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FreshTaste Downtown Event Set for Tomorrow

Anderson Observer

FreshTaste returns to tomorrow to showcase the best of food, art, and music in the Electric City. The event features pairing local restaurants with local farms to offer a unique culinary blend.

This years partnerships are: Carolina Bauernhaus/Oconee Cultivation Project & Callywood Farm; DT Taco and Providence Farm; Sullivan’s Metropolitan Grill and Vdovichenko Bee Farm; Summa Joe’s and Forx Farm; Earle Street Kitchen & Bar and Hereford Hills Ranch & Split Creek Farm; Fig’s Café & Farmacy and Walker Century Farm; Doolittle’s and Sharon Hill Farm; Groucho’s Deli and Palmatier Farm; MaKi Sushi Bar & Bistro and Walker Century Farm; Taco Loco and Split Creek Farm; and The Local Pub & Eatery and Palmatier Farm.

In addition to food, the event will feature local artisans, live music , wine, and craft beer available.

Online ticket costs are:
11 tastings = $17
5 tastings = $12

Tickets at the door are:
11 tastings = $20
5 tastings = $15

The Belk Lot behind Carolina Wren Park will be closed for event accommodations. 

For more information, call the Economic Development Division offices at (864) 231-2604 or email Caroline Gaddis at


U.S. Farmers Bankruptcy Rises as Trade War Drags On

EVANSVILLE, Ind., Sept. 30 (UPI) -- As the trade war with China drags on, many of America's farms are going bankrupt.

The number of farmers falling behind on loans and filing for bankruptcy has jumped since the trade dispute began in spring 2018, according to industry statistics. And farms of all types and sizes continue going out of business.

"Many farmers and ranchers are reaching their breaking point," said Matt Perdue, the government relations director at the National Farmers Union. "The consensus is that this is going to lead to a lot of exits and more consolidations."

Between July 2018 and June 2019, the number of farms that filed for Chapter 12 bankruptcies (a type of bankruptcy designed to allow family farmers and family fishermen to restructure their finances) rose by 13 percent over the previous year, according to the American Farm Bureau Federation.

Loan delinquency rates have reached a six-year high. And nearly 13,000 farms disappeared in 2018, according to the U.S. Department of Agriculture.

Farm experts say these figures indicate a troubling trend in American agriculture. Farmers are struggling to stay afloat.


West Pelzer Farm Fest Celebrates Area's Heritage


Moorhead, Thompson to Join Anderson Hall of Fame Oct. 8

Greg Wilson/Anderson Observer

ANDERSON — Well-known Anderson photographer Lewis Dalton Moorhead, whose Works Progress Admnistration work chonicled the area during the 1930s and 1940s, and Major Frank Rogers Thompson, a 1945 Bronze Star recipient and the founder of Anderson Petroleum Company, are the two newest members of the Anderson County Museum's Hall of Fame.

They will be officially inducted at a ceremony Oct. 8 at 5:30 p.m. The ceremony will be followed by a reception. The event is free and open to the public.

Born in Sandy Springs and raised in Pendleton, Moorhead was Anderson's best-known photographer of the Twentieth Century. After graduating Clemson in 1930, Moorhead ahe webt ti work at LaFrance Mills in La France.

After being laid off from the mill, he found himself walking on Anderson’s North Main Street and ran into a long line of people waiting to take "penny" pictures at a local photography studio.

“I thought I had better get into the picture business,” Moorhead later said at that moment. He joined John Green’s studio which had been operating in Anderson since 1892, working for Green for a dollar a day and dinner.

Many in Anderson still have "man on the street" photographs of their relatives taken by Moorhead.

After his initial training Moorhead worked for Green photographing local events.  Among the most notable is his photo of Amelia Earhart, who landed at the Anderson Airport on Nov. 14, 1931 as part of her 13-state Beech-Nut Gum promotional tour. Earhart stayed in town only for a few hours, but before departing she posed with several of Anderson’s civic leaders for the photo taken by Moorhead. Moorhead was an exceptionally prolific photographer, taking photos for Franklin Roosevelt’s WPA and in 1938 had his “Five Way Crossing at Three & Twenty Creek” published by Robert Ripley’s Believe it or Not. 

