday. The two-hour delay is in anticipation of winter weather forcast for the area Monday Morning.


S.C. Coastal Legislators Oppose Offshore Drilling

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - There's support for the Trump administration's offshore drilling proposal among South Carolina's mostly Republican congressional delegation, but not from lawmakers who represent the state's coast.

The Associated Press surveyed House and Senate members last week following Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke's announcement the administration would vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

Republicans Mark Sanford and Tom Rice represent most of the state's coastline. Both are drilling critics, with Sanford noting Thursday it "speaks very loudly" that all of the state's coastal municipalities oppose offshore energy exploration. Rep. Jim Clyburn represents small coastal pockets and the state's only congressional Democrat urged Congress to act quickly to block the expansion.

Rep. Jeff Duncan is a strong supporter of drilling. His district sits along South Carolina's western border.


Anderson Medical Cannabis Event Sunday at Library

The Anderson Medical Cannabis Conference is scheduled for Sundat from 3-5 p.m. at the Anderson County Library.

To goal of the event is to provide basic, medical and legislative information about cannabis and how you can support the current bill become law making South Carolina the 30th MMJ state. According to a 2016 Winthrop University Poll, 78 percent of S.C. residents support medical marijuana legalization. The South Carolina Compassionate Care Act would allow qualifying patients with debilitating conditions to use and safely access medical cannabis.

The event will feature:

  • Dr. Bill Griffith, a semi-retired physician in Anderson, and a graduate of MUSC. His career has been primarily as a student health physician at Clemson University, where he still works part-time, but he also has worked in the Emergency Department, Urgent Care, and Family Practice settings. He currently is active with the American Red Cross and volunteers his time with the Anderson Free Clinic.
  • Annabelle Robertson, who is runningfor Congress against Joe Wilson in S.C. District 2. Robertson is an attorney who has lobbied the South Carolina and Georgia legislatures on behalf of women, children, jobs and the environment, Annabelle supports federal legalization of medical cannabis. She has J.D. from the University of South Carolina School of Law, a Bachelor of Laws, a Master of Laws and a Master of Divinity with an emphasis on communications. After the 2016 election, she founded Indivisible South Carolina, one of 6,000+ chapters of the national grassroots organization launched by Obama-era Congressional staffers who witnessed the rise of the TEA Party. South Carolina now boasts 28 Indivisible groups with 10,000+ members. Congressional Democrats have credited the movement with successfully defeating three Trumpcare bills in 2017, as well as recent Democratic wins in Virginia and Alabama. For more information, visit You can follow Annabelle’s Congressional campaign on Facebook at @AnnabelleforCongress and on Twitter at @Annabelle4SC.
  • Sebastien Cotte became actively involved in the field of medical marijuana in 2013 while seeking alternative treatments for his son Jagger’s, rare terminal Mitochondrial disease. He serves as an ambassador for the United Mitochondrial Disease Foundation and is one of the co-founder of Georgia’s Hope, the leadership parent group that was successful in getting a Medical Cannabis law passed in Georgia. (HB1 Haleigh’s Hope). He is also the national business/education director and a board member for the Flowering Hope Foundation

Win Tickets to See the Harlem Globetrotters

The Harlem Globetrotters are coming to the Upstate Jan. 13, and you can win tickets. Prizes will be given away every day between now and Friday.

Today's trivia: The first person who can tell me the real first name of this current Globetrotter, will win a pair of tickets to the Jan. 13 event at the Bon Secours Wellness Arena. 

Email if you know the answer.


Lawmakers Return to Ethics Reform, Monuments, Nuclear Talk

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - When they return to the Statehouse next week for this year's session, South Carolina lawmakers will be tasked with debates on ethics reform, the treatment of monuments on public grounds, even a bill considering the abandonment of daylight savings time.

They'll also be trying to navigate the fallout from the abandonment of a multibillion-dollar nuclear construction project that's left the state's ratepayers holding the bag.

In November, the House Judiciary Committee approved six bills that would block South Carolina Electric & Gas Co. from continuing to charge customers $37 million monthly for the scuttled reactors and refund at least some of that money.

But Senate lawmakers appeared hesitant to support bills that included refunds or rate freezes, setting up the potential for conflict.


McMaster Wants Tax Cut for Vets, First Responders

LEXINGTON, S.C. (AP) - South Carolina's governor is proposing tax cuts for veterans and first responders.

Gov. Henry McMaster said Friday he wants to exempt the military, law enforcement, firefighter and peace officer retirement from state income tax.

The tax cuts would amount to about a $524 in savings for military retirees under 65 and $210 a year for those 65 and older.

Savings for law enforcement, firefighters and peace officers would be about $713 a year if under 65 and $102 a year if 65 or older.

McMaster says he has included the cuts in his 2018-19 budget. The proposal would amount to a $22.6 million tax cut in the first year and would have to be approved by the General Assembly.


American Pickers Looking for Rusty Gold in S.C. 

Mike Wolfe, Frank Fritz, and their team are excited to return to South Carolina to film episodes of the hit series "American Pickers" throughout the region in the winter of 2018.

The pair has has seen a lot of rusty gold over the years and are always looking to discover something they’ve never seen before. They are ready to find extraordinary items and hear fascinating tales about them. You can help them find leads and would love your help in exploreing your hidden treasure. If you or someone you know has a large, private collection or accumulation of antiques that the Pickers can spend the better part of the day looking through, send us your name, phone number, location and description of the collectionwith photos to: or call 855-old-rust. 

The show is a documentary series that explores the world of antique ‘picking’ is is aired on The History Channel. The show follows Mike and Frank, two of the most skilled pickers in the business, as they hunt for America’s most valuable antiques. They are always excited to find sizeable, unique collections and learn the interesting stories behind them. 

As they hit the back roads from coast to coast, Mike and Frank are on a mission to recycle and rescue forgotten relics. Along the way, the Pickers want to meet characters with remarkable and exceptional items. The pair hopes to give historically significant objects a new lease on life, while learning a thing or two about America’s past along the way.


S.C. Sen. Davis Calls Offshore Drilling "Horrible Public Policy"

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - A Republican who represents part of South Carolina's lush coastline says the Trump administration's proposal to expand offshore drilling could cause massive environmental damage and is "horrible public policy."

State Sen. Tom Davis told The Associated Press on Thursday that the land-based infrastructure needed for offshore exploratory efforts are "simply not compatible with coastal South Carolina."

The proposal unveiled by Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke would vastly expand offshore drilling from the Atlantic to the Arctic oceans.

Republicans within South Carolina's congressional delegation have been split on the issue of offshore drilling. Rep. Mark Sanford, who previously served eight years as the state's governor, opposes it. But U.S. Rep. Jeff Duncan issued a news release Thursday calling the plan "tremendous news for American energy independence."