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Tuesday
Jul312018

Anderson's Locke Designs to Close at End of August

Locke Design Omnimedia, a graphic design firm which has served Anderson for mre than 22 years, will close its doors for good on Aug. 31. 

Owner David Locke, in a blog on his website, said he is closing the business to manage and expand his family's business at North Gate Apartments. 

Tuesday
Jul312018

24 Hour Musical Scheduled for Saturday at AU

Anderson's fifth annual 24 Hour Musical will be held this Saturday at the Henderson Auditorium of Anderson University Callie Stringer Rainey Fine Arts Building. Admission is free, but donations are encouraged to support the group's 2018 charity partner, the Anderson County Foster Parents Association.

The Broadway-style musical will be put together in 24 hours, with the announcement of the play and the first meeting of the cast set for Friday, just 24 hours before showtime.

Last year's event, a production of "High School Musical" raised $3,505.02 for Meals on Wheels of Anderson.

For more information visit http://www.24hourmusicalsc.org/

Tuesday
Jul312018

Clemson Turfgrass Event Set for Aug. 14

CLEMSON – It’s time to tee up for the 2018 Clemson University Turfgrass Research and Education Field Day.

Registration is at 8:30 a.m., with the field day beginning at 9 a.m. on Aug. 14 in the Owen Pavilion behind the Madren Conference Center on the Clemson campus. Field day coordinator Bert McCarty, a professor of turfgrass science and management, said this year’s field day is full of vital information for everyone who grows, uses or is interested in learning more about the turfgrass industry.

“Field day participants will see the latest research pertaining to turfgrass,” McCarty said. “They also will have an opportunity to learn about the latest trends in the turfgrass industry.”

Field day participants embark on a tour that stops first at the Walker Golf Course where McCarty will talk about post-emergence control of various weeds. Bobby Kerr, a doctoral student, will talk about using water to activate various herbicides to reduce turf phytotoxicity damage from compounds including salt and pesticides.

The event is free and open to the public. Pesticide continuing education credits for South Carolina, North Carolina and Georgia will be offered, as well as certified crop adviser and certified professional agronomist continuing education credits and Golf Course Superintendents Association of America education points for golf course superintendents. For more information, contact McCarty at 864-656-0120 or bmccrty@clemson.edu.

Tuesday
Jul312018

Foothills Alliance Adult Field Day Fundraiser Aug. 11

Foothills Alliance of Anderson is looking for teams to compete in their first Adult Field Day.
The event, set for Aug. 11 beginning at 8:30 a.m. at the McCants Bowl, will offer blue ribbons and prizes for the best teams.
Team and individual registrations are $25 for indivicuals, $125 for a five-person team and $200 for two, five-person teams, and are available by contacting Tracy Bowie at tracy.bowie@foothillsalliance.org

Detalls of the events and information on sponsorships available 
here.
 
Tuesday
Jul312018

Feds Expected to Leave Interest Rates Unchanged, for Now

 The Federal Reserve is expected to keep interest rates unchanged on Wednesday but solid economic growth combined with rising inflation are likely keep it on track for another two hikes this year even as President Donald Trump has ramped up criticism of its push to raise rates. 

The U.S. central bank so far this year has increased borrowing costs in March and June, and investors see additional moves in September and December. Policymakers have raised rates seven times since December 2015. 

The Fed will announce its decision today at 2 p.m. No press conference is scheduled and only minor changes are anticipated compared with the Fed’s June policy statement, which emphasized accelerating economic growth, strong business investment and rising inflation. 

Monday
Jul302018

Draisen Edwards Music Sold to National Music & Arts Chain

Draisen Edwards Music Center, which has served Anderson in some form since 1947, has been acquired by the national chain run by Music & Arts. Draisen Edwards offered thaks to loyal customers on their Facebook page and encourage them to turn now to Music & Arts for instruments, lessons, rentals and repairs which will operate in the same building.

Founded in Bethesda, Maryland, Music & Arts is a national music store chain, with more 180+ Music Stores throughout the country, and over 130,000 products on MusicArts.com.

Developing...

Monday
Jul302018

Electric City ComiCon Set for Saturday

It's a bird! It's a plane! It's your neighbor Darryl in tights and a mask!

The Anderson County Library System will host the Fourth Annual Electric City ComiCon from 10 a.m.- 5 p.m. Saturday at the Main Library. The event features all ages in in the costumes of their favorite hero, young adult authors, comic artists, local authors, vendors, and artisans, a Cosplay contest, food trucks (including the Pound Cake Man, The Pig Truck, Gravy Train) and more. Full schedule can be found here.

This year’s keynote session at 3:45 p.m. will Science Fiction Author Beth Revis. Other celebrity panelists include Jessica Lake, Ashley Poston and Emily B. Martin.

The Cosplay Contest, open to all ages, is scheduled for 2:30 p.m.  Registration, for both individuals and a groups, is required prior to the contest. 