Major Frank Thompson always lived his life by his motto: “help every needy person from the humblest class up.” Born in Concord, North Carolina on June 15, 1903, as a teenager he attended North Carolina College and Porter Military Academy in Charleston where he earned a Civil and Mechanical Engineering degree. He also worked as a cadet at the U.S. Army Supply Base in Charleston. It was here he took up boxing and actually became a welter weight champion during WWI.

Thompson’s intelligence, integrity, and initiative helped him gain rank until he would eventually serve as a commissioned officer of the U.S. Army Corps. of Engineers during the Second World War. He traveled to North Africa and Europe as a member of Task Force “A” advanced echelon with General George S. Patton, Jr. and General Arthur Wilson. Thompson planned and oversaw the construction of the first trenches in the port area of Casablanca after the North Africa invasion. For this achievement and his outstanding service in the Tunisian, Italian, and Balkan campaigns, Frank Thompson was awarded the Bronze Star in 1945.

In 1930, Thompson founded the Anderson Petroleum Company and constructed the plant on Glenn Street along with several service stations. His contributions to Anderson’s economy also included hangers provided for the county airport to help Washington to assist the Corps. of Engineers in the planning of the Hartwell Dam Project. He remained a vehement defender of the lake through the rest of life, recognizing the economic potential it represented for Anderson County and the Upstate.

Each year the Anderson County Museum (ACM) Advisory Committee honors individuals who have made a significant contribution to Anderson County and South Carolina. This year, we honor Lewis Dalton Moorhead and Major Frank Rogers Thompson. Two very deserving individuals who influenced Anderson County and our State.

Appointed by Anderson County Council, the ACM Advisory Committee members made the selection of Moorhead and Thompson from more than 20 applications. Nominees must be deceased at least 10 years for nomination eligibility. Moorhead was nominated by Jeanie Moorhead Christopher and Major Thompson by William Owens.

Applications are now available for the 2020 Hall of Fame at the ACM or on the ACM Website The Anderson County Museum is at 202 East Greenville Street, in downtown Anderson. The Fred Whitten Gallery and Whitner’s Mercantile store hours are Tuesday 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Wednesday through Saturday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. The Roper Research Room is open 1 to 7 p.m. on Tuesdays and by appointment with the Curator. ACM is handicap accessible and admission is free. Donations are always welcome. For more information, contact the Museum at (864) 260-4737.


AIM Wants You to "Trick or Treat So Others Can Eat"

What if, instead of just eating candy on Halloween, you helped make it possible for hundreds of families to have food to eat?  You can this holiday by Trick or Treating for canned goods rather than candy.

For the 21st year you can help stock the food pantry at AIM during the Halloween season. Each month AIM assists more than 900 families with their food needs, and families needing to ask for help to make ends meet. And the need is growing. 
During the annual food collection effort, canned goods and non-perishable items are collected to stock AIM's Fishes and Loaves Food Pantry.  This event helps jump-start the busy holiday season and AIM is asking the entire community to join. The timing of the event is spot on, since the selves of the pantry are at their lowest level of the year. 

Any class/group/club or individual can particiapte. There are many ways to become involved: forming a team to collect in neighborhoods, collect within your church, school organization or bring your own creative ideas to help.  AIM offers any materials you might need along with lots of support, while you provide the volunteer power and enthusiasm during the last two weeks of October.

All non-perishable food is welcome. (Avoid glass items. Please do not include items which will crush, such as bread.) Soups, canned vegetables, canned meats, rice, beans, peanut butter, pasta are among the most requested items.

Perisable items need to be brought directly to the AIM offices.

For more information, call 864-965-9077, or visit


MTP Homespun "Bright Star" a Shining Success

By Paul Hyde/Anderson Observer

The Mill Town Players pull out all the stops for the South Carolina premiere of “Bright Star,” the homespun, tear-jerking musical by Steve Martin and Edie Brickell.

This is a dream production with an outstanding leading cast, an ensemble that creates glowing harmonies,and an onstage band that gives the show an exuberant spirit and momentum.Hannah Thompson is dynamic in the leading role of Alice in the Mill Town Players’ “Bright Star.” photo credit: Escobar photography

You’ll want to get your tickets soon, so you can return for a second time before it all concludes on Oct. 6. It’s that good.

Mill Town always does fine work, but Mary Nickles’ staging of “Bright Star” takes the Pelzer-based theater to the next level. In addition to the superb cast and onstage band, the choreography (credited to Nickles, Mark Spung-Wiles and Terrie Poore) reaches new heights in inventiveness and polish.

One other thing you should know: The Broadway cast recording of the show, with the toe-tapping sounds of fiddle and banjo prominent, won the 2017 Grammy Award for Best Musical Theater Album. It’s easy to see why: The catchy music by Martin and Brickell – a combination of bluegrass, country, southern gospel and rockabilly – is irresistible.

The story centers on Alice, a tough-minded editor of a Southern literary journal in 1940s Asheville, North Carolina. Flashbacks to the 1920s show Alice as a spunky teen, a dreamer with a rebellious streak and a love for literature and Jimmy Ray Dobbs, the son of a small-town mayor.

The heart of the show is the rough road Alice traveled in between and the heart-wrenching sacrifices she made.

Ultimately, it’s a story of redemption, of lives torn apart and made whole again. It aspires to the best sort of hopeful, three-hankie ending.

The show enjoyed a respectable stint on Broadway but deserved a longer run. Perhaps it was too heartfelt for New York, which prefers gaudy spectacle or edgy irreverence. In the South, the land of Flannery O’Connor and Carson McCullers, a sentimental and emotionally wrought yarn like “Bright Star” is not at all unfamiliar.

Nickles brings energy, focus and clarity to a musical that could become confusing, toggling between the 1920s and 40s.

The four young leading characters are vocally and dramatically superb. 

Hannah Thompson, as Alice, is a dynamic and sympathetic presence, shifting easily from ingenue to commanding adult, her voice soaring on such tunes as “At Long Last.”

As Jimmy Ray, John Mark Elliott is a young, lanky, likeable leading man with suave vocals.

Seth Crawford radiates earnestness and youthful hopes as Billy, a solder returning from World War II. Kelsey Crews is charming and irrepressible in the role of Billy’s friend Margo. Both sing appealingly.

Will Ragland, the Mill Town Players’ executive artistic director, plays the scheming small-town mayor, and Ragland has never been fiercer on stage. Dressed like a cross between Colonel Sanders and Tennessee Williams’ Big Daddy, Ragland is the very picture of the bombastic, self-serving and self-righteous politician of southern lore.

And then there’s some pleasing comic relief provided by the nimble Aaron Pennington (as Daryl), Mark Spung-Wiles (Max) and Hannah Morton (Lucy). Morton shines in the song “Another Round.” 

Rod McClendon is warmly endearing as Billy’s well-meaning father.

It’s nice to see former state Rep. Phyllis Henderson in the cast. She and Ken Thomason offer fine contributions as Alice’s parents.

Music director Joshua C. Morton elicits shimmering harmonies from the ensemble and a buoyant performance from the onstage band.

Ragland has outdone himself in his scenic design – a wooden raked stage and a bucolic backdrop of stars and the Blue Ridge mountains.

Danae Harris’ period costumes could hardly be better. Tony Penna’s lighting design is pitch-perfect.

My one caveat about the production is that Brickell’s graceful lyrics are not given their full justice. The best model of how it should be, however, is Ragland, the veteran actor, making every word count.

Quibbles aside, “Bright Star” is a must-see production. For tickets, call the Mill Town Players at 864-947-8000 or visit the

Paul Hyde, a longtime Upstate journalist, writes about the arts for the Anderson Observer. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter: @PaulHyde7.


Bassmaster Open to Return to Green Pond Sept. 24-26, 2020

Anderson Observer

Green Pond Landing and Event Center is on the schedule for the B.A.S.S. Bassmaster Open series next year.

The Eastern Division points race and the Elite Series berths that go with it will be decided at Lake Hartwell in Anderson, S.C. — site of three previous Bassmaster Classics and six major B.A.S.S. events — on Sept. 24-26.