Partial funding and special assistance for the ComiCon has been provided by Empire Games, the S.C. Arts Commission, the S.C. Humanities Council, Friends of the Anderson County Library, Forx Farm, and Dollar Bin Productions.  For more information, visit www.andersonlibrary.org, email electriccitycomicon@andersonlibrary.org, or call Brianna McDonell at 864-260-4500, ext. 103.

Monday
Jul302018

Study: Mild Dehydration Can Impair Mental Process

Was it hard to concentrate during that long meeting? Or, does the crossword seem a little tougher? You could be mildly dehydrated.

A growing body of evidence finds that being just a little dehydrated is tied to a range of subtle effects — from mood changes to muddled thinking.
"We find that when people are mildly dehydrated they really don't do as well on tasks that require complex processing or on tasks that require a lot of their attention," says Mindy Millard-Stafford, director of the Exercise Physiology Laboratory at Georgia Institute of Technology. She published an analysis of the evidence this month, based on 33 studies.

How long does it take to become mildly dehydrated in the summer heat? Not long at all, studies show, especially when you exercise outdoors.

"If I were hiking at moderate intensity for one hour, I could reach about 1.5 percent to 2 percent dehydration," says Doug Casa, a professor of kinesiology at the University of Connecticut, and CEO of the Korey Stringer Institute.

For an average-size person, 2 percent dehydration equates to sweating out about a liter of water.

"Most people don't realize how high their sweat rate is in the heat," Casa says. If you're going hard during a run, you can reach that level of dehydration in about 30 minutes.

And, at this level of dehydration the feeling of thirst, for many of us, is only just beginning to kick in. "Most people can't perceive that they're 1.5 percent dehydrated," Casa says.

But, already, there are subtle — maybe even imperceptible — effects on our bodies and our mental performance.

Take, for example, the findings from a recent study of young, healthy and active women who agreed to take a bunch of cognitive tests, and also agreed to restrict their fluid intake to no more than six ounces for one day.

"We did manage to dehydrate them by [about] 1 percent just by telling them not to drink for the day," says Nina Stachenfeld of the Yale School of Medicine and the John B. Pierce Laboratory, who led the research.

The women took one test designed to measure cognitive flexibility. It's a card game that requires a lot of attention, since the rules keep changing throughout the game.

"When the women were dehydrated they had about 12 percent more total errors" in the game, says Stachenfeld.

She repeated the tests after the women drank sufficient water, and their performance improved. "We were able to improve executive function back to normal — in other words-- back to the baseline day — when they rehydrated," the scientist says.

Dehydration didn't hamper performance on all the tests; the women's reaction time, for example was not impeded. The decline was seen during the complicated tasks.

Though the study was small, and funded by PepsiCo, which sells bottled water, Stachenfeld designed the methods and completed the analysis independently. And other scientists say her findings fit with a growing body of independent evidence that points to similar conclusions.

"I absolutely think there could be big implications of having a mild cognitive deficiency with small amounts of dehydration," Casa says.

If you're a student, for example, a 12 percent increase in errors on a test might matter. And whether you're a pilot, a soldier, a surgeon or a scholar, many daily tasks depend on the ability to be precise and pay attention.

For anyone trying to do their best work, the findings raise a number of questions:

How much water do we need?

There are no exact daily requirements, but there are general recommendations.

A panel of scholars convened several years ago by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering and Medicine concluded that women should consume, on average, about 91 ounces of total water per day. For men, the suggested level is even higher (125 ounces).

Note that this total includes water from all sources, including food and other beverages, such as coffee and tea. Typically, people get about 20 percent of the water they need daily from fruits, vegetables and other food.

Also, water needs vary from person to person. For example, body weight and muscle mass matter. Also, physical activity and heat exposure can increase the amount of fluid a person needs.

How can you tell if you're dehydrated?

One easy test: The color of your urine is a good guide. As a general rule of thumb, the darker the color, the more likely you are to be dehydrated. Aim for shades that have been described as "pale lemonade" or "straw." A color chart developed by physiologist and University of Connecticut professor Lawrence Armstrong can be a helpful guide, researchers say.

Are older people more vulnerable to dehydration?

As we age, we're not as good at recognizing thirst. And there's evidence that older adults are prone to the same dips in mental sharpness as anyone else when mildly dehydrated.

Don't wait until you're thirsty. A good rule of thumb is to sip fluids throughout the day. No need to chug huge amounts at one time; there are some risks to overhydrating, too.

Can coffee, tea and other caffeinated drinks have a dehydrating effect?

The most recent evidence finds that coffee provides similar hydrating qualities to water. In other words, yes, your morning cup of joe — or whatever caffeinated beverage you fancy, can help to keep you hydrated.

Monday
Jul302018

Experts Say Tap Water Good as Filtered Bottled Varieties

In pursuit of being able to drink the best kind of water they can on a regular basis, people have taken to purchasing all kinds of bottled water and using filters, but some experts say that tap water is just as good.

NPR interviewed different experts and ask about how tap water stacked up to the other options available.

First off, Dan Heil, a professor of health and human performance at Montana State University said that as long as the tap water flowing into people's homes meets all the health and safety standards, then it should be "perfectly fine."

Heil believes that with the prevalence of other options, the tap has become "underrated" in terms of being a source of healthy water.