“B.A.S.S. has been a tremendous partner for our community and have made significant contributions to our facilities and the promotion of Lake Hartwell," said Neil Paul, executive director of Visit Anderson. "The Bassmaster Opens are the most fished events at B.A.S.S. and we look forward to hosting the anglers and co-anglers in our community for what promises to be a great event.”

The Top 4 anglers from each division’s final points standings will receive an invitation to fish the 2021 Bassmaster Elite Series. But as a new addition, Elite Series invitations will also be extended to the Top 4 anglers from the cumulative standings for both divisions.

That means 12 competitors can earn a chance to pursue their dreams as Elite anglers.

“The Opens have always been about opportunity, and there are more opportunities available this year,” said B.A.S.S. CEO Bruce Akin. “Not only do we feel like we have a great lineup of lakes in each division, we’re excited about the idea that 12 anglers could have their lives changed by finishing strongly in these events.”

The payout per event will be $250,400 (based on a field of 150 anglers), giving the eight-event circuit a total payout of just over $2 million. Seven of the eight tournaments on this year’s Opens schedule topped the 150-angler mark, with five easily topping 200.


Clemson Regulator Probes Illegal Pesticide Sales

CLEMSON — Most of us don’t give pesticides a lot of thought. But it doesn’t take much pondering to understand that weed killers, rat killers, insecticides, fungicides, fumigants and disinfectants have one thing in common: They can kill.

Mike Weyman thinks about pesticides all the time. His job is to investigate illegal sales and use of them in South Carolina. And he’s seeing a deadly increase in their frequency.

“The internet has made it quicker and easier for criminals to distribute illegal, adulterated and counterfeit pesticides,” said Weyman, deputy director of Clemson University’s Regulatory Services unit, which includes the Department of Pesticide Regulation (DPR). “The majority of these problems come from other states, therefore we have had no jurisdiction to go after the seller. But the federal government doesn’t have the resources to take on every single local case.”

A recent case on both sides of the North and South Carolina line not only illustrated that quandary, but also led to a national effort to solve it.

The case involved a North Carolina pet owner who purchased a flea and tick killer for her two adult dogs from a local store. The bottle had no label, but she said she wrote down the verbal instructions she was given: “Apply 1 cc via syringe to each dog.” She did, using the dropper included in the bottle to give her dogs one drop each orally.

Her dogs died. She had tests run to find out why. Lab results showed the product contained the common insecticide Imidacloprid, but at more than five times the recommended dose. And Imidacloprid is absorbed through the skin and is required to be administered on the nape of the animal’s neck, so it is nearly impossible for the pet to ingest it.

The case came to Clemson when North Carolina agriculture authorities traced the local store’s original purchase of the unlabeled pesticide to the Palmetto State. It served as a persuasive example when, in late August, the Association of Structural Pest Control Regulatory Officials (ASPCRO) created a task force of industry and government leaders to help states collaborate — both in regulation and in education — to help protect the health of humans, animals and the environment.

Weyman heads the national effort, with co-leader George Saxton of the Office of the Indiana State Chemist, Jim Fredericks of the National Pest Management Association, Stephanie Binns of Responsible Industry for a Sound Environment and Aline DeLucia of the National Association of State Departments of Agriculture.

“States have been addressing this case by case and the cooperation has been excellent, but the quantity of cases just continues to grow,” Weyman said. “All of a sudden there’s been a rash of counterfeits. Every single major pesticide company has had problems with counterfeiters. This will give us a protocol and practice to attack the problems together and get ahead of the curve.

“Some of this can be handled with education. It’s a case of buyer beware. Number one, you don’t know what’s in that product. China is still using products like DDT that we stopped using years ago,” he said. “You never know what you’re getting. You can’t trust these people because they’re running a criminal enterprise. They don’t care about that lady’s dogs in North Carolina. They don’t care about you.”

Weyman said consumers can look for hints on the product. If it has no label, it’s already breaking the law in the United States. If it does have a label, read it. Clues will be there.

“For instance, we have a huge problem right now with flea and tick chemicals coming in from the Far East and the United Kingdom. But there’s an easy tip-off to consumers: The United States doesn’t use the metric system,” he said. “We had one bottle from Asia that made it clear they knew what they were doing was illegal when they sold it. Written in Chinese it said: ‘Very Important: Do this with a brain do not get caught by Department of Public Health.'”