Stuart Batterman, a professor of environmental health sciences at the University of Michigan, added that "In general, the drinking water quality in the U.S. is very good."

Water made available to U.S. residents via the tap is monitored by the Environmental Protection Agency. The agency has set up thresholds for the amount of chemicals, microorganisms and other contaminants in the water.

When discussing how filters can improve the tap water people are drinking, the experts said that they don't actually do that much.

Tanis Fenton, a registered dietitian and epidemiologist at the Cumming School of Medicine at the University of Calgary, said that filters can't do much to make people any safer because they "don't do anything" to weed out the amoeba, bacteria and viruses that could contaminate the water.

Neil Ward, an analytical chemistry professor at the University of Surrey in the U.K., even noted that drinking over-purified water could potentially be bad for people because they could have a reaction the next time they drink water that is not purified to the same degree.

Chief technical officer for the water filter company Mitte, Faebian Bastiman, said, however, that having a filter could protect people if there is something unsafe that has grown in the water pipes.

Batterman added that the systems operated by water utilities already feature disinfectants designed to prevent microbial growth.

The CDC noted that drinking water helps keep a person's body temperature normal, while also providing lubrication for the joints. Sensitive tissues and even the spinal cord can also be protected better by consuming water.

Water also helps people expel the waste buildup in their bodies in a variety of ways.

Sunday
Jul292018

BMW to Raise Prices of U.S.-Made SUVs in Response to Tariffs

BEIJING (Reuters) - German carmaker BMW said it will raise the prices of two U.S.-made crossover sport-utility vehicles in China to cope with the additional cost of tariffs on U.S. car imports into the world’s biggest auto market. 

FILE PHOTO: The BMW logo is seen on a vehicle at the New York Auto Show in the Manhattan borough of New York City, New York, U.S., March 29, 2018. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton/File Photo

In a move due to take effect on Monday, BMW said in a statement to Reuters over the weekend that it will increase maker-suggested retail prices of the popular, relatively high-margin X5 and X6 SUV models by 4 percent to 7 percent. 

The rates of increase suggest that BMW is willing to absorb much of the higher costs stemming from bringing the SUVs to China from its factory in South Carolina, underscoring the fierce competition among luxury car brands in China. 

BMW’s move comes after China imposed new tariffs earlier this month on about $34 billion of U.S. imports, from soybeans and cars to lobsters, as part of a widening trade row. 

Beijing, which this year cut tariffs on all automobiles imported into China, slapped an additional 25 percent levy on U.S.-made cars as of July 6. As a result, China now levies a 40 percent import duty on all cars imported from the United States. 

“BMW stands for free (trade) but can’t stand still without taking actions to respond to the market changes,” a BMW spokeswoman said in an email message to Reuters. 

BMW imports X4, X5 and X6 crossover SUV models from the United States for sale in China where demand for SUVs has been booming. Last year, the German automaker shipped more than 100,000 vehicles from the United States to China. 

The company made no reference to pricing of its X4 model.

Saturday
Jul282018

Planned Parenthood Sues S.C. Over Medicaid Abortion Plan

COLUMBIA, S.C. (AP) - Planned Parenthood says it is suing to try to get a judge to overturn South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster's order that it couldn't provide services under the state Medicaid health plan.

Planned Parenthood says that decision means thousands of poor women on Medicaid won't be able to get pelvic exams, birth control or testing for sexually transmitted diseases.

The organization said in a statement that McMaster is breaking federal law because it allows Medicaid patients to visit any provider that accepts the program.

McMaster's order banned any group that performs abortions from being a Medicaid provider in South Carolina.

McMaster spokesman Brian Symmes says McMaster will fight the lawsuit as hard as he can because he doesn't think taxpayer money should go to anyone who provides abortions.

Friday
Jul272018

Council to Consider Allowing Sunday Alcohol at Events

Anderson County Council will consider allowing alcohol sales on Sunday by organizations hosting events at the Anderson Civic Center and other locations around the county as part of a special called meeting Tuesday at 6 p.m. in the historic courthouse downtown.

Council will also consider allowing voters to decide on a countywide two percent hospitality tax with a non-binding referendum in November. (The Observer favors the hospitality tax, but opposes putting it to referendum. Read more on the issue here.)

Friday
Jul272018

Brown/Kings Road Intersection to Close for Construction Aug. 22

Expect delays at the intersection of Brown Road and Kings Road beginning Aug. 22, as the South Carolina Department of Transportation and S&S Construction begin work on the site.

SCOOT will close Kings Road fom the intersection with Brown Road to McClellan Road. This section of Kings Road is mostly residential, but businesses along the route may have full access to their properties. The SCDOT and S & S Construction Inc. of Anderson will maintain access for the prope1ties within the road closure.

A detour will be posted guiding traffic from Kings Road, to the East West Parkway, to Concord Rd, then to Brown Road, a distance of approximately 5.6 miles.

Construction on the intersection is expected to be completed Sept. 21. Questions about the project should be addressed to Resident Construction Engineer Mike McKenzie at 864-716-2380.