The new task force is reaching out to pesticide-related businesses as well as state and federal regulatory agencies for help tackling the problem. At its core, Weyman said, is the understanding pesticides are essential products as is their proper use.

“I’ve investigated more than my share of pesticide-related deaths in 22 years of doing this,” he said. “What I don’t want is a case where it’s not a 11-year-old dog but a 13-year-old kid. That’s what keeps me up at night.”


Standpipe Festival Oct. 5; Related Art Events Start Saturday 

Anderson Observer

The annual Belton Standpipe Heritage and Arts Festival is set for Oct. 5, from 11 a.m.-8 p.m., will feature live music, a car show, arts and crafts, food vendors, activities for children, and a fireworks show on the square in Belton. New this year is a carnival, with rides featuring the tilt-a-whirl, caterpillar roller coaster, dragon pods, and the gigantic metal slide, wich will open on the eve of the festival.

There are also events in the week leading up to the festival, beginning Saturday  at 7 p.m. with the Belton Center for the Arts opeing of a display of over 80 extraordinary pieces of artwork, curated from artists from the tri-state area. Admission is free and the public is invited.

On Tuesday the Combo Kings take the stage at the historic Belton train depot at 6:30 p.m. Admission is $10 with proceeds going to the Belton Area Museum Association. 

On Oct. 3-4, Education Days at Heritage Days at the Belton Depot will bring more than 2,000 school children for interactive and hands-on instruction in the skills and artistry of their ancestors. School groups and homeschoolers will attend sessions from 8:45 a.m.-2 p.m. each day. 

Beginning Oct. 4 and continuing all weekend, the Belton Tennis Association will host the South Carolina Men’s Collegiate Tennis Championships.  Players representing 12 state colleges and universities will be competing in singles and doubles matches at the Belton Tennis Center, Leda Poore Park and BHP High School.

For more information, visit www.beltonalliance.comThis year’s festival is sponsored in part by the Belton Alliance, the City of Belton, Waste Connections, Clinkscales Chevrolet, and Anderson County ATAX. 


Botanical Garden Fall Plant Sale Friday, Saturday

CLEMSON — The South Carolina Botanical Garden Fall Plant Sale will be 2-6 p.m. Friday, and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. The Friday sale will be open just to members of Friends of the Garden. Memberships are available at gate or skip the line and join online at The Saturday sale will be open to the public.

All sales will be held in the nursery section of the Botanical Garden, located at 154 Lacecap Loop.

Author Richard Porcher will be signing his book, “A Guide to the Wildflowers of South Carolina,” during both days of the plant sale. Others participating in the sale include the Upstate Daylily Society with a great selection of daylilies; Anderson County Beekeepers Association with information on all things bee; Clemson Organics Recovery selling compost; the Senn family with their plant enhancer Senn-sational Seaumic; and Carolina Yards, a part of the Clemson Cooperative Extension Service, with information on watering practices for lawns. They also will have rain barrels for sale. On Saturday, there will be face painting and pumpkins for all to color.

The plant sale will feature trees, shrubs, fruits and berries, grasses, bog plants, perennials, ferns, tropical plants and orchids prepared by garden volunteers and staff. Many native plants and landscape plants will be available for purchase.A catalog of plant material is available at The catalog also will be available at the gate.


Sam Wyche to Speak at TD Club Friday

Former NFL Coach Sam Wyche, who coached the Cincinnati Bengals to the XXIII Super Bowl, is the scheduled speaker for today's Anderson Touchdown Club at the Anderson County Library.

Lunch begins at 11:30 a.m. and the meeting itself starts at noon.  Visitors are welcome.  Membership is $50 for an individual and $200 for a corporation, which includes 5 individual memberships.  Lunch for members is $10 and $15 for visitors. For additional information, call 864-226-7380.


Clemson Joins Team to Make Internet Faster, More Secure

CLEMSON — Clemson University is collaborating on a $20-million project that could make the internet faster and more secure, opening the door to a host of new services that haven’t yet been imagined, including some in artificial intelligence and virtual reality.

Researchers will build a network they are calling FABRIC to test new “internet architectures” — the technical and organizational structure of the internet.

The internet, first designed in the 1960s, has become central to daily life in the modern world, changing everything from how consumers get their news to how they shop for shoes. But the FABRIC research will go beyond how most consumers currently use the internet.

It could fundamentally change how applications are developed and create opportunities for a wide range of new innovations, such as connecting all the cars in a city so they can communicate with each other, said Kuang-Ching “K.C.” Wang, a co-principal investigator on FABRIC and professor of electrical and computer engineering at Clemson.

“We want to do all we can to make the system such that researchers or application developers can start to think about the network differently,” Wang said. “They will feel like there is much more flexibility in where they want to develop their software.

“It’s not just on their computer and then they send out some information. Rather, from the very beginning, they will be able to think, ‘What if the whole internet is a computer?’ How would you want to develop your application if that were the case?”

Scientific researchers will be the first to use FABRIC. It’s expected to make the huge amounts of data they collect more quickly available to them rather than waiting to move it from one hard drive to another, Wang said.

The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill is leading the FABRIC research, which is funded by the National Science Foundation. Read the UNC-Chapel Hill news release here.

The research could also help eliminate internet security threats, Wang said. FABRIC will allow security researchers to have a lot of control over their experiments and observe what goes wrong in the internet as it is currently designed, he said.

“They can develop new algorithms and new software allowing people to use the internet without concerns,” Wang said.

Wang said that as outreach coordinator for FABRIC, he will help users understand and use the new technology. He will also collaborate with the team developing the software to help ensure that it is responsive to users.

“This project furthers Clemson’s role as a community builder in the field of computer networking,” Wang said. “We’ve been, for the past decade, helping bridge researchers and IT professionals to bring cutting-edge network innovations to university campuses and beyond.”

Daniel Noneaker, chair of the Holcombe Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering, said Wang is well-positioned to make significant contributions to FABRIC.

“This project strengthens Clemson’s role as a leader in advanced computer-networking research,” Noneaker said. “I congratulate Dr. Wang and the entire FABRIC team on their grant.”


1.3 Million Workers Eligible for Overtime Pay

(NPR) - The Labor Department is expanding the pool of workers eligible for overtime pay by about 1.3 million workers

But many critics say the rules finalized Tuesday should have been rewritten to benefit more workers who routinely work more than 40 hours a week without additional pay.

Current federal law says most workers making about $23,660 a year are entitled to overtime pay. In other words, to be considered "salaried," most workers need to make at least that. Starting Jan. 1 next year, that minimum salary threshold will be raised to $35,568.

But a previous proposal, under former President Barack Obama, would have raised it to about $47,000, which would have benefited an estimated 3 million more workers by entitling them to either a shorter workweek, or more pay.

This is something Chip Ahlgren wanted to see. Ahlgren took over the general manager's role at a Seattle Jiffy Lube last year, a move that meant he went from making $16 an hour to an annual salary of $52,000 — something that seemed, at least at the time, like a step up.

But chronic understaffing meant Ahlgren had to work at the shop most of the time. At times, his workweek extended to over 100 hours, but as a salaried worker, he wasn't entitled to overtime pay. Ahlgren says that given how much he works, he'd earn more if he were paid the hourly minimum wage.

"There's nothing protecting me, if I have to work 100 hours a week, from that happening, and I don't get any more money," he says. 

The last time the minimum salary threshold was set was in 2004. Nowadays, that $23,660 salary falls below the poverty line for a family of four. So just about everyone agrees that needed updating.

The Obama administration sought to expand the number of workers eligible for overtime pay by raising the salary threshold. It proposed more than doubling it to about $47,000. A Texas judge struck that down. Instead, the Trump administration issued its own rule, setting the threshold to a lower level.

Heidi Shierholz, former Labor Department chief economist under Obama, argues that the new rules fall short. She says the proposal she championed would have made four times as many workers eligible for overtime.

But employers are pleased with the lower threshold. 

Meanwhile, a growing number of states have, or are looking to, set their overtime rules above the new federal requirements.

New York and California have already adopted new overtime rules that set their salary thresholds around $50,000. Several more states are considering similar proposals, including Colorado, Washington and Pennsylvania.